Spotlight On: Sea Buckthorn – Super Fruit, or Super Fraud?

Ingredients, Skin Care

By Leah Argento, FutureDerm Weekly Contributing Writer and Beauty Industry Expert

Sea Buckthorn

Take a closer look - you may be seeing a lot more of this fruit in your skin care soon.

Super Fruit all the way! Sea Buckthorn, scientifically known as Hippophae rhamnoides, is a shrub that can be found in Europe and Asia. This plant is so important in terms of its function as a source of vitamins and minerals that in 2005 the European Commission funded the EAN-Seabuck network to promote sustainable crop and consumer product development.

Sea buckthorn berries from Russia

Sea buckthorn berries from Russia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Why? Because Sea Buckthorn is viewed as an underused, raw material for pharmaceutical and cosmetic products. While research from the Journal of Ethnopharmacology exists confirming the benefits of Sea buckthorn as a cardioprotective and wound healing promoting agent, just how can Sea Buckthorn benefit us cosmetically? For one thing, the fruit that grows from its plants provides (per 100 grams):

From a beauty perspective, this is a significant amount of anti-aging antioxidants and moisture-promoting fatty acids.  In the long term, regular ingestion and topical application of sea buckthorn could mean a reduction in wrinkles and hyperpigmentation, protection against photoaging, and collagen production.  Just how much remains to be determined.

Wait – Omega 7?!

Greek omega

Got Omega? Omega-7 is non-essential, but that doesn't mean it isn't beneficial for your skin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In case you’re wondering, Omega 7 is not an essential fatty acid like Omega 3 and Omega 6, meaning that Omega 7 is produced by our bodies.  However, modern diets do not provide enough of the components to make Omega 7 naturally. Additionally, with aging the production of Omega 7 decreases and our bodies need for it increases.

Thus, supplementation becomes necessary. Clinical studies have shown that Omega 7, when taken internally and applied topically soothes eczema and helps clear up acne. Even Dr. Oz is a fan!

Other Components of Sea Buckthorn

Sea buckthornSea Buckthorn also delivers skin-fortifying minerals such as selenium, zinc, copper, and sulfur (MSM). And, a very convincing study from the Journal of Applied Cosmetology found Sea Buckthorn fought signs of aging when used in both oral supplements and topical application, significantly improving overall skin hydration and elasticity. Oral supplemention resulted in decreases in mean roughness and maximum roughness of the skin surface, indicating anti-wrinkle efficacy, while topical application increased cutaneous thickness, suggesting positive structural changes and improvement in collagen synthesis in the skin.

The Future

For starters, The Mayo Clinic is studying how Sea Buckthorn reacts on fatty acid metabolism. And raw Sea Buckthorn juice will be soon appear on the menu in Dr. Andrew Weil’s True Food Kitchens. Organic Spa Magazine reports that Sea Buckthorn infused chocolate is now available from Sibu Beauty.  I’m sure we haven’t heard the last on the benefits of this amazing super fruit!

Sea buckthornProducts Available with Sea Buckthorn

  • SIBU BeautySIBU Beauty Sea Buckthorn Face Care ($10.76 and up, Amazon.com).  For best results, combine use of the oral supplement with the serum or the seed oil, which tend to be more concentrated than creams, lotions, or toners.  Keep in mind serum is best for oily to normal skin, whereas seed oil is better for dry to normal skin types.
  •  Weleda Sea Buckthorn Body Oil ($19.21, Amazon.com).  This product is sensational when applied right out of the shower, on slightly damp skin.  The oil seals the moisture into your skin.  One warning:  If you’re prone to body breakouts, you may want to save this for legs, arms, and other non-acne-prone areas.

P.S. I ordered some today from SeaBuckWonders.com and I will definitely keep you posted on my personal experience with their oral supplements!

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4 thoughts on “Spotlight On: Sea Buckthorn – Super Fruit, or Super Fraud?

  1. Laura D. says:

    Fresh cosmetics also makes a great body lotion with sea buckthorn in it, smells like lavender and acts as a great moisturizer.

  2. Nicki says:

    @Laura D. – OMG I love Fresh products. I adore their Sugar Lemon – Someday I’m going to go to Sephora and buy every product they have in it. I think it’s my dream bathtime scent!

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