We’re all on the hunt for beauty miracles—potions and lotions our go-to usual suspects. But we may be only reaping half the benefit if we’re not eating the right skin foods. Yes, not only does the absence of refined carbs and excess sugar from the diet do wonders for our skin, but being sure to include bona fide skin foods can make all the difference in your beauty regimen. Bon Appétit!
7 Skin Foods
- Soy: Plant-based eating is on the rise for health, environmental, and ethical reasons. And you can add beauty to the list, too—at least where soy is concerned. Aglycone, an isoflavone found in soy, showed a correlation with fewer lines and wrinkles in a 12-week study.
- Avocado: Everyone’s favorite toast topping is also your secret to gorgeous. Loaded with healthy fats that provide the skin with hydration and oils to keep it smooth and supple, avocados are also rich in fiber, which helps to pull toxins out of the body (and away from your face).
- Coffee: Eating, or drinking, as the case may be, for your health doesn’t have to mean total wheatgrass juice cleanse and good food deprivation. And if you’re a coffee-every-morning kind of person, you’re in luck as regular coffee consumption (in moderation, of course) is connected with a decreased risk of skin cancer.
- Kiwi: This fuzzy green fruit may not look like much, but it’s packed with vitamin C—more than a day’s worth of the recommended daily intake in just one little kiwi! Vitamin C boosts collagen production helping to prevent lines and wrinkles.
- Sunflower seeds: Chomp on sunflower seeds for a snack and you may notice your acne begins to disappear. That’s because the high level of vitamin E in the seeds has been clinically associated with a decrease in acne break outs.
- Carrots: What’s up, doc? Your glow if you’re crunching on raw carrots! They’re loaded with carotenoids, which have been linked to healthier skin less prone to break outs. It can also boost your glow, quite literally—the orange in carrots can boost your skin tone.
- Chocolate: Yes, dreams do come true. In case you haven’t heard, chocolate can be a healthy food when it’s not overly sugary. Look for a dairy-free chocolate with 70 percent cacao solids (or darker) to reap the cocoa flavanol benefits. These little antioxidants not only help to improve circulation to the skin for a healthy glow, but keep it hydrated so fine lines and wrinkles appear less visible.
So you’ve been spritzing and moisturizing your face and hands all winter—even your hair is getting some extra attention to prevent the frizzies and dryness. But what about your feet? Winter can be super rough on heels, leading to cracking, dryness, and even bleeding. Ouch!
For severe conditions, be sure to check in with your doctor. But for mild cracking and itching, give some of these DIY home remedies for treating cracked heels.
- Sleep with oily feet: You don’t need anything more than a good olive oil or coconut oil to make this work for you. You’ll also need a pair of socks you don’t love very much, though. Before bed, generously apply oil to your feet and heels—really cover them in oil. Put on socks—two pairs if needed to keep the oil in. And go to sleep. This should help to bring some relief and you can do this rather frequently if needed. Just be sure to be careful getting up as your feet will be slippery even in the socks.
- Soak your feet: One cup of white vinegar in a warm bath can help to relieve discomfort from dry and cracked feet. Another option is to combine three tablespoons of baking soda with three tablespoons of salt in a small tub filled with warm water. If you don’t have a small foot tub, just fill your bathtub high enough to soak your feet. Be sure to dissolve the baking soda and salt thoroughly. You can also make this mixture into a paste for the feet—just decrease the salt by one tablespoon and add in a bit of olive oil to form a past. Gently scrub the feet. Avoid using the scrub if you have severe cracking and bleeding.
- Make a foot mask: Masks aren’t just a beauty must for face and hair—they can do wonders for feet, too. This one is super easy: mash up a ripe banana until it’s free from lumps. Generously spread over heels and feet where it’s needed and wrap foot in plastic wrap (you may want to have this part ready before you cover your feet in nanas. Leave the feet wrapped for about ten minutes before rinsing. Gently rub with pumice stone after drying.
Now that your tan has faded, you may be noticing hyperpigmentation more than ever. Whether from sun exposure, breakouts, or other issues, it can feel like your skin tone is never going to even out. But there is light—or at least, balanced skin—at the end of the tunnel.
Want to diminish the appearance of dark spots? Here’s what you should (and shouldn’t!) do.
