Myrrh: The Skincare Gift Fit For A King

by Gio
myrrh in skincare products

“What’s that, mommy?”

“It’s a resin with a smokey and balsamic, sometimes bitter, scent. It’s used as a fragrance or to heal wounds.”

“Whyyyyyyy?”

“Well, because it has anti-septic….”

“No, mummy! I mean, why would you give that to a baby?! Why not a teddy bear?”

“Er… cos he was a king, hun. You give luxury presents to a king.”

“Being a king sucks then. I’m pretty sure he would have preferred the teddy bear.”

“Me too, hun. Me too.”

Little me didn’t think the three Wise Men were very wise for bringing myrrh, frankincense and gold to baby Jesus. Yep, all pretty stuff, no doubt, but for a baby? I still can’t wrap my head around it.

But myrrh was always the gift that intrigued me the most. We all know what gold and frankincense are. But, myrrh? Who the heck had heard of it before?

What The Heck Is Myrrh?

Myrrh is a resin that comes from the Commiphora myrrha tree, which grows in the deserts of Africa and the Middle East. You’ll recognize it as soon as you see it. It’s that unique.

It has white flowers, few leaves and a knotted, twisted shape that cries. Well, not real tears obviously. But you have to cut the trunk to release the myrrh and then wait for it to dry. So, it looks like the tree is crying. Maybe it’s not happy we’re robbing it?

The yellowish orange oil extracted from the resin sometimes ends up in your lotions and potions. Especially perfumes and other fragrances. But, it has other uses, too.

What Does Myrrh Do For The Skin?

Good question. Turns out myrrh hasn’t been studied all that much. Wonder why that is? Anyway, here’s what I’ve uncovered so far:

1. Myrrh Has Antioxidant Properties

Ok, this study was done on rabbits, so it’s not the most reliable. But, it seems that myrrh is a powerful antioxidant that can fight oxidative damage (you know, the one that causes wrinkles).

I think there’s some truth in here because pretty much all plants have antioxidants, so why should poor myrrh be the exception? But, I don’t think it’s the best antioxidant out there or that you absolutely need it.

But, if you’re already using myrrh, it’s good to know it may help keep your skin looking young, right?

2. Myrrh Has Soothing Properties

Irritated skin? Myrrh can soothe it. I heard it’s particularly good to soothe chapped and cracked lips, but I haven’t tried that myself, yet.

3. Myrrh Has Antibacterial Properties

Myrrh has been used for centuries to heal wounds and prevent infections. And now science has confirmed what ancient wisdom already knew: the resin has antibacterial properties.

The Bottom Line

Myrrh ain’t the most popular ingredients out there and I can’t see it becoming one soon. But, if you want to add a little festive cheer to your beauty routine, tis’ the season to indulge in it.

Have you ever used any beauty products with myrrh?

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4 comments

Julina March 15, 2017 - 8:45 pm

Hi Gio, i use a product featuring Myrrh extracts, its called “Nubian Heritage Raw Shea Butter with soy milk, frankincense & myrrh”, by Sundial Brands LLC, it’s basically a fancy enhanced shea butter – but i enjoy the rich weight of this moisturiser and it smells “musky, mysterious and exotic”. I really don’t think there is enough myrrh in there to be considered medicinal grade though.

Gio March 18, 2017 - 8:05 pm

Julina, there probably isn’t. But the scent sounds heavenly!

Tiffany April 3, 2017 - 2:20 pm

Actually, Myrrh has a very high antioxidant capacity. According to the ORAC chart on essential oils , it’s antioxidant value was 379,800 ! Just to put that into perspective, Lavender oil has an ORAC of 360.

Gio April 3, 2017 - 4:10 pm

Tiffany, that’s good to know, thanks for sharing. Sounds like it’s more powerful than I thought, but I still think skin needs more than just one antioxidant, however awesome it is. No single one of them is a silver bullet for anti-aging. 🙂

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