Is Kale-Infused Skincare A Revelation, Or A Passing Fad?

Kale has conquered the produce aisle, and now it's eyeing the beauty counter.

Kale has held the crown for sexiest veggie for a hot minute. It has become ubiquitous at farmers' markets, hip restaurants, and home kitchens alike, and for good reason. The cruciferous powerhouse is packed with antioxidants and vitamins that (as Tiye can attest) cultivate beauty from the inside out.

Recently, the leafy green has been popping up in skincare products. But are kale-infused formulas really efficacious, or are they just a marketing ploy?

In early June, Eminence Organics launched its Potent C+E collection, featuring a Citrus & Kale serum and masque that claim to reduce the appearance of sun damage and fine lines and wrinkles. Naturally, the top ingredient is kale extract, but the antioxidant-rich formula is rounded out by two forms of stabilized vitamin C, ferulic acid, and avocado oil.

I was skeptical, not only because kale is such an "it" vegetable, but also because both the serum and the masque contain citrus oils, which I normally avoid using on my face. Still, I gave the masque a whirl.

It smells oddly like a sugar cookie (albeit a healthy green one) and goes on thick and gel-like. (The instructions suggest toweling it off with a warm wash-cloth, but, when it dries, it can also be peeled off.) I left it on for 10 minutes, and while it did not sting or irritate, I did notice a slight astringent effect, which could be good for oily skin types. Overall, the masque did brighten my skin, but it did nothing for my dark spots.

While my at-home testing is by no means conclusive research, I do give Eminence props for packing so many antioxidants into one formula. Most notable is the L-ascorbic acid stabilized by ferulic acid, and the sodium ascorbyl phosphate, a highly stable and gentler form of Vitamin C that works really well on sensitive skin. Though kale is relatively new to skincare, these forms of vitamin C--all of which are great for brightening, evening skin tone, and building collagen--have been available in products like Skinceuticals C E Ferulic serum and Ole Henriksen Truth Serum for years.

Bottom line: There's a reason Citrus gets first billing in Eminence's Citrus & Kale masque. Vitamin C is the star and kale and other plant oils are the supporting cast. The masque is lovely for an occasional brightening boost, but those looking for a longterm anti-aging solution would do better with the serum, as it says on skin longer for more lasting results.

What's your take on kale in skincare? Have you seen or tried any other kale-infused products?