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You are what your skin eats

Here’s five natural skin-care ingredients that your skin will thank you for.

You probably already know that what you eat, and what you put on your skin, both have a dramatic effect on the health and appearance of your skin.

Today, many of the chemicals used in the beauty industry wreak havoc on your hormones, resulting in issues such as irregular periods, acne, birth defects, and cancer. But there are certain ingredients that can be very good for your skin and your overall health. Here are five of them.

1. Maple Leaf Extract (Acer Rubrum, Acer Saccharum, Acer Pennsylvanicum)

Maple trees are best known for their maple syrup and lovely autumn foliage. But Native Americans have long treasured maple leaves in their traditional system of medicine. Now new research shows that maple leaf extracts may be among the closest things we have to a real fountain of youth.

When it comes to healthy skin there are two key players in the second layer of your skin that are absolutely vital for skin support and elasticity – collagen and elastin. After the age of 18, collagen declines every year and by the time a woman reaches 40 her skin thickness has decreased by an average of nearly 30%. The situation with elastin can be even worse, leaving skin wrinkled and saggy.

Scientists have found that phenolic compounds in maple leaf extract could have the ability to boost elastin to restore the look of youth to your skin. When researchers looked in detail at red maple leaves, they found 106 phenolic compounds, including 11 that that are potentially new and 75 that were previously unknown.

The researchers zeroed in on phenolic compounds in the leaves known as glucitol-core-containing gallotannins (GCGs) and examined each compound’s ability at preventing the breakdown of elastin. These GCGs were found to inhibit this breakdown of elastin in the skin, and at the same time, can also fight skin inflammation and lighten age spots. The researchers described them as having the potential to “tighten up human skin like a plant-based Botox”, and with just topical application — not an injection.

2. Camellia Seed Oil (Camellia Oleifera)

Camellia seed oil is made from cold-pressing the seeds of camellia oleifera, a flowering evergreen shrub native to Asia. The oil has a molecular structure and weight similar to the skin’s natural oil, so it is absorbed deeply into the skin.

Camellia seed oil is particularly rich in vtamins A, B, C, D, and E, making it excellent for moisturising skin, helping to achieve silky smoothness. It also contains a compound called squalene, which is an important part of the skin’s hydration system and which helps protect skin against external environmental elements to support a youthful glow.

3. Astaxanthin Extract

We all love the sun. But as beneficial as its vitamin D boosting rays are, the sun is one of the biggest reasons skin can look wrinkled, weathered, and “old”. Enter astaxanthin.

Formed naturally in certain types of algae, astaxanthin is a super effective carotenoid, providing superior protection for the skin. Not only does it help combat against that “weathered” look, but it also helps block against the sun’s UV rays, preventing sun damage.

Astaxanthin also helps to fight against the signs of aging. In one study from the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition, participants were given either a 6 mg or 12 mg dose of astaxanthin or a placebo for 16 weeks. Those in the astaxanthin groups showed greater elasticity, skin moisture and moisture retention than the placebo group.

4. Indian Gooseberry Extract (Phyllanthus Emblica)

Indian gooseberry is a medicinal plant traditionally used in Ayurvedic systems of medicine to boost strength and vitality. Today, science is showing that this vitamin-C rich plant really does offer a wealth of longevity and rejuvenation properties.

Packed with amino acids, minerals, and phenolic compounds, Indian gooseberry has been shown to stimulate pro-collagen (a precursor of collagen), helping to prevent wrinkles and other signs of skin ageing. A study in the Journal of Cosmetic Science also found that Indian gooseberry fruit extract can help protect your skin from UV rays, reducing dark spots and other sun-related damage.

Indian gooseberry is also an excellent exfoliator, making it great for shrinking and unclogging your pores, leading to a fresher, smoother skin appearance.

5. Sunflower Seed Oil (Helianthus Annuus)

Sunflower oil is rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant powerhouse that is well know for warding off damage caused by over-exposure to the sun. What’s more, sunflower seed oil contains beneficial linoleic acid which helps to repair the skin barrier.

According to a study published in the journal Clinical and Laboratory Investigation, when participants applied six drops of sunflower seed oil to their forearm twice a day for five weeks, they not only improved the outer layer of their skin but boosted the skin’s hydration too.


This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor or healthcare provider before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.


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