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The Wellness Column By Anchan Vegetarian

The multiple uses of fruits part 2

Those days where cosmetics and beauty products, skin creams, hair lotions and other concoctions were an exclusively female ‘privilege’ are long gone, more and more men are realizing the importance of looking good and taking care of their appearance through the application of such products.

With the new wave of health consciousness and increasing concern about the toxicity we bring to our environment on a daily basis there is a resurgence of natural products, many of which are plant and fruit based. But using fruits and plants for cosmetic purposes is older than you might think. The old Egyptians kept beauty in very high regard and used several vegetative products to secure and maintain it. Aloe vera was used for skin care reducing cellulitis and wrinkles, frankincense and botanical oils as perfume. Saffron and crushed almonds were used as eye shadow and brow liner respectively, by both men and women. Henna was the preferential coloring agent for hair, protecting people from lice infestations.

Let us take a look at some of the modern applications of fruit in ensuring that we look our best at all times. Fruits contain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that your body needs for healthy skin. Applying fruits or fruit juices to your skin or ingesting them can relieve skin afflictions like rashes, eczema, dry skin, dandruff and oily skin.

Cucumber, apples, grapefruit and papaya are home remedies for acne. You can apply the fresh juice of these fruits or apple cider vinegar to your acne-afflicted skin, let it set, and then rinse. Mash or blend any of these fruits, or combination of, to make a mask.

Make a mixture of half apple juice and half warm water and apply it to your scalp to treat dandruff. Let the mixture sit on your scalp for 15 minutes and then rinse. Rub lemon juice on your scalp and let it sit for 15 minutes before you wash your hair. Use either of these methods two or three times a week until your dandruff is gone.

Avocado is a natural moisturizer and mashed avocado is the right consistency for a mask. Apply the mashed fruit to dry skin as a moisturizer. Add a cup of apple juice, a cup of apple cider vinegar, or a few tablespoons of lemon juice to your bath to soften your skin. Apply apples or lemons directly to dry areas like your knees, elbows and heels as well.

Natural fruit extracts and powders can be incorporated in your homemade creams and lotions. Custard apple contains alpha-hydroxy acids that will help to refine and rejuvenate you skin. It has properties that will moisturize and maintain a youthful look. It is perfect for dry or mature skin.

Mango fruit is well known to be extremely high in Vitamin A, C and Beta Carotene which makes it an excellent ingredient to prevent wrinkles and drying of skin.

Strawberry is rich in polyphenols and Vitamin C that will provide soothing properties and is a wonderful toner to reduce the appearance of pores.

Cleansers and masks made with citrus fruits can prevent oiliness. The peels in particular are a common ingredient in scrubs. The slightly acidic boost is invigorating for your skin, making citrus fruit-based cleansers ideal for morning use to help “wake up” your skin. Lemon juice can be used to lighten dark spots—simply dab a cotton ball soaked in lemon juice to affected areas whenever needed.

If you have dry elbows, a quick fix is to use fresh pineapple. Mash up about half a cup of pineapple and cover your elbows with it. Rinse off with warm water about fifteen minutes later and finish with a layer of lotion. The pineapple will rejuvenate your skin and slough away dead skin cells, leaving your elbows soft and glowing.

When you are sourcing fruits to use in your daily life whether it is for cosmetics or ingestion, always make sure to get the best quality. These do often not include the beautiful and blemish free fruits you can find at your local supermarket.

Preferably buy from reputable organic dealers, if these are not available try to buy from small shops on your local farmers market. Look for slightly blemished fruit maybe even a bit odd in size and shape.

This is a sure sign that they are chemical free and haven’t been heavily sprayed with pesticides. After all what is the use of using natural homemade remedies to avoid chemicals in commercial products only to smear your body full of pesticide residue creams.

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The multiple uses of fruits part 2