We all know what it's like to bite into a juicy summer (fill in the fruit blank); it simply cannot be beat! And, the fact that fresh organic fruits bestow our bodies with a bevy of vital health-giving goodness makes them, well, the queen of foods (where vegetables are king). We may even know that fruits are beauty foods that work from the inside-out.
So, while you may be dialied in on the dietary wows of fruit, are you as keyed into the other benefits you could be reaping from those ripe farmers market finds? Most likely: A little less so. Not surprisingly, fruit is so good for your skin, it's incorporated into skincare the world over. Top spas use fruits in expensive, luxuriant body treatments that nourish the skin and the soul, all the while smelling (and tasting!) delicious. But you need only look to your fruit bowl in order to slice and smush your way to your very own fruit facials at home. Here's the DIY way to the outside-in approach with our favorite fruits.
Note: The great thing about this is that you can use those overly ripe fruits that you were just going to chuck in the compost anyhow! In fact, your face will look better for it!
This member of the rose family is a natural skin wonder. Although it may be hard to give up a few of these scrumptuous beauties, consider the beauty benefits: Strawberries contain natural salicylic acid to gently exfoliate, remove impurities and rid the skin of dead cells, making pores appear smaller and your complexion look smooth and bright. They also have a slight bleaching effect to heal blemishes and antioxidants to repair skin damage and fight those signs of aging that are just so hard to welcome.
For your purifying facial: Just puree 1/2 cup ripe strawberries with 1/4 cup cornstarch. Then, apply to skin for 30 minutes, then rinse off with cool water.
Think brand new skin. The alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) present in peaches help to slough off dead skin cells, unclog pores, reduce wrinkles and even lighten age spots. Then, vitamins A and C nourish for a fresh face.
For your tightening facial mask: Mash one pitted and peeled peach with 1 tablespoon of honey and enough oatmeal to form a thick paste. Apply to skin and allow to remain for 10-15 minutes, then rinse thoroughly with warm water.
The "alligator pear" provides a rich source of vitamins A, B, D and E and actually contains more potassium than a banana. Owing to that, avocado penetrates the skin evenly and quickly, and as a result moisturizes amazingly and helps fill up fine lines & wrinkles.
For your moisture-rich facial: Mash up an avocado with 1 organic egg yolk and apply to face for 20 minutes, then wash it off to reveal much more supple skin.
Bananas contain many of the same benefits as avocados but without the oils, so they work well on oily or combination skin, smoothing and nourishing your skin while employing antioxidants to purify and youthify.
For your rejuvenating facial: Mash half of a ripe banana with two tablespoons of honey and two tablespoons of lemon or orange juice. Apply to your face for 15 minutes, then wash off for an instant glow.
There is a reason a couple of slices of cucumber over the eyes is a longtime beauty ritual. The ascorbic and caffeic acids present in cucumbers are known to prevent water retention (goodbye puffy eyes and dark circles!). In addition, silica in cucumber aids in the overall health of your skin and can improve your complexion, while its high water content makes for a natural moisturizer.
For your soothing facial: Peel a cucumber and run it through a blender or a food processor. Pour the cucumber pulp into a colander or strainer and catch the cucumber's liquid. Add that to 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of witch hazel. Stir it and gently add a beaten, fluffy egg white. Apply to your face and leave it on for 15 to 25 minutes, then rinse off.