Chinese Medicine's Best Kept Secret. How This Super Food Helps Keep Our Skin Healthy & Youthful
Goji Berry has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine for a wide range of medicinal and beauty purposes. But how can we best harness the benefits of this superfood, and what makes it so powerful? In this installment of our “Ingredient Spotlight” series, we’ll be delving into the specific properties and benefits of Goji Berry while exploring how it can be used to promote smoother, healthier, and more radiant skin.
What were Goji Berries first used for?
Goji Berries have been used since ancient times to treat various ailments and promote general health and wellness. In ancient China, these berries were said to aid in longevity, as they were thought to promote good health throughout old age by preventing tumor growth, lowering cholesterol, reducing autoimmune disorders, balancing blood sugar, and serving as a powerful anti-inflammatory. Many ancient texts delve into the berry’s other purported benefits—revitalizing the skin, protecting from illnesses, strengthening vision, calming the soul, normalizing blood pressure, increasing energy, and strengthening muscles and tendons.
How are Goji Berries used today?
Now recognized as a “superfood,” or a food containing significant amounts of nutrients that aid in promoting optimal overall health, Goji Berries are widely used in everything from smoothies and juices to skin care products and supplements. Packed with free radical-fighting antioxidants, these berries allow for optimal immune functioning and better oxygen absorption while improving circulation. This means more energy, increased radiance, and better overall health.
How do Goji Berries benefit the skin specifically?
Those antioxidants we just mentioned are also key to maintaining youthful, glowing skin. By fighting free radicals brought about by air pollution, smoke, and UV rays, the antioxidants in Goji Berries reduce inflammation, thereby minimizing signs of aging. Antioxidants help keep our skin retain moisture and efficiently regenerate cells for a soft, youthful complexion. Packed with tons of different types of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, Goji Berries also help reduce acne, promote collagen production, and even out skin tone. Read on for the details.
What is in Goji Berries that makes them so beneficial for the skin?
Below are some of the most abundant skin-healthy ingredients found in Goji Berries.
- Carotenoids — These phytonutrients (what they sound like—nutrients found in plants) contain high quantities of antioxidants, which help protect the skin’s barrier and fight wrinkle-causing free radicals. Goji Berries are especially high in zeaxanthin and lutein, which are critical for healthy vision, protecting the eyes from UV rays and harmful blue light (which is emitted from mobile phones, computers, etc.). The well-known skin-brightening lycopene is also present in Goji Berries.
- Vitamin A — Some carotenoids, such as cryptoxanthin, as well as beta-carotene—both found in Goji Berries—convert to Vitamin A, or retinol, inside the body. When ingested, Vitamin A helps promote cell turnover, keeping our skin radiant and even-toned, while allowing the skin and mucus membranes to more easily repel bacteria and viruses.
- Vitamins B1, B2 (riboflavin), B3, and B6 — All of these B vitamins are critical for converting food into fuel to keep us energized and alert. Goji Berries offer almost 100% of the necessary daily intake of B2, which not only aids in energy production but also helps maintain optimal immune and digestive functioning. B vitamins help the skin retain moisture, diminishing fine lines, flakiness, and wrinkles.
- Vitamin C — Goji Berries also contain high amounts of Vitamin C, which is critical for keeping our immune system strong, allowing us to more easily ward off viruses and colds. This powerful vitamin also promotes collagen production, keeping our skin strong and elastic.
- Polysaccharides — Complex carbs bound to proteins, these molecules either help maintain optimal energy levels or reduce inflammation, depending on the specific type of polysaccharide. Goji Berries contain a huge amount of polysaccharides, which also contain antioxidant properties, protecting the skin from pollutants and allowing it to better retain moisture.
- Zinc — Helping the immune system fend off bacteria and viruses, Zinc helps reduce inflammation and regulate the skin’s oil production; this can be especially helpful for people prone to acne, rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema. Another true multitasker, this versatile metal has been shown to promote collagen and elastin production, both of which keep the skin elastic and youthful. Zinc is also responsible for creating DNA in the body.
- Amino Acids — Goji Berries are packed with amino acids, which help keep skin hydrated and allow collagen, elastin, and other proteins to fully and effectively “connect” with one another, keeping skin soft and supple. Studies have even shown that topical application of amino acids can help protect against UV rays and allow for faster wound healing.
Let’s sum this all up—how does Goji Berry benefit the skin?
- Helps reduce wrinkles and signs of aging
- Protects against environmental damage and UV rays
- Evens out skin tone and reduce hyperpigmentation
- Promotes collagen production for youthful, elastic skin
- Helps skin remain moisture
To incorporate the multitasking Goji Berry into your skin care routine, try MUN’s Anarose Hydrating Rose Toner. In addition to anti-aging Goji Berry Extract, this pH-balancing formula contains firming Hyaluronic Acid, gently exfoliating Willow Bark Extract, and a special complex of Rose, Jasmine, and Daisy Extracts to moisturize the skin and make it softer and smoother.