Goji Berries for Skincare

These deliciously chewy berries are great for snacking right out of the bag, but also wonderful in cookies, homemade granola, rawfruit candy, fruit salad, and (I'll bet you've already guessed this next one) – glycerite!

Over the past 18 months or so, an increasing number of foods have been making their way into my skincare products. It's because I've been doing research for this (and a couple of additional upcoming publications). Along the way, I have become slightly hopelessly addicted to making my own extracts.

But let's start with the berries!

Today, we're going to take a quick peek at goji berries and then see what happened when they ended up in my face cleanser.

Who says What About Goji Berries

Goji berries (INCI: Lycium Barbarum) have a reputation as superfruits or superfoods.

Although the marketing of this fruit has been a worldwide success, there is as yet no scientific documentation on whether or not the goji berry (also called wolf berry) has the power to boost our health and make us live up to a ripe old age of 256.

Nonetheless, these berries have been an integral part of Chinese herbal medicine for over 700 years. The fact that they have earned the nickname 'red diamonds' is an indication they are treasured for their properties.

Traditional use of the goji berry is by consuming the fruits or combining with other herbs and made into a tonic that is taken internally.

Chinese tradition says goji berries help 'nourish the blood, strengthen the kidneys, and boost the eyesight'.

The chemical make-up of goji (content of phenylpropanoids) gives it antioxidant properties. Other components (polysaccharides) give the berries stimulating properties (read: beneficial for microcirculation).

The deep orangy-red color comes from the content of carotenoids (red) and zeaxanthin (yellow). It is the content of zeaxanthin that gives the fruit its 'eyesight-boosting' reputation.

All in all, it looks like these 'red diamonds' will have to wait until modern science has a chance to catch up and can either confirm or dispute the claims.

There are some warnings with internal use: Goji berries can have a potentially harmful interaction with some medicines.

In Glycerite and On The Face

Pictured: glycerite (on the right) and cleansing gel with added glycerite (left)

To test any new glycerite, I will use one of my own cleansing gel formulas developed ages ago.

Because I have made and used this formula many times, it is easy for me to get a feel for whether or not the added ingredient has anything positive, negative or nothing to offer in the way of function, scent, or feel.

The gel is neutral-colored. The goji berry glycerite gave it that lovely light orangey color.

I have been adding the glycerite in different percentages to test it.

Results: Goji berry glycerite does not alter the scent at all, but brings a slightly smoother and more velvety feel to the cleanser at lower percentages. I also find the overall color of the product more appealing at a lower percentage.

Do Tell

Have you ever made a skin or haircare product that contained goji berries? Please share in a  comment below!

More about Goji Berries and Glycerites

Wikipedia on Goji Berries
Lycium Fruit
Harvesting Chinese Wolfberries
Goji Berry Composition and Health Effects
About glycerites and glycerine on this blog