The beauty and skin care industry is no stranger to certain ingredients that suddenly become a rage and eventually fizzle out. But on rare occasions, we see certain trends that prove to be so effective that they become a staple in our skin care regimen. Chebula is one such ingredient. But what is it? Is it as effective and useful as skin care enthusiasts make it out to be? Let us take an in-depth look.
In This Article
Terminalia Chebula: A Brief Background Of The Miracle Berry
Terminalia chebula belongs to the Combretaceae family. It is an evergreen plant native to the wild forests of South Asian countries like India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Malaysia, Thailand, and others. The Terminalia chebula fruit also goes by the name of Haritaki, Bihara, Harada, and Chebulic myrobalan.
The Terminalia chebula fruit is small, ribbed, and nut-like with an elliptical or ovoid shape. It is typically plucked for use when green but acquires a distinct yellow to brownish-orange shade when unpicked. Beneath the firm and fleshy layers of the fruit rests a single-angled stone that bears a convoluted and abrasive surface.
The fruit has been used for centuries as an active ingredient in the treatment of chronic ulcers, heart ailments, and dental caries. The Thai alternative medicine uses chebula for curing skin conditions and promoting wound healing.
In India, Ayurveda hails chebula as the king of medicine. In fact, it is one of the ingredients of Triphala – a common Ayurvedic herb that finds diverse uses in strengthening and nourishing the body.
Terminalia chebula has important benefits for skin too. We will discuss the same in the following section.
Benefits Of Chebula For The Skin
The cosmetic use of Terminalia chebula does not enjoy a body of scientific research and trials. However, several small-scale studies, preliminary research, and anecdotal claims support the use of this fruit.
1. May Help Slow Down Skin Aging
Chebula has powerful antioxidant properties. It contains bioactive compounds like glutathione, superoxide dismutase, and vitamins C and E. In rat studies, the fruit was found to neutralize free radicals and mitigate the effects of oxidative stress. Studies show that oxidative stress may accelerate skin aging.
The effects of polyphenols derived from the Terminalia chebula extract were found to last long and be more effective than any other naturally occurring antioxidant. Polyphenols are known to protect the skin from the aging effects of UV radiation.
2. May Help Moisturize Your Skin
Skin hydration is key to younger and healthy-looking skin. Research demonstrates that chebula-based creams could boost skin moisture content and rejuvenate it. Another study found that Terminalia chebula fruit extract penetrated the inner layers of the skin and affected its complete architecture. This property may make your skin supple, firm, and smooth.
3. May Strengthen Your Skin Barrier
Skin care products containing Terminalia chebula improve the skin’s barrier function. The fruit extract shields the skin from the damaging effects of the sun’s UVB rays. It also stimulates collagen production and increases the thickness of the cellular matrix for further protection. The fruit can effectively combat photodamage while also reinforcing the dermal layers.
4. May Boost Your Skin Appearance
Terminalia chebula can soften skin, even out its texture, and brighten its overall appearance. This is possible due to its ability to reduce inflammation and stimulate wound healing. Terminalia chebula fruit extracts were found to display anti-psoriatic effects. They could decrease skinfold thickening and improve the appearance of erythema, scales, and sores. The fruit may also reduce free radical production while leaving the normal skin architecture unaltered. Your skin appearance can improve as a result.
These are the important benefits of Terminalia chebula for skin. But how can you make use of it?
How To Use Chebula In Skin Care?
Terminalia chebula fruit extracts are used as key ingredients in several serums, pills, powders, and tinctures. You can purchase them in the form that suits you best. Follow the directions mentioned on the packaging for best results. Alternatively, you can also get creative and mix some Terminalia chebula powder into your face pack to boost the overall effectiveness of your skin care regimen.
Terminalia chebula serums are the most popular of all forms. Here is a quick step-by-step breakdown on how to apply one:
- Wash your face with a gentle cleanser.
- Spray on some face mist or toner and let your skin absorb it.
- Apply three to eight drops of the chebula serum, spread it evenly across your face, and let it sit.
- Follow with a layer of moisturizer and some sunscreen to protect your skin from sun damage.
You must ideally follow the above routine at least twice a day. Of course, you can skip the sunscreen while applying the chebula serum at night. But before you start using the serum (or any other form of the fruit), you must be aware of its potential side effects.
Side Effects Of Chebula For Skin
The safety regarding the long-term use of Terminalia chebula fruit or its extracts is not well researched yet. However, the fruit seems to be generally safe in its various forms and on different skin types. In fact, preliminary research, as discussed, supports the beneficial effects of Terminalia chebula on your skin. While more human studies are warranted, using it on your skin should be safe.
However, conduct a patch test before applying it to your skin. Consult your physician before taking it orally.
Chebula is set to be the next big thing to take over the beauty and skin care industry. It shows promising results in reversing the signs of aging, protecting your skin against sun damage, strengthening the skin layers, and boosting skin moisture.
While the information on its side effects is limited, we suggest you do a patch test before using it topically. Regular use of this wonder fruit can offer you pleasing results.
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- Effect of Terminalia chebula aqueous extract on oxidative stress and antioxidant status in the liver and kidney of young and aged rats
- Antioxidant activity of polyphenolic extract of Terminalia chebula Retzius fruits
- Formulation and characterization of a cream containing terminalia chebula extract
- A standardized Terminalia chebula fruit extract alters the expression of genes associated with skin architecture and barrier formation
- Ethanol extract of Terminalia chebula fruit protects against UVB-induced skin damage
- Terminalia Chebulanin Attenuates Psoriatic Skin Lesion via Regulation of Heme Oxygenase-1
- Oxidative Stress in Aging Human Skin
- Polyphenols: Skin Photoprotection and Inhibition of Photocarcinogenesis