It's true that proper nourishment is the key to glowing skin, especially in the depths of winter as cold air strips us of essential moisture and nutrients. But before running to the closest store for a moisturizer, look around your home first. Why buy expensive pre-packaged products when you can find natural moisturizers in your kitchen?
Here are nine natural moisturizers for hydrated, glowing skin:
Raw, organic honey is naturally anti-bacterial, so it's an effective acne treatment, helps unclog pores and is a great cleanser. It's also full of antioxidants, making it a potent fighter of wrinkles, aging skin, irritation and blemishes, all while leaving a lovely afterglow.
To use: Mix two tablespoons of honey with eight tablespoons of water until a paste forms. Apply to skin and allow it to dry, then gently wash off with warm water.
Buttermilk is rich in lactic acid, an ingredient found in many expensive skin care products. Why? It's a pro at breaking down and removing dead skin cells, speeding up cell turnover and rejuvination. And new skin cells = younger looking skin. These new cells get the added benefit of being bathed in all the nutrients found in buttermilk, making it a great moisturizer.
To use: Dip a wash cloth in cold buttermilk and lay it on your face for five to ten minutes. Gently rinse.
3. Olive oil
Olive oil has been used for centuries as a moisturizer. Its antioxidants and natural acids help strengthen the skin to create a natural barrier against the harmful effects of the sun.
To use: Add a few tablespoons of olive oil and two drops of lavender essential oil to a bath for a moisturizing and refreshing effect.
4. Castor oil
Castor oil is an amazing moisturizer. It has a high concentration of fatty acids, enabling it to quickly absorb into the skin. It's an effective lubricant for dry patches and hydrates the skin from the inside out because its linoleic acid creates a barrier that prevents skin from losing moisture.
To use: Massage a few drops onto dry skin every night.
5. Coconut oil
Coconut oil is naturally full of collagen-supporting lauric acid and is easily absorbed deep into the skin for great moisturizing without leaving you feeling greasy. Its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties also make it a great anti-ager.
To use: Find raw, unrefined, virgin organic coconut oil, heat it between your hands to liquify and rub into your skin.
6. Shea butter
Shea Butter is a rich source of vitamins A and F, both of which help to alleviate dry skin and keep it looking young. Produced from the nuts found inside the fruit of the Shea tree, it's a totally natural moisturizer and acts as barrier from the harmful effects of the elements.
To use: Make sure your shea butter has not expired (it loses all its fantastic moisturizing properties if it is!) and then go ahead and slather it all over your skin.
When applied to dry skin, avocados help lubricate every layer of your dermis. Their high levels of fats and vitamins like A, D and E help skin retain moisture and and work as anti-agers.
To use: Eat a ripe avocado and then rub the inner side of the peel lightly on your face. Let the avocado residue sit for 15 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.
Cucumbers are an excellent source of water for your body, both inside and out. Packed with nutrients like magnesium, potassium, vitamins A and E, cucumbers promote blood circulation and healing, both of which benefit skin, bones and nails. The vegetable also helps to reduce wrinkles and promotes a glowing complexion, and can treat puffiness around the eyes because of their high water content.
To use: Start small and simply place slices of cucumber over your eyes for an easy de-puffer. You can also puree a cucumber and add a few drops of honey to make a soothing, hydrating mask.
Aloe is widely used in many skin care products because it helps moisturize skin without leaving it greasy. Nutrients like beta-carotene and vitamins C and E keep skin plump.
To use: Carefully cut and peel an aloe vera leaf to expose the gel inside, then apply to skin.
Want to learn more about how the health of your skin is greatly impacted by the food you eat and the toxins you're exposed to? Register now for our FREE Functional Nutrition Webinar with Kelly LeVeque.