Ingredient Breakdown: Avocado
Many people know of the health benefits of avocado, such as lowered cholesterol, and that avocados are a powerhouse for vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids. However, many aren’t aware of the benefits avocados provide the skin – so we’ve decided to uncover some of these important skin care benefits.
What is avocado?
Avocados are often called “Alligator Pears” because of their green, textured skin. They have a yellow-green pulp and one large seed. Avocados are native to Mexico, Cuba, Guatemala, and Jamaica, but they are also produced in other areas. Though avocados are usually eaten, the oil is often used for cooking and for medicinal purposes.
Thousands of years ago, Avocado was a food source for the Aztecs. In the 16th century Spanish conquistadors discovered the fruit. But it wasn’t until the turn of the 20th century that avocados began to be commercially produced in the United States. Today avocados are used in many ways, including as a beneficial ingredient in the skin care industry.
Antioxidants prevent cellular damage caused by free radicals, which are harmful molecules in the body. Avocados contain antioxidants such as lutein, glutathione, and beta-sitosterol. These antioxidants help prevent various diseases and help the skin to heal after infections and injuries.
Vitamins A and B are not naturally produced in our body, but they both provide many benefits for aging and maturing skin. As the skin matures the elastin and collagen proteins in the skin degrade, causing wrinkles, dry skin, and uneven complexion. Avocados are an excellent source of vitamins A and B which help to prevent these signs of aging skin. UV light damage can cause the skin to look scaly, wrinkled, and aged. Avocados contain carotenoids and vitamin A that help to prevent damage caused by UV light.
Dry skin is often characterized as being tight, itchy, flaky, and irritated. As we age, the skin becomes drier and its once youthful, ageless glow diminishes as it matures. The essential fatty acids in avocados make them a good moisturizer for aging and dry, flaky skin. Avocados contain a high level of oleic acid, which helps to moisturize and regenerate the skin.
Optimizes Nutrient Absorption
Adding avocados to your diet can help boost the absorption of carotenoids. Carotenoids are phytonutrients that prevent disease, lower inflammation, and help to prevent free radical damage. Carotenoids also help with the synthesis of certain proteins that protect the membrane layer surrounding the cells. Another skin care benefit of carotenoids is their ability to prevent premature skin damage and skin cancer.
Now that you know of some of the benefits, you might be wondering how to use avocados. Here are a few of the common ways avocados are used for skin care:
- Avocado is an ingredient added to many skin care products such as lotions, facial masks, anti-aging products, anti-wrinkle eye treatments, and foot scrubs.
- Avocado oil can be massaged into the skin and used as a natural makeup remover.
- The pulp of ripened avocados can be used on the skin as a daily moisturizer and as an ingredient in your homemade facial mask.