This summer, we’ve got our eyes on skin-boosting superfood umeboshi, a salted Japanese plum that’s packed with powerful antioxidants and essential nutrients. Umeboshi is made of the “ume” fruit that is indigenous to Japan. When ume is pickled in salty brine, the fruit can be preserved for many years. It’s no wonder it’s long been hailed as a convenient home remedy to cure nausea, flatulence, fatigue, and even hangovers, since it helps to rid the body of toxins.
Ume gets extra attention in the summertime, though, due to its high citric acid content. In Japan, summers can get extremely hot and humid, and loss of sleep, appetite, and energy can leave you feeling under the weather (literally). Of course, it’s crucial to stay hydrated with fluids, but it’s also important to intake electrolytes to compensate for excessive sweating. Umeboshi’s high citric acid content can help the body recover from fatigue, restore appetite, and promote the absorption of other foods in the small intestine. But hey, enough about umeboshi’s health benefits. Let’s take a look at what the fruit has to offer in the beauty department.
Beauty benefits of ume
Whether you opt for ume-infused skincare products or incorporate ume products in your diet, know that you’ll be doing your skin a service!
1. Cleansing properties
Umeboshi contains high levels of citric acid, which allows for a deeper cleansing of the skin and detoxing it of impurities. Cleansing with ume-infused skincare products can leave the skin feeling softer and brighter.
This plum is a rich source of vitamin C, a multi-tasking brightening agent that inhibits production of tyrosinase, the enzyme responsible for pigmentation and hyperpigmentation in the skin. Vitamin C helps reduce dark spots and restore a radiant glow to the skin.
Free radicals are a leading cause of premature aging symptoms in the skin, including fine lines and wrinkles. Thankfully, umeboshi is loaded with antioxidants that defend the skin from free radicals and combat the oxidation process. When you consume umeboshi, you’re essentially feeding your body a high dose of antioxidants such as vitamin E, plant polyphenols, and plum lignan. You can find the ume fruit in various J-Beauty skincare products that help rejuvenate and hydrate the skin.
4. Healthy skin function
Umeboshi contains minerals magnesium, potassium, and iron, which are essential for skin repair and maintenance. Plus, magnesium helps to regulate the stress hormone cortisol, which can trigger breakouts and flare-ups when its levels are elevated.
Drink your way to beautiful skin this summer
You’ll need: Green plums (ume), crystal sugar/rock candy/sweetener of your choice, storage bottle
- Wash the green plums and remove the stems.
- Make sure your storage bottle is sterilized. You may want to clean it with hot water first.
- Alternate layers of plums and crystal sugar as you fill the storage bottle.
- Finish with a layer of crystal sugar, tighten the lid.
- Shake the bottle once per day.
- Once the crystal sugar completely dissolves, your plum syrup is ready for consumption.
- Drizzle your plum syrup in sparkling water or water and enjoy! We recommend mixing plum syrup with your beverage of choice in a 1:4 ratio.
Mmm…our mouths are watering just thinking about it!Well, here’s to one of Japan’s biggest beauty and wellness secrets. The best part? As long as you’ve got green plums handy, this is one you can start doing right now.