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 and hair — and they’ve found their way into a wide variety of beauty products.
Olive oil has been revered for centuries as a natural moisturizer, and with good reason. It creates a barrier that protects dry skin and is particularly helpful for people who have psoriasis or eczema. After usUse it straight from the bottle — yes, 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. You can find olive oil in numerous skin and hair care products, including soaps, facial washes, moisturizers, shampoos, and conditioners.
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.
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 may also help firm 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 don’t worry — the hue won’t transfer to your skin.
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, it is recommended that people with acne use products that contain honey. In addition, honey is an effective skin moisturizer. Look for honey in lip balms, soaps, and moisturizers, among other skin care products.
Pumpkin 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 and C, which fight free radicals that can age skin. Look for pumpkin products in facial and body peels and in treatments for the hair and scalp.