Go Cranberry Crazy

7th December 2018

It’s the seasonal superfood that’s as good for you on the outside as it is on the inside. This Christmas, Lisa Botwright urges you to 'go cranberry crazy'…

Cranberries, those deep-red winter berries, have become synonymous with the Christmas table. They’re full of goodness, and their tart, fresh flavour works perfectly with the sweetness of turkey meat, and even in delicious seasonal cocktails like Cranberry and Spiced Rum Punch. The fruit is native to North America, and early European settlers are said to have believed that the flower, stem and petals resemble the neck, head and bill of a crane, and so named it ‘craneberry’, a word that’s since evolved into the one we use today.

But not only are these tiny vitamin C-packed antioxidant powerhouses delicious to eat, they also make the perfect beauty ingredient. They’re one of the richest sources of tocopherol, a form of vitamin E derived from fruit and vegetables. Studies show that tocopherol absorbs UV rays and helps prevent UV-induced free radical damage to skin, that it acts as an anti-inflammatory agent in skin and helps reduce pollution-related free radical damage (aka the visible signs of ageing); plus, it’s a fantastic moisturiser. Goodness can be extracted from the fruit and the seed, and you’ll see examples of both in a host of super-effective and luxurious products.

Natural beauty brand Rossi Uvema, have blended ‘gotu kola’ (a herb that decreases inflammation and boosts collagen production – not so well-known to westerners, but often used in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine) with cranberry fruit extract in a soothing cleansing lotion. Gently nourishing, it also contains organic hemp oil, golden jojoba oil and rose essential oil (Rossi Uvema Gotu Kola & Cranberry Face Cleansing Lotion, £14.25, lovelula.com). Cowshed use three key hero ingredients – cranberry, rose and neroli – to produce an intensely rejuvenating facial oil that smells amazing and makes your evening beauty routine a treat (Cranberry Seed Rejuvenating Facial Oil, £36, cowshed.com). Cranberry powder also makes an effective natural exfoliator. I’ve been slathering my winter-chapped skin in Green People’s Exfoliating Body Crème, which uses tiny grains of organic apricot and cranberry powder to gently lift dead skin cells, leaving my skin really soft (£20, greenpeople.co.uk). JOIK have combined cranberry powder with blackcurrant powder, plus fine textured white and pink clays, to clean pores and remove excess oil and impurities; their mask really wakes up tired or dull skin (Radiance Improving Cranberry and Blackcurrant Facial Mask £9, lovelula.com).

Then there’s the gloriousness of the colour of cranberry: its berry shade is universally flattering – softer, warmer and more forgiving than bright red. Bobbi Brown’s all-in-one warming and highlighting palette mixes cranberry blush with golden shades of bronzer to banish winter skin under a natural, but glamorous glow (Brightening Brick in Cranberry, £36, bobbibrown.co.uk). Just add a slick of PHB Ethical Beauty’s Cranberry Lipstick, a warm burnt red with pink undertones – and you’re party ready (£12.95, phbethicalbeauty.co.uk). This is a bestseller from a brand that prides itself in having absolutely zero palm oil in any of its range. Now that’s really something to celebrate.

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