Best known as a healthy snack, the goji berry is indigenous to China and is thought by many, especially those in Asia, to help extend longevity. The orange-red berries, also referred to as wolfberries, are considered by some to be a veritable fountain of youth. Through the years, they’ve been used to treat a myriad of health issues, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and more. Unfortunately, the claims have not always lived up to the hype, at least when it comes to ingesting them. Their reputation certainly precedes them thanks to the folktale of Li Ching-Yuen, who was said to have consumed goji berries daily and lived to be 252 years old. Long used in traditional Chinese medicine, there is no denying, that like most berries, they’re chock-full of antioxidants. However, more research is needed to determine the long-term effects of consuming goji berries. In skincare, though, they’re proving to pack an effective punch.
Goji berries possess potent antioxidant properties. “They are non-irritating antioxidant powerhouses, making them particularly effective against the signs of aging,” says Boldijarre Koronczay, president of Éminence Organic Skin Care. “They’re full of nutrients, amino acids, carotenoids, and polysaccharides—all of which work together to protect, regenerate, and hydrate the skin.”
In agreement about the berries’ influential status, Elisabeth Nehme, international brand ambassador and master educator for [ comfort zone ], notes that they’re abundant in provitamin A and vitamins B and C. “The antioxidant benefit is important to repair the damage our skin is subject to every day from sun, pollution, lifestyle habits, and stress,” she says. At the Golden Nugget Spa & Salon at The Golden Nugget Lake Charles (LA), guests can cash in on the benefits of the tiny berry with the Recover Touch Facial ($180, 75 minutes). It incorporates the company’s worldwide bestsellers, Renight Recover Cream and Renight Vitamin Integrator, both of which are rich in goji berry extract. “The goji berry extract greatly enhances the skin’s natural nighttime repair process,” says Nehme.
That’s not to say they don’t also work their magic throughout the day, as well. “Goji berries are vitamin- and nutrient-rich, containing beta carotene, beta-sitosterol, niacin, pyridoxine, and vitamin C,” says Barbara Close, founder and CEO of Naturopathica. “The concentrated vitamins and nutrients in goji berries deliver powerful antioxidant benefits to the skin, reducing inflammation and protecting against environmental damage, the leading causes of premature aging.”
Spa-goers can treat their skin to the nourishing benefits of goji berries with the Pure Organic Results Facial ($125, 60 minutes; $175, 90 minutes) at Blue Marble Spa at the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay, San Diego. The treatment involves an application of Beech Tree & Ginseng Daily Moisturizer, which helps reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles with goji berry extracts.
According to Koronczay, thanks to the carotenoids and vitamin C found in the berries, skincare products containing the beneficial berries can even reduce the occurrence of age spots. “In addition to protecting the skin and preventing further damage, the minerals in goji berries also promote the production of collagen and elastin, keeping the skin looking youthful,” he says. “With a combination of protective and skin-renewing properties, goji berry is an efficacious ingredient to include in an age-defying skincare routine.” It’s no surprise then that they feature prominently in Éminence’s Pomelo Cheek Hydrator, which is part of the Balance Collection. In fact, the moisture-rich product is a key element of the Urban Retreat Skin Care Treatment ($90, 60 minutes; $130, 90 minutes) at Ra Organic Spa (Burbank, CA). It relies on a combination of fresh pomelo juice, goji berries, and gingko to fight the signs of aging.
When it comes to the skin, goji berries are continuing their legacy of reputed longevity. “Products containing goji berries help increase antioxidant and amino acid levels, which aid in protecting the skin from oxidative and free-radical damage,” says Alejandro Falcon, artistic director and corporate educator for Osmosis Pür Medical Skincare. “Along with the antioxidants in goji berries, the amino acids help to replenish and rebuild aging skin by supporting protein, which is essential for collagen formation.” Goji berry extract is used in the company’s Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen Moisturizer, which is not only formulated to protect the skin from UV damage but it is also designed to nourish the skin after Osmosis’s Medi Facials (starting at $95, 30 minutes), Facial Infusions ($115, 30 minutes), and Medi-Infusions ($130, 45 minutes).
While the beneficial berry isn’t always obvious on treatment menus, it remains a popular ingredient in a variety of services and products. It is, however, a standout on the menu at Chi, The Spa at Shangri-La at the China World Summit Wing, Beijing, Shangri-La. There, the Goji Berry Scrub ($93, 45 minutes) relies on a mix of red rice and goji berries mixed with natural mineral water to form a paste. It is no surprise the berry is a highlight of the menu when you consider its popular status in Asia. Regardless of whether your clients are familiar with the powerful berry or not, you’ll definitely want to consider the skin benefits it has to offer. As spa-goers continue to gravitate toward natural and organic ingredients with effective skin-enhancing properties, goji berries are standing the test of time.
Introduce clients to the benefits of goji berries by offering these products at your spa.—Jessica Morrobel
1. Abrioné by VB Cosmetics Face Lifting Serum: Formulated with goji berry and green tea extracts, this treatment combats inflammation and reduces puffiness. www.vbcosmetics.com
2. Ahava Time to Revitalize Extreme Firming Eye Cream: A blend of date and goji berry extracts provide hydration and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. www.ahavaus.com
3. B. Kamins Diamond Radiance Rejuvenating Cream SPF 15: Complete with botanical and goji berry extracts, this day cream promotes firmness and elasticity for a healthy, youthful-looking complexion. www.bkamins.com
4. [ comfort zone ] Renight Recover Cream: Transforming dull skin, this night cream relies on antioxidants and goji berry extract to repair skin and enhance its regenerating processes. www.comfortzone.it
5. Éminence Organic Skin Care Balancing Moisturizer Duo: Bamboo leaf extract, goji berry, and tea tree oil help improve skin’s vitality and target dry areas on the cheeks. www.eminenceorganics.com
6. June Jacobs Elastin Collagen Serum: White, red, and green tea combined with goji berry, grapeseed, and pomegranate extracts help neutralize free radicals and protect skin from environmental stressors.www.junejacobs.com
7. Osmosis Colour Pressed Base: Available in 11 shades, this mineral makeup offers natural coverage and UV protection with a blend of goji berry and honeysuckle flower extracts. www.osmosisskincare.com
8. Naturopathica Beech Tree & Ginseng Daily Moisturizer: Beech tree, goji berry extracts, and ginseng complex reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while enhancing moisture retention. www.naturopathica.com
9. No Bull Citrus Cleanser: A combination of aloe, blue-green algae, and goji berry purify and nourish without stripping away protective oils and drying skin. www.nobullbeauty.com
10. Pangea Organics Facial Mask Japanese Matcha Tea with Acai & Goji Berry: Organic matcha tea and goji berry help improve
skintone and texture. www.pangeaorganics.com
11. Rhonda Allison Peptide 38: Available for use on all skin types, this anti-aging treatment rejuvenates while smoothing and hydrating with goji berry and witch hazel. www.rhondaallison.com
12. Skin Script Goji Berry Yogurt Mask: Working to rebuild the skin, this yogurt-based mask reduces fine lines and wrinkles while improving elasticity and stimulating cellular regeneration. www.skinscriptrx.com