Sat
Aug
13
2011

5 Foods to Eat or Apply for Beautiful Skin

beautiful skin

The world of nature is an amazing place, producing fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds and beans that provide our bodies with the necessary and invaluable vitamins and minerals required to function optimally.

What many individuals don’t realize, however, is that many of the foods that we consume, to sustain our various biological functions, also provide untold benefits to our skin and beauty.

In addition, there’s more, as some of the foods listed below are readily available in a variety of lotions,serums, and creams that are specifically designed to be externally applied to the skin to reduce several of the more common skin conditions, including fine lines, texture, acne, pore size, dryness, and uneven skin tone, to name a few.

So, the next time you are in the grocery store, you might find yourself heading over to the produce section or the coffee aisle instead of the skincare section to purchase the produce products to assist in addressing and satisfying your skin and beauty needs.

Foods that Promote Beautiful Skin

Below is a list five common highly nutritious natural foods that can be regularly eaten as part of a well-rounded diet or applied externally to nourish and improve the condition of your skin.

Avocado

As a skin applicant…

According to a study found in a 2006 issue of Phytotherapy Research, applying an avocado face mask can stimulate the production of elastin and collagen, effectively slowing the skin’s natural aging process. To make the face mask, puree one ripe avocado with a quarter-cup of sour cream, which acts as a natural exfoliant. Spread the mixture evenly over your face, and rinse it off with water after 10 minutes.

As a food…

Avocados are rich in both essential fatty acids and antioxidants, making them an ideal food for smoothing and plumping up your skin. Dr. Jessica Wu, a dermatology professor at USC Medical School, says that eating avocados can restore the healthy fatty acids surrounding your skin cells, which helps to maintain hydration. Try chopping up some avocado over a salad, blending it in a smoothie, or using it as a sandwich topping.

Almonds

As a skin applicant…

Ground almonds can make for an excellent all-natural skin exfoliant. Use a food processor to grind a quarter-cup of almonds with two tablespoons of virgin coconut oil, available from many health food stores and online. Rub the paste over patches of rough skin, such as the elbows and knees, the next time you’re taking a shower. The almond paste will remove dead skin cells and rejuvenate your skin without harsh chemicals and acids.

As a food…

Dr. Wu says that almonds are packed with catalase, which prevents the accumulation of hydrogen peroxide in your hair follicles. Hydrogen peroxide is what causes your hair to turn gray. Although the easiest way to eat almonds is still by the handful, there’s nothing wrong with getting a little creative. Grind them up and add them to pancake batter, a banana smoothie or chicken coating as a versatile flavor booster.

Yogurt

As a skin applicant…

Yogurt has a high concentration of lactic acid, ideal for unclogging pores and getting rid of dead skin cells. Dr. Wu says that full-fat yogurt makes an excellent face mask. Thoroughly wash your face and apply a thin layer of yogurt. Rinse after 10 minutes.

You can also use yogurt to fortify and strengthen your hair. Combine a half-cup of yogurt with an egg yolk and three tablespoons of honey. Massage the mixture into your hair just like shampoo. Wait 15 minutes, rinse and wash in the shower.

As a food…

Eating yogurt is actually awesome for your teeth. It contains plenty of phosphorous and calcium, both of which bolster your tooth enamel to prevent cavities. Greek yogurt contains plenty of protein as well, which is necessary for the production of collagen and slows the skin aging process. Yogurt is an incredibly versatile food, and can be used as a base for smoothies, salad dressings and dips. Try mixing low-fat yogurt with granola and fresh fruit for a nutritious, filling and flavorful snack.

Coffee

As a skin applicant…

Caffeinated coffee can work wonders on the bags under your eyes and puffy eyelids. The caffeine acts as a diuretic, extracting water from your skin. Coffee grounds can also be rubbed on the buttocks and thighs to temporarily reduce the appearance of cellulite. Keep in mind that even expensive cellulite creams provide no more than a temporary fix, making coffee grounds a potentially free alternative to manufactured creams that can cost upwards of $40 a jar.

Coffee can also be used to enhance and deepen the color of your hair if you’re a brunette. Apply two cups of strong brewed coffee to your hair in between shampooing and conditioning to maximize the effects.

As a food…

Coffee contains plenty of natural antioxidants that work wonders on your skin. Drinking just eight ounces per day will provide enough antioxidants to prevent the deterioration of elastin and collagen, subsequently preventing sagging skin and wrinkles. As a bonus, the antioxidants help to prevent sun damage. Although drinking more than 8 ounces per day may provide some internal health benefits, such as warding off certain diseases, doing so will also dehydrate your skin.

Cocoa

As a skin applicant…

Cocoa powder is packed with flavonoids, which are antioxidant plant compounds known to moisturize skin while preventing sun damage. Turn your next bath into “chocolate milk” by adding an eighth-cup of unsweetened cocoa powder and a third-cup of fat-free dry milk to maximize the effects. Avoid the temptation to sip the bathwater!

As a food…

Interestingly, cocoa powder provides the same antioxidant benefits when it’s eaten as when it’s applied externally. Although the easiest way to eat cocoa powder is by consuming chocolate bars, cakes and other sweets, there are healthier alternatives. Try mixing some cocoa powder into your barbecue sauce for a deep, rich flavor.

Foods for Beautiful Skin: The Bottom Line

Many of the foods we eat on a daily basis can be applied to our skin to provide temporary or permanent skin and beauty enhancements. Cocoa powder and coffee are packed with age-defying antioxidants, while yogurt and almonds make for excellent exfoliates with other bonus benefits.

An avocado face mask boosts your skin’s production of elastin and collagen, further offsetting the effects and signs of aging. In addition, all of these foods provide additional skin and beauty benefits when regularly consumed as well.

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