Cranberries are a holiday season staple. The tart berries are heaped onto dinner plates, sipped from cocktails and featured in festive decor. But, did you know that cranberries also have extraordinary benefits for your skin? Read on for a closer look at this superstar ingredient and its many beauty benefits.
Where Do Cranberries Grow?
Cranberry is a type of evergreen shrub that can be found growing along the banks of marshes and wetlands in northeastern North America. These low, creeping plants feature wiry green stems, clusters of pink flowers and deep red, egg-shaped berries; resembling the profile of a crane, they were initially called “crane-berries” by early European settlers. The berries themselves are water-harvested and, when ripe and ready to pick (typically between September and November), they float on the water’s surface. This exposes them to sunlight, which contributes to their high nutritional value. Historically, cranberries were used by indigenous peoples and early settlers as a medicinal ingredient to treat infections and boost overall health.
Measurements show that cranberries have one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants of any fruit or vegetable, outranking superfood staples like strawberries, spinach and broccoli. They are also an excellent source of additional vitamins and nutrients, including Vitamins C, E and K, as well as manganese and fiber. Also a rich source of essential fatty acids, cranberries are often used in beauty and skin care products to treat dryness, boost radiance and improve the look of elasticity.
Why Cranberries Are Good For Your Skin
The beauty benefits of cranberries are plenty. Here are three ways that they contribute to keeping a healthy and vibrant complexion.
1. Deeply Moisturizing
Cranberry has the only oil with a perfect ratio of omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids. This ratio enables cranberry seed oil to absorb effortlessly into skin, allowing its antioxidants to penetrate more deeply and providing skin with intense hydration. These essential fatty acids are key to keeping the skin’s moisture barrier intact, locking in hydration and keeping out environmental irritants. By keeping skin plump and hydrated, cranberry works wonders for rough, dry and aging skin.
2. Firm & Tighten Skin
Cranberries’ high antioxidant content is essential for protecting skin against damaging environmental stressors. Cranberries are incredibly high in polyphenols and Vitamins C and E, which effectively fight free radicals to minimize the visible signs of aging, including fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and loss of elasticity. Vitamin C, in particular, is crucial to the production of collagen - a protein that helps skin retain its strength, firmness and “bounce”. Since our bodies lost the ability to manufacture Vitamin C millions of years ago, dietary and topical Vitamin C is our only source of this essential nutrient. According to SF Gate, one cup of unsweetened cranberry juice provides 23.5 milligrams of Vitamin C - 31% of the daily recommended intake for women.
3. Minimize The Look Of Acne
These nutritious berries are also a natural source of flavonoids (an antioxidant) and salicylic acid (a beta hydroxy acid or BHA). Each of these ingredients has astringent and antiseptic properties that reduce sebum, clear pores and minimize the look of pimples. Additionally, Cassandra Bankson of Skin Science tells PopSugar: "Cranberries have trace minerals of potassium, manganese, and anti-inflammatory properties, which help prevent collagen break down and can blunt breakouts for those prone to adult acne." Vitamins C, B3 and arbutin also contribute to improving the appearance of problem skin by brightening the look of scars and dark marks left behind by breakouts. Eminence Organics International Trainer Jude Herrera says: "If you have acne issues, then cranberries are perfect for you. Cranberries have properties that help minimize the look of acne and blemishes and, the fruit has a rich amount of Vitamin C which helps scars and dark marks fade."
Ready to protect your skin against environmental stressors? Visit an Eminence Organics Spa Partner near you to find out more.
This article was originally written by Alisha Whitley in November 2018.