Individuals who want to find the best herbal facial treatment must identify their skin type, the preferred treatment form, the individual herbs involved along with their percentages, other active and inactive ingredients that could cause reactions, and the evidence regarding the herbs' safety and use. Individuals do not have the exact same skin, health or environmental concerns, so the product that one person selects might be very different than what another person picks. As a person ages and her skin changes, she might find that switching products provides better results.
Identifying skin type is the primary concern when choosing the best herbal facial treatment. Dermatologists typically classify skin as oily, dry, normal or combination. Within each of those categories, individuals must examine their specific additional needs, such as a treatment that evens skin tone or reduces the appearance of wrinkles. The ingredients associated with each skin classification often are extremely different, so a person may end up exacerbating issues if she uses an herbal facial treatment designed for a different skin type.
Once a person has limited their choices to ones that are skin-type appropriate, she must decide the form of treatment she prefers. For instance, she can decide between rinses, scrubs, toners or masks. This really depends on personal preference based on the individual's routine and the feel of the product.
The next task is to identify the exact herbs used in the product and their benefits or side effects, along with the percentage of concentration for each herb. This information is necessary because certain herbs should not be used topically or internally beyond a certain dosage, and because understanding the strength of the product is important for avoiding skin irritation. Very generally, ingredients listed first on a product are present in higher amounts, but for exact percentages, a person might need to contact the manufacturer directly.
One mistake people make in selecting an herbal facial treatment is looking only at the herbs used, sometimes buying the product simply because it is labeled as containing a particular plant. Although the herbs in an herbal facial treatment must be a primary consideration, the other ingredients also matter. Some individuals, for example, are sensitive to dyes or added fragrances, which can cause allergic reactions or issues such as headaches. Other ingredients are known to be toxic but find their way into products because of lack of product regulation and economic considerations in production. Use the non-herbal ingredients to fine-tune the list of possible treatments.
The last step, which is probably the most time consuming, is to gather as much medical information about the product ingredients as possible, such as looking at clinical studies. Hundreds of different herbs are used in herbal facial treatments and other products, and many of them have not been studied thoroughly enough for professionals such as scientists and doctors to make assertions about their effectiveness or hazards. Often, manufacturers promote herbal products as "natural" or more safe, but because the claims manufacturers make frequently have very little to no scientific evidence to back them up, checking whether the herbs are well-understood can help a person discard the "snake-oil" products that don't work.