I love the beach. My family loves the beach. The beach is so much fun BUT comes with an inherent major increase in skin sun exposure – which I hate. Having a PhD in molecular biology, I always follow the science (and common sense rules of protection like regular UVA/UVB sunscreen application and protective clothing). There are also foods and supplements that may actually lessen the consequence of sun exposure– like Hibiscus Flower Extract. Let me answer some common questions.
What is Hibiscus Flower Extract?
Hibiscus Flowers are gorgeous plants with large colorful flowers that originate from central Africa and are cultivated throughout tropical and subtropical regions. Within the center of the flower are structures called calyxes which are used to produce hibiscus tea and extract.
How Does Hibiscus Flower Extract Protect Against UV Damage?
When you are at the beach- super exposed to UV light, it releases free radicals- one of the major causes of skin aging (photo-aging) and age spots. Even when not at the beach, if you are outdoors or near a window you can be exposed to UV light. Hibiscus Flower Extract can help to mitigate some of that UV impact. Glow beauty fuel uses 400mg of hibiscus flower extract, our beauty supplement superstar, in every bar.
Hibiscus Flower Extract And Skin Health
Studies on cells grown in laboratories using hibiscus flower extract to combat free radicals and decrease collagen damage are extremely encouraging. Protecting collagen and elastin (the protein fibers that make up skin) is critical to maintaining your outer beauty from within. UV light damages them. Hibiscus flower extract acts as an antioxidant so you can tame those free radicals that are released by UV light and other factors. And helps reduce the impacts of photo-aging.
And, hibiscus has some additional ways to benefit your skin. Hibiscus flower extract can decrease the molecule called elastase, that destroys your collagen. Yeah, that’s right. Your body worked to make that collagen, help it stay put a little longer!
And, for a bonus benefit, Hibiscus can also decrease melanin production. Melanin creates those pesky age spots that are darker then your surrounding skin tone. Age spots can occur in any skin tone creating an uneven appearance. So if you’re like me and buy spot-correcting creams and concealers, Hibiscus is for you!
Hibiscus Flower And Skin Moisture Retention
The hibiscus flower creates high amounts of mucilage (the clear goo in plants) and when ingested, this mucilage enables skin to retain more moisture. And more moisture means more glowing skin!
Why haven’t I heard more about Hibiscus Flower Extract?
The most well known usage of Hibiscus Flower is in refreshing, fruity tasting tea. The extract is a very versatile health-promoting ingredient that can be incorporated easily into food products. Additional health benefits of hibiscus flower extract beyond those mentioned above are being explored. Some studies have shown that hibiscus extract could lead to improvements in diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity and high blood pressure. We will keep following the science on these studies. And you will be hearing even more about Hibiscus!
So, grab your Glow Beauty Fuel bar, which contains both Hibiscus Flower extract (and free-radical fighting vitamin C), and feel confident you are doing the best for your skin….and please always wear your sunscreen
By Brooke Russell, PhD