If you like Asian culinary delights, you most likely have tasted the highly fragrant and sour citrus lemon yuzu. Its scent is tart and reminds you of grapefruit with tangerine overtones. It smells so good that the Japanese even use it for perfumes.

Yuzu, photo by 경빈마마

Although it’s strongly associated with Jpan, it’s also grown and used in Korea and China. So you see yuzu (Japanese), Yuma (Korean), or xiāng chéng (Chinese). If you’re scanning for it on the ingredients list, look for citrus junos.

Origins

It’s thought that yuzu is a cross between a sour mandarin and Chinese papeda and that it originated in the mountains of China. It’s not a type of lemon but a completely separate citrus fruit. If you compare lemon with yuzu, the latter contains more ascorbic acid, that is, yuzu has more vitamin C. It’s less sour than the lemon and has an umami taste.

It looks like a miniature grapefruit with uneven skin. It’s often used in Korean, Japanese, and Chinese cuisine. Not only is the juice used, but also the zest. Aside from a culinary delight, the Japanese also used it in hot baths to soothe and soften dry, irritated skin. Traditionally, the whole yuzu was added to steaming baths during the cold season. Soaking in these fragrant baths warms the mind and body, and is believed to ward off illnesses.

Why is it making its way into skincare?

If you look at the nutritional value of yuzu, you see that it’s an abundant source of vitamins and minerals. In detail it contains:

  • Vitamin C: 59% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Vitamin A: 31% of the DV
  • Thiamine: 5% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 5% of the DV
  • Vitamin B5: 4% of the DV
  • Copper: 5% of the DV

The daily value refers to its nutritional value when eaten. It also contains in smaller amounts:

  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Calcium
  • Riboflavin
  • Niacin
  • Vitamin E

It’s rich in naturally occurring antioxidants such as anthocyanins, carotenoids, flavonoids, limonoids, and above-mentioned vitamin A and C. These phytochemicals are known to neutralise free radicals and in doing so reducing oxidative stress. Especially vitamin C protects your body from free radicals. Firstly by scavenging them and secondly by helloing to regenerate other antioxidants in your body, such as vitamin E.

Yuzu in skin care

So, what’s good for your body is good for your skin, right? We have already talked about yuzu being a rich source of antioxidants. So it should come as no surprise that it is

Anti-ageing

Free radicals are not only bad, but they can also be beneficial that’s why our bodies produce produces free radicals to fight against viruses and bacteria. But as you probably already know, free radicals also damage our healthy cells and DNA. This accelerates the skin ageing process. The antioxidants in yuzu go around and scavenge free radicals.

As a rich source of vitamin C and A, it encourages skin cell turnover, revealing young and fresh skin. Moreover, vitamin C promotes collagen production in the skin and hinders the glycation process, restoring elasticity. So, yuzu reduces the damage to your skin’s cells as well as regenerates. It thickens the outer layers of your skin. And lastly, it also has a

Brightening and lightening effect

Vitamin C interferes with pigment production, so that it’s often added into products that even out your skin tone.

Clear skin

Yuzu contains p-methoxycinnamic acid so that it has anti-microbial properties. This means yuzu-infused products will help you keep infections and microbes, such as acne-causing bacteria in check.

Takeaway

If you’re contending with dry and dull skin, or want to keep the first fine lines at bay, consider adding a product with yuzu to your routine and as a culinary treat.

In essence, yuzu has similar skincare benefits as lemon. If you find yuzu at your local supermarket, you can use the same DYI recipes to make masks and toners as the ones containing lemon.

It may not be a staple ingredient in western beauty products, but it’s often found in Korean and Japanese skin care.

If you enjoyed learning how yuzu can enhance your skincare, we’d be delighted if you could share it on social media.

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