It is no secret that eating lots of veggies, whole grains, and fruits offers a variety of health benefits, but what about putting this stuff on your body? Which foods offer what benefits to your skin? I don’t know about you McGill collegiettes, but I need to know the real truth behind how these organic food facials work before I’m caught making an avocado facemask instead of guacamole.
So how do they work?
Let’s take vitamin D as an example. We all know that laying out in the sun gives our skin its dosage of vitamin D (and an undeniably sexy tan) – but through what process? Vitamin D can be obtained from UV rays, food, or supplements. However, it first has to be metabolized for it to have an effect on your body. Metabolization starts when the UV rays penetrate the skin and trigger two hydroxylations, or chemical conversions. The first occurs in the liver and turns vitamin D into calcidiol, while the second occurs in the kidney and forms the physiologically active form of calcitriol. It is this compound, calcitriol, that facilitates calcium absorption into your bones and provides all the other health benefits we associate with vitamin D.
As with vitamin D, your body will absorb, process, and use all vitamins as a substrate, which facilitates the production of compounds that help your body keep up its functions. Fiewf! Who knew facials could be so much more than…skin deep?!
The best part about using organic food as facials is that most of the ingredients are already in your kitchen. It is much, muuuuuch cheaper than buying the pre-made face cleansers and masks, and you’re avoiding all the synthetic, not-so-healthy preservatives from store brands (sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, no thanks).
DYI: Consult this super useful link from WedMD to find a chart with which natural foods contain which vitamins and health benefits.
Next, here are a couple organic, DIY facial recipes to get you started:
Kiwi Skin-Brightening Mask
Blend 2 kiwis, pureed + 3 tbs. plain yogurt + 1 tbs. orange juice + 1 tbs. olive oil
Berry Yogurt Mask
Blend 2 tbs. plain yogurt + 2 tbs. honey + 1/4 cup mixed berries + 1 tbs. lemon juice
Balancing Facial Mask
2/3 cup mashed avocado + 1/3 cup finely grated cucumber + 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
+ 3 tbs. green clay powder
Calming Oatmeal Facial Cleanser
.5 cup oatmeal + 2 tbs. cream (or milk)
Brown Sugar Scrub
2 tbs. brown sugar + 2 tbs. olive oil
Coconut Face Cleanser
3 tsp. organic coconut oil + 1 tsp. olive oil + 2 tsp. water