In America, avocados have become a health trend. It’s easy to see why! Avocados are delicious, easy to find, and full of healthy fats.
These fats are called monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). They’re also the avocado’s claim to fame. In the body, MUFAs and PUFAs protect both your brain and heart from chronic disease.1
But did you know that avocados can help your skin, too? It’s a great reason to ditch the pricey face creams. These seven benefits will have you reaching for avocados instead.
Skin Benefits Of Avocados
With age comes wrinkling. Some say it’s a symbol of wisdom, but it means your skin is weak. Luckily, MUFAs have anti-wrinkling effects.
They work by preventing photoaging. This process happens when the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays damage the skin, causing deep wrinkling and fine lines. However, MUFAs can fight this damage. It shields collagen from oxidative stress and inflammation, two major causes of wrinkles.2
Have dry skin? Avocados will save the day. Essential fatty acids have been shown to prevent scaling, roughness, and dryness. You’ll even build a better response to chemical irritants.
In avocados, the linoleic acid is especially good for dryness. And by adding back moisture, wrinkles will be harder to notice.3
The fats in avocados can benefit hyperpigmentation. This may be caused by acne scars, wounds, or photoaging. If it’s from the sun, the discoloration is known as “sun spots.” These can show up on the hands, arms, or face.4
Whatever the cause, avocados will help. A study in the Archives of Dermatological Research found that linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid, two fats in avocados, can lighten the skin. Alpha-linolenic had the strongest effect.5
Sunlight can do a number on your skin. For some, it’ll turn them as red as a lobster! Yet, UV rays can cause skin damage even at small amounts. You don’t even need to have a sunburn.
Avocado’s healthy fats will reduce this damage. It’s obviously no substitute for sunscreen, but it can certainly help.6
5. Skin Cancer Prevention
Aside from MUFAs and PUFAs, avocados contain antioxidants like vitamin C and E. This cocktail of nutrients will do wonders for your immunity. To top it off, these fats and vitamins are also anti-inflammatory.
When the UV rays hit the skin, oxidative stress will take a backseat. The DNA of your skin cells will also stay protected. In turn, your risk for skin cancer will decrease.7
Collagen is needed for strong and healthy skin. Fortunately, since PUFAs protect it, avocados will improve your skin’s thickness. Omega-6 is especially important for structural health.8
The vitamin C in avocados help out, too. It’s needed to make your skin’s most important proteins.9 Remember, photoaging also weakens the skin, so these benefits are vital.
7. Wound Healing
Because essential fatty acids add structure, they’re needed for wound healing. Vitamin C also lends a hand. Together, these nutrients in avocados promote the growth of new cells and tissue. They also work to decrease inflammation at the site, letting the wound heal properly.10
Eating avocados is a tasty way to enjoy these benefits. Add them to omelets, salads, or pasta. You can even use them in a DIY face mask. Simply mash half an avocado and spread it on your face. After 10 minutes, rinse off and pat dry.
For an extra boost of benefits, add ingredients like honey, strawberries, or oats.
|↑1, ↑2, ↑3, ↑6, ↑7, ↑8||Essential Fatty Acids and Skin Health. Oregon State University.|
|↑4||What Is Photoaging? Skin Cancer Foundation.|
|↑5||Ando, Hideya, Atsuko Ryu, Akira Hashimoto, Masahiro Oka, and Masamitsu Ichihashi. “Linoleic acid and α-linolenic acid lightens ultraviolet-induced hyperpigmentation of the skin.” Archives of dermatological research 290, no. 7 (1998): 375-381.|
|↑9||Vitamin C. MedlinePlus.|
|↑10||Vitamin C and Skin Health. Oregon State University.|