Superfoods have taken over way more than just juice. Beyoncé wears kale on her sweatshirts, and emoji avocados are likely a part of your daily text exchanges. Even more than that, these mean, green, vitamin machines are becoming big players in the beauty product sphere, with brands launching “healthy beauty products,” if you will, in superfood-specific lines that tout the ingredients as the solution to your skin woes.
Youth to the People, might come to mind. It’s a millennial-celebrated age-prevention skincare brand that utilizes 100 percent vegan ingredients and cold-pressed blends of foods like kale and spinach, among others, in all their products. Most recently, Elemis launched an entire line dubbed “Superfood,” which consists of facial oils, cleansers, moisturizers, and more, all packed with these trendy vegetarian ingredients.
But are these formulas infused with the same stuff you put in your lunchtime salad making that much of a difference topically? There actually is some science behind it.
“A lot of the food recommended to ingest for skin benefits are rich in antioxidants. By providing the body with the tools it needs internally, it can help support functioning of the skin. ” says New York City-based dermatologist and Director of Cosmetic & Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital, Dr. Joshua Zeichner. “We know that topical application of antioxidants can have direct benefits in treating aging skin. In fact, applying antioxidants topically may lead to higher amounts reaching the skin then you would get if it were ingested by mouth.”
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So if superfoods are rich in antioxidants, and you’re applying extracts and blends of them to the surface of your skin, theoretically, they might be worth adding to your routine.
Some of the most common superfood skincare ingredients are avocado oil, quinoa, and dark, leafy greens, explains Dr. David Lortscher, a board-certified dermatologist and the CEO and founder of Curology.
Still, he says further studies are needed to determine how beneficial some of these are when applied topically, and if “the effective ingredients can penetrate the surface layers of the skin.”
But none of this means you should attempt to DIY this trend at home by rubbing juiced broccoli on your face. “Antioxidants have been used for decades in skincare, known for their capability of quenching free radicals, thereby stopping them from damaging our cells,” says Austin-based dermatologist Dr. Ted Lain of Sanova Dermatology. “The tricky aspect to including antioxidants in skincare products involves their stability, or lack thereof, in sunlight. Most will degrade quickly with UV exposure, rendering them useless. It is not enough to juice kale and apply that extract to the skin, in other words.”
If you are into the idea of a veggie-packed moisturizer or skincare lineup, keep scrolling to see a few of the most popular picks on the market now.
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