Who doesn’t want to stay young and have youthful, flawless skin? That’s why we not only invest in health with supplements but also in skin care to both treat inside and outside.

As for skin care, we have high expectations. It has to be effective yet be formulated with natural and gentle ingredients that are both good for your skin as well as the environment.

Queue in quercetin… never heard of it? Wait, how do you even pronounce it? Kwur-su-tin (quercetin) is a flavonoid. Wait, another scientific word? Let’s throw on the lab coat, shall we?

What Are Flavonoids

Flavonoids are a particular chemical in plants. They’re called phytonutrients. Flavonoid comes from the Latin word flavus. It means yellow which gives you a hint of what it does: It’s pigment, it’s what gives plants their vibrant colours.

Photo by Bill Williams

Quercetin, in particular, can be found in fruits, vegetables, and grains such as

  • Grapes
  • Berries
  • Apples
  • Cherries
  • Onions
  • Broccoli
  • Tomato
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Buckwheat

It also naturally occurs in tea and wine. As a member of the flavonoids, quercetin is a potent antioxidant with strong anti-inflammatory and restorative properties.

Flavonoids are the reason why you often hear that you should eat veggies and fruits that are colourful. Especially quercetin is connecting to longevity.

We humans can’t make quercetin in our bodies. When eaten, quercetin

  • Helps the body reduce inflammation
  • Prevents infections by fighting off viruses, bacteria, and fungus
  • Acts as an antihistamine and relieves allergy symptoms

Especially the first two properties are connected to longevity. Take chronic inflammation: It’s linked to many age-related health issues, including cognitive decline and cancer. So it seems almost logical to manage inflammation. Our immune system weakens with age. Quercetin is both anti-viral and boosts immunity.

And for your skin?

Now that you know how good quercetin is for your health, what can it do for your skin?

Like all antioxidants, quercetin works to protect your body from free radicals. These are unstable molecules in the body that can increase the risk of disease and speed up ageing. Quercetin as an antioxidant goes around and mops up these nasty molecules that give your skin wrinkles and dark spots. (More on what antioxidants do for your skin in 10 Antioxidants Your Skin Needs)

Its other property that is linked to longevity helps to soothe inflammation. This means, it’s great to calm down irritated angry skin caused by zits and even more serious skin conditions such as eczema.

Quercetin also functions as a phytoest­rogen. In other words, in women, it can bind to the body’s oestrogen receptors and mimic the effects of the hormone oestrogen on the body.

This means it has additional skin benefits, boosting collagen formation, increasing the skin’s thickness, and improve moisture levels.

Applying quercetin has a general anti-ageing effect on skin cells. The so treated cells have increased life span and maintain features of young cells longer. It’s not fully researched why, but this effect is attributed to its antioxidant power.

How to get it?

As quercetin is found in plant-based food, you can get it, when you eat a rainbow coloured diet consisting of the above-mentioned fruits and vegs. But as is with the other antioxidants, quercetin can be lost through storage or cooking and is actually poorly absorbed by the body. Try to eat it with vitamin C to help with the absorption.

Quercetin can be found in skin care and sun care products. It can be safely used by most skin types. It’s one of the most common and well-researched flavonoids.

But, even if quercetin is a potent antioxidant, you shouldn’t just rely on it alone. Your body needs more than just one kind of food, be it broccoli or grapes to stay healthy. The same applies to your skin. So, add it to your routine and make sure to eat a healthy and balanced diet.

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