‘Super’ Skincare with ‘Super’ Food

Super skincare with super food

7:03 AM, 13th March 2017
‘Super’ Skincare with ‘Super’ Food
Skincare regime derived from nature is not new and has traditionally been used in many cultures for thousands of years.

Our skin has been bearing the dangerously damaging effect under the shroud of pollution, stress and unhealthy eating. This has led to a major shift in the way cosmetics is being perceived wherein the focus is shifting from powdered and dolled up faces to nourishing and rejuvenating the skin from within with the power of superfoods.

By Debarati Das 

Today, everyone wants to be super fit, super healthy and super attractive. And to achieve this tag, the word ‘superfood’ has taken the imagination of health conscious generation. So, while these superfoods like kale, spinach, parsley are being tossed up into super healthy salads, the extracts of these superfoods are also widely being used as ingredients for cosmetics and skin care products to get a super healthy skin.

This shift in the cosmetic products has brought in the awareness that a ‘healthy skin’ is the key to ‘beauty’ rather than masking the face with foundation and makeup. And hence, superfood is being treated not only as the elixir of health but also skin.

These food trends are increasingly influencing beauty and skincare regime. Avocado oil for skin moisturising, quinoa grains for hair strengthening, papaya for skin lightning…. the list of super veggies, super fruits, super grains, that are being used in cosmetic products are endless. The organic cosmetic market is forecasted to be valued at $66.1 billion by 2020, according to a Future Market Insights report.

Skincare regime derived from nature is not new and has traditionally been used in many cultures for thousands of years. What is called superfood today is a local food item used in every kitchen in many parts of the world. It is only now that the cosmetics industry is acknowledging the power engulfed in these foods and have reinvented it under the superfood tag.

In this search for new superfoods, the cosmetics industry has been exploring the traditional spices, plants and vegetables of the East, diving deep into the ocean bed for rare algae and finding out the new potential of the already in use foods.

The extracts of superfoods are increasingly being used in various cosmetic products from moisturising creams, foundation, sunscreen, soaps, hand wash and various other skin care items so that the benefits can directly seep into the skin and heal the skin from within in a safe and organic manner.

Sabinsa cosmetics, which has been promoting the use of natural ingredients and superfoods in its cosmetics products for long, has been actively using various superfoods like Emblica Officinalis - commonly known as Amla, Punica granatum or Pomegranate, Rosemary, Artocarpus lakoocha- a tree found in Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia and commonly known as monkey fruit or Monkey Jack, and Curcuma longa or Turmeric. The extracts of these superfoods are being used in various skin care products for skin lightening, anti-aging, moisturising, sunscreen, etc.  Extracts obtained from green tender coconut water, which is packed with a powerhouse of micronutrients, is being used in Sabinsa’s various hair care products to promote hair growth.

Global brand, L’Oreal uses quinoa husk in its cosmetics. Quinoa husk, considered to be a waste of agro-food industry, contains saponins and polyphenols which can be used as an essential cosmetic ingredient. L’Oreal researchers have proven exfoliating properties of the quinoa husk extract and are used in various products.

Skincare brand, Kiehl's, has been on the forefront of this trend of using superfood content on cosmetics for many years by using avocado oil in eye treatment products, argan oil in hair care products and lentil extract in skin care creams. While most of its products use the goodness of calendula, aloe vera, grapefruit, coconut, etc, one of its latest products uses quinoa husk extract for surface cell turnover.

Another skincare brand, Aveda, has been promoting traditional skincare customs and rituals around the globe in its skin care products. Its Tulasara™ range showcases the Ayurvedic richness and the use of Turmeric in Indian pre-wedding ritual for glowing skin. The brand also brought out the goodness of Nangai Oil from Nangai nuts which are sourced from Melip and Mbonvor villages in Malekula island to explore the magical ways to repair split ends.

