When you’re wandering to the fridge for a midnight snack, what that bowl of fresh strawberries can do for your complexion is probably the last thing on your mind. The next time you’re enjoying a ripe, juicy strawberry, consider what it can do for your skin, along with four other kitchen staples: olive oil, avocados, goat’s milk, and green tea.
Olive oil: Ancient Egyptians used olive oil as a hair treatment, and today this kitchen staple has even more uses in beauty. Abundant in antioxidants that combat cell damage that naturally occurs from lifestyle and environmental factors, olive oil can be used on the hair, skin, and nails. Here are five ways to use olive oil in your beauty routine:
- Cuticle conditioner—Simply dab on cuticles as needed to moisturize.
- Hair serum—If your hair needs a touch of shine, rub a few drops of olive oil onto flyaway strands of hair, or onto split ends.
- Cracked heels—Massage olive oil into the cracked, dry areas of your feet, and put on a pair of socks. Wear them overnight for maximum moisture.
- Eye makeup remover—Pour a small amount onto a cotton round, close your eyes, and press onto the lid gently.
- Shaving oil—Slather legs generously for a smooth shave that minimizes bumps.
Strawberries: Not only do strawberries taste delicious, they contain ellagic acid, a potent antioxidant that helps eliminate cell-damaging free radicals, and helps with the appearance of a radiant and luminous complexion. In addition, strawberries are the ideal base for a gentle facial scrub, as they contain alpha hydroxy acid, which helps to slough away dead skin cells. To create an easy facial scrub, mash one strawberry and mix with 1/2 teaspoon of manuka honey. Strawberries draw out impurities from the skin, and honey replenishes the skin’s moisture levels.
Avocados: Besides supplying the body with monounsaturated fats, avocado’s superfood status extends beyond the kitchen when they are added to your beauty regimen. The natural oils in avocado soften dry, flaky skin on the face and body, especially stubborn areas like cracked heels and elbows. The moisturizing properties of avocados also condition split ends, and add softness and shine to hair. To make a natural hair conditioner, mash up a ripe avocado, mix in an egg yolk, and ½ teaspoon olive oil. Leave in for 25 minutes and rinse with your favorite shampoo and conditioner.
Goat’s milk: Goat’s milk is a gentle ingredient that even those with sensitive skin can enjoy. Goat’s milk contains triglycerides and essential fatty acids to moisturize dry skin. It also contains lactic acid, which is an alpha hyroxy acid that helps brighten dull skin, making goat’s milk an excellent facial cleanser on its own; splash it on your face cold for extra refreshment! Let your whole body enjoy the moisturizing properties of goat milk by adding a can of powdered goat’s milk to a warm bath with few drops of your favorite essential oil.
Green tea: With polyphenols to neutralize free radicals that may cause premature aging of cells, green tea is a friend to your skincare routine. Green tea bags can be used to lessen under eye puffiness. Caffeine, found naturally in green tea, helps shrink blood vessels in the delicate tissue below the eyes, reducing puffiness. Steep two tea bags in hot water for 5 minutes, (why not enjoy a cup?), and allow the bags to chill in the refrigerator for about 20-30 minutes, or until cold. Squeeze out any excess liquid, and apply to eyelids for 15-30 minutes, once per week for best results. If you don’t want to drink the green tea from making the eye cooling bags, save it in a jar, refrigerate, and use it as a facial cleanser morning and night.