Everyone knows about the five-a-day rule when it comes to eating your greens. A good diet equals good skin, good sleep and good health. But you can also put your food on your face for an equally beautifying effect. So here are five ways you can use fruit and veg in your beauty routine.
- Apple – apples contain malic acid, which acts as a gentle exfoliator leaving your skin fresh, bright and smooth. Grate the apple before applying – it’s pretty hard to get an apple wedge to stick to your face… Choose green apples over red – they’re richer in malic acid (which accounts for their sour taste). Best suited to oilier or combination complexions.
- Strawberries – strawberries contain salicylic acid, which helps to lift that top layer of dead, dull skin cells, leaving you looking glowy. If you mash the whole fruit, the small seeds also act as a gentle physical exfoliator too.
- Cucumber – cucumber is hydrating and cooling. You can use thin slices straight from the fridge for a fresh, depuffing eye mask or blend cucumber with yoghurt for a simple cleanser or lightweight mask.
- Tomatoes – tomatoes are mildly astringent, making them perfect for skin that is prone to acne or blackheads. Simply rub a wedge over affected areas, leave for a couple of minutes and then rinse away.
- Bananas – bananas are deeply moisturizing and best suited to drier skins. Mash half a banana, apply to your face and relax for 5-10 mins. Your skin should feel softer once you’ve wiped off the goo. Apparently, you can also use banana peels to help with itchy skin and even acne by rubbing them over the affected area.
The following ingredients are excellent additions if you want to make a bit more of the whole “food as face mask” experience.
- Yoghurt – yoghurt is cooling, hydrating and contains lactic acid, making it a mild exfoliant as well. You can mix a tablespoon with mashed banana, grated apple, grated cucumber or mashed up strawberries for a creamier mask. Not all yoghurts are created equal. Opt for natural yoghurt and don’t even think about cutting corners by buying a sugary yoghurt with ready-made strawberry bits! Yoghurt and cucumber make for a very effective and soothing aftersun.
- Honey – honey is deeply moisturizing and an excellent way of turbo-charging a foodie face mask if your skin is dry. Just a teaspoon in a tablespoon of yoghurt (and the fruit/veg of your choice) will do it, helping to soothe and hydrate dry patches. It also has mild antiseptic properties making it soothing for acne-prone skin. Manuka honey is especially good, if more expensive.
- Oats – oats contain beta glucan, which can help to reduce inflammation in the skin and soothe irritation. They’re also a good way of introducing a very mild exfoliant if your skin is particularly sensitive. A tablespoon of oats in a tablespoon of natural yoghurt with a teaspoon of grated cucumber and half a teaspoon of manuka honey would be an excellent blend for sore, sensitive skin.
A word about shelf life: homemade face masks won’t contain any preservatives so should be used up quickly. As a general rule of thumb, the following proportions would make enough for a mask for one, possibly two applications. If you have enough left over for a second application, make sure you store it in the fridge and use it up within 1-2 days.
- 1 tablespoon yoghurt
- 1 -2 tablespoons of fruit/veg OR 1 tablespoon oats
- 1 teaspoon honey (optional)
Let the food fights commence.