By Leah Argento, FutureDerm Weekly Contributing Writer and Beauty Industry Expert
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.
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):
- 600 mg of vitamin C,
- 180 mg of vitamin E,
- 80 mcg of folic acid
- 35 mg of carotenoids (beta carotene, lycopene, etc.)
- 6 – 11% omega fatty acids (the only plant known to contain Omega 3, 6, 7 and 9)
- up to 1% of flavonoids.
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?!
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.
Other Components of Sea Buckthorn
Sea 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.
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!
- SIBU 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!