We have some fun scrubbing today on Food as Medicine. We’re doing DIY sugar scrubs and talking about holistic ways to create beautiful skin.
One of my indulgences used to be buying expensive scrubs from different spas, and I love scrubs for the dual exfoliation and moisturizing effect that you just can’t get from soap or body wash.
These scrubs are expensive, though. Some were upwards of $40 or $50. So I decided that I was likely wasting my money when I had all the ingredients to make awesome scrubs at home.
All you need is oil, sugar, sea salt, essential oils, and perhaps a few spices.
Here are two of our favorites:
Facial Sugar Scrub
- 1/2 cup sugar (white or brown sugar – preferably organic)
- ¼ cup oil (olive oil is my favorite for the face)
- 1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
- Optional: 1-3 essential oils of your preference (my favorites include citrus, lavender, or tea tree if you tend to break out)
Sugar Scrub Instructions
Mix all ingredients and store in an airtight jar.
Use 1 tablespoon as needed (at night before bed, upon waking, or in the shower) instead of washing your face. Gently scrub skin with the mixture and rinse well. It will leave your skin feeling so soft!
Lavender Vanilla Body Scrub
1 cup organic sugar
1/2 cup almond oil
1 tsp. Vitamin E oil
1 tsp. real vanilla extract
20 drops lavender oil
1 tablespoon of sea salt (optional)
The olive oil will be heavier, and I use it on my face because I have dry skin. If you tend to have oily skin, you can use almond and vitamin E oil instead for the face.
Best Foods and Supplements for the Skin
- Collagen peptides help give your skin a healthy glow and prevent the breakdown of your own collagen. You can use a hydrolyzed form that melts in your smoothie, soup, and mixes easily in water – or make your own gummy candy with the non-hydrolyzed version to have as a sweet and healthy treat.
- Biotin is a B vitamin that’s ideal for hair, nails, and your skin. A general recommendation is 1000 mcg daily when working on your skin health. Alternatively, you can take a hair, skin, and nail vitamin that has almost everything you need in one (except for Omega 3s). I love this one by Pure Encapsulations.
Bananas contain notable amounts of biotin, which make them an excellent skin food as well.
- Iron is a very important vitamin for women as it activates your B vitamins which give skin an added glow (not to mention how it strengthens hair and promotes hair growth). Gaia Liquid Iron is my favorite form, and it’s non-binding.
Pack your iron in with these foods: spinach, oysters, cashews, grass-fed beef.
- Vitamin C is king. It’s good for so many things – from boosting adrenal health to improved immune function, and of course, improving skin elasticity. I take 500mg of food-based vitamin C and 240mg of Bioflavonoids daily via MegaFood’s Complex C.
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids: wild salmon, sardines, herring or mackerel fit the bill. You’ll want to shoot for a minimum of 1000 mg of Omega 3s daily including both DHA and EPA.
One 2005 study found that EPA, an omega-3 found primarily in fish oil (helps block the release of ultraviolet-induced enzymes that eat away at your skin’s collagen, causing lines and sagging skin).
Pure Encaps is one of our favs because it contains 1000 mg total of EPA and DHA in one capsule.
A 2013 study found that people who took a vitamin E and C supplement appeared to have less dryness and tighter, brighter skin after four months.
This speaks to the true science of food as medicine. To get this food combination, you can combine citrus with avocado or almonds and berries as a snack together.
Vitamin C increases the amount of iron that gets absorbed, so as long as you don’t have iron overload disease called hemochromatosis, have some citrus with your spinach salad or tomatoes with your grass-fed beef to absorb more iron and potentially not have to supplement.
Skincare Products and My Daily Skincare Regimen
As we age, hyaluronic acid is an essential ingredient in products. It’s naturally present throughout the body. Its job is to sustain moisture and shape. This is why it’s the substance of choice for most cosmetic fillers.
Hyaluronic acid is involved in a number of processes, including hydration, repair, and even the formation of collagen and elastin, which helps skin retain its shape.
For cosmetic purposes, HA is often extracted from the Japanese sweet potato and gelatinous root vegetables.
A 2002 study proved after four weeks of consumption (as compared to a placebo group), those using hyaluronic acid reported better skin quality, more retention of moisture, and less dryness.
If you want more details on key ingredients in your skin care products, head over and watch our 7 Natural Skin Salves for Rashes, Stretch Marks, and Wrinkles segment.
Natural Products WE LOVE and My Own Skincare Regimen
Wash my face with Annmarie Gianni Aloe Herb or Citrus Mint Facial Cleanser or my homemade olive oil and sugar scrub
Wash my face with FATCO Cleansing Oil or my homemade face scrub
Apply Annmarie Gianni Hyaluronic Acid Anti-Aging Serum (I cannot live without this product!)
Apply their anti-aging facial oil
Other Annmarie Gianni products I love are:
Anti-aging eye cream
Dead sea scrub
Coconut honey mask
Neroli toning mist (always in my purse and awesome on flights)
Now it’s your turn. We’d love to hear in the comments below your favorite way to take care of your skin. Go!