3 Surprising Ways You Can Use Kale in Your Beauty Routine

Photo: Line Klein/Cultura/Getty Images

Photo: Line Klein/Cultura/Getty Images

Since kale became a staple in our morning smoothies and favorite salads, it didn’t take long for us to notice that the vegetable reaped benefits for our health and our skin. Infused with antioxidants and iron, among numerous other nutrients, the leafy green reduces inflammation, treats sun damage, and promotes elasticity in the hair. No surprise here—kale is now making its way to the beauty aisle with topical treatments that reap similar benefits and more. Find out why it should be applied to your skin, hair, and nails.

According to dermatologist Dr. David Bank, kale is loaded with Vitamins A, C and K, lutein, iron, and antioxidants. “The vitamin K in kale helps to reduce the dark circles under your eyes and ‘tightens’ your skin, thereby reducing fine lines and wrinkles.” It also helps to reduce the swelling and scars that may form after medical procedures. “Lutein, a carotenoid, also promotes collagen production, which is essential for your skin’s strength and ‘full’ appearance,” Dr. Bank says. Both vitamin A and antioxidants repair skin tissue while also preventing free-radical damage. “Kale beauty products are also known to be beneficial for detoxification. These products help to keep your skin hydrated while cleaning out your pores and providing your skin with a healthier look.”

Dr. Bank suggests applying kale topically through serums and creams, such as Eminence Organics Citrus and Kale Potent C+E Serum ($110, eminenstore.com) and Nourish Revital-Eyes Anti-Aging Eye Cream ($30, nourishskinrange.com). For natural coverage, he also recommends Alba Good & Healthy Tinted Perfector Moisturizer ($9.99, albabotanica.com). “When applying kale directly to the skin, you are able to deliver all of those nutrients and vitamins straight to the dermis, in a concentrated form,” says New York-based Oasis Day Spa Skincare Director Christie Lavigne. “Obviously, the skin is able to reap maximum benefits as from the outside in. Of course, eating it and ingesting the nutrients internally is important, too!” Another option is the “kale facial,” which is growing in popularity. Oasis Day Spa offers the Eminence Potent C&E Citrus Kale Facial, which helps to combat signs of aging as well as instantly hydrate and brighten the skin.

“Kale has both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which keep the hair and scalp moisturized. The fatty acids also reduce dandruff and alleviate a flaky scalp and may even speed up hair growth,” says Lisa Lobosco, the Creative Director of ECRU New YorkKale Naturals Daily Shampoo ($21, kalenaturals.com) is a vegan choice that cleanses and moisturizes the scalp with each use. Lobosco also shares her recipe for a simple kale DIY mask. “Blend together four washed kale leaves, a lemon, and a teaspoon of olive oil into a thick paste. Massage into the scalp, let it sit for 20 minutes, and then rinse.”

Since hair and nails are both made out of keratin, it’s no wonder that the veggie has made its merry way to the nail aisle too. Nails Inc. recently launched NailKale ($14, sephora.com), a limited-edition polish that’s infused with kale extract. Boasting high levels of vitamins A, C and K, the formula stimulates keratin production and results in longer, stronger, and better-hydrated nails.

Read more: 10 Common Things You Should Never (Ever!) Put on Your Face