Fruits have always been considered a rich source of fibre and vitamins. In fact, fruit packs are also used in high-end beauty salons. You can also reap the abundance of benefits they offer! Read on to find out which make the perfect fruits for skincare in your daily life.

Bananas

Fruits For Skincare: Bananas

Credit: Mike Dorner

Bananas are extremely nourishing for the skin as they contain Vitamins B and C. It’s also a rich source of potassium, which helps to soften, tighten and tone the skin.

Apples

Fruits For Skincare: Apples

Apples make wonderful ingredients for skin toners, helping to tighten the skin and stimulate blood circulation. These also have anti-oxidant properties. Raw apple pulp or juice can be applied onto the skin daily. Apple cider vinegar has great benefits for the hair too, helping to restore the balance to the scalp and preventing scalp problems like dandruff.

Papayas

Fruits For Skincare: Papayas

Credit: Charles Deluvio

Remove dead skin cells when you apply papaya to the face and body. They also help to lighten skin colour if used regularly over a period of time. Mix ripe papaya pulp directly on the face or mix it with other ingredients like oatmeal, curd and honey. The same mixture can be applied onto the body as well.

Mangos

Fruits For Skincare: Mangos

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Mangos are rich in Vitamins A and C, which help to tone and rejuvenate the skin. They can delay visible signs of ageing, and also soften the skin. Apply mango pulp to keep the skin soft and supple. Mangos are suited for all skin types. Being an anti-oxidant, it can reverse oxidation damage if used regularly.

Oranges

Fruits For Skincare: Oranges

Credit: Jessica Lewis

Like lemons, oranges are also rich in Vitamin C. The pulp can be included in masks. Even their peels can be collected and dried in the sun, ground into a powder and added to face masks. Oranges have a cleansing and gradual skin lightening effect. Their juice can also be added to masks for the face and hands. In fact, raw orange and lemon peels can be rubbed on the nails to remove discolouration. Orange peels rubbed regularly on the hands can help to lighten skin colour and also tighten the skin.

Strawberries

Fruits For Skincare: Strawberries

Credit: Joanna Kosinska

Strawberries are powerful anti-oxidants and therefore help to prevent oxidation damage, which leads to ageing signs like lines, wrinkles, sagging skin, etc. In fact, they also strengthen supportive tissues and keep the skin youthful. These fruits are rich in Vitamin C and thus beneficial for the skin. Crush them and apply on the face as a fruit pack. Leave on for 20 minutes and then wash off with water. Try mixing them with other fruits and use this over time, e.g. lighten skin when you mix crushed strawberries with curd!

Grapefruit

Fruits For Skincare: Grapefruit

Like other citrus fruits, the grapefruit also has a cleansing and toning effect. It is particularly good for oily and acne-prone skin. It reduces oiliness and helps tighten enlarged pores. Apply the fruit or juice onto the skin and wash off after 20 minutes.

Cherries

Fruits For Skincare: Cherries

Credit: Joanna Kosinska

Cherries contain vitamins and minerals, which help to nourish the skin. They have anti-inflammatory effects and help to heal and soothe irritated skin. They also help in cases of sun-damage and exposure to UV rays.

Pomegranate

Fruits For Skincare: Pomegranate

Credit: Jessica Lewis

Pomegranates offer excellent benefits for skin care, as it helps to moisturise the skin and is a powerful antioxidant. It helps to improve the skin’s ability to retain moisture too. These power fruits boost cell renewal, thus delaying the signs of ageing. Used regularly, it can lighten and brighten the skin.

Watermelons

Fruits For Skincare: Watermelons

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Watermelons help dry skin by sealing in moisture and keeping it hydrated and soothed. Applying watermelon pulp or juice helps to soften and smoothen the skin.

As consumers become more concerned about minimising the use of chemicals in their lives, skincare and make-up ingredients are coming under the spotlight. Nowadays informed customers are not ready to take unnecessary health risks and are increasingly questioning if what they are putting on their skin poses any long-term risks. As a result, several niche cosmetic brands that have opted to go natural or organic are booming. Not only do they promise better overall health, but they also mean you are doing your bit for the environment because of their eco-friendly production practices. So if you’re thinking of going green here’s our definitive guide to becoming a natural beauty.

