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Q: What Are the Benefits of Ginger for Skin?

By Mercedes Taylor

With a love for cosmetics from a young age, my curiosity knew that there was much more to the goop inside the jar than meets the eye. I graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Analytical Chemistry and moved to California to chase my dreams of becoming a cosmetic chemist, passionate about developing results-driven skincare. Now, I am the Product Innovation Manager for Youth To The People. My primary experience is in research and development, with a focus on both sustainability and the formulation of skincare, bringing natural ingredients to the forefront of the cosmetics market. I’m here to answer all your skincare questions.

Question: What Are the Benefits of Ginger for Skin?

Answer: Ginger is one of a kind when it comes to flavors, but it also has a place in our holistic lives, widely known in traditional medicine as a solution to many ailments, such as nausea, fatigue, and upset stomach. Studies have shown that it helps to relieve nausea associated with pregnancy with no adverse side effects. It has also been shown to decrease the pain relative to overexertion during exercise, when taken orally. It can also have similarly beneficial effects in skincare and is used to help calm and soothe irritation. 

Ginger, also known as Zingiber officinale, is an herb related to turmeric and cardamom. A flowering plant that grows mainly in India, it is widely utilized today as a spice for dishes and teas. The part of the plant we’re most familiar with is the rhizome, the part of the plant from which the roots grow, meaning it hosts all of the essential nutrients it takes for the plant to grow, including the spicy, flavorful polyphenols and sweet starches that we consume. From this concentrated rhizome, we can also create aromatic oils and antioxidant-rich extracts for skincare.

The antioxidant properties of ginger oil are well-studied. In one current study, it was found that ginger oil, alongside ylang-ylang, holy basil, and lemongrass, heightened the antioxidant potential of a basic skincare cream. This study also suggested that the antioxidant potential of ginger oil can prevent lipid peroxidation in the skin, which is the oxidation of oils in our skin, and is the main reason for aging caused by UV damage, or photoaging. Lipid peroxidation can lead to congestion, blackheads, wrinkles, and dehydrated skin. Adding ginger to our skincare routine can protect our skin’s lipid barrier and potentially prevent lipid peroxidation on the microlevel. It’s important to remember, however, that this does not take the place of sunscreen—you should wear sunscreen every day

Ginger is full of bioactive compounds called gingerols that smell sweet and help to decrease inflammation in our bodies. Numerous studies have shown how the compound 6-gingerol, the highest concentrated gingerol in the extract, could have potential analgesic effects. A few current studies have even shown that concentrated ginger extract has inhibited the gene expression associated with irritation on the skin. Some of these gene expressions associated with irritation are also commonly associated with hyperpigmentation as well. Ginger is truly a multi-tasking skincare ingredient, great for soothing skin, preventing photoaging damage, and protecting the skin’s lipid barrier.