Ways to Get Gorgeous Skin This Summer!
Prevent Flakiness with Coconut Oil
Ultra violet sunrays and hot, humid weather can be rough on delicate skin, leaving dull, flaky patches. But if rub coconut oil onto your trouble spots twice daily, you could erase those beauty flaws in as little as one week, according to researchers at India’s Mumbai University. Credit coconut oil’s lauric acid (a unique plant compound that kills rash-causing yeast), kick-starts the growth of healthy new skin cells and can even smooth fine lines and wrinkles by 42 percent, says biochemist Mary Enig, Ph.D., author of Know Your Fats. “Coconut oil is so healing, it provides better results than even today’s pricey skin creams.”
Try it: You can find coconut oil in grocery stores, health food stores or online. Just use a little, twice a day.
Improve Tone with Colorful Veggies
In a recent British study, women who ate two heaping cups of bright green, orange or red vegetables a day were rated as the most youthful and attractive. They were even rated prettier than women who had tans! The reason: These veggies are packed with carotenoids, plant pigments that quickly soak into your skin, giving it a warm, healthy, completely natural glow. They also can cut your risk of cancer in half, according to Harvard studies.
Try it: Toss your favorite green, orange or red vegetables into eggs, salads, soups and pastas as often as possible.
Erase Puffiness with Chamomile Tea
Does your skin get puffy and doughy-looking as the temperature soars? Join the club! For up to 60 percent of women, this beauty blight pops up every year right at the peak of swimsuit season. “That’s because your body responds to high temps by stashing excess water in your skin, thinking that it will help keep the heat away from your core,” says Elson Haas, M.D., director of the Preventive Medical Center of Marin in San Rafael, Calif. But chamomile tea, which contains a powerful natural diuretic called apigenin can flush out trapped water, explains Dr. Haas.
Try it: Sip two cups of strong chamomile tea — hot or cold — daily. Other safe, natural bloat-busters: Cucumber, parsley, lemon, papaya, asparagus, celery and grapes.
Prevent UV Damage with Red Algae
Taking just 4 milligrams of astaxanthin, a red algae extract, daily allowed study subjects to get up to five times more sun exposure before a speck of skin damage or wrinkling occurred, according to a European research team. “This red pigment helps protect algae from the sun’s harsh rays, and it does the same great job when it soaks into your skin cells,” explains nutrition researcher James F. Balch, M.D., co-author of Prescription for Natural Cures. “In clinical trials, astaxanthin is up to 200 times more protective than even vitamin E!”
Try it: Look for astaxanthin in your local health food store or pharmacy under brand names like Now Foods, Healthy Origins and Source Naturals.
Soothe Sunburns with Calendula Oil
Soothing your sunburn with calendula oil — a marigold flower extract — can quickly ease the pain and speed healing, according to research at Connecticut’s University of Bridgeport. According to researchers, the credit goes to calendula’s saponins and flavonoids — anti-inflammatories that calm pain, boost blood flow to damaged skin, shield connective tissue from UV attack and kick-start healing of damaged skin cells.
Try it: Look for calendula ointments and creams in your health food store or pharmacy under brand names like Boiron and Weleda. Store the ointment in the fridge so you can get instant cooling relief when you rub it on.
Plump Fine Lines with Egg Yolks
Egg yolks are loaded with lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that heal and strengthen the tiny capillaries in your skin (the blood vessels that control how rapidly nutrient reach damaged skin cells), say Yale researchers. And their studies suggest that just adding two eggs to your daily diet could increase the amount of moisture in your skin by 60 percent or more — plus lead to a noticeable reduction in dryness and fine lines in as little as one month. Eggs are also rich in selenium — a mineral that strengthens your skin’s defenses against UV rays, reducing sun damage by as much as 37 percent.
Try it: Have an omelet for breakfast, egg salad for lunch or toss two eggs into a stir fry for dinner.
Tighten Saggy Skin with Salmon
Fantasizing about getting a facelift? Try eating 16 ounces of salmon weekly, instead. “Salmon is rich in DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol), a chemical that nourishes the nerves and strengthens the muscles that hold up your skin,” says Nicholas Perricone, M.D., an adjunct professor of medicine at Michigan State University. “Eat a few ounces daily, and you’ll have noticeably better muscle tone in your face and neck in as little as two weeks!” All types of fish contain omega-3 fatty acids, essential fats that rebuild your skin’s protective lipid layer, helping to hold in moisture, keep out germs and speed healing of nicks and blemishes. Getting a steady trickle of omega-3s in their diet resulted in softer, smoother and more supple skin for up to 68 percent of women studied, say Yale researchers.
Try it: Serve up 16 ounces of fish weekly.
Avoid Rashes with Cell Phone Covers
As many as one in five women develop dry, itchy patches on their cheeks, jaw line or ears if they spend a lot of time yakking on their cell phones, say researchers at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). The metal in the phones contain nickel, a common skin allergen, explains Luz Fonacier, M.D., an allergy specialist at Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, New York. “You may spend hours every day with your skin in direct contact with this irritant.”
Try it: If you have to use your cell phone for more than an hour daily, slip it inside a plastic film cover, use a wireless ear piece or switch to a phone that doesn’t contain metal on the surface that touches your face, suggests Dr. Fonacier.