Oil: The word alone gets a bad rap--we associate oil prices with economic and political concerns, the stuff in our kitchen with adding extra pounds, and just the thought of it applied to our skin topically is enough to make our pores clog.
But depending on your skin type (and you know better than we), oil applied facially can actually be incredibly beneficial to your complexion. Its moisturizing nature is extremely nourishing for those with normal, dry, or combination skin, and it will leave the skin's texture soft and supple.
We recommend Jason Vitamin E Oil, a lightweight and soothing formula to condition your face. Vitamin E is a natural and highly-concentrated anti-oxidant, which means it will not only soften the skin, but protect it from free-radical damage. Jason Natural's Vitamin E Pure Beauty Oil, $5.62, at drugstore.com.
Honey: Sugar is bad for our skin, causing it to thin and weaken over time. So honey, a form of sugar, isn't something commonly connected with skincare. The sticky substance, however, is literally brimming with skin-restorative properties. In addition to being hugely moisturizing (it is a humectant, meaning it actually attracts moisture), it is also an anti-irritant, making it great for even sensitive skin. It also contains phenolic acids, antioxidants which will preserve your skin's elasticity, and calcium, zinc, potassium, and other nutrients our skin craves.
The Body Shop's Honey and Oat Mask treats your skin with honey's vast benefits while it cleanses and polishes the surface. Plus it smells amazing! Honey & Oat 3-in-1 Scrub Mask, $16.50, at thebodyshop-usa.com.
Hemp: As a rule, things that are illegal are emphatically bad; yet hemp, a plant that cannot be legally grown in the U.S., is actually emphatically good…for our skin. The oil of its seeds has a remarkably high concentration of essential fatty acids, making it so insanely moisturizing that it is even recommended for those with eczema. Hemp seed's powerfully rich oil actually repairs the skin's moisture barrier, which means it has skin retain moisture, and not dry out shortly after application.
For those who suffer from dry, chapped skin, The Healing Seed's Hemp facial cream is a great, all-natural choice. The Healing Seed's Hemp Oil Face Cream, $9.80, myhealthmyworld.com.
Pizza: Greasy food is commonly associated with breakouts. While we're not recommending slice-to-cheek contact, pizza-- or any food that contains a high level of calcium-- is important for your skin. It promotes cell turnover, which is what literally keeps our skin looking fresh, and calcium in our skin also creates a protective layer, making it essential during colder months. Remember, pizza can be loaded with as many healthy toppings as you wish, and whole wheat dough is becoming widely available.
We say let this be your excuse while digging into some delicious pizza-- it's good for your belly, and for your skin! Amy's Cheese and Pesto Pizza, $7.49, at freshdirect.com.
Chocolate: Another food that often stands accused of causing bad skin, chocolate actually does just the opposite. Make a habit of consuming moderate amounts of dark chocolate, and your skin will thank you: aside from abounding with vitamins and minerals, dark chocolate consumption can increase the density of your skin, which will fight future wrinkles. This is because the linolic acid found in chocolate has anti-aging properties, while its antioxidants protect the collagen.
Try Chocolove's Dark Chocolate and Raspberry bar for an anti-oxidant double-whammy, or enjoy Gaia Organic's luxurious Dark Chocolate discs with a glass of red wine (hey, as long as we're feeling decadent...) Gaia Dark Chocolate, $5.99, at bridgebrandschocolate.com.
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