We all know that fruit and veggies are good for us and sustain a healthy body and mind. If you like to keep your intake of plant foods to a maximum, consider doing the same with your personal care products and topical ointments. Your skin absorbs what you put on it and it can end up in your bloodstream and contribute towards healing and regeneration. Why not maximise even further by using natural, plant based topical products which are full of phytosterols.

What are phytosterols?

Phytosterols, also called plant-sterols, are natural compounds found in plants, fruits and vegetables. The word ‘phyto’ means plant and sterols are a family of molecules with a specific structure. Phytosterols are similar in structure and function to cholesterol, which is a fat.

People tend to think of cholesterol in a negative sense, but it is actually an essential part of the human body. Cholesterol plays an important part in creating and maintaining human cell membranes and in producing steroid hormones like cortisone. Steroid hormones help control metabolism, inflammation, immune functions, the ability to withstand illness and more.

What do phytosterols do?

Phytosterols are well-known for their bad-cholesterol lowering abilities, but research suggests that phytosterols also help balance the body’s immune response, by enhancing the activity of beneficial immune cells while constraining the activity of those that may cause inflammation. Furthermore, research shows that phytosterols have anti-inflammatory abilities similar to that of the artificial steroid medicine cortisone, but without the negative side-effects.

When phytosterols are applied to the skin, the cell membrane structure is strengthened which helps to reduce and prevent inflammation in the skin and localised areas. This also improves the metabolism process within the skin, leading to increased elasticity and regeneration benefits. It is reported that phytosterols also have an anti-ageing effect on the skin, by stopping the decline in collagen production that is caused by sun exposure and encouraging new collagen production.

Down to Earth’s plant based topical products offer many benefits through high phytosterol content. African Potato extract, Aloe Vera and Avocado oil are some of the ingredients in the African Potato Cream and Revive Moisturiser. The African Potato Cream works wonders as a natural anti-inflammatory ointment for painful muscles and joints and inflammatory skin conditions like acne, sun-damage and eczema. The Revive Moisturiser improves elasticity and clears blemishes caused by inflammation to the skin.

Don’t overlook an important and easy way to add to your overall health, by using natural, plant based personal care and topical products.

Micronutrient Information Center – Phytosterols   (http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/phytochemicals/sterols/)
Benefits of Plant Sterols and Stanols   (http://www.drwhitaker.com/benefits-of-plant-sterols-and-stanols)
Isoflavones, Phytohormones and Phytosterols   (http://www.dweckdata.com/Published_papers/IJCD.pdf)
Plant Sterols: The Basics of Healthy Skin   (http://blog.zenmed.com/plant-sterols-the-basics-of-healthy-skin/)