12 Edible Beauty Essentials

0-640899910-sea-salt
Take a look at the ingredient list on your body lotion. Given the common inclusion of parabens, phthalates and a bevy of petroleum products – among other worrisome ingredients – chances are that most of us wouldn’t be willing to take a swig. Yet we slather it all over our skin, inadvertently overlooking the chemicals we’re massaging into our body’s largest organ.
 
Adults have around 22 square feet of skin – which is kind of a freaky way to think about it, but that equates to some eight pounds of skin that we rub lotions into, scrub with exfoliants, let shampoos and conditioners rinse down, spray perfume on, and purposely expose to synthetic chemicals in other ways, all in the name of beauty. Crazy as it seems, with the exception of color additives and a few prohibited substances, beauty companies may use any ingredient or raw material in their products without approval from the Food and Drug Administration. While the European Union has banned more than 1,000 ingredients from use in cosmetics, the FDA has only prohibited a handful.
 
So with that in mind, why not switch up the routine and employ beauty products that are gentle enough to eat? Aside from being healthier, using ingredients from the kitchen is much cheaper, reduces packaging and since we’re focusing on staples, you probably already have many of these things on hand. Plus, if you should ever accidentally get locked in the bathroom overnight, you won’t go hungry.
 
1. Baking soda for shampoo
Advocates for the no-shampoo movement tell of the harm that shampoo ingredients do to the hair and scalp and swear by the enhanced texture and look of locks that have been liberated from commercial shampoos’ harsh treatment. To shampoo with baking soda instead, mix 1 tablespoon into a cup of warm water and stir, then pour onto hair and massage. It won’t turn into a lather — more like a slippery paste. Rinse well and follow with vinegar (below). Most people find that they need to shampoo much less with this method, like once every four or five days. It may take a few weeks for hair to adjust and the formula may take some tinkering with (like, try doubling it for long or extra thick hair), but the results — more often than not — are promising.
 
Also good for: Deodorant, exfoliant and homemade toothpaste.
 
2. Apple cider vinegar for hair shine rinse
After you have squeaky clean hair from your baking soda shampoo, it’s time to give it some shine. Mix 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into one cup of warm water and slowly pour down your hair (double the formula for long or extra thick hair.). Rinse well. Your shower will smell like vinegar … and yes, your hair may emit the slightest whiff of vinegar, but it should be barely noticeable and can be completely fixed with a little rub of shea butter mixed with flavor extracts.
 
Also good for: Treating acne.
 
3. Shea butter for hair serum
Shea butter isn’t a common kitchen staple in all parts of the world, but in African countries, this oil made from karite tree nuts has long been used for cooking. (It is also an ingredient in a number of confections, especially chocolate.) For the beauty-minded, it can be put to wonderful use on the hair to both lock in moisture and as a styling product well-suited for girls with curls. Raw, unrefined shea is best – it comes slightly hard, you can either melt it in your hands or whip it with other oils using a hand mixer to make it creamier, adding some vanilla or other flavored extract if you like. Apply to slightly damp hair – used sparingly just at the roots it can add volume; applied to the ends it can enhance curls.
 
Also good for: Skin, skin, skin!
 
4. Nut and seed oils for moisturizer
 
Nut and seed oils are packed with vitamins and antioxidants. (Photo: mythja/Shutterstock)
 
Aside from using shea butter for skin, there are a number of other nut and seed oils that work beautifully to moisturize your exterior. Grapeseed, jojoba, apricot kernel, sweet almond, argan, sunflower and macadamia nut oils are just a few that do wonders to bring bright life and moisture to dull skin. You can also add essential oils or flavor extracts (below) to add some olfactory pleasure to the mix.
 
Also good for: Body and facial moisturizer, bath soaks.
 
5. Coconut oil for face wash
This may sound counterintuitive, but the oil cleansing method has women everywhere ditching face soap in favor of oil. Yes, oil. (Read more about it here: Oil cleansing: Why would I want to do that?) Of the many different oils you can use, writer Starre Vartan sings the praises of coconut oil for keeping her skin in tip-top shape. Says she, “I just scoop a bit out of the container with my fingers, warm it up a bit between my (clean) fingers and spread it around my face, working it in just as I would a foam cleanser. Then I rinse off with warm water. Some of the oil stays on, but much gets washed off. Pat the face dry and voila!” And if you don’t want to use coconut oil on your face, other recommendations include grapeseed, sunflower, safflower and apricot kernel oils.
 
