Pretty Plants PLEASE!

One of my favorite past-times, and something I’m looking forward to continue after I graduate, is indoor gardening. As a student, there’s too much living situation and time-variability on a week to week or year to year basis to sustain an outdoor garden, so for now indoor gardening is where I find my peace.

There are countless benefits to keeping plants around your house or having an indoor garden. A little extra greenery present in our lives has been shown to help improve our ability to focus, relieve our stress, and minimize our attentional fatigue. Attentional fatigue comes from things that require us to actively focus on it, like a lecture or a meeting, rather than something we mindlessly pay attention to, like leaves rustling in the wind or a beetle crawling on the ground.

On top of the benefits of actually having plants in your home, there are lots of plants that can work seamlessly into your beauty routines! Between hair, face, and eyelash treatments based on plants that you can grow at home, having a home garden can actually provide you with a world of possibilities for taking care of yourself and being botanically-based BEAUTIFUL!

Succulent Plant for Succulent Lashes

One of my favorite members of my garden is my aloe vera plant. Amongst many other succulent and cactus varieties, aloe vera grows very quickly and can deal with a limited amount of light, which is especially great if you love the look of succulents and cacti but lack the South-facing, light-drenched window it tends to take to keep them alive. My aloe vera plant is at a West-facing window and has even survived a cold Illinois winter, so they are also pretty hardy plants! They also only need to be watered about once every week or two, which makes them very low maintenance!

Aloe vera is super useful beauty-wise for growing stronger, longer eyelashes. Aloe vera gel contains vitamin E, which helps promote strong hair growth. The gel from this cute plant also helps moisturize your eyelashes, and using it regularly can yield some serious results! Plus, it’s super easy to apply right before bed using a clean mascara brush or just your fingers.

Fresh Mint for a Fresh FacialĀ 

There are a lot of herbs out there that work great for all-natural, DIY facials, my favorite being mint! Mint is a cool plant to have because it makes the air smell really fresh on top of being easily transplanted. If at any point you wanted to move a small mint plant into either a larger container or a garden bed, get ready for it to grow like crazy! They’re also very easy to take care of, since they grow quickly as long as they have adequate sunlight (8-10 hours/ day for most varieties) and get watered any time the soil starts to feel dry (and make sure, again, that this watering is done over the sink, and that it drains all the way out the bottom of the container before you put it back down!).

Mint is great for your skin because it contains a lot of vitamin A, which can help reduce oil production and strengthen your skin tissue. It also naturally contains salicylic acid, something you’ll find advertised in a lot of acne and breakout treatments. Salicylic acid is an exfoliate that is both gentle and effective at clearing pores and preventing future breakouts. This also means, however, that this type of facial has the potential to seriously dry out your skin. Mixing mint leaves with something like plain yogurt or honey helps keep the balance between having clear, exfoliated skin and hydrated, supple skin!

AvocaDO Your Hair a Favor

Avocado plants are something that have been a sort of dream for me since I was a kid, especially since I stubbornly want to be able to successfully germinate my own plant. It’s amazing how simple it is to do, I just haven’t found the time yet to try it! Luckily, it’s easy stuff: you clean the pit, stick about three toothpicks in it around the sides (like spokes on a wheel), then sit this little pit contraption on top of a glass of water filled almost to the brim. As long as you keep the water level up, you should have a cute avocado plant in no time!

Sadly, while these plants are absolutely adorable, they won’t bear fruit. The fruit producing plants are better brought at a larger nursery, already germinated and about a foot tall. These can grow to about shrub-size, so they’re easy to keep on the floor by a sunny window in a fairly large pot! And, once your plant starts producing fruit and you can harvest it, avocados can be made into fantastic hair masks that leave your hair feeling silky and smooth. Combined with banana, egg and apple cider vinegar, avocado masks leave damaged hair healthier and shinier than ever before, making waiting for harvesting time from the avocado plant well worth the wait.