We've all heard it before: You are what you eat! But what if the vegetables you put in your salad were also included in your skin care routine? More brands—and not just organic ones—are using vegetables in their products. Everything from watercress to onion can be found in these lotions and potions, and they're all working to give you a better, brighter complexion. We spoke with New York City-based nutritionist Melissa Paris to find out what regular salad ingredients can do for your skin when they’re in a beauty jar, rather than on your plate.
Who knew that watercress could be good for your skin? Rich in vitamins A and C but low in calories and sodium, this dark green lettuce is packed with good-for-you antioxidants. "Vitamin C keeps your skin plump and firm, and slows down the aging process," says Melissa.
Tomatoes are incredibly high in lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that will help heal blemishes. "Lycopene also improves cellular function, so your skin will generate and repair cells at a faster rate," explains Melissa.
Carrots aren't just good for your vision, they contain powerful antioxidants that help fight sun damage, protect skin, and prevent breakouts. "Carrots contain a high amount of beta-carotene, which also helps strengthen your immunity," says Melissa.
You already know about the high amount of healthy fats that are in avocados, but they're also great skin soothers and sunburn healers. "Rub some mashed avocado onto sun damaged skin and you'll feel instant relief!” advises Melissa.
Cucumber isn't just for tea sandwiches or minimizing puffy eyes. “Cucumber is fat-free, contains lots of vitamin C and A, and is a great source of silica, which helps to strengthen your skin,” explains Melissa. It's also extremely gentle and soothing, so it's perfect for Beauties with sensitive skin.
Lemons are loaded with vitamins and minerals and are a natural exfoliant. "Lemons contain vitamins B6 and C, iron, potassium, and bioflavanoids—which help prevent damage from free radicals," explains Melissa. They're also great at brightening skin (thanks to all the vitamin C!), boosting your metabolism, and detoxifying your body for a clearer complexion.
You may not have thought it, but parsley is rich in vitamin C and helps against swelling and redness—which makes it perfect for combating skin conditions like rosacea. "Parsley is another plant that's rich in flavonoids, which means it's high in antioxidants," says Melissa.
Who would have imagined that onions can give you plumper skin? "Onions contain quercetin, which is an anti-inflammatory that also aids in the production of collagen!" says Melissa. Onions also contain sulfur (an age-old treatment for skin conditions such as acne and dandruff) which works to reduce oil and prevent pore blockage by killing bacteria on the skin.