We all know who Marilyn Monroe is and we consider her a timeless beauty with amazing skin. Did you know her secret to flawless skin? She’d take strawberries and mashed them up, then use the paste as a cleanser. It seemed it did the trick, since Grace Kelly, another timeless beauty was also known to cleanse her face with based strawberries.
Even if strictly spoken in botanical terms, strawberries are not considered a berry. Still, they bring a ton of benefits for your skin just like a “real” berry.
There are many folktales, myths and tales about strawberries and according to the University of Illinois have been around forever. The Cherokee even have a legend about the First Strawberry.
Perhaps the most known is that the strawberry is considered a fruit of romance and love. Because of its heart shape and red colour, it must have reminded people of Venus’s tantalising powers. Legend if has it that when 2 people split a strawberry, they’ll fall in love. Later, it even became a symbol of fertility thanks to its seeds visible on the skin.
Legends and lore aside, strawberries do seem to be magical, as they’ve been shown to aid in weight loss, heart health, strengthen teeth – just to name a few. Recently though, strawberries are making a comeback in the skin care world. That’s because more and more people are getting aware of potential drawbacks to certain beauty products, so they’re looking for a natural or botanical way to address their concerns.
Strawberries are cultivated worldwide and part of the Rosaceae (rose) family. Other known members of this family include apples, apricots, and peaches. The fruits make a deliciously healthy snack. From its characteristic bright red colour to its heady fragrance, juice texture, and sweetness. It was first cultivated in Brittany, France in the late 18th century. Before its cultivation, wild strawberries were the common source.
Undoubtedly, strawberries are irresistibly yummy. They can be eaten fresh added to a smoothie, made into a milkshake or ice cream. They can also be made into jam, juice, jelly, pies, and chocolate. Its characteristic scent makes it a popular flavour and fragrance for other things such as candy, soap, or lip balms.
What makes them so good?
First of all, a strawberry is a low calories and low carb fruit, even though it taste deliciously sweet. It’s a fibre rich fruit and an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants known as polyphenols.
In particular, a strawberry contains
- Vitamin c
- Folate (vitamin B9)
It also is a source of iron, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamins B6, K, and E, although to a smaller degree.
Usually, we associate citrus fruits such as oranges or lemons with vitamin C. As a matter of fact, a strawberry gives an orange a run for its money in terms of vitamin C.
Research has found that people who eat foods rich in vitamin C have fewer wrinkles and age-related skin concerns than those who don’t, and you can also use them on your skin. So Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, and even the ancient Egyptians were right – they used strawberries to treat acne and other skin problems.
The antioxidants in strawberries are
- alpha lipoic acid
- ellagic acid
and of course, vitamin C. If you haven’t heard by now, antioxidants protect your skin and body from free radical damage that can contribute to premature ageing.
In a nutshell, strawberries are very anti-inflammatory for the gut, brain, heart, and skin. The antioxidants and folic acids repair cells and keep body tissues healthy. Eating them regularly is a great way to keep your organs disease-free – and, your skin is the biggest organ of your body.
Aiding with anti-ageing
There are several antioxidants which help slow down the ageing process. For one, the antioxidants float around in the body and neutralise free radicals. These cause damage to the cells. They break down collagen and elastin in your skin, leading to saggy skin, wrinkles, fine lines, and dark marks.
Reducing UV damage
The antioxidant anthocyanin and ellagic acid may aid in reducing UV damage. Did you know that a strawberry gets is characteristic bright red hue from a substance called anthocyanin? It’s effective against UV-induced skin damage. Ellagic acid interferes with enzymes that contribute to collagen breakdown that come about when your skin is exposed to the sun.
As an antioxidant, vitamin C protects your skin against sun damage, as it neutralises any free radicals before they can do any harm. Then it plays a vital part in the production of collagen in your skin, giving you firmer skin.
Together with ellagic acid and alpha lipoic acid, vitamin C helps to minimise the development of dark spots caused by UV damage. Both mess with the enzyme tyrosinase which is needed when your skin makes melanin.
Balancing out skin tone
If you’re looking to lift and fade age spots and dark marks, strawberries can help. The antioxidants vitamin C, ellagic acid, alpha lipoic acid, and quercetin in strawberries can lighten dark marks. They even out skin tone by blocking the enzyme tyrosinase needed in melanin production.
Strawberries also contain alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and can so brighten your overall skin tone. AHAs are chemical exfoliations that will gently get rid of dead skin cells and you get smoother skin.
Banishes spots and blemishes
Surprisingly perhaps, strawberries also are an excellent source of salicylic acid. This makes them perfect for treating blemishes and acne. Salicylic acid is also a chemical exfoliant, so it removes dead skin. In contrast to AHAs, it’s not water-soluble, but oil-soluble. So, it can cut through the natural oils on your skin and go deep into your pores and clear out the impurities that can give you acne.
Strawberries are acidic (with all the AHAs and salicylic acid). It means they can regulate sebum (natural oil) production as well as clear out excess oil. Combines with the antioxidants and nutrients, strawberries can help to calm irritation and redness that often go hand in hand with spots.
Obviously, if you know you’re allergic to strawberries, then you should abstain from rubbing them on your face. In general, especially if you’ve got sensitive skin, it’s always good to patch test first.
How to pick the right strawberry
Look for firm strawberries with a nice bright red hue. There shouldn’t be any brown patches. The leaves (or caps) should look green and fresh. This ensures the strawberries are in their prime. You want them in the prime because that’s when you get the most nutritional value.
Strawberries spoil quickly, so store and carry them carefully from the store back to your home because they bruise and spoil easily.
Strawberries are good for you both internally and externally. It’s great for your skin, helping to prevent wrinkles, fading dark marks, brightening, fighting spots, and more.
For your overall well-being, they help maintain digestive health, manage blood pressure levels, and improve heart health.
Make the most of summer and include seasonal fruits such as strawberries in your diet. It’s also easy to just use them directly on our skin – just rub a slice of strawberry on your skin and let it sit for 10-15 minutes, then rinse off. If you want more tips on how to use in a pack, tell me in the comments.