When it comes to skincare, many of us seem to face a dilemma. Although we trust in clinical formulations, as they’re science-backed, we still don’t like the idea of applying too many chemicals. Natural or traditionally used beauty remedies enjoy much appreciation, but they seem to contradict each other or it’s often not clear if they really work.

But that’s not so with wheatgrass. It’s both nature’s finest medicinal plant, appreciated in traditional medicine for centuries backed by science – but not for what you think.

Even so, wheatgrass made its name among the health freaks and is making its way everywhere else. You see wheatgrass cropping up everywhere from health food stores and juice bars to skincare and personal care ingredient.

wheatgrass
Wheatgrass, photo by Anthon01

Wheatgrass is the sprouting grass of the common wheat plant Triticum aestivum. It looks a bit like hay but is bright green, thick, and dry grass. It’s harvested before it reaches its full size.

You can obtain wheatgrass as

  • Ground powder
  • As a supplement in tablet form
  • Fresh wheatgrass juice
  • Seeds

Nutritional value

What grass is abundant in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. More specifically it contains

  • Chlorophyll
  • Vitamins (A, B, C, E, and K)
  • Bioflavonoids
  • Minerals (most notably iron, calcium, and magnesium)
  • At least 17 amino acids, of which 8 are essential amino acids
  • Enzymes

Sometimes, you’ll see wheatgrass called “green blood” due to its high content of chlorophyll. This chemical gives dark leafy greens their colour and it bears a structural similarity to haemoglobin. Chlorophyll helps absorb light energy needed for photosynthesis.

Contrary to what is popularly believed, it’s not a miracle grass. However, research has shown that has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant properties.

What does it mean for your skin?

Wheatgrass is rich in naturally occurring antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, and E. Especially the high content in vitamins C and E helps reduce oxidative stress. These vitamins partner well and work well together as an antioxidant. Chlorophyll is another powerful antioxidant. They go around and neutralise free radicals that damage our cells and DNA. Overall, as an antioxidant Wheatgrass helps with anti-ageing.

The vitamin C and K found in wheatgrass support wound healing, while vitamins B and E aid in skin regeneration. Chlorophyll needs to be mentioned in this context too since it’s known for its antibacterial properties. When wheatgrass is applied topically, it helps cells regenerate faster.

Vitamin E along with the amino acids helps to stabilise the skin barrier. A strong skin barrier not only protects your skin from unwanted particles entering your skin but also maintains moisture retention. A weak skin barrier often results in dry, flaky, even easily irritated skin.

Its antibacterial properties combined with its ability to reduce inflammation make wheatgrass a natural remedy to clear up and prevent further spots.

How to use it?

If you’re into DYI, how about making your wheatgrass pack? Mix some wheatgrass juice mixed with some honey and apply it to your skin. If you have wheatgrass powder at hand, you can mix it with milk and apply it to your face (and neck if you so wished). In both cases, leave it on for 10-15 minutes and then wash it off for clear skin.

If you want to treat the occasional breakout, pour wheatgrass juice in ice cube trays and free them. Use the frozen cubes on the areas you want to get rid of blemishes. Of course, you can also mix wheatgrass powder with water into a paste and apply it to the troubled areas.

Your body can also reap the benefits of wheatgrass: Add a glass of wheatgrass juice into the water and enjoy a relaxing bath.

How safe is it?

When eating in amounts that can be considered to be food quantities, it’s generally considered as safe. Still, some people may experience side effects such as nausea, constipation, and loss of appetite. Some may get allergic reactions.

As wheatgrass is usually grown in soil or water and consumed raw, it can be contaminated with mold and other organisms. This means, if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, don’t use wheatgrass.

Do you have experience with wheatgrass in your skincare? Tell us in the comments.

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