Plant nutrients in skincare or can we use the benefits of superfoods for skincare?
Posted on March 20 2018
Have you ever wondered how do plants, flora, trees, survive harsh weather, snow, dryness, UV, pollution, particulate matter, excessive heat and other external elements that are harmful to its life and growth?
If plants and fruits can survive the harsh external elements of nature why not use the plant nutrients in skincare?
Recent research points us in the direction of plant nutrients or phytonutrients. Science gives us answers to questions such as the survival techniques of plants and trees using phytonutrients such as flavonoids, carotenoids, antioxidants, sterols etc. If plants can survive, grow, stay hydrated, stay fresh, stay young, give us their fruits, seeds, it is apparent that we can use those compounds for the human skin and human health.
Antioxidant activity is derived from flavonoids, carotenoids, tocopherols,, triterpenes, and phenolic acids that protect from Reactive Oxygen Species.
Flavonoids are one of the most researched of plant nutrients and have excellent results on blood vessels and capillaries. It has been identified for their beneficial property in blood vessel protection, platelet aggregation prevention, and decrease of capillary permeability. Blood vessels carry nutrients to the skin cells and cell membranes. Slowing the ageing process means keeping the cell membranes healthy.
Curcumin is a flavonoid found in turmeric that inhibits melanogenesis, provides antioxidant protection, benefiting skin tone, integrity and skin texture. It is an excellent alternative to hydroquinone.
Carotenoids can be three types: carotenes, xanthophyllis, and astaxanthin.
Carotenes are orange and red pigments found in carrots, xanthophyllis are yellow pigments and astaxanthin are pink pigments from phytoplankton and algae.
Carotenoids contain some conjugated double bonds, which can capture, quench free radicals and singlet oxygen: accordingly, it can reduce the damage of free radicals to cells. Carotenoids and beta-carotene, in particularly, are important natural antioxidants. The fact that beta-carotene efficiently quenches singlet oxygen in solution-phase systems is invariably invoked when explaining the biological antioxidative properties of beta-carotene.
Carotenoids are vitamin A derivatives such as beta-carotene, astaxanthin, lycopene and retinol, which are highly effective antioxidants and have had their photoprotecting properties well researched.
Beta-carotene is the main component of the carotenoid group, a natural dye which can be found in common foods. Some examples of foods rich in beta-carotene are fruits and vegetables such as carrot, pumpkin, sweet potato, mango and papaya.
Anthocyanins are natural pigments in the plant kingdom, mainly responsible for the blue, purple, red, and orange colors of many fruits and vegetables such as acai, blueberries, cranberries, bilberries, blackberries, raspberries, and certain grapes. Studies showed that cardiovascular benefits of red wine are due to anthocyanins, particularly delphinidin.