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Eat your way to beautiful skin… with Cuzena!

‘You are what you eat’ proclaimed Gillian McKeith, in her infamous Channel 4 programme. And, while her methods might have had madness to them, her underlying point is right! So, pull up a chair (notice how we didn’t say ‘stool’) because we’re about to take you through the beauty benefits of eating our Rose Harissa and Preserved Lemon marinade. 

You may not have thought about the effects of Rose Harissa on your skin before, but its ingredients carry a whole raft of them. It might be why Yotam Ottolenghi ranks Rose Harissa in his top ten sauces (although, we admit, it’s probably more about the culinary properties). 

Rose Harissa contains some super healthy ingredients, including red chilli peppers, cumin, garlic, dried rose petals and rosewater. And, of course, our 3-minute marinade also contains preserved lemon, which have their own unique benefits. 

The path to rosy skin

Let’s start with rose. There’s a reason so many skincare products contain rose in some form or another. Rose water contains vitamins A & C, which aid collagen production (what wrinkles?) and help to reduce the appearance of age spots. Rose petals are also full of antioxidants, which help protect the surface of the skin from damage caused by things like pollution and UV and contain anti-inflammatory properties (goodbye puffy skin). 

The inflammation slayer 

As for chilli peppers, the benefits are in the first letter: C. Vitamin C to be precise. This is what creates collagen, a protein that promotes healthy skin and hair (and that we produce less of the older we get). There’s also another ‘C’ in chilis that’s often added to skin creams, and that’s capsaicin. You might have heard of capsaicin as a metabolism booster, but it’s also used in a lot of ointments for reducing inflammation. 

There’s one caveat to mention here and it’s that, for some people, spicy foods are a trigger for conditions like rosacea. If this is you, keep an eye out for our other marinades, which are more likely to be up your street. As with everything, there are different strokes for different folks, and we respect that. 

The antimicrobial powerhouse

Garlic and cumin, two other essential components of Harissa, are also worth a mention when it comes to curing skin complaints. Garlic has been used for thousands of years to treat a number of health complaints. It contains a chemical called allicin, which has some pretty impressive antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, fighting skin conditions caused by bacteria and inflammation (including acne). Cumin, meanwhile, is full of Vitamin E, which helps maintain skin and eye health, as well as being a great immunity booster (bonus points). 

The gut health hero

Finally, let’s look at the last skincare saviour ingredient: preserved lemon. Generally, lemons are full of vitamin C, which – as mentioned before – creates collagen. But many of the benefits of preserved lemon in particular come from the fermentation process involved in the ‘preserving’. It imbues the lemons with probiotics, which have a direct effect on gut health. Good gut health is, increasingly, being linked to a range of health benefits, including on the skin, so it’s definitely an important area to target for better all-round health. 

There’s a lot of goodness packed into our Rose Harissa and Preserved Lemon Marinade – and a lot of flavour, too! We like to see it as a shortcut, not only to fantastic, authentic Middle eastern food, but to good health. After all, if you can eat your way to better skin, why wouldn’t you? Eating is one of life’s great pleasures, especially when it makes you feel good.