Moringa is that Mysterious Ingredient You Should Be Using
I love the study and experimentation of plant based ingredients for the skin that one might find unique or exotic, and moringa oil is no exception. Moringa is one of those fairly new fangled ingredients on the market that people “in the know” are seeking and raving about – and for good reason.
First thing’s first: Some people might claim that there is “no supportive” evidence of moringa being an effective topical ingredient, and this isn’t factually true. There are a couple of recent medical studies done by medical groups that support the benefits of moringa, which you can touch on here and here, but we’ll delve into the details more below.
Medical studies have shown that the nutrient content in moringa is even greater that most people realize. It has ten times the vitamin A of carrots; 17 times the calcium of milk; 15 times the potassium of bananas; 25 times the iron of spinach and nine times the protein of yogurt. That’s amazing!
The bottom line is that moringa oil is great for skin. It increases hydration levels, reduces the signs of aging, and can increase the production of collagen.
What is Moringa and Where Does It Come From?
Moringa oil is derived from the seeds of Moringa oleifera, a small tree native to the Himalayan mountains. Virtually all parts of the moringa tree, including its seeds, roots, bark, flowers, and leaves, can be used for nutritional, industrial, or medicinal purposes.
For this reason, it’s sometimes referred to as “the miracle tree.” It’s also called the drumstick tree, in reference to the shape of its seed pods.
Moringa seeds have a high oil content and contain many nutritional compounds, including monounsaturated fats, protein, sterols, and tocopherols. Moringa oil is produced through a variety of industrial processes, including solvent extraction and cold-pressing.
History of Moringa
So what is that’s so special about the moringa tree? Moringa oleifera, also known as the drumstick tree or horseradish tree, is a fast-growing, drought-resistant tree native to the southern foothills of the Himalayas in northwestern India. It can reach a height of 10–12m, it has fragile branches, delicate, feathery leaves and long, three-sided seed pods which hang down in clusters.
Moringa was used in perfume manufacture in ancient Egypt, classical Greece, and the Roman Empire. It has been prized for centuries for its nutritional and healing properties in Asia and Africa, where the young leaves, stalks and pods are eaten as a vegetable.
In traditional Ayurvedic medicine it is reported to cure as many as 300 diseases. There is strong evidence that moringa can improve human lactation and a tea made of its leaves can fight colds and infections. The fresh leaves are said to cure anemia, gastric ulcers and diarrhea, and a paste made of the leaves provides anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory treatment for insect bites, wounds or fungal skin problems. Crushed seeds are used to aid cramps, rheumatism and arthritis and as a natural antibiotic.
7 Things We Love About Moringa
Increases Hydration. In 2012 The University College of Pharmacy, University of Punjab studied healthy volunteers aged 20-35 years old who applied moringa to their face twice a day. The study found that there was a significant improvement in skin hydration.
Encourages Collagen Production. The Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences did a study in 2014 who looked at a group of healthy volunteers who applied moringa twice daily to their faces for several weeks. Skin revitalizing parameters (surface, texture, and volume) and evaluation of living cells were done using skin topography. The study found a gradual decrease in roughness and scaliness, along with a significant gain in collagen.
Balances Skin and Decreases Acne. Moringa has been shown to have good antimicrobial activity against numerous bacterial and fungal species. This is good news for those of you who struggle with breakouts or are worried about using pore clogging ingredients.
It’s a Topical Anti-Inflammatory. Traditional Chinese medicine practitioner and acupuncturist Annee de Mamiel uses moringa oil in to soothe inflammation and balance acneic skin because of its antibacterial properties.
Strong Anti-Oxidant Qualities. The strong antioxidant properties of moringa oil, as well as its high content of vitamin E, can be useful as a preservative to help extend the shelf-life of some skin-care products by preventing oxidation of other oils. This can help preserve the function of the biologically active compounds naturally found in the oils.
Can Help with Psoriasis. Dermatologist Dr. Hayag, based in NYC states that in a study, moringa oil showed that it had some anti-psoriatic properties, significantly reduced psoriatic inflammation, and had comparable benefits to conventional medicines.
A Great Source for Vitamin C. Moringa oil is rich in vitamin C. Coincidentally, it's a sought after oil in food preparation and the quest for stronger immunity.
Tips on How and When to Use Moringa
One. Add a few drops of moringa oil to your cleanser for a better layer of hydration and anti aging benefits. Adding moringa can help keep skin calm and balanced during the day and add that layer of healthy moisture you might need to combat the effects of the environment.
Two. Add a few drops of moringa oil to your favorite moisturizer to infuse your skin with antioxidants and nutrients, as well as boost your skin’s ability to generate more collagen. More collagen essentially means younger looking skin. It will be plumper, thicker, and more radiant.
Three. Finding a product that includes moringa oil or extract is an easy and excellent way to reap the benefits of it’s wonderful qualities. We carry a few you might consider...
If you’re looking for an ingredient to amp up your skin care routine and give your skin a treat, moringa is a great option.
Jeanette @ Claribelskincare.com | Owner, Formulator & Herbal Expert