We love our greens over at Sacred Mama®—in our meals, our smoothies and juices, and most definitely in our skincare routine! Watercress, specifically, is one ingredient we can’t get enough of. As a generational watercress farmer, I have a deep knowledge and understanding of this aquatic leafy green and why it’s so beneficial for the skin.
In this blog post, we’re highlighting 5 of the best leafy greens for skin health. Add these ingredients to your diet, look for them in your beauty products, and you’re bound to have glowing skin in no time!
Watercress is jam-packed with beauty-boosting benefits, as well as overall health benefits. This leafy green might be underrated, but it’s actually one of the oldest aquatic plants and is one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables. Watercress contains more bioavailable vitamin C than citruses, helping aid collagen production and antioxidant defense that keeps skin firm and youthful. This green superfood also contains high levels of vitamins A, E and 312% of your daily vitamin K intake. Vitamin K helps prevent collagen loss in the body, making watercress a great anti-aging superfood.
In addition to adding watercress to your diet, watercress oil – the star ingredient in our Superfood Beauty Oil – works wonders in your skincare routine. It’s rich in powerful antioxidants, vitamins, and omega fatty acids that nourish, balance, and support skin health and youthfulness.
Spinach is one of the most widely loved and used leafy greens across the world. It’s rich in vitamins (A, C, K, and B9) which support skin health by maintaining collagen production, improving moisture retention, and protecting skin with potent antioxidant defense. Specifically, spinach contains antioxidants lutein, zeaxanthin, and quercetin – all of which defend the skin against damaging free radicals and oxidative stress.
Love it or hate it, kale benefits skin health and appearance. For one, kale is rich in phytonutrients (natural compounds produced by plants that protect them from environmental stressors) that keep your skin healthy and protected from things such as UV rays and free radicals. It’s also rich in vitamin C, which can help with skin hyperpigmentation and brightness, and vitamin K, which can help improve the appearance of dark circles, according to a 2015 study.
4. Collard Greens
Collard greens, a loose-leaf cruciferous vegetable in the same family as kale and broccoli, are chockfull of nutritional benefits that support skin health and function. Key nutrients include vitamins A, B6, C, and K, and calcium, iron, and magnesium. Its high vitamin A content may help improve acne, signs of aging, and overall skin quality. While nutrients such as magnesium will also improve the skin’s appearance by helping reduce acne, sun damage, dryness, and sensitivity.
Microgreens are immature greens produced from the seeds of vegetables and herbs (think plants such as watercress, broccoli, kale, and arugula). While their small size might seem inferior to full-grown greens, they can contain up to 40 times more nutrients than their larger counterparts—which is great for skin health! They contain powerhouse vitamins C, E, and K, as well as other antioxidants that protect collagen and elastin, support the protective skin barrier, and increase blood flow.