Secondary metabolites: what are they and what can they do for your skin?

As a plant you can’t run to protect yourself so you need to find other solutions. Therefore plants produce secondary metabolites, substances that protect, colour or make the plant smell. They play a vital role in the interaction of the plant with its environment but otherwise they have nothing to do with its growth, development or reproduction (primary metabolites).

If plants are stress free (no danger), like in greenhouses, the primary metabolism is operating at full strength and the plant will grow faster. But, when threatened, the plant switches to secondary metabolism and many interesting compounds (for us humans) are being produced. Examples of threats are UV-rays, bacteria and animals but a plant also produces these metabolites to attract bees.

It is precisely these secondary metabolites that have medicinal value for us and can be used to feed, protect and hydrate our skin. Nowadays there is a growing interest in these metabolites and the healing power they possess. More over since we are becoming increasingly conscious and interested in natural and organic living. But, there is still a lot to discover.

A group of healthy secondary metabolites are characterized by their pigments. Some wholesome plant colours for your skin:

-Beta-Carotene:

Is responsible for the colour orange and a very powerful antioxidant (Universal Bio Mask). You can find it in papaya, carrots but also in green vegetables like broccoli, spinach and kale. It is known as a provitamin A because when when ingested it is converted by your body into vitamin A. This vitamin is very important for our immune system, promotes cellgrowth and skin renewal so it slows down the aging process.

-Lycopene:

Also a very strong antioxidant. This colour red is found in tomatoes, grapefruits and rosehips (Miracle Treatment Oil). It prevents your skin from aging and is effective against acne. Lycopene foods in diet, in addition to sunscreens, can reduce the damage to skin caused by UV-A and UV-B exposure.

-Chlorophyll:

Sounds a bit chemical, but it isn’t. It is the colour green found in parsley, wheatgrass (Universal Bio Mask) and seaweeds (Eye Cream), etc.

Chlorophyll contains magnesium that helps to get oxygen to all our cells and tissues and is full of vitamin A, C, E and K. It fights acne, helps reduce skin inflammation and is extremely rich in antioxidants.

-Flavonoids:

The yellow colour in berries, seabuckthorn (Abloom’s creams and cleanser) and citrus fruits. They strengthen your immune system, help reduce collagen degradation and delay skin aging.

-Anthocyanins:

the colour red in berries (Cellular Repair Mask), red cabbage, prunes, etc. They fight inflammation and are true collagen defenders.