Superfood Skin Care Benefits with Quinoa

The quinoa craze doesn't seem to be going anywhere, so it's time we embrace what this superfood can really do for us. As it turns out, applying the grain directly to your face may be just as good for you as eating it. Quinoa is a general term that includes 120 known varieties and can help protect against common skin issues, ranging from damaged skin, to fine lines and wrinkles. With autumn is here, theres no better time to learn some new seasonal skin care techniques.

Michele Green, a New York dermatologist, tells Newsweek "Quinoa contains lysine, which is a key ingredient our bodies. It is the building block in the synthesis of collagen and elastin." Here are six amazing ways quinoa may help improve your skin.

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Helps to Repair Damaged Skin

Quinoa contains high levels of vitamin E that may help neutralize the oxidant effect of free radicals from pollution and sun exposure. Dr. Tsippora Shainhouse, a dermatologist based in Beverly Hills, California, explains quinoa may help restore damaged skin because theoretically, it can stimulate new collagen synthesis. "Amino acids and peptides that get into the deeper skin dermis can trick the body into thinking collagen is broken and stimulate it to create new, healthy, young collagen."

Reduce Brown Spots and Brighten Skin

The amount of vitamin B found in quinoa may reduce the dark melanin deposits that lead to age spots and other skin pigment-related conditions. Vitamin B12 interacts with other B vitamins to maintain a healthy skin complexion by regulating the production of melanin. Similarly, quinoa contains tyrosinase inhibitors, that decrease pigmentation and help brighten skin, according to a 2015 study. These enzymes help reduce melanin and hyper-pigmentation.

Treats Acne

Quinoa is sometimes used as a home remedy for acne due to the niacinamide (vitamin B3) content. Vitamin B3 is "soothing to red, inflamed acne/rosacea-prone skin and helps repair the skin barrier to minimize irritation and dryness. The whole grain also contains ecysteroids, a compound found to help with acne scarring.

Exfoliates Skin

Quinoa can act as a safe and natural skin exfoliant because it's grains are smooth and soft enough not to tear the skin. Dr. Elizabeth Trattner, an acupuncturist based in Miami, Florida, says many women in Andean countries such as Peru, Bolivia, and Northern Chile, commonly use quinoa to gently exfoliate their face.

  1. Be sure the quinoa is gently grounded.
  2. Mix with an organic skin oil or water and gently rub into the face.
  3. Rinse with a damp cloth and make sure the quinoa doesn’t block your drain.
Helps Delay Premature Aging

Vitamin A in quinoa can help stimulate the skin to produce new collagen over time, which can reduce the appearance of fine lines and strengthen the skin to make it look and feel young, according to a 2007 study. Vitamin B2, found in quinoa, is key in helping maintain skin elasticity and maintaining firm skin. 

Fights Free Radicals

Quinoa is extremely high in antioxidants, which neutralize free radicals and fight aging. In a 2009 study, researchers found that among five cereals, quinoa contained the highest antioxidant content. Compared to other foods in the study, quinoa had the most antioxidant activity.

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