The Nordic countries are known for cold, dark and dry winters. However, these cold winters represent an advantage as there are specific types of berries that play an important role in the Nordic diet, which emphasizes on the consumption of foods that are native, wild and foraged (go out to pick up or hunt for).
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With the help of the midnight sun during the short summer season, these berries will mature and get themselves ready for harvest. Mostly the period of early July to September is the best time to pick these berries and enjoy them in different forms such as jams, juices, on top of baked dishes, cakes etc. These berries are considered as superfood due to their many health benefits such as boosting the immune system, preventing cardiovascular diseases and inflammation.
Here are the top 5 Nordic berries that are becoming trendy in skincare routines.
Blackcurrants contain fatty Acids Omega 3 & 6, Vitamin C, anthocyanin (known to be a potent antioxidant, flavonoids such as isoquercitrin, myricetin glucoside, rutin, fruit acids (malic and citric acid), potassium and polyphenols.
Blackcurrant is one of my favorite berries. I grow blackcurrant in my garden and in the summer I harvest the fruits to make juice. I am yet to make jams out of it. Then the rest is frozen for further use.
Benefits of blackcurrant for your skin
Blackcurrants are rich in antioxidants meaning they are excellent against slowing the ageing process. They help stimulate collagen production and fight those wrinkles creating free radicals. Blackcurrants are also high in Vitamin C which also boosts collagen production and helps with skin elasticity and firmness.
The leaves, berries, and seeds are all used to treat eczema and other skin conditions.
Cloudberries are rich in Vitamin C and E, Omega 3 & 6, citric acid, malic acid, anthocyanins, alpha-tocopherol, beta-carotene, iron, ellagic acid which is a nutrient found in various fruits in the berry family. It contains a polyphenol that is highly effective in treating wrinkles and skin inflammation. It also contains iron which is significant in the production of red blood cells.
In Sweden for example, cloudberries (hjortron) and cloudberry jam are very much enjoyed as a topping for ice cream, pancakes, and waffles.
Benefits of cloudberries for your skin
Cloudberry seed oil which is cold pressed from the seeds of cloudberry helps treat inflammation, soothes skin and has regenerative effects on the skin. It also possesses antiseptic, antifungal and antibacterial properties helpful in the prevention of acne and other skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Rich in vitamin C which contributes to boosting collagen production and improving the elasticity of skin. It helps detoxify the liver, aid in the health of our bladder, and, most important, fight cancer.
Benefits cranberries for your skin
Cranberry has a lot of benefits for the skin. It is high in Vitamin E and Omega 3, 6, and 9 essential fatty acids. Cranberry seed oil which is extracted through the cold-press process of the oil from the tiny seeds into oil. It is also rich in phytosterols, tocotrienols, and tocopherols. Cranberry seed oil is excellent for dry, cracked, scaly, itchy and irritated skin. It improves skin elasticity, reduces fine lines and wrinkles making it an excellent choice in anti-age skincare products.
Lingonberry is native to the Scandinavian region of northern Europe. Lingonberry has a vibrant red color with a sweet-tart flavor. It can be consumed in any form like juices, jams, sauces or frozen, in powder form.
Lingonberry can be added to yoghurt for a fiber packed dessert, to protein shakes, salads, smoothies, cereals, oatmeals or used to bake delicious muffins, pancakes etc.
It is high in antioxidants and rich in Vitamin C and A, contains glycosides, arbutin, and tannic acid. It is also high in polyphenols and fiber which contribute to healthy blood sugar levels.
Benefits of lingonberry for your skin
Lingonberry is very beneficial when used in the form of an oil. Lingonberry seed oil is extracted through cold process of the lingon seeds. It is known to boost skin hydration and elasticity, reduce wrinkles and improve skin elasticity. Using lingonberry oil regularly leaves the skin soft. It is an oil that is suitable for sensitive skin.
Sea Buckthorn is high in Vitamin C, vitamins B1, B2, K, C, A, and E, folic acid, an array of powerful antioxidants and phytosterols. It also contains tocopherol and carotenoids such as beta-carotene.
Benefits of sea buckthorn for your skin
Sea buckthorn oil is fast absorbing which makes it excellent for problem skins as it nourishes dry and irritated skin; treats scars and pigmentation, restores elasticity and regenerate skin; preserve youthfulness of the skin and eliminates small wrinkles.
Berries are considered to be among the healthiest fruits on Mother Earth. The possibilities are endless when using Nordic berries in our diet.
How to use the Northern berries in skincare
There are different methods of using these berries as:
Glycerites “A glycerite is a preparation that uses glycerin to extract the constituents from an herb”. Read more here about making glycerite with fresh fruits
Water infusions as a base to create lotions, creams, moisturizers, serums,
If you have noticed I like to experiment. Life without experimenting is boring! Whenever I have the ingredients in my hands, I turn my kitchen into a lab. Besides these ingredients are all natural and provided by nature so there is no harm in trying them!
Here is a recipe with blackcurrant
DIY Blackcurrant and aloe vera gel facial mask
This face mask will help prevent dark circles under the eyes and tone the skin
1/2 cup fresh blackcurrants
1/2 Aloe Vera gel
Drops of Argan oil
5 drops of Ylang-Ylang essential oil
How to make
- In a bowl, press the blackcurrant to get the juice out and mix with the aloe vera gel until you obtain a smooth paste.
- Add the argan oil and the essential oil. Dab lightly under your eyes. and apply the remaining mask on your face. Leave it on for 10 mins.
- Remove with lukewarm water.
2021. The herbal Encyclopedia. Common medicinal herbs for natural health.
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