These foods can be directly applied to your face to calm and moisturise skin. By Dawn Chen
Natural ingredients like cucumbers help to soothe and calm skin. Photo: Ferli Achirulli / www.123rf.com
If you’re freaked out by the idea that your moisturiser and serum formulas come chock-full of ingredients you can’t even pronounce, why not try using natural remedies to treat your skin concerns instead? Dr Gavin Ong, medical director and consultant at The Skin Specialist, a Singapore Medical Group (SMG) clinic, shares what food items can double up as quick home fixes to soothe and moisturise skin, and what foods to avoid putting on your face.
Natural skincare ingredients for your face:
Aloe vera already features prominently as a powerhouse skincare ingredient. Full of moisturising properties, it has a soothing effect on the skin and has been used traditionally to calm inflammation following sunburns. Aloe vera is also suitable for all skin types. Be careful when harvesting pure aloe vera though, as the plant is slightly prickly.
Coconut oil is supposed to have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. It is also said to be rich in antioxidants, and will not alter your skin’s natural pH levels. Use coconut oil as a face, body and hair moisturiser, or as a makeup remover for stubborn, waterproof eye makeup!
Also known for its soothing and moisturising properties, cucumber slices are good for calming the skin and reducing inflammation and swelling. Put cucumber slices over your eyes to de-puff, or all over your face as a cooling treatment after you’ve been out in the sun.
Tofu or silky bean curd is rich in plant oestrogen. Oestrogen has been scientifically shown to reduce the signs of ageing – this is why many women notice their skin becoming duller and more wrinkled after menopause. However, the verdict’s still out on whether plant oestrogen will get into the skin and benefit it when applied directly.
Honey has been used for centuries as a topical antibacterial agent, and is said to have natural healing properties that can calm skin and promote faster recovery.
Natural skincare ingredients to AVOID on your face:
Lemon and lime
It is a very bad idea to use either directly on your skin. Lemon and lime juices are highly acidic and can significantly alter skin’s pH levels, disrupting its normal function. For individuals with sensitive skin, it can even aggravate skin and cause dermatitis. Lemon and lime juice also contain naturally-occurring chemicals that can cause skin inflammation and blisters on your visage when exposed to the sun.
Celery and parsley
These affect skin pretty much the same way as lemons and limes. Celery and parsley can react with sunlight to give you a nasty rash when applied together onto your skin.