Edwina Ings-Chambers: Why broccoli rocks

Everyone’s favourite green is helping our complexions get their five-a-day too.

From mushrooms in the Dr Weil range for Origins to spirulina in Face Gym’s Training Stick, we’re used to seeing superfoods in skincare. But the latest one gaining traction is that trusty cruciferous vegetable, broccoli.

broccoli good for skin

I first became aware of it in supplement form when Victoria Health told me about Broc On (£75 for 30, victoriahealth.com), a new vitamin-shot range it is stocking from Australia. It focuses on broccoli sprouts (as well as daikon and kale) to achieve a daily dose of sulforaphane – which, research has shown, bolsters the body’s natural defences against oxidative stress, inflammation and DNA damage. It tastes much as you might imagine (like broccoli water) but I’m currently knocking it back on a daily basis. After all, aside from health benefits, vitamins are increasingly becoming a key part of skincare routines.

Dermalogica has also deployed broccoli extract in its new Active Clay Cleanser (£35, dermalogica.co.uk), the first time the brand had used a broccoli extract in its formulas, says Dermalogica training executive Janine Da Costa, and she believes it’s becoming ‘a hot topic. It has the benefit of purifying pores; if you have an oilier complexion the look of your pores is often a challenge as they can block up quickly, but this is great for giving a smooth and refined texture to the skin.’

Broccoli was always part of Votary’s Super Seed range, but is a hero ingredient in its Super Seed Serum (£75, votary.co.uk). Co-founder Arabella Preston explains that ‘broccoli seed oil is high in skin-soothing fatty acids such as omega 6 and 9. These nutrients deliver intense hydration without clogging pores, and also calm irritated, stressed skin. Put simply, broccoli seed oil is a very lightweight yet soothing oil that is ideal for sensitive skin or anyone with a compromised skin barrier. It is quickly and easily absorbed, and works to lock in moisture to keep skin hydrated and resilient.’ Votary, she adds, ‘cold-press the seeds to ensure the maximum nutrients are retained’.

Meanwhile, at Liberty you can find the Swedish natural brand L:A Bruket and its very lightweight Broccoli Seed Serum (£52, libertylondon.com). ‘Broccoli seed is such a great ingredient for the skin and resonates particularly well with city-dwelling customers. A concern we often see is skin sensitivity, redness and inflammation – which can be caused by environmental factors such as pollution – so products that address this and include superfood ingredients are of particular interest,’ says Liberty’s beauty buyer Emily Bell.

Alternatively, you can go the sheet-mask route with South Korean brand Huangjisoo and its Broccoli Plumping Mask (£3.99 each or £17.99 for a pack of five, nicheandcult.com). The cotton-fibre masks come saturated in serum and take ten minutes to do their work.

A bite-size bargain

elf bite-size paletteWhether you’re a regular eyeshadow wearer or have come round to it more recently as you’ve navigated a raft of Zoom meetings, allow me to introduce you to Elf Cosmetics Bite-Size Eyeshadows (£3, elfcosmetics.co.uk). These small quartet palettes are brilliant. Fantastic pigment, a mix of matt and shimmery finishes, and only £3. No, that’s not a typo. My favourites are Cream and Sugar and Berry Bad, but there’s something for everyone from blues to greens and purple.

TLC for your hands

Andrea garland hand balmAndrea Garland always produces such pretty things. You may already be acquainted with her natural lip balms housed in vintage and vintage-inspired little pots. Now she’s produced her own natural Lovely Hand Balm (£17.50, andreagarland.co.uk), which she has decanted into charming screw-top tins available in a range of colours. It’s a lovely, rich formula with macadamia and shea butters and also contains clementine and cedarwood essential oils – both of which are considered to be antibacterial. It’s good for all-round hand moisturisation, but I also regularly rub it in to any dry skin patches – it really helps with those, too. And, of course, as with all Andrea Garland products, the tins are refillable.

Beauty assistant: Alice Robertson