Alfalfa Is The Trendiest New Skincare Ingredient, But What Does It Do?

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No matter what skin concerns you have, antioxidants are a must-have in your skincare routine. The reason is that they are the most effective weapon against free radicals, our skin's biggest enemy. Antioxidants can be found in a number of sources, including vitamins A, C, E, copper, zinc, and selenium. These ingredients can be found in certain foods, supplements, and topical treatments. 


If you're looking for the next big thing in the antioxidant aisle, however, look no further than alfalfa, also known as Medicago sativa. Alfalfa might sound like a newcomer in the skincare realm, but it was widely used in ancient Chinese and Indian medicines to treat jaundice and blood clotting disorders. Derived from the alfalfa plant, alfalfa extract boasts significant antioxidant properties in addition to skin-brightening effects. It's no exaggeration to say that alfalfa is an excellent alternative to retinol and the next holy grail in many people's beauty regimens. Here is why alfalfa deserves a spot in your anti-aging skincare routine.

What is alfalfa?

In and of itself, alfalfa is a superfood for the skin. "Alfalfa, or Medicago Sativa, is an amazing source of essential phytonutrients, including vitamins A, B, D, E, and K, chlorophyll, polyphenols, amino acids, biotin, and a plethora of skin-loving minerals," Jacob Tomás del Rosario, Youth To The People's senior regional sales and education executive, noted on the company website. The herb is also high in antioxidants, which fight oxidative stress caused by free radicals running amok in the skin. 


Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules generated in the body in response to environmental aggressors, such as ultraviolet (UV) rays, air pollution, and smoke. They cause oxidative stress in the body, activating enzymes that dissolve collagen and damage the DNA in skin cells, contributing to premature aging and various skin disorders. Antioxidants like alfalfa come to the skin's rescue by neutralizing free radicals at the expense of their own electrons, halting a series of chemical events that may otherwise harm the skin cells. By shielding your skin from UV damage, this protective ingredient helps reduce the risk of skin cancer and premature aging.

Benefits of alfalfa for skin health

"Alfalfa is trending because people are always looking for something new and different to give a boost to their skin," dermatologist Dr. Brendan Camp told Who What Wear. "In addition, as a naturally derived ingredient, it ticks the 'organic' or 'natural' skin care box." Given its soothing nature, alfalfa also makes a great substitute for retinol, a potent antioxidant. If you have sensitive skin that's vulnerable to dryness and flare-ups, gentler alfalfa might be a safer bet for your skin than retinol and can be used daily, dermatologist Dr. Marisa Garshick told Who What Wear. Dr. Camp believes that alfalfa is ideal for all skin types and can be used to prevent and treat signs of aging skin, such as fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots. 


Due to its high concentration of nourishing vitamins and minerals, alfalfa is effective for hydrating the skin and reducing redness and irritation from skin disorders, such as eczema and rosacea. Alfalfa's high chlorophyll content is efficient in cleansing sebum and impurities from pores, aiding in the treatment of acne and evening out skin tone. Additionally, alfalfa extract can lighten your complexion, reduce acne breakouts, and prevent early signs of aging.