Image Credit: @wunderworkshop
If you had thought you had exhausted most of the skin boosting herbs and foods there were out there, you may be surprising to know that there is a super exotic skin-loving spice that is relatively undiscovered when it comes to the skin. Saffron is an exotic spice obtained from the flower “saffron crocus”. It is found in Europe and Asia and literally worth its weight in gold due to the sheer volume of flowers required to obtain one gram.
Saffron is a wonderful agent for boosting skin hydration and brightening the skin. It is rich in skin-loving vitamins including vitamin A, vitamin C, zinc and B vitamins which are all essential for healthy skin repair and renewal. What makes the spice incredibly potent is its unique profile of actives, the most important of them is a-crocin, a carotenoid compound, which gives the threads their characteristic golden-yellow colour. It also contains other carotenoids, including zea-xanthin, lycopene, a- and ß-carotenes which are powerful anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidants which protect the skin from oxidative damage and aid in accelerating skin cell renewal.
On the Inside: Tea is one of the best ways to ingest saffron for its beauty benefits. The active compounds in the saffron threads are water soluble, and absorb straight into your bloodstream through your digestive system. Just add 4 to 6 strands of saffron to one cup of boiling water. Add some grated ginger (about 1 teaspoon) or cinnamon along with a pinch of stevia. Steep for 15 minutes to allow the threads to infuse and release their active compounds into the hot water.
On the Outside: Saffron will assist the skin in retaining moisture and also has skin lightening benefits which will help you achieve an ethereal glow. It is also antimicrobial so when applied topically will help to soothe acne-prone skin. To make a mask, add a few threads of saffron to a ¼ of a cup of milk. Add a teaspoon of olive oil and let the strands infuse overnight if possible. Apply this mixture to the skin with some cotton wool and leave it on for at least thirty minutes before rinsing off.
You are likely to know about the benefits of fermented foods or the gut however you may not know that they also work wonderfully to rejuvenate the skin, boost collagen production and reduce inflammation.
The skin and gut axis are intimately connected which means that the microbes in our gut communicate with the bacteria that are living within the skin barrier. This means that our gut microbes have a role to play in the control of
Kefir specifically is rich in probiotics which improve gut flora and aid in the digestion of food and absorption of skin-friendly nutrients and minerals, which your body requires to create glowing and beautiful skin.
Studies have shown that acne, eczema and even psoriasis benefit from the consumption of probiotics.
On the Inside: Boost your gut friendly bacteria with a dose of kefir daily. You will notice your digestive system improves (any tendencies towards constipation will be alleviated) and your body’s detoxification processes will also get a kick start. This will allow your skin to benefit from the removal of excess toxins which can make their way to the skin barrier and the removal of excess hormones which can create hormonal skin conditions. You don’t need much kefir to provide you with skin and belly benefits. Start with 30 mls daily and build to 50 mls over the course of 2 to 3 weeks.
On the Outside: When applied topically fermented foods or probiotic rich foods have been shown to increase hydration by strengthening the fatty ceramide layer of the skin which assists in retaining moisture. They also assist in protecting the skin barrier against unfriendly bacteria, environmental toxins and free radicals which cause skin ageing.
Chamomile beats most herbs when it comes to its soothing properties. This liquid gold infusion has so many skin benefits from being anti-inflammatory, anti-ageing, anti-bacterial and skin healing. One of the reasons I love it is due to its ability to reduce skin redness and irritation including relieving eczema and to combat acne.
Chamomile’s healing properties come from its daisy-like flowers, which contain volatile oils (including bisabolol, bisabolol oxides A and B, and matricin) as well as flavonoids (particularly a compound called apigenin) and other therapeutic substances.
On the Inside: Chamomile tea is so easy to drink, whether it is as a cold drink or a hot pre-bedtime relaxant. Edible Beauty No. 3 Sleeping Beauty Tea has a wonderful dose of the herb in there.
On the Outside: Edible Beauty Australia’s & Soothe Me Balm contains Chamomile Extract. Apply the balm to the skin before bedtime to reduce redness, irritation and provide ultra-hydration.