Spreading Clean Beauty

Tomato skin benefits: nourishing, moisturizing and exfoliating

Tomato skin benefits are the reason this fruit has been widely used in cosmetics, especially in home treatments, as a cleansing, refreshing and revitalizing agent. 

The well-known cutaneous benefits of tomato lie directly on this fruit’s multiple beneficial compounds for the skin. From increased radiance to a powerful exfoliating agent that acts as a natural alternative to the much sought-after salicylic acid, tomato is hailed as the ultimate skin cleansing and rejuvenating agent. 

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Unlocking the Skin-Boosting Powers of Tomatoes: A look at tomato skin benefits

  • Ability to reduce eye bags due to its high content of vitamin C and flavonoids (able to strengthen blood capillaries)
  • due to its it α-hydroxyacids content, it is able to remove dead cells, thus giving it Skin cleansing and rejuvenating properties. Able to soothe the skin after sunbath and to heal wounds and sores. It can also have soothing properties and help calm irritated or sensitive skin.
  • It can help improve the skin’s natural radiance and reduce dullness, giving a more vibrant and glowing complexion.
  • Tomatoes are rich in antioxidants, which help combat free radicals, protect the skin from environmental damage to decreasing the signs of aging 
  • Tomato extracts can help control excess oil production, reducing blemishes, balancing oily skin, and refining pores

The science behind tomato skin benefits

Humectant activity and regulation of transepidermal water loss (TEWL)

Tomato skin benefits regarding moisture are the result of a successful combination of the fruit’s chemical composition. 

  • α-hydroxyacids (AHAs) are a special group of organic acids able to soften intercellular cement and facilitate exfoliation. At the same time, AHA’s chemical structure allows for higher water absorption and retention power. Because of this double effect, they are being used in dermatological applications as emollient boosters.. Tomato’s monosaccharides and oligosaccharides are hygroscopic, meaning they are able to adsorb water thus contributing to keep a healthy moisture level in the horny layer. Combined, they build hydrogen bonds, which prevent massive water loss and reduce dehydration. 

The carbohydrate and vitamin contents of tomato also ensure its addition as a moisturizing agent.

Stimulation of corneocyte turnover

The α-hydroxyacids (AHA) content in tomatoes is yet behind another advantage among tomato skin benefits directly related to its exfoliating action. The ability of AHAs to act at the horny layer level means they on corneocyte cohesion in the deepest skin layers, thus promoting turnover in the horny layer and enhancing flexibility in the skin surface. 

While the mechanism of action of these acids is not fully understood yet, the earliest theory proposes that AHAs’ impairing effects on corneocyte cohesion is mainly due to their action on intercellular ionic bonds (Berardesca E. & Maibach H., 1995). 

As such, AHAs effects would thus be based on their ability to inhibit certain enzymes involved in the formation of phosphate and sulfate groups in the cellular walls. 

 Another model to explain their mechanism of action is suggesting AHAs have been observed to act on calcium, which is essential to build most of the intercellular joints and to maintain their structural integrity. Following this premise, it has been found that AHAs reduce the calcium concentration in the epidermis and that calcium gets eliminated from the intercellular joints by chelation. 

Antioxidant action

Tomato skin benefits also include the protection of skin and hair against oxidative processes. This action responds directly to its phenolic compounds, vitamin C and nicotinic acid contents. This turns tomato into an agent capable of neutralizing free radicals and providing defence against cell structure degradation.

This antioxidant activity is exerted in different ways:

  • Tomato can scavenge free radicals and reduce their generation 
  • It can inhibit, activate or protect specific enzymes 
  • It can reduce the consumption of antioxidants like vitamin E and carotenoids.

Vitamin C in particular is regarded as a powerful antioxidant with radical scavenging activity, which has proven very useful in the treatment of photoaging as well as through neutralizing free radicals generated by UVB radiation. 

Its nicotinic components, on the other hand, have been known to act against collagen loss associated with photoaging, and for reduction of acne problems. Additionally, many studies report novel beneficial actions for topical nicotinic acid on aged skin, such as enhancement of the skin barrier function, reduction of photoaging signs (spots, redness, etc) and decrease of sebum production. 

Tomato: the answer for a natural exfoliator

An increasing number of consumers today value brands that prioritize natural ingredients. A growing trend across all age groups, it’s particularly true among younger generations: a 2020 survey claimed 47% of millennial respondents are willing to pay more for premium quality products which have been manufactured using organic and natural ingredients.

In this context, botanical skin care is evolving to match consumers’ demands for effective, targeted solutions. This is precisely where tomato skin benefits as a natural exfoliator stand out. While salicylic acid has become one of the best-known ingredients for this purpose (due to this substance’s potential to reach the innermost layers of the skin), tomato stands out as a natural alternative. While salicylic acid’s can be potentially overused and cause issues for sensitive skin, tomato’s deep humectant accomplishments act in coordination with its moisturizing capacities. The use of 100% natural tomato extract in cosmetics thus comes as an aid for brands that can make the most of this fruit’s TEWL regulation and cell renewal stimulation while developing outstanding exfoliating formulas.

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