- Start with prevention: I know when your in the throes of dark spots now the last thing you want to do is think about more of them in the future. But what you’re seeing didn’t happen overnight. So be sure to prevent more hyperpigmentation by using an SPF every day—even when it’s cold outside. If your skin is acne-prone, try an elimination diet (with the aid of your primary care physician), and even try removing skincare items one by one to see if any of those may be the culprits. Identifying the cause of dark spots is the first step in preventing them.
- Do deep cleaning: And by deep cleaning, we don’t mean making your face so raw and red that the dark spots look light. We mean using a skin-cleansing brush a few times per week to help slough off dead skin cells. This is also helpful in preparing the skin to absorb treatments that can speed the healing process.
- Address trouble spots: Patience is key in dealing with dark spots, but products such as those containing retinoids can speed cell turnover, leading to a quicker healing and fading (note: fading is not the same as skin lightening which can be damaging). Vitamin A, the source of retinoids, can also mean more collagen production, which evens out skin tone, reduces the appearance of fine lines, and makes you look more youthful. But retinoids can be drying and definitely require the use of sunscreen as skin becomes more sensitive. Look for products that specifically address dark spots (with natural ingredients, of course), and use as directed to help reduce their appearance.
- Don’t pick! Zits are a primary cause for dark spots and while they can be irritating, picking at them can make matters much, much worse and slow the healing process instead of speeding it up. Tie a string around your finger or make a Pick Jar you have to put a quarter in every time you feel like clawing at your skin to keep you from doing it.
We’re our own worst critics—it comes with the territory of being human. But we often forget we can be our own best cheerleaders, too. The truth is if you don’t love yourself, you make it hard for others to do it, too. And you know what else? That whole thing about beauty being on the inside? It’s the truth. If we’re not finding or feeling beautiful from within, there’s no serum, moisturizer, or mascara that can do it for us.
Learn to love yourself right now, and for always.
- Accept that you need to do it: The biggest challenge in loving yourself may just be in getting over the hokey aspect of it all. It may sound like new age woo-woo yoga speak, and it certainly is, on some levels. But so what? Just because it’s corny doesn’t mean it’s not the truth. You need to love yourself. Why? Because you have to live with yourself, first and foremost. But you also offer yourself the support system, the companionship, and the tough love only you can give you. Yes it sounds silly but you are truly unique, special, wonderfully brilliant and to be the best you can be, you have to see and love all of who you are. Plus, the world needs you. You are here to participate, to show up, to make it a better place. We need you.
- Trust yourself: Or rather, listen to your body. It’s easy to “trust” our bodies when they’re pushing us to grab another piece of cake or pass out without washing the makeup off of our faces. But when you really listen—observe the signs, signals, behaviors of the body, and whether or not it’s running as best it could, we can better respond to what it actually needs, rather than what it seems to want. “I didn’t just wake up one day understanding how to take care of myself,” Actress Kate Hudson recently told Well+Good. “I had to learn how to do so over time, and I continue to learn—each and every day,” said Hudson. “This is a process, and my body is constantly changing. So is yours. And when I learned how to accept that I will always be like this, I relaxed. Our bodies do not stand still for time.”
- Don’t scrutinize: While I just said you need to listen to your body more, you also need to tune it out just as much! At least, you need to not overexamine every part of it. The closer we look at anything, the more we’re bound to find. And way more than your partner, co-worker, boss, or parent is likely to see. There’s a freedom in just letting go of expectations, of comparisons. And that doesn’t mean you stop washing your hair or eating healthy–quite the opposite. By continuing to live a healthy and balanced life, you’ll find you need to scrutinize yourself less. You won’t worry as much about what others are thinking when you’ve found a rhythm that allows you to be your true and beautiful self.
Winter skin can seem like it needs hours of love every day just to look normal—forget about all the other conditions that can be making you panic (wrinkles, pimples, dryness, age spots, etc). But sometimes, less is indeed more, even when it comes to your winter skincare routine.
If you’re starting to feel your skin sapped of moisture, fear not. You don’t need to get up an extra hour early just for misting and moisturizing. You just need to change up your skincare products, and maybe add a step or two to your skincare routine, at least until the weather warms up.
- Wash your face: You’re already doing this (hopefully), right? Well in the winter months, try switching to a more moisture-rich skin cleanser. This means something that’s creamier so not to dry the skin out even more.
- Exfoliate: If you think you only need to do this in the summer, here’s a step you may be missing. Exfoliation helps to remove dead skin cells, which can build up with dryness common in the winter months. A few times a week add a fruit-acid exfoliant to your routine or use a gentle scrubbing product.
