Freshly Juiced Beauty

Juicing has always been a popular trend in the health and wellness realm, and today it’s easier than ever to make fresh juice at home or purchase it at your grocery store or even in some restaurants. Juice from fresh fruits and vegetables provides a number of benefits that invigorate your body and mind. And, of course, the nutrients and hydration that drinking juice provides can support healthy looking skin and hair. But freshly squeezed juice is also beneficial when used on the outside. In fact, it’s yet another all-natural ingredient we can add to our daily skin care routine for luscious locks and a glowing complexion.

Citrus fruits, berries, mangoes, and leafy greens contain vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps in collagen synthesis and boosts skin cells. Vegetables like potatoes are high in potassium, a mineral that maintains electrolyte balance to keep skin hydrated and promote new skin cells. Spinach, which makes a wonderful green juice, is also a good source of omega-3-fatty acids, which support the skin cell membrane of the epidermis, the outer layer of the skin that helps retain water. With more moisture in the cells, skin becomes suppler and less susceptible to fine lines. Omega-3 fatty acids show promise in decreasing skin damage from UV rays, as well. Many beauty experts consider carrot juice the ultimate skin care ingredient because it contains vitamin A, which combats the signs of aging and helps treat acne.

Creating your own juices at home is cost-effective and convenient, and you can make fresh blends whenever you need a little TLC. Use a juicer, blender, or food processor. Here are some recipes to get you started.

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Turkish Facial Wash

For centuries women in Turkey, China, and Egypt applied fresh beet juice to add some color to their cheeks. Inspired by this bit of lore, this recipe combines fresh beet juice and fragrant rosewater. The result is a gorgeous, jewel-red colored wash perfect for adding a bit of glow to a pale complexion and to clean and tone skin. In a pinch, powdered beetroot, found in grocery stores where it’s sold as a sweetener, can serve as a reliable substitute.

1 cup fresh beet juice {approximately 4 small beets}

1/4 cup rosewater

1/2 cup distilled water

Run the beets through your juicer or food processor and strain. Mix together all ingredients. Pour into a clean bottle. To use: Pour a small amount onto a clean cotton pad or ball. Gently wipe the facial wash over your face. Don’t be alarmed by the bright color – it does wash off. Immediately rinse your face with the coldest water you can stand. Pat your skin dry. Store any remaining wash in the refrigerator. Moisturize your face well afterward with a light natural oil or cream. Yield: 8 ounces.

Fresh Cucumber Juice Toner

People have turned to cucumber for centuries as a skin toner that’s gentle and refreshing for all skin types. It’s particularly great in the summertime; keep it in the refrigerator for a cool and refreshing spa-like treatment on a hot day {you’ll also extend its shelf-life}. Cucumber juice eases the pain of a sunburn, while the vitamin C in mint rejuvenates it and acts as a natural preservative.

1/2 fresh cucumber with peel, chopped

1/2 cup distilled water

2 Tbls fresh mint leaves, chopped

In a blender or food processor, blend together all ingredients until liquid. Strain out solids and pour remaining liquid into a clean container with a tightly fitting lid. Store in the refrigerator. To use: Splash on clean skin or apply with a clean cotton ball or pad. You can also pour this toner into a spray bottle and use it to spritz all over. Yield: 4 ounces.

Watermelon Juice Toner

Fresh watermelon juice contains high amounts of vitamins A and C, as well as vitamin B, another anti-aging nutrient. It also serves as a hydrating toner for all skin types, especially sensitive and dry skin. The addition of aloe boosts moisture and provides soothing and cooling relief. This toner is great as an after-bath splash, particularly after a long day in the sun.

1/4 cup fresh watermelon juice

2 Tbls fresh aloe vera gel

2 Tbls witch hazel

1/2 cup distilled water

Combine all ingredients and pour into a clean container. To use: Splash onto your skin or pour into a clean spray bottle. Store in the refrigerator between uses. Yield: 6 ounces.

Potato Juice Facial Mask

Oily skin types will enjoy this light, creamy mask, which has natural clay to absorb excess oil and surface impurities. Potatoes offer a wide range of skin benefits. To start, they are full of antioxidants and minerals. They also contain natural skin-brightening properties, in particular, an active enzyme called tyrosinase, which works to reduce dark circles under the eyes and even out skin tone. {Tyrosinase is often used to reduce hyperpigmentation, when an excess of melanin forms darker pigments on the skin.}

You can make potato juice easily in the blender or a juicer. Simply liquefy chopped potatoes and strain out all the solids. You will want to make this mask fresh each time, as it does not store well. {When exposed to air, tyrosinase turns potatoes brown.}

1/4 cup fresh potato juice {juice of one medium peeled potato}

1/4 cup white kaolin clay

1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Stir together the potato juice, clay, and lemon juice in a small bowl until smooth and creamy. To use: Spread the mixture over your clean face and neck using your fingertips or a small brush. Let sit for 15 to 20 minutes, or until dry. Rinse well with warm water and pat your skin dry. Follow up this treatment with your favorite moisturizer or natural oil. Yield: 2 ounces, enough for one treatment.

Carrot Juice Facial Mask

Besides vitamin A, fresh carrot juice has strong antiseptic qualities, making it a valuable ingredient for blemished skin. Purchase fresh carrot juice or save a little money and make your own using a high-speed Bullet blender. For extremely dry skin, add one teaspoon of light oil such as almond or sunflower to this recipe.

1/4 cup fresh carrot juice

1/4 cup white kaolin clay

Mix together the carrot juice and clay until smooth. For a thicker mask, add more clay. To use: Spread the mixture on the clean skin using your fingertips or a small brush. Let sit for 20 minutes, rinse well with warm water followed by cool, and pat the skin dry. Store any remaining mask in the refrigerator for up to one week. Yield: 2 ounces, enough for one to two masks.

