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At-home skin treatments using 'culinary cosmetics'

September 16, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Avocado, Greek yogurt and olive oil are all ingredients to make our meals yummy, but these foods may also be good for your skin.

"It might be a new word, but it's the ancient way of saying nature knows how to feed what it makes," said Donna Steinmann of Medicine Mama's Apothecary.

It's actually two words: culinary cosmetics. Medicine Mama Donna Steinmann grew up on a farm and finds it normal to put the very food you put in your mouth on your face. But skin types vary like food preference.

First up for dry skin, sun rash, or blemishes, chamomile with honey and oatmeal is her answer. Mix steeped tea and honey into ground oatmeal to make paste. Brush on your skin for 10 minutes and then wash off.

"Anti-fungal, anti-bacterial -- it's just amazing for the skin," said Steinmann.

Want to lighten, brighten and tighten pores? She uses a paste of Greek yogurt, lemon and honey. Or try avocado, sea salt and olive oil for exfoliation. Scoop the mixture into the shell and head to the shower. Rub on dry patches in places like knees and elbows.

Here's the best news yet: She says the more fat you use, the better.

"Skin doesn't need to diet; it needs more food," said Steinmann.

Surprisingly, skin is an organ and needs care too. Dieting, stress and dehydration results in parched, lifeless skin. So feed your face avocado, full fat Greek yogurt, oils like extra virgin olive or sweet almond oil.

"Whether it's home-based in the cupboard or at the refrigerator, I think it's a good idea," said Dermatologist Dr. Harold Lancer.

Lancer likes the culinary concept, but says there are caveats.

"Number one, if you know you're allergic to a certain food, don't put it on your skin," he said.

He likes non-acidic fruits like melon along with oils for calming skin. He also has his own recipe for acne.

"Grapeseed oil mixed with a little bit of rough ground pepper can help acne-prone skin be a little bit less acne-prone," said Lancer.

Recipe: The Green Buddha Recipe
Recipe: The Greek Goddess Recipe
Recipe: Tightening Tea Mask

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