There’s no question that kale has made it as THE superfood. You can find it in the Pizza Hut salad bars to any juice bar. And it didn’t take long for the beauty to notice that it also helps with all kinds of issues from blemishes to irritated and dehydrated skin. It’s even a miracle worker for your hair. It’s no wonder kale is been called the new beef or even the queen of greens.
No matter how you call it, just eat it. And, if you’re looking for a new best friend that’ll help you with many issues such as
- Tighten your skin
- Keep your skin well hydrated
- Improve skin cell turnover
- Calm skin
Look no further. Discover kale, your new BFF no matter what your skin type is.
What is kale and what are its health benefits?
Kale is part of the cabbage family like Brussels sprout, broccoli, and cauliflower. It’s a nonheading cabbage because its central leaves don’t grow into a ball. Its leaves are large and dark green, but the colour can vary, you also find purple coloured kale. The edges of the leaves can be flat or curly. It can be eaten raw or cooked.
Just 100g of kale contains 104% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C and a topping 325% of vitamin K. It also contains a wide range of other health-promoting nutrients.
Eating kale regularly can help your body deal with stress and inflammation. It also boosts your immune system and makes your bones stronger. It’s also great for digestion. And all the while it’s low in calories.
For your skin specifically, there are 5 reasons to add it to your skin care.
Kale is loaded with nutrients and antioxidants such as vitamin C, beta carotene, vitamin Bs, flavonoids, and polyphenols. Antioxidants are key in preventing free-radicals induced damage to your skin and with that premature ageing.
Vitamin C along with lutein also boosts collagen production, the protein responsible for the structure and strength of your skin. With lower levels of collagen, your skin appears less firm, even sagging.
Your body converts the beta carotene in kale into vitamin A. When your skin converts it into vitamin A, it promotes healthy cell growth and helps improve skin cell turnover. Vitamin A is one of the most potent anti-ageing ingredients used in skin care formulations.
Just 100g of kale will cover your recommended daily intake of vitamin K more than 3 times. This vitamin plays a major role in skin healing. It helps reduce bruising, swelling, and scarring.
Calm stressed skin
Not only do the antioxidants present in kale protect against free radicals, but they can also relax stressed skin. They’re calming and soothing. Then, kale is also a good source for omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These acids play are important for your skin health. They also play a crucial role in reducing and controlling inflamed and irritated skin.
Just as many other leafy greens, kale is packed with water. Combined with lutein and zeaxanthin, kale increases your skin’s hydration level. When your skin lacks water, it feels tight and can be itchy, and even look dull. Often, dehydrated skin is also more sensitive. Also, any fine lines will be more pronounced.
Clear, clean skin
Apply kale to detoxify your skin for a cleaner, healthier appearance. The antioxidants that have a calming effect are also helpful to reduce acne. That is when your pores are clogged and then get inflamed. Moreover, kale can help clear dirt, grime, and debris from your skin and pores, leaving your complexion clean and beautiful.
Evening out skin tone
Uneven skin tone and dark spots are a complaint of many people. Most of the time, sun exposure and free radicals are the cause of it. Vitamin C in kale will help fade dark spots by messing with the enzyme tyrosinase that stimulates melanin production.
Vitamin C is the best antioxidant for fading dark spots. It’ll even out your complexion and help strengthen your skin as well as prevent new dark marks.
Is kale safe?
Generally, kale is considered safe. However, since it’s rich in vitamin K, if you’re using blood thinners (so-called anti-coagulants), you need to consider the amount you eat.
As for skin care, it’s a safe, and harmless ingredient. That’s probably the main reason why fruits and vegetables are finding their way into beauty products – unless you’re allergic to them.
Kale can benefit all skin types but is particularly useful for sensitive skin.
How to add kale into your daily life
Of course, you can find all kinds of products to incorporate into your skin care from toners to moisturiser, masks, and hair care.
But did you know you can make super tasty yet healthy crips with kale? That’s my favourite way to add it into my diet since I love salty crunchy snacks.
Healthy kale crisps
Wash, dry, and remove the stalk from the leaves. Set aside in a bowl. For the seasoning, add a tablespoon of olive oil and salt to taste. If you like, you can also add garlic or chilies and other spices.
Mix the seasoning well with the kale leaves and spread them out on a baking pan lined with baking parchment. Bake for 18 minutes or until crisp in a pre-heated oven at 150C. The leaves should still be green. Take out the kale and leave to cool for a few minutes.
How to pick kale?
You want to look for young leaves since they taste better than old ones. These are tough and bitter.
- Select kale with small to medium leaves
- Pick unblemished, untitled, crisp kale (avoid yellowed or brown leaves)
Next time, you prep your kale smoothy or crisps, leave some and make them into a scrub that’ll leave your skin glowing:
Take the leftover kale leaves and some yogurt. Mix them in a blender. After cleansing your face or a shower, slather onto your body and face. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes then rinse off.
Another way is to rinse your face (or body) with kale juice. Simply boil kale in a small amount of freshwater. Leave it to cool and then use it to rinse your face or body.
Do you have other tips to incorporate kale into your daily life? Leave it in the comments.