Sunscreen is an absolute must when it comes to protecting mature skin, but it doesn’t reverse existing damage. Before you reach for the retinol serums and niacinamide creams, take a look at your diet. Are you eating enough berries? From age spots to a crepey chest, the mighty nutrients in our berries can help rejuvenate skin.
Better yet, applying berries topically has benefits as well. Using the season’s bounty of nutrient packed fruit to whip up pampering spa-inspired treatments is sure to leave you looking head-to-toe gorgeous.
Fade age spots with strawberries.
Those small, flat, and dark areas on your skin are called age spots, and they’re not that easy to eliminate. To the rescue: Strawberries.
Ellagic acid in these berries sloughs off dead, discolored cells to reveal new luminous skin underneath. And mixing with exfoliating yogurt speeds the skin-brightening results.
To reap the benefits, eat eight strawberries a day. Try it topically as well: In a blender, mix ¼ cup of frozen strawberries and ¼ cup of plain yogurt. Dab onto spots and let sit 10 minutes before rinsing.
Enliven dull skin with gooseberries.
Does your skin seem tired and dry, with no glow or ability to reflect light? You might have dull skin, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. Vitamin C in gooseberries brightens skin so the complexion looks youthful and radiant. And mixing this fruit with sugar (it exfoliates) and olive oil (it moisturizes) leaves skin glowing, stat.
Try it: Eat one gooseberry per day, or make a mask. To do: Combine 1 tablespoon of mashed gooseberries, ½ tablespoon of sugar and ½ tablespoon.of olive oil. Rub onto damp facial skin for one minute. Let sit for five minutes, then rinse.
Note: Gooseberries are high in vitamin C and may cause complications in people with diabetes. It may also cause acid reflux or constipation, so it’s best not to eat more than one per day. Talk to your doctor to make sure gooseberries are right for you.
Firm a crepey chest with blackberries.
Papery, wrinkled skin is a completely normal part of aging, but many of us still want to reduce the appearance. That’s where blackberries come in.
Blackberry’s compounds promote collagen production to firm wrinkly, saggy skin. Pairing it with moisturizing coconut oil hydrates and plumps skin for a smoother-looking décolletage in a flash.
Try it by eating about 10 blackberries per day. Or, Mix 2 tablespoons of mashed blackberries and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Apply to chest and let sit 10 minutes, then rinse.
Reverse thinning hair with raspberries.
Sometimes thinning hair just needs a nutrient boost. Raspberries’ vitamins and minerals may help increase circulation to the scalp so the blood can deliver growth-encouraging nutrients to hair follicles. Plus, the seeds gently exfoliate scalp skin to remove dead cells and product buildup that can clog follicles and stall growth. Combining with fatty acid–rich avocado oil “swells” strands so they appear instantly thicker.
Get the benefits by eating about 20 raspberries daily. For a topical fix, mix 2 tablespoons of mashed raspberries and ¼ cup of olive oil. Apply to damp hair from roots to ends, then massage onto the scalp for one minute. Let sit for 15 minutes, then rinse.
Boost radiance with blueberries.
Potent anti-inflammatory nutrients and other compounds in blueberries can help increase circulation. This in turn can improve your skin health, because your blood will send more oxygen and nutrients to your skin cells.
For a topical solution, combine with aloe, as its antioxidants fortify skin’s barrier to protect skin as it heals, boosting the berries’ skin-calming benefits.
To boost your intake, eat half a cup to a cup of blueberries daily, which is about 35 to 70 blueberries. Or test out a topical mixture: Combine 2 tablespoons of mashed blueberries and 3 tablespoons of aloe vera gel. Rub onto skin and let sit for 10 minutes before rinsing.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.