While you're probably pretty conscious about the foods that you're putting into your body -- from checking for refined sugars to added GMOs -- what about the products you're putting on your body? Annie Jackson, the COO of Credo Beauty, the mecca of clean beauty products, says it's important to understand the ripe benefits of fruits, nuts, oils and vegetables as powerhouse beauty treatments. But just like you might prefer one black eyeliner over another, certain freshly-picked garden all-stars offer a variety of qualities and benefits. "Certain foods have tremendous benefits for your skin, and the most wonderful part about them is that they have proven health benefits documented back hundreds of years," Jackson explains.
Here, nutritionists and beauty experts break down the very best foods you can put on your face, no matter if you want to create a scrub or mask at home, or snag a product online.
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Coconut Milk for Skin
If dairy and your tummy aren't exactly friends or you've developed a post-workout smoothie routine, you probably have a carton of coconut milk hanging out in your fridge. While coconut milk sans sugar has many probiotic and gut-healthy properties, it also makes for a super-easy face mask. The director of spa and wellness at Carillon Miami Wellness Resort, Melissa Fielding explains this lactose-free alternative not only moisturizes skin, but helps to fight aging, too. In fact, coconut milk isn't just a common ingredient in most dishes in Asia, it's also a popular option at the dermatologist. In various parts of Southeast Asia, you're likely to find 'coconut milk' peels are part of the menu.
After a stressful day at work, you might be bummed to discover you already polished off that bottle of vino from earlier in the week. Instead of drowning away your troubles, consider submerging them, by applying a thin layer of coconut milk on your skin and. Just soak a heavy-duty paper towel in the liquid and leave on for 15 to 30 minutes.This mask is paired best with a warm bath, so there are no messy dribbles to deal with.
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Coconut Beauty Products
Too Cool For School Coconut Ceramide Mask, $6
Infused with 30 percent coconut water, this soothing sheet mask deeply hydrates and nourishes dull, dry skin, leaving your visage plump and dewy.
Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Micro Milk Peel, $42
Inspired by the Asian tradition, this peel exfoliates and moisturizes your skin, ideal for more sensitive types who are prone to acne. A double-layered peel that contains gentle acids to exfoliate and nourish skin without the risk of irritations. By diminishing the appearance of pores and helping your skin say buh-bye to wrinkles, you'll reap the benefits of panthenol, squalene and allantoin, all of which provide a moisture barrier.
There's a reason so many spas bring chilled cucumber towels to you while you're waiting for your treatment, or place slices over your eyes after your massage. Tara Mackey, the author of "Cured by Nature: How to Heal from the Inside Out, Find Happiness, and Discover Your True Self" and founder of The Organic Life, explains cucumbers not only revitalize skin, they can reduce swelling and puffiness around your eyes. "Cucumbers are an excellent source of skin hydration, as they are mostly water. They contain both vitamin C and caffeic acid, both of which help soothe skin irritations and reduce swelling. These powerful acids prevent water retention, which may explain why cucumbers applied topically are often helpful for undereye puffiness, under-eye bags, burns and dermatitis," she says.
Fielding adds that if you're experiencing an unfortunate breakout, cucumber juice and ground oats mixed together create an effective DIY skin-clearing mask. Simply leave on your skin for ten minutes, wash off, and let your pores breathe.
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Cucumber Beauty Products
Yes to Cucumbers Calming Mud Mask, $2.99
Green clay and soothing cucumber extract tamp down inflammation and help balance irritated skin. Witch hazel clarifies for clearer, calmer skin in a flash.
Farmacy Hydrating Coconut Gel Mask -- Deep Moisture Cucumber, $24
Have an important interview or a first date you're pumped about? Apply this hydrating mask that leaves skin looking smoother, dewier and younger.