5 Chia Beauty Products to Try

Check out the latest crossover craze from food to beauty


From top left clockwise: Sukin Chia Seed Oil+; Nude Progenius Omega Treatment Milk; Sunday Riley Flora Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil; Antipodes Chia and Kiwi Seed Superfood Serum; Goodness Every Evening Cream. Picture / Guy Coombes.

When I first came across chia in a face serum a few years back, I’d barely heard of the stuff. Now it is in every second cafe breakfast bowl. American skincare brand Perricone MD was was an early adopter in adding the oil from this nutritious seed to beauty products, however, with others really only getting in on the act in the last six months or so. Lately I’m noticing chia seed oil popping up on various ingredient lists, although it still has a way to go to match menu mentions.

The attraction is the same for both healthy eaters and skincare formulators, in that chia is a little power pack. The desert plant Salvia hispanica, native to central America, yields tiny black and white seeds said to have been used by the Mayan and Aztecs as energy boosters. The superfood’s seeds and the oil extracted from them are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

These are credited with helping heart and skin health and found in foods ranging from oily fish, through certain nuts and oils. Omega oils not only reinforce the skin’s barrier layer with moisture, but are said to support cell membrane function. Dermatologist Nicholas Perricone reckons they also combat the age marker of inflammation.

Chia is by far from being the only oil with good doses of omega-3 — common canola and flax seed contain it for starters — so there is undoubtedly a certain amount of trendiness in its use. But it is a healthy trend. While more research is needed into whether you get the most beauty benefit from omega oils in your diet or applied direct, a bit of both certainly won’t do you any harm.

HERE ARE SOME TO SAMPLE:

1. Sukin Chia Seed Oil+ $19.95
With its Super Green range, Australian brand Sukin underscores the healthy diet-healthy skin connection. Its Chia Oil+ reads like a smoothie recipe with kale, spirulina and parsely added. Mixed in is an algae extract and oils from hemp, camellia, avocado, olive and baobab to supplement the star ingredient. From Farmers, selected pharmacies and health stores.

2. Nude Progenius Omega Treatment Milk $124
This upmarket natural UK brand — invested in by Ali Hewson, wife of singer Bono, and begun by Bryan Meehan, the eco-entrepreneur founder of the wholefood emporium Fresh & Wild who wanted to do for skin what organic good had done for diets — contains, unsurprisingly, chia. It is one of 10 plant oils used in this gentle skin drink, designed to nourish and soften and add omegas 3,5,6,7 and 9. There is a matching oil for those looking for denser hydration. From Mecca Cosmetica stores or meccacosmetica.co.nz

3. Sunday Riley Flora Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil $142
Another more indulgent approach to chia, with Russian, Turkish and Bulgarian red roses layering a fragrant base of hydrating botanicals, suited for dry, dehydrated or mature skin. The chia drops in with pomegranate, carrot, tomato and rosehip oils. From Mecca Cosmetica and, meccacosmetica.co.nz

4. Antipodes Chia and Kiwi Seed Superfood Serum $54
For a New Zealand spin on chia, Antipodes teams it with oil from kiwifruit seeds to restore skin vitality and sheen and lock in moisture. Dry or flaky skin will lap it up. Apply a few drops to face, neck, and decollete daily before moisturiser and enjoy the jasmine and ylang ylang fragrance. From each bottle sold, Antipodes is giving $2 to the World Wide Fund for Nature New Zealand to aid environmental conservation, up to a $60,000 donation. From selected department stores, pharmacies and health stores, see antipodesnature.com

5. Goodness Every Evening Cream $19.99
Chia is at the heart of the Goodness capsule range, which makes an affordable entry into chia from a business offshoot of New Zealand’s successful Trilogy company. The chia oil is sourced from Australia, where the climate is better-suited to the crop’s growth than here. It combines with avocado and coconut oil and aloe extract in a richer formula than the day moisturiser. From Farmers and selected Countdown and New World supermarkets, see goodnessproducts.com

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