The Los Angeles Times published a piece on October 27 (2018) talking about superfoods and their relationship to skincare. It was an excellent article that took an honest look at the entire superfood question, in an unbiased and sterile way. Perhaps the most important take away from the piece is the simple fact that, when it comes to superfoods and skincare, there is still a lot we do not know.
Companies in the skincare and health and beauty sectors often rely on general ignorance about the ingredients they use in order to convince customers that what they are making is better than a competitor’s products. Those pushing superfoods do the same thing. If they use certain words and phrases the general public doesn’t understand, in the right way of course, they can convince people that what they’re selling is the key to eternal health and wellness.
This is not to say that superfoods have no value. That’s not the case at all. According to the L.A. Times report, medical science has conceded the fact that many of the nutrients found in superfoods do actually promote better health. They acknowledge that some superfoods may even improve skin health to some degree.
No, the real concern here is that we do not know enough about superfoods to be able to definitively say what works and what doesn’t. We need a whole lot more research and testing before any definitive conclusions can be made.
Food Processing Makes a Difference
One of the first things we need to figure out is how processing effects superfoods. For example, do certain processing methods reduce the nutritional value of a given food to the extent that it really doesn’t provide any extra benefit? That’s something we don’t know right now.
It may be true that ingredient ‘X’ does promote skin health in the lab. But does it have the same effect when absorbed from a food source that has been processed prior to sale? That’s what we need to know.
We already know that certain kinds of manufacturing processes diminish the value of traditional foods. That’s why the experts continually tell us to eat fresh whenever we can. So it stands to reason that processing would have the same effect on so-called superfoods.
Individual Reactions Are Different
Another thing to consider, according to Poethique, is that people react differently to the ingredients in superfoods, just as they do with organic skincare products. Five different people using Poethique’s rejuvenating facial elixir are likely to experience different results based on how their bodies react. No two of them will have the same experience.
Reactions to superfoods work the same way. We know, at least in a general sense, the kinds of nutrients the human body needs to maintain good health. We also know that people have different needs. You may have a greater need for vitamins A and K while a family member could use more vitamin C. There is no uniform standard we can apply to everyone.
Let’s Explore the Possibilities
The raw nutritional value of superfoods cannot be ignored. As such, we have to leave open a door of possibility that certain superfoods can enhance skincare. We can explore any such possibilities to their fullest extent, and we should. But it is too early to push superfoods as the proverbial missing ingredient in healthy skin.
The best course of action right now is to simply adopt a healthy diet – which may or may not include superfoods – and combine it with a natural skincare routine that addresses the external stresses on skin.