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Nutrition-savvy girls know that eating a balanced diet, including lots of fresh veggies, is a great way to take care of your skin from the inside out. Adding fresh vegetables to your facial care routine can give you the nearly instant gratification of a smoother, moisture-refreshed complexion. Many domestic divas may have ventured into the mashed avocado or olive oil facial, but who knew that radishes and carrots can also perk up lackluster skin?
Carrots, which are high in beta carotene and vitamin A, have long been known to provide soothing moisture and a fresh glow to parched complexions. Essential oil of carrot is often mixed into facial masks and has cropped up in the drugstore brand, "Say Yes to Carrots." Get the same properties by cleaning and cooking a couple of large fresh carrots and mashing with 4 1/2 tablespoons of honey. Smooth the paste onto a clean face, let sit for 10 minutes, rinse off and follow with your normal moisturizing routine.
Pumpkin contains vitamins A and C as well as the mineral zinc. It also has the added bonus of plant enzymes that exfoliate gently -- goodbye dry, flaky skin! For a happy complexion, mix 2 teaspoons of pureed fresh or canned pumpkin, 1/2 teaspoon honey and 1/4 teaspoon of milk or soy milk. Apply to a clean face, let sit for 10 to 15 minutes and rinse. Follow with your usual moisturizer.
Soothing cucumber is full of emollients that bring a thirsty complexion back to life. This mask is especially beneficial in the summer, as it has cooling properties. If you've overdone it at the beach, a cucumber mask is the perfect way to apologize to your irritated skin. Simply cube one cucumber and toss in a blender with 3 ounces of milk (full-fat is more moisturizing). Smooth onto a clean face and let sit for five minutes -- drink a glass of water for full hydration while you wait. Rinse with cool water.
The humble radish has surprisingly potent moisture-giving properties. For a post-workweek pick-me-up, blend radish juice or fresh grated radish, an egg yolk, organic yogurt and grated cucumber and smooth onto a clean face. Leave on for 15 minutes and rinse with warm water. Use this mask once a week to revitalize dry skin. With any vegetable mask, if you are allergy-prone, always do a 20-minute patch test on the back of your hand before applying the mask to your face.