I'm always on the hunt for the next big skincare trend, and when the hottest ingredients just so happen to coincide with my dipped-in-chocolate dessert favorites? I can hardly complain. If you've noticed a certain red berry popping up all across the beauty sphere, and you're asking yourself, "What does strawberry do for skin?", the answer is, "A lot," and I'm here to give you a heads-up as to why it's the number one ingredient you should be investing in when it comes to summer skincare. Not only are strawberries tasty, they're major multitaskers when it comes to the complexion. They help hydrate, brighten, exfoliate, and pamper skin, and there's an arsenal of products out right now to prove it.
"Strawberries are packed with great skincare ingredients," confirms Ted Lain, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Austin, Texas. "They contain high levels of Vitamin C, a highly-regarded and well-known skincare ingredient that acts as a protective anti-oxidant," he adds, noting that even more benefits can be reaped when the popular vitamin is paired with other skin saviors. "While vitamin C is probably the best-known antioxidant in skincare, strawberries pair it with other important skincare ingredients, such as vitamin E and quercitin. Together these protect the skin from ultraviolet damage, reduce inflammation, and stimulate collagen production." The more good ingredients, the merrier, if you ask me!
Depending on what you'd like strawberry to do for you and your skin, there are a lot of different products to chose from. Below, I've rounded up my faves by results, so read on for the top strawberry-infused picks, to brighten, hydrate, and more.
The Volition Strawberry-C Serum ($42, sephora.com) was the first product to make me really do a double-take and consider the ingredient more seriously. The brand claims that, despite Vitamin C more regularly being associated with oranges, strawberries actually contain a whopping 14 percent more of the vitamin — and in the case of this Holy Grail ingredient, more is more, people. The serum is a must-have for anyone with dull or dry skin seeking some refreshed radiance, thanks to strawberry paired with soothing cucumber fruit water, brightening kakadu plum, and plumping hyaluronic acid.
Into a masking moment? I dare you to find something more fun (and effective) than the Memebox I Dew Care Berry Groovy Brightening Glycolic Wash-Off Mask ($25, ulta.com). This light pink, berry-scented mask has strawberry seeds to gently exfoliate — more on that later —along with raspberry extract and glycolic acid to give lackluster skin a more luminous, glowy finish.
In the summer, warm weather can sometimes cause us to slack on the heavy-duty hydrating we prioritize in winter — but TBH, properly hydrating skin is just as important in the summer, especially since the sun can be more intense. “Strawberry, or Fragraria Chiloensis extract, is a wonderful hydrator due to the high amount of carbohydrate it contains and skin protectant due to the antioxidants, shares Jame Heskett, MD. "My favorite product with this wonderful ingredient is HydroPeptide’s AquaBoost Oil Free Face Moisturizer ($68, hydropeptide.com). So many products for aging don’t hydrate well, but this product does both. It’s like secret sauce for my clients with dry aging skin!”
The hydrating serum I currently use and love is the Allies of Skin Triple Hyaluronic Antioxidant Hydration Serum ($75, dermstore.com), a product I didn't even realize contained strawberry extract when I first started trying it out. This super nourishing formula combines strawberry with three forms of hyaluronic acid and a special amino acid-derived peptide, so you'll notice skin looking plump and revitalized after just a few consistent uses.
Eminence Organics only relies the most heavy-duty ingredients for impressive results, so now that I know strawberry's magic, I'm hardly surprise to see them utilizing it in their products. Their Eminence Organic Skin Care Strawberry Rhubarb Mask ($54, dermstore.com) is another gently exfoliating product that delivers big-time in the hydration category, and it's ideal for super dry skin. Along with strawberry, the mask utilizes astringent rhubarb, moisturizing shea butter, emollient grape seed oil, hydrating hyaluronic acid, and an antioxidant-rich BioComplex to reveal a rejuvenated, complexion.
Trying to repair winter's dry, cracked lips before summer starts? Invest in the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask ($20, sephora.com), which utilizes a signature Berry Mix Complex containing raspberry, strawberry, cranberry, and blueberry extracts. Not only does this product smell and feel amazing, it coats the lips in a moisturized film that, when applied overnight, has them soft and supple by morning.
"The small seeds in strawberries help to gently exfoliate when used a facial scrub, helping to thin the outer layer of dead skin cells," says Dr. Lain of the berry's physical exfoliating abilities. "This translates to a radiant, even complexion, and assists the active skincare ingredients to penetrate the skin in greater concentrations." The payoff can be powerful, though, so Dr. Lain advises taking your skin type into consideration when exfoliating with strawberry. "Because the strawberry is slightly acidic, using the extract or pulp as a mask should be reserved for those with normal to oily complexions, he explains. "Sensitive skinned individuals would want to try this ingredient on a small area of skin first, to ensure that they do not have a reaction or excessive exfoliation."
What to try? "The Fresh Sugar Face Polish Exfoliator ($62, sephora.com) is a really nice facial exfoliator," says Debra Jaliman, MD, of the product which includes strawberry seeds as a natural yet effective exfoliant. "It’s gentle, and has a lot of other beneficial ingredients such as grape seed oil, mango seed butter along with the strawberry extract."
If you're not majorly into physical exfoliants but want to give your pores some love, consider a strawberry-infused sheet mask to purify, like the Feeling Beautiful Pore Cleansing Strawberry + Mint Sheet Mask ($2, ulta.com). "You can find salicylic acid in strawberries," says Dr. Jaliman. "Salicyilic Acid is a beta hydroxy-acid that lessens the symptoms of acne, and encourages exfoliation of skin and unclogging of pores." The strawberry extract helps cleanse and unclog while mint helps minimize oil, the combo giving skin that post-facial feel and clarity. After removing the sheet, be sure to pat in all the leftover serum to reap more berry benefits.
To Treat The Body
Last but not least, why should the face have all the fun? If you don't know, The Body Shop have an entire strawberry-focused body care line, and a great way to try out a few of their favorites is to snag the Strawberry Pick Me Up Kit ($25, ulta.com), which contains travel-size versions of their Strawberry Shower Gel, Strawberry Body Yogurt, and Strawberry Smoothing Face Mist. In the words of the Beatles, this collection has me dreaming of "strawberry fields forever," and I couldn't be happier about it.
Actual video of me biting off more than I can chew while splurging on strawberry skincare this summer:
To be honest, I've always preferred my strawberries dipped in chocolate, but now that I know about their major skincare benefits, I want them in my toiletry cabinet, too. I have a feeling that we'll only see more strawberry-infused products on the market as summer approaches, and I intend to stock up on as many as possible for my most radiant summer skin yet.