Beauty Skincare Why Acai Is the Missing Anti-Aging Ingredient In Your Skincare Routine It's not just for smoothie bowls. By Erin Lukas Erin Lukas Instagram Twitter Erin is a Brooklyn-based beauty editor and has been with InStyle since 2016. She covers all facets of beauty for the site. InStyle's editorial guidelines Published on September 14, 2022 @ 04:44PM Pin Share Tweet Email Photo: Getty Images Açai bowls might be a popular menu item at brunch spots, but the super fruit has been a staple food in Amazonian and Brazilian cultures for decades. Because they contain pits, they're not really a berry, but nevertheless, they're commonly referred to as berries. Technicalities aside, the fruit has remained a core part of diets in the Amazonian region because not only is it delicious, it offers a slew of health benefits. The acai berry is nutrient-dense, packed with antioxidants, and studies have found it may prevent cancer, to name a few major reasons to incorporate the fruit into your meals. And some of these benefits translate into skincare, which is why you'll see açai berry oil pop up in products like serums and face oils. With the help of top dermatologists, we broke down all of the skincare benefits of açai. Keep reading to find out why you should include the ingredient in your routine. Sea Moss Is Good in Smoothies, But It's Also Great for Your Skin What Are the Skincare Benefits of Açai Berry? In skincare, açai berry is typically included in formulas for its antioxidant benefits. "Açai is mostly used in skincare as a source of ferulic acid, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and epicatechin for their potent antioxidant benefits,"confirms Dr. Azadeh Shirazi, board-certified dermatologist and founder of La Jolla Dermatology & Laser Center. "Antioxidants help protect and repair damage from UV radiation and environmental stress." In addition vitamin C has brightening and anti-inflammatory properties. "The purpose of including antioxidants in your skincare routine is to protect your cells against free radicals and oxidative stress, which can lead to a loss of elastin, increased pigmentation and dryness, and a compromised skin barrier," adds Dr. Melanie Palm, board-certified dermatologist at Art of Skin MD. Dr. Palm also says that açai berries also contain magnesium, which can help nourish dry skin. What Skin Types Can Use Açai Berry? More good news about this skincare ingredient: all skin types can use it. "Unless you're allergic to açai, almost every most skin type would benefit from the antioxidants we see in açai berry and other similar ingredients," Dr. Palm days. You may also experience a reaction if you are allergic to any plants in the Arecaceae family. With that in mind, if you have dry skin, experience hyperpigmentation, or want anti-aging benefits, you'll especially benefit from açai berry in your routine. "Those with dry skin types will benefit as its rich in essential fatty acids, and it also improves hyperpigmentation, so it helps brighten the skin's complexion," Dr. Shirazi says. "Given its age-defying properties, it's beneficial for someone looking to address signs of aging such as sun damage and fine lines." What Are the Side Effects of Açai Berry? Allergies aside, the only reason you'd experience any irritation from using a product with açai berry would be due to another triggering ingredient in the formula. "Skincare products formulated with açai and other antioxidants are likely to contain a variety of active ingredients, so it's possible that some formulations can be irritating," Dr. Palm says. Whenever trying a new ingredient, err on the side of caution. Do a patch test before applying the product to your face to ensure it wont have adverse effects. VIDEO: Double Cleansing Is the Foolproof Way to Really Get All of Your Makeup Off How Should You Include Açai Berry in Your Skincare Routine? Since açai berry is rich with antioxidants, Dr. Palm suggests using a product with it in the morning, so "they can help neutralize free radicals before damage occurs throughout the day." And with any morning routine, don't forget to finish off with SPF 30 or higher. When looking for products, Dr. Shirazi suggests formulas that contain other antioxidants in addition to açai berry, such as ferulic acid. And while antioxidants are best used in the morning as a layer of protection from free radicals, they're safe to use twice a day, preferably a serum or cream. From non-toxic makeup and skincare to sustainability practices, Clean Slate is an exploration of all things in the green beauty space. Find out what's really in your products — and what's being left out.