By Jen Broyles
As a society, we love beauty, and we love our beauty products. This is true for both men and women. We're always eager to try the next new lotion, potion, or powder if it promises anti-aging effects, blemish control, and flawless skin. However, so many of these so-called “beauty products” are loaded with skin-damaging chemicals.
Luckily, there are many foods and minerals that contain a number of beauty-enhancing properties that are great to incorporate into your diet. Many of these items can be ingested and used topically for glowing, healthy skin.
We are all familiar with aloe vera and have probably used it to treat sun burns. In fact, fresh aloe vera applied to the skin has been shown to heal sunburn and other burns faster than any other substance. This might be due to the high concentration of MSM and polysaccharides. Aloe is very soothing and is great for dry skin. When applied topically, it nourishes and tightens the skin for an instant face-lift. It is also a powerful anti-inflammatory. When using fresh aloe, the leaf can be sliced and filleted to reveal the inner gel. The aloe gel can be used topically or can be eaten.
MSM is an organic sulfur compound. Sulfur is stored in every cell in the body, and is highly concentrated in the joints, hair, skin, and nails. Adding MSM to your diet can promote healthy skin and hair, ease muscle and joint pain, and may help reduce pollen and food allergies. Some studies suggest it can improve arthritic conditions by increasing joint flexibility and reducing inflammation and pain. MSM taken orally or used topically is great for treating acne, eczema, dermatitis, and rosacea. You can purchase MSM powder and mix ½ tsp with water in the morning to start your day. There are no known toxic effects, so you can gradually increase your dose from there. MSM lotion for topical use is also available.
Coconut oil is an extremely healing food with antiviral, anti-fungal, and antimicrobial properties. Coconut oil can benefit those suffering from candida, some forms of psoriasis and other skin infections. Not only does coconut oil promote weight loss, regulate thyroid function, and normalize blood sugar, but coconut oil can repair and nourish the skin. Applied topically, coconut oil is a fantastic moisturizer and is ideal for dry, rough, or wrinkled skin.
Besides tasting delicious, papayas have numerous beautifying properties. They are rich in alkaline minerals such as calcium. They also are high in vitamins A ad C. Papayas are a great cleansing food, as they help soothe the digestive tract and calm indigestion. While the fruit is great to eat, but papayas can also be used topically. The enzymes in half-ripe papayas help dissolve dead skin layers when both eaten and applied to the skin. Papain, an enzyme found in papayas, is known for its anti-cancer and skin-cleansing properties.
Hemp seeds are one of the most nutritionally complete foods on the planet, as they contain all 9 essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, and tons of minerals. Hemp is high in protein and contains sulfur-bearing amino acids that help build strong hair, skin, nails, muscle and connective tissue. Hemp seeds provide a perfect ratio of essential fatty acids (omega-3, -6 and -9). Omega-3’s are strong antioxidants that help strengthen our immune system and beautify our skin. Gamma linolenic acid (omega-6) has strong anti-inflammatory properties. Hemp seeds are abundant in beauty minerals, such as phosphorous, magnesium, sulfur, zinc, and silicon, to name a few.
This is just a small selection of the many beautifying foods you can incorporate into your diet for a healthy body and glowing skin! Some others are onions, cucumbers, pumpkin seeds, turmeric, and olives. For more information on beautifying foods, read David Wolfe’s Eating For Beauty.
About Jen BroylesJen Broyles is a Certified Holistic Health Coach who inspires busy individuals to get healthy and happy. Realizing that her career in the pharmaceutical industry was not fulfilling her desire to help people live healthier lives, Jen found her true passion in the field of nutrition.