It’s not just lemon juice highlights hiding in your shelves. Whip these everyday foods out to boost your beauty for free – when we tried the pineapple one our skin felt like velvet.
Honey, and in particular Mankua honey, has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties making it perfect for spot clearing. Unlike the toothpaste our teenage selves applied to blemishes, honey is a natural humectant meaning it attracts and retains moisture so it won’t dry out the area around a spot. Apply it directly on to the skin for 15-20 minutes before washing off. Yes it feels sticky and becomes a magnet for flyaway hairs, but it smells nicer than any face mask and doesn’t look as scary!
Yoghurt makes a brilliant binding ingredient for masks and scrubs, plus it has moisturising and rejuvenating properties to boot. Pow! We tried making a foot and hand scrub by mixing yoghurt with some ground walnuts. As yoghurt contains small levels of lactic acid it is a mild exfoliant in itself, but combined with comfortably coarse grains of nuts, it helps to exfoliate dry patches a treat.
Avocado has superfood status for the inside and out given that your skin will absorb its youth-boosting profile of vitamins, proteins and fatty acids when applied topically. It is also high in sterolins, which are super-moisturising and reputed to reduce age spots and scars. The 15-minute mashed-up mask method is a golden oldie beauty trick, but we’ve also found that while pure avocado is perfect for normal skin types, dry skin benefits from some honey added to the avocado, while oily skin benefits from the addition of honey and lemon juice.
Vinegar is antiseptic and regulates the skin’s PH, making it great for summer bug bites and sunburn. We tried and tested this on a jungle trek in Uganda and it worked to cool down irritation a treat! Wet a cloth with water and apply vinegar to it, holding it against the problem area until soothed. Another beauty benefit of vinegar is its natural teeth-whitening properties. Swap your morning mouthwash for some apple cider vinegar which can not only kill bacteria but shift stubborn stains.
Papaya and pineapple
To create a wholly natural facial peel, score the skin of a green papaya and apply the sap sparingly. It contains the natural enzyme papain which can help lift dead skin cells. Similarly, a slice of pineapple, which contains bromelain, rubbed onto the skin will have a natural exfoliating effect. Rinse off after five minutes. When we tried it ourselves in Sri Lanka our skin felt like velvet afterwards.
Coconut and olive oil
Nature’s wonder oils have endless beauty uses. Try bathing in them to keep your skin soft, use them as a natural make-up remover, coat your hair in them for a shine-boosting moisture mask or simply dab them on as moisturisers â€“ to your face, body, lips and nails. We wouldn’t survive without them.MYNEWSHUB/Text: Sara Khalid