Skin Benefits from Blueberries
Blueberries are one of the most common yet most treasured berries in the world. These sweet little gems are naturally delicious and their nutritional and antioxidant characteristics have earned them a reputation as a “superfood.” While you may have heard of some of the scientifically proven health benefits of blueberries, did you know that blueberries are also a powerful ally for healthy, beautiful skin? As an exciting new additive to skincare products, the blueberry is making serious news on the beauty front. It turns out that the very same components that make blueberries a superfood also make it a superstar beauty ingredient.
The average blueberry is less than a half an inch in diameter, but in that tiny space it packs in serious nutritional and antioxidant power. In just one cup of fresh blueberries you can find:
- 24% of the RDA for vitamin C
- 36% of the RDA for vitamin K
- 25% of the RDA for manganese
- A hefty dose of phytonutrients that include; anthocyanins, flavonals, hydroxycinnamic acids, hydroxybenzoic acids and resveratrol.
The individual nutritional components of blueberries have powerful healing potential on their own. However, when you combine all of them you end up with a superfood that contains that highest amount antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents of all of the most commonly eaten fruits in the world. It takes hardly any effort to add a serving or two of these juicy gems to your diet, and thanks to skin care companies such as OZNaturals that now incorporate pure blueberry extract into their products, you can double the beautifying effects of blueberries for your skin. Here are just a few of the blueberry skin benefits that leave you looking positively radiant.
Blueberries combat the early signs of aging.
Oxidative damage is a natural process that happens to our cells on a daily basis. This is a process that damages cells and can even manipulate cellular DNA. Oxidative damage is one of the main processes behind the negative changes that occur as we age. There are certain lifestyle factors that can increase oxidative damage such as excessive sun exposure, smoking and poor dietary habits. The oxidative damage is caused by something call a free radical. Antioxidants work to fight against free radicals, thereby reducing the amount of damage that they can cause. Early signs of aging such as fine lines, loss of elasticity and discolorations known as age spots occur as healthy cells are broken down. While some of this is a natural effect of time, the antioxidant content of blueberries has been shown to reduce the effects of oxidative cell damage by as much as twenty percent, helping to balance your skin tone.
Top benefits of blueberries for skin and health:
Blueberries reduce the appearance of red, splotchy skin and spider veins.
Blueberries are an anti-inflammatory and a vasoconstrictor. When you consume blueberries, or apply blueberries topically in beauty products, the effect is a constriction of the enlarged or broken blood vessels that lead to the appearance of reddened skin patches and spider veins, helping them to become less noticeable.
Blueberries help to control acne.
Blueberries contain salicylates, which is the salt of salicylic acid. You may recognize salicylic acid as a common ingredient in acne control skin care products. Salicylates are antibacterial and can naturally remove dead skin cells, preventing them from clogging pores and leading to acne. For more tips on controlling acne, click here.
Blueberries help to even out your skin tone and refine a “congested” complexion.
Just because you don’t suffer from regular acne breakouts doesn’t mean that you don’t have a troubled complexion. Many people suffer from what can be called “congested” skin. This means that you have a buildup of unhealthy or dead skin tissue on the surface of your skin, dirt and oils clog your pores even if you don’t have any pimples, giving you lifeless, dull and uneven textured skin. This can be one of the most complex skin care types because typical acne preparations are too drying, while those products tailored to normal or dry skin don’t adequately address these issues. Blueberries and blueberry extract can help to gently exfoliate away the dead skin cells, lift out impurities and even out mild skin discolorations.
Blueberries help to reduce the appearance of dark under eye circles.
If you are looking for a natural treatment for chronic dark under eye circles, you need not look any further than your local produce stand. Dark circles under your eyes are caused by a combination of enlarged blood vessels, light fluid retention and the delicate skin of the eye area becoming more thin and frail as it ages. Blueberries help in providing a remedy for each of these issues. As an anti-inflammatory, blueberries help to reduce inflammation in the area and shrink the tiny vessels that can be found just beneath the skin. The high antioxidant capacity of blueberries help to reduce oxidative damage which can breakdown the cellular support structure of your skin. By reducing the effect of free radicals, blueberries help to maintain the strength and elasticity of the skin in and around the eye area.
Blueberries are good for your hair too.
