The Beauty-full Berry : Strawberry Beauty Benefits
BY AMY HUTCHENS
Nine times out of ten, when I go to a hometown burger joint I also order a strawberry milkshake. A frosted glass of that blended strawberry goodness is a freaking love potion straight from heaven. Tell me you agree that it’s the most refreshing perfect flavor? That heart-shaped berry has won me over! Because what’s sweeter, tastier, more fresh and more adorable than that little red seeded berry? Nada. Nothin is.
But it turns out that the strawberry isn’t JUST a looker. It’s got some real depth to it. Let me explain…
Did you know that strawberries are considered a beauty fruit? The vitamins, minerals and fiber contained in our favorite red berry have anti-aging and skin-healing properties. But they can also help you in your quest for healthy hair— AND can help with a whiter, brighter smile. Keep on reading for my favorite strawberry beauty tips.
1. Healthy Skin
Do you want to know the biggest cause of wrinkling on the skin? Free radicals. Bear with me, while I get all science teacher on you— free radicals are bad (or “unstable”) molecules that are missing an electron. Because of this deficiency, they want to take yours, to make themselves whole again. Free radicals are essentially little sneaky, hungry scavengers, that steal electrons in your body through a process called “oxidation.” When this happens, your skin’s collagen, elastin, epidermal lipids & even your DNA are under attack— and you need all those connective tissues for healthy skin. This oxidation process leads to major wrinkles.
**Free radicals come from sun exposure (UV damage), pollution, tobacco smoke, toxins, hormones, pesticides, and even “rancid oils* i.e. old skincare products that have gone bad, etc.
Which is where strawberries come in! Because do you want to know what strawberries have in extremely high doses? Vitamin C. Strawberries boast even more vitamin C than oranges! And this is important because the vitamin C in a strawberry is a powerful antioxidant. And remember all that stuff I said about those gross free radicals? A way to defend your body from this damage is to give it antioxidants. Strawberry antioxidants will keep your cells healthy and even help to create new collagen in your skin. And collagen = plump, full, youthful skin.
Strawberries also contain a high volume of ellagic acid, which is another powerful antioxidant, especially when protecting you from negative sun exposure! It prevents cancers and diseases, by stopping free radicals dead in their tracks. Strawberries pack a powerful berry punch and stop that nasty oxidation process before free radicals have wrecked complete havoc. Think of strawberries as little warriors, helping our bodies (and skin!) to stay healthy, disease-free and beautiful.
2. Acne Prevention
Along with being vitamin-dense, strawberries are also highly acidic. And acids are good things! Especially in terms of skincare. Strawberries contain salicylic acid which is a game changing acid, if you want to fight acne and oily skin and discoloration. If you’re interested in the skincare world at all, chances are you’ve probably heard a lot about salicylic acid— In fact, it’s probably in a bunch of your skincare products lined up on your counter. It’s a pretty big deal, guys! Salicylic acid in these berries will help to remove excess oil and dead skin cells from off of the skin and to open up clogged pores. Dirty clogged pores usually mean acne. Strawberries may just be our anti-acne cure. And remember I said they can also help skin tone and discoloration? The acid in strawberries will help improve your complexion & tone by reducing inflammation, and sloughing off flaky, dull skin.
You can slice a berry in half and rub it along problem areas, for a simple quick treatment. Or you can try making a strawberry face mask or scrub! I love to crush a strawberry up and combine it with two tablespoons of organic sugar, one teaspoon of honey and one tablespoon of coconut oil. Mix it up, apply and scrub into your skin, then leave on for 15-30 minutes. You’ll be GLOWING.
3. Eye De-Puffing : Whenever you watch a movie that has a luxurious spa scene in it, inevitably, some lady is wearing cucumbers over her eyes, as she lay there in a white fluffy robe. Right? This is done as an eye de-puffing method. I love strawberries for the same reason! An ice-cold strawberry, sliced in half, then rubbed over your under-eye area, feel incredibly invigorating and aids in de-puffing and lightening up dark circles.
4. Brighter Smile
Want a brighter smile? Strawberries also contain malic acid, which can act as a mild astringent to remove surface discoloration off your teeth. It’s a good natural option, especially if you have sensitive teeth. Again, crush up a strawberry and combine it with a teaspoon or two of baking soda. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, rub the mixture on your teeth for 3-5 minutes. Your teeth will feel like they got a deep cleanse, with all that strawberry pulp and seeds + the baking soda, scrubbing away surface stains and plaque. Since there’s also natural sugar in strawberries (that’s what makes them so darn tasty!) make sure you follow up this treatment with a toothpaste cleanse after.
*Because it IS an acid, be careful not to do this treatment too frequently. Maybe once a week, to one every couple weeks.
5. Healthy Hair : We talked about the high levels of vitamin C, ascorbic acid, in strawberries— which is especially important for our hair’s health. Did you know most hair growth vitamins contain high doses of vitamin C? Here’s the thing, vitamin C helps to build and maintain collagen, which is needed for full, thick hair. Hair is made up of collagen, which are proteins and amino acids. So collagen builders are essential! And just as free radicals can drastically hurt skin, they can do equal damage to the health and wellness of our hair, follicles and scalp. So again, LOAD UP on antioxidants! Antioxidants and vitamin C will help in promoting healthy growth & in regrowing hair after you’ve gone through hair loss from environmental or internal stresses. Antioxidants are key, here. Which means loading up on delicious strawberries! Win, win.
It’s easy to see why strawberries or the most beauty-full berries, amirite? Whether you use them in your diet daily (you should!), or you use them to create at-home DIY masks, scrubs and conditioners, OR if you choose to get your strawberry fix in the form of a creamy, delicious milkshake (mostly kidding about this one.. but like, also not)— just be sure to start incorporating these cute fruits into your life. Because they’re the berry we love, that loves us right back!
Article by Amy Hutchens.
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