Also good for: Body scrubs and anti-frizz hair serum.
 
6. Salt for body scrubs
Nothing makes for smoother, softer skin than a good exfoliating with the help of salt and oil. The salt acts to remove dead skin cells and the oil does double duty as a vehicle for the salt and a moisturizer as well. Make this mix in a clean jar, and it should keep for around six months (although you’ll use it up long before that): Combine one cup sea salt with one-half cup of sweet almond oil or olive oil (or oil of your choice, really) – you can also add essential oils, herbs, spices, flower petals or flavor extracts of your choice. In the shower, slather the mix on your body and massage well, then rinse. Smooth radiant skin will be yours. (See more scrumptious recipes here: 8 homemade salt and sugar scrubs.)
 
Also good for: Homemade hairspray and clarifying hair rinse.
 
7. Sugar for lip smoother
Cutting down on refined sugar is a good thing, but here’s one place to put it to great use: make a treatment to exfoliate and condition your lips. Create a paste with equal parts sugar and olive or sweet almond oil; and while the addition of a drop of peppermint or vanilla extract is not required, it’s delicious. Rub a small amount on to your lips and massage, gently exfoliating as you do it. Then the best part: lick it off.
 
Also good for: Sugar body scrub, cleaning hands and extending lipstick.
 
8. Turmeric for boosting a glow
 
Turmeric is one the spice rack’s many beauty  secrets. (Photo: Marina Shanti/Shutterstock)
 
Its vibrant hue makes turmeric an ally in brightly colored foods like curry, but it can also help to make the skin glow. Some women have found that a bit of turmeric added to ashy foundation can make the perfect color for hard-to-match skin tones. Meanwhile, women in India use turmeric in face creams and body scrubs to bump up the radiance factor; try adding the spice to any of the formulas here, sprinkling in a bit at a time until you have the proper tone.
 
Also good for: Brightening your teeth and dandruff care.
 
9. Oatmeal for a face mask
Many fruits and vegetables are commonly employed in face masks, but since we’re keeping this list mostly to non-perishable essentials, we’re going for the oatmeal face mask. Oatmeal has a long history of being used as a gentle way to soothe skin, and an oatmeal face mask is an especially good choice for people with sensitive or dry skin (although it will benefit all types). Start by grinding 1/4 cup of uncooked oats in a blender or coffee grinder until fine, then add in 1 1/2 tablespoons plain yogurt and 2 teaspoons honey. Mix together well, clean and dry your face and neck, and apply. Leave it on for 15 minutes, then rinse well and pat dry.
 
10. Honey for scalp care
Dandruff shampoos are strong and expensive. Honey is gentle and relatively cheap and is a miracle worker in the health and beauty departments. Among its many beneficial uses, it has been proven to be effective in treating chronic seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff. In one study, itching was relieved and scaling disappeared within one week for all patients. Skin lesions were completely healed within two weeks, and patients showed subjective improvement in hair loss as well. Here’s the formula: Mix 90 percent honey with 10 percent warm water and rub into the scalp for a few minutes. Cover with a shower cap and leave on for three hours, then rinse. Do this every other day for four weeks, after which the treatment can be done once a week to prevent relapse.
Also good for: Eyelash balm, facials and hair enhancer.
 
11. Olive oil for all moisturizing needs
Since it’s likely you have this workhorse ingredient in your kitchen already, you can always rely on it for moisturizing needs addressed by other ingredients here. It penetrates deeply and is rich in nutrients, making it great to moisturize hair, use on cuticles and nails, moisturize hands, use on the rest of the body, use to shave with, use as massage oil ­– you get the picture. Anywhere your skin is dry or feeling lackluster, give it a few sips of olive oil to perk it up.
 
12. Flavor extracts for an extra kick
As innocent-seeming as perfume may be, not everyone realizes that in general, modern perfumes are not some heavenly distillation of flowers and spices; most perfume is chock-full of synthetic chemicals created to mimic the scents we love. And perfume companies aren’t required to list perfume ingredients. In fact, private analysis of numerous perfumes reveals dozens of nasty chemicals within. So you know the drill by now: Use food! By skipping modern perfume and adding an edible source of fragrance to any of the applications listed above, you can find yourself suitably scented without the toxic, asthma-inducing chemicals of synthetic perfume.
 
