In beauty, there's always a hot new ingredient that everyone is talking about. Hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, retinol, and bakuchiol have all had their day in the sun, but I'm calling it: buckwheat is next. The little-known ingredient is actually rather impressive, boasting properties that reportedly allow it to be soothe, de-puff, and strengthen your skin. But what does buckwheat do in skincare products, and what makes it so special? Here's everything you need to know about its reported benefits, and which products contain buckwheat.
Buckwheat is most commonly found in eye creams and other products developed for use around the sensitive eye area. According to skincare brand Elemis, this is because buckwheat is "widely used for reducing puffiness and dark circles around the eye contour area."
Meg Bricknell, Marketing Manager at Dr. Hauschka, explains to me the science behind buckwheat's eye-brightening properties, saying that it's all about circulation: "Dark circles can form as a result of poor circulation. Buckwheat as an ingredient contains flavonoids which can help to improve microcirculation, i.e. the blood flow and nutrient exchange in the smallest blood vessels.
"They also diminish the tendency for fluid from the capillaries to escape into the surrounding tissue. In addition, flavonoids have antioxidant properties."
Clever. If you're intrigued and want to try an eye cream with Buckwheat in it, this one by Tata Harper is a great choice:
Another reported benefit of buckwheat is that it builds the condition of skin back up, soothing and strengthening as it goes.
"Extracts of buckwheat are rich in secondary plant substances which are produced by the plant as active compounds," explains Bricknell. "These protect the skin, strengthen the cells and have revitalising properties."
If you want to see if buckwheat can help soothe your skin, the Dr Hauschka Soothing Mask is one of the best products out there you can try.
Protects against pollution
As mentioned, buckwheat is also reported to be an antioxidant, meaning it can protect skin from outside aggressors such as pollution.
Luxury skincare brand Sisley use buckwheat in many of their skin, hair, and makeup products, and name it their "star anti-pollution active ingredient."
"Buckwheat seed extract helps the skin to better withstand environmental damage, pollution, and fine particles," the brand says.