This natural secret ingredient is anti-ageing, good for your hair and helps you sleep, and the best news? You’re possibly already using it…
If you’re looking for an anti-ageing powerhouse, bursting with vitamins and minerals, you could already have such a miracle in your bathroom cabinet. Say hello to the humble moringa oil. Both the seeds and leaves of this hero plant have been used in herbal balms and medicines for centuries. Now, you’re likely to find moringa oil in anything from face creams and cleansers, to lipsticks and hair masks.
Culturally, the moringa tree is known as the ‘miracle plant’ or ‘tree of life’ due to its reputation for bringing soil fertility back to barren land. Originally native to India, it’s also grown in Africa and is officially known as Moringa Oleifera. This tree is a true hero and pioneer; it’s fast-growing and highly drought-resistant, managing to survive in harsh environments.
The moringa oil in the skincare products that we use and love is primarily extracted from the highly prized seeds. But how does it benefit our skin? Jane Foulston, director of skincare brand (emmahardie.com) says, “Moringa oil is a natural cleanser and when massaged into the skin, it can help lift any build-up of grime and dirt without stripping the skin or leaving it feeling dry, uncomfortable or tight.” And moringa’s powerful vitamin C content is worth its weight in gold. Jane adds, “The moringa seed is packed with seven times more vitamin C than your average orange. Its antioxidant properties calm inflamed skin and promote even skin tone.”
There’s nothing like a healthy glow to raise your beauty game. Clare Hopkins, brand founder of (balanceme.com) says, “When it comes to skincare, moringa has plenty to offer: it is renowned for its antioxidant, antibacterial and skin rejuvenating properties, it contains an impressive 72 percent fatty acid content and it penetrates the skin deeply, delivering valuable nutrients.”
Moringa oil is rich in omega 9. Omega fatty acids have a wonderfully natural affinity for skin; serving as essential building blocks of the skin’s surface layers. In short, they promote fresh, younger-looking skin, they help calm any redness and sensitivity; they also work hard to rehydrate and eliminate signs of flakiness. Rebecca Hopkins co-brand founder of (balanceme.com) says, “Moringa oil is also packed with skin-healthy nutrients such as vitamin A which helps to build collagen in the skin, vitamin C which helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and vitamin E, known for its anti-inflammatory and healing benefits.”
Surprisingly, moringa leaves could lend a helping hand when it comes to our sleep; due to its rich amino acid content – specifically the amino acid tryptophan. Moringa is naturally high in tryptophan – a known major influence when it comes to healthy sleep, along with melatonin which is produced in the brain. Euan MacLennan, herbal director at (pukkaherbs.com) explains, “Tryptophan helps to regulate our bodies’ natural circadian rhythms and melatonin is synthesised from tryptophan. (Melatonin is the hormone that regulates the sleepwake cycle). Its melatonin that influences you to feel sleepy; however, its release can be inhibited by the mere presence of artificial lights.” Essentially, our internal body clocks take their cue from environmental factors such as lightness, darkness and temperature. Artificial lights, the television and even smart phones can disrupt this cycle, causing insomnia and potentially leave us with a sleep deficit.
When used on the hair, it restores strength and vitality thanks to its rich vitamin and mineral content, one of which is zinc – a big player in the hair game. Zinc helps improve hair growth and restore damaged follicles. Rebecca says, “Moringa oil delivers important vitamins and minerals deep into the hair follicles – rejuvenating your hair from within. It’s also deeply moisturising for dry scalps – it can help fight signs of dandruff.” That’s not all, antioxidant heroes, vitamins C and E help fight damage caused by free radicals, which can cause hair to weaken and even turn grey. Overall, moringa is hugely beneficial for hair; its essential amino acid content can help build healthy, strong hair, while its omega 3 fatty acid properties help thicken hair strands.
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