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Home / Health / 8 Natural Products for Skincare: From the Kitchen to Your Bathroom

 

Is your beauty cabinet full to the brim with products? Somehow, we have all been duped into believing we need a product for every separate beauty endeavor including moisturizers, scrubs, and washes for different parts of our body. Most of these products are full of chemicals and parabens which can have long-term deleterious effects on our overall health. One of the first things you can do when making a lifestyle change to reduce the toxic load in your household is to simplify. Not only is this good for your health, but it eases some strain on your wallet to boot. To achieve healthy glowing skin, it’s important to be as concerned about what you put on your body as much as you do the food you eat daily. Through this process, you will realize that a lot of products can be used in both the kitchen and the bathroom! Below is a list of some versatile items that can offer double duty use while adding a little extra wiggle room to your budget.

Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil

is an awesome total body moisturizer which can also be used in the kitchen. If used as a moisturizer, it protects the skin against the aging effects of free radicals, can minimize wrinkles, and clear up dark spots. Research has also shown coconut oil to be an effective moisturizer for atopic dermatitis or eczema [2]. It can also be used as an excellent conditioner. Coconut oil can be used as a pre-wash or post-wash hair product which penetrates hair fibers and moisturizes the hair, while also reducing protein loss in damaged or healthy hair [6].  In the kitchen, most oils when heated turn rancid, coconut oil happens to be the most heat-resistant oil and therefore one of the best for cooking. The medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil also have antimicrobial, antiviral, and antifungal properties which give coconut oil the ability to kill parasites, bacteria, and viruses in the body.

Extra Virgin Cold-Pressed Olive Oil

is a staple in the Mediterranean diet, and is a healthy oil that can help to improve cardiovascular health, prevent diabetes, and protect the brain against Alzheimer’s disease [1,5]. If you need to make a quick, easy, and tasty salad dressing you can put a capful or two of olive oil with a squeeze of lime or lemon and some sea salt onto your salad and massage your greens.  Another fabulous oil that you can take out of the kitchen into the bathroom, olive oil is full of antioxidants which prevent premature aging, protect against ultraviolet light, and can serve as an excellent moisturizer or night cream that doesn’t clog the pores [3]. It is best when applied to damp skin so you don’t feel greasy. If you need to exfoliate, mix olive oil with sea salt or sugar and use as a scrub. Olive oil works well to help remove eye makeup, and can also prevent wrinkles in the process! It also can be used as a deep conditioner, and dandruff controller that can be massage into the scalp after shampooing.

Essential Oils

are powerful especially when using the highest grade, and can be taken externally and internally to receive health benefits. If you are feeling tired or lethargic during the day you can rub a couple drops of peppermint behind your ears and on your temples and inhale. You will feel alive in seconds. You can also add peppermint oil to your tea to reduce bloating after meals and improve digestion. For skincare, there are many oils that can be useful when added to masks, skincare regimens, or homemade acne treatments. Tea tree oil is antibacterial, antifungal and can treat cuts or scrapes, geranium can help balance the production of oil on the skin, lemongrass oil makes an excellent astringent or toner, ylang ylang oil can stimulate cell growth and treat acne prone skin, and clary sage oil can reduce signs of aging and reduce puffiness [4].

Oats

are a staple in many homes, but did you know that you can use them for beauty? Oats contain sugar molecules that have a distinct foaming characteristic called saponins, which get their name from the root word soap. [7] This allows oats to have a mild cleansing capability and act as a marvelous ingredient for homemade and store bought cleansers, masks, or moisturizers. When used as scrubs, oats are excellent gentle exfoliators for those with sensitive skin.

Avocados

should be a staple and source of good fat in a healthy diet. Avocados contain phytonutrients and fats that make it a perfect moisturizer or mask  when applied topically and can help those who struggle with dry skin. What makes it such an excellent moisturizer? Avocado oil is actually very close in composition to the natural secretions of our skin! [9] In addition to improving your natural glow, avocado can also be used as a hair mask, and can improve the luster of hair and increase hair growth.

Watercress

has been used historically for a wide variety of medicinal purposes. It is a diuretic, an expectorant, purgative, and stimulant. When juiced along with other veggies helps control inflammation of acne because of its high Vitamin A content. For skin spots, watercress juice can be applied externally. Although there’s no direct research to support this, watercress has also been used historically to treat arthritis, eczema, scabies, warts, and acne.

Bentonite Clay

is not a food, but can be used  internally or externally to promote detoxification and improve skin health. Internally this clay can be used as a natural detoxifier, to clean the colon, and to regulate elimination. Externally bentonite clay masks draw toxins out of the skin and will leave you glowing. You can add water or apple cider vinegar to the dry clay powder to make a mask, and also use the mask on problem acne spots in place of an over the counter acne treatment.

Cucumbers

when juiced are refreshing and make a good base for a vegetable juice that you can then add additional vegetables or fruit. Cucumber juice has a high water content that helps to flush out toxins from the body and cool body temperature. On your face, we all have heard the age-old beauty tip that cucumber slices over the eyes can reduce puffiness. In addition to that, cucumber when blended or juiced makes an awesome toner. It can be mixed with celery juice, honey and or lemon, or even a bit of apple cider vinegar.

References:

  1. Elisabetta Lauretti, Luigi Iuliano, Domenico Pratic;. Extra-virgin olive oil ameliorates cognition and neuropathology of the 3xTg mice: role of autophagy. Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology, 2017; DOI: 10.1002/acn3.431
  2. Evangelista MT, Abad-Casintahan F, Lopez-Villafuerte L. The effect of topical  virgin coconut oil on SCORAD index, transepidermal water loss, and skin capacitance in mild to moderate pediatric atopic dermatitis: a randomized, double-blind, clinical trial. Int J Dermatol. 2014 Jan;53(1):100-8. doi:10.1111/ijd.12339. Epub 2013 Dec 10. PubMed PMID: 24320105.
  3. D’Angelo S, Ingrosso D, Migliardi V, et al. Hydroxytyrosol, a natural antioxidant from olive oil, prevents protein damage induced by long-wave ultraviolet radiation in melanoma cells. Free Radic Biol Med. 2005 Apr 1;38(7):908-18.
  4. Harju, D. (2018, April 15). 12 Best Essential Oils for Skin. Retrieved July 12, 2018, from https://helloglow.co/12-best-essential-oils-gorgeous-skin/
  5. Ling Wu, Paul Velander, Dongmin Liu, Bin Xu. Olive component oleuropein promotes β-cell insulin secretion and protects β-cells from amylin amyloid induced cytotoxicity. Biochemistry, 2017; DOI: 10.1021/acs.biochem.7b00199
  6. Rele AS, Mohile RB. Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on
    prevention of hair damage. J Cosmet Sci. 2003 Mar-Apr;54(2):175-92. PubMed PMID:
    12715094.
  7. Surbhi, Dr. (2018, February 19). 10 benefits of using Oats for skin: Dermatologist Guide (Dermatocare). Retrieved July 12, 2018, from https://www.dermatocare.com/blog/10-benefits-of-using-oats-for-skin–know-from-a-dermatologist
  8. Weil, Dr. (2017, October 06). Watercress For Your Skin? – Andrew Weil, M.D. Retrieved July 12, 2018, from https://www.drweil.com/health-wellness/body-mind-spirit/hair-skin-nails/watercress-for-your-skin
  9. Wolfe, D. (2012). The sunfood diet success system. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.

 

 
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