If you have ever been to the Nordic countries of Sweden or Finland during the warmer seasons, you must have come across bright red berries growing abundantly in the wild. These are lingonberries, commonly found in the colder climate of the northern hemisphere.
These slightly sweet and tangy berries are not only highly nutritious when enjoyed as food, but they are also extremely good for your skin too. Curious to know how? Read this article to know all about the amazing benefits of lingonberries and how you can use these to get soft and smooth skin.
Why Is Lingonberry Extract Good For The Skin?
To protect themselves from the extremely cold climate near the arctic region where they grow, lingonberries have evolved to contain a host of biologically active phytochemicals. Lingonberries have the highest antioxidant activity when compared to their other cousins such as blueberries, cranberries or bilberries.
The anthocyanins present in lingonberries, which give them the characteristic red colour, are not only potent antioxidants but are also effective anti-inflammatory agents. Thus, lingonberries not only protect your skin from damage but also have a soothing effect on your skin. These berries also have other phytochemicals such as tocotrienols, flavonoids, and phenolic acids, that further enhance their antioxidant properties.,
Lingonberries are a rich source of omega fatty acids especially GLA (gamma linoleic acid) which helps to retain hydration and maintain a healthy skin barrier. These berries also have skin-friendly vitamins such as A, C, E, etc. and minerals like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, etc., which makes them a superfood for your skin.
How Does Lingonberry Benefit Your Skin?
Here are some of the ways in which lingonberries benefit your skin when added to your skincare regimen.
1. Locks-in Hydration And Nourishment
The lingonberries’ seed oil is rich in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids which helps to retain hydration in your skin. The phytonutrients in these berries also help to maintain a healthy skin barrier.
A healthy skin barrier protects your skin from the external environment and also prevents the loss of water and nutrients from the surface of the skin. Thus incorporating lingonberries in skin care makes your skin look dewy, soft and supple.
2. A Potent Anti-aging Ingredient
Lingonberries can prevent and reverse the various signs of aging such as loss of skin elasticity, fine lines and wrinkles, etc. Studies have shown that lingonberries improve the elasticity of your skin significantly. Lingonberry extract also upregulates the production of the extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins integrin and collagen in the skin. This helps to keep your skin firm and prevents it from sagging.
Lingonberries have some of the most potent antioxidants which protect your skin from damage caused by the sun, toxins and pollutants. A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry has shown that lingonberry extract can protect your skin from the harmful effects of the UV rays which can cause photodamage to your skin.
3. Gives You An Even Skin Tone
Melanin is the natural pigment present in your skin, the overproduction of which can lead to hyperpigmentation or uneven skin tone. Arbutin present in lingonberries inhibits the effect of tyrosinase, an enzyme that is required for the synthesis of melanin.
These berries also have a high content of Vitamin E, which further enhances their skin lightening effects. Thus lingonberries prevent hyperpigmentation and also help to lighten dark spots and scars on your skin, giving you an even-toned complexion.
4. Can Give You A Healthy Gut
Consuming lingonberries can promote the survival of healthy gut microbes which in turn protects you from low-grade inflammation. These friendly microbes present in your gut protects you from harmful pathogens that can cause infections.
A healthy gut microbiota not only protects you from skin infections but also regulates the elevated immune responses. If the balance of the gut microbiome is disturbed it may lead to inflammatory or autoimmune disorders such as acne, eczema or psoriasis.
5. Helps To Maintain Your Blood Sugar Levels
The phytochemicals such as proanthocyanidins, flavonoids, resveratrol and other polyphenols present in lingonberries help to maintain a healthy sugar level in your body., 
When consumed with other high sugar food these berries can increase the glucose uptake by the liver cells and prevents release of glucose into the bloodstream, thus keeping the blood sugar levels under control.,
High blood sugar levels can make you more prone to infections, lead to severe drying of the skin, poor blood circulation and itchy rashes.
How To Use Lingonberry For Healthy Skin?
You can use fresh lingonberries when they are available in the season. Alternatively, you can use the lyophilised or freeze-dried powder of lingonberries all through the year. Lingonberry extract prepared from the fresh fruit retains all the skin-friendly nutrients and can be used in various skincare products.
The oil derived from the seeds of lingonberry has all the goodness of the berries and is also rich in omega 3 fatty acids and Vitamin E. This oil is light, non-greasy and is easily absorbed by the skin. Lingon seed oil can even be used by people with sensitive skin type to get a smooth, velvety skin without any irritation.
You can also include the whole berries or the lyophilised powder of berries in your diet to get glowing skin from inside out. Sauces or jams prepared from these berries can be eaten with bread, pancakes, etc. The berry powder can be added to smoothies or breakfast bowls for both taste as well as health.
Is Lingonberry The Same As Cranberry?
Although they look quite similar to each other, lingonberries are not the same as cranberries. But they are closely related and belong to the same family of berries, Vaccinium, along with blueberries and huckleberries. Both lingonberries and cranberries have a slightly sweet and tangy taste but cranberries are usually more tart.
While lingonberries are native to Northern Europe and are also referred to as Arctic lingonberries, wild cranberries are most commonly found in the cooler climates of North America. The scientific name of lingonberry is Vaccinium vitis-idaea, while that of the North American cranberry is Vaccinium macrocarpon.
Lingonberries are packed with antioxidants and other skin-friendly ingredients which not only brighten up your skin but also protect it from damage. You can either include these berries in your diet or incorporate them into your skincare regimen to get soft, supple and healthy skin free of blemishes.
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2. Lingonberry ( Vaccinium vitis-idaea L.) Fruit as a Source of Bioactive Compounds with Health-Promoting Effects-A Review. (2021).
3. Antioxidant Activity in Lingonberries (Vaccinium vitis-idaea L.) and Its Inhibitory Effect on Activator Protein-1, Nuclear Factor-κB, and Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases Activation. (2005).
4. Phytochemical Properties and Antioxidant Activities of Extracts from Wild Blueberries and Lingonberries.(2017).
5. Evaluation of Bioactive Compounds, Minerals and Antioxidant Activity of Lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea L.) Fruits. (2017).
6. Frida fooddata, DTU.
7. Oral intake of lingonberry and amla fruit extract improves skin conditions in healthy female subjects: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. (2019)
8. Lingonberry extract.
9. Lingonberries—General and Oral Effects on the Microbiome and Inflammation.(2021).
10. The Gut Microbiome as a Major Regulator of the Gut-Skin Axis.(2018).
11. Impact of dietary polyphenols on carbohydrate metabolism,(2010).
12. Lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea L.) Exhibits Antidiabetic Activities in a Mouse Model of Diet-Induced Obesity.(2014).
13. Enhanced Glucose Uptake in Human Liver Cells and Inhibition of Carbohydrate Hydrolyzing Enzymes by Nordic Berry Extracts. (2017).
14. The fiber and/or polyphenols present in lingonberries null the glycemic effect of the sugars present in the berries when consumed together with added glucose in healthy human volunteers.(2012).
15. Diabetes: 12 warning signs that appear on your skin.
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