When spending extended time indoors, it helps to think creatively and tap into your resources. And since food and wellness are intertwined, it makes sense to turn to nature's gifts for your beauty and skincare needs. Especially now that brick and mortar shops and salons have closed for safety reasons. Instead of stocking up on overpriced chemical laden products with a laundry list of ingredients, simple edible items can do double duty to keep skin and hair glowing and healthy. Obviously, making your own lets you avoid harmful chemicals. Plus, store bought jars and creams that are mass produced verses ones made in small batches, often contain only teensy quantities of active ingredients. Crafting your own from holistic foods gives you the luxury of intensifying key ingredients, while also knowing where they are sourced.
Ready to play beauty alchemist? Here’s a list of edible beauty items to stock liberally. *Note: ingredients should be organic to avoid applying chemicals to skin.
Rich in vitamin C, lemons are anti-inflammatory, astringent and kill germs. But they are also very strong. So be mindful how you use them. The citric acid can irritate sensitive skin types. Try a patch test first on a small area of skin to determine your sensitivity level.
Here's an amazing trick: cut a small lemon wedge and squirt on your hand and run under your armpit, for a natural deodorant that really works. Don’t do this after shaving, as skin will be too raw and you might develop a rash. Lemon juice is also used as a hair lightener in warmer months, to gently lift color and bring out highlights in untreated hair.
Plain Greek Yogurt (Full Fat)
Keep on hand as a base for numerous recipes. Additionally, use alone as a single recipe mask: apply liberally to face and neck. Wash off after 5 minutes, for a glowing complexion. Optional: mix in a teaspoon of honey to a half cup of yogurt. Combine with a ripe avocado for drier skin types.
For oily skin, the alpha hydroxy acids in brown sugar make a natural skin peel. Mix a tsp brown sugar with a half cup of a dewy base, such as apricot kernel or olive oil, rich in omega fatty acids. Additional brown sugar scrub recipe from Wellness Mama.
For beauty purposes the softer and more ripe the better. Nutrient dense, loaded with intensely moisturizing monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Mash completely, and if you’d like a little vitamin C, add a few drops of lemon or lime juice. Great for dry skin as a deeply hydrating mask. For dry hair treatment: after shampooing saturate hair completely. Leave in for 3 minutes and wash off. Check out 6 Avocado Skincare Recipes from Sio Beauty.
Beet Juice (Powdered or fresh)
For added body and a hint of color, saturate hair with beet juice, or blend with conditioner. Leave on hair for 40 minutes and rinse thoroughly. In addition to fresh beets, look for powdered form, which keeps longer, is concentrated and more versatile for beauty purposes. Because the color of beets is so intense, you can also use it as a natural dye in lip balms and cheek tint. In Victorian times, women would gently rub sliced beets on their lips and cheeks to enhance their natural blush. For more about the beauty of beets, check out Just Beet It’s beauty recipes.
Light and hydrating, cukes are refreshing skin boosters with anti-inflammatory properties and skin protecting antioxidants. Slice, ½ inch thick, and place on closed eyelids to refresh and decrease puffiness. Juice them alone or with a bit of lavender and for a mild, rejuvenating skin toner. Leave on the peel; as long as you are using organic cucumbers, you want the goodness found in the peel as well. For a gentle face mask: combine in the blender or food processor with plain greek yogurt and honey.
Dilute one tbsp in a half a cup of warm distilled water and use as a facial wash, or moisturizing hair conditioner. Apply with cotton to skin as a gentle healing mask for tired dry skin, let sit for 10 minutes and rinse off. For added inspiration, read Hello Glow's 20 Honey Beauty Recipes.
Unrefined Virgin Coconut Oil
Use as a gargle to clean teeth and kill germs. Use to brush teeth. Apply liberally to face as night for a moisturizer. Rub a dime-size amount in your palms and distribute evenly to damp hair, to tame curly hair & soften frizz and fly-aways. For a luscious spa experience: drop a teaspoon into your bath when water is hottest for an all over bath oil skin softener. Blend with dry flowers, such as rose, lavender, and jasmine for intoxicating, effective skincare treatments; check out: DIY floral infused coconut oils.
known as the queen of the spices for its beauty benefits. Naturally antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, said to decrease fine lines, slow the formation of wrinkles, turmeric is a beauty bounty. This jewel can be mixed with coconut oil, blended in a mask, and applied to skin, and used alone to whiten teeth and disinfect your mouth. But be aware that lovely orangey color can and will stain skin.
If you have oily skin, and are prone to breakouts, oatmeal may be especially beneficial. Oatmeal is a skin protectant, and you'll find it listed in countless beauty products, including scrubs, lotions, and masks. Usually colloidal oatmeal is used in these products, which means the oats have been finely processed to use in skincare. When used at home, run through a food processor to create fine grains. If you're feeling crafty, here's Hello Glow's Oatmeal Soap recipe, and an oatmeal Turmeric mask from Karissa's Vegan Kitchen.
Sipping lavender tea is tranquil enough to mentally transport you to an ivy covered cottage in Provence. That same brew once it cools is bliss in a teacup for skin; lavender has been shown to lessen fine lines and reduce topical inflammation. It’s also extremely healing and antiseptic. Store in a Mason Jar and brew with distilled water and a bit of witch hazel to create your own facial toner. Another idea… add a quarter of a cup in your bath and inhale the luxurious scent, while it soothes and restores your body, mind and skin. To cultivate your own blooms, check out Lovely Greens, How to Grow Your Own English Lavender.
Vinegar (apple or white)
A highly potent overall germ killer and probiotic that also alkalizes, vinegar is an amazing beauty & wellness food. Water it down or dilute with witch hazel for a toner, hair wash and rinse. In addition to beauty uses, it makes a great natural fruit, veggie, and kitchen cleaner.
Green, and white teas are loaded with antioxidants and boost immunity. They also work beautifully in skin care. Also, dry calendula for sensitive skin, and Jasmine flowers help soften fine lines and moisturize skin. Steep leaves/flowers in oil and strain for an aromatic facial treatment. Or brew in distilled water and chill, for a toner or hydrosol.