Why Go Green?

The growing consensus among experts is that what you put on your skin doesn’t merely go skin deep but enters your entire system too. Some ingredients soaked up by our skin from our cosmetics are carcinogenic. Although the body has a mechanism to flush out toxins from its system, traces of some tough-to-dislodge chemicals can accumulate over the years and gradually affect our overall health. Experts agree that top of the list to avoid are: parabens, mercury, lead, phthalates, petroleum-based products, xanthene and zinc chloride (a skin and eye irritant mainly found in shampoos, conditioners and cleansers). Natural skincare and make-up products are made with few, if any, synthetic chemicals and use a wide range of plant or fruit extracts, minerals and vitamins as their ingredients.

Organic cosmetics are more evolved and guarantee (through certification) that all the natural ingredients used haven’t been treated with chemicals. But if you’re looking for something 100 per cent organic, make sure that it says so specifically on the label. If the label says it is ‘100% Organic’ then you know these products are made entirely from certified organic ingredients. If it states that it’s ‘organic’ the products contain at least 95% organic ingredients, a figure that reduces to 75% if the label says ‘made with organic ingredients’.

Eat Up!

It isn’t just what jars you open that determine your skin and hair health. What you throw in your shopping trolley at the supermarket every week can also dramatically affect how you look. Here are the top skin and hair foods that you should stock up on:

Water

Beauty Benefit: Water is rightly referred to as a beauty tonic on tap. After all, one of the signs of a youthful complexion is supple, well-hydrated skin. Not having enough water in the day shows instantly in the form of dry and shrivelled skin.

Green Tip: Have a minimum of two to three litres of water a day and you’re guaranteed supple skin.

Green Tea

Beauty Benefit: For the same reason that you love water, you should love green tea too. It’s great for hydration when you’re looking for something other than water, plus it contains antioxidants that offer great anti-aging benefits.

Green Tip: Replace your cups of regular tea or coffee with green tea. This cuts down on caffeine and helps you stock up on antioxidants instead.

Blueberries

Beauty Benefit: Blueberries may be small in size but they are one of the richest natural sources of powerful antioxidants, and protect our skin from premature aging, especially if you have concerns about blotchy, dull or sun-damaged skin.

Green Tip: A good way to include it in your daily diet is to add half a cup of blueberries to your morning cereal or yogurt.

Spinach

Beauty Benefit: Dark leafy vegetables like spinach are loaded with Vitamin A and minerals. The Vitamin A in spinach boosts new cell production and reduces skin dryness.

Green Tip: Trade your lettuce for raw spinach in salads or sauté it with nuts for a healthy veggie dish.

Lemons

Beauty Benefit: A prime skincare ingredient in tons of anti-ageing creams, Vitamin C is a great antioxidant and helps flush out toxins from the skin. So go for that glass of fresh lemonade as often as you can. It’s a great way to raise your daily water intake.

Green Tip: Having lemonade with a teaspoon of honey early in the morning works as a great skin detox.

Nuts & Seeds

Beauty Benefit: When it comes to nuts and seeds, Brazil nuts, walnuts and flaxseeds pack a punch. The high selenium content of Brazil nuts is good for getting shiny hair and walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin E, which are great for skin health. Among seeds, flaxseeds (also called linseeds) win hands down as their high fibre and healthy fat content is great for skin.

Green Tip: You can include nuts and seeds in your diet by tossing a few into your salad, pasta, or dessert.

Tomatoes

Beauty Benefit: The lycopene in tomatoes is great to boost your skin’s defences against environmental damage, especially against the ageing effects of the sun’s rays.

Green Tip: It’s easier for the body to absorb lycopene when the tomatoes are cooked, so load up on the tomato sauce with your pasta.

Salmon

Beauty Benefit: A fish with one of the richest concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids, the healthy fats in salmon nourish the skin by reducing the body’s production of inflammatory substances, decreasing clogged pores, and preventing fine lines and wrinkles.

Green Tip: Have at least two servings of fish a week to reap its skincare benefits.

