You’ve seen it at your organic food store as an oil and a supplement, in juice-bar blends and shots, and maybe even at your spa during a radiance-boosting facial.
But sea buckthorn, a berry-producing shrub that grows at high altitudes in the Himalayas and is packed with nutrients, is now hitting the natural beauty aisle in a big way.
“Sea buckthorn has been available in natural products found in health food stores for decades, but it’s finally starting to come off of the vitamin shop shelves and into high-end skincare where it belongs,” says Spirit Demerson, founder of SpiritBeautyLounge.com.
Demerson says she’s seeing it in everything from shampoos to serums. Kahina Giving Beauty, Weleda, May Lindstrom, MyChelle, and Pai are all using it, and at least one brand, Sibu, is devoted exclusively to products focused on the plant.
So why all of the excitement?
The sea buckthorn berry oil is incredibly rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which are all great for healthy skin. But its even bigger sell is its high concentration of fatty acids, like omega 3s, 6s, and the lesser-known and harder-to-find omega 7s. Some studios have shown that omega 7s can boost collagen production, enhance the skin’s ability to retain moisture, and protect from, as well as repair, sun damage.
“It’s been called a ‘miracle worker’ for all kinds of skin conditions,” says Weleda communications manager Carrie Ruehlman, who adds that customers using Weleda’s sea buckthorn-infused products report softer skin, less peeling after sunburn, and much more.
Demerson says that serious hydration is one of sea buckthorn’s best properties. People who use Kahina’s serum, for example, swear by its ability to help with incurably dry skin. “It helps keep the skin hydrated when it’s applied, but also remain better hydrated naturally, even when you go without it for a day or two,” she says.
So, in other words, sea buckthorn is also an ingredient that’s got your beauty back. —Lisa Elaine Held