Terminalia Chebula: Can This Fruit Be The Next Anti-Aging Sensation For Skin?

Slow down the signs of aging by learning the ways to include this ingredient in your beauty routine.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Sravya Tipirneni, MBBS, MD DVL Dr. Sravya Tipirneni Dr. Sravya TipirneniMBBS, MD DVL facebook_iconlinkedin_iconinsta_icon
Written by , BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Arshiya Syeda BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Experience: 7 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature) Ramona Sinha MA (English Literature) Experience: 11 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English Literature) Swathi E MA (English Literature) Experience: 3 years
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You must have seen so many ingredients that become a rage all of a sudden and become a staple in our skin care routine. Terminalia chebula is one such ingredient. There are multiple ways to use chebula for skin-related issues, the most popular is to add it to various natural remedies. Skin care enthusiasts swear by this ingredient for its immense skin benefits. So, what makes it so effective and beneficial? Is it really worth all the attention it is getting? Keep reading to find out.

protip_icon Know Your Ingredient: Terminalia Chebula

What Is It?
An evergreen plant in South Asia belonging to the Combretaceae family and bearing fruits with medicinal properties.

What Are Its Benefits?
It may help delay aging signs, moisturize and strengthen the skin barrier, and improve its appearance.

Who Can Use It?
Anyone who is not allergic to it can use it.

How Often?
It can be applied twice a day.

Caution
No major side effects are known yet, but best to conduct a patch test before use..

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. So it is regarded as a potent herbal medicine.

protip_icon Did You Know?
Apart from Ayurveda, Homeopathic and Unani medicine books also mention Terminalia chebula for its multiple benefits.

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

Terminalia chebula may help slow down skin aging
Image: Shutterstock

Chebula has powerful antioxidant properties. It contains bioactive compounds like glutathionei  XA substance produced by the liver involved in many body processes like tissue building, protein-making, and immune system support. , superoxide dismutasei  XAn enzyme found in all living cells that helps break down reactive oxygen molecules, potentially preventing tissue damage. , and vitamins C and E. In rat studies, the fruit was found to neutralize free radicals and mitigate the effects of oxidative stressi  XA condition that occurs due to the overproduction of reactive oxygen molecules. Its effect on skin includes hyperpigmentation and aging. (1). Studies show that oxidative stress may accelerate skin aging (2).

The effects of polyphenolsi  XCompounds found in many plant foods, like teas and fruits, with potential antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. derived from the Terminalia chebula extract were found to last long and be more effective than any other naturally occurring antioxidant (3). Polyphenols are known to protect the skin from the aging effects of UV radiation (4).

2. May Help Moisturize Your Skin

Terminalia chebula may help moisturize your skin
Image: Shutterstock

Skin hydration is key to younger and healthy-looking skin. Research demonstrates that chebula-based creams could boost skin moisture content and rejuvenate it (5). Another study found that Terminalia chebula fruit extract penetrated the inner layers of the skin and affected its complete architecture (6). This property may make your skin supple, firm, smooth, and promote natural radiance.

3. May Strengthen Your Skin Barrier

Terminalia chebula may help combat photodamage
Image: Shutterstock

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, which may help improve skin complexion. 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 (7).

4. May Boost Your Skin Appearance

Terminalia chebula may help manage psoriasis
Image: Shutterstock

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 (8). They could decrease skin layer thickening and improve the appearance of erythemai  XAbnormal skin redness with varying color and pattern, resulting from inflammation, environmental factors, infection, sunburn, or injury. , 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 the skin. But how can you make use of it?

How To Use Chebula In Skin Care?

A woman applying terminalia chebula serum on her face
Image: Shutterstock

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 skincare regimen.

