Berries for Your Beauty

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It’s no secret that berries are important for good health. They can reduce cholesterol, help prevent diabetes and cancer, and are great sources of immunity-boosting vitamin C. And beauty companies are finding that the same nutrients making our internal selves run better can also make our skin glow—no berry pie or smoothie required.

Many beauty products use chemicals to ease wrinkles, sun damage, and age spots, but natural product companies are using berries to get the job done. Berries are inherently full of nutrient-rich building blocks such as antioxidants, phytochemicals, flavanoids, carotenoids, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals. It’s these components of berries that are known to be beneficial to the skin, most often used for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. 

Some of the nutrients beauty companies are harnessing:

Anthocyanin 
The pigment responsible for the deep red, purple, and blue colors in many plants, including berries. It is a powerful antioxidant that helps mitigate damage from free radicals on the skin. Found in blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, and strawberries.

Ellagic acid 
An antioxidant that protects skin from sun damage and hinders the formation of an enzyme that breaks down elastin and collagen in the skin. This combination creates a one–two punch against wrinkles. Found in blackberries, cranberries, raspberries, and strawberries.

Essential fatty acids A crucial element for general health, they can improve skin’s hydration and smoothness, and reduce inflammation. Found in açaí berries, and the seed oils of blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, and strawberries.

Vitamin C 
A strong antioxidant that protects skin from free radicals. It hydrates the skin and increases collagen and elastin levels. Found in blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, elderberries, goji berries, raspberries, and strawberries.

Do-It-Yourself

If you’re strapped for time or cash, you don’t have to go to the department store for berry beauty. Try these three DIY treatments to get the great skin benefits of berries at home. Just be sure to use organic ingredients.

Anti-aging mask
Mash up a handful of raspberries with a spoonful of honey and apply the mask to clean skin for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.
     
Cranberry face scrub 
In a bowl, blend 1⁄4 cup cornmeal, 2 tablespoons freshly crushed cranberries, 1 tablespoon buttermilk, and 2 teaspoons honey with a fork. Massage onto your face and neck for 2 or 3 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water. Apply to clean, damp skin once or twice a week.
     
Three-berry antioxidant hand and foot mask 
Mix 3⁄4 cup each of strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries with 1⁄2 cup kefir in a blender. Apply to your hands and feet. Wash off after 10 to 15 minutes.