There are a number of places where you can buy food-quality essential oils, but you can also use all-natural flavor extracts – even quotidian vanilla and peppermint extract are easily available and lovely. Other ideas include using fresh vanilla bean, nutmeg, rosemary, flower petals, dried citrus zest or other herbs and spices. If you have a Middle Eastern market nearby, try rose water and orange blossom water, which are redolent with the essence of flowers grown in the soil, not chemicals born in the lab. Your nose, and your body, will thank you.

2014-09-02T12:26:15+00:00

Related Questions

  • Click here to view in a new window

    Q: I have read that Peppermint, Lavender, Rosemary and Sage essential oils are all good for hair and stimulating hair growth. Would it be more beneficial to use them all at once for maximum result or should I just use the Rosemary and Sage only as you suggested? Also, I didn?t see any Almond oil so I was wondering if I could use Olive oil or Jojoba oil as a carrier oil.

    A:

    Yes they are great for stimulating hair growth; however, I would use them together or combined. ANY natural edible oil can be used - it's YOUR choice. Jojoba and/or sesame seed oil are the best oils for the hair.

  • Click here to view in a new window

    Q: I usually wear an Afro, but now I keep my hair in braids under a hat. A month ago my hair began to break, and my scalp got very dry. So, I started using shea butter, and olive oil. It started to work, soon after I made the mistake of putting braids, with synthetic fibers in my hair. It tore the sides of my hair out. I have about 6 or more inches of my hair left. What should I do now?

    A:

    Pour the oil into your palms, and then rub into you hair and then comb! Hair should be shiny, and smell good.

  • Click here to view in a new window

    Q: Will the oz oil work on scar tissue lesions (raised skin) on the face. Do you have any suggestions for hair loss around the temples? Do you have products for hair loss?

    A:

    Yes, the Oxy-Oil will work on raised lesions due to scar tissue.

    For hair loss, check out our Hair & Scalp Oil, as well as the Hair, Skin, & Nails Formula.

  • Click here to view in a new window

    Q: I am having really bad dry skin problems. My scalp is very dry and I can pull huge chucks of skin out of my hair. My fore head is peeling and around my nose area is peeled off and has left me with red raw skin around my nose. I wanted to know what should I do to help solve my dry skin problem?

    A:

    Wewould suggest you perform our Full Body Detox. Also, purchase the Full Body Cleanse Companion booklet and perform some of the soaks mentioned in there. The best soak is to soak in 2-3 boxes of sea salt and 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide for about an hour per day. After getting out of the tub, rub our Oxy-Oil over your entire body to help the skin breathe.

  • Click here to view in a new window

    Q: Hi my hair is very dry I use to use African Royal braid sheen and my hair would stay moist but all of a sudden it stop working and started making my hair dry I tried Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Moist Lotion and some of their other products but they made my hair sticky or dry right now I am using Carlos Daughter's Hair Milk but it not working my hair needs moisture what can I do my hair is natural not processed

    A:

    Try our HAIR OIL! Visit On-Line Store.

  • Click here to view in a new window

    Q: I need something to make my hair grow and to the dark circle around my eyes and to clean skin without changing the color of my skin.

    A:

    I suggest you first cleanse your body with the Full Body Detox. After performing the Full Body Detox, perform the TWC (Total Woman Cleanse). After these 2 cleanses, I recommend you take HAIR-SKIN-NAILS, MSM SULPHUR, ELECTRIC GREENS CELL FOOD, and

  • Click here to view in a new window

    Q: I need something to make my hair grow and to the dark circle around my eyes and to clean skin without changing the color of my skin.

    A:

    I suggest you first cleanse your body with the Full Body Detox. After performing the FBD, perform the Total Woman Cleanse. After these 2 cleanses, I recommend you take HAIR-SKIN-NAILS, MSM SULPHUR, ELECTRIC GREENS CELL FOOD, and VITAMIN C formula.

    Your hair can grow, Beloved!

    Dark circles around the eye denote kidney problems (excess fluid buildup) and/or perhaps lack of proper rest/sleep time. You can heal from this too.

  • Click here to view in a new window

    Q: I heard there is something you can put in your hair to prevent gray hair. I have use different types of rinse but the gray hair is back in about 2 weeks. I about to enter my 50s and I am not ready for gray hair yet. Can you help me? Also, is there something you can take to prevent diabetes?

