Natural Beauties: Four Skin Care Must-Haves You Can Buy At Your Farmer’s Market
By Selena Fragassi
Fruit stands may stick around only for the summer, but beauty is always in season! The next time you head to the farmer’s market, keep in mind that some of your finds not only have nutritional value, but also reap amazing benefits for your hair, skin, and nails. We recommend picking up these four superfoods first—Mom would be so proud you’re getting your 3–5 daily servings of veggies and fruit, and then some!
AvocadosAs everyone from the Beach Boys to Katy Perry have pointed out, California girls are hot. Perhaps it’s because they have easy access to nature’s beauty fruit, avocados. Rich in vitamins A, B6, E, C and K, these green machines are ripe for softening skin and hair and protecting against sunburn. Use for...
Dry or burned skin: The fruit’s amino acids helps protect cells from environmental damage, plus the fruit’s easily absorbed oils are able to penetrate layers of skin and encourage cell growth. Oils from avocados can act as natural sunscreen and soothe sunburn. To make a facial mask, mash 1–2 ripe avocados and add a tablespoon of honey. Leave on for 10 minutes and rinse.
Lackluster hair: Avocados are full of good fats, which make for a great deep conditioner. Plus, vitamin E restores shine. For a hair treatment, mash 1–2 ripe avocados with a tablespoon of honey, and then add 1 egg or 2 tablespoons olive oil. Leave on for 20–30 minutes and rinse.
BananasWe discovered more than 20 known beauty benefits for this fruit (Bananas, right!?). And it’s true: vitamins A, B6, and C plus zinc and iron can help quench skin, decrease eye puffiness, and even aid in clearing up acne. Use for...
Dry hands: Vitamin A helps replenish moisture and even out rough, dry skin. Simply mash 2 bananas and apply to clean, dry hands for 20 minutes and rinse, and you’ll notice the difference.
Puffy eyes: When you put mashed banana under your eyes, the high levels of potassium act as a sponge, removing excess fluid trapped under skin and reducing swelling. (For this same reason, eating the fruit will help fight bloating). As a bonus, your face will smell amazing after!
Acne: Banana peels carry a number of antioxidants. Cut a piece and rub over the interior of a peel on any areas of the face affected by acne or blemishes three times a day. You should see results in about a week.
Face: To make your own facial scrub, combine 1 mashed banana with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Rub the mix over skin in a circular motion to remove dead skin cells and moisturize, then rinse.
See even more homemade banana beauty recipes here!
CarrotsWhile many swear by carrot juice to reduce weight, drinking a natural cold-pressed or extracted concoction (read: no added sugar) may also help improve your vision and reduce the risk of macular degeneration. Here are some more carrot beauty tricks. Use for...
Uneven skin tone: With ample Vitamin E and carotene, you can actually even out your skin tone by using a carrot-based mask once a week. Puree and strain 1 carrot to get the juice, add 2 tablespoons of honey and 2 tablespoons of oatmeal, and mix together. Leave on for 20 minutes, then rinse.
Brittle hair and split ends: vitamins A and E can help protect hair cuticles from damage, making them more durable so that you find fewer stray strands in your brush. Use carrot oil daily before styling to lock in these beneficial nutrients. To make your own carrot oil, clean 3-4 large carrots and peel off the outer layer of skin. Place carrots into a pot and pour oil (coconut or olive) over them until covered. Simmer on the lowest setting until the oil in the pot turns orange. Strain and store liquid in refrigerator until needed.
Try a carrot face mask, too!
GrapesEver notice in the movies how servants are always feeding grapes to their highnesses? It’s no coincidence—these pint-sized poppers are nothing short of miraculous. Not only do grapes magically produce wine and transform into raisins, but they also hold unparalleled beauty benefits thanks to their bounty of vitamins B1, B6, and C, as well as calcium. Use for:
Discolored teeth: Malic acids in grapes naturally and safely help break down stains and discolorations on teeth. And, all you have to do to reap the benefits is eat them. Remember that the next time you want to fill your mouth with peroxide.
Damaged cuticles: Start using grapes on your hands, and you’ll be able to hold off on those manis for longer. The rich antioxidants inside help remove hangnails and nourish cuticles. To enjoy a quick treatment for fingers or toes, combine 10 grapes with 2 tablespoons of sugar in a food processor. Rub the mix onto each nail bed, then rinse off.
Dull skin: Grapes act as a great toner that can brighten your complexion, too. To make a cleansing solution, cut a handful a grapes in half and squeeze the juice into a container. Use cotton balls to apply over the face and rinse.