Kale is a superfood, right? Did you know you use it on your face? You can take advantage of the known kale benefits for skin elasticity (which I cover here), with this homemade night cream anti aging recipe using kale I’ve included in this article.
Anti-aging kale benefits for skin
Why apply kale to your skin?
Kale is rich in phytonutrients, like lutein, and vitamin C, both of which enhance collagen production, hydration and elasticity of the skin.
Kale also contains vitamin K, which helps tighten skin and reduce lines and wrinkles.
Research shows that Brassica oleracea var. sabellica, known as kale, is rich in antioxidants, namely, the carotenoids, β-carotene, lycopene and lutein.
Lycopene is found in papaya, which is why you’ll find papaya face masks and other skin rejuvenation products containing this ingredient.
Scientists from a US Nutrition Research Center on Aging (NRCA) report on the important role of phytonutrients in skin health particularly in decreasing the risk of photoaging. The same paper concluded, “similar results are observed from topical [application to the skin] treatments of these nutrients”.
An association of green leafy vegetables with decreased risk of skin cancer has also been reported.The Role of Phytonutrients in Skin Health
Topical application of kale
There are many human health benefits of kale, which is generally considered a ‘superfood’ in our diets not unlike papaya for example.
But what can be said about the topical application of such superfoods, like kale? Are the phytonutrients in kale taken up by the skin?
The same paper by the Scientists from the NRCA cites findings of another group showing that topical application of lycopene, an antioxidant in kale, penetrates skin tissue to increase antioxidant activity within the skin. This activity was 10 times higher in skin treated with lycopene than that which was not.
In addition, they cite Palombo et al (2010) who found lutein applied topically improved elasticity and hydration among other skin-enhancing properties they investigated. And kale is rich in lutein.
So…Applying kale as a topical cream, as a direct way of treating your skin to its natural benefits, is an effective approach.
DIY night cream anti aging recipe
By doing it yourself, you gain benefits of using natural ingredients along with the convenience and cost savings of doing it at home, and especially so if you happen to grow kale yourself. While kale from the grocery store is fairly inexpensive, growing it yourself is even cheaper.
Make sure you use organically grown or grown without harsh chemicals, as you don’t want pesticide residues on your face.
Homemade night cream anti aging recipe using kale
Kale’s use in a night cream is best suited for combination, dry or mature skin.
To make your own night cream, start with a handful of kale. Make sure to thoroughly wash the kale. Collect the leafy parts by stripping them away from the stem and the main inner leaf rib. If you have rocket (AKA arugula) you can add this herb as well as it too contains vitamin C and K and is a great skin smoother.
Toss the kale into a blender or food processor and blend until the kale is pulverized. Strain or use as is. The choice is yours, but for a smooth creme, it is best to strain.
The best base to use is shea butter for the creamy consistency. But an alternative you could use is coconut oil if you can’t get hold of shea butter. If you are using shea butter you’ll need to soften it in a bowl over a pot with heated water and add in carrier oil for a creme consistency.
Shea butter from Biome Eco Store.
You’ll also need an empty glass jar for the homemade night cream.
- 1/2 cup of shea butter
- 1 to 2 tablespoons of carrier oil (sweet almond oil/grapeseed oil, or even coconut or olive oil)
- Melt the shea butter or coconut oil by placing it in a bowl over a pot with water on low to medium heat. Add in about tbspn of carrier oil, if using shea butter. You can add more later when you are whipping it, if need be, for the right creme consistency.
- Pour this softened mixture into a bowl and let it cool until opaque and slightly solidified. You can either place it in the refrigerator or freezer (about 15-20 min).
- Then whip the mixture to a creme while adding the kale juice you processed earlier (see above). You can use the whisk attachment on your mixer or food processor or whisk by hand. Avoid over-whipping.
- Finally, scoop the creme into the glass jar and store at in the refrigerator. Apply to both body and face as desired.
Storing the formula in the refrigerator helps preserve it; it works to inhibit the growth of mold and bacteria; it should keep for up to a week at least without any problems. You may need to do a new batch once this time has elapsed as without preservatives, it is perishable.
Tip: use a small plastic spatula to scoop out the creme when applying it to your face – never use your fingers. This will help stop contamination and the growth of fungi and bacteria in the creme.
PS. If you are looking for natural preservatives for your DIY cremes, there are a few that NerdyFarmWife lists as winners, but they’re not what you would have easily available.
You might find your homemade kale face cream has an odour that is off-putting.
There are brands of kale night creams on the market that smell a whole lot better and will last you a lot longer, saving you the effort of continually replacing your stores…
Kale regenerating night creme
You can buy beauty products with kale as the main all-natural ingredient.
This is the one I use and recommend — Essano night creme, made in New Zealand from natural products. It contains none of those nasties I’ve mentioned elsewhere that we need to avoid, such as parabens, phthalates, mineral oils, ethoxylates or GMOs.
You may be able to get it at your local store, but you can also buy it at Amazon.com – see it here.
It provides all the benefits of skin tightening and collagen boost and is free from parabens, ethoxylates and phthalate, the harsh or ‘not so good’ chemicals I mention in my article on DIY natural hair treatments.
Kale contains natural antioxidants that are good for your skin. You can try a DIY night cream made from kale or alternatively there are products on the market that make use of the phytonutrient benefits available in this leafy vegetable.
Antioxidants in Kale | NRCA: Role of Phytonutrients in Skin Health | Health Benefits of Kale | NBCI: The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health