Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but there are some traits that are considered attractive by men and women across cultures and age groups like shiny hair, glowing skin, and bright eyes. What do they have on common? They are all signs of youthfulness and overall good health.
While clothes and make-up can go a long way in making you look and feel confident and attractive, there are natural beauty boosters that can do the same and have a positive impact on your health, too.
There are quite a few food products on the market that are touted as "super foods." You may be a skeptic, but many fruits and vegetables do contain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that can work from the inside out to enhance your beauty.
Listed below are a few tips about natural beauty boosters that can be found in common foods:
- Foods high in antioxidants and vitamins can help slow the aging process by protecting the body against free radicals. Foods high in antioxidants include: broccoli, tomatoes, garlic, red grapes, berries, spinach, and tea.
- For great hair, try eating foods that feature omega 3s, vitamin B12, and plenty of protein. Try eggs, olive oil, nuts and fish.
- Don't forget to drink plenty of water. A well-hydrated body tends to work more efficiently, flush away toxins, and maintain the energy needed for intense workouts. Your skin will show the effects as well by staying moist and smooth. With all these benefits, drinking water may be the best thing you can do for your health and your appearance.
- Taking a daily multi-vitamin can also ensure you get enough nutrients on a daily basis. It's best to get these nutrients from their natural sources, but a multi-vitamin can be a great addition to your diet, particularly for when we're eating on-the-go.
- Exfoliants combine a coarse product (sugar, salt, ground-up seeds) with a smooth base (such as honey, yogurt or avocado) to slough off dead skin and expose a glowing, fresh face. Exfoliating products can be purchased at stores or made at home from everyday kitchen products. Try scrubs that contain corn or rice powder if you have oily skin and richer formulations that contain avocado or olive oil if your skin is dry.
- Facial masks are created from a variety of ingredients and left on your face for around 15 minutes before being rinsed away with warm water. Some women prefer to make their own facial masks, but you can shop around in health food stores for facial masks that contain plenty of natural ingredients. Among the make-at-home favorites: egg whites (made by "painting" on the white of 1 egg) or oatmeal mixed with plain yogurt (try 1/2 cup of oatmeal ground to a fine powder and mixed with 1/4 cup yogurt).
- Facial and body moisturizers are very important when it comes to achieving that heavenly glow that results from healthy skin. There are so many moisturizers on the market that claim to work wrinkle-zapping magic, but the best way to maintain a youthful appearance is be mindful about what you feed your skin. There's a variety of simple natural moisturizing lotions, gels and creams available at health food stores and large retailers. Read labels and try to avoid products that contain excessive chemicals and artificial fragrances.
- If acne is an issue, some natural products can be applied topically to help you recover the blemish-free face you desire. Some essential oils, like lavender, tea tree and jojoba, have been shown to have a beneficial effect on blemish-prone skin. Apple cider vinegar and lemon juice also have natural astringent and anti-bacterial properties.
Our bodies are made for movement, touch and interaction with others. Reducing stress, staying fit, and spending time with friends will enhance our faces and bodies better than any make-up, or chemical-laden lotions and potions ever could. Listed below are a few natural beauty boosters that promote both physical and mental well-being:
- Staying physically active not only keeps us trim and limber, it also improves our circulation and the functioning of all our organs. Whole-person disciplines like yoga and Tai "chi are particularly effective for these purposes, but a jog around the neighbourhood will get the heart pumping and bring a blush to your cheeks just the same.
- Physical touch is an important part of human life as well. Our bodies crave it and reward us for it by producing feel-good hormones that can help us look great too. This is one reason why women who are having great sex tend to naturally glow. Massage can also help you look your best for some of the same reasons. It helps loosen the built-up muscle tension that leads to poor posture and the tell-tale appearance of fatigue.
- Another scientifically proven stress-buster is meditation. While you may not see yourself as the type of person who can sit for hours at a time chanting "OM," you might benefit from giving it a try for several minutes a day. There are websites and DVDs geared for beginners that are very simple to follow. Being at peace with yourself will show on your face. It will also manifest in the way you treat yourself and others. When you love yourself, you will look better, be more positive and draw others to you.
- Hot and cold treatments, like hot stone therapy, cold mud therapy and saunas are great, natural ways to release tension and invigorate both your skin and your mental state.
For millennia, women have used these and countless other natural beauty treatments to bring out the best in their bodies. In our current economic climate, we find ourselves once again looking to nature for face and body enhancers that are simple, readily available and kind to our bodies, our wallets, and the planet.