Many fruit and veg are natural sources of hyaluronic acid, retinol, glycolic and salicylic acid.
People using a lot of buzz words like Hyaluronic Acid, Retinol, Glycolic and Salicylic acid, so we decided to explain exactly what those are and why you might already be getting your fair share of them.
Glycolic & Salicylic acid
Hyaluronic acid is a substance produced by the body which as you get older, is produced less. It helps to reduce wrinkles and plump skin by drawing moisture to it. It works as a humectant and better still when paired with an occlusive, which is an oil or butter that prevents water loss from the skin, such as coconut oil, mango and shea butter. Other humectants that help draw moisture to the skin are aloe vera and seaweed, two of our favourites.
All of these are applied to the top layer of skin so if you want to ensure the effects are reaching further down, it’s important to eat certain fruit and veg to aid the body’s production of hyaluronic acid. A few you can try to ensure you get your daily dose are root vegetables, citrus fruit and leafy greens.
Another name for the active form of Vitamin A, retinol helps promote cell and collagen production, skin renewal and reduce wrinkles. It also contributes in the production of sebum which is the natural oil produced by skin and hair and helps maintain the right levels of moisture. It can even help repair sun damaged skin. Vitamin A is readily available in a variety of foods such as cheese, eggs, oily fish and those that are good sources of beta carotene which the body can convert into retinol. These include leafy greens, carrots, peppers, sweet potatoes, mangoes and papaya (pawpaw to us in the Caribbean).
GLYCOLIC ACID / SALICYLIC ACID
Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid while Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid. Don’t worry about all of that, both of them help clear and prevent acne by exfoliating the skin and keeping pores clear. They work by dissolving the dead skin cells that clog the pores and also help decrease inflammation, improving overall skin texture.
Both glycolic acid and salicylic acid can be found naturally. Sugar cane, papaya, mango, pineapple, milk and citrus fruit are all sources of glycolic acid but when it comes to exfoliation there are lots of options. Coffee grounds, sugar, salt and even beach sand work well as body scrubs, removing dead skin cells, helping to rejuvenate skin and improve circulation. When it comes to exfoliating your face though if you have sensitive skin you will want to opt for those exfoliants with a smaller grain such as clay. Large particle scrubs can leave tiny tears in facial skin because the skin is thinner than on the rest of your body.
Papaya (pawpaw) is a natural form of alpha hydroxy acid, good for exfoliating skin.
So the next time you go on the hunt for some hyaluronic acid, retinol, glycolic and salicylic acid, just check the fruit and veg isle at your local supermarket.