Commercials and magazine ads will tell us that it takes cutting-edge research and tech advances to slow down the aging process. And sure, it’s exciting to think that some scientist is working day and night to find the fountain of youth, bottle it, and then sell it to you for $100 an ounce.
But the road to more beautiful skin can be simpler, and cheaper, than that. Because very simple ingredients that you may already have in your pantry have to shown to have reliable beauty benefits. These beauty foods may not come in fancy packaging or with a celebrity spokesperson — but they can deliver real beauty benefits nonetheless.
Our 4 Fav Beauty Foods
1. Coconut oil
Ingesting unrefined coconut oil can raise the good cholesterol in your bloodstream, suppress your appetite, ward off insulin resistance and give you energy. See a full list of coconut oil’s body benefits here.
Coconut oil can also be used topically to benefit your hair, skin and nails. See our top 9 beauty uses of coconut oil here.
Lemon can keep you hydrated, deliver powerhouse anti-oxidant Vitamin C to your cells, supports weight loss and digestion, and keeps your breath fresh. Read more about the body benefits of lemon here.
Enjoy those body benefits by adding a splash of lemon juice to everything from your grilled salmon to a glass of water. Add it to salads, fresh or roasted vegetables, soups, stews and pan sauces.
A natural brightener
Lemon gets its beauty food status, though, for its ability to lighten skin. You know that expensive Vitamin C serum you use to brighten dark spots and promote cell turnover? Well, you might get similar results from fresh-squeezed lemon juice. Simply dab it on with a cotton ball and leave on for an hour or so before washing off with water.
Mix equal parts of lemon juice, honey and cool filtered water to make your own toner. Lemon is a great astringent for oily skin, and the honey soothes and moisturizes. Apply and then rinse well with cool water. Follow with a non-oily moisturizer.
Oatmeal is loaded with fiber, which keeps us feeling satiated and prevents snacking. But even more compelling is oatmeal’s impact on cholesterol. Research shows that oatmeal effectively reduces LDL cholesterol — that’s the “bad” stuff. And lowering your bad cholesterol reduces your risk of heart attack.
Applied topically, oatmeal soothes, cleanses, exfoliates and moisturizes. There aren’t many multi-action skincare products that do all that!
To get the beauty benefits of oatmeal, make your own oatmeal face mask or face scrub and use it weekly.
Yogurt aids digestion, support healthy cholesterol levels, wards off high blood pressure and suppresses appetite thanks to its high protein content. Realize these benefits by snacking on low-fat, low-sugar yogurts. Note that processed snacks like yogurt raisins do not offer the same benefits.
As with our other beauty foods, this dairy powerhouse also has an impressive list of skincare benefits. Whip up a yogurt-based beauty mask to moisturize, soothe burned or irritated skin, lighten dark circles and exfoliate.