Bilberries (Vaccinium myrtillus) are small, blue berries native to Northern Europe. They have a rich variety of flavors and health benefits. As they taste delicious they are used in a wide variety of foods and drinks not only in the traditional Scandinavian cuisine. Known as super fruits bilberries offer many health benefits, all backed by science. Research shows that bilberries are among the wild grown berries, fruits and vegetables with the highest antioxidant levels.
As children we stroke through the forests picking wild bilberries and eating most delicious bilberry tarts afterwards laughing at each other with blue coloured teeth.
For INARI Arctic Cosmetics we select all our ingredients very carefully. We know the advantages of this precious berry not only as a food but for our skins. That is the reason why bilberries are amongst our top-ingredients. They offer highest concentrations of anthocyanins and flavonoids which have been shown various benefits for skin health. Offering synergistic effects against free radical damage and early signs of ageing.
While flavonoids are antioxidants that can protect the body from harmful effect of oxygen radicals, anthocyanins are the most important flavonoids in the berries. Arctic bilberries contain many times more flavonoids and four times more anthocyanins, the powerful flavonoid antioxidant that gives red, purple, and blue fruits their characteristic colour than cultivated blueberries, as clinical researchers haven been showing.
Wild picked little bilberries are rich in nutrients and a strong source of vitamins and antioxidants. In order to protect themselves in these inhospitable climatic conditions, Arctic plants develop exceptionally high levels of beneficial compounds. Comparing the cultivated blueberry and the Arctic bilberry makes differences obvious. Bilberries grown in Northern Europe in the Arctic forests are dark in color, have dark red, strongly fragrant flesh and red juice that turns blue when cutting the fruit. The high anthocyanin content may cause staining of the fingers, lips, and tongue. Arctic bilberries are also softer and juicier than blueberries are, making them difficult to transport.
Less well known is the power of the bilberry leaves. We’ve included the naturally extracted leaves of the bilberry to our skincare formulations because they contain additionally high amounts of tannin. Tannin is a naturally occurring polyphenol found in plants, giving them antibacterial and antimicrobial properties which applied topically help to clean pollutants from the skin.
While many vitamins act as antioxidants, bilberry leaf extract has been shown to be ten times more effective in inhibiting free radicals through the highest amounts of vitamins than pure vitamin C or vitamin E alone. Vitamins aid in your skin’s natural regeneration process, which helps your body repair damaged skin cells.
Finally, bilberry leaf extract has many colour corrective properties. Being a crucial aspect it was clear for us to choose this precious plant to be an important ingredient in our skincare formulations. Bilberry leaves contain arbutin, a compound that has the ability to lighten and brighten the skin. This natural glycoside helps to stop hyperpigmentation, brightening skin and preventing age spots, by inhibiting the production of melanin, the pigment, that gives human skin its colour.
In conclusion, all this star qualities of wild bilberry leaves make their extract an ideal addition to our organic skincare moisturizers and wrinkle lifting serum for getting back a youthful and healthy glow. That’s why we think bilberry leaf extract is the perfect component to our Arctic Blend, a compound of 6 Arctic plant ingredients providing effective age-defying benefits.