7 Pantry Staples That Will Give You Better Skin (for Real)
Most people might consider their bedroom as the room of refuge in their home, but allow us to make a strong case for our friend, the kitchen. It's probably the first place you go when you arrive home, woozy from a wine-fueled night with girlfriends. Yes, it sometimes disappoints you when it's running on empty, but a well-stocked kitchen brings insurmountable joy no other room can compete with. Take a look inside someone's kitchen, or fridge, and it's like you're seeing their soul. Or at least, what their soul craves (for most people, it's Sriracha).
On the beautifying front, your kitchen also has the potential to kick your bathroom out of the number one spot. Turns out, many of your pantry staples also act as anti-agers when you apply them topically—all it takes is a little patience (and maybe a fruit masher). We got the scoop from S.W. Basics founder and Skin Cleanse author Adina Grigore, and nutritionist Kimberly Snyder. Keep scrolling to find out their secrets!
Barlean's Flax Oil ($14)
Grigore calls this "one of [her] favorite youth-boosting oils and much less stinky than cod liver oil, too!" She explains that flaxseed oil is loaded in omega-3s, which are essential fatty acids that help to bolster the epidermis to retain moisture; that's critical when addressing fine lines. "Flaxseed oil is also filled with free-radical fighting antioxidants, which work to reduce the signs of aging," she explains. "You can apply topically—I like to mix it with grapeseed oil—or take it orally." Speaking of grapeseed oil, this light oil happens to be a great anti-ager as well. In her book Radical Beauty, Snyder says it's a great natural moisturizer that helps strengthen cell membranes and a powerhouse of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
We firmly believe every woman should have a vitamin C serum in her arsenal. Everyone wants brighter, firmer skin, right? If you haven't found "the one" just yet, try a kiwi—yes, really. "These wonder-fruits contain high amounts of vitamin C, which is an important component in the production of collagen, a natural process that slows down as you age," Grigore explains. "Remove the skins and pop them into the blender to use as a mask or a face wash."
We all know we can cut up cucumbers and put them over our eyes, but do they really do anything? According to Grigore, yes. "Cucumbers are high in vitamin A, which is a natural retinol (think of it as the OG Retin-A)," she says. "Use either the juice or a blended version of the veggie to apply topically to skin." (A cotton pad soaked in cucumber juice sounds quite soothing, actually.) Or, go the old-school route and place the slices on your eyes to reduce inflammation.
Blue Diamond Almond Breeze ($4)
Your favorite coffee companion also happens to be a makeshift under-eye treatment, according to Snyder. "Almond milk is full of vitamin E and is believed to be anti-inflammatory," she says in her book. She says to mix one tablespoon of rose water and one tablespoon of cold almond milk, then dip a washcloth into the mixture and place it over your eyes for 10 minutes. Hello, bright-eyes.
When it comes to foods your skin will thank you for, berries reign supreme—more specifically, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries. "They all win for their high antioxidant content, high concentration of skin-boosting vitamin C, and ready availability," Grigore says. Snack on a handful to reap the benefits, or blend them together and apply them topically. (If you're not so into the idea of smearing berry innards on your face, we highly recommend Renée Rouleau's Triple Berry Smoothing Peel, $87).
So Delicious Culture Coconut Milk ($12)
Snyder explains the many skin benefits of coconut yogurt, from being a great source of amino acids to its probiotic content. She shares a skin-smoothing mask made with 1/2 cup coconut yogurt, 1 avocado, 3 tablespoons of raw, organic honey, and 1 organic carrot. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor until it's smooth, then apply it to your face and neck. Wait 15 to 20 minutes, then rinse off for skin that glows.
Grigore says cooled-down green tea makes a wonderful toner for aging, dry, or irritated skin. "It’s packed with polyphenols, which can help improve skin elasticity and improve blood flow to the skin," she tells us. "Polyphenols also have antioxidant properties, assist in skin cell growth, and aid in UV protection—but don't use them as a substitute for sunscreen!"
Click here to find out what happened when one editor went on Grigore's three-day skin cleanse.