Remember when açai first stepped on the wellness scene? You couldn't set foot inside a grocery store or juice shop without seeing the round purple berry plastered everywhere—and today, açai bowls still flood our Instagram feeds. Like turmeric, kale, and quinoa, açai is a trendy product of nature of which all well-informed (and, if we're being frank, bandwagon-jumpers) stock their kitchens. But keeping with the trend jargon, it's about to be old news.
We recently caught wind of a significantly more antioxidant-packed berry called maqui. It's fortified with anthocyanins, a potent anti-inflammatory nutrient that helps prevent blood clots and even colon and skin cancer. However, while you can purchase maqui powder, juice, and freeze-dried berries stateside, you'll need exclusive access to the fields of Southern Chile to get your hands on fresh maqui. They're cultivated for commercial use by a tribe called the Mapuche Indians—or the "fierce warriors" who are indigenous to Chile—and have been a staple in their culture for thousands of years. Their method of consumption? Fermented maqui tea, which reportedly helped them to be stronger and have more stamina to be the only tribe the Spanish weren't able to conquer.
Topically, maqui berry is a powerhouse, using its unprecedented levels of antioxidants to fight photoaging and loss of collagen. Annie Tevelin took notice of this and decided to utilize them in her skincare line SkinOwl—the first brand to ever do so. To find out more about this SoHo House of berries, we tapped Tevelin. Keep scrolling to learn more!
"The maqui berries sourced by SkinOwl are grown by the Mapuche Indian tribe in Patagonia," she says. "Because of the integrity and rarity of this fruit, the demand for this nutritious and healing berry has increased. In harvest season, the whole Mapuche community turns out to pick the purple berries. While maqui berries can be found in other countries, the Patagonia soil system and cultivation practices of the Mapuche Tribe make them an unmatched, standout ingredient. As a result, I couldn't wait to share this superfruit with our clients."
Launching Friday, June 23rd is the full size version of SkinOwl's hero product, Beauty Whip (you can purchase the trial-size version in a set of three along with the Turmeric Beauty Bar and Mangosteen Beauty Drops if you can't wait until then, which is completely understandable reasoning). Tevelin describes it as a mask, primer, and face balm made from—you guessed it—maqui. "The ORAC value [Ed note: the total antioxidant capacity] of the maqui berry alone is up to 30 times higher than the average açai berry. Because of this and the fact that no one has ever used it in skincare, I jumped at the opportunity," she tells us.
You'll want to snag a Beauty Whip stat if your skin is acne-prone, too: studies show maqui has antibacterial properties—lethal artillery against P. Acnes bacteria.
But don't forget maqui's internal prowess too—eating the berries boosts metabolism, lowers blood glucose levels, decreases symptoms of antinflammatory disorders, and, as it did for the Mapuche, boosts stamina, among several other benefits.
So long, açai—there's a new berry in town.
So tell us—is Beauty Whip on your shopping list? Sound off in the comments!