You may not think you are familiar with the horse chestnut, but you likely have used skincare products that include this dynamic skincare ingredient before. Horse chestnut is a tree found in Asia, Europe, and North America that produces spiny-shelled fruits with seeds called conkers. The extract, or oil, from this seed contains many benefits for the skin.
A substance called aescin, a primary component in horse chestnut extract, is responsible for its immense medicinal healing properties. Aescin is packed with powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties and is known for preventing water retention, treating poor circulation, reducing swelling, and many more skin-healing qualities. In turn, horse chestnut seed oil is used in a growing number of skincare products to help users minimize the appearance of dark circles, balance out redness, and treat varicose veins.
For these and other reasons, Botanika Life chose to introduce horse chestnut into select beauty products, combining it with other natural elements for well-balanced, undeniable results. Let’s explore the many benefits that can come from incorporating horse chestnut into your skincare regimen.
How Horse Chestnut Benefits Skin
Inflammation can cause the buildup of fluid in your tissues, leading to fluid retention and swelling. As previously touched upon, horse chestnut contains the compound aescin which possesses powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
So how does horse chestnut's natural suppression of inflammation benefit your skin? It helps with reducing redness, soothing irritation, promoting healing, and lessening the onset of acne or dermatitis.
Besides being naturally anti-inflammatory, horse chestnut has high levels of antioxidants which boost the immune system and improve the skin’s appearance.
Diving deeper, horse chestnut contains the powerful antioxidants quercetin and kaempferol glycosides, both known for their potent disease-fighting properties. The extract from horse chestnut also includes high levels of flavonoids which offer protection for blood vessels and high levels of antioxidants.
Nourishing to the skin, horse chestnut oil is an effective hydration tool to add to your skincare routine. Horse chestnut contains an enzyme called hyaluronidase, which is known for breaking down hyaluronic acid in the skin.
Hyaluronic acid is a substance that is naturally found in the skin. It helps retain moisture, allows the skin to stretch, and reduces wrinkles. Horse chestnut is known for its deeply hydrating qualities, nourishing dry skin and giving it a youthful glow.
Horse chestnut comprises potent astringent and anti-bacterial properties. Without removing beneficial components on your skin, this natural cleaner has strong germ-fighting qualities.
Studies suggest that horse chestnut is effective at destroying bacteria such as staph, strep, and even antibiotic-resistant E. coli.
What Skincare Benefits to Expect from Horse Chestnut
Reduced red and uneven skin coloring
A master at evening out your skin and minimizing redness, horse chestnut offers many benefits when it comes to the appearance of your skin’s appearance. By toning the blood vessels directly beneath the surface of your skin, stimulation of blood flow assists in evening out dark circles and redness.
Horse chestnut is well known for reducing inflammation and can also decrease redness of the skin, assisting in skin issues like rosacea. Minimizing dark circles, making your skin look more even in coloring is one of the many benefits horse chestnut products offer.
Slowed onset of signs of aging
With an abundance of antioxidants, there’s no surprise that horse chestnuts are celebrated for their ability to prevent the signs of aging. Horse chestnut skincare contains high amounts of polyphenol proanthocyanidin, a compound known to neutralize environmental toxins and free radicals.
These skin stressors break down the skin barrier and contribute to aging, uneven skin tone, and irritation. Horse chestnuts benefit your skin by protecting the outside and inner layers of the skin and also increase collogen production.
To key takeaway is that the extract from horse chestnuts has soothing and toning properties for the skin that prevent premature aging, diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
The compounds found in horse chestnuts, called aescin, naturally inhibit an enzyme that breaks down hyaluronic acid in the skin. So, what does that mean? Reducing this enzyme leads to increased skin hydration.
In addition, the seed oil from horse chestnuts also protects the collagen and elastin that exist in the skin. Horse chestnut is a common ingredient in moisturizers and other skin-hydrating products partially due to its numerous circulatory benefits. When blood flow is moving and not stagnant, moisture levels in the skin are able to be at their best.
Studies suggest that horse chestnut skincare products can prevent breakouts. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties horse chestnuts calm inflammation and help balance the skin, keeping acne at bay.
Horse chestnut skincare products help control oil production in your skin, which also assists in controlling breakouts.
Lessened visibility of spider veins and similar cosmetic issues
The compound aescin in horse chestnuts contains multiple medicinal properties, making it useful for treating issues like spider veins, bulging veins, and broken veins. Study results indicate that aescin increases the blood flow in your veins, improving the structure of the veins overall.
Research on the treatment of varicose veins with horse chestnut extract suggests that the active compounds within this natural ingredient promote blood flow. The anti-inflammatory properties of aescin protect the cells that line veins, causing a reduction in blood plasma leakage and swelling.
Horse chestnut also offers protection of collagen and elastin in the skin, which are proteins that form the structure of veins. Because of this, horse chestnut oil is used to tone and minimize broken veins, spider veins, and skin that is prone to dark coloration.
FAQs About Horse Chestnut in Skincare
What skin types benefit horse chestnut the most?
Horse chestnut can be used on almost any type of skin, as it provides gentle healing and effective benefits. It is often used for those who deal with uneven skin tone, dark circles, or visible veins on their skin.
The benefits of horse chestnut oil for anti-aging purposes is used across the globe. Ideal for combatting issues like wrinkles and fine lines for mature skin, horse chestnut can also be used as a proactive ingredient to maintain a healthy glow and avoid signs of aging.
Is horse chestnut known to elicit allergic reactions?
Negative reactions to horse chestnut are rare, but irritation is a possibility with any new ingredient you try. Doing a patch test on a small area of skin before applying it more broadly is a good way to test for allergic reactions.
Experts suggest avoiding using strong exfoliants or retinoids at the same time as using skin products with horse chestnut.
How often should I use skincare products that have horse chestnut in them?
Always follow the directions on your product labels for optimum effects and safety. In general, you can apply skincare products that contain horse chestnut 2-3 times a week for sensitive skin and daily for non-sensitive complexions.
Can I reap the benefits of horse chestnuts by eating them?
Horse chestnut is a popular dietary supplement to promote vein health and reduce inflammation. It is important to be very aware of what type of horse chestnut product you choose if you are ingesting it, as unprocessed horse chestnut seeds are considered unsafe by the FDA.
As with any new supplement, talk to your doctor if you are currently taking blood thinners, diabetes medication, or other prescription medications.
By Emily Wegener
With a unique background as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Masters Degree in Teaching and experience in Psychology, Emily spends much of her time researching and trying out new holistic healing modalities.