Tasty, juicy and packed with health benefits, berries are nature’s way of offering antioxidants, vitamins and minerals in a small package. They are great at healing and preventing sun damage responsible for age spots, acne aggravation, oily skin, sun tans, sun burns, prickly heat, body odour and fungal infections. Also, since they are high in water content, berries are a go-to for maintaining well-moisturised skin and hair.
Berries are rich in vitamins A and C. While the vitamin A helps in speeding up healing, preventing breakouts and supporting the skin’s immune system, vitamin C helps in collagen production, protects the skin against both UVA and UVB rays. When consumed as a fruit, theyhelp reduce the oxidative stress in the body. And when applied on the skin, they ward off the free radicals, thus aiding in collagen repair and reducing skin wrinkling, sun tanning and fine lines.
According to beauty expert Aishwarya Swarna Nir, founder of a personal care brand, facemasks made of false berries such as blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, raspberries keep the excess sebum in check. Grapes and watermelons, which are known as ‘botanical berries’, have beauty benefits too. “Grapes are rich in polyphenols and reduces skin inflammations, watermelon is rich in vitamin C and is a natural skin exfoliator, capable of cleansing your skin and giving you a refreshed look. Thanks to the presence of lycopene in watermelons, they act as a powerful antioxidant and can moisturise the skin,” says Aishwarya.
Berries are also perfect for the scalp and hair. Some berries (like Indian gooseberry or amla) also helps control hair loss and premature greying. Goji and acai berries are bona fide superfoods, adding to your overall health. Wellness and beauty expert Mansi Chowdhary, director of a luxury beauty range, adds, “Raspberries, cranberries and blueberries are richer in fibre than even some of the healthiest whole grains. They eliminate harmful bacteria in the body and keep a check on one’s weight.”
One of Mansi’s skin tips with berries involves freezing a blend of a few strawberries and some water in an ice tray. “Whenever your skin looks tired, wrap a cube in a thin muslin and massage all over the face for five to seven minutes. The blend will melt, reducing inflammation in your skin while toning up your face. Once the entire cube is used up, let the berry pulp stay on for five minutes. Wash with cold water and apply moisturiser,” she elaborates.
Blessed beauty blends
Berry scrubs and masks promote better collagen synthesis and adds radiance to the skin and shine to the hair. While Naina Ruhail, Co-founder, skin care brand, suggests simply drinking berry smoothies, she recommends mixing berries with yogurt, honey, milk, papaya pulp, tomatoes, etc. to make glow-inducing face pack, gentle exfoliators and hair masks. “Strawberry, mulberry and blueberries are great for the face, blackberries and acai berries are for the body and gooseberry for the hair,” adds Naina.
Another expert swearing by the goodness of berries is Ragini Mehra, founder of a beauty brand. “Berries are excellent cleansing oils. It helps detox the skin and unclog pores. Whether you have oily or dry skin, they help restore balance,” Ragini adds.
Homemade berry remedies
1] Watermelon pulp can be applied directly to the skin to reduce sun tanning and to sooth skin irritation. It also adds to the shine and smoothness of the hair.
2] Mix blueberries with honey and yogurt to make an amazing nutrient-rich mask of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
3] Grape pulp, sugar and coconut/argan oil mixed together makes a scrub, gently exfoliating the skin and making it smooth.
4] For instant skin hydration, make a pack of mulberry paste mixed with two tsp of milk, and apply it on the face. Wash off after 15-20 minutes.
5] Get younger looking skin by blending a few blueberries with lemon juice and mixing it well with a dash of honey and one tbsp powdered oats. Apply on cleansed face for 15 minutes and rinse.
6] For glossy hair, blend seven to eight strawberries to a pulp. Add one tbsp each of coconut oil and honey, and blend well. Apply all over the scalp and along the length of the hair, and shampoo after an hour....