When it comes to your diet, you’ve probably been on the superfood bandwagon, taking any opportunity to down an acai bowl, chia seed pudding, or kale salad since you first learned how to pronounce “quinoa” or discovered the delightful fact that raw cacao is the secret to indulging in chocolate and getting health benefits from it. The current list of superfoods on the market is long: goji berries, matcha, wheatgrass, flaxseed, coconut, maqui berry and so on. We’re all eating them, drinking them, or taking them in powders or supplements in the hopes of reaping the benefits of their abundant nutritional profiles.
But what about putting them on our skin?
“The skin is one of the last organs in the body to receive nutrients, so having a diet rich in superfoods and topically applying them ensures that you are nourishing your skin on two levels,” explains naturopath and green skincare expert Anna Mitsios, who founded Edible Beauty on the concept of achieving results with pure plant-derived ingredients from both the inside and out.
As delicious as they may be, it certainly makes sense to harness the topical beauty benefits of some of our favorite glow-giving superfoods, too. Here are five to add to your beauty arsenal right now.
You may be downing turmeric lattes like they’re going out of style (which, of course, they aren’t) but this powerful golden root is a beauty-boosting ingredient you should also be incorporating into your skincare regimen.
“It is rich in curcumin, a potent antioxidant which has been used as an ancient beauty ritual for lightening and brightening the skin. Curcumin also inhibits acne-causing bacteria on the skin and has been shown to be 36 times stronger than azelaic acid, an irritating chemical used in many acne treatments,” explains Mitsios. Plus, its anti-inflammatory properties also mean that turmeric can soothe painful cystic breakouts and calm redness.
2. Noni fruit
Noni fruit is an antioxidant powerhouse, boasting over 100 vitamins and minerals.
“I’ve been drinking Noni since I was 13 and feel it’s the key to my health and vitality,” says supermodel Miranda Kerr of this superfruit, which she now also includes in her Kora Organics skincare line. When applied to the skin, noni works at a cellular level to increase healthy cells, improve skin texture, and promote a radiant complexion. All you need to do is take a look at the Australian supermodel’s skin to say, “I’ll have what she’s having.”
An ancient Japanese tradition, matcha green tea powder is packed with antioxidants — including the powerful EGCG — which help to protect the body and skin from free radical damage both when consumed internally or used on the skin externally. Luxury health retreat Fivelements in Bali has built its world-famous matcha facial around the ingredient, which aims to feed the skin while protecting it from environmental toxins that can lead to premature ageing and dullness. It’s now popping up in beauty products across the board. So continue enjoying your matcha smoothie bowls, but grab yourself a skincare product featuring this anti-aging gem to activate healthy skin cell growth and help stop the clock on aging.
It turns out that the humble chia seed is, in fact, not so humble after all. A superfood which has been used by the Mayan people for thousands of years, it is bursting with beneficial essential fatty acids that may help to condition, hydrate, and maintain healthy moisture levels in the skin. Just behind the trend of chia puddings, chia seed oil has emerged as a star skincare ingredient that encourages a more plump, glowing look to the complexion, reducing the appearance of fine lines, preventing wrinkles, and relieving dryness. Bonus: chia also provides a dose of vitamin B3 and zinc, which naturally help to balance oily skin and unclog pores.
Sushi and wakame salads aside, seaweed is a skin savior that you’ll want to be applying to your face.
“Seaweed contains a unique nutrient profile, as it is required to survive extreme conditions and often adapt to changing environments being an ocean plant,” explains Mitsios, who is a big believer in using seaweed applied topically for its ability to revitalize and renew the skin. “It is rich in vitamins and amino acids which reinforce the skin cell membranes, protecting against free radical attacks, which accelerate aging,” she says. Regular topical application of seaweed will leave your skin protected, supple, and youthful. Yes, please!