The "Miracle" Beauty Ingredient That Will Transform Your Complexion

From kale and turmeric to green tea and goji berry, superfoods have already become stalwarts of our beauty routines. Now, we're adding one more to the list: moringa, sometimes referred to in traditional herbal medicine as the "miracle tree." The fast-growing, drought-resistant plant is historically native to the Himalayas of northern India, but it can now be found throughout the tropics and parts of Africa, too.

The seed's leaf, which tastes peppery (not unlike a forkful of arugula) and is often sold in powder form, sits in the same family as kale and broccoli. With anti-inflammatory and free radical-fighting properties part of its appeal, moringa has long been a staple of Ayurvedic medicine, and for good reason: As Imane Laasri, The Body Shop's global marketing director for bath & body, moringa is one of the most nutrient-rich plants in the world. Its leaves alone contain more protein than soy, more vitamin C than oranges, and more potassium than bananas.

And beyond the dietary benefits of the tree, there are also the antioxidants and youth-boosting benefits. Rich in vitamins A, B, and C, moringa is a fantastic ingredient to look for if you're after a glowing complexion — and thanks to its omegas 3 and 6, it's full of fatty acids to retain skin's moisture, perfect for the dehydrated among us. It's also a natural anti-pollutant that fights skin aging, which is all the explanation you need for its "miraculous" reputation.

People have been reaping the skin-care benefits of moringa for hundreds of years, so it's far from a "new" beauty ingredient — but ingredients sourced from the legendary tree are appearing in more and more beauty products hitting the market right now. Ahead, the best products we've found that incorporate every aspect of the so-called miracle tree, from plant to pod to seed...

The brand's farm-to-face approach means you'll find none of the bad stuff in this heavy-duty but lightweight cleanser, which pairs moringa with sunflower and ginger-root oils to boost skin's glow while also removing even the most waterproof of mascaras.

Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm, $34, available at Sephora.
This luxe balm-to-oil cleanser has had a cult following for years, thanks to the blissed-out scent (from orange, neroli, and mandarin oils) and nourishing texture — it's all you need to turn your tiny apartment bathroom into a spa.

Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm with Cleansing Cloth, $60, available at Space NK.
This indulgent treat for skin combines moringa seed oil with prickly pear and bitter orange blossom, for a richly hydrating serum-oil hybrid. Splash a little bit in a hot bath to hydrate every inch of skin from head to toe.

Kypris Body Elixir: Inflorescence, $95, available at Nordstrom.
Dry, tired-looking hands can seriously benefit from moringa-based products. This affordable — and, most important, non-greasy — formula is infused with the natural scent of the moringa flower.

The Body Shop Moringa Hand Cream, $11, available at The Body Shop.
If you have parched skin, you'll want this rich serum on your bathroom shelf, stat. With cold-pressed virgin moringa seed combined with neroli, lemon, and rose oils, it's a highly potent formula where a little goes a long way. A few drops in your favorite night cream, and you'll notice the hydrating effects on even the driest skin within days.

Odacité Mo+P Serum Concentrate, $42, available at Odacité.
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!
Load more...