Don’t you think walnuts look a little bit like a brain? In the Middle Ages, walnuts were a remedy to treat brain diseases according to the medieval Doctrine of Signatures. Back in the day, plants were attributed therapeutic properties based on their resemblance to specific parts of the human body.

Walnuts, photo by Mustafa akın

It wasn’t so far off: Walnuts are a rich source of fatty acids and as modern science has shown, these are necessary for brain function. Eating walnuts may not only be super beneficial for better memory and overall brain health, did you know they can also kick up your skincare a notch or two?

Read on, if you find your skin is acting up from time to time. Regular use can help you steer clear of skin issues like acne, early signs of ageing, and acne.

The walnut

The walnut has its historical roots (I couldn’t resist the pun) in Persia, modern Iran. It spread to Europe as well as Asia so that you can now find tress growing from the Balkans to China.

In the Middle East, walnuts were a staple food. Romans valued them as medicinal and even celebratory foods. They considered them as food for gods.

In Traditional Indian Medicine, the walnut was used for treating a wide variety of diseases, from wounds and skin disease to improving physical strength.

Why walnuts?

Beautiful skin is all about your overall wellness: internal health and external care. Walnuts are a superfood both for your skin and body.

Walnuts are loaded with omega-3 and other healthy fats. These are linked to heart health. The implications are that lower levels of cholesterol reduce the risk of heart disease. They are also valuable for brain function and cell growth.

Walnuts contain vitamins B and E. They support your body’s function in many ways and are essential for cell development and growth, hence they’re key to your skin health, since your skin is constantly regenerating.

Being a rich source of antioxidants, walnuts help your body neutralise free radicals and that stall cell decay and age-related illnesses. Antioxidants also help reduce hearth inflammation, thus preventing the development of chronic diseases.

Research has also shown that walnut prevents the shortening and wearing down of telomere. This is the end sections of our chromosomes, you can think of it like the plastic tips of your shoelaces. Telomere shortens with age. So, shorter telomere length is linked to a higher risk of diseases. In a nutshell, shorter telomeres means shorter life.

So, how many should you eat in a day?

You can eat about a fistful per day – alone or over your morning breakfast cereals. You can eat them raw or roasted as a healthy snack or spruce up your salad.

And for your skin?

You can easily add walnuts to your skincare routine. Maybe the simplest is to add it as a facial oil. Choose the cold pressed over the refined walnut oil, since nutrients may degrade during the refinery process. It works wonders and can help you with

  • Reducing signs of ageing
  • Remedy fungal infections
  • Reduce dark under-eye circles
  • Fight skin inflammation
  • Moisturises dry skin

Since walnuts are a rich source of antioxidants, they help your skin eliminate free radicals that eventually damage it beyond repair. As an added boon, antioxidants also reduce acne since they can reduce skin inflammation.

If you’re more a hands-on type of person, here are 2 DIY recipes

Walnut face pack

For dry and cracked skin, this honey and walnut will transform your face. Walnut is moisturising and nourishing honey strengthens the antimicrobial effects of the walnut and is a natural humectant, locking in all the moisture into your skin.

For this pack, you need to soak 2 to 3 walnuts overnight in water. The following day, put them in a blender with 1 tablespoon of honey. Blend until you get a smooth paste. You can add water to get the consistency you want.

Apply the pack on your skin and neck. Leave it for 20 minutes and rinse off with warm water.

Walnut face scrub

If you like how you see immediate results with a physical exfoliator, you may want to try to make your own. Regular exfoliation increases the clarity of your skin, while keeping your pores unclogged.

To make this scrub, you need 2 to 3 walnuts and 1 tablespoon of yogurt. The yogurt contains lactic acid that bolsters the physical exfoliation of the walnuts. Mix the walnuts with the yogurt in a blender until you get a paste.

Apply your walnut paste to your face and gently start rubbing. Keep at it for a few minutes then keep the paste on for 10 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.

If you prefer a fully plant-based scrub, you can swap the yogurt with kiwi or papaya.

Side effects

Generally, the walnut is considered safe. However, if you0re sensitive to tree nuts, it’s better to abstain. Also, the high fibre content may cause digestive issues such as diarrhoea. As always start with a patch test.


Walnuts are a widely used ingredient in the cosmetic industry. It’s used in products for mild skin inflammation. But it’s also used in products for hands and feet that are sweating excessively.

In the Middle Ages, walnuts were used to make a brown dye for cloth as well as ink for writing. On this basis, walnuts are also used as an ingredient in hair dyes and self-tanning products.

Walnuts are very versatile with a wide range of health and beauty benefits. And it’s easy to add them to your skincare routine and diet for glowing and healthy skin.

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