How can Garlic affect our Skin?

Skin is the largest organ of the human body. Skincare is part of most people's daily routine. Whether you prefer a quick splash with cold water or a 3-hour-long face mask, everyone's skin and skincare routines are different.

People have been trying to rejuvenate and strengthen their skin for a very long time; cosmetics dating back over 6,000 years have been found in Ancient Egyptian settlements, often using honey, clay and olive oil to protect their skin from the blazing sun. Garlic might seem like an unlikely ingredient to use as a skincare treatment, but there's method behind the madness and some evidence that it may help skin stay stronger for longer.

Applying garlic directly onto the skin could help to treat a range of skin conditions including psoriasis, corns, fungal infections and keloid scars1. Rubbing raw garlic on your face might improve some aspects of your skin's health, but the overwhelming smell that raw garlic produces makes this an impractical and unusual treatment. This supposed skincare treatment isn't without risk either. Garlic can cause contact dermatitis, especially when left on sensitive skin for long periods. Dermatologists recommend keeping garlic on the menu, not on your skin1. So today we're focusing on the potential health benefits of consuming garlic, not applying directly to the skin.

As we get older, our skin becomes less elastic and inevitably some wrinkles will start to appear. This is partly because the collagen within our skin gradually breaks down as we age. Collagen acts as a support - it's found in the dermis layer of our skin where it holds the upper layers in place, creating skin that's hydrated and smooth2. According to one study, garlic could help to 'rejuvenate' skin. Their experiments found that garlic extended the lifespan of fibroblasts, special cells that produce collagen, potentially helping skin to stay firmer for longer1.

Allicin is just one of the hundreds of molecules found in garlic – this molecule is believed to be responsible for many of garlic's health benefits. Allicin has powerful antioxidant and anti-microbial properties and it could help to reduce acne by fighting off bacteria on the skin1. Black garlic, which is aged and fermented, may also help to protect skin from UV- damage, caused by sun exposure1. For an easy, reliable and natural source of Allicin, try Kwai Heartcare+ with Japanese Black Garlic. This daily supplement contains 450mg of Black Garlic and 2,700ug of Allicin in every odour-free, easy-to-swallow tablet. Its' unique heart-health formulation also contains Vitamin B1, an essential vitamin that contributes to normal heart and brain function.

Both garlic and black garlic can interact with the human body in many different ways. The molecules, amino acids, vitamins and minerals contained within each clove of garlic can affect almost all systems of the body to some extent. The jury is still out on whether garlic has real, beneficial effects on the skin - there simply isn't enough data to say for certain. However, garlic has been shown to help reduce many of the major risk factors for heart disease. Taking a daily garlic supplement could reduce elevated cholesterol levels, lower blood sugar levels, reduce hypertension and lower the volume of lipids in the blood with little to no side effects, according to multiple studies. Find out more about garlic and black garlic with the Kwai Heartcare blog.