5 Reasons You Should Be Putting Marshmallow on Your Face (Yes, Really)

Marshmallow root extract is gaining popularity in the world of beauty as of late. (No, not the delicious, sugar-laden confection we use to make s'mores, but rather the ingredient chock-full of benefits for your skin.) Marshmallow extract comes from the Althaea plant native to Northern Africa, Europe, and Western Asia. According to Dr. Kenneth Howe of Wexler Dermatology in New York City, "The roots of the marshmallow plant contain a thick, gummy substance called mucilage. The mucilage is extracted from the root and used for medicinal purposes. In addition to mucilage, the root extract contains a number of other ingredients that promote skin health, such as polysaccharides and flavonoids." He explains that MRE has been used in folk medicine for a long time to, "relieve irritation or inflammation of the gastrointestinal and respiratory tract, or to soothe the skin."

When it comes to skincare benefits, the standout ingredient has evolved. "Traditionally, MRE has been used to treat skin burns and insect bites. But as scientific studies have determined that MRE possesses antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory effects, the clinical uses of MRE have expanded," he says. It sure has, because many beloved skincare brands today have a slew of products that showcase MRE as the all-star ingredient. "We use this ingredient in over 70 Jurlique products for its amazing skincare benefits. It's hand-tended and harvested on the Jurlique organic farm in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia," says Jurlique educational manager Sara LaBree.

Mandy Vance, director of education and esthetics at Dr. Hauschka, points out that the brand's best-selling eye cream is infused with marshmallow leaf extract. "The unique qualities of marshmallow leaves and roots lend themselves to many of our products—and for the eye area, they are particularly appropriate as their soothing qualities allow the product to be high-performance yet non-irritating," she says.

Keep scrolling to read on about the benefits of marshmallow root extract and why you should be thinking about including this ingredient in your skincare regimen. 

Have you tried products with marshmallow root extract in them? Tell us in the comments!