Now, there's a whole host of beauty products containing superfoods, ranging from the popular pomegranate and acai to the more unusual manuka honey and argan oil, that promise to protect and improve your skin when slotted into your daily beauty regime.
While there is no official list of 'superfoods', those bestowed the name tend to be foods high in antioxidants. We know antioxidants are good at battling free radicals when ingested, but are these superfoods as effective when sloughed onto the skin?
Here ELLE explores 12 beauty brands harnessing these super ingredients and why they really do work.
Elemis founder Noella Gabrielle knows how important it is to include superfoods in skincare and also our diets. "Super foods help to protect our body against certain harmful diseases because of their ability to build additional immune layer to prevent certain diseases and virus from attacking our key organs." Explains Noella.
"A diet rich in antioxidant vitamins such as those within fruits and vegetables are crucial for great skin. Those same vitamins used topically, help combat any damage caused by free radicals. So, I would say you will get the most benefit by combining the two." She adds.
It looks like we can't slow down ageing or protect the skin from diet or skincare alone. Start eating better for you skin (click here for more information on what foods to eat or read our beauty Director's Feature in the April 2010 issue); as for skincare, try Elemis' Pro-Radiance Cream Cleanser, £27, which contains the 'Superberry' Assai Fruit found in the Amazon forest, it's rich in minerals, multi-vitamins and helps reduce high colour to give the skin instant radiance.
Click here to buy the Pro-Radiance Cream Cleanser...
Jergens have recently extended their Body Moisturiser range to include Cocoa Butter and Total Nourishment versions. The Cocoa Butter cream contains more than five superfood ingredients including olive oil, sunflower seed oil, avocado and oatmeal. These work in conjunction to soften and protect the skin.
The other new addition Total Nourishment focuses on the Acai Berry ingredient, but also boasts plenty of super ingredients including cranberry to exfoliate, mangosteen fruit grown from the tropical purple mangosteen tree, which offers potent antioxidant effects, and Goji berries too. Both moisturisers are over 90% natural and cost £4.99 each.
As wells as Clinique, Origins have harnessed superfoods for cosmetics. Origins' comes in the form of their Multi-Grain Make-up, £20.
The majority grain in this make-up are organic oats. Oats are well known to heal skin, soothe inflammation and nourish dry complexions. This foundation also has pomegranate and goji berry to help protect the skin from free radical damage.
Available in five versatile shades this foundation works on all skin tones and types.
To visit the Origins website, click here...
Nude skincare use various superfoods including cranberry and raspberry oil, omega oils from apricots and pomegranate extract. "Topically, superfoods protect the skin from dehydration and irritation. However these ingredients also work on a deeper level, where the nutrients can be utilised by the cells to help provide the building blocks for young, healthy skin. For example, Nude's peptides sourced from milk work at a dermal to stimulate collagen and hyaluronic acid production, restructuring the skin and reducing wrinkles and fine lines." Explains Emma Newman, Product Specialist.
"The skin can absorb up to 70% of what you put on it and we all know that the outermost layers of the skin are often the last to receive nutrients from the body, therefore topical application of these nutrients are giving the skin a helping hand." Adds Emma.
Nude's Moisture Balance, £46, contains pomegranate, milk peptides and argan. Nude's Replenishing Night Oil, £42, contains Omega's 3, 6, 7 and 9 from a range of fruits and nuts, which are powerful anti-oxidants. "Omegas are involved in pretty much every aspect of skin health from being vital building blocks of skin cells through to keeping cell processes functioning properly" says Emma.
Click here to visit the Nude website...
People have been eating and applying Manuka honey to skin for years. Why? Manuka honey, which is indigenous to New Zealand, is 30 times stronger than tea tree at fighting bacteria on the skin, as well as in the stomach. It is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory, properties which make it ideal for fighting spots and wounds, among other skin conditions.
Natural Being have included Active Manuka Honey in their skincare range which includes everything from cleanser, day cream, body cream and eye cream. Prices start from a very purse friendly £4.99.
Click now to visit the Natural Being online store...
Faster cell turnover will have your skin looking dewier and less dull in no time. Pomegranate is the perfect pick for speeding up your skin's regenerating abilities and Natio has used the ingredient in abundance for their Wellness range.
Our top picks? The Body Gloss, £14 has been a favourite in the ELLE office since it launched here last year, while the Body Scrub, £14 will further increase cell turnover to brighten skin. Oh and snap up the Hand Cream with SPF 15, £9, this is one of the first areas to show signs of ageing so start slathering on the sun protection pronto.
