A powerful way to combat aging arghs like wrinkles, redness, and dry skin? Tackle them internally and externally with skincare expert–approved recipes that harness the anti-aging benefits of nature’s most nourishing, nutrient-rich foods. Simply eat them, slather them on or do both to refresh, rejuvenate, and restore skin and hair — just in time for the warm weather!
Fade age spots with parsley.
This leafy herb lightens, brightens, and prevents discoloration on the hands, face, and chest — perfect for the longer, more sun-filled days.
Inside out: Parsley’s vitamin C works internally to increase cell turnover, revealing brighter skin, explains holistic skincare expert Jacqueline Schaffer, MD, author of Irresistible You: Smart Solutions for Clear, Radiant, Youthful Skin (from $15, Amazon).
Eat it: Chop 1 Tbsp. of parsley leaves and sprinkle on top of soups, pastas, or salads for fresh flavor.
Outside in: The herb is rich in apiol, a compound that, when applied to skin, acts like a mild bleaching agent to break down excess melanin (skin’s pigment). Plus, antioxidants in parsley protect skin from damaging UV rays to keep new spots from forming.
Apply it: Mix 1 tsp. of chopped parsley, 2 tsp. of sour cream (it hydrates), and 1 tsp. of honey (a binder). Dot onto spots and let sit 15 minutes; rinse. Repeat twice a week for results in three weeks.
Firm saggy skin with apricots.
No need for pricey potions when this fruit reverses aging for less.
Inside out: Apricots are packed with linoleic acid, which, when ingested, helps repair damaged cells and improve skin elasticity. The hydrating acid also restores moisture levels deep within skin, giving saggy areas a tauter appearance.
Eat it: Bring 1/4 cup of honey, 3 Tbsp. of water, and a pinch of salt to a simmer in a pot. Add 5 pitted, sliced apricots. Remove from heat once fruit is soft and liquid is syrupy. Drip the syrup over yogurt or spread on crackers.
Outside in: The fruit’s high levels of vitamin A (a common ingredient in OTC anti-aging creams) promote skin-firming collagen and elastin production, says Dr. Schaffer. “It gives droopy skin a nice lift."
Apply it: Mix 1 Tbsp. of brown sugar (it increases cell turnover) with 1 tsp. of egg whites (its albumin firms), and 2 tsp. of mashed apricots. Massage onto skin and let sit 15 minutes; rinse. Use three times a week for results in one month.
Strengthen strands with avocado.
Delicious and creamy, the fatty fruit has the power to reverse hair damage caused by overuse of hot tools, environmental factors, and age.
Inside out: Avocados are rich in fatty and amino acids, says Dr. Schaffer. “Together, they help strengthen and moisturize stands from within.”
Eat it: Combine half an avocado, 1/2 tsp. of lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Use it as a dip for cruditès or spread it on top of a slice of toast.
Outside in: The stone fruit’s high levels of fat penetrate strands to moisturize and strengthen hair from deep within for a full, shiny, and healthy appearance
Apply it: Mash half of an avocado and mix with 2 Tbsp. of olive oil (for added hydration). Apply to damp hair from roots to ends and cover with a shower cap; rinse after 15 minutes. Do once a week for results in three weeks.
Tone a double chin with cucumbers.
Refreshing cucumbers nix the fluids that make a double chin look more prominent, so you can put your best neck forward.
Inside out: Magnesium and potassium in cucumbers have a natural detoxifying effect, stimulating the lymph system to flush out any stagnant fluids in the body, including those under the chin.
Eat it: Cut 2 cucumbers into 1/2" slices, then top each piece with 1/2 tsp. of herb whipped cream cheese and a slice of cherry tomato.
Outside in: The anti-inflammatory cukes reduce swelling instantly, says dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD. Plus, its vitamins A and C increase collagen production to firm skin so it appears less puffy.
Apply it: Purée 1 cucumber; pour into an ice cube tray and freeze. Take the frozen cube and rub it along the jawline for 2 minutes.
Erase dark circles with tomatoes.
The salad staple leaves eyes looking as if you actually got eight hours of sleep.
