Welcome back to our exploration into some of the amazing superfood ingredients that we use in our raw, organic, skincare products here at Rawgaia! This week we're taking a closer look at organic chia seed oil which we use in our MSM Organic Beauty Cleansing Serum and MSM Beauty Polish DIY Kit. You've probably heard of chia seeds as a nutritional superfood; they are absolutely bursting with omega-3 fatty acids and fibre making them a great source of good fats as well as promoting healthy cholesterol levels (1). But you might wonder what the benefits of using them topically is...that's where we're here to help!
Those fatty acids that make chia seeds so appealing as an addition to your diet are also a large part of why the oil made from them is so great at helping to nurture your skin. Dermatologist, Dr Russak explains that 'as we age...the barrier of the skin's outer layer (the epidermis) becomes compromised due to thinning, weakening cells, making it harder for skin to repair itself. Topical omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which chia oil has plenty of, actually help strengthen the epidermis' (2). In addition to this, these fatty acids can help in collagen production, leaving your skin fuller and fresher with less wrinkles.
In addition to these valuable fatty acids, chia seed oil boasts a remarkably high level of anti-oxidants...more than blueberries in fact! (3) These anti-oxidants work to slow down the ageing process as they limit the production of free radicals which are responsible for damaging our skin cells. Although you can use chemical based antioxidant supplements, 'getting antioxidants from whole foods or foods in general, is likely to bring about many positive health benefits' (4). These antioxidants also contribute to it's anti-inflammatory properties; when applied topically chia seed oil 'has a soothing effect, thus being very good for alleviating irritation and acne blemishes. It has the power to diminish redness and to restore the normal moisture levels of the skin'. (5)
The restoration of moisture is the final amazing benefit of chia seed oil that we're going to briefly look at today. Chia seed oil is getting a name for itself in the beauty industry for it's ability to surpass many other oils with it's amazing hydrating qualities. According to Dr Friedman, this is due to it's high level of fibre content which means that it can 'pull water from deeper tissues or even the skin surface, creating a hydrating effect.' (2) A 2010 study concluded that the use of chia seed oil saw an 'improvement of epidermal permeability barrier function and skin hydration, represented by trans-epidermal water loss and skin capacitance' (6). This ability to provide our skin with a high level of hydration means that chia seed oil is perfectly suited to being a great moisturiser.
You might be starting to see why these superfoods get their 'super' prefix. For something so inconspicuous, chia seeds certainly pack a hearty punch! Here at Rawgaia, we are committed to using only the highest quality, most nutrient full organic ingredients in our skincare products and with chia seed oil, I think we've definitely achieved that! If you've enjoyed this post, make sure you come back next week when we'll be shining the spotlight on another superfood!