The Exotic Ingredient That Will Save Your Winter Skin

Seriously—add this to everything from smoothies to skincare to vitamins this winter.

sea buckthorn benefits
Photography by PHUONG NGUYEN

When you see the words “sea buckthorn”—what would you guess it is? An obscure nordic animal? Some type of wheat or grain rarely used? Some university’s mascot? That last one might exist, but none of the above.

Maybe it’s alternative name will hint to the correct answer: sea berries.

Sea buckthorn is actually a tiny superpowered, yellow-orange berry (smaller than a blueberry) with 12 times the vitamin C of an orange. They’re also full of other vitamins, antioxidants, protein-building amino acids, and healthy fatty acids that help your body’s natural healing power.

Once considered a cure-all magic berry, the sea buckthorn is a total beauty berry—good for your hair, skin, and body. It’’s sneakily in a lot of your favorite nourishing skincare products, smoothies, and makeup. And the superfood is taking the US by storm now (the Chinese have smartly been using it for centuries though in medicine as a cure-all, as have the Swedes.).

So how can you incorporate into your life, and why should you?

Well, for skin care, it’s your secret weapon in the fight against cold weather. “Anything with hyaluronic acid or sea buckthorn oil are super hydrating,” says Berlin-based dermatologist Dr. Timm Golueke. And sea buckthorn can protect against environmental aggressors, while vitamin E addresses premature aging by neutralizing free radicals. (Fantastic, thanks berry friends.)

And there are tons (TONS!) of ways to incorporate it into your regime.

Dry face got you down? Try out Charlotte Tilbury Multi-Miracle Glow ($60)—it’s a cleanser, mask, and balm. (Hallelujah!) And one of its main ingredients is organic sea buckthorn, which Tilbury added to stimulate microcirculation and enhance epidermal renewal for a refreshed, smooth complexion. Uhh, sold.

Still dry? Fresh has dedicated an entire collection to their love of Seaberries. The Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil ($52) is a fan-favorite for it’s extreme (yet lightweight) hydrating qualities, rich in moisturizing omegas 3, 6, 7, and 9—noted for protecting the skin from aging free radicals.

Body itchy and dry? Have no fear, sea buckthorn is here. Try out Weleda Sea Buckthorn Body Wash ($10) with fair-trade sea buckthorn, cultivated in Italy. (And, as you remember from this article about protecting your skin from winter woes, it’s best to use a creamy body wash, like this super moisturizing option.)

Or, if your dry hands need a moisture boost, try out Pai Fragonia & Sea Buckthorn Instant Hand Therapy Cream ($30), which thanks to the sea buckthorn, is rich in antioxidants, carotenoids, and promotes skin softness long-term.
Top it all off with the super luxe and special May Lindstrom The Good Stuff ($120) for a mix of oils that include jojoba, macadamia, olive, plum, sunflower, and of course, sea buckthorn to completely nourish. It hydrates without being sticky, and gives a glowing-from-within type of sheen.

Let your hair have some fun, too, with Amika Nourishing Mask ($10), which, as they say on the bottle, “harnesses the unique properties of the super fruit sea buckthorn berry, which naturally contains over 190 biologically active compounds including vitamin E, vitamin A (three times that of a carrot), vitamin C (15 time more than an orange), and high concentrations of the rare omega 7 (making up 40 percent of the berry). Typically the omega found in fish oil, omega 7 is used to keep free radicals at bay and aid in the production of collagen—a key building block for skin, hair, and nails.”

But the fun doesn’t stop there, people: You can eat and drink sea buckthorn, too. It taste a bit like a sour, itty bitty flavor-packed orange.

Joe & the Juice just announced their sea buckthorn menu, and their sea berries come straight from the coast of Scandinavia. You can get it in a smoothie (sea buckthorn, banana, and vanilla milk) or in a juice (sea buckthorn, pineapple, and apple). Or even in a bowl (sea buckthorn, strawberry, avocado, elderflower, and hemp granola).

“Sea buckthorn is a nutrient powerhouse, and the newest superfood taking the U.S. by storm,” says Joe & the Juice head of branding and partner Kasper Garnell. “While most feature Himalayan sea buckthorn, we use the Nordic variety grown wild on the coast in Scandinavia. For centuries, sea buckthorn has been known as a cure-all magic berry—it’s full of antioxidants, vitamins, protein-building amino acids and healthy fatty acids that are all good for your skin and hair. We have Scandinavian roots—Joe & the Juice was founded in Copenhagen—where people have been using the ‘wonder berry’ sea buckthorn for hundreds of years.”

Or, get it in a more compact version, from Kor Shots ($48 for 12 shots). It’s basically your shortcut to glowing skin, plus it just tastes super great.

Win/win/win.


Read more about our other favorite skin tricks:
This Extreme Facial Is the Secret to Super Moisturized Skin
Epic Beauty Tricks From Our Favorite Girl Bosses
How to Care for Your Skin in Freezing Cold Weather


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Published on January 23, 2018 - 2:30pm EST

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