Pomegranate for the Skin – Benefits of Pomegranate Oil
Here in the US we love a good buzzword, but does the pomegranate deserve all the hype?
Pomegranates have been held in high esteem in other parts of the world long before we discovered them and gave them the title of superfruit. This native fruit of Iran has been used in the Middle East for cooking as well as for medicinal benefits for thousands of years. Pomegranates achieved instant celebrity in the Western world because of their high levels of antioxidants, vitamins, particularly Vitamin C, and other vital nutrients; however, they are relatively new to us in the Western world and only recently have become commonplace at US grocery stores and in US goods.
Research has revealed that pomegranates not only contain nutrients and antioxidants that are vital in our diet, but also contain high quantities of polyphenols that offer protection from UV damage, anti-aging benefits and aid in cell regeneration when used topically. Both pomegranate seed oil and pomegranate extract have been featured in numerous recent studies, the results strongly suggest that pomegranates could play an important role in preventing not only premature aging, but also certain cancers.
When used topically, pomegranate extract and pomegranate seed oil are believed to help prevent wrinkles and sagging skin making pomegranate a wonderful anti-aging ingredient. The breakdown of collagen fibers and thinning of the skin that occurs naturally as we age is responsible for fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin. Research at the Medical College of Virginia suggests that pomegranate oil can stimulate the production of collagen while preventing the breakdown of collagen fibers, leading to a thickening of the skin. Additionally, pomegranate has also demonstrated the ability to extend the life of fibroblasts, the cells responsible for producing collagen and elastin.
Need more evidence that pomegranate deserves the title of superfruit of all superfruits? Recent studies suggest that pomegranates can ward off certain types of cancers as well as prevent UV damage. While applying pomegranate extract to your face might not prevent a sunburn, studies suggest that using pomegranate extract regularly can prevent the UV damage associated with overexposure to the sun as well as prevent the proliferation of cancer cells. Recent studies at South Dakota State University showed a “significant decrease in tumor incidence and multiplicity” with the use of pomegranate seed oil on mice and “highlighted the potential of pomegranate seed oil as a safe and effective chemoprotective agent against cancer.” This anticancer benefit extends to internal use of pomegranate as well. According to studies done by the University of California, Riverside (UCR), ingesting pomegranate juice can decrease the rate at which tumors metastasize, particularly in studies with prostate cancer. Similar results have been found with breast cancer.
When looking for skin care products that contain pomegranate, it’s important to make sure that you are not just buying a pomegranate fragranced product so look for pomegranate extract or pomegranate seed oil in the ingredient list. And remember that it takes 200 lbs of fresh pomegranates to produce 1 lb of pomegranate seed oil so don’t get discouraged by the price tag.