Did you know your skin weighs twice as much as your brain? That its even heavier than your intestines? Many of us take our skin for granted, but we really should take better care of it. Here are some fun facts about skin.

1. The Skin Is The Largest Organ

Fun facts about skin: It's the largest and heaviest organ

Credit: Milada Vigerova

Skin covers all body surfaces. The skin of an average adult weighs 8-10 pounds and has an average area of about 22 square feet. The purpose is to protect the body from injury, infection, heat, cold, and store water, fat and vitamins. The human skin is rejuvenated about once every four weeks.

Thinking of your skin as an organ, rather than something that we can use and abuse, puts things in proper perspective. Your skin is a wonderfully resilient organ and for the most part, can survive virtually any form of punishment. The skin is the body’s boundary: tough enough to resist all sorts of environmental assaults, yet sensitive enough to feel a breeze.

2. Your Skin Is Made Up Of 3 Layers

Fun facts about skin: It's made of three layers

Your skin has three major layers – epidermis, dermis and hypodermis.

The epidermis is waterproof, preventing unnecessary loss of water across the body surface. The skin’s rich abundance of blood flow and sweat glands regulate the loss of heat from the body, helping to control body temperature.

The dermis is the second major layer of the skin. It is a strong, flexible connective tissue. The dermis is richly supplied with nerve fibres and blood vessels. The blood vessels of the dermis are so extensive that it can hold 5% of all blood in the body. When organs need more blood, e.g. exercising muscles, the nervous system constricts the blood vessel located in the dermis. This shunts more blood into the general circulation, making it available to the muscles and other organs.

The hypodermis is also called the subcutaneous layer. It consists of both areolar and adipose connective tissue, although the adipose tissue normally dominates. Besides storing fat, the hypodermis anchors the skin to the underlying structures (mostly to muscles) and allows the skin to slide relatively freely over those structures. Sliding skin protects us by ensuring most blows just glance off our bodies.

3. Dusty House? That’s Your Dead Skin

A large amount of the dust in your home is actually dead skin. Your skin loses about 30,000 to 40,000 dead skin cells from the surface almost every minute, even though you do not see it happening. This is why exfoliating is so important to keep that healthy glow! It sheds a layer of these dead cells every 24 hours and renews itself about every 28 days. Unfortunately, this process slows as you age.

4. Your Brother Isn’t Heavy, But Your Skin Is

The average person’s skin weighs twice as much as their brain.  After the skin, here are the five heaviest organs in the body:

  1. Intestines – 7.5 pounds (4 pounds for the large intestine, 3.5 pounds for the small)
  2. Lungs – 5 pounds (2.5 pounds each)
  3. Liver – 3.2 pounds
  4. Brain – 3 pounds
  5. Heart – 0.6 pounds

5. The Skin On Your Lips Is Very Sensitive

Fun facts about skin: The Skin On Your Lips Is Very Sensitive

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The skin on your lips is 200 times more sensitive than that on your fingertips. Receptor cells in your body give your brain information — about the world around you and about what’s going on inside of you. Each type of receptor cell is able to give you a different type of information.

So, the greater the number of receptors a body part has, the more sensitive it will be. It is also true that the lips do have many of these touch receptors. When scientists list the top areas of the body in terms of sensitivity, the lips and fingertips are often ranked as the areas with the highest concentrations of receptor cells.

Taking good care of your skin today is going to benefit you not only for now, but for the many years to come. Here are some tips to a healthier, glowing skin.

Drink a little bit of honey water each morning. Honey can benefit your skin. Try changing your morning caffeine to honey water and it will help make your skin appear shiny and keep it smooth.

Are you a smoker? Research shows that smoking will eventually make your skin look older. To achieve healthier looking skin, a key step is to stop smoking. Smoking constricts tiny blood vessels near skin’s surface and hence, causing decreased blood flow. Thus, smoking ages the skin and causes wrinkles. Smoking dries out your lips and eventually your skin.

If you’re looking for matte skin, follow these simple steps. Firstly, start off your day with a facial cleanser than has sulfur as one of its main ingredients. This will keep oil at bay during the day. Secondly, spot-treat your oily T-Zone with over-the-counter blotting sheets. These oil-bashing tips are especially effective during summertime.

