At the Farmers’ Market, we shop for the ingredients our bodies need. At Sephora or Ulta, we shop for those ingredients we think our skin needs. With a little knowledge, our shopping missions can complement one another, and we can achieve total glow from the inside to the outside rather than finding the odd vegetable or product decomposing in the medicine cabinet or the vegetable bin because we can’t remember why we bought them in the first place.
What to look for in the market and on your skincare labels
Almonds (vitamin E). Almonds are a rich source of vitamin E, which protects the skin from UV damage and supports skin repair. Chomping a few almonds daily can help maintain youthful skin, while almond oil is beneficial in serums and creams to hydrate and soften.
Avocado (healthy fats). Avocado is rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, which help maintain the skin’s natural lipid barrier. Mashed avocado can serve as a nourishing face mask, providing essential fatty acids to the skin. If you see avocado oil on a skincare label, that’s a good thing.
Blueberries (antioxidants).Blueberries are a powerhouse of antioxidants that help protect the skin from free radical damage caused by UV radiation and environmental pollutants. Blueberry oil on a beauty product label is right up there with raspberry oil and lets you know the product will help maintain skin’s elasticity and prevent premature aging. You can create a homemade face mask by mashing a handful of blueberries and applying them to your skin. Leave it on for a short time and rinse with lukewarm water.
Citrus Fruits (vitamin C). Oranges, lemons and grapefruits are packed with vitamin C, which is known for its antioxidant properties. When consumed, vitamin C helps protect the skin from free radical damage. In skincare, topical vitamin C serums can brighten the complexion, reduce the appearance of dark spots and boost collagen production. Easy DIY Face Masque: mix fresh citrus juice with yogurt or honey for a refreshing treatment. Apply the mask to your face, leave on for 15-20 minutes, and rinse with lukewarm water. Kind of gooey, but kind of great.
Coconut Oil (moisturizing). Coconut oil is a natural moisturizer, both when consumed and applied topically. It helps lock in moisture, making it an effective moisturizer for dry and mature skin and a soothing treatment for conditions like eczema. Pina coladas may finally have found a place in your skincare routine. Yay.
Green Tea (polyphenols). Green tea is a rich source of polyphenols that combat skin aging. Drinking green tea provides antioxidant protection, and later, when the tea is gone, try applying the cooled tea bags as eye compresses to reduce puffiness and dark circles.
Oats (anti-inflammatory). Oats contain compounds that soothe irritated skin. In skincare, oat-based products like oatmeal masks or bath soaks can help relieve conditions like eczema and dry, itchy skin. When included in the diet, oats’ anti-inflammatory properties contribute to a calmer complexion. Be happy if you see oat oil on a label. For a face mask, mix ground oats with water to form a paste. Apply, leave for 15 minutes and rinse with lukewarm water for a soothing experience.
Papaya (enzymes). Papaya contains enzymes like papain, which exfoliate dead skin cells when used as a face mask. If you look, you will find papaya on labels that claim cell turnover. Eating papaya supplies vitamins A, C and E, promoting collagen production and skin repair.
Peptides. Peptides are short chains of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. They play a crucial role in skincare due to their ability to support collagen production, which is essential for maintaining skin’s firmness and elasticity. In skincare, peptides can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. We find them in our diet through protein like lean meats, fish, eggs, and dairy products. Note, it is never a good idea to make a masque of lean meats or fish.
Turmeric (anti-inflammatory). Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. When used in skincare, it can reduce redness and inflammation. You may notice it on a label for a mist or a masque. As a spice in cooking, it supports overall skin health by reducing inflammation internally.
Resveratrol (found in red grapes and berries). When consumed, resveratrol can help combat oxidative stress in the body, which can lead to premature aging. In skincare, you will see resveratrol in serums and creams often cohabitating with retinol or other heavy hitters. It’s a classic beauty builder and yes, it is found in red wine.
Shop with purpose
In the pursuit of timeless beauty and a healthy body, it’s helpful to enter both the market and the beauty aisle armed with a list. It’s so easy to fall prey to marketing promises, but when you shop intentionally, you have a better chance of coming out with what you went in for rather than what some marketing guru thinks they can sell you this month. Complement your dietary choices with topical skincare products containing ingredients you recognize, and you’ll be on your way to authentic glow even with all the challenges our desert weather presents.