Your Favorite Holiday Ingredients Are Good For Your Skin, Too

The holiday season is filled with thoughtful gift giving, family get-togethers, and a lot of cooking and eating. We often put strenuous effort into making plans and making sure our loved ones feel appreciated during the holidays. This sometimes leads to forgetting about our own needs and the importance of self-care.

Self-care comes in all different forms, but a favorite of mine is skin-care. A lot of these essential skin-related self-care items are right in front of us without knowing it. The following four ingredients can be found in the recipes for your holiday potluck and are not only beneficial for your health, but for your skin as well.

Cranberries

Cranberries are a powerhouse of anti-aging properties due to their high concentrations of powerful antioxidants. These antioxidants reduce damage in your cells, thus reducing fine lines and making your skin smooth and firm. Cranberries also contain vitamins C, K, and E. Combined, these vitamins help your skin cells protect themselves from damage by the sun’s UV rays, and create collagen to repair and bring strength to your skin.

The acidic nature of cranberry juice also helps with oily skin to create more balance, and the enzymes present in the fruit exfoliate dead skin and unclog the buildup in your pores. The antiseptic nutrients in cranberry juice are rich in resveratrol, an antioxidant that minimizes acne in problematic skin.

How to use it:

DIY toner — Mix two tablespoon of strained and unsweetened cranberry juice with two tablespoon of raw honey and one tablespoon of witch hazel. (Thayer’s brand is great). Apply mixture on face after cleansing, and rinse with water after.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is popular for its skin-lightening properties that reduce pigmentation, fade blemishes, and reduce dark spots. Its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties fight problematic skin, clearing breakouts and reducing irritation. Among its powerful antioxidants, cinnamon contains calcium, vitamin C, and vitamin A. Cinnamon also hydrates the surface of the skin by improving the blood flow by the gentle exfoliation that the ground cinnamon powder provides.

How to use it:

DIY face mask — Mix two tablespoons of raw honey and a half teaspoon of cinnamon in a small bowl and apply to the face and neck. Leave on for no more than 10 minutes, and rinse thoroughly, following with a face moisturizer to lock it in.

Rosemary

Rosemary isn’t just an herb used for all your favorite holiday roasts, soups, and stews. It contains many healing and rejuvenating benefits, both for your gut and for your skin. Rosemary, on top of being antibacterial, is a natural astringent that minimizes pores and neutralizes your skin oils, aiding problematic skin. Rosemary contains iron, calcium, and tons of phytonutrients. The high amounts of antioxidants in rosemary protects skin cells, promoting even tone and improved texture.

How to use it:

DIY face mask — Peel one cucumber, and chop it into small pieces and grind it. Add three drops of rosemary essential oil, and one whisked egg white to it. Smear mixture on skin, and leave on for no more than 15 minutes.

Peppermint

Peppermint is a hybrid leaf made up of watermint and spearmint. More commonly, the essential oil that’s produced by steam distillation is used in a wide variety of food and self-care products. Peppermint oil helps control acne and creates a brighter complexion because of the stimulation of blood flow. Peppermint is beneficial for all skin types, but is most helpful for oily/combination skin because of its balancing effects in natural oils. Peppermint oil is a natural antiseptic, and contains omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A and C, and magnesium.

How to use it:

DIY body scrub — Combine drops of peppermint essential oil, two teaspoons of sugar in the raw, one teaspoon of coconut oil, and a fourth teaspoon of raw honey. Gently exfoliate skin and rinse.