The beautifying properties of blueberries don’t stop with your skin. It turns out that blueberries are a great for stimulating healthy hair growth as well. Blueberries contain chemicals called proanthocyanidins. The name is long, but the benefit is simple. Proanthocyanidins shorten the duration between the resting phase of hair growth and the phase where new growth begins, so that new, healthy hair grows in faster. There is also some interesting research that is looking into the possibility of blueberries being helpful in fighting against premature graying that is sometimes caused by a B vitamin deficiency.
As I mentioned earlier, it is simple to take in a serving or two of blueberries a day. You can get the antioxidant and nutritional benefits of blueberries by snacking on a handful during the day, adding a half cup to your morning cereal or smoothie, drinking pure blueberry juice or enjoying them in a variety of dishes, some of them even savory. To really get the most out of blueberries in your beauty routine, look for skin care products tailored to your individual skin type that contain blueberry extract. OZNaturals Sea Infused Moisturizer contains blueberry extract and works well for most skin types. If you happen to have some extra blueberries in your refrigerator and would like to try a homemade beauty remedy, here are a few suggestions.
- Make an antiaging, skin smoothing facial mask by combining lightly steamed and crushed blueberries with plain yogurt. Apply the mask to your skin and leave on for approximately thirty minutes. Gently rinse away the mask with comfortably cool water.
- Tighten pores and tame breakouts with a honey blueberry mask. Mix lightly steamed and mashed blueberries with a spoonful of locally grown honey and lemon juice. Apply the mask to your skin and leave on for approximately 20 minutes. Gently rinse the mask off and pat your skin dry. Because the combination of blueberries and lemon juice can be drying, it is important to apply a regular moisturizer or blueberry moisturizer that is suitable to your skin type after the mask.
- Treat sunburned skin. Dilute pure blueberry juice in a combination of aloe vera gel and pure distilled water. Mix well and spray the tonic on sore, sunburned skin. Because blueberries can stain, this is best done while standing in the shower where you are less likely to get the spray on clothing, linens or furniture.
- Make a skin softening luxurious body scrub. Take lightly steamed and mashed blueberries and combine them with white sugar, honey and coconut oil to make a paste. Stand in the shower and rub the scrub all over your body. Leave on for two to three minutes before rinsing off.
- Pamper your hands with this messy treat: Mix lightly steamed and mashed blueberries with Dead Sea salt, dried lavender and your favorite natural moisturizing oil such as coconut oil, olive oil or sweet almond oil. Rub the paste all over your hands and then cover them with cotton gloves (that you don’t mind getting messy) or clean socks. Let the treatment sit for fifteen to twenty minutes before rinsing it off. Do not leave the treatment on overnight as the blueberries may stain your skin when left on that long.
- Make a growth stimulating hair treatment. Mix lightly steam and mashed blueberries in a blender with enough olive oil to create a texture that can easily be applied and worked through your hair. Apply the treatment to your hair, focusing mainly on your roots and very gently massaging your scalp with the fleshy parts of your fingertips. Take care to not massage your head too vigorously as that can cause the hair to break. Leave the treatment on for at least twenty minutes before rinsing with comfortably warm water. Reapply once a week.
A decade ago the average American ate less than half of the amount of blueberries that we do today, and we are healthier and have more beautiful skin because of it. Given that a single, one-cup serving of blueberries contains over thirteen thousand antioxidants, their benefits cannot be underestimated. Research has shown that eating blueberries on a regular basis contributes to positive outcomes in cases of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, memory loss and cancer. When you think about all of the ways that blueberries can increase our quality of life, or for that matter, even extend the number of years that we get to experience life on this earth, it can seem a like the skin benefits are unimportant and merely secondary effects. Your skin is your largest organ, however, and the health that it is in is just as important as the health of any other part of your body. Your skin is a mirror to what is going on inside your body, and when your skin is healthy and radiant, chances are so is the rest of you.
It is also worth noting that how you feel about yourself when you look in the mirror can greatly affect all the other aspects of your life. True beauty runs deep, but how we feel about the physical beauty we portray outward is important too. Eating blueberries for skin benefits can help give you achieve a healthy, glowing, younger looking and smoother complexion. A naturally healthy complexion is one of the most powerful beauty tools you can own. Nature takes care of us, if we let her. Treat your skin to the healing power of blueberries and natural blueberry infused beauty products.