The Benefits of Kale in Skin Care, According to Experts


We know that dark green, leafy kale is packed with nutrients that benefit many internal workings of the body, making it a famous centerpiece in many green juices and salads. However, the benefits of the vegetable don’t stop with bodily health: kale can also improve your skin. Over the past year, kale has been a rising star in skincare.

“Kale was our original superfood muse. We blended it into smoothies, drank it cold-pressed into juices, and ate it massaged into every salad,” says Laura Cline, senior director of product development and education for Youth To The People. Eventually, Youth To The People, along with a handful of other brands, decided to “find a way to harness its nutrients to reap its benefits topically.”

What are the nutrients in kale that make it a skincare superstar?

Kale is nutrient-dense and packed with antioxidants and vitamins A, B, C, K, and E. Surprisingly, HUM Nutrition Education Specialist Gaby Vaca-Flores, RDN, says that a cup of kale contains more vitamin C than most citrus fruits. Holistic nutritionist Jennifer Hanway adds that the characteristic dark green color of kale reflects the vegetable’s high level of phytonutrients.

What are the benefits of kale on the skin?

The vitamin C found in kale is an antioxidant that’s great for brightening the appearance of your skin and may help reduce the appearance of dark spots, says New York dermatologist Marina Peredo, MD. Cline says that when used daily, antioxidants, like those in kale, can help defend skin against free radicals, environmental aggressors and pollutants, all of which can accelerate aging. Vaca-Flores adds that kale is also rich in carotenoids, “a type of pigment that can help slow aging and protect against the harmful effects of the sun.”

Dr. Peredo explains, “The vitamin combination helps tighten pores, diminish the appearance of dark circles, increase cell turnover and collagen production, and prevent free radical damage. It can also help moisturize the skin and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

Can eating kale also help your skin?

“Since dietary habits have the potential to influence the appearance of skin, it may be beneficial to include vegetables like kale in your diet and skincare routine,” says Vaca-Flores. . She points to a 2017 study that found that women who took a daily kale extract supplement experienced an increase in collagen levels.

“Kale is good for you all around. Our skin is our largest organ and can be affected by what we eat. Incorporating foods rich in vitamins and antioxidants is a great approach to healthy skin from the inside out,” says Cline. Dr. Peredo notes that the effects of consuming kale, such as hydrating the skin and brightening the complexion, may mirror the results of its topical application.

Hanway says antioxidants can help minimize free radical damage, “including them in our diet can help prevent signs of skin breakdown and premature aging such as loss of elasticity and fine lines and wrinkles.” Additionally, ingesting the phytonutrients in kale “may help brighten, tone, and brighten the skin, and even help reduce stress-related skin inflammation,” says Hanway.

What are some great skincare products that contain kale?

Dr. Peredo recommends Superfood Youth To The People Cleanser ($36). Like many Youth to the People products, it features the brand’s proprietary superfood blend that includes kale, spinach, green tea and alfalfa. This blend can also be found in Mandelic Acid + Superfood Unity Exfoliator ($38), Superfood Air-Whip Moisturizer ($48), and Superfood Hydrate + Firm Eye Cream ($35).

For those with oily or acne-prone skin, Dr. Peredo recommends Pacifica Kale Detox Deep Cleansing Face Wash ($10). “It helps prevent breakouts and clears pores of dirt and oil.” Other popular skincare products with a kale infusion include ELEMIS Superfood Face Wash and Eminence Organic Skin Care Citrus Kale Potent CE Serum ($110).

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