When you eat the right variety of fruits there are many ways your skin will benefit. Fruits are antioxidant powerhouses that can boost immunity, reduce inflammation and fight premature aging. They contain an assortment of vitamins and minerals that increase collagen production, make skin smoother and more radiant. Instead of reaching for a jar filled with chemicals, eat to beat wrinkles and make your own natural beauty products at home.
Bananas contain a variety of vitamins and minerals essential to healthy skin. Vitamin C helps skin retain its strength and elasticity through the production of collagen, and also protects the body from free radicals that lead to premature aging. The potassium found in bananas increases blood flow, which gives skin a more youthful glow. They also keep the body hydrated and the skin moist with a content of 75% water. To get more beauty sleep, eat a banana a couple of hours before bedtime to increase melatonin production. As well as eating bananas, they are extremely beneficial when applied to the skin alone or with other ingredients.
Moisturizer: Apply 1 mashed banana to your face; leave for 20-25 minutes.
Glow: Mix 1 mashed banana with the juice from 1 lemon; apply to face; leave for 25 minutes.
Exfoliant: Mix 1 mashed banana with raw sugar or oats; massage into skin in circular motion to remove dead skin cells; rinse with cool water.
Optional Exfoliant: Blend half a banana, 1 tbsp. almond milk and uncooked rice into a thick paste; gently massage onto face; rinse with cold water.
Body Scrub: Blend 2 bananas with 5-6 strawberries; add 3-4 tbsp. raw sugar; scrub away dead skin during shower.
Anti-aging: Mash a banana and avocado together; apply to face; leave for 25-30 minutes; rinse with cool water.
Cracked Heels: Place banana peels on dry heels; hold in place with ace bandage; place socks over feet; leave overnight.
Acne: Rub the inside of a banana peel gently over blemish for 5 minutes or until the inside of the peel turns brown, being careful to avoid surrounding skin. Repeat up to three times a day until acne clears. This also works for razor burn, insect bites and ingrown hair.
The “fruit of the angels”, as it was called by Christopher Columbus, is sought after for its rich, buttery texture, luscious taste and remarkable nutritional value. Packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, papaya provides important nutrients for healthy beautiful skin. The secret to its skin beautifying properties lies within the enzyme papain, which aids in digestion, inflammation and has antiseptic qualities. Potassium, magnesium and fiber promote the health of the cardiovascular system and colon, making the skin less puffy and providing a healthy glow.
Anti-aging: After eating, rub the papaya peel on face; leave for 5 minutes; rinse with cool water. The AHAs or alpha hydroxyl acids found in the fruit provide anti-aging effects.
Exfoliate: Mash papaya and pineapple together; apply to face; rinse with cool water after 15 minutes.
Body Scrub: Mix papaya, pineapple and raw sugar. Use as body scrub in shower to remove dead skin cells and give skin a healthier glow.
Moisturizer: Mix mashed papaya with coconut milk; apply to face; rinse after 25-25 minutes.
Skin lightener: Make a paste with papaya and rice flour; apply to dark spots; leave on skin for 20 minutes. Repeat up to three times per week.
Insect bites or Acne: Apply papaya or papaya juice to affected area; allow it to dry. The anti-inflammatory agents will aid in the healing process.
Ringworm: Make paste with papaya and turmeric powder; apply to affected area; allow it to dry; rinse and replace several times daily until fungus is gone.
Lemons are a super fruit. Besides being tasty to eat in desserts, drinks and main dishes, they are very beneficial to your skin. They are packed with Vitamin C, which helps the immune system and builds collagen; and citric acid, which is a natural preservative, aids in digestion and helps kidney function. Lemons also have a variety of phytochemicals that have a bio-active effect on human health as an antioxidant, fee radical scavenger and anti-inflammatory. There are so many good things packed into these little balls of sunshine, they should be a staple item in every household.
Exfoliate: Either cut a lemon in half or squirt lemon juice onto a cotton face pad; sprinkle raw sugar on top; massage face or body in circular motions to remove dead skin cells and blackheads.
