There’s nothing quite like a brisk walk on a cold, crisp winter’s morning – unfortunately, there’s also nothing worse for your skin! Indeed, the British climate is extremely tough on our largest organ – chilly temperatures mean low humidity, which dries out the skin, particularly on exposed areas such as the face and hands. And windy or extreme weather can provoke or intensify common skin conditions including dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis.
Professor David Gawkrodger (a consultant specialising in dermatology and spokesperson for the British Skin Foundation) agrees that ‘dry skin conditions like eczema get worse in the cold and the rain; you get a lot of chapping in the wet and wind.” Simply wrapping up warm in woolly hats, scarves and jumpers is not the answer, as wool and extra layers often irritate existing skin complaints. According to Indy Rhial from the British Skin Foundation the best approach is to “look after your skin from the inside by eating well. If your diet is healthy and well balanced, your general health will benefit and this will be reflected in your skin”. With that in mind, why not consider adding a number of skin-friendly superfoods to your diet, such as organic maca powder, that will actively nourish and protect your skin during those long, winter months? You can discover more about organic maca and its amazing benefits for skin below.
What is organic maca powder?
Maca (Lepidium Meyenii) is a tuber crop native to Peru, where it is commonly known as the ‘aphrodisiac of the Andes’ and was once considered so valuable that it served as a means of payment and was used to settle taxes. Cultivated for more than 2600 years, maca grows at exceptionally high altitudes and can survive extreme temperatures – there are even reports of this hardy, radish-like root vegetable thriving at 4300 meters. The most important part of the maca is its root, which is dried and ground into organic maca powder. Organic maca powder boasts a variety of different colours, from matte white and yellow to red, purple and black. Supplied to Inca warriors prior to battle to increase alertness, energy and strength, organic maca powder is loaded with beneficial nutrients, including vitamins (B1, B2, C, E), minerals and trace elements (calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, copper, selenium, manganese, tin, iodine, phosphorus, sulphur, silicon and bismuth) and complex alkaloids. Organic maca powder is also rich in immune strengthening fatty acids and sterols that are essential for our general health and wellbeing. In fact organic maca powder is an adaptogen, which means that it has a balancing and regulatory effect on our mind and body. It is also known to encourage healthy hormone production and has been used by both sexes to enhance libido and fertility for centuries.
How can organic maca powder promote healthy, radiant skin?
In addition to the many health benefits listed above, organic maca powder is rapidly gaining a reputation for its ability to promote a healthy, radiant complexion and research has shown that it can structurally enhance the firmness of skin and boost its inherent protective abilities. Laboratory studies have demonstrated that maca root stimulates the proliferation of fibroblasts in vitro, resulting in visibly younger looking skin. The research also indicates that maca extract enhances keratinocyte production, which in turn increases collagen synthesis, improving the overall integrity of the skin’s structural matrix, leaving it firmer, smoother and free from unwelcome fine lines and wrinkles.
Perhaps not surprisingly, an increasing numbers of cosmetic companies are starting to include organic maca powder in their skin care products.
Enjoying organic maca powder for beautiful skin
Organic maca powder can be enjoyed in smoothies, shakes or protein drinks and is an ideal ingredient in raw cakes, puddings and desserts. It is especially delicious when combined with raw cacao products, making it a perfect addition to your favourite homemade raw chocolate creations. As well as incorporating organic maca powder into your daily diet, try adding it to your favourite facemask or scrub for impressive skin care results.