When you say bamboo, I think of cute pandas lazily munching on their leaves up in the Chinese mountains. So cute!
But bamboo isn’t just food for pandas. If you’re into Korean skincare, you’ve probably noticed bamboo has found its way into your skincare stash, too.
Bamboo water has pretty much replaced boring old water in Korea. Bamboo extract is everywhere. Every part of the plant is used (the Korean don’t waste anything).
But what made bamboo so popular all of a sudden? Is this just a temporary fad or is there a good reason to look for bamboo in your lotions and potions?
Let’s see what the science says:
Bamboo has antioxidant properties
Hardly a surprise there. Pretty much any plant has antioxidant properties, so why should bamboo be the odd one out?
When you put bamboo on the skin, it goes to find and fight the free radicals that cause premature wrinkles.
Problem is, it doesn’t do this all that well.
Yes, bamboo has antioxidant properties, but they’re wear. It doesn’t even compare to green tea in this department.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying bamboo is a crappy antioxidant and you shouldn’t use it. I’m just saying don’t use it alone. When it comes to antioxidants, the more the merrier.
Bamboo has healing properties
If you cut your skin and put bamboo on it, it’ll heal faster.
The Chinese have known this for centuries (they’ve always used it to make infections heal faster), but now science has confirmed it too.
That’s thanks to methanol, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory properties that works just as well as standard drugs.
Who said that natural medicine is all bogus?
What Else Can Bamboo Do?
Glad you asked.
While I was doing my research, I stumbled on this 2011 study on bamboo extract in skincare. Apparently, bamboo is quite the multitasker:
- It has excellent moisturing properties
- It has some good sun screening abilities (good enough to enhance your sunscreen, not good enough to replace it!)
- It can reduce melanin production, helping dark spots fade away.
Impressive, isn’t it?
Of course, there must be enough bamboo extract in the cream (or whatever) to get the job done. Just a sprinkle won’t do.
What Are The Best Skincare Products With Bamboo?
- Amore Pacific Moisture Bound Skin Energy Hydration Delivery System ($60.00): available at Nordstrom, Net-A-Porter and Sephora
- Dr Oracle A-Thera Sunblock SPF 50 ($30.00): available at Soko Glam and Yes Style
- Eminence Bamboo Firming Fluid ($58.00): available at Dermstore
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The Bottom Line
So, there you have it. There are plenty of good reasons why Korean skincare is obsessed with bamboo. It hydrates skin, fights wrinkles and even speeds up healing.
Have you ever tried bamboo in your skincare or is this something you’d rather leave to pandas? Share your thoughts in the comments below.