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A Garden State of Mind

by Celia Shatzman

When it comes to all-natural skincare, fresh fruits and vegetables are on the beauty menu

As temperatures take a nosedive, the pickings at the farmers’ market tend to start looking a little sparse. Though it’s hard to find fresh blueberries this time of year, there’s another way you can get your fix—with your beauty products.

There’s a reason why fruits and vegetables are cropping up everywhere from face wash to moisturizer to makeup. “We have been trying for decades to re-create what nature has already mastered,” says Amelia Hill, spa director at The Spa at Sunset Key Cottages, a Luxury Collection Resort, Key West, FL. “Vegetables and fruits are packed full of antioxidants and many other vitamins that have proven effective in skincare to give protection from the sun, insects, pollution and smoking, and can correct hyperpigmentation, scarring and uneven skin tone.”

Fruits and veggies have complex actives, so they’re more powerful and potent by working in synergy to repair, heal and rejuvenate skin, explains Margo Marrone, cofounder of The Organic Pharmacy. “You get the benefit of not just a single active, but a host of actives from antioxidants to vitamins and minerals and phytonutrients that are readily recognized and absorbed by the skin and, therefore, cells.”

When used in their natural form, you don’t have to worry about irritation or side effects. “People are becoming more and more aware of the products they consume both in and on their bodies,” says Ingrid Jackel, CEO of Yes To. “Produce found in the local grocery store is easily understood to be natural and accessible. Beauty and personal care doesn’t have to be complicated and made in a laboratory. It can be made with a few simple ingredients and be impactful.”

However, not all fruit- and vegetable-based products are created equal. “For example, a pomegranate’s natural property is to firm and strengthen the skin, but if you add fillers such as propylene glycol, you have just laced a pure, effective and healthy ingredient with a harmful chemical,” explains Michelle D’Hooghe, spa director at Twin Farms in Vermont. “Our skin absorbs what we put on it, so it depends on what is added to the vegetable- and fruit-based products. Chemicals and pesticide residuals get into your skin, along with the natural ingredients.”

To reap the beauty perks of organic and biodynamic plant-based products, make sure all the ingredients do you good. Here’s a breakdown of a few fruits and veggies that will make you beautiful, inside and out.


“Apples are the richest source of malic acid, which is gentler than other acids such as glycolic and salicylic acid,” says Jackel. “It promotes healthier, firmer and youthful looking skin without damaging the skin layer.” Loaded with antioxidants and alpha hydroxy acids for clarity, apples are rich in Vitamins A, C and zinc and UVB-defending particles. These products are also great as a light sunscreen. “Apples brighten the skin and help produce collagen, making for a nice glow,” says D’Hooghe. “It’s also a terrific toner, clearing the skin of impurities.”

TRY:  ilike Apple and Lemon Gel Mask, organicskincare.com; goop by Juice Beauty Exfoliating Instant Facial, goop.com


“Blueberries have an abundance of plant-based vitamins, antioxidants and phytochemicals, which help boost circulation, giving the skin a radiant glow, toning, tightening and protecting capillaries,” says Marrone. The perks are endless with this little superstar. “Neutralizing free radicals and forming a barrier for the skin, these antioxidants are great substitutes for anti-aging products, eliminating fine lines and wrinkles,” Hill says.

TRY: TULA Urban Defense Hydrating Mist, tula.com; Eminence Organics Blueberry Soy Exfoliating Cleanser, eminenceorganics.com


“There is buzz in the industry that cream made from broccoli could even serve as a mild sunscreen because of the Vitamin E it contains, and the perk of that is it is loaded with fatty acids that make it moisturizing without being greasy,” says Hill. “Broccoli is also rich in Vitamin C, which promotes collagen production and helps plump and firm skin.” Plus, it calms inflammation and is an anti-carcinogen and even helps fight against the signs of aging.

TRY: Mad Hippie’s Antioxidant Facial Oil, madhippie.com; Tata Harper Purifying Mask, tataharperskincare.com


“They will get your skin glowing, enhance your immunity against sun damage, hydrate and reduce the appearance of scars over a period of time,” says D’Hooghe. The colorful crunchers get their bright hue from the antioxidant beta-carotene, which is fantastic for repairing and protecting cells and fighting wrinkles. “Carrots are rich in Vitamin A and are full of antioxidants, both found in every anti-aging product on the market,” says Hill, since they repair and hydrate skin. Carrots are also great for moisturizing normal to dry skin.

TRY: The Organic Pharmacy Carrot Butter Cleanser, theorganicpharmacy.com; Naturopathica Carrot Seed Soothing Facial Oil, naturopathica.com


They aren’t just for your juicer—all citrus fruits are jam-packed with antioxidants, making them perfect for protecting cells from damage and therefore premature aging. A great source of AHAs and Vitamin C, these two are clinically proven to prevent wrinkles and fine lines. “Not only energizing and rejuvenating, packed with folate and calcium, citrus fruits moisturize, tone and brighten,” says Jackel.

TRY: ilike Apple & Lemon Whipped Moisturizer, organicskincare.com; Valentina’s Naturals Moisturizing Body Lotion Soul Detox, valentinashomebrewed.com; Lemon & Coconut Jojoba Hand Cream, thejojobacompany.com

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