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Beauty Fruits – Enter the Dragon.

May 9, 2010

The Beautiful Dragon Fruit

As far as skincare goes we can’t get enough anti-oxidant into our systems. Why?  UV damage, pollution, stress, junk food and lack of sleep all take their toll on our skin leaving it dull, dehydrated and prone to break-outs. The perfect recipe for premature ageing!  Antioxidants help to boost the skins ability to stay in tip top condition. They may interact with the pollutant or free-radical oxidant and neutralise it by lowering it’s energy levels or they may penetrate through the skin and bolster its own defence mechanisms meaning that it is more able to cope with our daily onslaught.  Whichever way you look at it, antioxidants are good news for tired skin. 

So, what does the Dragon Fruit have to offer?  Well, firstly I am a sucker or pretty colours and this fruit has the wow factor with its bright pink spiky peel and crisp white and black spotted insides surely THAT has to pack a powerful punch?  Secondly it has a long history of use in folk medicine as a source of fibre for diabetics, a potent source of vitamin C (100g of fruit provides 1/2 of your daily requirement) and a great antioxidant boost thanks to the phytoalbumin content. It is important to stop here for a moment as I struggled for a while to work out what exactly a phytoalbumin was but now I think I’ve got something! 

Phyto albumins belong to a family of chemicals called (surprisingly) phytochemicals. These are chemicals that occur naturally in plants and are believed to be able to affect health in some way but as yet scientists have not been able to establish enough evidence to support their becoming essential nutrients. So in that sense phyto-anything is a bit cutting-edge.   The Albumin part of the word probably rings a bell because Albumin (a water-soluble protein)  is the key protein type chemical in egg whites. Plants also produce albumens  usually in their seeds as this protein is used as a food source for the growing fruit.  It is believed that dragon fruit phytoalbumins have strong antioxidant powers through their ability to mop up free-radicals. 

Will we find this in our skin cream any time soon? 

Back in 2008 IBR Ltd (Israeli Biotechnology Research) launched an ingredient for cosmetic manufacturers based on a  Dragon Fruit extract. Alban Muller also have a dragon inspired extract on offer to budding brand-owners. I was just going to say that despite this being available I haven’t seen any brands making use of this fruit when I spotted this being advertised in India:

Nivea Fruity Shine Dragon Fruit Lip Balm.

Nivea Fruity Shine Dragonfruit Lipbalm

   Along side the antioxidants and vitamin infusion is the fact that as a member of the cactus family this fruit is hardy and has developed ways of protecting its self from UV damage – a trick that our skin could do with.   This Mexican native that now grows well all over the world can also be found in the northern regions of Australia meaning that locals wanting an exotic and all natural antioxidant need look no further.

Go grab yourself a fruit and chow down on some skin-health today – I would only I don’t really like the taste, it’s a bit too bland and crunchy for my liking….

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