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Chia seeds benefits for skin and how to use them

There are multiple benefits of chia seeds for skin – from hydration to reducing inflammation, these little seeds can make a difference!

Chia seeds are very versatile, as they can be soaked in water, added to oatmeal, and even healthy smoothies. If you don’t want to eat them raw, you can sprinkle them on top of yogurt, fruits and vegetables. They are considered very good for our health as they have protein, calcium and other nutrients needed by our body. Chia seeds may help to lose weight or reduce blood sugar levels, but do you know they may also be beneficial for your skin health? They may keep your skin hydrated and help in fighting signs of ageing. Know the benefits of chia seeds for skin, and how to use them.

What are chia seeds?

Chia seeds are probably one of the most popular superfoods in our kitchen. Sourced from the plant Salvia hispanica, these seeds are native to Mexico and Guatemala, but have become popular across the world for its nutrition profile. Chia seeds are a rich source of fiber, protein, omega-3, fatty acids, antioxidants, and various vitamins like C and E. Hundred grams of chia seeds contain 16.5 grams of protein, according to the US Department of Agriculture. When soaked in water overnight, they form a gel like consistency, which is excellent for reducing body heat and aiding smooth digestion, says Ayurvedic coach and gut specialist Dimple Jangda.

Chia seeds for skin
Chia seeds are good for hydrating skin. Image courtesy: Freepik

What are the benefits of chia seeds for skin?

Chia seeds have multiple benefits for skin.

1. Hydration

When chia seeds are soaked for a few hours, they form a gel-like substance around the core which helps absorb and retain water. They are hydrophilic in nature and help keep the body and skin hydrated, by preventing dullness, dryness and flaky skin, says the expert.

2. May reduce damage by sun exposure

Chia seeds contain vitamin E, which is an excellent nutrient for the skin. It may reduce damage caused by sun by absorbing ultraviolet rays and reducing skin’s inflammatory response, which includes swelling and reddening.

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3. May make skin firm

Chia seeds are a rich source of protein, which helps promote collagen production. Collagen is the main building block which keeps the skin firm, and improves elasticity and youthful appearance. Chia seed may inhibit key skin enzymes, such as collagenase, hyaluronidase, and elastase, ultimately helping in preventing skin ageing, as per a March 2024 study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

4. May reduce inflammation

Chia seeds are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids which are known for helping in fighting inflammation. So, they may reduce symptoms of skin disorders like psoriasis, and eczema, says the expert.

5. Skin barrier

Chia seeds are a rich source of alpha linoleic acid which acts as an excellent skin barrier protecting the skin from external pollutants and environmental stress. Chia seed extract, enriched for Vitamin F, may improve skin hydration and barrier function, according to a study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology in 2020.

6. Wound healing

Chia seeds also contain zinc which may help with wound healing and repairing the tissues, says the expert. It may help speedy recovery from cuts, bruises, blemishes and allows faster recovery and healing process.

chia seeds for skin
Chia seeds can be used to make DIY face masks. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

How to include chia seeds in skin care routine?

You must consume chia seeds in your diet as it improves absorption of nutrients, says Jangda. But you can include them in skin routine too!

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  • Soak chia seeds overnight and the next day, mix it with equal parts honey or yoghurt. Apply it on your face, as a homemade face mask.
  • You can also mix soaked chia seeds with mashed banana or mashed avocado, to soften, moisturise and heal the skin.
  • Another way to include them is to add ground chia seeds to any organic oil like coconut oil, and use as a face scrub to exfoliate dead skin cells.
  • Add soaked chia seeds to aloe vera gel, and apply on the skin for sunburn, skin sensitivity and skin irritation.
  • You can also mix chia seeds with cucumber juice and soak for few minutes, after which apply to a cotton eye pad and place on the eyes as a eye mask.

Are there any side effects of chia seeds?

If you have a specific allergy to chia seeds, don’t eat or apply them. When some people consume chia seeds in large quantities, it may lead to constipation, because chia seeds also absorb moisture in the gut, hardening the stools. So, ensure to soak them overnight before consuming.

Also, if you are on medication, blood thinners, or have underlying conditions like thyroid, diabetes or hypertension, speak to your doctors before consuming chia seeds.

As far as using chia seeds for skin is concerned, avoid them if you notice irritation, redness or skin sensitivity.

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