This is the main ingredient group to explore in the making of truly sustainable skincare products in your kitchen. In Asia, food and beauty products are often interchangeable, and roughly half the ingredients in most dishes are used in a traditional beauty regimen. The reason why we should use food for our skincare products is obviously for safety because food ingredients are far more regulated than cosmetic ingredients. In addition, they are biodegradable and both our bodies and the Earth know how to process them.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are not only an excellent source of many nutrients. Some raw fruits and vegetables can be used for home spa treatments, while dried versions can be made into tincture and infused oil, which can then be used to make creams and lotions. Some can also be used as colorants for make-up products when freeze-dried.

Aloe vera:

This substance has excellent soothing, healing, and moisturising properties and also helps slough off dead skin cells.

Alpha-hydroxy acids: These occur naturally in apples, milk, citrus fruits, tomatoes, grapes, and blackberries. When applied topically, they help stimulate production of natural moisturizing factors that aid the skin in attracting and retaining moisture.
Apple: This fruit has been traditionally used in poultices for skin inflammation as well as to treat skin infections.
Apple cider vinegar: A gentle exfoliating astringent, apple cider vinegar soothes and relieves itchy skin and restores the skin’s natural pH
Beetroot: It contains a powerful antioxidant property and is helpful in treating acne. Freeze-dried beetroot powder is a bright red colorant.
Burdock: This plant helps the body eliminate toxins through the skin and is also useful for acne when dry leaves are applied as a poultice.
Cabbage: This vegetable has anti-inflammatory properties and is also helpful for acne.
Chlorophyll: It is a green pigment present in plants and is packed with nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta carotene. It is fat soluble and is a green colorant.
Cocoa powder (Theobroma cacao): Cocoa powder has a powerful antioxidant property and helps repair damaged skin while regenerating new skin cells. It is also a bronze colorant.
Corn starch: Pediatricians often recommend using corn starch for diaper rash as it protects the skin and treats minor skin irritation. It is also an organic filler which works well in dry shampoos and make-up foundations, but it must be GMO free.
Cream of tartar (Adosonia gregoril): A by-product of wine production, this is used in some cosmetics as a stabiliser and filler.
Cucumber: Contains amino and organic acids that cool and refresh the skin and tighten the pores.
Fruit pectin (processed powder): Derived from citrus fruits, apples, or berries, it is an effective thickener and emulsion stabiliser.
Grapes: A natural source of collagen and alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA) that help moisturise the skin.
Lemon: Strong astringent, disinfectant, and mild bleach for the skin
Orange peel: The peel actually contains higher levels of vitamin C than the fruit itself and is rich in antioxidants. It is a mild exfoliant and generally improves premature ageing of the skin when applied as a mask.
Papaya: This orange fruit contains large amounts of vitamin A and vitamin C, as well as AHA, making it an effective ingredient in body or facial treatment to exfoliate and smoothen skin
Pineapple: Contains bromelain and exfoliates with natural AHA, aids the removal of dead skin cells, and boosts cell regeneration to reveal a more youthful-looking complexion.
Pomegranate (peel extract): Stimulates collagen synthesis and promotes skin regeneration.
Strawberry: This fruit is packed with vitamins, and when applied topically, it helps loosen dead skin cells.
Tamarind: Being rich in vitamin C and having antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, it is used in preparing shower gels and scrubs. In addition, tamarind bark is added to lotions and poultices that are applied on open sores and caterpillar rashes. It has been used as a scrub in Thailand for centuries.
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