Skin lightener: For age spots, or if you simply want lighter skin, put lemon juice on dark areas at night then rinse the following morning. You can also add ½ cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice to a warm bath and soak for 20 minutes.
Moisturizer: Mix equal parts of lemon juice and olive oil; apply to skin; rinse after 10 minutes.
The strawberry – which is a member of the rose family – packs a great deal of nutritional benefits into one juicy, heart-shaped berry. One cup (about eight medium-sized berries) yields 150 percent daily value (DV) of vitamin C, the vitamin that helps the immune system and collagen growth. Other anti-inflammatory properties are phenol and phyto-nutrients. These phenolic compounds not only give the fruit its color, taste and smell, they aid in blood flow and reduce breakouts on the skin. They are also high in fiber and water, which is excellent for flushing toxins from your body and skin.
Exfoliate: Mash 3 strawberries; add a few drops of lime juice and olive oil; apply to skin; rinse after 15 minutes.
Toner: Mix the juice from 2 strawberries with 3-4 tbsp. of rose water; shake well and refrigerate. Apply with cotton swab or store in spray bottle for refreshing summer spritz. This will keep your skin looking fresh, while keeping oil and blemishes at bay.
Foot Scrub: Mix mashed strawberries with oats and a few drops olive oil; soak feet for 10 minutes; use mixture to slough off dead skin.
Lips: Mash strawberry; use finger or toothbrush to remove dry skin from lips.
Avocados are a little green super-food. They are one of the healthiest foods on the planet, abundant in vitamin and minerals crucial to total body health. On top of the internal health benefits, avocados keep the skin looking young, beautiful and moist. They diminish the appearance of age spots, help reduce signs of aging and heal dry skin. Sterolin, a protein found in avocados, lessen the appearance dark spots, scars and sun damage. Avocado oil contains the highest amount of sterolins, making it an ideal ingredient in skin moisturizers. The oil from avocados also increases the skin’s collagen production.
Puffy Eyes: Place refrigerated avocado slices under eyes for 20 minutes.
Moisturizer: Mash avocado; apply to face; rinse after 20 minutes.
Dry Skin or Heels: Rub avocado peels on dry skin or place the peels on cracked heels overnight.
Sunburn Care: Apply mashed avocado on burned skin for 25-30 minutes; rinse, and then apply the oil from the peels.
Small cuts and bruises: Applying avocado oil aids in the healing process of small cuts and bruises.
These beautiful green and red melons bring thoughts of hot summer days, seed spitting contests and a juicy chin. With all the benefits watermelons have to offer, instead of wiping away the offending juice, perhaps it should have been spread it all over the face. Lycopene which is also found in other red and pink foods, such as tomatoes and pink grapefruit, is a super antioxidant. Watermelons also contain the anti-aging vitamins A and C, and they’re made up of 92% water, which reduces puffiness, hydrates skin and flushes out toxins. Watermelon rinds contain B vitamins, magnesium, and citrulline, an amino acid that aids in blood flow.
Acne and Blemishes: Put watermelon juice on a cotton ball; apply to blemish to reduce inflammation and swelling.
Pores: Mix together crushed watermelon and torn mint leaves; freeze in an ice cube tray; rub frozen cubes over face to shrink pores. (Or, just pop them in your mouth for a refreshing treat.)
Exfoliant: Mix watermelon and rice flour into a paste; apply to face in circular motion; rinse with cool water.
Sunburn: Combine cold watermelon and cucumber for sunburn relief.
Glowing Skin Mask: Mash half a banana with a few watermelon cubes; apply to face; after 20 minutes rinse with lukewarm water.
The skin is the largest organ on the body and an indicator of overall health. If the body is unhealthy on the inside, it will begin to show through blemishes, dull pallor and dry, flaky skin. Although the saying, “beauty comes from within” refers to people’s actions, it also applies to health. By reaching for fruits instead of skin creams, you will begin a beauty regimen that will last a lifetime.