Beauty News

The latest superfood has surprising beauty credentials

Supple skin, faded scars, deflated spots? No wonder they call it a Miracle Tree...

It seems every year there's a new superfood with miraculous properties and this year is no different. Moringa, (moringa oleifera) a leafy plant, is set to be the superfood of 2018.
But superfoods aren't just for eating. A 2016 report showed that over the past five years 30 per cent of products with the 'superfood' description were in the beauty category. We've compiled a list of our favourite moringa-infused products for you to try but first things first:
Here's a guide to the new superfood star moringa:

What is moringa and why haven’t I heard of it?

The moringa tree, also known as the drumstick tree, hails from south Asia. It is native to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan but is also grown elsewhere where the climates are tropical such as the Caribbean and Florida.
The tree bark, leaves and seeds were used in Indian Ayurveda (where it is known as shigru) which is a 5000-year-old set of medical practices which translates as 'the knowledge of long life.'
As with many plants that become superfoods, moringa has already been used and recognised for its benefits across the world, but was likely to appear as an ingredient on the back of hair care or beauty products rather than as the star ingredient. For example, this CHANEL hydra beauty perfecting balm contains moringa butter has been on the shelves since at least 2016.

What are the benefits?

The moringa tree is often called the Miracle Tree because it is so invaluable. A drought resistant, fast-growing food crop, it is used in food programmes all over Asia and Africa.
The seeds can even be used to purify water and make it suitable for drinking. In fact, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization recently named it Traditional Crop of the Month.
Like other superfoods such as acai berries, black beans, black berries and the unglamorous – but ever reliable – apple, it's an antioxidant. Antioxidants have been said to protect your skin by limiting the amount of free radicals - which can damage skin - that are produced. Antioxidants have also been known to help reduce the appearance of scars.
Moringa is also an anti-inflammatory which helps to relieve and reduce swelling. It also contains nine of the twenty essential amino acids. Amino acids help your skin cells to create more collagen and elastin.

Is it safe?

The leaves, fruit and seeds can actually be eaten but the root contains a powerful toxic which in high doses can lead to paralysis. It's really not recommended for use by pregnant women at all.
However, it can be used safely. It's been recommended that you do not go over 6 grams daily.
The best thing to do would be to visit your GP or doctor, tell them you're thinking about using or taking moringa, and see what they say and whether they can recommend a dosage that's good for you.

So how would I take it as a supplement?

Moringa is available as a loose-leaf tea from many places. Kanuka gets it from an environmentally responsible farm in Sri Lanka and is naturally caffeine free. It has an earthy taste which reminds people of Japanese matcha.
You can also add it as a powder to your breakfast smoothies to make them fibre rich. Like spinach and kale, moringa is highly nutritious. It's high in iron and vitamin A and E which help reduce fatigue as well as give you radiant skin and a boosted immune system.

What about beauty and skin care?

We've got you covered! Moringa has been the secret star of many beauty products for years now. Now that it is getting recognition here as a superfood, you may see more of these moringa infused beauty products from shampoos to serums on the high street.
One of the most popular moringa-infused products, beloved by beauty editors and bloggers, is A-list facialist Emma Hardie's cleansing balm. It contains moringa seed extract (oil) which is a tissue-strengthener and also a source of vitamins.
Not only is it a make-up remover, it can be used on spots to reduce inflammation thanks to those anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities! It can also double up (or in this case – triple-up) as a hydrating mask if left on for ten minutes and for those of us with drier skin you can leave it on overnight.
The Body Shop have an entire moringa product range which contains everything from exfoliating body scrubs to Beautifying Oil which you can use on both your skin and hair.
If you're unsure which products to try, The Body Shop have created a travel-friendly beauty kit which they've described as 'a mini stash of bath-time treats.' The bag includes a soap-free shower gel, nourishing body butter and non-greasy hand cream. They are all infused with handpicked moringa seed oil.
If you prefer you can make your own homemade moringa beauty products! Aduna, a company who have been using moringa for years, have a tutorial so you can make your own moringa and avocado face mask.
If you're not a big tea-drinker, you can pour it in your bath which can help clear blemishes and fungal infections!
Via our sister site The Debrief.