Another important role of taking care of your skin is dealing with the food you eat. Staying away from oily foods will help prevent breakouts from occurring. The oil in the food that you eat can seep into your pores and cause blackheads and acnes to form.

Opt for sunless tanning. Using self-tanner or bronzer instead of sun tanning can reduce the risk of skin cancer and premature ageing. Stay away from tanning pills as there is no scientific proof that they work and most are not approved by the FDA.

Like any muscle group in the human body, our facial muscles need to be exercised. The difference is, while the muscles in the rest of our body is attached to bone, facial muscles are attached to the overlaying skin. As a result, when they start to deteriorate, they are no longer able to support the skin, causing your face to look saggy and tired. Hence, it is important for us to understand our facial muscles and stimulate these delicate muscles to prevent it from deteriorating.

The basic 43 face muscles that we possess are those around the eyes, across the forehead, cheeks and around the mouth.


The diagram above indicates to us the different muscles on our face.

  • Occipito Frontalis is the muscle at the forehead, pulls scalp forward while raising eyebrows or wrinkling forehead.
  • Nasalis is the muscle at the nose, it compresses and dilates the nostrils. eg. flaring nostrils
  • Orbicularis Oculi is the muscle around the eye and and helps actions like closing eye
  • Levator Palpebrae Superioris is the muscle at the eyelids which allows us to open our eye.
  • Masseter is the muscle we use while closing our jaw
  • Obicularis oris is the muscle we use to purse our lips
  • The Risoris muscle helps us draw our lips into a smile
  • Depressor labii lowers the lower lips
  • Depressor anguli oris lowers the bottom corner of the lips
  • Zygomaticus is the one which draws lips upwards and outwards
  • Mentalis is the one which pulls the chin down

Without taking care of your facial muscles and allowing it to weakened, you may see the following signs of aging on your face:
1. Droopy eyelids
2. Eye puffiness
3. Saggy jawlines
4. Nasal Labial Lines
5. Saggy chin/double chin
6. Sides of mouth turning down

I’m sure all these signs scare you. But not to worry, this is something that can be prevented with regular facial exercise. Similar to exercising, which tones and tightens the muscles of your body, facial exercise is a good way to achieve a more youthful appearance and shapelier face.

Facial Exercises that you can do daily to look more youthful:
Basic Facial Exercise
Benefits: Stimulates all facial muscles
Steps:
1. Hold back teeth lightly together.
2. Place your index fingers above the corners of your mouth.
3. Smile using your cheek muscles, extending towards your temples.
4. Complete the smile incrementally, using a 6 step ladder, lifting each muscle as your smile lifts.
5. Hold for 5 counts and return to the start in 6 movements as well.

Eyelid Exercise
Benefits: Tones and lifts upper eyelids to prevent droopiness
Steps:
1. Look straight into the mirror while doing this exercise.
2. Place index fingers under eyebrows
3. Raise eyebrows while still holding against the bone
4. Close your lids in 5 small downward movements
5. Hold for 10 counts then release.
6. Open lids and relax for 3 counts.
7. Repeat exercise.

Double Chin Exercise 
Benefits: Prevents or reduces double chin
Steps:
1. Hold chin upwards
2. Place your middle finger and index finger against the back of the chin where it runs down to the neck.
3. Hold this position while keeping your back teeth tightly together.
4. Press the tip of your tongue against the gum line of your lower front teeth.
5. Increase pressure with a count of 10 and hold at the maximum pressure for 5 counts.
6. Gradually reduce the pressure with a count of 10.
7. Relax and repeat.

Forehead Exercise
Benefits: Reduces Frown lines
Steps:
1.  Relax your eyebrows and place your index fingers firmly along your eye brows.
2. Lift your forehead by moving against the resistance of your fingers.
3. Hold for 10 counts.
4. Slowly relax your muscles by gradually closing your eyes.
5. Repeat this movement.

For best results, try doing these facial exercises once a day. If time is a constraint, do it once or twice a week. You will definitely observe a more youthful appearance.