By Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN
Your skin is your body’s largest organ. It’s not just large — it’s also incredibly porous, absorbing about 60 to 70 percent of what you place on it.
Depending on the ingredients in your skin-care products your skin’s porous nature can be a good thing — or not so great. But here’s the thing: when it comes to products, you have more options than what lines the aisles at your drugstore. You’ll find plenty of everyday foods — ones you’re used to putting in your juicer or incorporating in meals — that are ideal for keeping your skin healthy.
Here are my seven favorite foods that also make for great skin-healthy ingredients.
Along with making a nutrient-packed breakfast (like this hearty oatmeal), oats are great for skin.
Grind them up into a flour-like consistency and then apply as a mask to help ease irritation or skin with eczema. Combine oats with honey for a soothing and anti-inflammatory mask, thanks to a nutrient found in oats called avenanthramide, which acts as a natural anti-inflammatory.
Avocado is loaded with healthy fat and is a great anti-inflammatory for both the insides of our body and also for our skin. It’s also super moisturizing, and can help promote soft, smooth skin and moisturize your hair.
Use avocado as part of a mask along with honey and oats — or use it on its own as a hydrating mask. Just mash it up, and then gently apply to your face. Allow the mask to sit for 10 to 15 minutes then remove.
Honey helps your skin absorb and lock in moisture. You can use honey as part of a mask recipe or even use it on its own as a mask. To do so, apply and leave for 10-15 minutes (on a clean face) then wash off!
Bananas: they’re good to eat, and also good on your skin!
Bananas are a source of potassium, vitamins and minerals and can also be hydrating and provide moisture to dry skin. It’s easy to use a banana on your skin, especially if you have overly ripe ones around the house.
Here’s what to do: Mash up a banana and apply it to skin as a mask on its own. Or, mix the banana with honey and oats for a quick face mask. Always apply a mask to a clean face and allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes before washing off.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar gets a lot of press for being healthful to digestion and anti-inflammation, but it can also be used well on the surface skin too.
Apple cider vinegar acts as a toner, helping to keep pores open and break up dead skin cells on the surface. To use apple cider vinegar as a toner, mix 1 part vinegar with 2 parts water then apply to a clean face using a cotton ball — make sure to avoid the area around your eye.
Coconuts are a good source of healthy fat. They’re also super hydrating and have selenium, which helps to fight free radical damage on the surface of the skin.
Apply coconut meat or coco butter similar to a moisturizer. Just know that coconut butter (or coco butter) can be somewhat goopy and messy to work with so beware!
Berries have a natural source of vitamin C, a precursor to collagen. They’re also loaded with antioxidants that can help to promote healthy and beautiful skin.
Mash up the berries into a paste and apply to your face for a mask. You can also mix with other foods like oats or honey for the benefits mentioned above.
Want to read more about skin here on Reboot with Joe? Check out these posts: