By:Â Allana Mortell
As mentioned in Part I of our Food & Beauty series, there are many foods that can be used to enhance beauty, and not just through ingestion. The best part is that most of these beauty products are not only cost effective but may just be laying around in your fridge or pantry right now.
To check out which foods we mentioned in our first installment, click here. Check out what other foods can also work as beautifiers...
Many often speak of the benefits of drinking green tea, but it can also be used in addition to your beauty routine. Since green tea is a natural inflammatory solution, the benefits of drinking it as well as combining to use your health and beauty regimen are two-fold.
Green-tea facial mask: After drinking the tea, take the tea bag out and cut open, emptying the contents into a small cup. Add honey to the cup and whisk, to make a paste. Leave on your face for ten minutes and rinse.
Green-tea cleanser: Rub a tea bag under hot water, cut open and empty the contents into a small cup. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of any cream-based facial cleanser into the cup with the tea and mix well. Spread the mixture on your face, leave on for five minutes and rinse.
Green tea bags for tired eyes: To reduce puffiness and make you seem less tired, use hot or cold green tea bags to cover over your eyes. Leave on for 10-15 minutes and thoroughly rinse your face afterwards to remove any residue.
Similar to green tea, one of the biggest benefits to aloe is how much it reduces inflammation. Because aloe is a natural source of moisture, the plant and gel from the plant is often used to soothe and protect the sensitive eye area. As a member of the lily family, the aloe plant contains nutrients, active compounds, minerals and amino acids that reduce wrinkles and inflammation as well as increasing strength of facial tissue by stimulating cell rejuvenation and making skin tones much more youthful.
Aloe & Cucumber facial mask: Combine 1 large aloe plant leaf (washed & chopped; or use 1 cup aloe juice) with 1 chopped cucumber and puree both together in a blender. Apply the mixture to a clean face and neck, leave on for 30 minutes and rinse off with cool water.
Ever wonders why so many beauty products (cough, St. Ives) contain apricot in their facial scrubs? For starters, the insane amount of Vitamin A found in apricots and apricot oil contain a large amount of antioxidant properties that are useful for those with sensitive and damaged skin but also help with retaining skin elasticity and preventing blemishes. Additionally, apricots contain carotene, which along with Vitamin A help with improving ones vision and keeping skin, hair, gums and various glands healthy. The benefits of eating apricots are plentiful as well; they improve indigestion, earaches and skin diseases.
Homemade apricot facial mask: 1 cup dried apricots, 1 cup unflavored yogurt, and 1 cup dried oatmeal, 1/2 cup water. First, soak the apricots in a bowl of water. Then, combine the apricots, yogurt, oatmeal and water in a blender and puree. Apply the mixture to your face, wait for 20 minutes before washing off with warm water.
Mint is something that not only smells great and tastes delicious in cocktails and desserts - its actually incredibly helpful once incorporated into a daily beauty regimen. Just like apricots, mint contains a large amount of Vitamin A, which helps strengthen skin tissue and reduce oily skin. Additionally, mint oil serves as a natural astringent with a high content of salicylic acid, an active ingredient in many skin care products. With that said, using mint in your everyday skin care routine can help organically improve your skin tone.
Mint facial mask: Mix two tablespoons of mint with 1-cup yogurt and oatmeal, mix together and apply to your face. Rinse mask off after 5-10 minutes with warm water.
Coconut Oil & Milk
The incredible thing about coconut oil is how beneficial it is to your health, skin and hair. The moisturizing properties in coconut oil are effective for your skin in treating various problems such as psoriasis, eczema and skin infections. Even simply massaging coconut oil onto your skin will improve its elasticity and smoothness. Saturated fats in coconut oil have anti-microbial properties and help in combating certain bacteria. Nearly 50% of the fat in coconut oil is lauric acid, which your body converts into monolaurin, an acid that has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.
Coconut milk, on the other hand, is used often with hair products. It is most effective as a moisturizer to hydrate dull, dry and damaged hair.
Coconut hair mask: Mix half a can of coconut milk with a mashed up, medium sized avocado. Mix the two ingredients together and combine through dry hair. Leave the mixture in for 20 minutes before washing out and continuing with your normal shampoo and conditioner routine.
When your parents told you growing up how important it is to eat your vegetables - they were absolutely right. Carrots contain a huge antioxidant called carotene, which aids in slowing the aging process. Regular application of carrot facial masks can keep your skin looking younger and glowing.
Carrot facial mask:Â Boil two carrots and blend them in a blender to form a smooth paste. Add a spoon of honey to the carrot paste. Apply this paste on your face smoothly and let it on for 10 to 15 minutes,then simply rinse with warm water.
With so many beauty products out there, you can run your wallet down trying them all out. But by simply perusing your fridge or pantry for a few simple ingredients, you'll be surprised at what certain foods can do for not just a healthy body but a healthy appearance too!
What is your favorite food that doubles as a beauty product?
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