    A:

    FOR THE HAIR YOU MAY BE REFERRING TO "HENNA." IT'S SOME GOOD STUFF AND ALL NATURAL. FOR DIABETES, YOU CAN PERFORM THE FULL BODY DETOX AND THE PANCREAS CLEANSE AND REGIMEN . VISIT OUR ON-LINE STORE.

  • Click here to view in a new window

    Q: I would like to know, if you have any skin care programs, for women age 50 and over. I am going to try the detox progarm as soon as possible. I truly believe that I am going to be very happy with the results. I am 51 years old, and I want to look and feel my best. I have a lot of belly fat, and that makes me feel uncomfortable, because some people will ask me, if I am pregnant. This seems very strange to me, because my stomach seems to be the main place, where all the fat is building up. I desire to have beauty inside and out. I want to be completely whole. If you have tips for skin care and body care, please let me know. Some people say that I look like I am in my forties, however, if I did not have all of this extra body fat, I could really believe what they are saying.

    A:

    The blood needs to be cleansed in order to enhance your skin and eliminate excess fat.

    We would recommend you perform the Full Body Cleanse which can help improve skin complexion, release weight, and detoxify, purify, rejuvenate, and strengthen the body and all of its eliminative channels.

    We also have a Facial Skin Kit that works to naturally restore the health of skin by helping to remove blemishes, hydrate skin, and even out complexion for resilient skin.

  • Click here to view in a new window

    Q: Hi, I just want to know how long is it safe to use the gray-less hair. My daughter is in her mid twenties and I have seen now and then few strands of white hair. I know that she is under stress and at time due to her nature travel with anxiety especially with schooling and homework at one point. I have read even though herbs are natural there are side effects. Are they any long term side effects of sage? I believe I have read an article of long term use. I know the herb "Bringaraj" is the king of hair and is good for grey hair. I buy this in my area. Also, Amla, indian gooseberry is very good for grey hair which she takes also. I purchase your herb'gray-less hair and she uses it everyday. She his young and I want her to upkeep her nice shiny hair and less greying. Is this for long term? Thanks

    A: Yes, she can use the Gray less Hair Rinse as often as she likes. The rinse works best with consuming the Gray less Hair formula.

  • Click here to view in a new window

    Q: I want to know if you have a product for scleroderma. It is a skin discoloration Disease. The symptoms are your skin darkening, hair loss, and arthritis in hands. If you have any products, do you have liquid or small pills? My friend has problems swallowing large pills.

    A:

    WHEN THERE'S A PROBLEM WITH THE SKIN, IT'S TIME TO CLEANSE THE BLOOD. I WOULD SUGGEST YOU LOOK INTO OUR FULL BODY DETOX AND CONSIDER A PERMANENT DIETARY CHANGE AFTER DETOXING. OUR PILLS ARE PRETTY SMALL IN SIZE, BELOVED. THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST!

  • Click here to view in a new window

    Q: I'm trying to narrow it down as to which product you recommend out of the HAIR SKIN NAILS FORMULA with added sulfur, or the straight up MSM SULFUR. Which of these products are more beneficial for growing male thinning hair? thank you

    A:

    Go with the MSM SULFUR !

  • Click here to view in a new window

    Q: I would like to know what herbs you advise I should take for: healthy skin/even skin tone, hair growth and weight loss. I am pregnant at the moment but I would like to use herbs in approx 10 weeks. I am from England, I'm A 25 year old black woman who is beginning to take my health seriously! what foods do you advise I take out of my diet?

    A:

    Please read our "PRE-NATAL HEALTH" article for the answers you desire! This is a common inquiry for us so we created an article on the subject matter.

  • Click here to view in a new window

    Q: A man and his wife from Senegal just gave me some shea butte, directly from the nut from Senegal. These two people have beautiful flawless skin. Is shea butter fine to use on the face? I wanted to also know why herbs and foods are good for prolonging fertility, as I am 46 years old.

    A:

    Shea butter is fine to use on any part of the body, including the face.
    Take the time to read our "Impotence Infertility and Sterility."

