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    Ask the Chef: Can Any Superfoods Be Used Topically?

    By Julie Morris, Superfood Chef | September 6, 2016

    Can any superfoods be used topically?

    Whether you're looking at the beauty scene with either a conventional product outlook or more natural eye, one commonality remains: chemicals are on their way out, while borderline culinary-sounding ingredients are on their way in. Dubbed as “functional ingredients†these special foods have been lauded for their beautifying and healing effects when consumed, motivating many skincare manufactures to include them in their formulas that can be used topically as well. This practice makes a lot of sense: you absorb a tremendous amount of what goes on your skin directly into your bloodstream. While this data is often used to warn against toxic chemical exposure, it certainly applies to a more positive application as well: highly nutrient dense foods are not only a safe way to care for your skin, they can also offer a magnitude of benefits to every level of your being. Excitingly, there are many superfoods which fall under this excellent category. Here are some of the most popular, cutting-edge ingredients:

    Coconut Oil - Coconut oil provides excellent hydration to the skin and hair, while offering anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal benefits as well. Use: Directly from the jar onto skin.

    Spirulina - As one of the most detoxifying foods on the planet, spirulina can help draw out and remove residues nad toxins from the skin's surface as a highly effected cleaner. Use: Add spirulina powder into a face mask and let fully set (and be sure to wash off thoroughly unless a Frankenstein look is the goal!).

    Cacao Butter - One of the richest moisturizers imaginable, cacao butter deeply moisturizes and softens dry skin, while lending a light chocolate perfume. Use: Gently melt solid cacao butter into a liquid to apply to skin, or whip into a body butter.

    Pomegranate - Well known for its anti-aging benefits, pomegranate is often used in formulas to help protect and repair mature skin. Use: Mix pomegranate powder or oil into masks and night formulas.

    Goji - With its stores of healing vitamins and antioxidants, goji berries are considered one of the best foods for the skin - their high vitamin C, for example, helps to encourage collagen production! Use: Mix goji powder into masks and lotions.

    Acai - Acai is full of skin-friendly anthocyanin antioxidants and nourishing fats for a healthy glow. Many products are listing acai in their ingredients, but you can just as easily use your own stash! Use: Mix a small amount of acai powder into a night cream - don't go overboard, or acai can leave a small (temporary) purple hue to your skin and clothes.

    Coffee - Coffee may be a debatable superfood, depending on who your talking to, but applied to the skin it's high content of caffeic acid can help stimulate blood flow and temporarily decrease the appearance of cellulite and wrinkles. Use: Add coffee grounds to a body scrub, and use while bathing.

    Cucumber - Well loved for its softening and soothing effects, cucumber makes a wonderful calming and tightening ingredient than can also ease topical irritation. Use: Place cucumber slices on closed eyes for a ten-minute eye brightening treatment, or blend fresh cucumber and spray onto the face as a natural toner.

    There are so many superfoods and natural foods that are ideal for skin care… and for a truly clean, healthy lifestyle, it doesn't get any better or easy than that!