Elizabeth Dehn turns a meal into a face mask
Former Minnesota Monthly lifestyle editor Elizabeth Dehn left the world of magazines earlier this year to devote herself entirely to BeautyBets.com, a blog of "one girl's guide to the good life." The site reviews beauty products and services, and Dehn has recently touted several food products as excellent at-home beauty aids.
photo by Megan Norman
1. How often do you turn to your pantry (or refrigerator) for food products that double as beauty aids?
I was so into DIY beauty treatments growing up--egg-white face masks, lemon-juice highlights--but it's only recently that I started making them again. It's cathartic, like cooking, to create something good for your skin and hair. Plus, the more products I test, the more I realize that it only takes a handful of natural ingredients to make a simple yet effective treatment. Most fancy body scrubs, for example, contain coarse sugar or salt, a plant oil, and a few drops of essential oil for fragrance--that's it. Two minutes and about a dollar later and you can whip up a better scrub than almost anything you can buy.
2. What's the best food product to put in your hair? Or on your skin/face?
That depends on your hair and skin type, but generally speaking: The protein in yogurt helps strengthen hair without making it greasy like the mayonnaise I once had the unfortunate and nearly impossible task of rinsing out. The wheat in beer adds volume and thickness. For the face, I like fruit-enzyme masks. Strawberries, pineapple, and papaya are all exfoliants because of the natural acids they contain--just mash one up, slather it on for 15 minutes, and you'll have brighter, smoother skin.
3. Do you subscribe to the theory that 8 glasses of water a day gives you supple skin and healthy hair?
While there's no scientific evidence that drinking water translates into more hydrated skin or hair, common sense tells me that it helps counteract the effects of caffeine and alcohol: puffiness, under-eye circles, and a dulled complexion. I don't need further proof to know that my skin looks better when I'm hydrated, well-rested, and have been eating healthy.
4. What's your take on "beauty drinks" like Nestle's Glowelle or Borba's Skin Balance Water? Legit, or a load of crap?
Beauty drinks are first and foremost about convenience. Can't get enough alfalfa or wheat grass into your diet? Drink this! I'm all for that, as long as those beverages aren't also loaded with junk, like artificial sweeteners. I've seen subtle results after sipping Glowelle for several days, but probably not because it contains "power antioxidants"--those wouldn't show up in your skin that quickly, if ever. It's more likely the combination of me consuming more liquids, and the fruit and vegetable extracts Glowelle contains. You'd get the same results by juicing.
5. You recently posted a recipe for a cocktail meant to clear up misbehaving skin. Did you try it? What sort of results did you get?
Yes! Apple cider vinegar. An esthetician recommended it to a friend who had broken out, and she saw such amazing improvement in a matter of days that I did some digging. It turns out that raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (available at co-ops and Whole Foods)--not the clear kind you cook with--has been used since BC as a healing elixir for everything from eczema to indigestion. It does so by increasing alkalinity in the body, which minimizes inflammation--the big buzz word in medicine right now because it's the cause of almost everything that ails us. I mix 2 tablespoons with a big glass of water every morning and actually look forward to drinking it. Probably because after a week this concoction has given me more energy, curbed my sugar cravings, changed my skin in a way I can't fully describe, and made me super regular. I'm all about anything that clears out the crap! (here's the recipe)