You’ve heard the spiel: When incorporated into a well-balanced diet, superfoods—nutrient-rich foods such as kale, goji berries and açai—can give your health a boost, helping your body ward off disease, promoting heart health and lowering blood pressure, among other things. It’s no surprise that the fad has spilled into the beauty world, which has always been quick to harness the benefits of health and wellness trends to improve skin health and appearance. Over the last few years, we’ve seen an exponential increase in the number of superfood-infused skincare, all promising to nourish, repair and strengthen the skin.
For the uninitiated, the main role of superfoods in skincare is to fight free-radical damage, which can manifest as dullness, sagginess, sensitivity, inflammation and a host of other imperfections. But first: What are free radicals? They’re highly unstable molecules produced naturally in the body as a result of cellular metabolism. They are also present in the environment, and can be found in pollutants such as smog and cigarette smoke. Because they have an uneven number of atoms, free radicals “steal” electrons from other cells in the body to stabilise themselves, resulting in oxidative stress that can damage the cells.
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Superfoods can help counteract that damage because they are high in antioxidants—molecules that readily give up their electrons without destabilising themselves to neutralise and eliminate free radicals. When formulated into skincare, superfoods and their antioxidant benefits are delivered right where you need them: The skin, which is usually the last in line to reap the benefits of whatever foods you consume.
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Of course, superfoods also come loaded with vitamins and nutrients that help keep skin looking healthy and youthful. So, which are the ones we should have in our skincare and why?
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