Foods for beauty: A visual guide
SLIDESHOW: Foods for beauty
If you ever encountered poison ivy, oak, or sumac as a kid, chances are you also came in contact with the infamous oatmeal bath. Wild oats have been used to heal and beautify the skin since as early as 2000 BC, and for good reason. They contain beta-glucan, which forms a thin film over the skin while also penetrating and moisturizing your pores.
The enzymes contained in pumpkin make the wonder food a natural exfoliant, while promoting cellular rejuvenation and strengthening aging skin. Pumpkin also contains fatty acids that promote proper sebum production, thus counteracting both dryness and acne.
Our experience: We added oats to canned pumpkin and stirred in some honey for an adhesive, which made it hard to resist eating the mixture before application. Unfortunately, the honey wasn't strong enough, and chunks of the mask splattered to the ground within seconds, as did our hopes for fresh-as-a-baby's skin.
Most Americans are well aware that they can't get out of bed without a cup of joe, but do they know that coffee also has potent beautifying benefits? The topical application of coffee is said to contain cancer-fighting antioxidants, the power to fight cellulite (we're going to go ahead and call bullshit on this one), and properties that prevent premature skin aging, exfoliate, and reduce inflammation.
Our experience: The coffee-grounds mask made us feel like we'd covered ourselves in bath salts and flooded our skin with caffeine, though that may have been a product of the 48 ounces of actual caffeine consumed during the shoot. We'll still take our coffee in a cup, thank you.
Sugar waxing, otherwise known as Persian waxing, has been practiced since 1900 BC and serves as a safe and cheap alternative to the drugstore variety. The wax is made by boiling sugar, lemon, and water, then cooking the mixture over low heat until it thickens. It smells and tastes amazing -- like hot, concentrated lemonade -- but one word of caution: Allow the mixture to cool before applying it to skin or risk turning yourself into a scalded monster.
Our experience: Maybe it was because the wax wasn't hot enough or because we used an American flag bandana instead of a light cotton strip for hair removal (USA!), but our sugar wax didn't provide the intended results. To compensate, we ripped a chunk of our model's hairs out by hand.
7. Sour cream
Sour cream masks, like yogurt masks, contain lactic acid, which helps the skin retain moisture and promotes collagen production. Since lactic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid, it removes dead skin cells and evens out skin tones, but increases facial sensitivity to sunlight.
Our experience: We used an entire container of sour cream on our model's face for optimum results and comedic effect. His skin was softer, but his clothing was ruined.