Terminalia chebula serums are the most popular of all forms. Here is a quick step-by-step breakdown on how to apply one:

  1. Wash your face with a gentle cleanser.
  2.  Spray on some face mist or toner and let your skin absorb it.
  3.  Apply three to eight drops of the chebula serum, spread it evenly across your face, and let it sit.
  4.  Follow with a layer of moisturizer and some sunscreen to protect your skin from sun damage.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Mix a spoonful of Terminalia chebula powder, ½ teaspoon of Multani mitti, ½ teaspoon of besan, and 2 tablespoons of rose water to form a paste. Apply it on the skin for 20 minutes to reduce pores.

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.

Kundalini Yogini, a Youtuber, shared her personal experience with Terminalia chebula, called haritaki in the video. She says, “Clean the body with haritaki. It’s a really nice scrub actually. If you’re into facials, masks, anything like this, you can wash your face with it every night and it completely clears the pores, cleanses the skin, and makes the skin very tight and anti-aging (i).”

Side Effects Of Chebula For The 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.

Summing It Up

Terminalia chebula is an herb used across various Southeastern countries for the treatment of various heart ailments and skin conditions. Anecdotal evidence suggests that using chebula for your skin is beneficial in various ways. Its antioxidant and wound-healing properties may slow down aging, hydrate your skin, and improve the appearance of your skin. Chebula is available in the form of pills, face powder, and serums. While there is limited research regarding the safety of chebula, conduct a patch test before applying it.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is chebula good for pimples?

According to Anna Chacon, Dermatologist, “Terminalia chebula, also known as “the king of medicines,” has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that reduce the number of acne lesions and soften and brighten the skin. Its antibacterial power also guards the face against unwanted bacteria that can cause more breakouts.”

Is chebula good for acne?

Yes. The extracts of Terminalia chebula showed significant inhibition of lipase activity (which plays an important role in the development of acne) (9).

Is chebula good for dark spots?

Chebula is rich in antioxidants that act against oxidative damage and free radicals. It treats several skin conditions like acne, pimples, and dark spots. However, limited research is available in this regard.

How long does Terminalia chebula take to work for the skin?

According to Anna Chacon, Dermatologist, “The topical use of chebula has shown effect within a week of use, in the morning and at night time. But like any other beauty product, effects vary from person to person.”

Key Takeaways

  • Thai alternative medicine and Ayurveda support the claims of Terminalia chebula berries aiding wound healing and managing skin conditions.
  • These berries are said to have anti-aging and moisturizing properties and enhance the appearance of the skin.
  • Chebula berries can be added to face packs or are also available in the form of pills, serums, and powders.
Chebula For The Skin

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Terminalia chebula is a powerful medicinal herb with many health benefits. Learn how it can help improve digestion, reduce inflammation, and boost immunity.

Personal Experience: Source

References

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Effect of Terminalia chebula aqueous extract on oxidative stress and antioxidant status in the liver and kidney of young and aged rats
    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cbf.1581
  2. Oxidative Stress in Aging Human Skin
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC4496685/
  3. Antioxidant activity of polyphenolic extract of Terminalia chebula Retzius fruits
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1658365514000818
  4. Polyphenols: Skin Photoprotection and Inhibition of Photocarcinogenesis
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC3288507/
  5. Formulation and characterization of a cream containing terminalia chebula extract
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22398922/
  6. A standardized Terminalia chebula fruit extract alters the expression of genes associated with skin architecture and barrier formation
    https://www.jle.com/fr/revues/ejd/e-docs/a_standardized_terminalia_chebula_fruit_extract_alters_the_expression_of_genes_associated_with_skin_architecture_and_barrier_formation_318673/article.phtml
  7. Ethanol extract of Terminalia chebula fruit protects against UVB-induced skin damage
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27222341/
  8. Terminalia Chebulanin Attenuates Psoriatic Skin Lesion via Regulation of Heme Oxygenase-1
    https://www.karger.com/Article/Fulltext/445645
  9. Inhibition of Propionibacterium acnes lipase by extracts of Indian medicinal plants
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22268921/
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