Treat & Eat: Beauty Enhancing Edible Ingredients

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One thing I have noticed when I'm shopping for beauty items, is that a lot of products include food ingredients.  I wondered why licorice is included in a toothpaste that I found.  And how does lime give me a better shave?  So, I decided to try some of the products plus look for ways to use the same ingredients for home beauty treatments.  So read on to see which foods interest you in beauty products, home treatments or a tasty beauty snack.  I have done the tasting and testing to help keep your beauty and life on a budget. 

Lovely Limes
Alba Coconut Lime Cream intrigued me because it sounded like a really good piece of pie.  The hypo-allergenic soap-free moisturizing cream is also infused with aloe vera, chamomile and green tea, which are all good ingredients.  Alba says that the lime provides amino acids for healthy skin renewal. 

As I researched the beauty benefits of lime, I noticed that numerous articles state that lime not only refreshes, but also clarifies and cleans.  Oils extracted from the lime's peel is used in many beauty products from cosmetics to deodorants.  Lime contains vitamin C and flavonoids that rejuvenate skin and scrub out dead cells.  Years ago limes were distributed to soldiers to protect them from Scurvy, a dreaded disease that caused serious infections.  Another ailment helped by the lime is constipation.  Try squeezing a fresh lime into a glass of sparkling water to enjoy a refreshing sugar-free drink that will speed things up to boot!  Acids in lime help to clear toxins while the roughage is helpful in easing constipation.

Licorice in Tooth Paste?
When I read that licorice was an ingredient in Nature's Gate Whitening Gel Natural Toothpaste, I was confused because I thought that sweet sticky stuff was bad for your teeth.  Nature's Gate says that when the extract from licorice is mixed with Golden Seal and Sage, the combination provides anti-inflammatory benefits.  That same extract also acts as a natural whitener which makes sense for the toothpaste.  So, go ahead and brush with the Nature Gate paste containing the licorice root extract, but pass on those tempting candy vines because that kind of licorice is too sugary for your pearly whites.

Chocolate For Food & Face
I had heard of chocolate infused facial masks, but I had never seen a chocolate face powder, so I had to learn more.  Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzing Powder is made with real cocoa powder that gives an added bronze to the product.  It is also thought that the cocoa butter in chocolate helps to smooth skin while the beneficial anti-oxidants in dark chocolate may help to smooth wrinkles.  The powder sells for $28 at toofaced.com if you want to try some for yourself. 

For me the only home chocolate treatment I do is what I call the tasty two-step formula.  First unwrap a piece of quality dark chocolate and then eat and enjoy!  However, to really get the health benefits from the antioxidants in chocolate, you must go for the dark and it should be at least 60% cocoa.  In fact, according to the book by Reader's Digest called Food Cures, dark chocolate appears to have more disease-fighting flavonoids than any other foods.  According to the book, some studies say that eating 1.5 oz. a day can cut your heart attack risk by 10%.  Sweet news for sure.

Appealing Avocado & Ode to Oatmeal
Here are two ingredients that I knew were good for me, so when I found them together in a body wash, I couldn't wait to test this stuff in a bath.  Starting with the scent, the Freeman Feeling Beautiful Purifying Clay Body Wash was inviting and pleasant.  In addition to the avocado and oatmeal, clay is also added to extract the body's excess oils and dirt. 
Avocados contain more than 20 beneficial nutrients, including potassium and vitamins C, B6, E, and K, so this is a fruit that is super healthy for your body, both inside and out.  A favorite avocado beauty recipe that I found online and tried at home is to simply mash one avocado with one teaspoon of honey for dry skin.  This has worked wonders on my daughter's Eczema summer breakouts. 
Oatmeal is another super food that works well both in and on the body.  For all of you dieters, the Food Cures book says that oats form a gel in the tummy that slows digestion, which halts blood sugar spikes, and keeps hunger under control.  I have certainly noticed that when I eat sugar-free oatmeal for breakfast, as I do stay fuller longer.  Food Cures also contains a wonderful homemade oatmeal recipe that includes 1/2 cup cooked oatmeal, 2 T. raisins, 1 T. wheat germ, 1 t. brown sugar, 1/4 t. cinnamon and a pinch of sea salt.  Give it a try! 

Another great oatmeal beauty fix is a homemade recipe for dry shampoo. Simply grind 1 cup of oatmeal in your blender into a fine powder and combine it with 1 cup of baking soda.  Mix and keep in an airtight container and the next time you oversleep, simply rub a bit into your scalp, then leave on for a few minutes to allow the homemade dry shampoo to absorb the oils.  Then shake it off, style your hair and go!

Olive Oil All Over
Avalon Organics sells an Olive and Grape Seed shampoo that has worked well on my daughter's long hair.  Olive oil is one of the best foods around for your body's beauty and health.  Known as one of the healthiest fats in the world, the oil is packed with antioxidants called phenols, that prevent cholesterol buildup and inflammation.  One important tip is to always buy "virgin," "extra-virgin" or "cold-pressed oils" and to avoid the "light" type.  The "extra light" varieties lose their antioxidants through solvents and the heat used to produce the lighter versions.  If you are counting calories, remember that olive oil is a good fat and contains about 120 calories per tablespoon.

Olive oil is so good for your skin.  You can apply it to your hands in the kitchen for a quick moisturing treatment, soften cuticles with it and even use the oil for shaving cream.  Talk about keeping your beauty on a budget!