Top Five Foods As Good On Your Face As In Your Mouth

As a wee thing, I frustrated my mom by smearing my dinner on my face rather than putting it in my gullet. Little did she know I was actually experimenting with edible skin care treatments. (Turns out spaghetti sauce does not clear your pores.) Here are five foods, however, that are as good on your face as in your mouth.

5. Cucumbers. Remember all those cliched scenes in movies with women lying supine with cucumber slices on their eyelids? Well, there is actually a method to their madness: these fruits impart moisture to the skin and reduce under-eye puffiness. Tip: Soak cucumber slices in cold water for an extra-soothing effect.

4. Pumpkin. Granted, I am more than a little bit biased toward this orange squash. Although I ultimately prefer pumpkin in pie (or risotto), its Vitamin C and anti-oxidants do wonders in repairing skin damage. Tip: Boil about eight to ten cubes of fresh pumpkin and mash with one tablespoon olive oil. Apply to face and let sit for 20 minutes.

3. Oatmeal. Ever put piping hot oatmeal on your skin? God, I hope not: that's a recipe for a third-degree burn. But cold oatmeal actually soothes and moisturizes an irritated epidermis. Tip: Mix cooled oatmeal with milk, brown sugar, and a bit of lemon to create a mask.

2. Avocados. Next time you're making guacamole, save half of one avocado for your face. The oil rejuvenates dry skin and the sterolins (proteins) smooth out wrinkles and diminish age spots. Tip: Add one quarter cup honey to half an avocado for a more durable facial cleanser.

1. Dark Chocolate. Despite what your Health teacher told you, chocolate does not cause acne. The cocoa butter softens rough skin and the high anti-oxidant content increases blood flow to the face. Plus, the "leftovers" can be used to make that flourless cake you've been craving. Tip: Splurge on a cocoa scrub at your local spa or create your own at home.

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Joanna O'Leary