Are Raw Potatoes Good for Your Skin?

Don't cut potatoes out of your diet because they are rich in skin beautifying enzymes.

Photo: Martin Poole/Digital Vision/Getty Images

With all the expert hype warning you to cut back on carbs, you may have already big your adieu to potatoes. Potatoes may not be the best friend of your waistline, but they can get chummy with your skin, with glowing results. Enzyme-rich potatoes show promise when it comes to nurturing your skin, and though they aren't a magic bullet, a potato mask every so often will completely change your attitude towards the humble potato.

The Skinny on Potatoes

The rumors are true: Potatoes deliver a big dose of carbohydrates, but that's not their only nutritional stat. Potatoes score high marks for their content of vitamin C, vitamin B6 and potassium. Vitamin C is super-producer of collagen, the substance that keeps your skin tight and elastic, and B6 keeps your body producing the kind of proteins it needs to support your hair and nails. When it comes to raw potato treatments, the biggest benefit for your skin is all in the potassium. Potassium acts as an anti-inflammatory, so a raw potato mask is an easy, natural treatment for those bags that pop up under your eyes after a late night.

Skin Benefits

A raw potato treatment is a simple way to soften up dry skin. Raw potatoes deliver a decent dose of lanolin, the waxy, natural moisturizer used in most lotions and lip balms. Raw potato contains catecholase, an oxidizing enzyme included in some skin lightening creams. If your tan is a little too dark or red, a raw potato treatments have a gentle bleaching effect, not to mention that they are soothingly cool for burned skin. Regular raw potato masks are also useful for treating acne or blemishes without the harsh skin-drying alcohols found in most commercial treatments.

Potato M.O.

Raw potatoes aren't at the top of every woman's favorite snacks list, and lucky for you, the skin-boosting benefits of raw potatoes is best served with a topical application. A sizable chunk of the nutrients are stored in the potato skin, so don't peel before you chop up or blend your potato. All potatoes are not created equal. Stick to regular old Idahos or red potatoes and don't venture into the world of sweet potatoes, which could you leave your potato glow looking more like a bad fake tan. If you don't have a food processor or grater to create potato masks, par boil the potatoes and mash them, but don't put it on your delicate skin until it's completely cooled.

Recipes for Your Face

If you wake up with puffy bags under your eyes, thin slices of raw potato on those trouble spots will reduce any redness and inflammation after ten minutes. For an all-over glow, create a pastelike mask with the grated skin and flesh of a medium potato, a tablespoon of good olive oil and 1/2 cup of loose tea leaves. After a quick massage, rinse it over for an instant glow. If you've got stubborn pimples and blemishes, a few raw slices of potato rubbed over your face leave a thin layer of raw potato juice. Let the juice work its magic for 30 minutes and then rinse away for cleaner, brighter, tighter skin.

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