Origins, a cosmetics brand from the US and one of the original brands of The Estee Lauder Companies, is known for its sustainable practices and plant-heavy skincare ingredients such as spirulina, spinach and green tea. One of its skin treatment lotions utilises reishi (lingzhi) mushroom, which is rich in water-soluble polysaccharides and is known for its immune-system-boosting properties. It's rejuvenating treatment cream uses the properties of self-hydrating Rose of Jericho, lychee and watermelon to repair and naturally moisture dry and dehydrated skin. Its foaming-face wash uses the antioxidant properties of white tea along with coconut and Oat Amino Acid.

Here are some of the superfoods whose potential will be unearthed, explored and used to the fullest by the cosmetics and the skin care industry this year:

Turmeric: Also called ‘the golden spice of life’ due to its numerous medicinal properties, has traditionally been used in the East for centuries in culinary and beauty regimes. It is now being appreciated by the global cosmetic industry which is incorporating this bright yellow root in various skincare products to brighten dull skin and provide a solution with its anti-inflammatory properties.

Moringa: Also called the drumstick tree, is native to the southern foothills of the Himalayas in northwestern India and is known for its various medicinal properties. Every part of the tree – leaves, pod, fruits, sap, seeds, oil, flowers, roots and bark has medicinal properties. It is currently being used in beauty products for its anti-ageing, antioxidant and hair care properties.  It is being used in various beauty products like moisturising creams, hair cleaning and rejuvenation etc.

Kale: This cabbage-like a vegetable is the latest vegetable to be included in the list of superfoods. After dishing up various healthy recipes, kale is now creeping into skincare regime in the form of face packs, moisturisers, serums, and oils for replenished skin. These leafy green veggies are also being used for its antioxidant properties as first aids for skin.  With the recent fad for purple food, Purple Kale, which has highest concentrations of nutrients including vitamin A, vitamin K and manganese, is also being increasing used for scalp treatment and protection against dull and dry hair.

Spirulina: This blue-green algae is a freshwater plant and an elixir for skin which can help speed up cell renewal and fight against fine lines giving an additional blast of amino acids, vitamins and fatty acids to your skin.

Avocado: This good fat does more good to your skin than you can imagine. The Mexican fruit, rich in fatty acids naturally moisturises and helps repair skin. It is also a rich source of protein, potassium, vitamins E, A, K, B6 and C, fibre, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and copper and has numerous skin and hair benefits. It hydrates dry skin, treats damaged hair, slows the aging process.

Chia seeds: These tiny seeds are packed with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which give deep nourishment to the skin, hair and nails.  It reduces inflammation, dryness, and increase circulation.

Blueberry: You might have had blueberry smoothies and yoghurt. But it’s time that you applied it on your face for a younger looking skin and fight acne. It also helps prevent premature greying of hair and facilitates hair growth.

Goji Berries: This super berry power packed with vitamin C is not just good for complexion but also brightens and hydrates the skin.

Carrot: Carrot oil is rich in pro-vitamin A which helps to heal and repair the skin. It is an ideal after-sun soother and repairs the skin after sun exposure giving a glow to the skin.

Acai Berry: Anti-pollution cosmetics are on a rise to combat the after effects of various pollutants attacking our skin every day. Acai berry is packed with antioxidants to fight free radicals and pollution damage, it also comes heavily laden with omega oils which nourish and replenish skin.

Spinach Leaf: And Popeye the Sailor Man had his can of spinach for strength. But that’s not it. Spinach leaves are packed with vitamins A, C, E and K which replenish the skin, while folic acid helps to keep complexion clear.

Our mothers and grandmothers told us to finish our plate of green leafy vegetables. It sure took us a lot of time to understand the reason. Now, these leafy veggies are finding their way into our lives not just as smoothies and desserts but also as creams, serums, and oils to help rejuvenate our skin. Various cosmetics companies have been constantly using superfood formulas packed with the goodness of kale, spinach, alfalfa, chia seeds to make safe, healthy and organic formulations for good skin.

© Chemical Today Magazine

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