By Kaleigh Fasanella, she/her
If you’re thinking that wheatgrass sounds like a leafy green plant that people put in smoothies because it’s packed with nutrients, well, congrats—you couldn’t be more correct. But get this: because the ingredient is abundant in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, wheatgrass can also be highly beneficial when it comes to skincare.
“Like some other herbal bioactives, wheatgrass is rich in naturally occurring antioxidants, including vitamins A, C, and E,” says Jacob Del Rosario, Youth To The People’s Senior Regional Sales + Education Executive. “It also contains amino acids that work to aid in boosting the overall health and function of the skin.”
For those who don’t know, amino acids help to strengthen the skin barrier, maintain moisture retention, and protect against free radical damage, so the fact that wheatgrass contains them—on top of other skin-loving vitamins and minerals—is an impressive quality, to say the least.
“Wheatgrass is especially high in vitamins C and E, which partner well and support each other as antioxidants, as well as iron, magnesium, calcium, and amino acids,” says Dr. Adam Friedman, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in Washington, D.C. “This constellation of ingredients can help combat oxidative stress—a.k.a free radicals—which damage our cells and notable DNA.”
While it’s flown under the radar for quite some time, wheatgrass has actually been used in skincare for ages. “Long ago, it was commonly used to treat extreme skin conditions, such as leprosy,” explains Del Rosario “It’s since become a common household treatment for skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, skin abrasions, sunspots, and even acne,” he adds.
Dr. Pooja Sodha, MD, a board-certified dermatologist also based in the D.C. area, calls wheatgrass “a complete superfood.”
“Wheatgrass has potential antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging properties due in large part to the fact that it contains chlorophyll, a naturally occurring pigment in green vegetables, along with 17 amino acids, minerals, and vitamins—including A, B-complex, C, E, and K,” Dr. Sodha explains.
Sodha weighs in on its benefits, too. “Wheatgrass, or ‘green blood,’ which it’s also been called, has shown the ability to boost the skin's immunity and inhibit the growth of bacteria, thereby promoting healing of burns and radiation-induced skin irritation,” she says. When wheatgrass is ingested, there have been reports of its improvement in psoriasis and eczema, too.
Written by Kaleigh Fasanella for Youth To The People