5 Healthy & Delicious ‘Beauty Foods’
Some of us love to luxuriate -- to sit in front of our vanities and savor the rituals of beauty, applying facials and creams or deep conditioning in the shower. Others don't have the time for that or simply don't enjoy it. Whichever category you fall in to, these six delicious and healthy foods -- most you probably already have in your pantry -- give you the opportunity to boost your overall health and beauty, working from either inside or outside... or both.
Simply incorporate these foods in to your diet, or follow these quick recipes for topical application:
Why it works: Guacamole enthusiasts will be happy to learn that antioxidants and fatty acids, both of which can be found in abundance in avocados, help keep skin smooth and supple by working to hold on to its natural moisture and prevent dehydration.
To apply: puree 1 ripe avocado and mix with 1/4 cup sour cream (which has lactic acid to help exfoliate), spread on face and neck and leave on for 10 minutes, rinse with warm water and pat dry
Why it works: Cocoa, like avocados, is rich in antioxidants, which in addition to keeping skin supple, help protect it from sun damage. So go ahead and indulge in some chocolate daily -- in moderation, of course.
To apply: use as a soak by adding 1/8 cup unsweetened cocoa powder and 1/3 cup powdered milk to your bath
Why it works: The caffeine in coffee perks up our skin as effectively as it perks up our mood by acting as a diuretic when applied topically, reducing puffiness. This makes it a great temporary solution to cellulite for a day spent poolside or an evening in a daring thigh-skimming skirt. (Mind you: this is not a cure for cellulite; it simply reduces the appearance for a few hours.) From the inside, it provides an abundance of -- you guessed it -- moisturizing antioxidants.
To apply: recycle those grounds from your coffee maker -- once they've cooled, of course -- by using them as a scrub wherever you want to see a bit of temporary smoothing (Bonus: it can also revitalize color on a natural or artificial brunette -- simply pour two cups of cooled coffee over hair after shampooing, put on a shower cap and let sit while you wash up, then rinse and condition as usual)
Why it works: You may already know that strawberries contain lots of vitamin C. What you may not know is that they also are rich in ellagic acid. Both are highly effective in protecting the skin from free radicals, which is the trendy thing to call environmental damage. So if you'd rather not use avocados (maybe you're allergic?), strawberries are an excellent alternative with which to make a facial mask.
To apply: puree strawberries in a blender with plain yogurt and a squirt of lemon juice (exact amounts are not important), apply to face and let sit for 20 minutes, then rinse with warm water and pat dry.
Why it works: We've already covered some great treatments for glowing skin, but what about your teeth? Yogurt contains a lot of calcium and phosphorus, so when eaten, it can be very effective in keeping your tooth enamel strong, protecting against cavities. Topically, it makes a luxurious hair mask.
To apply: using a whisk, mix together 1/2 cup full-fat yogurt, 3 tablespoons honey and 1 egg yolk, apply to hair, put on a shower cap and let sit for 15 minutes, then rinse and wash as usual