Beauty’s New Brew

Beauty’s New Brew

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If you are one of those people who doesn’t really come to life until that first morning cup of coffee hits your palette, you are not alone; but consider for a moment that your skin just might respond to the same wake-up call.

Just this past February, the extract from the coffee berry was recognized as viable antioxidant for skin care at The American Academy of Dermatology's annual meeting. Its benefits are being launched in a skin cream, and a small collection of other support products, called Revale Skin, which are now being offered in dermatologists’ and plastic surgeons’ offices and ranges in price from between $40 to $100.

The active ingredient, derived from the fruit of the coffee plant, is being touted as the next big thing in the thriving cosmetics industry due to its powerful antioxidant properties. I have written about antioxidants and their critical role in skin care before, but here’s a quick refresher:

Antioxidants: Ingredients that work to neutralize the activity of free radicals, the unstable molecules that are triggered by UV rays, environmental stressors or other factors such as the body’s own on-going oxidative processes. They are often referred to as ‘free radical scavengers’ because they prevent or limit the amount of destruction a free-radical can unleash. While the vitamins A, C and E are considered the most proven and potent antioxidants, there are many others that are proving their worth in the field of skin care.

101507BEAUTY.jpg The trademarked CoffeeBerry™ extract makes use of the specific category of antioxidants called polyphenols. Polyphenols are a large family of natural compounds derived from plant sources. They are, essentially, a plant’s protective system against oxidative stress, but fortunately, we too can benefit from their botanical arsenal against a number of common stressors.

The polyphenol antioxidants contained within the coffee berry are thought to be three times greater than that of green tea, a leading antioxidant in skin-care products. When applied to the skin, these extracts indicate the ability to prevent the types of cellular damage that lead to the signs of aging. To support this claim the manufacturer of Revale points to a test carried out on women aged 35 to 60 in an independent laboratory over three weeks which proved the extract to be beneficial on wrinkles, dry skin and discoloration. Another endorsement came from Allure Magazine which stated: “The texture and tone of the skin treated with CoffeeBerry extract showed 46 percent improvement in fine lines and wrinkles, 64 percent in overall skin smoothness, and 79 percent in skin hydration.”

While coffee beans have been used in the cosmetics field for a number of years, for their lipolytic (fat-burning) properties, the utilization of the berry from the coffee plant is new. It seems that the fruit that surrounds the “bean” rapidly perishes, which is why only the bitter seed has been commercially exploited in the past. All this good news about the coffee berry may have you wondering if your morning brew retains some of the same benefits. The answer is … probably not. As it turns out, the benefit is in the berry — not in the bean, and most of what might be lingering on the inner seed is destroyed by heat in the roasting process.

So, while much of the research, with some of these exotic antioxidants and their potential role in skin care, is still on-going. their future in cosmetics seems promising. And, with the coffee berry’s antioxidant payload rivaling that of blueberries, the coffee berry extract may be well on its way up the list of “must have antioxidants” for skin care.

Photo: Neysa Ruhl Photography
Location: Fischer Homes Granite Spring Model Home
Model: Chevonne Chenault