The Andean grain is sought after by the international cosmetic world as a sustainable and powerful ingredient.
For the past few years, quinoa has enjoyed a steady popularity as one of the superfoods that proved to be more than a trend. Packed with animal-free protein and an ease to prepare and combine with flavor-rich foods, quinoa has been a sure way to have a piece of Peru appear on dinner plates across the world.
But are you ready to rub it all over your face and through your hair?
According to an article published on Gestion, the thin shell or layer that separates from the grain when cooked has finally found its purpose. Rosario Pajuelo, an international consultant to the European Union (EU) and expert on Peruvian biodiversity, told the national news source that this delicate ‘skin’ of the quinoa, known as Saponin (Saponina, in Spanish), has an ability to create foam. Shampoos, soaps, and detergents have found a sustainable and chic way to get those suds going.
Because the husk is not healthy for human consumption, most of it continues to go to waste. According to a quoted source from Puno, Gestion reports that at the moment, saponin residue can be purchased for just S/ 10 a kilo. Some companies use it to fan the fire in their furnaces. Pajuelo stresses that it provides a greater economic opportunity that should be taken advantage of, such as by greater use for beauty products.
Of course, the inclusion of trendy and of-the-moment ingredients to beauty products is nothing new (hey, acai). In 2015, beauty magazine Allure published an article name dropping a few products that included quinoa for the purpose of adding shine, luster, and strength.
For the DIY fiends, here’s the recipe for a Quinoa Body Scrub by gogoquinoa.com:
½ cup of quinoa
1 cup of almond or coconut milk
¼ cup of arrowroot powder
1 tsp of agave syrup
Directions: cook the quinoa as directed, let cool and add the milk, arrowroot and agave. Massage the mixture all over your body!
Find more Quinoa-based beauty recipes here.
Cover photo: Philipp Alexander/Flickr
This article has been updated from its original publication on January 2, 2017.
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