The humble soybean is a veritable rock star of healthy nutrients. Low in fat, zero cholesterol, fibre rich and protein packed, they are a key ingredient in a healthy diet. Soybeans appear in all kinds of non-food products such from pharmaceuticals to crayons. From oils to proteins to extracts, soybeans appear in a multitude of skin care formulations:
Soybean oil has long been used in skin care products instead of animal fat as the oil can smooth and nourish skin. Science has also found a way to convert soybean oil into a sunscreen that is not only non-toxic, but can fight aging and can absorb both UV-A and UV-B rays.
A soy protein – glycine – is FDA-approved as a food additive so it’s used in toiletries and cosmetics like conditioners, hair dyes, creams and mascara because it offers shine and lustre.
Soy extract is also an anti-inflammatory. One of its components – genistein – has been shown to stimulate the skin’s production of collagen which in turn increases its elasticity and a youthful appearance. Fermented soybeans have moisturizing properties which means manufacturers are keen to use them in skin care products and the cosmetic industry.