We often hear about how superfoods that are great to include in our everyday diets, so I did a little digging to see if we could also take advantage of food for skincare and incorporate them from the outside in!
I wasn’t surprised to find that this was indeed the case. I’m a huge fan of DIY face masks and often create them using what I have around the home.
Your skin is your body’s largest organ, and since it is porous, it absorbs whatever you put on it.
From face washes to sunscreens, moisturisers, and makeup, many commercial skincare, and cosmetic products require additional ingredients like fatty acids, fatty alcohols, and preservatives to merely create the product itself. However, these ingredients do nothing for your skin! When you start to add all these ingredients up, it can be worrying to discover just how many synthetics go on our faces each day!
In order to avoid putting unnecessary additives on our skin, why not mix your products as we need them? From scrubs to masks, toners, and exfoliators, your skin will love these 20 bare A-Z food for skincare heroes!
Avocados contain a treasure trove of antioxidants and healthy fats that helps moisturise your skin from within. But you can also use them in your skincare routine too. Avocados contain chlorophyll which helps to reduce redness and inflammation, water to hydrate dry, flaky skin and Vitamin E to promote softness and prevent wrinkles.
So next time you have an abundance of avocados on hand, consider using them outside of the kitchen and as a food for skincare with this simple mask.
Mix together half a medium avocado with a teaspoon of raw honey until a smooth paste is formed. Apply over a clean face using your finger tips and leave it on for 10-20 minutes. Remove with warm water and pat dry.
Bananas are rich in potassium, magnesium vitamins A and E and unsaturated fats that keep your skin moist, soft, and supple.
To create a quick banana mask, simply mix half a banana with a teaspoon of honey. Apply the mask to clean your face with your fingers. Leave on for 20 minutes then rinse off with warm water and pat dry.
Raw Cacao powder has an antioxidant (ORAC) score of 95,500 which is 14 times more antioxidant flavonoids than red wine, 21 times more than green tea, and 7 times more than dark chocolate! Because it contains high levels of antioxidants, it can protect and repair the skin from damage and premature ageing. It’s also anti-inflammatory, so it soothes redness and blemishes, improving the skin’s overall complexion.
Even when applied topically, cacao will provide you a lot of the same benefits as if you were consuming it!
Coconut Oil is one of the most popular skin care ingredients due to its antibacterial properties, reducing inflammation while it’s nourishing fatty acids keeps skin feeling smooth and makes for a wonderful moisturiser. And because it has high concentrations of MCFAs it’s easily absorbed into the skin.
You can use coconut oil as an oil cleanser, makeup remover, an all over body moisturiser and so much more!
Coconut Cream and Coconut Milk are also very moisturising and contain high levels of vitamin C and copper which both help to maintain skin elasticity and flexibility leaving it smooth and supple. It’s also rich in copper which reduces wrinkles, sagging skin, and age spots.
➤ Try our coconut laden Nude Clay Mask that’s like a tropical vacay for your skin!
Crammed with high amounts of fatty acids, sterols, vitamins and antioxidants, coffee provides a wonderful range of skincare benefits. Coffee is widely used in anti-aging skin care, typically in eye creams to increase elastin and collagen to lessen ageing effects like wrinkles and fine lines.
Caffeine content in Coffee Grinds reduces cellulite by dilating blood vessels beneath the skin and improving overall blood flow.
Did you know that cucumbers are not a vegetable, they’re actually a fruit from the melon family? I always thought they tasted like watermelons “savoury cousin” ha!
Just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc… wow! They are also 95% water making great for hydrating, anti-aging and soothing irritated skin. They’re also a great choice for those who suffer with oily skin. Cucumbers can help to balance sebum production, and it’s anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce acne and blemishes.
Create a soothing gel mask that would be perfect for after a day out in the sun. Blend together in a food processor, half a cucumber, one tablespoon of gelatin, and one tablespoon of collagen powder. Apply the mix on your clean face, relax and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Then rinse off with water.
