plural noun: superfoods
1. a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being.
Ah, the world of superfoods. Coloured by the promise of wonderous health benefits, I’m sure you’ve stomached at least one ingredient in recent years you didn’t enjoy, because it had the label ‘superfood’. For me, it was kale. Tried it, grimaced, and stuck to my avocado on toast. I’ve swallowed many a whole blueberry to avoid the taste, but still reap the reward. But as we’ve bounced from trend to trend, it seems more and more like superfoods are a bit of a scam; given a name too good to pass up on in order to drive sales. And in part, that might be true. There is no actual superfood classification, where ingredients are either accepted into the ranks or left behind. It’s a marketing term.
Far from sinister, though, this term endeavours to single out foods with an array of benefits. They’ve often got high quantities of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, amino acids, and our favourite, antioxidants. The bar is high however, and now they often need to offer something beyond nutrition, or a link to disease prevention, to qualify.
They are the cream of the crop, so to speak.
But when we think of skin superfoods, the landscape is a little different. For starters, unless you have a particular allergy or intolerance, we don’t tend to discuss our digestion type like we would our skin. We don’t all need the same results. I think we should consider some ingredients superfoods because of their numerous positive properties, and others for their superiority over other ingredients citing the same benefit.
In saying that, let’s look at some of our superfood nominations…
This one crosses the threshold from digestive superfood to skin superfood. To begin with, Green Tea is rich in polyphenols. These are a group of around 4000 antioxidants, occurring naturally in plant-based substances. Plants benefit from their UV protection, and so can you! Plus, the antioxidants fight oxidative stress and can reduce redness and puffiness. Naturally astringent qualities can decrease sebum production, and anti-inflammatory properties can calm skin conditions like rosacea. Pretty impressive, right?
You can find Green Tea in our Q+A Caffeine Eye Serum.
Sunflower Seed Oil.
A great absorber, Sunflower Seed Oil is non-comedogenic. This means it won’t clog your pores, and it is also gentle for all skin types. Another antioxidant ingredient, you’re protecting your skin from free radicals and nourishing damaged skin. Sunflower Seed Oil contains Vitamin E, as well as Linoleic Acid which works to maintain the skin’s natural barrier and retain moisture, furthermore protecting from bacteria. Oleic Acid is regarded for its role in effective wound care.
From the Q+A range, Super Food Facial Oil, Collagen Face Cream, Activated Charcoal Face Mask, Ginger Root Daily Moisturiser, Liquorice Lip Oil and 5-HTP Face and Neck Cream all include Sunflower Seed Oil.
Most commonly known for its high Vitamin E activity and antioxidants, Tocopherol is most concentrated in vegetable oils (such as olive, sunflower and safflower), then seeds and nuts. Unfortunately the refining or deodorising process significantly decreases the concentration of Tocopherol where it naturally occurs… Which is why we add it in as its own ingredient. As well as neutralising free radicals and protecting against UV damage, it is a moisturiser and adept at preserving natural oils from going rancid.
A long-time skincare hero, Jojoba Oil penetrates easily into the skin for deep hydration due to its production of wax esters. They are identical to the natural wax esters our skin produces.. otherwise known as sebum. Jojoba’s makeup includes essential fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins. Vitamins A, D and E work to regenerate skin cells, whilst Omega 6 and 9 repair damaged ones. It is a gentle oil, and can provide individual benefits for all skin types, from dry skin in need of intense hydration to blemish-prone skin soothing breakouts.
The holy grail of sunburn repair. Aloe Vera contains polysaccharides, compounds that boost skin repair and help skin regeneration. It also has carboxypeptidase, a pain reliever. Aloe Vera is made up primarily of water, which is what makes it so hydrating without being sticky or oily, and acts as a protective barrier to keep moisture locked into the layers of your skin. That’s not to forget the inclusion of Salicylic Acid, an exfoliator, and agents which assist in preventing bacteria, fungi and viruses. Vitamins C and E reduce oxidative stress, and Zinc helps to tighten pores. And finally, Aloe Vera gel prevents tyrosinase, which is responsible for skin discolouration, such as hyper-pigmentation and sunburn damage. Very super, if you ask me.
And I couldn’t let you go without mentioning specifically our Super Food Facial Serum, which is, frankly, overflowing with wonder ingredients. To name a few oils, Apricot, Hazel, Grape, Prickly Pear, Pomegranate, Raspberry and Blackcurrant, and fruit extracts, Guarana, Camu Camu Berry and Acerola. All with their own suite of benefits. It’s almost too good… Almost.
Have a favourite skincare superfood? Let us know!
Over and out,
Amy @ Team Q+A
Online community coordinator at Q+A and Aussie native