cucumber slice

For all of the time we may end up applying magical potions and secret lotions to our ever-hopeful and eternally moisturized epidermal layers, the inevitable fine lines, dry skin, uneven pigmentation, wrinkles and crow’s feet will still somehow manage to rear their collectively ugly head(s) on the one calling card that the world sees in full view 365 days a year. It may not seem fair – and it may even seem kind of crummy when we work so hard leading an organically righteous lifestyle – but it is what it is.

Excuse me… you’re not going to just lie down, rest the back of your hand on your life-weary forehead and accept whatever may come your way, are you? If the smoothies and the DIY masks aren’t quite cutting it, then perhaps it’s high time that you adopt more of a targeted approach to your diet. One simple way to achieve positively radiating inner and outer beauty merely involves noshing your way through this collection of naturally skin-enhancing nutrients for a you-glow-girl appearance that will make everyone look twice!

ORANGES

An omnipresent part of everyone’s fruit bowl, this popular citrus fruit does so much more than just sit there and look pretty. Containing a vast array of polyphenols and flavonoids that bestow excellent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, oranges also provide extra sun protection defense while also enabling skin cells to achieve greater longevity. In addition to increasing the amount of oranges that you eat, you might also try incorporating this balancing DIY moisturizing mask recipe into your regular beauty regimen: Blend 1 tablespoon each of fresh orange and fresh lemon juice, adding to 1 cup of plain full-fat yogurt until well-combined. Pour in a container with a resealable top and refrigerate between applications.

CUCUMBERS

If you reach for this summer staple solely to reduce the appearance of puffy eyes, you’re actually missing out on the full range of its natural skin-enhancing powers. This vitamin-C packed member of the gourd family contains silica, which boosts the resiliency of collective tissue while also plumping up the complexion. Here are three ways to get more cukes into your facial care routine:

Cucumber Rosewater Facial Treatment

Add one teaspoon of fresh grated cucumber to one tablespoon of rosewater (available at natural supermarkets), apply to forehead/cheeks/chin, and allow to work its magic for at least 15 minutes before washing it off.

Wrinkle-Reducing Mask

Puree ¼ of a cucumber and fold it into 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and 1 egg white. In addition to lines and wrinkles appearing less pronounced, hyperpigmentation will be significantly diminished.

Cold Cucumber Drink

Puree 3 coarsely chopped cucumbers with ½ cup of water, ½ cup of fresh lime juice (the equivalent of 7 whole limes) and a dash of your preferred sweetener to taste. Chill and drink up!

ALMOND OIL

Besides smelling heavenly, this natural emollient – with high levels of vitamin D and E – penetrates deep within the epidermis without clogging pores or leaving a greasy appearance. It also restores the natural pH level of skin via olein glyceride linoleic acid, a vitamin-, mineral- and protein-rich polyunsaturated fatty acid that helps naturally rejuvenate skin cells. For a simple yet effective moisturizing facial mask, add several drops of almond oil to one tablespoon of oatmeal until you create a plyable paste. Apply this preparation to your face, allowing it to sit for at least 10 minutes before washing it off thoroughly with warm water.

BLUEBERRIES

With antioxidants galore, this bonafide superfood tastes wonderful, revives lagging cognitive brain function, aids the cardiovascular system and benefits type 2 diabetics with better long-term blood sugar regulation. Oh yeah, and the berries are equally as effective for improved skin appearance when blended into a deeply hydrating facial mask consisting of ¼ cup blueberries and 1 teaspoon each of olive oil and honey. Try it tonight – your skin will sing with delight!

MARINE PEPTIDES

Oddly enough, these naturally occurring, immune-enhancing, antibacterial amino acids are found in a wide range of marine-based animal and plant species, including sharks, seaweeds, arthropods, anemones and mollusks such as cone snails. Precisely how they were identified, isolated and ultimately used in skin care preparations is anyone’s guess, but various resources suggest that the sea-derived compounds work quite effectively at repairing sun and age-related skin damage. Unfortunately, this skin-care tonic is totally off-limits to vegans and dedicated vegetarians.

VITAMIN E

This fat-soluble antioxidant comes to the defense of cell membranes, not only by reducing the risk of cardiovascular issues but also boosting immune system function and the likelihood of cataract formation. In terms of how it directly impacts the skin, vitamin E offers skin membrane protection while bestowing an insulating effect against sun damage, whether applied topically or consumed in the diet. If you’re looking to increase your consumption of vitamin E-laden foods, look no further than leafy greens such as kale, spinach, collard, turnip, swiss chard and mustard, all of which tip the nutrient density scales (although almonds and sunflower seeds aren’t too shabby, either).

Image: ingridtaylar 

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