What is Chia Seed and why is it used in skincare products?
Chia (botanical term: ’Salvia hispanica’) is a type of flowering plant in the mint group, ‘Lamiacease’, cultivated in Central and Southern Mexico and Guatemala. There is solid evidence to suggest that it was cultivated by the Aztec in the pre-Columbian period and was considered a very useful food crop. People in Paraguay, Bolivia, Argentina, Mexico and Guatemala still use Chia seeds either as whole grains or in powder form for the preparation of nutritious food. The word Chia is also derived from the Nahuatl word, which means ‘oily’. In the earliest Mayan terminology, Chia meant ‘strength’. They are tiny oval shaped seeds, available in several colors; such as brown, gray, black and white. They are hydrophilic, that is they have excellent affinity towards water.
Chia seeds are available in the markets in four different forms:
Whole Chia seed, Milled or powdered Chia, Milled (or powdered) Chia flour (remaining portion after the oil has been extracted and then powdered, Chia oil.
Chia has been described as the “World’s healthiest Whole Food” in the January 2010 issue of ‘O’ journal (page91). Dr. Coates has carried out comprehensive studies on Chia spanning over a period of 20 years and documented his findings in several articles about these attractive seeds. Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, proteins, fiber (both soluble and insoluble), essential vitamins and minerals. Chia seeds are widely used in food and beverage products, skincare products, in the medical field and skincare products.
Food and Beverage Products: The tiny seeds can be mixed in water or juice to prepare a nourishing beverage, sprinkled on salads or powdered and blended with flour and baked.
The research on Chia seeds has established that Omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants facilitate in decreasing inflammation and boosting the immune system. It has also been observed that when people consume Chia seeds either as it is or in powder form the body will make use of those portions of the seed that most likely will provide several health benefits. While some of those who consumed Chia seeds have found that their cholesterol levels have decreased, some have observed less joint pain, a few of them lost weight (because of the fiber), others have found that their energy level and stamina have shown substantial improvement.. The effect of Chia seeds on the body will differ, in some cases it is minimal and in respect of others substantial.
Chia seeds and their use in skincare products
The Omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids, and powerful antioxidants such as Alpha Lipoic Acid have led to for the extraction of oil from Chia seeds. This has facilitated the extraction of pure, stable and concentrated Chia oil and have contributed to their extensive use in skincare products.
-Protects top layer of the skin and provides fast relief to the wounds: The presence of Omega-3 fatty acid in Chia seed oil protects the top stratum of the skin and aids in providing quick relief to wounds.
- Reduction of wrinkles and swollen pores: Chia seed oil is very rich in ‘phyto-nutrients’ and has exceptional cell-protecting antioxidant, Alpha Lipoic Acid. This powerful antioxidant assists in reducing fine lines, wrinkles and swollen pores on the skin, in addition to promoting a healthy cellular function and enhancing the glow on the face and the rest of the skin.
-Effectively treats extremely dry skin: It is scientifically demonstrated that Chia seed oil considerably enhances skin hydration, decreases epidermal loss of water, thereby treating effectively even the very dry skin.