Inside out: “Minerals in tomatoes, like potassium and calcium, along with antioxidants, promote circulation to move the pooled blood that makes dark under-eye circles more apparent,” says skin expert Jacqueline Schaffer, MD.
Eat it: Toss together 1 container of grape tomatoes, 4 oz. of cubed mozzarella cheese, and 1/2 cup of torn basil leaves. Top with 1 Tbsp. of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
Outside in: Tomatoes contain the antioxidant lycopene, a strong lightening agent that can reduce discoloration under the eyes.
Apply it: Purée 1 medium tomato in a blender; strain with a mesh sieve. Saturate 2 cotton rounds in the juice, place on top of eyes and relax for 10 minutes; rinse. Store leftover juice in the fridge for up to a week. Do three times a week for results in three weeks.
Smooth wrinkles with blueberries.
These delectable berries work wonders to rid the face of pesky agers, such as forehead furrows, crow’s-feet, and laugh lines.
Inside out: Thanks to their potent antioxidants, blueberries protect skin cells from free radicals, says Dr. Schaffer. “This helps prevent the breakdown of collagen that causes fine lines and wrinkles to form.”
Drink it: Pulse 1 cup of frozen blueberries, half of a banana, 3/4 cup of vanilla yogurt, and 1 1/2 cups of milk in a blender. Refrigerate leftovers.
Outside in: Blueberries are high in vitamin A (it speeds collagen production and cell turnover) and vitamin E (it hydrates to plump skin), which penetrate deeply into skin’s many layers to help diminish the appearance of wrinkles.
Apply it: Dip a cotton ball into a blueberry smoothie (recipe above); sweep a layer onto the face. Let sit 10 minutes, then rinse. Use twice a week for results in two weeks.
Calm rosacea with honey.
The sticky sweetener’s healing powers take the zing out of painful redness flare-ups — in a flash.
Inside out: Rich in polyphenols, honey strengthens skin’s barrier from within, says dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD. “This helps ward off flare-ups.”
Drink it: Steep 1 chamomile tea bag (its terpenoids shrink blood vessels) in 1 cup of boiling water. Add 2 Tbsp. of honey.
Outside in: “Honey’s combination of skin-soothing, hydrating, and anti-inflammatory properties calms redness and irritation on contact,” says Dr. Zeichner.
Apply it: Saturate a washcloth in tea (double the recipe above); wring out excess. Place the washcloth on the face for results in 10 minutes.
Banish bacne with yogurt.
This tasty treat — a clear-skin superstar — helps keep blemishes at bay.
Inside out: Yogurt is packed with probiotics (aka the good bacteria), explains Dr. Zeichner. “They’ve been found to reduce the inflammation in the body that can lead to acne.”
Eat it: Drizzle 1 Tbsp. of honey over 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt, then sprinkle with cinnamon.
Outside in: Yogurt’s zinc controls oil production and its lactic acid dissolves dead skin cells, both of which clog pores and cause breakouts.
Apply it: Mix 1 tsp. of plain full-fat Greek yogurt, 1 tsp. of honey (a humectant) and 1/2 tsp. of lemon juice (it brightens). Apply to blemishes and let sit 10 minutes; rinse. Use every other day for clear skin in two weeks.
Restore radiance with strawberries.
These juicy gems are potent enough to transform a dull, lackluster complexion into one that’s glowing and dewy in no time.
Inside out: When ingested, strawberries’ potent mix of vitamin C and ellagic acid works to encourage skin cell turnover, which helps nix the buildup of dry skin cells that cause the complexion to lose its luster.
Eat it: In a bowl, mash together 1 pint of hulled strawberries and 2 Tbsp. of sugar. Add onto anything from a stack of pancakes to a bowl of oatmeal.
Outside in: Strawberries work double-duty to enliven skin, says Dr. Zeichner. “Their alpha hydroxy acids exfoliate to renew skin’s surface while their seeds manually buff off dead cells to reveal luminous skin underneath.”
Apply it: Take 1 Tbsp. of the recipe above and add 1 tsp. of lemon juice (it brightens). Rub onto damp skin, then rinse. Use twice a week for results in two weeks.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.
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