The beauty business is squeezing more out of yuzu extract (INCI: Citrus Junos) than just flavor and fragrance. In Japan, this zesty citrus fruit is popular in food and beverage, but it is also part of a traditional winter bathing ritual. The whole fruits are floated in steaming baths at winter solstice or "Toji" to ward off illnesses such as flu and colds in the coming year. The tart aroma and bright yellow color energize and fortify the body for the cold weather. Drawing on this heritage, yuzu extract primarily has been used as a scent in fragrance and bath products. However, the use of yuzu jumped almost 100% in 2008 in both the skin care and makeup categories, according to Mintel Beauty Innovation. Today, yuzu peel extract and yuzu oil are appearing as active ingredients in launches that highlight the sparkling fruit’s naturally energizing, toning and brightening properties.
Kanebo Coffret d’Or Essence Lip Base is a fragrance-free lip essence and lip gloss. It contains a fruit complex of apricot kernel oil and apricot juice as well as yuzu fruit extract to impart shine and moisture to dry lips. It adds a subtle pink hue to lips for a healthy, brightened tone.
Kosé Infinity Prime Couture Liquid Foundation is formulated with yuzu fruit, edelweiss extracts and a concentrated phospholipid to offer hydration to the skin. This long-lasting, easy-to-blend foundation claims to cover pores and wrinkles naturally and to deliver rich, lasting moisture to create a glowing, fine and elastic skin. It provides SPF 20/ PA++ protection against UV rays. It can be used year-round and is allergy tested.
The use of yuzu is not just limited to Japanese beauty brands. In the United States, Revlon introduced Age Defying Spa Foundation, an antiaging makeup to revitalize and brighten skin. It has vitamin C from grapefruit, lemon peel ferment and yuzu peel extracts, as well as antioxidant açai, grape extracts and argireline. It also contains stone therapy minerals such as hematite, malachite and azurite to energize. It claims to protect against fine lines.
The açai and yuzu peel combination is also found in Almay’s Pure Blends range. The eye shadow is made with 98.2% natural ingredients such as rice lipids, jojoba seed oil and corn starch, as well as lotus, wild pansy and papaya extracts. It is free of parabens and talcs and has been ophthalmologically tested.
Some brands are capitalizing on yuzu’s bathing heritage to move the ingredient into face cleansing products. Yves Saint Laurent focuses on yuzu’s energizing and tonic properties with its new 3 in 1 Cleansing Water. This product removes makeup, cleanses and tones. It is formulated with yuzu peel extract and African whitewood bark extract, which has antibacterial properties. It claims to refine and improve the quality of the skin, providing an intense energizing sensation.
Another cleansing product with yuzu is Mon Soin du Visage Yuzu Cold Oil. This makeup remover makes the most of the yuzu fruit’s properties. It claims yuzu stimulates lymph circulation while hydrating the epidermis and regulating sebum production. According to the creators of this niche Parisian spa brand, vitamin C and yuzu pectin contain natural saccharine said to revitalize capillary vessels, diminish pigmentation marks and wrinkles and brighten complexions. The yuzu scent reportedly helps concentration and lifts spirits in the morning while allowing for relaxation in the evening.
Within skin care, yuzu is included in face, eye and body care launches. One of the newer face creams is Kao’s Oriena Ne no Megumi (Blessing of the Root). This moisturising cream is based on six kinds of root extracts, as well as extracts of tree peony and yuzu and Japanese cypress. It claims to deliver moisture to plump the skin and leave it radiant.
Mintel highlighted the growth of yuzu in food and cocktails in 2006. Since then it appears to be following in the path of other zingy flavors like ginger and lemongrass by crossing over to beauty. While yuzu is established in Japanese cosmetic brands, it is yet to be exploited fully in Western beauty products. Yuzu offers strong potential to enhance radiance and brightening claims. It also provides opportunity as a refreshing, lifting and relaxing active in spa treatments and products.
Excerpt from Cosmetics & Toiletries by Nica Lewis, Mintel
Work pressures stressing you out? Long overdue for a holiday? Fruit isn't the obvious solution to stress, but a certain Japanese citrus might just be the solution to all our problems.
