Summer is finally upon us, a time in which fresh, vibrant citrus fruits are brought to the forefront of our diet. As the matriarch of the citrus family, oranges provide our mouths with a flavor explosion, our immune systems with a vitamin C boost and our homes with a splash of vivid color.
When it comes to uses beyond the tastebuds, most people look at oranges and see just a vitamin C-rich food source and nothing more. But if you dig a little deeper, you’ll discover that that bowl of oranges on your kitchen counter or dining room table can actually provide a wide array of beauty benefits for your hair and skin. And the best part? It’s completely natural, unlike the toxic concoctions you’ve been buying from your local supermarket or drugstore. Read on to find out how you can use those oranges to take your beauty routine to the next level, the healthy way.
1. Orange peels for acne
Acne, otherwise known as pimples, zits, or “awww gross, what’s that?!” take up residence on your face or other areas of the body where your skin’s oil glands (sebaceous glands) are clogged by fine dirt or debris, or infected with bacteria. The skin responds with an inflammatory skin lesion filled with pus, designed to prevent spread of the infection or foreign substance (i.e. dirt), but with very little consideration to your looks.
Orange peels, provided they are from organic sources (non-organic oranges are thoroughly doused in pesticides and other chemicals which can harm your health and hinder your beauty routine) can help to cleanse your skin pores and prevent bacterial invasion, thereby removing the likelihood that skin will feel the need to start growing giant pustules on your face.
When you eat your organic orange, set the peel aside and allow it to dry for a day or so. Once it has dried a little, grind the peel and add some water to make a rudimentary paste. Rinse your skin then gently massage the paste onto your face and any other areas prone to acne, leaving it on for 20 to 30 minutes then washing it off with warm water. Doing this daily will help keep your skin nice and clean, feeling refreshed, and prevent the production of excess oils which can contribute to your pimple problem.
2. Orange peels for blackheads
Okay, they might seem like the same thing, but they’re not —blackheads are different than acne! Blackheads come into being when hair follicles become clogged with dead skin cells and oil, closing off the follicle opening and causing a bump, called a comedone, to develop. These annoying little black bumps typically develop on the nose, cheeks and forehead.
One of the best ways to get rid of blackheads the natural way is to make a facial mask from orange peels. As with the acne paste, grind a dried orange peel then mix it together with equal parts plain yogurt. Rub the mask into your skin with gentle circular motions, leaving it on for 15 to 20 minutes then rinsing it off with warm water. The facial mask provides a natural, pain-free method of removing blackheads while keeping your skin fresh and smelling like delicious citrus.
3. Oranges for wrinkles
It seems an inevitable part of getting older, but it doesn’t mean developing wrinkles gets any easier as the years go by. Chances are, you’ve invested in an anti-aging cream at some point in your life, and you’ve probably been highly disappointed by their lack of effectiveness. Plus, they’re loaded with harmful compounds and chemicals, and likely end up making your skin age even faster than it would have in the first place.
Oranges contain high levels of antioxidants, the most potent of which is vitamin C. These antioxidants directly fight the process of aging by preventing the oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Simply by consuming oranges you’re providing your body with the tools it needs to minimize the damage caused by free radicals, thereby allowing more of your skin cells to remain young and vibrant and prevent excessive die-off. Vitamin C contributes to the production of collagen, which helps keep your skin supple and wrinkle-free.
4. Oranges for hair
The impressive collection of vitamins and nutrients found in oranges, including vitamins B, B12, C and E, helps to nourish your hair, keep it looking revitalized and strengthen dull or damaged hair. When combined with honey, lemon, and olive oil, all nutritional powerhouses in their own right, oranges can provide the natural treatment you’ve been looking for all these years.
In a bowl, mix together the juice from a whole squeezed orange and a whole squeezed lemon, one tablespoon of raw honey, and one tablespoon of olive oil. Rinse your hair with warm water, pat dry so it remains damp, then gently massage the mixture into your hair, paying particular attention to your scalp. Leave on for around one hour before rinsing off in the shower with warm water.
– Liivi Hess
Interested in learning more about natural beauty routines and products? So was Cleopatra! Click here to find out more.