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What are the benefits of ginger for the skin?

A natural plant utilised for centuries for its toning and anti-nausea properties, ginger is also a valuable active ingredient in cosmetics. Indeed, it provides numerous benefits to the skin, which we describe in this article. Continue reading to discover all the skin-related virtues of ginger.

Ginger is a natural antioxidant.

Lack of radiance, accelerated skin ageing, hyperpigmentation... Oxidative stress is the cause of many cosmetic issues. As a reminder, we talk about oxidative stress when there is an imbalance between the quantity of antioxidants and that of free radicals in the cells. The solution to rebalance this ratio is to provide the skin with antioxidants, particularly in its care routine.

The ginger is a good ally in this regard as it contains gingerol and shogaol, two natural antioxidants. Several studies have shown that these molecules are capable of inhibiting the peroxidation of phospholipids but also of stimulating the activity of endogenous antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx). Regular use of ginger thus helps to protect the skin from certain common aggressions such as exposure to UV radiation or pollution.

Ginger possesses antibacterial properties.

Among the benefits of ginger for the skin, its antibacterial actionis also noteworthy. Indeed, the essential oil extracted from the rhizomes of this plant contains α-pinene and limonene, two terpenes known for their effects on Gram-positive bacteria. These antiseptic virtues of ginger extract explain why it is often used to formulate treatments for skin prone to blemishes or acne. Indeed, whileacne can be multifactorial, it is often due to the proliferation of the Gram-positive bacterium Cutibacterium acnes.

Ginger has an anti-inflammatory and soothing effect.

A friend to sensitive skin or skin prone to irritation, the ginger is anti-inflammatory and soothing. Indeed, it helps to reduce redness, irritation and itching. These effects are once again due to its biochemical composition, and more specifically to gingerol, shogaol and geranial. These molecules work via various mechanisms to reduce the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and calm inflammation.

Thus, when the skin is slightly irritated, it is beneficial to turn to ginger extract. Mixing a few drops with water or a vegetable oil, followed by the application of a warm compress or a massage for a few minutes, cansoothe the area and reduce itching.

Ginger possesses healing properties.

Ginger also possesses healing properties, which are beneficial in combating acne scars or minor cuts. These properties were notably highlighted in a recent study conducted on injured rats. Indeed, for 21 days, a ginger-based cream was applied daily to half of a cohort of rats. A corticosteroid, an anti-inflammatory drug, was then applied to all the rats for 15 days. After which, a superficial cut was induced on the treated area. The scientists then measured the healing time and observed that it was significantly faster for the cohort of rats pre-treated with ginger.

Note : Studies investigating the healing potential of ginger have been conducted on rats, not humans, so caution should be exercised regarding its effectiveness on cuts or acne marks.

Ginger prevents skin ageing.

While the emergence of wrinkles and skin sagging are entirely natural phenomena, it is also understandable to want to slow them down. To do this, the incorporation of certain cosmetic actives targeting this issue can be wise. Among all the ingredients available on the cosmetic market aimed at preventing skin ageing, ginger is not the most well-known.

Nevertheless, this plant exhibits intriguing properties for delaying skin sagging. Indeed, according to several studies, ginger appears to be capable of protecting collagen and elastin, two proteins essential for skin suppleness and elasticity. While the exact mechanism is still under investigation, it seems that ginger may target certain complexes such as matrix metalloproteinase-9, which plays a role in the degradation of collagen and elastin. As such, ginger could be an interesting natural ingredient for slowing down skin ageing.

Does ginger stimulate blood circulation?

It is also said that ginger can improve blood circulation, a useful property when aiming to combat sensations of heavy legs or certain types of dark circles or bags under the eyes. However, while this effect of ginger has indeed been demonstrated when it is consumed, the scientific evidence is currently lacking regarding its ability to stimulate blood circulation when used as a topical application.

Please note : If you wish to boost your blood flow with a natural extract, we would rather recommend using peppermint or aloe vera gel, two ingredients whose effects on circulation have been more extensively studied.

Sources

  • KORLAKUNTA J. N. & al. Comparative antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of [6]-gingerol, [8]-gingerol, [10]-gingerol and [6]-shogaol. Journal of ethnopharmarcology (2010).

    BALIGA M. S. & al. Ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) the Dietary Agent in Skin Care: A Review. Bioactive Dietary Factors and Plants Extracts in Dermatology (2012).

  • KOR N. M. & al. Physiological and pharmaceutical effects of Ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) as a valuable medicinal plant. European Journal of Experimental Biology (2014).

  • WAHYUDI S. T. & al. Compounds in Indonesian Ginger Rhizome Extracts and Their Potential for Anti-Skin Aging Based on Molecular Docking. Cosmetics (2022).

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