More: 10 Adorably ‘ugly’ fruits and veggies you should definitely still eat
The little yellow fruit is similar to a tangerine or orange, but this baby packs a lot more punch than just regular vitamin C. According to the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, the fragrance of the yuzu can have "soothing effects" on the body.
The study was conducted using 20 healthy women with a mean age of 20.5. They were asked to inhale the scent of the yuzu, and after 10 minutes, researchers found changes in the participants' moods — their levels of tension, anxiety and depression were all lowered. The results were even more impressive after 30 minutes.
Their conclusion was that the scent of the yuzu fruit may be able to alleviate negative emotional stress.
More: 7 Reasons to eat more mango (plus a smoothie recipe to get you started)
The study also reported that, according to food and nutritional science studies, the yuzu has anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, antioxidant and even anti-carcinogenic properties and could help prevent cognitive dysfunction.
Most of us probably haven't heard of the yuzu fruit before, but it's long been favoured by chefs. According to Daily Mail, the juice and fruit have been used in Western cuisine to make vinegar and to enhance the flavour of various foods and drinks, including chewing gum and cocktails.
Sitting at your desk, sniffing a citrus may earn you some strange glances, but if it's making you feel better, then why the heck not? Clearly we'd all love to rush out and buy the fruit now and feel all our worries drift away. Apart from sniffing it, it actually tastes pretty good too, with the flavour being something of a combination of a lemon, mandarin and grapefruit.
Unfortunately it's near impossible to buy the fruit whole in the U.K. However, it is available in juice form from various retailers, including Waitrose (£5), and as aseasoning sauce from Sainsbury's (£3).
Excerpt from Sheknows.com by Cailyn Cox
Objective: This study investigated the soothing effects of fragrance from yuzu, a Japanese citrus fruit (Citrus junos Sieb. ex Tanaka), with salivary chromogranin A (CgA) used as an endocrinologic stress marker reflecting sympathetic nervous system activity.
Results: Ten-minute inhalation of the yuzu scent significantly decreased salivary CgA. At 30 minutes after the inhalation period, the salivary CgA level further decreased. In addition, POMS revealed that inhalation of the aromatic yuzu oil significantly decreased total mood disturbance, a global measure of affective state, as well as four subscores of emotional symptoms (tension–anxiety, depression–dejection, anger–hostility, and confusion), as long as 30 minutes after the olfactory stimulation.
Conclusions: Yuzu's aromatic effects may alleviate negative emotional stress, which, at least in part, would contribute to the suppression of sympathetic nervous system activity.
Excerpt from Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
Yuzu is thought to be a hybrid of the Ichang papeda and the Satsuma mandarin. The fruit has a distinctive aroma, and has been used as a spice in Japanese cuisine for a long time.
There is also a Japanese custom in which people have a yuzu bath on the day of the winter solstice, in order to ward off illness during the cold winter season.
Yuzu essential oil is the source of the distinctive aroma, and it is contained mainly in the peel. Yuzu peel can be used as a spice, or the essential oil can be extracted from it.
What feature makes our Yuzu Citrus Powder different from other similar products?
Most other products employ a hot-air dry or freeze-dry method to dry the Yuzu peel. These methods decrease the quality of the aroma, and the final product has a stale aroma. In addition, their essential oil will dissipate into air more rapidly as time goes by.
Our main ingredient, “ Dextrin”, is the key which maintains the high content of the Yuzu essential oil in our product over a long period of time. Thanks to the chemical feature of the dextrin and the unique procedure by which we make our Yuzu Citrus Powder, our products boast the longest lasting fresh Yuzu aroma and phytochemicals from Yuzu peel. Yes, this powder is healthy!
We use only pesticide-free Yuzu fruit. We use dextrin, some of which is made from genetically modified maize. Dextrin is a processed food starch, and it is thought to be impossible for even the latest technology to detect the presence of genetically modified DNA and protein. For this reason, GMO Dextrin is used without notice to customers in Japan.
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