Berry Juice Facial Mask

A warm-season staple, fresh berries naturally cleanse and refresh the skin. Strawberries are rich in salicylic acid, a common ingredient found in many commercial products that work by dissolving the grime that clogs pores. Blueberries contain skin-boosting antioxidants and vitamins. If you have light acne, this is a good mask to try. It leaves the skin smooth and tight.

1/2 cup fresh strawberries, mashed

2 Tbls fresh blueberries, mashed

2 Tbls mashed fresh banana or avocado

1/2 tsp fresh lemon zest, finely grated

Mix all of the ingredients to make a smooth paste. To use: Spread over your face and neck and let sit for 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water, followed by cool. Pat skin dry. Refrigerate any leftover mask and use or discard after one week. Yield: 4 ounces.

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Green Juice Body Mask

Some of the ingredients in this recipe come from the vegetable patch and can smell a bit like a freshly tossed salad, but they do a wonderful job adding moisture to your skin, making it feel soft and smooth. Mushrooms offer anti-inflammatory action, helping to calm down troubled skin to improve acne. They’re also rich in vitamin D, selenium, and antioxidants, which help to brighten skin and even out discoloration. Some beauty experts think mushrooms may be able to slow the signs of aging.

1 cup fresh carrot juice {or favorite green juice blend}

1 cup fresh spinach leaves

1/4 cup sliced mushrooms

1/2 cup French green clay

In a food processor or blender, blend the carrot juice, spinach, and mushrooms until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and add the green clay, stirring until well-mixed and creamy. You can add a bit more water or juice if you need to. To use: Spread the mask all over your body using your fingers or a small pastry brush. Let the mixture sit on your skin for 10-15 minutes. Wrap an old towel around your body and lie down if you prefer. Rinse off body mask in a warm shower and apply a rich moisturizer. Yield: 10 ounces, enough for one treatment.

Quick Blends for Skin and Hair

By combining various juices, you can create blends that target specific beauty goals. Here are three blends to get you started.

  • For energy: Pineapple, celery, cucumber, spinach, lime, and apple
  • For clear skin: Apple, carrot, beet, ginger, and basil
  • For healthy hair: Cucumber, carrot, and tomato

Pineapple Ginger Footbath

Pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme that reduces inflammation and removes surface debris. Not only great for your complexion, it’s also very effective as a foot bath to soften and remove rough, dry skin. Combined with energizing ginger, which boosts blood circulation, and antiseptic and stimulating mint, this footbath is perfect after a long day on your feet.

1-gallon warm water

1 cup coconut water

2 cups fresh or canned pineapple juice

1 Tbls fresh ginger root, sliced

1 Tbls fresh mint leaves, slightly crushed

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl or small basin. To use: Soak your feet for 10-15 minutes in the pineapple juice mixture. While your feet soak, brush them with a natural loofah sponge or foot brush to help remove the dead, rough skin. Pat feet dry. Massage a rich oil such as coconut or sesame into your feet, gently pushing your cuticles back. This is also a good time to trim your toenails, as wet nails are easier to cut and you get a cleaner snip. Yield: 64 ounces, enough for one footbath.

Apple Juice Hair Rinse

Fresh apple juice makes an effective hair rinse that will leave your locks full of shine. Apples contain malic acid, which neutralizes the pH levels of hair follicles, and amylase, an exfoliating enzyme that can help boost growth. Here, apple cider vinegar helps to clean the scalp and remove build-up and residue.

1 large apple, peeled and cut into small pieces

2 Tbls apple cider vinegar

2 cups water

Mix together all ingredients in a blender or food processor set on high. Pour the mixture through a strainer into a clean container, discarding all solids. To use: Pour over your hair after shampooing as a final rinse, massaging it through your tresses, and then rinse thoroughly with cool water. Yield: 16 ounces, enough for one rinse.

Stimulating Green Scalp Toner

A healthy scalp promotes healthy hair. In fact, many hair conditions, such as hair loss and dandruff, originate from the scalp, so keeping it clean is essential. In particular, you want to find the right balance for your scalp; not too dry and not too oily. Fresh parsley and mint help achieve this balance by ridding hair of residue and restoring the scalp’s natural acid balance, which harsh shampoos often strip away.

1/4 cup fresh parsley juice

2 Tbls fresh mint leaves, minced

1 cup water

1 Tbls fresh lemon juice

Place ingredients in a blender and process on high until well-mixed {in a pinch, you can also mix by hand}. To use: Pour over hair after shampooing and massage well into your scalp. Let sit for a few minutes, then rinse with the coldest water you can stand. Yield: 10 ounces, enough for one rinse.

One-Step Juicy Boosts

  • Apple: For a refreshing bath, add 1 to 2 cups of apple juice into your bath as you fill the tub. The malic acid will refresh and cleanse your skin.
  • Beet: For lip color, mix some fresh beet juice with a small amount of coconut oil and apply to your lips. You can also use this mixture on your cheeks for a natural blush.
  • Lemon: This citrus fruit has been used for centuries to give subtle highlights to hair. Make sure to dilute it – 1 tablespoon of juice to 1 cup water – and condition your hair afterward, as lemon juice can be drying.
  • Orange: This morning staple can freshen skin and also makes a cleansing hair rinse for your hair and scalp.
  • Pineapple: For an exfoliating all-over body wash, use fresh pineapple juice. Splash it on your skin in the shower, massaging it in with a clean loofah or cotton washcloth. Be careful around sensitive skin spots, as the juice will sting.

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