I don’t know about you, but as a woman who is somewhat clued into the world of healthy living, with a love of exercising and experimenting with new recipes, the word ‘superfood’ is thrown at me constantly. I’m told to cook them, eat them raw, crush them into facemasks, eat them before workouts, juice them for glowing skin, buy face creams that contain them…the list goes on. When presented with so many different options, all claiming to be the best way to reap the benefits of these ultra-powerful foods, it can be difficult to know which to follow, and which to disregard.
To help you find your way through the minefield of superfood news and emerge the other side a healthier version of yourself, I sat down with experts from both sides of the equation – one from the world of beauty, and another from the world of nutrition (coming next week in part 2) – to find out their thoughts on how best to get that much needed superfood-boost.
Meet Sarah Brown; the founder of premium sensitive beauty line Pai Skincare. The brand prides itself on being completely organic and chemical-free (…as well as creating all their own products right here in London of course); using only the most carefully-selected ingredients with proven skin-soothing properties. And what do all these carefully-selected ingredients have in common? They’re superfoods.
But before we got into what superfoods Pai prefer, I wanted to clear up what the term meant to her. According to Sarah, the term ‘superfood’ is “overused by the media”, but ultimately, she considers it to mean “anything densely packed with nutrients and antioxidants. Think vibrantly-coloured rainbow foods like kale and blueberries that you know are doing you the world of good every time you eat them!”
Good to know! So what superfoods do Pai Skincare use? Avocado oil, for one.
“Avocado oil has such an amazing affinity with the skin, and can transform its tone and texture – especially if it’s on the dry side,” Sarah explains, regarding its use in skincare. “If you look at its fat profile, you would think that it would feel really heavy on the skin, but in reality, it absorbs beautifully and doesn’t leave greasy residues in the same way that something like coconut oil does.”
She continues, “As well as containing vitamins A, D and E, avocado also contains a high concentration of essential fatty acids (the building blocks of healthy skin) which repair and condition its surface.”
Another superfood used by Pai Skincare to help enhance women’s complexions is pomegranates. Sarah explains, “Pomegranates are rich in a rare form of Omega 5, and are one of the only organic sources of Punicic acid – an incredibly powerful antioxidant.”
As for which product to pick, the founder of this prominent beauty brand reveals, “In the Pomegranate & Pumpkin Seed Stretch Mark System, it helps protect the strong cell structure and repair damage – it worked a treat during my pregnancy!”
So what are Sarah’s thoughts on superfoods when it comes to applying versus consuming? “When you apply superfood extracts to the skin their benefits are absorbed directly, and the nutrients are more concentrated,” she says. “If you think about foods that go through your body, various other processes and organs absorb their goodness so the full effects won’t show on your skin in the same way.”
Despite this, Sarah still advocates living a healthy lifestyle, as well as taking care of your skin. As well as including fruit and veg in every meal, Sarah tries to adopt a slightly alkaline diet to avoid inflammation of her skin allergy, utricaria, and looks to superfood powders such as spirulina or chlorella when she’s feeling run down.
As “a firm believer in looking after your skin from the inside out”, Sarah deems beauty products as just one part of the puzzle in the quest for absolute health. Instead, she promotes her belief in the skincare 5-a-day, which she reveals as, “The right beauty products, a good clean diet, enough sleep, reduced stress and emotional wellbeing. They all come together to influence your skin health and clarity.”
words by Zoe Louise Cronk