Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Get Sassy With Citrus

Get sassy with citrus
Oranges, lemons and limes aren’t just healthy to eat; they also refresh and repair your skin, add vim to your hair, and perk up your mood.
Citrus fruits are brimming with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that are essential for healthy skin and hair, plus a wide variety of phytochemicals – up to 170 in just one orange! – that combat oxidative stress and the production of age-inducing free radicals, which lead to fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, inflammation and sagging skin. Citrus fruits are also chockful of vitamin C – one orange provides your body with about 115 percent of your daily requirement - which is crucial to the formation of collagen, the ‘cement’ that keeps skin firm and youthful. The vitamin C and natural enzymes in citrus brighten the skin by fighting free radicals, gently buffing away dead cells, and promoting tissue growth.
“Collagen is essential for skin suppleness, firmness and smoothness,” explains Dr Jessica Wu, Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the University of Southern California. For anyone with acne or psoriasis, vitamin C’s ability to prevent free radical damage and inflammation is also valuable. “Vitamin C regulates sebum production to prevent acne, so it can be of great benefit for oily and blemish-prone skin types,” adds Wu.

Feed your skin

It’s easy to eat more citrus. Start the day with a glass of warm water and the juice of half a lemon to flush out your kidneys and kick-start your metabolism, add half a grapefruit to your breakfast, and swap bottled orange juice for freshly squeezed. Use lemons and limes liberally in cooking to enhance flavours of other foods, such as fish or fruit salad. Antioxidants known as limonins, which are found in citrus fruits, have been shown in clinical trials to fight skin cancer. These antioxidants stay in your bloodstream longer than other antioxidant compounds. In fact, in a study conducted by the US Agricultural Research service, researchers found that traces of limonin were still present in some volunteers 24 hours after consumption. The phenols in green tea and chocolate, on the other hand, remain active for only four to six hours.
But don’t stop at just eating them. Lemon and grapefruit juices are effective skin lighteners and can be used to bleach freckles, scars, discolouration, and age spots, and to even out skin tone. Citrus juice also has a mildly exfoliating effect, thanks to its high alpha-hydroxy acid content. Try combining orange or lemon juice with a little raw sugar for an easy and effective body scrub to loosen dead skin cells and improve elasticity, making skin softer and more radiant. Citrus juices, especially lemon, are also powerful antibacterial and antifungal agents, making them a great choice for clearing scalp problems and adding moisture, shine, and bounce to hair. Vitamin C serums produce fabulous effects, smoothing and brightening skin. Remember if you are using one to start gradually and stay out of the sun to begin with, as the vitamin C can make skin more sensitive to sunlight. Another tip is to apply the serum under your night cream before bed so your skin drinks in the benefits overnight.

Make scents

Citrus works as a mood enhancer in two ways: the folate in the fruit helps the body to produce serotonin, also known as the brain’s happiness hormone’, plus studies show that the scents themselves have an invigorating, energising effect. Try burning sweet orange essential oil for an instant lift, or blend a few drops of lime oil with a little almond oil and massage into your temples or the back of your neck to improve focus.

D-I-Y: Natural beauty recipes

Olive-lemon hair conditioner
Combine ¾ cup of olive oil with 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and ½ cup of honey. After shampooing, apply the liquid to hair, working through to the ends, and then wrap head in a warmed towel and leave for 15 minutes before rinsing out.
Orange and almond scrub
3 almonds
zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
Grind almonds in a food processor. Add zest and pulse again. Tip mixture into a small bowl and mix in juice and honey, stirring until you have a coarse, creamy texture. Cleanse your face and then gently massage with the scrub, using small circular movements and avoiding eyes and lips. Rinse thoroughly and moisturise.
Rejuvenating grapefruit mask
1 egg white
1 teaspoon fresh grapefruit juice
1 teaspoon sour cream
Place egg white in a small bowl and beat until it is light and fluffy. Add sour cream and grapefruit juice and beat again until mixture is light and creamy. Cleanse your face and neck and apply mask liberally. Leave on for 15-20 minutes, and then rinse off, pat dry and apply moisturiser.

Citrus treats we love …

Sukin Wellbeing Body Oil (
Original & Mineral Original Detox Deep Cleansing Shampoo (
First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads (
Vanessa Megan Clementine Organic Foaming Cleanser (
Adorn Perfect Pout Lip and Cheek Trio (
Planet Eve Organics Tropical Fruit Enzyme Facial Exfoliator (
One Skin System Ultimate Vitamin Treatment (
Miessence Sunflower Body Wash (

Source : Nature and Health


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