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A Salad Fit for Your Skin
By Josie Garthwaite
Toss avocado, lettuce, and tomato with a splash of olive oil, and you have a healthy salad. Bottle them up with staples like aloe vera and sweet almond oil, and you have a recipe for serious beauty boosting.
Traditional salad ingredients increasingly appear in creams, masks, and other facial products. Dermatologists Ranella Hirsch of Boston and Jeanette Jacknin of Phoenix say there’s more to the trend than companies juicing products with buzz-worthy ingredients. “Olive oil has been used for years for youthful skin,” says Jacknin, author of Smart Medicine for Your Skin (Avery, 2001). With good reason: The oil is rich in skin-soothing vitamin E.
Another standby, cucumber, now has scientific proof that it reduces puffiness around the eyes—and maybe more. Certain acids and compounds in the vegetable (well, technically it’s a fruit) help combat inflammation, which Jacknin describes as the single greatest culprit in age-related conditions—from Alzheimer’s to wrinkled, sagging skin.
Ingredients like tomato and carrot deliver benefits through their antioxidants. When eaten, they fight cell damage in your body much the way citrus juice can prevent a slice of apple from turning brown, explains Hirsch. In facial treatments, antioxidants like vitamin C and beta- carotene help stave off damage (read: signs of age) from sun exposure, smoke, and pollution.
So next time you’re in the beauty aisle, take your grocery list with you—or pull this one out for reference.
This creamy fruit comes packed with fatty acids and vitamins B, C, E, and K. Vitamins C and E fight sun damage best when used together, so the combination in avocado can safeguard sun-exposed skin along with other protective measures. Skin readily absorbs avocado oil, making it ideal for face creams.
As in other dark yellow and orange vegetables, the antioxidant beta-carotene in carrots defends against environmental stressors that wreak havoc on your skin over time. You’ll find carrot root and seed oils mostly in moisturizers.
Cucumber contains vitamin C, an antioxidant that also helps ward off sun damage. (Note: You still need to wear sunscreen!) More than that, this veggie-like fruit boasts caffeic acid, which helps reduce inflammation. Labels may list vitamin C as ascorbic acid.
You’ll often find lettuce extracts in eye treatments because dark-leaf lettuce provides a natural source of vitamin K, which may help diminish dark circles. Vitamin K sometimes appears on labels as phylloquinone. Chlorophyll, the substance that makes lettuce (and other plants) green, also has an antioxidant effect, helping to slow signs of aging. Herbalists have long used wild lettuces for their calming effects, and you can now find them in complexion-soothing facial treatments.
A natural emollient, olive oil boasts a rich store of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds called polyphenols. It also offers an alternative, vegetar...
Author: Josie Garthwaite
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