Gone are the days when skincare and beauty products were filled with preservatives, harsh chemicals, skin irritants, and strong fragrances. Over time, brands have adopted a natural, local shift and are now infusing their products with the goodness of natural, healthy, and edible ingredients. Beauty and skincare gurus or ‘influenzas’ are also all hearts for organic and superfood-based products and even celebrities vouch for all things earthy because of its goodness.
Aakriti Suri, the founder of Happier Skincare, is all about using and making products that are safe to use, gentle on the skin, and give more than just a brightening or whitening effect. Speaking about the importance of superfoods in beauty and skin products, she explains, “They (superfoods) are highly beneficial for our skin and hair. Natural ingredients and superfoods are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which help in nourishing and repairing the skin and hair”. Dermatologists and skincare experts also suggest the use of naturally-derived products since they are free from harmful chemicals and synthetic components.
WHAT ARE SUPERFOODS?
For those who are not aware of what superfoods are, they are nutrient-dense foods that are high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They are beneficial for our health, and when used in skincare products, Suri shares that they help to nourish and repair the skin. Superfoods that can be most commonly used in skin care products include acai berries, green tea, turmeric, avocado, and blueberries.
Aparajita Lamba, MBBS MD Dermatologist, terms these products sustainable and eco-friendly. She adds, “These ingredients can provide a wide range of benefits for the skin, including protection against free radicals, calming and soothing of the skin, and reduction of redness, irritation, and inflammation. Overall, incorporating natural ingredients and superfoods into skincare products can provide a healthy, gentle, and effective alternative to harsh synthetic chemicals”. These foods also provide anti-ageing benefits, improve skin elasticity, and promote healthy hair growth.
Speaking on the demand for organic products, Suri says, “Because consumers are becoming more aware of the harmful effects of synthetic chemicals on their health and the environment, there has been an increment in the demand for natural and organic products”.
When it comes to skin and hair, some superfoods can offer specific benefits. Lamba vouches and suggests adding berries, avocado, matcha, green tea, turmeric, gotu kola, and coffee to skin and hair care and prescribe the following superfoods:
Berries: Berries such as blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are rich in antioxidants that can help protect the skin against free radicals, which can cause damage and premature aging. They are also a good source of vitamin C and alpha arbutin which can help brighten and even out skin tone.
Avocado: Avocado is rich in healthy fats, vitamins, and antioxidants that can nourish and hydrate the skin. It can also help reduce inflammation and improve skin elasticity, which can help prevent wrinkles.
Green tea: Green tea is rich in antioxidants that can help protect the skin against damage and improve skin elasticity. It can also help improve hair health by reducing inflammation in the scalp and promoting hair growth.
Caffeine: Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor that can reduce the appearance of dilated blood vessels, and improve under eye darkness.
Acai: Acai is a berry that is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. It is often used in skincare products to help protect the skin against free radicals and promote a more youthful-looking complexion.
Matcha: Matcha is a type of green tea that is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. It is often used in skincare products to help soothe and calm the skin, reduce redness and irritation, and promote a more even skin tone.
Turmeric: Turmeric is a spice that is rich in antioxidants and has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It is often used in skincare products to help reduce inflammation and irritation, and promote a more even complexion.
Avocado: Avocado is rich in healthy fats, vitamins, and antioxidants that can help nourish and hydrate the skin. It is often used in skincare products to help improve skin elasticity and prevent wrinkles.
Gotu Kola (centella asiatica): Centella asiatica can improve skin elasticity, boost collagen production, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, promote wound healing, and provide antioxidant protection.
Sugarcane: Sugar cane juice contains glycolic acid, which can exfoliate out to layers of the skin and make it radiant.
A MARKETING GIMMICK OR A HELPFUL PRODUCT?
While some brands and entrepreneurs are using the label of superfoods and fancy packaging to attract customers and earn profits, the benefits it offers are real. “The inclusion of fruit and plant extracts in products is not just a marketing gimmick, but it does really help the user”, Suri expresses. She continues, “Fruit and plant extracts have anti-inflammatory and anti-ageing properties which help improve skin texture and reduce the signs of aging. Moreover, fruit and plant extracts are natural and free from harmful chemicals, making them safe for use on all skin types”.
Lamba also feels the same and says that while it’s true that some companies may use the inclusion of fruit and plant extracts as a marketing gimmick to make their products seem more natural or healthy, there is some scientific evidence that many of these ingredients can offer real benefits for the skin and hair.
According to Lamba, people are also now preferring more natural and superfood-based products because they perceive them as being healthier, gentler, and more sustainable alternatives to traditional synthetic products. She adds, “Many consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious and are seeking out products that are sustainable and eco-friendly. Finally, there is a growing trend towards wellness and self-care, and natural and superfood-based products are often seen as part of a healthy lifestyle”.
One of the major selling points of superfoods-based products is that, unlike chemically infused products, they don’t cause skin irritation or allergies. Suri uses a range of superfoods and natural ingredients in her skincare regime and brand including holy-grail hyaluronic acid, acai berries, green tea, turmeric, avocado, and blueberries. She recommends the use of Powerberry Sunscreen which consists of berries and hyaluronic acid and provides instant hydration while protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. Another superfood product she vouches for is Happier’s Glow Getter Serum which is made up of a concoction of several natural oils and antioxidants such as Vitamin E and Rosemary which are great for nourishing and brightening the skin. With no chemical preservatives to increase the shelf-life or any side effects upon use, superfood-based products are ideal for all skin types since it’s like putting what you’re eating on your face! It’s healthy, nutritious, and nourishing!
Lamba suggests that it’s important to choose natural and superfood-based products from reputable brands that use high-quality ingredients and safe, effective preservatives. It’s also a good idea to patch test new products before applying them all over your face or body, especially if you have sensitive skin or a history of allergic reactions.