After writing my blog post ‘Are you getting your 5 a day?’ which highlighted some of the food ingredients I discovered in my skincare, it seemed that every beauty product I picked up boasted the contents of my fridge. Actually, not my fridge, someone else’s healthier, fruit and veg-laden fridge. So I’m back with part 2, featuring more fruit, roots and chocolate – and the latter is definitely heavily featured in my kitchen.
Dubbed the original superfood by Allure, Ginseng has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. With a high level of vitamins and minerals and a strong source of antioxidants, this root can increase circulation and strengthen the body’s immune system. How does that translate into skincare? Well you may have seen ginseng increasingly crop up in Korean or Korean-inspired skincare products as it is lauded for its healing properties. This boost in circulation can increase production of collagen, resulting in firmer, toned and plumped skin. If that wasn’t strong enough a claim, ginseng also helps inhibit melanin production, meaning it can tackle pigmentation (bye bye acne scars) and dark under eye circles (as seen in Origins’ GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream, a staple against pronounced dark circles). Say hello to a brightened, revitalised, glowing skin. Basically who wouldn’t want ginseng in their life? You only need to take one look at some of the jealousy-inducing Korean complexions out there to crave the presence of ginseng in your skincare routine. Luckily Korean natural beauty brand Innisfree offers My Real Squeeze Ginseng sheet mask at an incredible £1.60 (much cheaper than many sheet masks from European brands). The 100% cellulose (found in plant cell walls) sheet is thin and adheres well to the face, and after leaving on for the slightly longer than the recommended 20 minutes – I wanted to absorb every last bit of that ginseng concoction – I was left with nourished revitalised skin.
Coming across this food ingredient in our skincare will come as no surprise to most of you – along with beeswax it is a staple in natural beauty products such as lipbalms. Boasting natural healing properties, similarly to ginseng it can boost collagen production, therefore diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Thanks to its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties it can be a great ingredient to use for acne-prone skin, whilst still being moisturising and soothing, therefore not stripping skin of its oils. And if you’re aiming for a radiant result (who isn’t), the enzymes in honey will work to gently exfoliate skin for a healthy-looking complexion. Another Innisfree sheet mask, My Real Squeeze Honey is enriched with Manuka honey for the ultimate nourishing boost. Weirdly the sheet mask left a slight greasy residue, not that I was overly bothered by it, being a very regular beauty oil user, but it was unexpected.
Blueberries were the first fruit I heard coined as a superfood. Before then I was either too engrossed in non-superfoods in the form of fries and Oreos to care, or it wasn’t such a massive trend. But now even my toddler is in the know and gorges on the fruit at least twice a week. And if his skin was anything to judge by, I’d be slathering crushed blueberries all over my face on a daily basis. Known for their powerful antioxidants such as vitamins A, C and E, these berries can protect against free radicals which damage the collagen in our skin we work so hard to preserve. Thanks to their high concentration of salicylates (salt from salicylic acid), blueberries can act as a natural scrub to unclog pores and remove dead skin cells, keeping blemishes at bay. Fancy giving blueberry in your skincare a go? Let me introduce you to Evolve Radiant Glow Mask, featuring upcycled blueberry particles to gently buff the skin smooth. Upcycled? That’s initially the key word that attracted me to this product: produced from the waste seeds obtained from the juicing industry, these blueberry particles are frozen at source to preserve their high level of nutrients then crushed to create the exfoliating particles contained in this mask’s formula. To make this a true food fest there’s also raw cocoa powder (smells deliciously of dark chocolate), organic vanilla oil and natural sugar extracts. You’re basically applying 100% natural vegan cake mix to your face, and what a beautiful result: my skin has never felt so polished. 30ml RRP £12.00
This has got to be one of my favourite fruits. A bit of a fiddle to pick all the seeds off the fruit though, so when I holidayed in a Moroccan resort a few years ago and was greeted every morning with a giant bowl of pomegranate seeds already off the fruit at the breakfast buffet, I knew this was going to be a good week. Rich in antioxidants, the seed oil protects skin from free radicals and supports cell regeneration, meaning it can repair skin. High in vitamin C, it can even out skin tone and boost radiance, and is considered an effective anti-ageing ingredient. To introduce pomegranate to your bathroom cabinet check out Pomegranate Oil 80+ from organic oil maestros Fushi. This incredibly thick rich (and quite pungent) oil is sustainably sourced from South Africa and cold pressed to make use of the entire fruit. RRP £20.00 50ml
Sesame seed oil
If you’re into cooking Asian dishes you’ll be familiar with this oil full of nutty flavour. As with honey, sesame seed oil boasts anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties which makes it an effective treatment for blemishes. Happi Body Co founder Lisa Kenton introduced me to the benefits of nut oil in skincare, specifically highlighting linoleic acid as a great fatty acid to include in your skincare routine if you suffer from congested skin. And if you fancy giving your hair a strengthening treatment, apply this oil through lengths for a hit of proteins, calcium and vitamins E (of which more can be found in blog post Key Beauty Ingredients: What They Do Part 2), B and D. For a high quality option try Sesame Seed Organic Oil from Ayurveda-inspired health and beauty brand Fushi, which is fresh-pressed from this season’s harvest of seeds to retain quality, potency and efficacy. 100ml RRP £9.00
What food ingredients currently feature in your beauty routine? Leave a comment below to let me know.
Features gifted products.