As any supermodel will tell you, the key to great skin is to moisturize. Moisturizing ensures that your skin retains the water it needs to prevent dryness and flakiness. While drugstore finds can be a quick (though pricy) solution, some of your favorite snacks actually do double duty as the perfect moisturizers. Skin is an organ, so it needs nutrients to maintain its health. Certain foods can help skin get the nourishment it needs thanks to their high vitamin and antioxidant content.
Dr. Oz explains that lutein, found in abundance in eggs and dark leafy greens like kale, collard greens, spinach and Swiss chard, is a nutrient that decreases the risk of wrinkles. Lutein also helps to promote skin elasticity and prevent dryness. We’ve all heard about the benefits of antioxidants — the natural chemicals found in plants that help protect the body from free radical damage and premature aging. Fruits and veggies are full of them. Red or pink foods like watermelon, strawberries, and juicy tomatoes are rich in vitamins A and C, which help to promote collagen production to keep skin supple. Nuts and seeds are superfoods with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, monounsaturated fats, minerals, and vitamins like A, B, and E, which all help to hydrate skin and promote elasticity. Omega-3s actually maintain the cell membrane of the skin, allowing water and nutrients to penetrate and hydrate.
Orange veggies like carrots and sweet potatoes are abundant in beta-carotene. Best known for improving vision, beta-carotene is an antioxidant that also helps fight dry skin and protect it from harmful UV rays while increasing moisturizing collagen production.
So, before you splurge on that three-figure moisturizer, open your fridge and turn your kitchen into a spa. After all, if you wouldn’t eat it, why would you put it on your skin?
Coconut oil is one of nature’s organic sunscreens. It is rich in antioxidants and vitamin E, and contains antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that make it an ideal anti-aging moisturizer. It actually penetrates the skin and hydrates deep into skin’s tissue making it more productive than anything you might buy in the pharmacy.
Avocados have long been considered one of nature’s healthiest foods. They are rich in potassium (they actually have more than bananas), and vitamins A, E, and B. Combine these properties with avocado’s rich folate levels — which aid in blood formation — and you have one great moisturizer. The oils in avocadoes actually trigger the production of collagen, so whether you’re eating it or rubbing it on raw, avocados will give you a great glow.
This story was originally published July 23, 2014.