One of the latest fads to hit the skincare market is strawberry-infused skincare.
Where is the science for this one?
There actually is some, but it’s also steeped in folklore as Marilyn Monroe and other 60’s actresses used to wash their faces with strawberries and use them in facial masks.
So, let’s take a step back and think about fruit. Fruit needs special superhero tactics to stay fresh and plump. What causes the strawberry or any other fruit to get soft, mushy and basically “go bad”?
Fruit and strawberries, in particular, have, over the centuries, developed a rather amazing defense mechanism against oxidation and the resulting inflammation that causes them to ripen.
Strawberries are full of polyphenols—that amazing antioxidant which has been shown in clinical studies to exert a strong effect against oxidative stress and UVA skin damage. One particular polyphenol, anthocyanin, gives the berry its characteristic red hue.
Strawberries are also full of Vitamin C—more than oranges apparently. Who knew? Vitamin C in stable concentrations of 5% or more has been shown to help decrease oxidative free radicals which break down collagen and increase fine lines.
But wait! This amazing fruit doesn’t just have polyphenols that protect us from UV damage and Vitamin C that boosts our collagen, strawberries also contain two exfoliative acids: alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) and ellagic acid. AHAs help eliminate dead skin cells and leave the skin looking and feeling smoother. There are numerous studies to show AHAs can slow skin aging and improve fine lines and sun-damaged skin.
If skin-enhancing benefits weren’t reason enough to love strawberries, there are a host of clinical studies that also demonstrate their effectiveness in decreasing gut inflammation — another bonus of antioxidants which reduce inflammation overall.
So, what’s the takeaway? Strawberries don’t just taste good, they are good for us inside and out.