This recipe yields a few masks, so place the rest of your mix into ice cube trays and save them for another day. Then simply pop one out when you want to use it and wait until it’s thawed. If you want to save yourself time doing all the blending, simply rub the cucumber slices over your skin.
7. Goji berries
Far more potent than the more well known berries, goji berries help to protect your skin against harmful free radicals, aiding in the healing of damaged or inflamed skin. They’re packed with tons of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that help to reduce acne, and even out skin tone by reducing the appearance of scars and age spots. Because they are abundant in amino acids, they make for a great source of hydration.
So how do you use these berries for DIY skincare? You can buy them dried, I got mine at my chemist (or get them online here). Then steeped them in hot water and apply the cooled liquid over your skin with a cotton ball.
When regularly applied topically to the skin, raw honey can provide it with a myriad of benefits. Manuka honey has been shown to improve wound healing due to its strong antibacterial properties making it ideal for those struggling with blemishes. It’s also a wonderful humectant meaning that it‘s capable of absorbing moisture from the environment.
This makes it ideal for hydrating the skin and improving the barrier function, leaving the skin feeling soft and smooth. This food for skincare is gentle enough for all skin types, and especially beneficial for dry skin types. It can be used daily for exfoliating, cleansing and so much more!
Matcha is also commonly used in anti-aging skincare due to its caffeine content. Caffeine helps to increase elastin and collagen which lessens the aging effect such as wrinkles and fine lines. Matcha also contains Vitamin B2 which helps to maintain collagen levels providing skin with firmness and structure. Anti-inflammatories help to reduce redness and restore any dryness and antibacterial agents calm acne and unclog pores.
Obtain the maximum glow from matcha using our Green Clay Face Mask
Oats, warm and cozy on a winters morning, and also a powerful food for skincare, especially for those of you who have oily skin. It’s a natural cleanser that can be used to unclog pores, soak up excess oil, gently exfoliates, and naturally soak up the excess sebum and grime.
It’s also useful for it’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and it’s ability to remove dead skin cells.
➤ Related: What’s your skin type? 10 quick questions to finally pinpoint your unique skin type.
11. Olive oil
Not just an essential ingredient in any Greek salad, Olive Oil is perfect for moisturising and restoring your skin. The healthy fats in olive oil seal moisture into your skin preventing sagging, fine lines and wrinkles. Olive oil has natural lipids that resemble your skin’s sebum, and is known for reducing inflammation and redness.
Battle any ageing concerns by combining half an avocado and a quarter cup of olive oil. Apply the mix all over a clean face, and leave it on for 15 minutes. Then simply rinse it off with warm water and pat dry.
Pineapples have bromelain, a powerful enzyme that helps chemically exfoliate the top layer of skin. It brightens and evens out skin tone whilst its antioxidant properties protect the skin from free radical damage. Its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial benefits reduce the appearance of blackheads, whiteheads, and acne and calm redness and swelling.
This fruit enzyme found in our Nude Clay Mask helps reduce inflammation and softens the skin making it a juicy food for skincare choice!
Sea Salt all helps to remove dead skin cells from the outer surface of the skin. Thus revealing a more even look to the skin reducing the appearance of cellulite, scars and stretch marks. Epsom Salts can benefit achy muscles by easing the inflammation caused by minor injuries or arthritis. Pink Himalayan Salts Can help your skin retain moisture, which makes it an ideal ingredient for a spa-like soak.
Try my DIY Calendula and Pink Himalayan Bath Salts here.
As a popular superfood, spirulina is packed with antioxidants like vitamins C and E and amino acids that reduce inflammation and fights bacteria. It’s also full of chlorophyll that aids in strengthening skin tissue, retaining elasticity for firmer, more youthful skin.
