Adzuki beans (also known as aduki or azuki beans) have been used in traditional East Asian medicine and skincare. They are small red beans rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
When ground into a fine powder and used as an ingredient in beauty products, it helps gently exfoliating the skin thanks to a natural foaming agent that it contains called saponins. Saponins help to draw out impurities from skin leaving the skin cleaner and softer.
II. Exfoliating properties
One of adzuki beans’ key benefits is their gentle exfoliating properties.
The exfoliating properties of adzuki beans:
– the first one come from its physical texture, which is slightly abrasive when ground into a fine powder. The texture allows the beans to slough away impurities and dead skin cells from the skin revealing a softer skin underneath.
– Another property is that Adzuki beans contain a natural foaming agent called saponin. Saponin is a type of glycoside that is found in a variety of plant-based foods and has been shown to have cleansing and emulsifying properties. This means that when saponin meets water, it produces a natural lather that can help to remove dirt, oil, and other impurities from the skin.
In summary, adzuki beans are an effective and natural exfoliant for the skin, thanks to their texture and saponin content. Incorporating adzuki beans into your skincare routine can help to promote a brighter, smoother complexion, without the need for harsh chemicals or synthetic ingredients.
III. Anti-inflammatory properties
Adzuki beans contain various bioactive compounds, such as saponins and phenolic acids, that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects (thus helping in reducing inflammatory skin conditions such as acne, rosacea and psoriasis).
IV. Anti-aging properties
Adzuki beans are believed to have anti-aging benefits due to their high concentration of antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins and polyphenols. These antioxidants protect the skin against oxidative stress and damage caused by free radicals, which are one of the major causes of skin aging. Adzuki bean extract has been shown to increase collagen synthesis and reduce the activity of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP), which are enzymes that break down collagen and elastin in the skin, contributing to the aging process. Additionally, adzuki bean powder can improve skin roughness and increase moisture retention, contributing to a more youthful appearance. These properties make adzuki beans a promising ingredient in skincare formulations for their potential anti-aging effects.
V. Brightening properties
Aside from adzuki beans’ brightening properties due to their ability to gently exfoliate, these beans contain vitamin B3 (niacin), which has been shown to have skin brightening effects. Niacin helps to reduce the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation by inhibiting the transfer of melanin to the skin cells. This can result in a more even skin tone and brighter complexion.
Adzuki beans also contain a high concentration of antioxidants, which can help to protect the skin against environmental damage and prevent the formation of dark spots and discoloration. Regular use of adzuki bean-based skincare products can help to brighten the skin and promote a more youthful, radiant appearance.
VI. Moisturizing properties
Adzuki beans are known to have moisturizing properties when applied topically to the skin. This is because adzuki beans contain a high concentration of saponins, which are natural compounds that can help to cleanse and hydrate the skin.
When used as a natural exfoliant, adzuki bean powder can help to gently remove dead skin cells, allowing for better absorption of moisturizers and other skincare products. Additionally, the saponins in adzuki beans can help to create a protective barrier on the skin, helping to lock in moisture and prevent dryness and dehydration.
Adzuki beans also contain a variety of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E and B vitamins, which can help to nourish and hydrate the skin. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that can help to protect the skin against environmental damage and premature aging, while B vitamins can help to strengthen the skin barrier and improve overall skin health.
VII. Potential Side effects
Adzuki beans are generally safe to use, however some people can experience side effects or allergic reactions. Some of the potential side effects are listed below:
- Irritation: Adzuki beans, if used too aggressively or used on sensitive skin, can be abrasive and caude redness, irritation, and inflammation.
- Allergic reaction: Some people can be allergic to adzuki beans, which can cause redness, itching, hives, or swelling.
- Overuse: Adzuki beans are gentle exfoliators to the skin, however if you over exfoliate your skin with adzuki beans, it can cause dryness, flakiness or even damage to the skin barrier.
VIII. How often?
You can exfoliate your skin with Adzuki beans up to two times a week.
IX. How to use Adzuki beans as exfoliators?
- Rinse and soak: Rinse a quarter cup of adzuki beans thoroughly and soak them in water overnight, or for at least 6-8 hours, to soften them.
- Blend or grind: Drain the soaking water and transfer the beans to a blender or food processor. Pulse until the beans are finely ground, but not too powdery.
- Mix with water or oil: In a separate bowl, mix the ground adzuki beans with a small amount of water or oil to form a thick paste. Water is suitable for oily or acne-prone skin, while oil is better for dry or sensitive skin.
- Apply to skin: Apply the adzuki bean paste to your face or body in circular motions, using gentle pressure to exfoliate the skin. Avoid the eye area and any open wounds or sensitive areas.
- Rinse off: Rinse the adzuki bean paste off with warm water and pat your skin dry. Follow up with your regular skincare routine, such as toner, serum, and moisturizer.
X. Choose high-quality beans:
When selecting adzuki beans, it’s important to choose high-quality, organic beans whenever possible. Either you apply it topically or take it internally, this will ensure that you’re getting the most nutritional benefits from the beans, while also avoiding exposure to harmful pesticides or chemicals.
Patch testing adzuki beans before using them on your skin is a good idea to ensure that you do not have an allergic reaction or sensitivity to them. Here’s how to patch test adzuki beans:
- Choose a small area of skin: Pick a small area of skin, such as the inside of your wrist, and clean it thoroughly with soap and water.
- Apply a small amount of the adzuki bean paste: Take a small amount of the adzuki bean paste and apply it to the chosen area of skin. Make sure that the paste is not too hot or too abrasive.
- Wait 24-48 hours: Leave the adzuki bean paste on the patch of skin for 24-48 hours, and avoid getting it wet or exposing it to sunlight.
- Observe for any reaction: After the waiting period, check the patch of skin for any signs of irritation, redness, itching, or swelling. If you experience any discomfort, remove the paste immediately and rinse the area with cool water.
If you do not experience any adverse reactions during the patch test, then it is safe to use adzuki beans as a natural exfoliator on your skin. However, if you do have a reaction, then it is best to avoid using adzuki beans on your skin and seek medical advice if necessary.
This content does NOT provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is NOT a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult your own doctor for more information.