- Tone: If you skip this step regularly, you’ll want to be sure to add it in now. Toners help to prep the skin for deep moisturizing—and this is something your dry and thirsty skin wants right now. Use a light toner with hydrating ingredients like coconut or jojoba oil.
- Serum: Think of serums as the love-child of toners and moisturizers. Not quite one or the other, but that happy medium in between, serums are the life-blood of healthy skin. They deliver nutrient-rich hero ingredients to the skin that help you to have healthy and happy skin. At the very least? They provide more moisture.
- Moisturize: Now it’s time to dig into that creamy vat of goodness and slather on the rich and emollient moisturizers. Crèmes are best this time of year, you want something thick and rich that feels so nice on your skin. Layer it thick (but not too thick!) and let it sink in to your face and neck. Follow with a hydrating eye crème and a good night’s rest for gorgeous skin!
We know how overwhelming those beauty care aisles can be—trust us! It’s how we make a living, after all. And it’s great to know there are so many fantastic truly natural options out there for every type of skin and every type of skin problem. But there’s one very special beauty ingredient you won’t find in the beauty aisle. You’ll have to head on over to the “condiments” section for this one—but it’s worth the trek. You need apple cider vinegar, like stat.
Apple cider vinegar—ACV to its die-hard fans—is, well, an anomaly. One of the world’s oldest and most beloved fermented liquids (ahem, after wine, of course), ACV is the Grandmother of home remedies—really, just ask your actual grandmother about it.
Yes, it adds a piquant bite to salad dressings, soups, and more, but in truth, ACV is the powerful medicinal herbal remedy with a culinary side effect. It should be in the pharmacy and beauty sections of the supermarket first, rather than sitting next to olive oil.
But regardless of where we catalog this force of nature, it’s a natural beauty lover’s must-have.
7 Beauty Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
1. Acne relief: Antiseptic by nature, a little dab of ACV can speed the healing of mild acne breakouts. To prevent acne, use ACV like a toner, sweeping a diluted mix of vinegar and water across the face on a cotton ball.
2. Tone skin: ACV is a rich astringent that can increase the blood flow to skin and regulate pH, making it an excellent toner after washing and before moisturizing. Be sure to dilute 1:1 with water.
3. Toxin removal: Using apple cider vinegar on the face helps to pull toxins out of the skin, for consistently healthier and cleaner looking skin. It also reduces the appearance of age spots, if used regularly.
4. Brighten teeth: Coffee, tea, and wine lovers, take note: Rinsing your not-so-pearly whites with ACV a few times a day can actually help to lift stains off the teeth, leading to a brighter smile without the chemical whiteners. And bonus: the antifungal and antibacterial properties of vinegar help to keep your gums healthy too.
5. Dandruff relief: An itchy and dry flaky scalp is no fun and can even be an embarrassing problem (especially if you love wearing dark clothes). Bring your scalp relief with a deep scalp treatment of ACV. Work it into the hair before, after, or with your shampoo for relief.
6. Shiny hair: ACV also delivers a healthy, gorgeous shine to hair. Simply rinse with apple cider vinegar after your conditioner. Rinse with water and let air-dry for a healthy, natural shine.
7. Stay healthy: Glow from within by fighting off colds and the flu with apple cider vinegar. Research has shown it to be helpful in boosting immune response and speeding recovery, helping you to feel and look your best!
Chamomile—just the word itself is relaxing. This herbal tea favorite doesn’t just work wonders for your mood and spirit, though—chamomile also boasts numerous benefits for your skin, too.
A daisy-like member of the plant family Asteraceae, the chamomile flower is intensely fragrant with a wide range of benefits. If you sip chamomile tea, it may not only help to relax you before bedtime, but it may also soothe upset stomachs and boost immune function. (Note: if you suffer from hayfever, be sure to check with your doctor before using as chamomile is related to ragweed, a common allergen, and may have similar effects in some people with hayfever allergies.)
In beauty care products for skin, chamomile lends its calming and relaxing benefits, as well. Active ingredients in chamomile, including flavonoids and volatile oils, help to make chamomile a calming and relaxing antioxidant-rich beauty food.
Chamomile Beauty Benefits for Skin
1. Speeds healing: The soothing nature of chamomile makes it a natural healer, reducing the appearance of redness, scarring, and other skin irritations. For inflamed skin due to seasonal dryness, eczema, and psoriasis, chamomile may bring relief. Just be sure to discuss with your primary care physician for serious conditions and use caution when applying products to broken skin.
