What do you love the most about berries? Their pretty bright colors or fresh and juicy tastes? Whatever your choice is, berries are superfoods for us. They are superfoods for our skin, and cranberries are no different from others. If age is showing its power on your face, those beautiful and rich-colored cranberries can help you combat it effectively. All you need to do is prepare a face mask and apply it to your face. Read further to know about the benefits of the berries, along with a few fantastic cranberry anti-aging face mask recipes.
A Few Words About Cranberries
Cranberries are bright red berries obtained from evergreen dwarf shrubs (Vaccinium oxycoccos) native to North America and Britain. (1) The juicy fruits have a sharp and pungent taste similar to blueberries. Being rich in vital nutrients, antioxidants, and fruit enzymes, they are also loaded with vitamins like A, C, E, K and minerals like iron, magnesium, manganese, and potassium, making them great for health and excellent for the skin. (2) People usually consider cranberries an indispensable part of Thanksgiving celebrations. Fresh berries are consumed as sauce, juice, drinks, etc., while dried ones are added to stuffing, casseroles, and desserts.
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Different Types Of Cranberries
You can find cranberries mainly in the following three forms in the market:
1. Fresh Cranberries
These are rich in carbohydrates, vitamin C, potassium, and water. They make for a highly nutritious snack, which satiates your hunger pangs without making you too full.
2. Dried Cranberries
The dried forms of cranberries are much sweeter than their fresh counterparts as they are full of sugar, fibers, carbohydrates, and additives rather than vitamins and minerals. Hence, they should be used sparingly.
3. Frozen Cranberries
Cranberries retain most of their nutrients (micro and macro) in the frozen form, and they also do not contain added sugar or fiber.
Why Are Cranberries Good For You?
Adding cranberries to your diet can improve your health dramatically. They contain plenty of bioactive compounds, including antioxidants, flavonoids, organic acids, polyphenols, anti-inflammatory agents, vitamins, and dietary fibers, which work together to heal your body from several diseases. Here are the reasons why cranberries are good for you: (3) (4)
1. Cure Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
Cranberries are widely used for their ability to cure and avert urinary tract infections (UTIs). They are loaded with flavonoids, which prevent bacteria from growing inside the urinary tract by getting attached to its inner cell lining. The berries also prevent the inflammation from spreading to the kidneys and other vital organs.
2. Protect Cardiovascular Health
The polyphenolic compounds present in cranberries can lower LDL or bad cholesterol in our bloodstream while stimulating the production of HDL or good cholesterol and triglycerides. On the other hand, its anti-inflammatory compounds effectively regulate blood pressure levels by relaxing the blood vessels. These keep us protected from several health issues and severe diseases like heart attack, stroke, cardiac arrest, etc.
3. Help Maintain A Healthy Gut
The bright red color of cranberries is contributed by the pigments called ‘proanthocyanidins’, which also play an essential role in improving our gut health. They not only protect the gut from harmful microbes but also treat the damage caused by regular wear-and-tear, ulcers, etc., by repairing its inner cell lining.
4. Keep Cancers At Bay
Cranberries can give our immune system a significant boost by activating certain cells and increasing the secretion of specific defensive enzymes. These help in protecting us against 17 different types of cancers. Moreover, the polyphenols in the berries can inhibit the proliferation and metastasis of cancer cells, thereby stopping the formation and growth of tumors.
The healthful cranberries are pretty low in calorie. Half a cup of the fruits is known to contain only 25 calories.
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Why Use Cranberries For Aging Skin?
Now, let us have a look at how cranberries can help us shake age off our skin:
Combat Free Radicals
The berries are packed in antioxidants that help our skin fight against free radicals. This keeps oxidative damage one of the biggest reasons for premature aging at bay.
Boost Skin Elasticity
Cranberries are known to stimulate the production of collagen in our skin. This makes the skin more elastic and well-toned. At the same time, you also get rid of wrinkles and fine lines.
Reduce Large Pores
The acidic nature of cranberries makes them an excellent natural astringent. So, they can unclog your pores and shrink them visibly in size.
Give Glowing Skin
If aging is stealing the glow from your facial skin, cranberries can help. They have high amounts of water, vitamin C, and antioxidants, which help restore the radiance of dull skin.
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How To Make Cranberry Anti-Aging Face Masks
Finally, let us see how to make cranberry anti-aging face masks. Here are two recipes based on different skin types.
For Dry Skin
If you have dry skin that needs extra moisture along with anti-aging benefits, try this cranberry-yogurt mask.
- 2 teaspoons pureed and sauteed cranberries
- 2 teaspoons yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
Whisk all ingredients together to form a smooth paste. Cleanse your face well and apply it in a thick layer. Allow the skin to soak up the ingredients for about half an hour. By then, the pack would have dried. Wipe it off with a washcloth and splash cold water to close the pores. Do this once a week to get soft, age-proof skin.
For Oily / Combination Skin
If you have oily or combination skin, combine cranberries with grapes.
- 2 tablespoons blue grapes
- 2 tablespoons cranberries
- 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (optional)
Run all the ingredients in a blender and refrigerate the mixture for about an hour. This will set the gelatin and give you a thick, gel-like mask. Apply it all over your cleansed skin and allow it to dry for about half an hour. Wipe off with a washcloth and follow up with a gentle cleanser. Doing this once a week will help keep your oily or combination skin shine-free and line-free.
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- “Vaccinium oxycoccos” -sciencedirect.com
- “Cranberries” – webmd.com
- “What to know about cranberries” – medicalnewstoday.com
- “Cranberries 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits” – healthline.com