  • Click here to view in a new window

    Q: Approximately two weeks ago, I developed dry, itchy patches on my back. Several things changed during this period, I started using Nubian Heritage Shea Butter soap, I starting the Full Body Detox, I received a deep tissue massage in which the primary focus was my back (olive oil mixed with sesame oil). Also I put Oxydrops, in Dherbs Hair Oil, and Healing Skin Oil. I used the Creativity and Abundance Elixirs. Do you think these changes have something to do with the dry itchy patched on my back?

    A:

    Please read the article "Skin Disorder = Blood Disorder" in our articles section. It may be "healing crisis" if the problem started after using natural products.

     

  • Click here to view in a new window

    Q: Thank you for the wonderful info you give to help us all live healthier lives. My concern is my hair loss. Is there an herbal remedies to help hair grow back like it did when I was in my young teens. I'm 41 years old now and my hair loss is primarily on the top. If you need to know my race (for any reason) I'm a black man. I do not want to use Rogain or any other chemicals to re grow my hair or pay money for hair transplants. Is there any hope to grow hair naturally or am I stuck with my genetic code of losing my hair? Thanks in advance!

    A:

    Please read our 2 articles on hair for solutions. "HAIR PROBLEMS", "BLACK HAIR, NAPPY HAIR"

  • Click here to view in a new window

    Q: I am a 49 yr. old black female. When I was younger I had severe cystic acne that left me with what the dermatologist calls "ice pick scaring" and enlarged pores. I had 2 full face dermabrasions in my 30s and have been on retina A from then up until now. I have a pretty healthy diet and exercise routine. My Father and a couple of Uncles of mine also had the same type of skin problems, left with the same aftermath. I use French green clay masks which slightly reduce the look of the large pores and a sugar, honey, and lemon scrub (I make it at home) and I use it on my face. I'm not unattractive, but my skin looks rough and dull and pitted on my cheeks and nose. All the doctors talk about scar revision (cutting),laser treatments, chemical peels, and all sorts of invasive surgeries. I don't want to go that route again and I feel bad about the way I look sometimes. Are there ANY suggestions that you can give that will help me?

    A:

    SKIN PROBLEMS ARE UNDERLYING BLOOD PROBLEMS. CLEANSE YOUR BLOOD, GIVE YOUR BODY NUTRITION. STEAM YOUR FACE. KEEP CLAYING YOUR FACE. IMPROVE UPON YOUR DIET GO ALL RAW FOODS OR VEGAN DIET). A GOOD ARTICLE TO READ IS â€SKIN RASH†ON OUR SITE UNDER ARTICLES.

  • Click here to view in a new window

    Q: During my phone consultation, I inquired about shaving creams other than the magic shave that I had been using for years. I tried the Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap as well as the Alba shaving cream. I have tried them both, and I use the hydrogen peroxide after I shave. But after a couple of days of smooth butter skin, my face becomes slightly irritated and small bumps form around the area where a goatee would grow. I know that I have some skin issues as of late, but don't know what. I even put a good amount of the OZ OIL on my face after I use the hydrogen peroxide. Should I not expect any constant smooth shaves until I go through the FULL BODY DETOX (FBD)?

    A:

    Whether you know it not but you answered your own question and correctly so. Yes, give the FULL BODY DETOX a try!

  • Click here to view in a new window

    Q: When I use the OZ OIL my outer skin is very soft and subtle. However deep down in the skin I feel very itchy. I have been assuming this is the effect of the oil doing its job. After a few weeks I got the feeling that I should try to loofa off the top layers of skin so the under skin could rejuvenate its self. I suppose I am writing because I want to check to make sure that the deep itching truly is a positive healing process before I purchase another bottle. Also to prompt you for any other ideas you might have to help my condition. It is purely beauty based btw I don't have any skin illness.

    A:

    The itching is a natural side effect that a healing crisis is taking place. Keep using the Oxy Oil at your discretion.

  • Click here to view in a new window

    Q: I am only guessing but it seems like I have been experiencing color discolorations and excessive dryness in my face when hair grows on my face or when I drink liquor it is almost like a reaction. What could this be? I just ordered the BLOOD AND LYMPHATIC FORMULA should that help? If not what could I use for this skin problem?

    A:

    CLEARLY YOUR BODY IS TELLING YOU TO STOP DRINKING LIQUOR BY MANIFESTING SYMPTOMS. I SUGGEST YOU PERFORM THE FULL BODY DETOX FIRST AND TAKE THE BLOOD AND LYMPHATIC FORMULA AS A DAILY MAINTENANCE REGIMEN.