Preserving your skin from the natural effects of aging, sun damage and the environment rests largely on mitigating the effects of harmful free radicals. In these three cheap and natural anti-aging skin treatments, Mother Nature gives man-made products a run for their money in your quest for an ageless, radiant complexion.
APPLY THE PAPAYA
Thanks to its high content of carotene, vitamin C, essential minerals and the enzyme papain, papaya is a natural exfoliant and moisturizer. Regular use can even help lighten the skin, minimizing the appearance of age spots. Papaya also opens pores, leaving skin feeling soft and with a healthy glow.
Application: Papaya is easy to apply -- unlike some other natural remedies, which often require mixing, mashing and pitting. Simply peel a strip off of the papaya's outer layer using a paring knife. Then in a "swiping" motion, apply it directly to your face, just as you would a cotton ball or makeup-remover swab. Because you're using only the outer layer, you can even eat the remainder for a tasty shot of fiber, potassium and vitamins A and C.
AGELESS WITH AVOCADO
To remain supple, your skin requires vitamins, just like your body. Avocados are nature's version of a one-stop nutrient shop, packed full of vitamins A, B, D and E. They are richer in potassium than a banana and contain healthy fats, making them an ideal all-natural moisturizer. Avocados also help minimize signs of aging, like fine lines and wrinkles. The natural oils in avocado even remove dirt, according to Kyan Douglas of Queer Eye fame. Avocados are also a great treatment option for eczema, red spots and sensitive skin.
Application: Creating an avocado face mask requires just a couple of dollars and a few minutes. Pit a ripe avocado (it will feel rather soft to the touch), scoop the flesh into a bowl and mash with a fork. Gently pat the avocado onto your face and leave it on for about 10 minutes. To remove, gently smooth off with a cool, damp cloth. For additional moisturizing, add a splash of milk or a one-fourth teaspoon of honey to the mask.
CLEANSE WITH HONEY
Another wonder-food packed with skin-revitalizing antioxidants, honey also contains anti-bacterial properties, making it a gentle, affordable everyday cleanser. It can even aid in treating mild breakouts.
Application: Simply add a little warm water to honey to make it easier to smooth on. Wear a thick headband to ensure honey doesn't pass your hairline. Slather on to cleanse and gently rinse off. For extra exfoliating power, add a tablespoon of brown sugar. (Fear the sticky factor? Rest assured. It amazingly "disappears" once you rinse with water!)