By Shahnaz Husain — With a host of vitamins anti-oxidant properties, as also some essential minerals in their natural form, fruits are a natural source for enhancing beauty — inner and outer. Here is a dossier:
Mango: This luscious fruit is a rich source of vitamins like A, C, E, K and minerals like phosphorous, potassium, calcium and magnesium.
It also contains bioflavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants and help to neutralise free radical damage. Mangoes help to tone and rejuvenate the skin. They also help to delay the visible signs of skin ageing.
Apart from restoring the normal balances, they have a softening effect on the skin and hair.
They are said to tighten the pores and strengthen the hair roots.
Mango pulp can be added to fruit packs and applied on the skin and hair.
Mangoes are used to make cosmetics like Body and Hair Butters for beauty care.
Lemon: We all know that this citrus fruit is a rich source of Vitamin C and minerals.
As a cosmetic ingredient, lemon can be used in various ways, but avoid using it undiluted, as it can be harsh on the skin.
However, on areas where the skin is thicker, like elbows and knees, rub lemon halves and wash off with water.
Over a period of time, it cleanses and lightens skin colour.
Lemon can also be used as a hand lotion.
Mix it with rose water and rub it into the skin of the hands.
For rough hands, rub granulated sugar and the juice of a lemon together on the hands, till the sugar dissolves.
Then rinse off with water.
Done regularly, it will help to improve the skin texture.
Add lemon juice to “tea water” for a hair rinse, to make the hair silky and shiny.
Boil used tea leaves in enough water and cool the liquid.
Add the juice of one lemon and use it as a last rinse.
Lemon peels can be dried and powdered and used in face packs and scrubs.
Ripe Papaya: This tropical fruit has so many benefits that it used to be called “the food of the angels”. It is a rich source of antioxidants like Vitamins A, C and B, folate and pantothenic acid, and minerals like potassium, copper and magnesium.
Papaya contains papain, an enzyme that helps to soften and remove dead skin cells, making the skin clearer and brighter.
It also helps to lighten skin colour if used regularly over a period of time.
Ripe papaya pulp can be applied on the face, or can be mixed with other ingredients like oatmeal, curd and honey to make face masks.
Leave on for 20 to 30 minutes and wash off with water.
Papaya pulp mixed with curd can be applied on the body.
Banana: One of the most common fruits available round the year, the banana packs quite a punch in terms of nutrition and health benefits.
It is one of the richest sources of potassium and also contains Vitamin C and B6.
Bananas are beneficial for both skin and hair treatments.
Its potassium content helps to soften both the hair and the skin.
Bananas can be made into a pulp and added to both face and hair packs.
Bananas help hair that has been damaged by repeated colouring and other chemical treatments.
They can be made into a pulp and applied on the hair like a pack.
Leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes and then wash it off.
Egg yolk or curd may be added to mashed bananas and applied as a hair pack.
If the hair is very dry, add one teaspoon pure glycerin or honey to the banana pack.
Almond oil may also be added to the banana hair pack.
Apple: It is not without reason that people say “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. It contains a wealth of nutrients, like Vitamins C, B6, riboflavin, potassium, copper, manganese, and magnesium.
It is also packed with phytonutrients and flavonoids.
Apples contain pectin, which is said to have a soothing effect on sensitive skin.
They are wonderful skin toners, helping to tighten the skin and stimulate blood circulation to the skin surface.
Apples also have anti-oxidant properties, helping to prevent oxidation damage and thus delaying visible ageing signs on the skin.
They also contain fruit acids, which have a powerful cleansing effect on the skin, removing dead skin cells.
This helps to brighten the skin and gradually clear away blemishes like dark spots.
Raw apple pulp or apple juice can be applied on the skin daily and then washed off with plain water after 20 minutes.
Grated apple can be added to face masks.
Mix oats with curd, honey and apple pulp or grated apple into a paste.
Apply on the face and wash it off after 20 to 30 minutes.
Apple cider vinegar, which is obtained from apples, is an ideal treatment for dandruff and also adds shine to the hair.
After shampoo, add two tablespoons apple cider vinegar to a mug of water and use it as a last rinse.
Yes! an apple a day also keeps beauty problems at bay.