The legend has it that the nymph Ida, during a walk in the woods of the wonderful Crete, heard the cry of a child. But it was not just any child, but Zeus, hidden right on that island by her mother Rhea to save him from the fury of his father Cronus. The nymph, intrigued, approached the child who was crying in despair. So, to console little Zeus, Ida picked some fragrant and white fruits that grew nearby, to give them to the child. In doing so, however, the thorns of the plant injured Ida, whose blood stained the fruit which from that day became a beautiful ruby red. The fruit was the raspberry that took the name of Rubus idaeus, or bramble of Ida, the nymph of this legend. The raspberry is thus considered a fruit worthy of the gods, it is said that it was even the fruit most loved by Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty. After all, every part of the raspberry, from the berries to the leaves, helps to protect our beauty, proving to be a small but powerful gift of nature to our skin. So let's see how we can use raspberry leaves as a cosmetic ingredient. But first, let's try to understand what science says about it.
Raspberry leaves in cosmetics, what science says
Skin aging causes the appearance of wrinkles, an uneven complexion but also dry skin. Aging is certainly a physiological process but it can be accelerated by some factors, such as excessive exposure to UV rays. Well, studies have observed that raspberry leaf extracts contain valuable antioxidants and are able to bring nourishment and hydration to the skin, counteracting aging processes (Rattanawiwatpong et al, J Cosmet Dermatol, 2020). Creams based on raspberry leaf extracts have been shown to be 20% more effective in increasing skin hydration than basic moisturizers (Piazza et al, Antioxidants, 2020). Not only that, these extracts also stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, helping to counteract the formation of wrinkles (Tito et al, Int J Cosmet Sci, 2015). In addition, raspberry leaves promote skin repair processes, reduce inflammation levels and can act as a tonic, counteracting oily skin, acne, blackheads and enlarged pores (Piazza et al, Antioxidants, 2020 - Wang et al, Oxid Med Cell Longev, 2019)
Raspberry leaves, here's how to use them
Raspberry leaves are therefore a true elixir of youth and health for our skin! So how can you benefit from this precious remedy? Surely, if you love the DIY, you can make an infusion to apply on the face. Bring a cup of water to a boil, remove from heat and add a tablespoon of dried raspberry leaves, you can find them in herbalist's shops. Leave to infuse for ten minutes, then filter and let it cool down. This tea is rich in water-soluble antioxidants called tannins (Kobori et al, Metabolites, 2019). Tannins act as astringents and anti-inflammatories, therefore useful in case of acne, oily skin, enlarged pores but also irritated and itchy skin (Nasri et al, Jundishapur J Microbiol., 2015). But tannins also have an anti-aging action, capable of counteracting wrinkles, uneven complexion and dry skin (Jadoon et al, Oxid Med Cell Longev., 2015). You can then make raspberry leaf tea packs on your face using cotton pads soaked in this tea, for up to 10-15 minutes, then rinse and complete with your beauty routine.
Alternatively, you can buy creams based on raspberry leaf extracts.