Five Best Ingredients for Natural Beauty

Five Best Ingredients for Natural Beauty

What do a few gorgeous celebrities, fitness buffs and an Olympian have in common? They use coconut oil. According to the New York Times, Apolo Ohno, Olympic Gold Medalist and champion of Dancing with the Stars, uses coconut oil for an added advantage over his competition by adding it to certain dinner dishes.

Aside from being great to eat, virgin coconut oil is fantastic for any skin-care regimen. Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen is said to love coconut oil.

“Use coconut oil on your body at night,” Bundchen is noted to say. “It will help soothe and hydrate the skin if you’ve stayed in the sun too long.”

Olive Oil

Olive oil is great for any part of your body. It is fortified with squalane, a natural emollient and powerful antioxidant. Squalane promotes the healthy growth of new cells. Like our skin’s natural sebum oils, it helps skin stay supple and soft, while maintaining a youthful aura. The timeless beauty Sophia Loren has been said to use squalane-containing products such as olive oil to maintain a beautiful, healthy complexion. One of the components of olive oil is linoleic acid, which can prevent moisture within skin and hair from evaporating.

Author of The Skin Type Solution, Leslie Baumann, M.D., writes that consuming olives and olive oil can improve the overall health of skin. She notes a number of antioxidants that can “neutralize damaging free radicals that can lead to skin aging and skin cancer.”

Olive oil is a natural ingredient that can be found in many natural beauty and personal care products, including: soaps, body creams, lip balms and lotions.

Virgin Hemp Oil

Virgin hemp oil is another rich emollient known to help both skin and hair hold retain moisture.  When skin is depleted of moisture, or dry, it can be painful and cause cracking. The same is true for hair and lips. Hemp contains high levels of essential fatty acids. It is said to contain more essential fatty acids than any other plant on the planet. In fact, 80-percent of hemp’s composition comes from Omega 3s, 6s and 9s, which are all forms of essential fatty acids.  Because the organic composition of hemp is similar to the natural lipids of our skin, it is easily absorbed by our cells. Hemp’s high value of nutrients happens to make skin very happy.

Hemp can be especially valuable for vegans when incorporated into a daily diet. Hemp is said to be the only plant-derived oil containing vitamin D, which aids in the absorption of calcium and building strong bones. This can also be a great source of building calcium for those who have a hard time gulping down big glasses of milk and gunning for yogurt at the grocery store.


Lavender Essential Oil

Many good things are discovered by accident. That is exactly how lavender’s healing and antiseptic powers became known.

In 1910, French chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse was working in his father’s cosmetic firm. One day, he burned his hand and instinctively stuck it into the nearest container of liquid, which happened to be lavender oil. Gattefosse soon discovered that his wound healed fast. Coincidentally, the chemist decided to test lavender’s antiseptic qualities on injured soldiers during World War I. According to Gattefosse, those exposed to essential oils appeared to heal at a faster rate.

Today lavender essential oil continues to be recommended for treating minor infections, as well as acne. Its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory qualities are said to make lavender essential oil a effective at reducing redness and toning discolored skin. Lavender essential oil is also said to increase blood flow and circulation by delivering more oxygen to cells.

Rosemary Extract

Aromatic rosemary has many household uses. It can be used in the kitchen to flavor food or tea, and can be taken as a daily supplement. But some of Rosemary’s best uses are for skin.

It is said to be full of antioxidants that may potentially neutralize free radicals and associated skin damage.

According to botanist Dr. James Duke, now a retired member of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, rosemary contains more than 24 known-antioxidants. It is the only chemical-compound within his database (CRC Handbook of Biologically Active Phytochemicals, 1992) believed to have immune regulating, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities.

Vitamin B6, iron and calcium are also found in Rosemary extract. These elements promote healthy collagen levels. It also contains the mineral manganese, which is said to reduce the size of wrinkles and perhaps even protect skin from future environmental damage.

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