2. Itch relief: Whether it’s dry skin that’s got you scratching or a bug bite or sting, chamomile can bring quick and effective relief. Look for lotions or crèmes that contain chamomile as a hero ingredient.
3. Slows the aging process: While we all know by now that nothing stops us from aging, we can turn to the botanical kingdom for some assistance in keeping our youthful glow, no matter what our age! After all, looking young helps us to keep feeling young, too. The antioxidants found in chamomile can be thought of as a little army of skin protectors—keeping environmental stressors from damaging skin, fighting free-radicals, and regenerating skin.
4. Tightens pores: Nothing will shrink pore size, but you can rejuvenate and tighten them. Chamomile can help. Look for serums or masks that contain chamomile. Or make your own! Mix a tablespoon of cooled, brewed chamomile tea or a few scant drops of chamomile essential oil (super powerful, so truly, a few drops is plenty–2-3 max) with honey until combined. Apply to face and leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse with cool water and pat to dry.
5. Reduces puffy eyes: If you wake up looking like marshmallows crawled under your eyes every morning, you might want to keep some chamomile tea bags handy. The anti-inflammatory properties of chamomile tea make it helpful in reducing puffiness and under-eye swelling. Simply place cooled chamomile tea bags under each eye and leave on for up to ten minutes.
Our favorite Zatik Natural formulations with chamomile:
Chamomile and Blue Cornflower Organic Hydrating Toner
Pomegranate Eyebright Eye & Face Serum
Sea-Buckthorn Apricot Organic Herbal Moisturizer
Do pore strips really work to remove blackheads and clogged pores? Or are they too good to be true?
There’s nothing better than the promise of a quick-fix to blemish-free skin. Pore strips, the reverse Band-Aid swipe to blackhead removal have been popular items for some time. And technically, they work. But not exactly for the right reasons. The adhesive on most pore strips do pull off (some) blackheads and sebaceous filaments—which can look like blackheads but aren’t.
You stick it on your nose, wait a few minutes and then–voila!–blackheads move from your face to the pore strip. What could be simpler? But while the adhesive on most pore strips does pull off (some) blackheads–and sebaceous filaments, which can look like blackheads but aren’t–it’s not exactly working miracles.
As anyone with a blackhead knows, there’s usually much more below the surface that requires extraction. A simple swipe of strong adhesive is only going to rip open the pore and leave room for more infection of the blackhead if it’s not completely removed.
And those sebaceous filaments? They’re not really blemishes. They’re dark spots that can look like tiny blackheads, but they’re really hair-like formations that move oil out from the pore—and they actually help to moisturize the skin! Ripping them off with a pore strip? Not exactly the best idea.
The adhesive on pore strips can also be damaging to especially sensitive skin leading to redness, and even broken skin. Ouch.
But the real problem with pore strips is that while they may help to remove blackheads, they’re not doing your skin any favors in the way of prevention—meaning you’re only putting a (reverse) Band-Aid on the problem and not treating the underlying issue.
That being said, they’re typically not terribly damaging to your skin (but be sure to use them properly according to package directions), and that adhesive does serve as a minor exfoliant. But truly exfoliating the skin—either with an abrasive or alpha hydroxy fruit acids—is the best way to not only help remove blemishes, but prevent their unsightly return.
A regular skincare regimen of proper washing, moisturizing, and exfoliating is your best defense and treatment for blackheads.
Consult with your dermatologist about ongoing skin problems as it may be a sign of more serious conditions such as hormonal imbalances or food allergies.
It’s probably in your kitchen right now—maybe even in the last bite of food you ate today. Olive oil is a ubiquitous cooking essential—it’s delicious, healthy, and incredibly versatile. And if you haven’t moved it into your beauty routine yet, prepare for these beauty benefits of olive oil to rock your world.
That’s right, olive oil has numerous uses in skin and hair care—it’s even safe and beneficial to baby.
Check out some our favorite beauty uses for olive oil.
1. Makeup remover: If you’re spending lots of money on brand-name makeup removing products, stop right now! Olive oil (most any oil, really), will take off even the thickest mascaras and eye shadows. Soak a cotton ball or pad in olive oil and gently swipe to remove.
2. Shaving cream: Yes, there’s nothing quite like foamy shaving creams, but olive oil works just as well and for a fraction of the price. Gently massage legs, armpits, or face with a coating of olive oil and then shave per normal.
