Legend has it that goji berries were discovered by a scientist while he was studying an ancient tribe in the Himalayas who appeared to live much longer lives than the average human. Whilst that may not be entirely true, the berries do have several properties that lend a youthful glow to skin. The small red berries almost buzz with raw energy, and have rightfully been named a superfood - so how can they benefit you?
Often grouped with blueberries and cranberries due to their size, goji berries share some of the same properties as these fruits, and some that are unique to them. The antioxidant benefits that make these more common berries so often sought after are no less impressive here: several studies have shown a noticeable increase in antioxidant levels after participants ingested the berries over a 90 day period. These antioxidants help prevent against UV damage, which can lead to sun spots, wrinkles, and more dangerous skin conditions. They also aid in the fight against oxidative stress: a state in which your body has an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants. The high concentration of antioxidants in goji berries helps to combat oxidative stress, and protect your body - the condition has been linked to a number of diseases, including heart disease and diabetes, as well inflammation and ageing, neither of which is great for your skin!
They also contain beta-sitosterol, a powerful anti-inflammatory. If you’ve been suffering from puffy or red skin, or acne breakouts, this could be an ingredient you need a little more of in your life! Beta-sitosterol is one of the key agents in ingredients like marula oil that have become increasingly popular in skincare recently, and for good reason. As well as being anti-inflammatory, it’s anti-bacterial, so if applied topically can cleanse the skin and reduce instances of breakouts. Talk about a multitasker!
Alongside these benefits, the usual advantages that come with eating fruit and vegetables apply: goji berries are rich in eighteen different amino acids, as well as high doses of protein, and fibre thanks to the tiny seeds the contain. They also contain more iron than spinach, gram for gram, so adding them to your diet will help to give you a healthy glow: a high iron content boosts haemoglobin in the blood, which lends you that rosy flush. These, alongside the numerous vitamins the berries contain, work to stabilise and regulate your gut health.
There are many ways you could incorporate goji berries into your routine. Dried, you can use them in much the same way as you would raisins - we love them stirred through porridge in the colder months, but tossed in homemade granola, muesli, and smoothies works just as well! You can also buy the berries in powder form, which makes them easy to sprinkle into recipes, or you could even make your own goji berry tea by simmering some of the berries in water, which results in a gorgeous ruby-red infusion.
While adding these berries to your diet is a great plan, and could boost your health in a number of ways, they can also be used topically to soothe, moisturise, and detoxify skin. They’re a key ingredient in our Daily Detox Facial Wash, and help to prevent damage from pollution, which is a key stressor that leads to oxidative stress. Ideal for everyday use for oily and combination skin types, the wash helps to rebalance skin and minimise excess oil production.
For those with drier skin, or who just wish to harness the power of these amazing berries at home, why not try making your own goji berry face mask? Soak a handful of dried berries in water for about half an hour (or procure some fresh ones!), then blend together with some of your skincare favourites, like avocado for a moisturising hit, or cacao and olive oil for exfoliation and soothing.