Want a complexion that shines with radiance and health? Treat it to a diet of skincare ‘products’ formulated with the very thing that nutritionists have been saying are great for you – superfoods!
Everyone loves them – whether in their salads or as a savoury dish on their own. Where skin care is involved, mushroom extracts have been popping up on labels thanks to its selenium content, a powerful antioxidant that saves skin from sun damage and even prevents skin cancer. Here is something else to consider: Mushroom extracts contain a polysaccharide that is able to hydrate and plump the skin better than hyaluronic acid, skin’s natural internal moisturiser and a hit ingredient for hydration-boosting products!
Did you know that pomegranate is known as the Queen’s Fruit because Cleopatra consumed ample amounts of it? Pomegranate in skincare has been known to hydrate dry skin, replenishing dull and tired skin. It also helps reduce inflammation and stimulate collagen synthesis for an improved skin texture while its antioxidants protect and heal through the healthy regeneration of skin cells.There is also ellagic acid that reduces collagen breakdown and boosts blood supply, and vitamin C that decreases skin’s roughness. Recent research also shows that pomegranate has three times more antioxidants than red wine and green tea, which is probably the reason why pomegranate juice is flooding the supermarket aisles these days!
The medicinal ginseng has for years been known as a superfood – or super plant – in Asian cultures, where it is used in various ways for health benefits. It is no surprise that ginseng is found in many Asian skincare brands, making this ancient remedy a new beauty miracle today. Ginseng’s saponin promotes the growth of new skin cells to improve resilience and exfoliate dead skin cells for smoothness. Its panagin acid hydrates your skin to prevent dryness and maintain suppleness. Ginseng also promotes blood circulation through the capillary vessels in your face for healthier skin and a youthful radiance.
These cute little seeds have been popping up everywhere in the beauty aisle, thanks to its ability to absorb up to 10 times its weight in water, making it the perfect ingredient to boost hydration for your skin. In terms of its medicinal benefits, chia seed is to South America what ginseng is to Asia. It contains six times more antioxidants than blueberries and eight times more essential fatty oil than salmon. Put it all together and you have a superfood that may be tiny but packs a punch in terms of benefits.
Originating from an Amazon palm tree, açaí is popular among skincare brands for its amino acids, essential fatty acids and antioxidants. This little purple berry actually contains 10 times more antioxidants than red grapes and 10 to 30 times more than red wine! Its fatty acid content resembles that of olive oil, which makes this a great ingredient for anti-ageing products. Its high levels of nutrients also help in the regeneration of skin cells.
It isn’t just popular as a health drink; cranberries are also used by many beauty companies for its source of salicylic acid, vitamin C, minerals and antioxidants. The polyphenols in cranberries help to fix and prevent cell damage as well as lower the risk for inflammation while its antioxidant, resveratrol, helps to minimise acne and pimples. Its acidic nature makes cranberries a great toner for those with oily skin. You can even try it on its own – just mix cranberry juice with honey and apply on skin. Leave for 20 minutes before rinsing off with water. It’s an instant skin refresher.
Its high nutrient content that includes protein, vitamin A, calcium, zinc, essential amino acids, fibre and more make it an excellent health source. In terms of skin, quinoa’s lysine content – a key building block for elastin and collagen – aids in quick healing of damaged tissue. It also contains a high level of riboflavin, providing elasticity to skin to give it smoothness and firmness while preventing wrinkles and fine lines. If you suffer from acne, here is some good news: Quinoa helps to decrease sebum production.
Mung beans have a detoxifying action, and this is suitable for those with acne. Using beauty products containing this ingredient not only helps to clear skin but also gets rid of toxins as well. With its anti-inflammatory properties, mung beans make a great ingredient to reduce redness and sensitivity as well. The best bit? You can easily make mung bean soup (just boil two handfuls of mung beans in seven cups of water) to reap the most out of it.
You can now get your fix in your beauty regime, thanks to caffeine being singled out as a great superfood for skin as well. Caffeine helps boost blood circulation and firm up skin with its diuretic ability to pull fluid out from skin. It is a natural anti-irritant that helps refresh and soothe tired skin. Many eye creams now contain caffeine as it is able to tighten blood vessels and reduce puffy eyes. Coffee berry – the ruby-red fruit of the coffee plant – is said to be more potent than green tea and vitamins C and E in terms of fighting free radicals.
There is a reason why the Chinese use goji berries in just about everything – aside from being high in antioxidants, goji berries are also rich in vitamin A and vitamin C, and are known for its purifying properties as well as for being a natural stimulant. When infused in skincare, goji berries help skin to heal and regenerate better as well as improve on skin hydration. Its vitamin C supports the production of collagen and protects the skin, giving you even-toned, firm and youthful skin.