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If you’re unfamiliar with arnica, let us introduce you to it! Here, you’ll discover what arnica is, what it’s used for, how to use it, and even find out some amazing benefits of using it as part of your skincare routine!

What Is Arnica?

Mom with daughter and skin products that have arnica

Arnica is an herb that comes from the plant Arnica montana, a yellow-orange flower that grows in the mountains of Europe and Siberia. It’s also known as wolf’s bane, leopard’s bane, or mountain arnica.

Being part of the sunflower family, its large, yellow flower head is what gives it away. This plant is turned into an oil and used as an active ingredient in skincare products like creams, gels, and lotions. It can also be diluted and formulated into a supplement.

What Is It Used For?

To start with, arnica is used in creams or gels to help soothe muscle aches, heal wounds, and even stop bruising.

Although it’s most widely known for medicinal purposes, arnica can also be super beneficial to your skin in many ways. Many products that contain arnica as an active ingredient help treat acne and rashes, for example.

Keep reading to find out more about arnica and the benefits of including it in your skincare and wellness routine!

Benefits Of Arnica

A field of arnica flowers

Relieves Pain

Because of its strong anti-inflammatory properties, arnica is used in many pain-relieving medicines to help improve blood circulation throughout your body.

In a topical form, arnica gel or cream can help relieve sore muscles and sprains. It can also help with any joint pain or pain from accidents that might happen unexpectedly, which leads us to our next benefit.

(When your baby gets a boo-boo, try our Arnica Gel to keep their skin comfortable, replenished, and moisturized! This diaper-bag must-have delivers cooling hydration and soothing relief to help keep your little one calm when they get hurt.)

Helps Heal Wounds

Arnica can help heal wounds, or at least speed up the healing process.

Our Arnica Gel is clinically proven to moisturize, refresh, and soothe your child’s skin. Your little one will experience an immediate fresh effect upon application.

In addition to its effectiveness, this gel is easy to use, too. It comes in airless packaging that facilitates one-handed or upside-down use. Nothing can stop you from coming to the rescue!

And as we mentioned earlier, arnica’s anti-inflammatory properties help stimulate blood flow throughout your body. Because of this, it’s sometimes used on patients after they get out of surgery to help them heal faster.

(Note: Do not use arnica directly on an open wound or on babies younger than nine months of age. This is done under the direction of a medical professional.)

Soothes Irritation From Insect Bites

When you’re playing outside with your little one, the last thing you want interrupting your fun is an insect bite! Insect bites can cause a lot of pain and irritation to your and your baby’s skin.

Arnica can help soothe skin by calming inflammation at the site of the bite, which leads to less scratching. And less scratching means less skin irritation.

The powerful agents in arnica can help cleanse the area of extra histamine — which starts the process that scoots the allergens out of your body or skin by sneezing, coughing, or itching — given to you by the insect.

As a result, it helps speed up the healing process when you or your little one gets a bug bite so you can enjoy the great outdoors!

We also recommend our Cicastela Moisture Recovery Cream for minor skin irritations in your little one, like bug bites, scrapes, and dryness. This safe and effective multi-purpose ointment delivers soothing relief from head-to-toe.

Treats Dandruff

Dandruff is caused by a slew of things, including irritated skin, oily skin, dry skin, sensitivity to hair products, eczema or psoriasis, or Malassezia, which is a yeast-like fungus.

Luckily, arnica has antibacterial properties as well! This means it can help fight off bacteria like Malassezia.

If you or your little one has dandruff, try adding a few drops of arnica oil to your shampoo (or look for a shampoo that contains arnica as an active ingredient) and apply it to the area at least every other day.

Another option to help fight dandruff with arnica is using a hair mask. But it’s hard to know which hair mask ingredients are actually helping your scalp and which ones are hurting it.

Instead of choosing a store-bought hair mask, we recommend making your own by combining arnica with a hydrating oil, like jojoba oil or coconut oil, to give your skin beneficial hydration with the right ingredients.

Mom washing baby's hair with arnica shampoo

In infants, baby dandruff can sometimes lead to cradle cap. If that happens, it’s even more important to use the right products on your little one’s sensitive scalp to help treat and relieve their cradle cap.

Try our Foam Shampoo For Newborns to cleanse your baby’s hair and minimize cradle cap flakes. It gently exfoliates your little one’s scalp and helps reduce the recurrence of cradle cap flakes.

For best results, apply a small amount and gently massage it onto your baby’s wet scalp. Leave it on for one to two minutes, and then carefully rinse it off.

Follow that up by applying our Baby Oil to your baby’s scalp. The oil will help loosen up any cradle cap flakes that didn’t come off during washing. Once you’ve applied the oil, simply use a comb or brush to gently brush away the unwanted flakes.

A healed scalp is a healthy scalp. But to create a healthy scalp you must use the right products!

(Learn more about treating and preventing cradle cap here.)

Decreases Puffiness

Is your face puffy when you wake up in the morning? You can thank your body’s inflammation and fluid retention for that!

Overnight, your body can build up fluid that settles, which results in a puffy morning face that nobody wants. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties in arnica help to keep this from happening so you can wake up looking refreshed!

As a result, arnica is an active ingredient used in many face masks and eye creams, all of which can be applied to your face at night or even in the morning.

Helps Soothe And Prevent Irritation

Arnica is a natural ingredient, and natural ingredients are less likely to cause skin irritation. This means you can feel confident using arnica in your and your baby’s skincare routine to soothe skin!

That said, even though arnica is used to help calm irritated skin, we recommend doing a spot test and waiting to make sure your skin doesn’t react before applying it.

Other Ways To Use Arnica

Mustela Arnica Gel

We’ve already mentioned some ways to use arnica, such as adding a few drops of it into your shampoo or mixing it with another oil to make a hair mask. But the uses don’t stop there!

Arnica can also be taken orally in the form of a supplement, and many products that spas and treatment centers use for facials and massages contain arnica as an active ingredient.

Keep in mind that arnica is best used topically, but like with anything you put on your skin, there’s always a chance your skin will react.

As we mentioned above, always do a spot test before applying any new product to your skin, and talk to your doctor before ingesting arnica supplements.

Possible Side Effects

As with anything, side effects are possible when using arnica. While there’s still so much to discover and learn about arnica, we’ll share what we do know.

To start with, do not ingest arnica directly. It comes from a plant that happens to be very poisonous. If swallowed, arnica can cause a serious reaction to your skin, affect your heart and other organs, and may result in gastrointestinal issues.

People who should not use arnica include:

  • Women who are pregnant
  • Women who are breastfeeding
  • Babies under nine months of age
  • People who are allergic to sunflowers, marigolds, or ragweed

Also, don’t apply arnica directly to broken skin because there’s a possibility of too much of it being absorbed by the skin (unless otherwise instructed by a doctor).

Arnica: A Beneficial Natural Ingredient

Mustela arnica gel

To sum up, arnica is a natural ingredient that comes from the Arnica montana plant and offers many benefits for skin, such as helping to heal wounds, relieving pain, soothing bug bites, treating dandruff, and preventing irritation.

Use it as an oil or supplement for medicinal purposes or in skincare products to treat and nourish your skin. And don’t forget to keep Arnica Gel and Ciscastela Moisture Recovery Cream in your diaper bag for those occasional bumps and falls your little one is bound to suffer.

At Mustela, we’re committed to taking care of your family’s skin by using natural ingredients. From protecting their skin in the sun to hydrating it at bath time, we have just what you’re looking for when it comes to clean skincare for your baby!