Beauty Foods

 

Check out these natural ingredients that can aid your beauty regimen

You eat a healthy diet, regularly choosing natural foods, so why not follow suit with your beauty routine? Many foods that are healthy to eat also offer powerful benefits for your skin/hair and they’ve found their way into a wide variety of beauty products. A lot of chemicals can cause irritation, while natural ingredients tend to be absorbed well and contain actual antioxidants/enzymes in their purest, most potent form.

Olive Oil: Olive oil has been revered for centuries as a natural moisturizer with good reason. It is ultra-hydrating, creates a barrier that protects dry skin and is particularly helpful for people who have psoriasis or eczema.

Use it straight from the bottle (the same olive oil you use to make healthy salad dressings) to slather on after a shower.

   
 

Or try it as a homemade hair treatment for split ends. Hair follicles absorb olive oil nicely. You can find olive oil in numerous skin and hair care products, including soaps, facial washes, moisturizers, shampoos and conditioners.

Oatmeal: The buzz about this popular breakfast food usually focuses on its cholesterol lowering effects, though if you stop there, you’re selling this superfood short. Oatmeal can also soothe rashes and irritations caused by poisonous plants, such as poison ivy and oak, as well as pain and itching caused by chicken pox and sunburn. Simply sprinkle some dry oatmeal into a lukewarm bath and soak for 10 minutes. Because of its grainy texture, oatmeal is also ideal for gentle skin exfoliation: Mix with warm water, apply to your face with circular motions, let dry for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse off.

 

     
 

Turmeric: This fragrant herb, most commonly used in Indian curries, is also prized for its anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric has long been used to treat eczema and is known to speed wound healing. Recent research suggests that turmeric many also help form aging skin and it’s the star ingredient in some natural skin creams. A rich golden yellow, turmeric is also used as a fabric dye (but the hue won’t transfer to your skin.)

Honey: Known as nature’s sweetener, honey is also Mother Nature’s antiseptic – it has been proven to help speed the healing of wounds and superficial burns. Because it kills bacteria, products that contain honey are recommended to patients with acne. In addition, honey is an effective skin moisturizer. Look for honey in lip balms, soaps, moisturizers, among other skin care products.

Pumpkin: As we progress into our forties, fifties and beyond, our skin cells turn over less frequently, causing a duller appearance. That’s where pumpkin can help. It contains an enzyme that gently peels away dead skin, speeding the production of new cells. In addition, pumpkin is rich in essential fatty acids, which hydrate the skin and the antioxidant vitamins A/C, which fight free radicals that age skin. Look for pumpkin products in facial, body peels and in treatments for the hair/scalp.

Salmon: While you would never apply salmon directly to your face or body, cold-water fish like salmon contain DMAE, short for di-methyl-amino-ethanol, a compound that helps rejuvenate skin. You can get the benefits of DMAE by eating cold-water fish or by applying it to your skin by means of creams and moisturizers. Products that contain DMAE are thought to help firm skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines / wrinkles.

Green Tea: The many health benefits of drinking green tea are widely known; it can help reduce cholesterol and may protect against certain cancers/glaucoma. When applied to your skin, green tea is a potent antioxidant that helps skin retain moisture and reduces the appearance of wrinkles. Look for green tea in facial/body washes, masks and moisturizers. For a refreshing treat, apply green tea bags dampened with cold water to your eyes for 10 to 15 minutes.

Aloe: Aloe which is instantly cooling and soothing has been used medicinally for years to heal light burns, including those caused by the sun and certain chemicals. Its gel provides a barrier that protect against irritants and bacteria, it hydrates and reduces inflammation. For the most potent burn relief, break a piece straight from a plant and squeeze the get directly onto the burn. Moisturizers and other products that contain aloe are generally non-irritating, so they are a good choice for people with sensitive skin.