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Superfoods in Skin Care

April 24 2024 – Essential Labs

Superfoods in Skin Care
Superfoods in Skin Care

Superfoods not only help your body from the inside, but they also make great skin care products. Superfoods tend to be high in antioxidants, fatty acids, and a healthy dose of nutrients. Happily, for us, these foods work well topically, delivering benefits directly to the surface of the skin. A greater understanding of that process has also led to a growing trend in superfoods in skincare. If you haven’t already, now is the time to adopt superfood ingredients and help educate your customers on their benefits!

Superfoods in Skin Care: Antioxidant Benefits

Antioxidants are powerhouse ingredients in skincare.  Popular for their ability to reduce the appearance of fine lines, to help skin look firmer, and to calm and soothe skin, antioxidants are go-to ingredients for mature skin - and those looking to keep youthful skin looking, well youthful.

Omega Fatty Acids

Not only do almost all superfoods have high levels of multiple antioxidants, but many used in skincare have numerous fatty acids and vitamins. As a rough overview, we’ll discuss some of the properties of the most common fatty acids and then dig into our favorite superfood ingredients for use in skincare.

Linoleic Acid (Omega-6) –  a polyunsaturated essential fatty acid found mostly in plant oils.  It helps keep water in and aids in creating dry oils for fast absorption.   Skin remains hydrated and looks supple and smooth.  These oils are good for body oils, after-shower oils and face and hair oils.

Ingredients high in Linoleic Acid include:

Oleic Acid (Omega-9) – a monounsaturated fatty acid that absorbs well and aids in softening skin.  Ideal for deep nourishment and moisturizing, oils high in Oleic Acid are extra-occlusive and help seal in moisture, making it ideal for dry skin.  Oils high in oleic acid have a longer shelf life than oils high in linoleic acid and work well in night creams, serums, and eye creams.

Ingredients high in Oleic Acid include:

Punicic Acid (Omega 5) – rare fatty acid believed to be one of the most powerful antioxidants known to modern science and found in Pomegranate Oil. And, too, Pomegranate Oil is a source of essential skincare 'must haves' such as vitamins B, C, Potassium, and Magnesium.  You can also find these benefits in our favorite Pomegranate Powder.  Use this in products for mature skin.

Our Favorite Superfoods in Skin Care

Acai is an extremely antioxidant-rich ingredient and one of the first described as a superfood (along with blueberries). The fruit of the berry moisturizes and hydrates skin as well.

Blue Green Algae is one of our favorites on this list, not just because it’s harvested locally in Oregon’s Klamath Lake. When it comes to food it is the most nutrient-rich food ounce for ounce known to be created by nature. It boasts 20 antioxidants, 68 minerals, all essential and non-essential amino acids, and many more nutrients and vitamins. Blue Green Algae possesses the full Vitamin B spectrum, including B12, and also a healthy dose of Vitamin K. We use it in masks, scrubs, and anything else we can think of!

Sea Buckthorn Berry Oil is a beautiful orange color, demonstrating its high beta-carotene content. It has both Oleic and Linoleic Acids, and is ideal for maturing skin. Use at less than 2% or you risk temporarily staining your face! A star ingredient in one of our new, premium products, the Rejuvenating Skin Oil.

Moringa Seed Oil has an extra dose of antioxidants, along with Vitamins A, C, and E. Mature skin-friendly zeatin helps keep that youthful glow, and this fluid oil has a stable shelf life.

Plum Oil is a newer addition to our catalog, but one we love for it’s delicious marzipan scent. High in fatty acids, it also has the antioxidant-rich beta-carotene. Plum Oil makes an excellent base for lip products if that almond scent is desired.

Pomegranate Oil is another favorite on this list. Extremely high in antioxidants, fatty acids, and Vitamins C and K, you can’t go wrong. It is a medium chain triglyceride (MCT), meaning it is more easily absorbed into skin. It is also home of the rare Punicic Acid, ideal for skin recovery and maturing skin.

Matcha powder, although devoid of fatty acids, has other wonderful benefits. It is well known as a strong antioxidant, and the caffeine helps with toning skin. The polyphenols found in tea are present here, in addition to other amino acids. Great for use in a toner or face mask.

Cranberry Oil is made up of roughly 70% fatty acids, delivering high quantities of Linoleic, Linolenic, and Oleic Acids. It also possesses many other wonderful compounds we encourage you to research on your own (since the FDA is very careful about making claims), including tocopherols, tocotrienols, phytosterols, phospholipids, and Vitamin A.

Pumpkin Seed Oil serves many purposes, derived from the vitamins and fatty acids present. It improves the appearance of aging skin with Vitamin C and Zinc, calms and moisturizes skin with the Zinc and Selenium, along with the Vitamin E and fatty acids. This oil is suitable for sensitive skin, too.

Hemp Seed Oil is a natural moisturizer with multiple fatty acids. Skin craves the Omega Acids in this oil and is also supplemented by Vitamin D to help achieve soft, hydrated skin. 

Turmeric, a tasty and colorful seasoning, is ideal for problem skin. It displays noticeable antioxidant qualities but is wonderful at calming and soothing problem skin. Although it can lightly stain the skin its CO2 extract is easily added to lotions, creams, and scrubs. 

Avocado Oil is prized for its moisturizing properties and has a broad selection of fatty acids. It absorbs well and the Avocado plant as a whole is being embraced in both skin and hair care.