This year's hottest
skincare ingredients are as much healthfood as high-tech.
We all know that green tea
and blueberries could
help fend off wrinkles,
but the latest thought is that using such superfoods on our skin, as
opposed to just eating them, has added beauty benefits. 'For instance,
procyanidin B2 - a class of antioxidant found in plant sources like cocoa - is
highly protective and has great therapeutic benefits when applied directly to
skin,' says dermatologist Dr Nicholas Perricone. Cosmetic dermatologist Dr Sam
Burning also believes superfoods can be beneficial used topically. 'While
tucking into acai berries can, in theory, help prevent free-radical- related
skin damage, there's always the worry the antioxidants won't get as far as the
skin because your body's priorities lie elsewhere,' she says. 'This is one of
the reasons why applying them in products has become so popular.' So popular,
in fact, there's a host of new ranges based around them. But forget homespun
kitchen remedies, the new formulas have serious science behind them. In fact,
some skin superfoods may even challenge traditional chemical ingredients -
think retinol, peptides and silicones - for space in the bathroom cabinet. Here
are the new skin-perfecting naturals to watch…
What does it do? Trials have shown an
extract in capers is highly effective at calming skin flare-ups.
How does it work? They're high in rutin,
which strengthens capillaries, thus helping conditions like rosacea. They also
contain anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory quercetin.
Find it in… KALME Day Defense Cream
SPF25, $31.80 (skinshop.co.uk). This skin-soother eases redness and also
delivers a liberal dose of non-irritating pure zinc lo protect cells from
What Does It Do? The natural enzymes in
cantaloupe melon gobble up dull, dead skin cells and flood skin with powerful
How Does It Work? Unlike some chemical
exfoliating agents or abrasive scrubs, the fruit acids in cantaloupe gently
dissolve complexion-dulling dead skin. The orange-hued pulp also contains a
class of cell-boosting enzyme known as superoxide dismutase, which is responsible
for the cantaloupe's signature plumpness and longevity compared with other
Find It In… Eminence Persimmon & Cantaloupe
Day Cream SPF32, $80 (theskinsmith.co.uk). Used daily, it helps boost ceil
turnover to reveal brighter, glowing skin with a new-found firmness.
What Does It Do? Japanese scientists have
known since the early 1990s about the skin-tightening and smoothing properties
of compounds found in liquorice, but it has only recently begun to feature in
Western beauty brands.
How Does It Work? Liquorice contains a
substance that inhibits tyrosinase activity, a key determinant of melanin
production in skin. In other words, it reduces discoloration caused by the sun,
making it useful in brightening formulations and for treating excessive
Find It In… Rodial Skin Bleach Serum,
$124 (rodial.co.uk). It helps to gently brighten and fade dark spots and
Illuminate skin. Plus, it contains collagen-boosting pomegranate ellagic
purifying blemish buster
What Does It Do? Green coffee oil, harvested
from the raw beans we're more used to seeing (and smelling) roasted, has been
shown to have a purifying effect on the skin. Green coffee has been used by
Brazilian women for years as a natural anti-cellulite treatment.
How Does It Work? As well as being packed
full of free-radical-blitzing antioxidants, the enzymes found in green coffee
kickstart a natural detoxifying process within the cells, making it a popular
choice in skin-clearing formulations. However, because green coffee has a
similar acidity to human skin - around pH 5 - it won't dry out the skin's
surface like some overly acidic or too- alkaline treatments can. Maintaining
skin's acid balance protects its integrity.
Find It In… Clarins Daily Energizer
Wake-up Booster, $24 (uk.clarins.com). This refreshing gel liquid for face and
neck tones and refreshes blemish-prone skin without leaving it feeling tight.