6 Skin Superpowers of Marshmallow Root

It sounds like something you’d put in your hot chocolate, not on your skin — so what is marshmallow root…and what do you do with it?

Sorry, you can’t make smores with it. But if you’re looking for a powerful skin-saver, marshmallow root is up to the task. “Marshmallow or mallow root is actually an herb,” explains Bella Schneider, a Palo-Alto based esthetician and CEO of LaBelle Day Spas & Salons. It comes from the Althaea Officinalis plant native to Europe, Western Asia and North Africa, and though it’s been used for ages to treat everything from sore throats to heartburn, marshmallow root has recently started some well-deserved attention for its skin superpowers, too. “It’s wonderful in skincare products,” says Schneider.

So what exactly can it do — and what should you look for? We’ll break it down for you:

Illustration of Althaea sp. (Marshmallow), roots, leaves, and purple-pink flowers

It’s a powerful moisturizer

“Marshmallow root is a healing herb that works wonders on the skin,” says Murat Evin, Creative Director of The London School of Make-Up. “From a beauty and cosmetic point of view, it is wonderful for reducing the appearance of fine lines around the eyes thanks to its hydrating properties.” And it’s not a short-term solution, he says. “It also helps your skin to retain moisture, meaning your skin will retain its youthful look for longer.” Bella Schneider Beauty’s Royal Rose Stem Cell Mask is a great example — it combines the ingredient with rose oil, shea and jojoba to hydrate, plump and replenish skin.

 It’s a great makeup remover ingredient

Ever feel like your skin feels kind of angry when you’re done wiping and scrubbing away your eyeliner and bronzer? “If you wear make-up, a marshmallow-based moisturizer is ideal for helping to hydrate your skin once you’ve removed your makeup,” says Evin. The same properties that make marshmallow root a great ingredient in face cream make it a great ingredient in makeup remover wipes, too. Case in point: Lancer Skincare’s pre-moistened wipes, which combine marshmallow root with other calming ingredients like aloe and cucumber. Even those with extra sensitive skin will want to keep these in their gym bags and on their nightstands — they’re made from non-irritating bamboo fibers, so they’re gentle enough even for the delicate eye area.

It’s even good for your nipples

Breastfeeding mamas, take note! “The extract contains flavonoids that have anti-inflammatory properties. It also works as a mucilage, which helps to coat membranes,” explains Heather Hamilton, founder of Zoe Organics. “When used on the skin, it can be incredibly soothing and work well for irritated or chapped skin.” If you’re breastfeeding, you probably know a thing or two about irritated, chapped skin — which is why Zoe Organics uses marshmallow root in their Nipple Balm. The 100% organic balm also contains other soothing ingredients like cocoa butter, olive oil and avocado oil to help soften and restore skin. (Major perk? You don’t have to wash it off before breastfeeding.)

It’s an all-over healer

Need a little all-over soothing? Marshmallow root can help with conditions like eczema and sunburn too, says Hamilton. If you have sensitive skin, look for a cream that’s free of possible irritants — Zoe Organics’ rich cream is free of fragrance, fillers and chemical preservatives, so it won’t work against your skin as it nourishes. The ingredient can even heal small cuts and scrapes on your skin and help treat more serious skin issues, says Evin. “If you suffer from psoriasis or general hard skin problems, marshmallow root is the ultimate way to moisturize the skin to help reduce this problem.”

It reduces inflammation

“As an esthetician and herbalist, marshmallow root is one of my favorite herbs to use in skin care,” says Shelley Birnbaum, owner and master esthetician at ReNew Botanicals. “Since inflammation is the root of many imbalances and, in addition, free radical damage causes inflammation which leads to the breakdown of collagen and aging skin, it is the perfect choice for mature skin as well.” Birnbaum includes the ingredient in ReNew Botanicals’ Aging With Attitude Oil Cleanser (for oil cleansing fans) and Aging With Attitude Facial Serum.

It plays well with others

You don’t need to overhaul your entire skincare routine to incorporate marshmallow root. “Like all top of the line plant extracts, this natural extract works best when combined with other ingredients such as antioxidants, vitamins, and healing plant oils,” says K.D. Gates, holistic skincare expert and founder and CEO of Celsaderm Skincare.


Kelly S
Past Member about a year ago

I have it!!!!!!!

Marie W
Marie W2 years ago

Thanks for sharing

Sarah H
Sarah Hill2 years ago


Jerome S
Jerome S2 years ago

thanks for sharing.

Joyce W
Joyce W2 years ago

Something I'd like to check out a bit more. Thanks.

Leong S
Leong S2 years ago


Quanta Kiran
Quanta Kiran2 years ago


Mary B
Mary B2 years ago

Some have asked is this an adverting gimmick? It is info about a useful herb and advertising for products that use it. So what? Not everybody is a do it your selfer. I like to try new products AND make my own. Geez people, the world is not just one side or the other, it's a continuum on a sliding scale.

Brie B
BumbleBrie B2 years ago

This is just so Groovy! Thanks for it; and I looked at marshmallow roots on Ecosia https://www.ecosia.org/search?q=marshmallow+root&addon=android
Thanks for this

Stacey C
Stacey C2 years ago