It's not a very well-kept secret that we're big fans of Moringa here. Sure, we sell it, but we sell it because we believe in its benefits. Benefits that are, might we add, backed by science. That's why we've written so much about it over the last couple of years.
- Should you take Moringa before bed?
- What kind of Moringa should you take?
- What are the benefits of Moringa for women?
If you've read some of our other posts on Moringa, you probably know all of the basics by now. We'll be brief, but we're still going to go over them for those of you who are new to the plant.
A Brief Overview of Moringa
Moringa Oleifera, also known as the drumstick tree, is a plant native to southern Asia and northern Africa. It's a staple food crop because it's very hardy and resistant to drought in these equatorial conditions, it grows very quickly, and it's very nutritious. It's basically a superfood when eaten as a salad green, and it also has a variety of other uses, both medicinally and in infrastructure. Certain parts of the tree, like the seeds, which can be pressed for their oil and the seed cakes used as water filters. All in all, it's no wonder it's such a prominent sight.
Moringa has a ton of benefits, both as a nutritious green and as a health supplement. A lot of studies are still being conducted to see what potential medical uses it may have, but there are some promising results trickling out.
Can Moringa Benefit the Skin?
Most of the benefits of Moringa come from its use as a supplement. When you eat it, you get the nutrition like a vitamin, and that helps a range of different bodily systems. What about your skin, though?
This is where the discussion gets interesting. Whenever you talk about a supplement that might be useful for the skin, you have to consider two different applications.
First is, of course, eating the supplement. Plenty of supplements are useful for keeping your skin healthy and youthful-looking. Some of them only have their effects if you eat it or if it's injected as a filler. Others, like moisturizing skin creams, need to be topically applied. So, where does Moringa fall into this category?
The reality is: it's both! Moringa can benefit the skin when you eat it, and the oil pressed from its seeds is a great ingredient for topical applications. So, let's talk about both avenues of using Moringa.
Eating Moringa to Help Skin Health
First of all, let's talk about how eating Moringa can help.
You can eat Moringa in a lot of different ways. The most common in Southern Asia, where it's native, is as a salad green. Think of it like spinach or kale on steroids; it's a superfood green that is commonly available and easy to make into anything you want.
Since you're pretty unlikely to be living in an area where Moringa is grown, you can buy supplements. Supplements like ours come as either capsules or juice. Both of them carry benefits, but the best one for your skin is going to be the capsules.
How does Moringa benefit your skin? Two ways.
Moringa is high in vitamin C.
First of all, Moringa is high in vitamin C, which is widely used throughout the body. You probably think of vitamin C as the health vitamin, the one everyone takes when they feel a cold coming on that helps keep the body healthy and able to fight off an illness. While this may or may not be a real effect, vitamin C is critical for a lot of different bodily processes.
One of the most relevant to your skin is the production of collagen. That's right; vitamin C is a critical component in the production of collagen. When your body needs more collagen, it pulls together the various proteins and nutrients necessary to make it and synthesizes more. Vitamin C is essential for this synthesis.
So, Moringa will help your skin keep strong, elastic, and healthy in the face of damage. This can help with things like acne; while the vitamin C isn't going to heal acne, it can help reduce the scarring that can come from it, among other things.
This is probably the lesser of the two benefits Moringa has for skin when you eat it, though. What's the other?
Moringa has plant hormones and cytokinins that help promote cell growth.
Some of the many phytonutrients (plant nutrients) present in Moringa are very useful for skin health.
Many of you have probably heard those 'fun science facts' that tell you about how your body is constantly refreshing itself, how you're shedding or destroying cells and replacing them with younger, newer cells, all the time. That's true, of course, and it's most obvious in the skin. That's why things like permanent markers fade and fall off; the stained skin flakes away, replaced by fresh skin beneath it.
Over time, your body gets worse and worse at replacing lost cells. It's an unfortunate fact of life. Aging just happens, and there's nothing we can really do about it besides slow some of the effects and fix some of the damage.
The compounds in Moringa can help with this. They stimulate your body into building more cells, and since one of the main areas of turnover is your skin, it promotes your skin's health. It helps keep pores clean, it helps heal from wounds and environmental damage, and it can help promote the production of fresh skin cells to keep your skin looking healthy and whole.
While this might all sound great, it's still just one facet of Moringa. The truth is, the "miracle tree" has an even better use for skin, and that's as a topical application.
Using Moringa Oil as a Skin Treatment
Here, the best use of Moringa is as a topical application. Moringa oil comes from the seeds. It's technically a vegetable oil and is edible, but you're most likely going to want to mix it into a skin cream, use it as a topical oil treatment, or use it as an ingredient in one of the other topical concoctions you use every day.
