Superfoods Are Taking Over Skin Care

Sorry kale-haters, it looks like Caesar salads will continue to be served sans romaine for the foreseeable future. The leafy-green trend is not going anywhere. In fact, kale and its superfood squad are no longer just holding court in the health-food store. Recently, salad and smoothie staples — kale, açaí, goji berries, quinoa, spirulina, chia seeds — have been making cameos in the world of skin care. Superfood serums, creams, masks, and even nail polishes are popping up like juice bars on every city corner.

We know all the good these foods can deliver when eaten, but the jury (meaning: the scientists) is still out (conducting studies) on how strongly those benefits translate to skin products. But while some skin-care brands may be preemptively capitalizing on the superfood frenzy before the results are in, the odds are in their favor.

“Traditional medications and many of our current medications come from or have their origins in natural ingredients, including food products,” says dermatologist Brian Zelickson, MD. “Honey, herbs, and licorice have been used as topical cosmetics and skin care for centuries. So, using food-grade materials in skin care has a good bit of legitimacy to it."

Ahead, we take look at the new class of superfood skin-care products.
1 of 14
Flaxseed
Cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson says that if a superfood contains oils with fatty acids, it may indeed benefit the skin (and hair, too). This mask is formulated with flaxseed oil (which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids), as well as peppermint, menthol, olive, cranberry, grape, and linseed oils. In addition, it contain glycerin and aloe juice to combat dullness, refresh, and plump things up.

Nügg Revitalizing Face Mask, $9.87, available at Nügg.
Advertisement
2 of 14
Goji Berry
Goji berries contain high levels of vitamin A, vitamin C, and iron. This exfoliating cleanser combines the super-fruit with detoxifying white tea and nourishing jojoba oil to gently remove dead skin cells and buildup.

Purity of Elements
Daily Detox Exfoliating Cleanser, $35, available at Purity of Elements.
3 of 14
Açaí Berry
You've accepted the açaí bowl as a proper lunch — why not let your lips in on the action? Açaí is high in antioxidants and essential fatty acids, and could provide skin-care benefits such as hydrating and conditioning, says Robinson. This lip balm has all that, plus shea butter, SPF 30, and a sheer pink tint.

Supergoop! Acai Fusion Lip Balm with Shea Butter, $9.50, available at Supergoop.
4 of 14
This polish, which helps dissolve and slough away dead skin cells, not only wields the power of açaí, but also has a host of other super-ingredients. These include vitamin C, as well as antioxidant-, iron-, and anthocyanin-rich goji berry, pomegranate, noni, bilberry, blueberry, and cranberry. Now that is a fruit cocktail we can get behind.

Epicuren Himalayan Superfruit Enzyme Polish, $85, available at Epicuren.
5 of 14
Spirulina
This detoxifying foam mask was inspired by those green juices we like to grab after the gym. It's even made with green superfoods like spirulina and spinach.

Origins By All Greens Foaming Deep Cleansing Mask, $36, available at Sephora.
6 of 14
Kombucha
Every hippie-at-heart's (or on-the-wagon soda addict's) favorite cold beverage is getting some serious play in the skin-care world. We know that tea is amazing for the skin and so are fermented products. Why not fermented tea? It's an antioxidant and can help ward off irritation from harsher ingredients.

This serum, formulated with kombucha and silk seed, is the perfect antidote for a late night; it helps fight off sallowness, puffiness, and dark circles. Looks like both drinkable and topical kombucha are helpful in the hangover department.

Kensington Apothecary Skin Serum #2 City Girl, $33, available at Kensington Apothecary.
Advertisement
7 of 14
Superfoods love to work in tandem. This body wash contains kombucha and spirulina, plus aloe, grape stem cells, pine-bark extract, and white and green teas for a deep clean (and unbelievably fresh scent).

EmerginC Scientific Organics Citrus Kombucha Body Wash, $25.20, available at Skinstore.
8 of 14
Quinoa
This anti-aging overnight treatment, formulated with quinoa-husk
extract (bonus: it's sustainably sourced!), is a gentle alternative to a chemical peel. Also in the mix: fruit acids, cactus extract, and phytic acid.

Kiehl's
Dermatologist Solutions Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate, $54, available at Kiehl's.
9 of 14
Not all superfood products boldly call out the ingredients on the front of the packaging. This eye-wrinkle corrector, which is formulated with a potent mix of peptides that supports collagen production and softens fine lines, quietly lists quinoa-seed extract as one of the ingredients on the back.

MD Complete Eye Wrinkle Corrector, $28.99, available at MDCompleteSkinCare.com.
10 of 14
Chia
"Chia seeds are rich in essential fatty acids and may help to hydrate and condition the skin," says Robinson. This superfood has been a health- and skin-care staple of the Mayan people for thousands of years, and its oil is now the hero ingredient in the Maya Chia skin-care line. We love its waterless balm, which can be used to nourish hands, cuticles, feet, lips — basically any part of your bod.

Maya Chia Supercritical Chia Waterless Wonder Balm, $36, available at Maya Chia.
11 of 14
Another product that takes inspiration from the beauty rituals of the past, this soap is formulated with Abyssinian oil, a cosmetic ingredient of ancient Nubia, as well as chia seeds and amaranth extract, or what Nubian Heritage calls "ancient superfoods."

Nubian Heritage Abyssinian & Chia Bar Soap, $4.99, available at Ulta Beauty.
Advertisement
12 of 14
Kale
And now we come to kale, Queen of the Superfoods. This moisture cream uses its impressive power, plus spinach and green tea (oh, and hyaluronic acid, the ultimate in moisturizing ingredients) to hydrate, brighten, and guard against free radicals.

Youth to the People Kale + Spinach Green Tea Hyaluronic Acid Age Prevention Moisture Cream, $48, available at Birchbox.
13 of 14
This clay mask uses minerals and witch hazel to draw out impurities from within the skin, all without leaving you feeling dried out, and contains kale which is rich in vitamins and essential fatty acids.

Nip + Fab
Kale Fix Clay Mask, $12.95, available at Target.
14 of 14
Like this post? There's more. Get tons of beauty tips, tutorials, and news on the Refinery29 Beauty Facebook page. Like us on Facebook — we'll see you there!
Advertisement