Kiwis are natives of the China's Yangzte River Valley, but today are grown commercially worldwide. The fuzzy brown-skinned fruit with the tasty green center is loaded with nutritional benefits that rival those of many other fruits. Whether you eat them or apply the flesh to your skin, kiwis contain vitamins and other nutrients that contribute to healthy, glowing skin. When choosing a topical cream or gel that contains kiwi or kiwi extract, keep in mind that research into topical applications of kiwi is ongoing.
Kiwis contain large amounts of vitamin C, which helps your body produce collagen, a connective tissue protein that helps to firm your skin. Production of collagen decreases with aging, causing skin to lose elasticity. Collagen-stimulating ingredients, like kiwi extract, may be added to skin care products to slow the appearance of aging.
Vitamin C not only firms skin, it repairs it. Kiwis have more vitamin C than a comparable amount of oranges. Vitamin C helps cuts and abrasions heal and it also works to prevent rough, dry skin. In addition to skin care products that contain kiwi extract, get an internal vitamin C boost with a fresh salad of kiwi, strawberries and citrus slices to help protect skin from the inside out.
Kiwis are a good source of vitamin E. The University of Maryland Medical Center says that topical vitamin E may decrease facial lines and the depth of wrinkles. Studies of vitamin E as an external application are inconclusive but ongoing. Vitamin E has been shown to reduce UV-induced skin cancer in animal testing. Remember that cosmetics are not as strictly regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as products that are classified as drugs. Sunblock does offer you protection from harmful ultraviolet, or UV, rays. Wrinkle cream may or may not erase those frown lines.
You can't turn the clock back but you may be able to slow it down. Kiwis are a major source of antioxidants that can delay the effects of aging throughout the body. Antioxidants neutralize the free radicals that can damage healthy cells and hasten the process of degeneration, including changes in skin thickness, elasticity and firmness. You should get your antioxidants from food sources, like kiwis that have a complex mix of vitamins C, E, lycopene and other substances that fight free radicals.
- University of Guam: Kiwi Fruit
- Colorado State University Extension; Water-Soluble Vitamins; J. Anderson, et al
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Maryland Medical Spa: What Really Works?
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Skin Wrinkles and Blemishes – Treatment
- California Kiwi Fruit: Health and Nutrition