You know when it’s so cold outside your face hurts? That’s what it’s been like, off and on in no predictable pattern, this winter in the Northeast and across the country (ahem, climate change anyone?). Fickle weather makes taking care of skin a real drag because it seems like you can never get ahead of imbalances in moisture. One day the air is so dry you need an extra layer of ultra-hydrating cream, like Herbivore’s Pink Cloud, and the next the tiniest schmear of it makes you feel like a walking stick of Earth Balance.
This is where a product like yuzu swoops in with Wonder Woman superpowers to heal and soften even the driest of skin. A fruit native to eastern Asia—it first exploded on the skincare scene thanks to our beautiful Korean friends—yuzu (or “yuza” in the Korean pronunciation) has a bright, citrusy smell and a concentration of vitamin C that naturally boosts collagen production in the skin, restoring elasticity and cell turnover. The fragrance alone contributes to the fruit’s benefits; according to Ayurveda, bright citrus smells including sweet orange and lemon balm are soothing for vata doshas, which are characterized by space and air—and notably dry skin. (No wonder the first custom perfume blend I made at a local apothecary contained yuzu, mixed with an unlikely partner, amber.)
Although this ingredient has been a hashtag-worthy trend for the past year or so (its first jump was nearly 100 percent in 2008 according to Mintel Beauty Innovation), its use in Eastern medicine and skincare indeed dates back to ancient times, thus proving that everything old is new again—and, frankly, just plain right. The States are just beginning to see yuzu in more mainstream beauty products, including a clay-based face mask that L’Oreal launched in the fall. But there are also a slew of cruelty-free products for body, hair, and face to keep you glowing all winter—and all year—long.
Hempz Yuzu & Starfruit Daily Herbal Lip Balm with SPF 15, $8.99
Lip care is essential during winter, and if you’re a former Lipsmacker’s junkie like myself (Dr. Pepper, anyone?) you likely can’t get enough of the stuff—until you’ve gone overboard and your lips are peeling and wrinkly. Yuzu comes to the rescue since it heals already chapped lips and protects them at the same time. And since the fruit extract is balanced with the shea butter and sun protection, you’ll only need to reapply this balm as often as directed. NB I said nothing about what you’ll want to do with it…
Plantioxidants Yuzu and Sake Facial Cleanser, $78
Drawing on another ancient holistic health practice, fermentation, this cleanser works on the inside and outside of skin to make it look its best. Ginseng, coffee cherry, and matcha tea enliven skin’s cells as the lightly foaming, gently exfoliating wash draws out makeup and impurities, leaving you with a face that looks super-awake, fresh, and prepared for anything that comes her way—even on the toughest mornings.
Valia Skincare Yuzu Hydrating Cream
You can’t get simpler than this, folks. A lightweight cream with every fruit ingredient A (Aloe) to Y (Yuzu), safe to use day and night, and made in the USA.
LUSH Yuzu and Cocoa Bubbleroon, $7.95/3.5 oz.
Like many of LUSH’s products, this bubble-bath starter looks good enough to eat…and with the delectable combination of citrus and chocolatey scents you may be temtped to lick some of the froth that explodes from this pastry-like concoction. Instead of cream, however, this bubbleroon features a shea butter filling that makes bathtime even creamier and dreamier than its edible friend. Lather up without feeling the least bit of post-bath dryness.
100% Pure Yuzu and Pomelo Shampoo & Conditioner, $26/13 oz. (each)
I love this brand for their quality-sourced ingredients and ultra-hydrating lotions, all of which have the most delicious scents. This haircare line is great for those looking for a boost of shine and softness without the weight, even as it packs a one-two punch in citrus delight. Like showering with lemonade, only less sticky…
Have you tried Yuzu skincare and hair care?
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Photos: Wikipedia.org; Ulta.com; Plantioxidants.com; BeautyChoros.com; LUSHUsa.com; 100percentpure.com