You’re diligently removing your makeup at the end of a long day (sunrise flow, back-to-back meetings, catch-up date with your bestie—check) when you notice an angry red volcano beginning to erupt on your chin. Just perfect. You check the time—drugstores are definitely closed, let alone beauty boutiques. Don’t despair, ransack your kitchen.
A healthy gut can do wonders for your complexion, but according to Lola Berry, author of Food to Make You Glow, food can also nourish your skin another way. “Our skin soaks up what we apply topically, so why not feed our face from the outside?” she asks.
“Our skin soaks up what we apply topically, so why not feed our face from the outside?”
According to Berry, when you hit the pantry instead of the pharmacy for your beauty products, you’re “using something in its more natural form.” This means, “It’s gentle on the face,” she says. And therefore less of a chance your skin will react the opposite way you want.
Just be sure to keep your shopping list organic—no reason to break from your clean beauty routine just because you’re stocking up from the produce section. Berry also suggests testing the products on a small section of your skin (like your wrist) before putting them on your face—because the last thing you want to deal with is an allergic reaction on top of a sudden breakout.
Now, scroll down for Berry’s top picks for kitchen staples that double as “foodie facial” ingredients.
1. Coconut oil
We get it, coconut oil: You can do it all. So of course treating pimples is no exception. The ingredient is antimicrobial and antifungal, so it can help cut down on the bacteria that causes some types of blemishes. Berry suggests washing your face, then applying coconut oil to your zit and hopping into bed so it can get to work while you’re sleeping.
When it comes to skin care, honey is the bee’s knees. “It’s antibacterial, which is why you’ll often see it in skin-care products,” Berry explains. For maximum complexion-enhancing results, go for the raw honey; then slather some on approximately 10 minutes before you shower or wash your face, Berry says.
3. Butter lettuce
Eating and drinking your leafy greens to boost your health is a no-brainer—but did you know they work as a topic treatment, too? “If you chop the bottom off butter lettuce, white liquid oozes out,” says Berry. “Pop that on top of any dry skin and it will help it heal.” This is likely because lettuce is high in vitamin C, an antioxidant known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
A handful of berries is awesome for more than adding a splash of color to your Greek yogurt. “Berries mushed up are great for antioxidants and anti-aging [effects],” says Berry. Bonus: They make a delicious snack while you wait for your skin to clear.