Evolve is a new natural skincare range masterminded by Laura Rudoe who worked as Head of development for Nude skincare when it first launched. Small yet perfectly formed Evolve consists of 12 products, for skin, hair and body. And of course the products include superfood ingredients.
"Superfoods are a great way to nurture the skin. We use the superfood Argan oil in our two anti aging moisturisers, both £17.99. It contains high levels of omega 6 fatty acids which helps to repair the skin barrier and also natural Vitamin E which gives it excellent free radical protection." Says Laura.
But superfoods aren't just effective in moisturisers, they work just as well in rinse off products too. "Actives in leave on products have a longer time to be absorbed by the skin. However, we have found some superfoods that work in rinse off products - the superfood moringa peptide is a purifying active which stops pollution and dirt adhering to the skin, we use it in our daily detox facial wash, £10.99 and our detox shampoo and conditioner, £9.99 each." Adds Laura.
Visit Evolve's website by clicking here...
Weleda have used pomegranate for their anti-ageing skincare range because "as we age, our skin's own rebuilding functions begin to slow," Explains Lilith Schwertle, Weleda's European beauty consultant. "The active ingredients in pomegranate seed oil, including fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants, help encourage the skin's natural regeneration process."
The Pomegranate range includes a Body Wash, £8.95, Body Oil, £19.95, and Hand Cream, £7.95. Dermatological tests show that Weleda's Pomegranate Regenerating Body Oil accelerates skin renewal by 50% when used twice daily for two weeks. Start using it now to get your skin in tip-top condition in time for spring.
To visit the Weleda website, click here now...
Indigenous to Brazil's Amazon Rain Forest, the acai berry is known for its super high antioxidant levels. Usually found in health drinks, Clinique have harnessed the berry, combining it with Vitamin C and pomegranate for their Lip Smoothies, £13.50.
"Our team wanted to create a new lip product that was a hybrid between a lipstick and a lip gloss. I thought why not create a lip product enriched with a cocktail of antioxidants?" Explains Beth Mumm, Director of Makeup Product Development for Clinique.
The Acai prevents oxidative stress which causes fine lines around the lips. It also delivers sheer, yet high pigment colour to the lips. Sorted.
Want Clinique's Lip Smoothie? Click here to buy it now...
Neal's Yard Remedies
Neal's Yard Remedies' Powerberry range contains not one, but three superfoods within their three part range. Acai, Goji and Pomegranate all work hard to protect the skin and are packed into their Powerberry Face Wash, £14.50, Daily Moisturiser, £22, and Mask, £24.
"Natural antioxidants are the superheroes in the fight against free radicals. They quench the free radicals and limit skin damage. Our own research on ingredients such as white tea, pomegranate, goji berries and acai shows that you can significantly reduce the impact of free radicals with the help of antioxidants." explains Dr Pauline Hili, Technical Director of Neal's Yard Remedies.
"Using antioxidants on your skin, creates a barrier. A good moisturiser packed with natural antioxidants, combined with an antioxidant rich diet is the perfect combination for radiant, youthful skin." Adds Dr Pauline Hili.
Click here to visit Neal Yard Remedies website...
It's not just the face where Pomegranate extract can make a difference. Wilkinson Sword has introduced the super fruit into their Intuition razor, £5.69. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory and mild antiseptic qualities, the ingredient is the perfect addition to your shaving routine.
"The pomegranate qualities have been introduced via the shea butter conditioning solid surrounding the razor, which foams on contact with water. Pomegranate is well known for its antioxidant properties, to prevent skin damage and encourage faster cell reproduction." Explains Arti Gudka from Wilkinson Sword.
A Greek company, Korres pride themselves on using natural ingredients with a purpose. Plenty of the brand's products contain olive oil which is high in antioxidants and thought to be one of the reasons why Mediterranean people live longer as it's a key ingredient in their diet. It is, however, high in calories so it makes perfect sense to slather it on your skin more regularly than your food. Try their Wild Rose 24-hour Moisturising Cream, £19, which contains Olive Oil; Kylie Minogue is a fan, maybe that’s her secret to looking so young?
Another superfood the brand uses is pomegranate. "Pomegranate extract is a rich source of tannins and vitamins (A, C, E). One pomegranate contains three times the antioxidant properties of red wine or green tea. This high level of antioxidants is effective in combating free radicals that cause premature ageing of the skin cells." Explains Lena Korres, the brand's Director.
Pomegranate extract also tightens the pores and strengthens the epidermis of the skin thus being ideal for oily and combination skin. Its Pomegranate Cleansing Mask, £16 is a great buy for problem skin as it works to reduce pore size and regulate sebum production thanks to the Zinc.
Click here to buy Korres products...