3. Deep hair conditioning: You may have heard that coconut oil does wonders for hair, but it’s not the only oil with hair benefits. Warm a bit of olive oil in microwave (or a double boiler) till it’s warm but not too hot to touch. Gently massage into hair and scalp. Leave on at least 20 minutes before shampooing out.
4. Leave-in hair treatment: Olive oil benefits your hair before you wash and it can work wonders after, too. To dry hair, apply a small dime-size amount of olive oil warmed between the hands (use more or less depending on hair length and thickness). It works wonders for taming fly-aways and frizzies, and gives hair a natural-looking shine and luster.
5. Baby bottoms: Babies are so delicate and fragile you barely feel safe holding them, let alone putting any chemicals on their skin. Olive oil is safe enough for a baby’s bottom and it works like a charm to treat diaper rash, dry skin, and as an over all baby skin moisturizer. Works on cradle cap, too.
6. Body/lip scrub: Exfoliating is your skin’s best friend—and don’t forget your precious pout, either! Mix up coarse sugar with olive oil for a gentle exfoliant that won’t cause irritation. Perfect for chapped or dry lips as well.
7. Moisturizer: For dry hands, cracked cuticles or heels, eczema, or other minor skin irritations, olive oil to the rescue! It’s a wonderful moisturizer that’s inexpensive, readily available, and easy to use. Simply massage olive oil into skin as needed.
Check out our favorite Zatik Natural Olive Oil Products
Simply Olive Oil Bar
Olive Black Seed Shampoo
Olive Black Seed Conditioner
You may have seen those viral images: the close-up pictures of scrubbed clean faces under bright lights separated by just a few weeks or so, maybe a month. The only difference? The subject drank a boatload of water in that time and seems to look different, if not “better” in the more recent photo. Can drinking enough water really make you look younger? Are there really benefits of drinking water for the skin?
What we know for sure is that genetics play a huge role in how our skin and overall appearance is going to look. The size of our pores, the age of wrinkles and sagging, even puffiness under the eyes can all be somewhat predetermined by our parents and grandparents and everyone who came before them.
But of course, that is only part of the story. In fact, our lifestyle does play a significant role in the quality of our skin and our overall health. While genetics do allow for some people to eat junk food or party all night and still look amazing in the morning, most of us are not so fortunate. And an unhealthy diet will not only do damage on us internally (hello heart disease and diabetes), but it will also impact our skin: dark circles under the eyes, more prominent lines and wrinkles, sallowness, and even making us appear older.
Enter hydration. As in, water.
You’ve likely heard that drinking eight glasses of water a day is vital for health. But what is it doing for your skin? Anything?
Let’s step back to the diet and lifestyle factors. If you’re subsisting on Doritos and (diet) soda, you’re likely not leaving room for either water or hydrating foods (fruits and vegetables). In other words: while those foods do lots of disservice to the body in numerous ways, one of the most common issues we overlook is that of dehydration.
Processed foods are loaded with salt, sodas, caffeinated beverages, and alcohol also move the water out of your body. And if it’s not being replaced regularly, you’re battling chronically low-level dehydration. Of course your skin is going to look less than gorgeous.
Still, there’s not much research on skin health and water consumption. Women’s Health Magazine references a 2007 study that found drinking 2.25 liters (9.5 cups) of water every day for four weeks “altered skin density and thickness, but the exact results were contradictory.” Another study showed that drinking at least two cups of water enhanced blood flow to the skin, which may help to bring about a rosiness to lips and cheeks and an overall “glow” to the skin, but the study didn’t pinpoint exactly how that improves appearance, if at all.
So should you be drowning yourself in nonstop water consumption?
The answer is probably no. There’s no need to obsess over your hydration. But keeping your cells hydrated from the inside, is likely to have similar benefits to all the efforts to hydrate from the outside.
If drinking water seems to slip your mind, there are a few simple tricks to making sure you get enough:
- Drink a full glass of water upon waking.
- Set an alarm on your phone for every two or three hours to remind you to drink a glass of water. Focus on the water; don’t do anything else while you’re drinking it. Don’t leave it next to your computer while you work and soon forget about it (or worse, spill it on said computer!).
- Or drink a full glass before you sit down to a meal or snack. This will also help you eat less if you’re looking to lose a little weight and may reduce the urge to binge on not-so-healthy junk food. Score.
- Alternate with alcohol. Social drinking is fun, of course, but it’s easy to overdo it. Alternating water between every drink will not only help you keep your skin looking its best, but it’ll reduce the hangover the next morning as well.