The kitchen spa
These five foods will nourish your skin — from the outside in.
Sat, Oct 01 2011 at 12:00 AM
Help your skin survive unpredictable weather with these two essential steps: exfoliation and moisturization. Skin-cell buildup leads to dryness, poor circulation and blemishes. Exfoliation eliminates these dead cells, revealing fresh skin that is better able to absorb moisture. And guys, take note: While men’s skin tends to be oilier than women’s, men may be more prone to epidermal dehydration.
The scoop: Loaded with vitamins A, B, C and E, as well as potassium and fat, avocado is the perfect moisturizer. This natural soother is ideal for mature and weather-worn skin, reducing roughness, cracking and irritation. The oil found in the peel of the avocado contains a humectant, a substance that locks in moisture.
Recipe: Take a spent avocado peel and using gentle upward strokes, lightly massage your face with the inside of the peel. You can either leave on as a nighttime moisturizer or, for daytime, wash your face with it gently, rinsing three or four times with warm water; pat dry.
The scoop: Cucumbers contain compounds known to tighten pores and reduce inflammation, which is why they’re the classic choice for minimizing puffiness around the eyes.
Recipe: Puree 1 tablespoon each of cucumber and parsley. Then blend in 1 tablespoon of plain yogurt until smooth. Cover your face with this creamy masque and leave on 15-20 minutes. This will rejuvenate your skin as it moistens. Rinse off with water.
Purpose: Exfoliant and moisturizer
The scoop: Oats are especially soothing for wind-worn or itchy skin, due to their anti-inflammatory properties. Finely ground oatmeal draws impurities from the skin, stimulates circulation and encourages new cell growth. Oat proteins also form a protective barrier to help retain moisture and prevent water loss.
Recipe: Mix 2 tablespoons each of ground oats and aloe vera with 2 teaspoons of brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice until you have a smooth paste. Gently massage onto damp skin. Rinse off with warm water. Excellent for your face or as a smoothing body treatment.
The scoop: Peaches are rich sources of skin-renewing alpha-hydroxy fruit acids, which get rid of dead cells, and vitamins A and C to nourish new ones. Peach juice helps unblock pores, fight blemishes and may even lighten age spots and minimize wrinkles. Its astringent, toning effects are especially effective for oily skin.
Recipe: For a simple skin pick-me-up, cut a slice of a juicy peach and massage the flesh on your face. Leave the juice on for 20 minutes, then rinse with warm water. Or rub the inside of the skins of a peach on your face for a few minutes at bedtime and let the juice absorb overnight.
The scoop: Each strawberry packs a mighty dose of exfoliating vitamin C and alpha-hydroxy acids, which help remove dirt and dead skin cells. AHAs also help reduce pore size and minimize ingrown hairs due to shaving, especially important for men. Perfect for oily skin, strawberries improve texture, minimize greasiness, and encourage a healthy, radiant complexion.
Recipe: With a fork, mash 8-9 strawberries into a paste. Add 3 tablespoons of honey; mix. (Be sure not to over blend or the mask will be runny.) Apply directly to your skin and let sit for a few minutes, then rinse off.
Also on MNN:
- 11 beauty products that may be ruining the planet
- How long does makeup last?
- How one green girl ditched shampoo — for good
Story by Angela Leone. Copyright Environ Press 2006
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