We know that eating chia seeds carries some wonderful health benefits – but did you know that you can also incorporate these diminutive black and white seeds into your beauty regimen?
Chia seeds are rife with beneficial compounds that do a body good. Although you can achieve many of these benefits with a diet rich in chia seeds, it is a slow process since foods need to be digested and metabolized before seeing results. Applying chia topically is a much more efficient and targeted way to supply these essential nutrients to the body because the skin is so absorptive. The combination of nutrients in chia seeds has a rejuvenating effect on the outward aspects of beauty, with moisturizing, strengthening, and restorative properties. Here’s why they belong just as much in the bathroom cabinet as they do in the kitchen:
A vital element for the maintenance of healthy skin, Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant which neutralizes free radicals that cause premature aging. It helps to prevent and repair fine lines, wrinkles, and dry skin, while maximizing collagen production. Vitamin E is also photoprotective, absorbing some UV light and preventing inflammation of the skin after exposure to the sun. It will reduce swelling, redness, and thickening of the skin, while speeding up the wound healing process. Vitamin E also stimulates the growth of capillaries, which increases overall blood flow throughout the body. When Vitamin E is massaged directly into the scalp, the increase in blood circulation helps promote new hair growth to come in thicker, stronger, and faster.
Omega Fatty Acids
A diet rich in omega-3 fats offers many far-reaching benefits for the heart, brain, and bones. Lesser acknowledged, however, is that both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids play an important role in the health and appearance of the skin. Topical applications of omega fats provide a more youthful appearance by increasing the skin’s collagen, elasticity and firmness. Omega fats also hold a promising cure for hair loss. Containing 5.05 grams of Omega-3s and 1.65 grams of Omega 6s per ounce, chia seeds are a good source of these polyunsaturated fat. When consumed, omega fats will work their way to the epidermis eventually, but digestive processes can destroy up to 60% of its LA and ALA (fatty acids) content. A much more efficient route is to apply them directly to the skin and scalp, interestingly, topical use of omega fats will also transport them to the rest of the body.
Zinc is a trace element that is essential for many roles in the body, including normal growth and development, immune function, gene expression, and the stabilization of DNA. It is found in meats, such as beef and lamb, but chia seeds are also a good source, containing a daily value of 12% or 1.3 mg per ounce. Zinc is also an antioxidant and so it has man reparative functions for the skin. Studies on the topical use of zinc on acne, warts, bois, ringworm, rosacea, psoriasis, eczema, alopecia, and dandruff, have shown that this micro nutrient is quite effective at healing and preventing these, and other, skin conditions. It is a key ingredient in mineral sunscreens as well because zinc possesses natural anticancer and photoprotective properties.
Found in every cell type in every organism, magnesium is vital to life. And chia seeds are a rich source; each ounce contains 94.97 mg of this mineral. Modern studies have revealed that an abundance of magnesium in the water helps improve moisture levels in dry skin, while reducing roughness and redness. Bathing in it s believed to work so well because magnesium is so readil absorbed through the skin.
To look and feel healthy, our hair needs both moisture and protein. Each strand of hair is made primarily from the protein keratin. When hair is damaged by heat treatments, chemicals in perms or dyes, pollution, or prolonged sun exposure, the scales in the hair cuticles separate, exposing the inner layer of keratin ad allowing moisture to escape. Thankfully, dry and damaged hair can be restored to its former glory by adding protein. Protein hair masks smooth and fortify the hair shaft, repairing the scaly cells and making it less brittle and susceptible to breaks. Chia seeds are an excellent source of protein; each ounce contains 4.7 grams.
Chia Seed Beauty Recipe
To achieve all these wonderful benefits, you’ll need to get your hands on some organic chia seeds. Grind up ¼ cup of chia seeds and then soak in one cup of water for about 30 minutes to break them don and create a sort of chia goop. Another option is to purchase pure chia seed oil. It’s great for everyday applications – use a few drops of it directly on your skin, or add 2 to 3 drops to your moisturizer, shampoo, or bath water. Apply the chia goop or oil the face and body, or work it into the hair, massaging it into the scalp from root to tip. Leave it on for at least 10 minutes before rinsing.