DIY natural skin care: fruit and veg

Now that we’ve made our case for natural skin care and natural beauty tips, we’d like to share some more of our favourite recipes.  Did you know you can beautify your skin with fruit and vegetables?  No?  Look at what you’re missing out on…

Cucumber facial peel

Cucumber is not only tasty, it is very soothing and cooling.  It contains vitamins B, C, betacarotene and the mineral silica which is highly beneficial to the skin.  There’s a reason why women put slices of cucumber on their eyes when they are relaxing with a face mask on!

Remember: drinking the juice of a small cucumber daily will also make the skin glow from the inside-out.

You will need:

  • 1 small cucumber
  • 2 chamomile tea bags
  • 2 green tea tea bags
  • 1 packet gelatin
  • 50ml aloe vera gel

If possible, use organic cucumber and aloe gel, and unbleached tea bags.  If you are vegetarian, you may also want to look for vegetarian gelatin, as most commercially sold gelatin is derived from beef.  Or you could always use kudzu, which has got anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties: even better!

What to do:

  • Purée the washed and diced cucumber.
  • Strain through a sieve and reserve the juice.
  • Combine the green tea, chamomile and gelatin in a saucepan.
  • Stir over a low heat for a few minutes.
  • Add the reserved cucumber juice and aloe vera gel.
  • Refrigerate for 15 minutes or until the mixture has thickened
  • Spread the mixture over the face and neck area (avoiding the delicate skin around the eyes) and leave for 20 minutes.
  • The mask might feel like a gummy layer when it’s ready to come off.  Simply peel it off, rinse with warm water and pat dry.
  • Apply moisturiser as needed.

Avocado face mask

Avocados contain monosaturated oils beneficial to the skin, as well as vitamins
B and E – all excellent for rejuvenating dry or tired skin!

You will need:

  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled and mashed
  • 1 teaspoon of sweet almond or olive oil

If possible, use organic avocado and organic sweet almond or olive oil.  At the very least, the oil should be cold-pressed which ensures maximum nutrients aren’t lost to heat and stay in the oil after extraction.

What to do:

  • Mix the avocado and oil well together.
  • Apply to face, and massage gently for a couple minutes to allow the mixture to soak into the skin.
  • Leave for 20 – 30 minutes, then rinse off with warm water and pat dry.
  • Apply moisturiser as needed.

Banana firming mask

Bananas are not only full of vitamins and potassium, they are also well known for their skin repairing properties.  You can use banana just by itself or you can add any (or all!) of the ingredients listed below.

You will need:

  • 1 ripe banana, peeled and mashed
  • honey (optional, also full of potassium and helps to clarify the skin)
  • yoghurt (remember what we wrote about milk nourishing the skin?)

What to do:

  • Mix the banana and other ingredients (if you wish) together.  Don’t overmix or the banana will lose its texture and not hold onto the skin as much.
  • Apply to face, and massage gently for a couple minutes.
  • Leave for 20 – 30 minutes, then rinse off with warm water and pat dry.
  • Apply moisturiser as needed.

Bananas are also wonderful as hair masks, leaving it soft and shiny.  Simply mash a banana, apply to the hair and cover in cling film.  Rinse, then shampoo and condition as usual.

Apple toner

Apples don’t just keep the doctor away: their vitamins, minerals and amazing benefits can also make our skin glow and shrink pores.  Simple apple juice can make for a very inexpensive and mighty effective toner.

You will need:

  • An apple, of any variety
  • A few drops of lemon juice

What to do:

  • Juice the apple and add the lemon juice (or juice a very small amount of lemon with the rind still on).
  • Dab cotton pads in the juice, and gently rub on cleansed skin.
  • Leave to dry a few minutes, then apply moisturiser as needed.

You don’t need much apple juice per application, so keep the left-over in the fridge for a couple of days – you can use the apple toner morning and night – or drink it!  Your skin will thank you either way.

And whilst we tend to be purists, you can use freshly squeezed apple juice from the supermarket, as long as it does not contain preservatives.  It might not be as effective or smell as good as homemade fresh juice, but it will still work!

Remember: lemon and all citrus fruit have photosensitive properties.  Adding too much lemon juice to this toner recipe might cause some dark patches on the skin, as the lemon will oxidise in sunlight.

More natural beauty tips here and here.