Even if you’ve never heard of the lilikoi fruit, you’ll delight in the way the name trips off your tongue: lil - i - koi. Also known as passion fruit, this tropical superfruit originated in South America and picked up its pretty name in Hawaii where it captured attention for its vitamin-packed pulp and sweet-tart flavor but stayed under the radar for skin care. However, lilikoi is now emerging as the hush hush ingredient that not only tastes delicious but also protects your skin from the environment. Dense in nutrients like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, riboflavin and niacin, lilikoi contains vital elements, not just for the body but also the complexion. Here’s what you need to know about this key ingredient and why it’s good for your health and your skin.
What Is Lilikoi?
The lilikoi fruit was first spotted by Spanish explorers in South America as far back as the 16th century. Commonly called passion fruit, this tropical treat derived its name from Catholic missionaries who named the flowering vine after the Passion of Christ. In the bags of explorers, seeds from the fruit were carried throughout the world and renamed in the temperate countries where the fruit became established - from maracuja in Brazil to granadilla in Mexico and lilikoi in Hawaii. Popular around the world because it’s delicious and easy to eat, the lilikoi can be simply cut in half and consumed with a spoon, pulp, seeds and all. Just half a cup of this fruit contains 50% of your required daily amount of Vitamin C and 25% of your Vitamin A.
Health Benefits Of Lilikoi
As a powerhouse superfruit, it’s no wonder that lilikoi is considered a valuable source of nutrients. The fruit is a rich source of antioxidants, especially Vitamin C and Vitamin A. Vitamin C supports a healthy immune system and helps slow down the aging process, while Vitamin A is a crucial element for good eyesight. On top of the high vitamin content, lilikoi is a great source of soluble fiber. Not only does fiber keep the gut healthy, it helps with digestion and prevents spikes in blood sugar levels.
The nutritional value in lilikoi is not only beneficial to the body but also specifically for the skin. Antioxidants like Vitamin C and Vitamin A are key to reducing the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Additional nutrients like essential fatty acids, riboflavin and niacin round out lilikoi’s nutritional profile, securing its place as a skin care wonder and a shield against environmental stressors. Here’s how each one of these nutrients function to keep your skin looking healthy and young.
You may not be aware of this but we’re constantly surrounded by free radicals - unstable particles that are missing electrons. To replace their missing electrons, these environmental stressors “steal” electrons from the collagen in our skin in a process called “oxidation," and this process damages the structure of the skin. With weakened collagen, our skin sags, wrinkles and worsens the look of aging. Fortunately, powerful antioxidants like Vitamin C neutralize free radicals by donating their own electrons and stopping damage to the skin. As Into The Gloss states, Vitamin C is “one of the factors in stabilizing and creating collagen molecules and increasing the quality of collagen.”
Not only is Vitamin C a potent antioxidant that combats oxidative stress and helps skin look firm and youthful, it also helps treat and prevent the look of dark spots. According to this study on Vitamin C, the vitamin’s antioxidant quality actually reduces the activity which produces the skin pigment called melanin. By affecting melanin production, the vitamin effectively decreases the look of hyperpigmentation.
Like Vitamin C, Vitamin A is also an antioxidant that checks free radicals, preventing them from breaking down collagen. By protecting collagen molecules, Vitamin A safeguards the strength of our skin and prevents the visible appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. In addition to its effect on the look of aging skin, Vitamin A also dives deep into our DNA, repairing and protecting against DNA damage and increasing cellular turnover rates.
Essential Fatty Acids
With the onset of age and exposure to the environmental elements - especially pollution - the barrier function of the skin tends to become damaged. As Eminence Organics International Trainer Brian Goodwin explains, “The protective layer of the skin gets chipped away by environmental stressors until it’s gone.” With this layer compromised, the skin loses some of its ability to shield and conserve. Important elements like water and the skin’s natural hyaluronic acid easily exit the skin layer. On the other hand, unwanted contaminants like pollutants readily enter.
Fortunately, lilikoi contains essential fatty acids like linoleic and oleic acids - lipids that help reestablish the barrier function in the skin. These fatty acids help rebuild the shield in order to protect the skin. In addition, it helps rejuvenate and hydrate the skin, reducing the look of fine lines and wrinkles and ensuring skin looks smooth and plump.
Riboflavin and Niacin
Finally, another important key nutrient in lilikoi is Vitamin B - specifically riboflavin and niacin. Riboflavin (or Vitamin B2) increases cellular health, decreases inflammation and repairs hyperpigmentation. Niacin (or Vitamin B3) also helps reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation, reduces blotchiness and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Lilikoi Mineral Defense Collection
We are excited to combine the potency of passion fruit with mineral products in our new Lilikoi Mineral Defense Collection. Formulated with passion fruit organically grown in South America and using cold pressed oil extracted from the seeds, the collection introduces our Lilikoi Light Defense Face Primer SPF 23, Lilikoi Mineral Defense Moisturizer SPF 33 and Lilikoi Mineral Defense Sport Sunscreen SPF 30. Three new skin care essentials, these products work together to defend your skin from drying environmental stressors with easy-to-layer, lightweight all mineral sun protection.
An ultralight product, the Lilikoi Mineral Defense Moisturizer SPF 33 shields the skin from the sun and protects from drying environmental stressors. The easy-to-use formulation applies in a layer that provides a physical barrier against the environment yet remains lightweight. The moisturizer is suitable for all skin types and leaves the complexion looking perfectly fresh and natural.
After applying the moisturizer, layer on our Lilikoi Light Defense Face Primer SPF 23 for additional protection. Not only does the primer protect against aging UV rays from the skin, this lightweight illuminating primer also visibly improves the appearance of skin exposed to blue light emitting from electronic devices. After applying, subtle illuminating properties give the skin a healthy, “lit-from-within” effect, resulting in a glowing, radiant complexion.
For full protection, add the Lilikoi Mineral Defense Sport Sunscreen to shield your face and body for up to 40 minutes in the water. Ideal for outdoor activities like swimming and high-performance sports where perspiration can impact sunscreen efficacy, this sunscreen is non-greasy and easy to apply, the perfect skin care product to complete your all-mineral sun protection.
Together, the products in the Lilikoi Mineral Defense Collection combine to provide comprehensive protection against pollution, blue light and the sun. With lilikoi as a key ingredient and a mineral formulation, this collection shields you from the elements, leaving your skin protected and looking healthy and youthful.Which product would you like to try first? Moisturizer, primer or sunscreen? Visit your nearest Eminence Organics partner spa to explore, and let us know in the comments below or on social media.