To create an easy antibacterial face mask. Simply mix in 1 tablespoon of spirulina powder with 1 tablespoon of honey and quarter teaspoon of rose water. Apply the mask to clean your face with your fingers or a cosmetics brush. Leave on for 20 minutes. Then rinse off with warm water and pat dry, follow with a facial oil or moisturiser.
Strawberries are packed full of antioxidants that fight free radicals like no other. They also act as an astringent, similar to alpha hydroxy acid (AHAs) and contain salicylic acid to exfoliate dead skin.
They also have antiseptic properties and an abundance of vitamin C, which is a highly popular antioxidant and a required component in the production of collagen, the tissue responsible for skin suppleness and skin brightness. Get clearer, brighter skin using the power of strawberries in our Pink Clay Mask.
Sugar makes for a great addition to exfoliating scrubs, which are great to use in the winter. It exfoliates the top layer of skin helping moisturiser to penetrate deeper and reveal softer skin. Mix sugar with your favourite carrier oil to create a body scrub. Scrubs work great on your back, legs, and shoulders, allowing you to get that perfect silky skin.
Tip: I personally wouldn’t recommend using salt or sugar on your face. Salt and sugar crystals have sharp edges which can cause micro cuts, potentially causing skin irritation. Rather opt for something that is round, like jojoba beads. Or something gentle like oats or clay to exfoliate the delicate skin of your face.
Turmeric contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties in particular can reduce the appearance of acne scarring and prevent bacteria that may contribute to future breakouts. This combination may help clear your face and prevent any breakouts.
The presence of Vitamin C helps to improve uneven skin tone, dark spots and hyperpigmentation giving it its famous “brightening” quality that it’s well known for. Turmeric makes for a wonderful exfoliating agent.
Not just a flavour for deserts and ice creams, vanilla has powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, which can help to soothe and calm irritated skin, reduce skin infections and assist in healing wounds. It’s also known to be excellent in keeping hair soft and silky and promoting hair growth.
Vanilla Bean Extract contains Vanillin, a polyphenol with powerful antioxidant properties.
To take advantage of this food for skin care by slicing open 5 vanilla beans and scrape out its seeds. Add these seeds, along with a tablespoon of honey, 2 drops vanilla bean extract and a few drops of Apricot Kernel Oil. Mix the ingredients well and apply it to your face. Massage it in for a few minutes, let it sit for 5-10 minutes and then rinse off with warm water.
Yogurt is a great food for skincare choice as it’s a probiotic rich in zinc, lactic acid, vitamin B, and calcium that fortify your skin by giving it the nourishment it needs. Lactic acid is known to exfoliate your skin by removing dead cells and balancing the surface bacteria. And the fat content in yogurt helps to keep skin hydrated.
Just ensure that the yogurt you use has no added sugars, and is plain full fat greek yogurt.
Citrus has to be my all time favourite aroma, it’s always so uplifting! It’s said to improve depression, anxiety, and grief, it’s sweet, energetic aroma just makes me feel happy. The zests of citrus fruits contain a powerhouse of vitamin C and antioxidants which prevent the skin from getting too oily or dry. When applied to the skin, they also work as a toner, removing dead cells and dirt and tightening pores. Additionally, the calcium citrus peels contribute to anti-oxidant production, which makes dull skin healthy and glowing.
So next time you peel an orange or pop a slice of lemon in your GnT, save those leftovers to help you achieve beautiful, bright, glowing skin.
Try our Nude Clay Mask that features the skin-loving properties of sweet orange.
When using food for skincare it’s essential to source organic that has the lowest risk of pesticides. It’s also encouraged to you thoroughly wash any fruits or vegetables before using them for skincare.
And like any new skin care product, always perform a patch test first.
So many skincare companies only highlight their “key ingredients”. They avoid to mention the 20 other ingredients they have to throw in to make it creamy. Stuff like water, emulsifiers, and stabilizers. Green + Bare only uses natural ingredients, what you see is what you get – real, raw, fun, a little bit messy.