While everyone knows that a cup of java in the morning can give you an energy jolt, not many realize that the coffee bean is actually a seed that comes from the coffee cherry plant. During harvesting, the seed has long been extracted and the remaining fruit discarded because of its super fast spoilage rate.
In spite of long days spent in the withering sun, the skin on hands of coffee cherry pickers reavealed a surprisingly smooth and youthful radiance. This lead to recent studies by VDF FutureCeuticals that have shown that the coffee cherry fruit is extremely high in antioxidant value.
"Antioxidants help soak up damaging free radicals before they can cause or accelerate aging and diseases like cancer," says San Diego Dermatologist Dr. Jeffrey Benabio.
Not surprisingly, coffee cherry has quickly made the leap to skincare and cosmetics, where its natural anti-inflammatory and regenerating properties are purported to make skin glow. But is there science to back up this claim?
"The question really is - how generous do you want to be in giving brands the benefit of the doubt? There isn't a standard like sunscreen SPF that shows how powerful an antioxidant's value is in creams, and the research isn't there yet. It's definitely an extremely potent antioxidant, but I'm not a big fan of $100 creams. If you can find it for a reasonable price, I think it could be worthwhile to try," advises Dr. Benabio.
Currently, RevaléSkin and Priori Skin Care hold official patents for using a specific extract of freeze-dried coffee cherry in their formulations, which they refer to as one word - Coffeeberry®. This extract is carefully harvested to eliminate the mold mycotoxin, while preserving the whole antioxidant-rich part of the fruit.
While RevaléSkin was the very first line to introduce the ingredient to products sold in dermatologists' offices around the country, Priori Skin Care brought the antioxidant directly to the consumer through specialty retailers and spas.
"Up until now, all natural skincare brands only delivered moisturizing and 'feel good' results. Coffeeberry is a game changer for this all-natural skincare market, the fastest growing segment of the cosmetics industry worldwide," says Lewis.
The newest offering from Priori Skin Care is a 100% all-natural mineral makeup collection with full spectrum SPF 25 and a potent .5% concentration of coffeeberry. Much like the popular Bare Escentuals mineral makeup, you apply by tapping a small amount out into the container lid, swirling a kabuki brush around the product, and blending on the face in a circular motion. A mineral concealer, bronzer and finishing powder round out the new cosmetic collection - which all contain luminous mica and titanium and zinc oxides for sun protection.
Meanwhile, coffeeberry pioneer RevaléSkin specifically specializes in skincare. The fragrance-free items feature a light citrus zing from the natural exfoliator grapefruit, and boast the highest concentration of coffeeberry on the market in the 1% moisturizers and eye cream. The Replenishing Eye Therapy adds an eye-opening blast of caffeine for the treatment of bags and under eye darkness as well.
With the promising results seen from this fruit that best thrives in luscious high-altitude and humid areas like South America, we expect that it'll only be a matter of time before see it in more skincare and cosmetic formulations. While longterm studies revealing just how much of a difference topical cherry fruit can make have not yet been completed because of the newness of the discovery, dermatologists and plastic surgeons have long hailed the use of antioxidants in a healthy diet to combat the signs of aging and disease from within.
"I'm a big proponent of eating well. Get your antioxidants from colorful fruits and vegetables, since it's the antioxidant-rich pigment that gives fruits and veggies their deep colors like blue, purple and red. It's actually more effective to ingest antioxidants like blueberries than it is to put it on your skin," says Dr. Benabio.
Why not have your cake - or should we say antioxidants - and eat it too by treating the body from both the inside and outside?
If it can't hurt and can only help us ward off the crinkly, sun-spotted signs of aging, we say sign us up!