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Digital Subscriptions > Healthy Food Guide > October 2018 > Superfood skincare

Superfood skincare

The new beauty breakthrough

From kale cream to probiotic serums, the latest skincare launches sound good enough to eat – and the best of them don’t skimp on the science, either. Leah Hardy talks to skin experts to find out why edible ingredients are on everyone’s beauty menu

WHILE BERRIES, KALE, AVOCADO AND QUINOA may sound like the recipe for an Instagram-friendly smoothie, today’s most sought-after skincare regularly includes ingredients derived from grains, nuts and seeds, fruits, berries and green vegetables, along with probiotics and omega-3 fats. The latest Elemis Superfood range, for example, includes a specially created Supergreen Complex containing goji berry, broccoli seed, ginger, matcha tea, radish, cucumber seed and green mandarin, and a Supergrain Complex with barley, chia seed, quinoa, black seed oil, flax seed and rice bran. The Renewals range from Epionce skincare, created by top US dermatologist Dr Carl Thornfeldt, is based on a combination of plant extracts including date, avocado, flax and apple. So why are superfoods gaining such a hold on our skincare regimes? According to Carl’s colleague Dr Mervyn Patterson, the founder of the Woodford Medical skincare clinic, these smoothie superstars also have distinct skin benefits. ’They contain complex combinations of molecules that can be very helpful in treating skin diseases and reducing the signs of skin ageing,’ he says.

‘These superfoods contain supercharged antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fats and phytonutrients,’ adds Dr Pauline Hili, founder and director of the organic and vegan skincare range Nourish London, and a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. ‘Antioxidants in skincare reduce inflammation and free-radical damage, and can accelerate healing. We use them to build a reservoir of nutrients that the skin can draw on when it needs to repair and renew itself. ‘These nutrients are essential for the skin to function properly. Without enough vitamin C, your skin can’t make collagen. Without zinc, it can’t heal. We now know that cell damage happens hours after sun exposure, even at night. Making sure your skin is rich in antioxidants makes your sunscreen more effective, and also ensures your skin has what it needs to repair any damage that does occur.’ Soya is another ingredient regularly turning up in lotions and potions – Nivea, for example, includes it in its range for mature skin. ‘Fermented soya extracts can promote collagen production and act as antioxidants, which protect the skin,’ says Mervyn. ‘Soya extract also seems to inhibit melanin production, so could improve facial pigmentation. Some researchers have shown soya extracts may even reduce facial hair.’

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About Healthy Food Guide

Our October issue has everything you need for a good night’s sleep to improve your health and wellbeing. Our nutritionist pinpoints the best foods for zzzz, and sleep experts help you get your mind and body in the right place. Plus there’s a £1,000 bed set to be won! Cooking on a budget? We’ve got easy recipes for students (and emotional advice for parents left behind) and new cheap & cheerful – and healthy – meals from Jamie Oliver. It’s your number one spot for latest health advice, too, with an update on blood pressure.