Fresh, ripe Yuzu, a tart citrus fruit with a bumpy yellow rind an an incredibly intoxicating floral-honey-lemony scent, is as common in Japan as it is rare in the rest of the world. Japanese incorporate Yuzu into many dishes and snacks-and they also turn to it for skincare. Traditionally, whole yuzu fruits are added to baths and hot springs on the day of the winter solstice. Now, beauty brands, realizing the fruit's effects on the skin, have started to put the trending extract into top skincare formulas.
The Yuzu is a powerhouse for a few key reasons:
1) It contains more Vitamin C than a lemon or an orange.
"Vitamin C is an antioxidant proven to help reduce free radical damage," says Dr. Karan Lal, DO, a double board-certified adult and pediatric dermatologist. UV rays and pollution produce free radicals, and once these frenetic molecules are in your skin, they wreak havoc, damaging cells and poking holes in collagen, which leads to a loss of firmness and more fine lines. Vitamin C neutralizes them. It also helps to reduce dark spots and uneven tone and stimulates your skin's collagen production. "I love it because it can be used on all skin types. And it's the ideal active ingredient to reach for in the morning," Dr. Lal says. "I want people to prioritize vitamin C during the day so that it's there and ready to help fight off free radicals." He adds that since most people don't apply a lot of other active skincare ingredients at that time, vitamin C will be its most potent since it's less likely to break down as it would when exposed to other active ingredients. More potent vitamin C also reduces the risk of irritation.
2) Vitamin C has antimicrobial properties as well.
"It's been shown in vitro to inhibit growth of many bacteria," Dr. Lal says. "We still have a lot to learn, but my suspicion is that it helps good bacteria on the skin to flourish while inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria." That's why it's a great ingredient in body washes and hand washes.
3) Another excellent benefit of Yuzu is its aroma.
Catching a whiff of the sweet, flowery, and zingy scent is a lovely experience, but it may also provide therapeutic properties, such as temporary stress relief. For example, in a small study in Osaka, Japan, researchers asked women with premenstrual symptoms to smell yuzu essential oil for ten minutes. They found that doing so significantly decreased heart rate, tension-anxiety, anger-hostility, and fatigue for as long as thirty-five minutes. In a second more recent study, researchers also observed that task performance improved after inhaling yuzu essential oil.
Whether you breathe it in or lather it on, the effects of Yuzu are proven to help make a real difference.