Thanks to the ubiquitous advertising campaigns mounted by the UK government over the past few years, we’re all well aware that we should be aiming to ingest five portions of fruit and/or veg every day to keep ourselves as healthy as possible.
It’s well worth remembering that fruit is an immensely versatile ally when it comes to feeling and looking in tip-top condition, and that you can also sample some of its proven benefits by applying it to your skin or hair. No surprise then that fruit is a core ingredient of many luxurious beauty treatments offered by leading spas worldwide.
At any of the UK’s leading health resorts, the spa menu is almost certain to include several fruit bowls’ worth of fruit-based beauty treatments, including enticingly named treats such as Caribbean Fruit Wrap and Avocado and Lemon reviver.
Of course, for most of us it’s simply not practical to go to a spa every week, so home-made beauty treatments also have their place in our lives. Browse the pages of any beauty mag or website, and you’re sure to find a host of fabulously fruity facials and scrubs you can concoct yourself, incorporating anything from apricots to ylang-ylang.
So what exactly does fruit do for us when used as a facial or body scrub? Well, of course, different fruits boast different properties, making them suitable for a variety of pampering applications.
Peaches, for example, are ideal for soothing and cleansing dry skin. You can easily experience their benefits for yourself by mashing fresh peach with yoghurt to form a smooth paste and then applying the mixture to your skin, leaving it for 15 minutes and then rinsing off with cold water.
Another fruit with moisturising properties is banana, which can be used to enhance both skin and hair. Mashed banana doubles as a gentle natural face mask and – mixed with a teaspoon of honey – an amazing hair conditioner.
Talking of fruits that benefit skin as well as hair, lemon juice is another fruity beauty friend. Slices of lemon are incredibly effective as a means of softening rough skin spots on your elbows and heels – as indeed are slices of pineapple. What’s more, if you add lemon juice to your shampoo or conditioner, it can help prevent dandruff.
Meanwhile, in addition to allegedly keeping us out of the local doctor’s surgery, apples have other useful attributes…
Adding a glass of apple juice to your bath will do wonders for your skin by softening and cleansing it. Apply the juice to your scalp and it’ll also help protect you against the dreaded dandruff. Drink it, and it will freshen your breath. It appears that when it comes to fruit, apples are a real all-rounder!