As a rule of thumb when buying beauty products, if you wouldn’t put it in your body, don’t put it on your face. With unpronounceable ingredients in everything from facial scrub to hair conditioner, it’s easy to forget where medicinal beauty products once came from—Nature.
Readily available, here are three immunity boosting foods which can double as your new favorite beauty product companions: honey, aloe, and coconut oil.
Honey. Raw honey, the grainy, unprocessed stuff sold in a jar at your local health food store, not only makes a healthy alternative to sugar, it’s fantastic for your skin. Honey provides energy when eaten because of its antioxidant properties. It can also be used for external healing for minor cuts and burns because of its antibacterial properties.
As a face and body scrub, honey cleanses skin without stripping its essential oils. This cannot be said for over the counter cleansers which can dry out skin, kicking the body into oil-production overdrive. Although honey is sticky, fear not, it is water soluble and effortlessly washes away clean. For daily use, wash with warm water and a thin layer of honey gently scrubbing in circular motions around your face. Rinse and then softly dab your face dry.
Aloe. “My doctor recommended drinking it for my digestive problems,” is always the response when I ask people at the store why they are buying this spiky, conspicuous leaf. Aloe is special. It is one of those mystical plants that speed up the healing process. It has detoxifying qualities which improve and regulate digestion when eaten. Applied externally, aloe heals damaged skin like burns and also helps disinfect wounds.
Most of us have seen aloe as an ingredient in lotions for sunburns and moisturizers, but are unaware of how to properly utilize the plant. Aloe naturally grows in warmer climates, but can also be found at local super markets. For a great night time renewal, apply aloe as a face mask. Once applied, it dries quickly making it ideal to sleep in. To open the plant, cut off a one inch square from the leaf. Next, trim off the spiky edges for safety, then slice through the center of the leaf making two open pieces. Wash your face (with honey!) then simply rub the gel over your face from your forehead to your jaw line. In the morning, wash off with warm water. Remember, you can optimize cellular growth by absorbing its nutrients from inside your body, so be sure to eat it, too. Aloe is naturally bitter, so try adding raw honey and it blend with your fruit or green smoothy.
Coconut oil. The most fragrant of edible beauty products, this too is sold in a jar at your local health food store. Due to its sensitivity to heat, coconut oil is malleable giving it a range of utilities. From Asian curries, to sweet frozen desserts, it contains healthy fats and lauric acid which promotes antibacterial healing properties. At room temperature, coconut oil is creamy and smooth, making it a perfect make up remover. With a cotton ball, take a small dab of coconut oil and gently wipe away harsh make up. Coconut oil can also help firm skin, so smear small amounts on the soft skin beneath your eyes. As with all of these organic foods, avoid direct contact with eyes.
For edible beauty products, remember the expansive bounty nature provides and try raw honey, aloe, and coconut oil for beauty rituals for the inside and out.