"The vitamin-rich and nutrient-dense Moringa oil makes for an excellent active ingredient in skincare products, thanks to its antioxidants, antibacterial, and nourishing properties. Its high concentration of behenic acid (thus the name "ben oil") makes moringa oil a top anti-aging weapon, and the fatty acid's deep moisturizing properties also offer added benefits for the hair." - DermStore.
How does it work?
- Moringa oil is high in antioxidants and antibacterial ingredients. This means that it can help cleanse the skin and remove the bacteria and dirt that causes blackheads and acne. It won't entirely cure acne – you need a real medical treatment for that – but it can help keep your skin clear once you've gotten it to that point.
- Moringa oil is high in anti-inflammatory ingredients. These ingredients help reduce swelling and redness that comes from minor skin infections, acne, and damage. Reducing inflammation is always a good thing throughout the body. Sure, inflammation is natural, but that doesn't mean it's not dangerous.
- The oleic acid in Moringa oil is a very good cleanser. It helps keep your skin clear of dirt, debris, and bacteria, which all contribute to general skin ailments.
- It's moisturizing. Your skin is your body's shield against the contamination of the environment around you and from damage from sunlight, wind, and other hazards. The drier your skin gets, the worse that barrier is at protecting you. Moringa helps keep that barrier healthy and hydrated.
That's not all.
"Providing that the product is comprised of "relatively fresh oil with low free oleic acid content, it will be effective at plumping fine lines and contributing to an overall more youthful appearance." – Barbara Olioso.
Moringa oil is also shelf-stable and has a long shelf-life, primarily due to its own antibacterial properties and chemical composition. It also makes for a very good carrier oil for other kinds of therapeutic oils or even for aromatherapy.
Does Moringa Have Side Effects?
As with any health supplement, you're probably wondering about side effects. After all, none of this is worth it if it's going to cause depression, or itchy skin, or skin darkening, or any other annoying or dangerous side effects.
Luckily, no real side effects have been demonstrated. Moringa, when eaten, can cause some digestive troubles if you eat a lot of it. The bark is also no good to eat but has other medicinal properties. The thing is, though, you're not going to be eating the bark when you're using Moringa as a topical medication. You're just using the oil, and even that small amount of oil isn't enough to hurt you.
To be honest, if there's any side effect of Moringa, it's that it may not work for everyone. While Moringa is proven to work for many applications, it's not perfect, and some people won't react to it. You'll want to give it a try to see if it works for you before investing in a huge vial of oil.
How Can You Get the Benefits of Moringa?
If you're looking to help clear up your acne, moisturize your skin, clear your pores, and keep your skin healthy and elastic, Moringa oil is a good ingredient.
However, Moringa oil isn't the only ingredient you should be using. It's not something you just pour on a cloth and rub all over your face. Rather, it's a concentrated oil that you'll want to mix into other topical treatments.
- If you want to moisturize your skin, find a moisturizing product you like and add a few drops of Moringa oil to it before you use it. This will give you the added benefits of Moringa without risking using too much.
- If you want to cleanse your skin, consider a cleansing mask. Some of these are very good for acne, and by adding a few drops of Moringa oil to them, you can gain the additional cleansing benefits of Moringa.
- If you want your skin to heal and restore itself more quickly, consider taking a Moringa supplement as well as using oil topically. Don't just eat the oil – you might irritate your stomach – but get some capsules instead. Moringa juice can also be a good option.
- You can also find existing products that use Moringa oil (or Ben oil) as one of the primary ingredients. Watch out for this, so you don't accidentally double-up on the Moringa. It won't really hurt you if you do, but neither will it add any additional benefits. No reason to waste money if you don't have to, right?
All of this is great but brings up one final point we want to make. Moringa, alone, is not going to have a massive difference on your skin. You can't just use some Moringa oil and have the skin of a person ten years younger within a week. The effects will be subtle and will be slow to take hold. After all, it does take time for your skin to refresh itself.
Use Moringa oil as a supplement to augment your existing skincare routine, or use it as an excuse to build a skincare routine if you don't have one already. A cleanser, a moisturizer, the occasional mask; these are all good ideas.
At the same time, pick up some juice or capsules of Moringa and add them to your diet. Take one in the morning or one in the evening, or use them however the instructions tell you to. It can vary depending on the product, the preparation, and the concentration of Moringa.
Have you used Moringa as a supplement or as a topical application for your skin? If so, we're curious to see how it has helped you out. Let us know how it's worked in the comments! Additionally, if you have any questions about Moringa and its uses, feel free to reach out at any time!