As we age, our skin can take on a dull and sallow appearance due to hormonal changes and a slower cell turnover rate. What can help? Fruit extracts are a staple in many high-end beauty products, thanks to their age-erasing powers, but you don’t have to pay to get the perks. For a potent dose of beautifying compounds at a fraction of the cost, whip up these skin healers with picks from the produce aisle! These tiny treasures are chock-full of age-reversing nutrients.
Papaya to fade age spots. New York City dermatologist Rachel Nazarian, M.D., says an enzyme in the fruit (papain) lightens skin while its alpha hydroxy acid exfoliates and its antioxidants help prevent new spots from forming.
TO DO: Blend one-fourth cup of crushed papaya (fresh or frozen), one tablespoon of Greek yogurt (its lactic acid sloughs off dead skin) and one tablespoon of lemon juice (its citric acid brightens). Apply to spots and let sit five minutes; rinse. Use four times a week for even skin in three weeks.
Apricots to smooth wrinkles. “Apricots are rich in vitamin C, which increases the production of collagen for firmer skin,” says Dr. Nazarian. Plus, the fruit’s linoleic acid balances skin’s moisture content, which helps plump skin to fill in fine lines.
TO DO: Mix one mashed apricot with four teaspoons of honey (a humectant) and one teaspoon of orange juice (it’s alpha hydroxy acid dissolves dead skin cells). Apply to the face and let sit 15 minutes; rinse. Do three times a week for results in one month. Nature’s cure for spots on the hands, chest and face.
Mango to brighten skin. This tropical fruit is rich in vitamins A and C, which increase cell turnover to help remove the layers of dead skin cells that accumulate at the surface and cause skin to lose its youthful glow. “And mangoes have an added benefit of vitamin K,” adds Dr. Nazarian. “This nutrient reduces redness so the complexion looks even, vibrant and radiant.”
TO DO: Blend half a mango (fresh or frozen) with one-half cup of sugar (it’s glycolic acid exfoliates) and two tablespoons of liquefied coconut oil (its fatty acids help skin retain moisture). Apply to the face and massage into skin using circular motions for one minute. Leave on for 15 minutes, then rinse. Store any left-overs in the fridge (the mixture will stay fresh for two weeks) and use twice a week for noticeable results in 30 days.
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