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What Is It: Watercress

September 18, 2010 Reviewed by Marta 9 Comments
I am reading Dr Perricone’s latest book, Forever Young, and I must admit that the goofy salmon doctor covers plenty of new and interesting research. I’ll write a full review when I’ve read the entire book, but for now I wanted to share that (while still a salmon and blueberry nut) Dr P has come up with a new superfood, watercress, and the case for this humble leaf, relegated by western society to little more than a limp garnish, is impressive.

When I ran a search on Truth In Aging, I found very few references to watercress. One of them, funnily enough since I used it this morning, was Lather Bamboo Crème Shampoo. Look out for it though as there are plenty of reasons to introduce it into your beauty regimen as well as your diet.

Apart from being a useful skincare foot soldier, treating disorders such as eczema and rashes, it is high in vitamin C and antioxidant flavonoids. Dr P makes much if the fact that is nature’s richest source of phenylethyl isothiocynate (PEITC), responsible for watercress’ peppery taste and shown to fight cancer cells. For example, British scientists have linked eating watercress to fending off breast cancer. Apparently, it completely blocks a protein called hypoxia-inducible factor, which plays a critical role in cancer development.

As a former smoker, I was rather pleased to see that when smokers in a trial ate a bowl of watercress every day, the activation of a key carcinogen in tobacco was inhibited.

More relevant to the clean living Truth In Aging community is that watercress is a source of lutein (a carotenoid that Harvard researchers believe can prevent UV damage) and beta-carotene, which maintain skin health.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study that claims that eating one bowl of watercress a day increased the ability of blood cells to resist DNA damage caused by free radicals.

So how has Dr Perricone incorporated his new find into his skincare line? Well, he has come up with a new product called Super Detox Elixir with Watercress ($30), part of his new new Super line that, I imagine, the Forever Young book is designed to promote. I'll be looking at some of the other Super products in the future, but Super Detox Elixir with Watercress seems to be an improvement on the old, standard Dr Perricone line where  a few standout ingredients would be awash with fillers. Sure, I am not keen on phenoxyethanol, or alcohol, but I appreciate the witch hazel extract, vitamin C, phosphatidyylcholine, and copper gluconate. And watercress, of course.

One of the few brands (other than Lather) that seems to have latched on to watercress is Dermalogica and I’ve also come across it in a couple of Dr Hauschka products. Let us know if you find interesting looking beauty products with watercress.

Ingredients in Perricone MD Super Detox Elixir with Watercress

Water, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Bark/Leaf Extract, Nasturtium Officinale (Watercress) Leaf Extract, Alcohol, Glycerin, Magnesium Aspartate, Zinc Gluconate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Dimethyl MEA (DMAE), Phosphatidylcholine, Bisabolol, Copper Gluconate, Sorbic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Fragrance (Naturally Sourced).
  • September 22, 2010

    by Karla

    The question is whether the active ingredients in watercress are able to penetrate the skin and into the blood stream when applied topically?

  • September 22, 2010

    by Asya

    Watercress is widely spread in France (cresson) where you make some excellent soups for the winter! I thought it is a humble relative of paisley regarding its nutritional value, but apparently it is also worth a bite!

  • September 21, 2010

    by mike30

    That's the one. I was hoping you'd give it a Marta stamp of approval!

    I also use the active body peel. I love the ingredients so much, I use it on my thicker, oily male facial skin with great results. I'd love your thoughts on it as well!

  • September 21, 2010

    by marta

    I take it that's True Harmonizing Gel cleanser? I looked it up and it looks pretty good. Available via <a href="http://www.amazon.com/being-TRUE-harmonizing-gel-cleanser/dp/B002MWVV48/ref=sr_1_1?s=gateway&ie=UTF8&qid=1285100078&sr=8-1" rel="nofollow">Amazon</a>

  • September 21, 2010

    by mike30

    I use a gel cleanser by TRUE Cosmetics that has watercress in it. I love the cleanser and I have a greater appreciation for it now knowing a bit more about the role that watercress plays. As always, a very informative review.

  • September 20, 2010

    by marta

    Plus his spray-on tan effect seems to be getting a deeper shade of orange

  • September 20, 2010

    by Barrie

    The cover of his book looks like that same old head shot of him photoshopped onto a model's body.

  • September 18, 2010

    by Lisa

    Actually I've never heard of watercress, but after reading this very informative article on it, I may have to include this in my diet.

  • September 18, 2010

    by Ines

    I used to hate watercress as a child. I believe is time to give it another try :)

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