What comes into your mind when you hear bamboo? Maybe you think of its economical value in Asia, where it is used as a building material, to make clothes and furniture. Maybe you picture the lush bamboo forests in Japanese movies. Or perhaps you are thinking of panda food. Did you associate beauty products with bamboo?

Bamboo forest in Japan
Image by Walter Mario Stein

In Asia, bamboo is deeply rooted in the culture and traditions. As mentioned, it’s used as source material for many things, in food, and as traditional medicine. Today, bamboo seems to be having its heyday, also in the western world. From bicycles, toothbrushes, to packaging, everything seems to be made of bamboo.

If you look closely, many Asian beauty products include in some form or other bamboo in their formula. This can be bamboo charcoal, bamboo extract, bamboo sap, bamboo water, or bamboo salt. Let’s take a closer look as to why bamboo is touted as a wonder ingredient that will make your skin youthful and your hair stronger.

Bamboo is an evergreen plant. It’s not just one plant but there are over 1500 species. It’s renowned for its fast growth – it can grow several centimetres a day – and as seen is gaining popularity everywhere as a sustainable and highly renewable resource.

What Does Bamboo Do For Your Skin?

Bamboo is choke-full with silica (in fact it contains about 70%), a key compound for maintaining healthy skin. Silica’s a colorless compound that’s found in minerals, rocks, and as parts of plants and animals.

Let’s take a timeout to look at why silica is vital for skin, hair, and nail health. Without silica, our bodies can’t produce collagen. Collagen is the substance that gives our skin strength and structure. With time, collagen and silica stores decline. So it seems only natural that when you use silica in your skincare, you help prevent your skin from sagging. Silica strengthens the quality of your hair, bringing out the shin, and slowing the rate at which hair falling out. As for nails, they are mostly made of silica.

Bamboo contains natural antioxidant flavonoids and can so protect your skin from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can damage your cells, proteins, and DNA, and so accelerate the ageing process. Oxidative stress happens when external factors such as UV rays, pollution, or smoke causes your body to make more free radicals. Of course, pretty much any plant has antioxidant properties, and bamboo is not best known for its super antioxidant properties. But why not combine it with other antioxidants like green tea? The more antioxidants, the more the better.

Bamboo helps to strengthen and protect the skin barrier while restoring the skin’s resilience by boosting the production of Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). GAGs are large molecules that occur naturally in the skin. They help the skin retain water and the best-known GAG is hyaluronic acid.

Bamboo was and is still commonly used (eaten) to alleviate an upset stomach. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-irritating properties so it lends itself to treat and soothe sensitive skin. It can even help reduce help to reduce the symptoms of dry skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. It’s a great companion when you’re treating acne, for example with chemical exfoliants like AHAs and BHAs. Bamboo will strengthen and heal the skin while normalising oily and combination skin.

Fight acne with skincare products formulated with bamboo. The bamboo plant contains antibacterial substances to protect itself from insects and fungus. Bamboo acts on the one hand as an antibacterial fighter to keep skin clear and on the other hand, strengthens your skin barrier against irritation and inflammation, reducing breakouts caused by toxins and excess sebum.

Bamboo charcoal deserves a more in-depth look. Charcoal has been used in face masks and cleansing products for quite some time already due to its “adsorption” property. You read it right, this is no typo; there is a difference between adsorption and absorption.

When chemicals attach or adhere to the surface of a material, that’s adsorption. But absorption is when chemicals would actually pass into and become part of the material. Think of absorption like a sponge absorbs water.

With its adsorption property, charcoal acts as a magnet to draw impurities to its surface. This is great for purifying and detoxifying skin.

Charcoal has been used in face masks and cleansing products for quite some time now because it effectively draws out oils, impurities, and potentially harmful substances from our skin which can help breakouts. Adding bamboo charcoal to skincare enhances it to:

  • Adsorb oils, oils, impurities, and potentially harmful substances from our skin which can help clear breakouts
  • The bamboo charcoal has millions of pores to trap and store all these impurities so they can be washed away
  • It naturally deep cleanses and gently exfoliates to remove dead skin cells without drying skin
  • It’s great to deep cleanse oily, combination, and blemish-prone skin types, yet gentle enough for all skin types
  • With its antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral, and antifungal properties, it’s a great choice for acne-prone skin
  • Since it helps remove the oil and dirt from the pores, they will appear smaller.

And For Hair?

As you can imagine, as people see the results they get with skincare products containing bamboo, they also clamored for hair care products with bamboo.

The same benefits that you see when using skincare products can be reaped for hair care. Washing flat, lackluster hair with a shampoo containing bamboo will restore a healthy natural sheen to it. It will prevent hair from drying out and becoming brittle, add volume while promoting faster healthier hair growth.

Now you know why bamboo is making a splash not only in Asian beauty but also in the rest of the world. Its powerful combination of benefits means that ageing skin treated with products containing bamboo will start to look smoother, firmer, and plumper with regular use. Products formulated with bamboo will address your specific needs, whether you need intense hydration, clarifying, protection, soothing, repair, age prevention, or firmness.

Have you tried products with bamboo? Share your experience with us in the comments below.

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