Broccoli: Even If You Don't Like to Eat It, You May Like It in Your Skincare

Earth's-gift-to-stir-fry vegetable that your mother basically forced you to eat when you were a wee little thing is a potent skincare ingredient.

I imagine your momma probably told you to eat your vegetables, but I bet she didn't tell you to put them all over your face. In fact, I presume that if your child-self actually did, the ensuing conniption would not be pretty. Which reminds me of a story...

Apparently there was a point in my childhood when I decided it'd be a good idea to coat myself (and my sister) with every condiment I could locate in the fridge. My mother was appropriately pissed. This little fiasco, of course, foreshadowed my now-career, which requires me to slather myriad questionable ingredients all over myself. The only difference now is that a) I would never apply dijon to my face and b) I consult experts and do my research beforehand.

This all leads me to today's topic of broccoli in your beauty products. Yes. The dark green, smelly-when-steamed, Earth's-gift-to-stir-fry vegetable that your mother basically forced you to eat when you were a wee little thing is a skincare ingredient. Well, to be fair, I'm talking about broccoli extract and broccoli seed oil.

Broccoli Benefits

In general, broccoli extract and broccoli seed oil can do good things for both your skin and hair. You may even find broccoli hidden in your products' ingredient lists without the product being marketed specifically for its broccoli benefits. Go check out your stash and report back!

  • One of broccoli's biggest selling points is that it's a pretty potent antioxidant. It protects your skin and hair from UV rays and free-radical damage, and some research has even shown it's powerful enough to serve as a mild sunscreen.
  • Broccoli extract and seed oil is also loaded with fatty acids, making it a highly moisturizing ingredient without it being greasy. As an ingredient in hair products, it can add a noticeable sheen and, as an ingredient in skincare products, it can make the skin look more refreshed, hydrated and therefore younger and more vibrant.
  • Speaking of younger-looking skin, broccoli is also a good source of vitamin A, or retinol. Retinol is a key ingredient in many anti-aging products. It works by boosting skin cell production.

The above product, by LadyKin, is my first crack at broccoli as a skincare ingredient. For the price, I was instantly impressed by the sleek and futuristic packaging. I'm also a fan of the dropper tool, which allows for a more sanitary application process.

Though this is marketed as an ampoule, it applies more like a creamy, silky serum. It has a sweet, almost candy-like fragrance, which isn't my first choice, but it doesn't smell bad.

Once applied to skin, it thins out and is fully absorbed within minutes, leaving skin hydrated and plumped. I typically apply it after washing and toning and then follow up with either a heavier cream before bed, or my primer and makeup during the day.

As I mentioned, the LadyKin broccoli ampoule is the first broccoli-infused skincare product I've used, but I've been scoping out a few others that I'd like to try, as well. For example, Tata Harper Purifying Cleanser ($58) contains broccoli extract, and this Sircuit Skin Clarity Broccoli Sulfur Mask ($75) uses both namesake ingredients, plus kaolin clay, tea tree oil, bentonite and other ingredients, to purify, refine and soothe. Biotherm Skin Ergetic Serum ($58) also boasts broccoli as a primary ingredient and promises to give your skin a boost of moisture and radiance.

  • Have you ever tried broccoli-infused skincare or haircare products?
  • Care to share any now-hilarious childhood stories in which you really pissed off mom or dad?