Kale, or the queen of greens, has crept its way into smoothie recipes, our Instagram feeds and even had Queen Bey sporting a ‘Kale’ sweatshirt in one of her music videos.
But is it really true what they say - are there kale benefits for skin? We investigate.
What is Kale?
Kale, also known as leaf cabbage, belongs to the plant species Brassica oleracea and is packed with magic compounds that have remarkable medicinal properties.
Many people eat kale as it helps prevent ailments like arthritis and even enhances our vision. There are many ways to consume it from drinking kale juice to having a side-dish of sauteed kale.
How Many Types of Kale Are There?
There are three types of kale:
This is the most popular type and comes in light green, dark green and purple. You’ll notice it has tight leaves that are easy to tear so you can add to your favorite salad. One great aspect of kale is that unlike other vegetables, you don’t lose any nutrients even when it’s cooked.
Lacinato or Dinosaur kale
Also known as the Tuscan kale, this variation has dark green and narrow leaves.
The dinosaur aspect of this plant comes from its scaly texture and you’ll notice it’s far more robust and firmer than curly kale. It’s also less bitter, so perfect for making a batch of kale chips.
Red Russian Kale
This variety has flat-leaves that have a reddish tinge (hence, the name). You don’t eat the stalks as they are extra fibrous, making it harder to chew and swallow.
Red Russian kale leaves are sweeter than other types so they’re great in salads, juices, and in a sandwich.
But What are the Benefits of Kale on your Skin?
Although eating kale has plenty of advantages, using topical creams are far more effective and an easy way to protect your skin. Here’s how kale works its magic powers.
1. Full of Antioxidants
Before you ask “is kale good?”, know that kale is a powerhouse of nutrients and antioxidants. Vitamin C, beta-carotene, and other flavonoids and polyphenols are present which help cleanse your body from within.
You’ll also find quercetin and kaempferol which help neutralize free-radicals which, if left to their own devices, are a catalyst to aging and even cancer or heart disease.
2. One Cup of Kale Packs a Lot of Punch
You need little to reap kale's skin benefits, as even one cup overflows with this veggie’s superpowers. Research shows one cup of kale has 1000% more Vitamin C than a cup of cooked spinach.
One cup of kale contains:
- Vitamin A: 206% of our Daily Value (DV)
- Vitamin K: 684% of our DV
- Vitamin C: 134% of our DV
- Vitamin B6: 9% of our DV
- Manganese: 26% of our DV
- Calcium: 9% of our DV
- Copper: 10% of our DV
- Potassium 9% of our DV
You may wonder “what does kale do to your body?” and “what exactly does this means?”
Other than improving your skin, these kale nutrients improve blood glucose levels, reduce blood pressure, and helps prevent asthma.
3. Promotes Collagen Production
Kale contains lutein which speeds up collagen production, essential for your skin’s strength. This is the magic property that gifts your skin with a “full” appearance. Also alongside the antioxidant properties, lutein keeps your skin hydrated and cleans out your pores to give you a healthier appearance.
4. Packed with Vitamin A, C, and K
Kale contains several important vitamins. For example, it's great for those with dark circles as the vitamin K reduces the purple pigmentation.
Either add kale to your smoothie or apply kale-based creams underneath your eyes. Also, vitamin K helps tightens your skin thereby reducing any fine lines and wrinkles.
The vitamin C protects you from the sun’s radiation and strengthens your collagen fibers. And, to complete the trio, the vitamin A repairs skin tissue while preventing any free-radical damage.
Further, kale is jam-packed with iron to speed up your skin’s healing so if you have any acne scars or blemishes, try using a kale-based serum.
5. Helps Detoxification
What is kale used for? To flush out all nasty toxins that our skin is often exposed to like pollution or artificial fragrances.
Adding a cup of kale to your food prevents wrinkles, builds your skin’s resilience and improves your skin’s suppleness.
6. Fights Inflammation
We know how important omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are for our body and luckily, kale ticks both boxes.
Our skin can suffer from inflammation and comes in the guise of rashes, eczema or psoriasis. Along with Vitamin C in kale, Copper also helps control inflammation of the skin.
So if you have super sensitive skin or are prone to redness flare-ups, use topical kale-based creams or moisturizers to help neutralize the inflammation.
It's Time to Use Kale in Your Skin Care Routine
Everyone can benefit from a regular skin routine and that starts with what we eat. As you can see, there are many kale benefits for skin from making your skin supple to banishing those pesky dark circles.
The best part is that it’s practical. You should apply kale-based creams topically and sprinkle the leaves over your salad to maximize its effect.
If you're interested in starting a clean and vegan skincare routine, look no further. We have plenty of cruelty-free and natural skincare products to browse through.