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Greens for your face

Greens tend to be packed with vitamins that can benefit our skin tremendously. Read more...



Photo: Wix

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Which greens are the best for your face?

Greens tend to be packed with vitamins that can benefit our skin tremendously.

  • Cucumbers are known for their high water content as well as for containing vitamins K, B, and C.

  • Kale and spinach have vitamins K, B, A, and C along with minerals.

  • Broccoli has plenty of vitamin C.

What do vitamins from greens do for your skin?

The benefit of vitamins derived from greens naturally is the range of vitamins, minerals, and water content that are generally considered safe for the skin. I also find that these will be found in products marketed as ‘natural’ or ‘organic’.

Topical vitamin C does several things: it’s a potent antioxidant to prevent damaging our cells from UV and the environment, it inhibits an enzyme called tyrosinase in the skin to prevent hyperpigmentation, it is an anti-inflammatory to help with redness in the skin, and it can boost collagen production. It has been shown to improve the texture and appearance of skin overall. One note- even though vitamin C can improve pigmentation in the skin, I find the best results are from pigment as a result of sun damage. Its mechanism of improving pigment is by blocking a specific enzyme that triggers hyperpigmentation. Although this can be a similar issue with acne scars, not all pigment is the same and I do not always find that acne scars respond consistently as well to vitamin C compared to other options.

Cucumbers are known for their skin benefits making them a staple for stock photos of spas. Cucumbers are safe overall for the skin. Cucumbers have a very high water content making them freeze easily like an ice cube. The cut surface has a slight texture but is not rough when thawed. The vitamins K, B, and C are present along with minerals as well.

Vitamin E, also known as tocopherol, is an important anti-oxidant for the skin. An anti-oxidant is something that protects cells from damage. There is some experimental evidence that suggests that Vitamin E may prevent tumors from developing and protect our skin from UV damage. By protecting our skin from redness and swelling and other effects from sunburns, it may protect against cell damage that can lead to skin cancer and wrinkles.

Vitamin E applied topically can penetrate the skin effectively since it is a fat-soluble product. When it penetrates the skin it can make the superficial skin layers more hydrated to prevent dry skin that can lead to eczema. It has also been used to manage scars and burns given its ability to help soothe the skin. Although the use of vitamin E is widespread and generally considered to be safe, there are actually very limited studies on vitamin E as an ingredient. However, the studies available do show it to be a promising ingredient to look for but not necessarily more effective than other products that have the same benefits. Vitamin E applied to the skin does have an emollient or hydrating effect. Hydrating the superficial layers of skin, it can minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It is not necessarily ‘reversing’ the signs of aging. It is more likely to hydrate the skin effectively to minimize the appearance of aging.

And of course Vitamin A for its benefits in anti-aging and B variants for anti-oxidant effects.


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