The Skin-Saving Benefits Of Avocado
Avocados And The Fight Against Aging
The humble avocado has been in the news recently, and it has been revealed that this delicious fruit could be an excellent weapon in the fight against aging. At a recent conference of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Christian Cortes-Rojo, a researcher from the University Michoacana de San Nicolas de Hidalgo, Mexico revealed that oil from avocados helps to fight off damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are a known cause of skin and bodily aging. They are a natural product of the body’s metabolic system but can be exacerbated by other factors such as pollution, cigarette smoke, fried foods and processed meats.
While many fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants that help to combat free radicals, most of these are unable to enter mitochondria. This means that free radicals can still cause damage to the body’s cells.
What sets the antioxidants in avocado oil apart from other fruits and vegetables is the ability to enter mitochondria.
Avocado – The Multifunctional Skin Saver
Avocados are beneficial for the skin in two ways.
Eating them improves your skin and helps to fight the aging process from within, and the many skin-boosting vitamins and minerals in avocados also make them perfect for external use.
Including avocados in the diet and using them in your skin care routine is a good idea for anyone serious about following a complete anti-aging skin care regime.
By complete, we mean using natural skin care products, performing facial exercises, sticking to a healthy diet that is high in fresh, natural plant-based foods and avoiding those well known skin and body agers – alcohol, cigarettes and sunbathing.
Avocados In The Diet
Although avocados are technically a fruit, they are most commonly eaten in savory dishes and are a regular accompaniment to salads.
Avocados are easy to digest and contain healthy monounsaturated oil, potassium and antioxidant vitamins A, C and E.
Some people avoid avocados because they are known to be high in calories, but, the truth is, avocados don’t deserve the bad press they get from some dieters.
Half an avocado contains around 170-200 calories, so yes, they aren’t necessarily a low calorie food, but the fat they contain is what is known as healthy fat.
Research suggests that healthy fats, like those found in avocados, help to keep skin supple and smooth and may also help to prevent heart disease. If you are following a healthy diet, there is no reason why you shouldn’t include avocados in your meals.
Guacamole is a delicious dip that hails from Mexico. You can dip raw vegetable in to it, skip the tortilla chips, or serve with baked potato wedges, to make the most of its skin-friendly, health-giving benefits.
Quick And Easy Guacamole Recipe
- 3 ripe avocados
- 1 small red onion finely chopped
- 1 large tomato
- Juice of 1 freshly squeezed lime
- 1 green or red deseeded chili chopped
- Handful of finely chopped cilantro leaves
1. Halve the avocados and remove the stones. Remove the flesh of the avocado from the skin and place the flesh in a bowl.
2. Cut the tomato into eighths and add to the bowl.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and mash or pulverize them together. It doesn’t matter if the mixture remains chunky – this will add to the taste and texture.
4. Scatter the cilantro leaves on top of the guacamole.
5. Serve and eat immediately – avocado has a tendency to turn brown if left too long, although the lime juice should help to delay this.
Avocado For Skin Care
Avocado is widely used by the skin care industry as an ingredient in skin care products. The flesh of the avocado is a natural skin moisturizer, and it is particularly useful for those with dry or mature skin.
The easiest way to use avocado flesh is to scoop it out of the skin and apply it to your face as a face mask.
If you prefer, you can combine avocado flesh with natural yoghurt; simply apply the mixture to your face and leave for 10-15 minutes, finally rinsing away with warm water.
There is more to the avocados skin-boosting properties than just the flesh; the green layer of pulp that is left when you scoop out the flesh of an avocado is even richer in vitamins and oils.
Scrape as much of the pulp as you can from the remaining skin and add it to the flesh to make a mask or, even better, apply the pulp directly to your skin.
The oils found in this part of the avocado are easily absorbed by the skin and will provide it with a powerful shot of moisture
Avocado oil can be used in food preparation and in skin care.
You can reap the benefits of the oil’s monounsaturated fats by using it in salad dressings, and remember, avocado oil contains no unhealthy trans fats; simply combine avocado oil, lemon juice and freshly ground salt and pepper together, and mix or shake well before drizzling over a fresh salad.
Avocado oil is also widely used in aromatherapy skin care, as it is an excellent oil to use if you have very dry or dehydrated skin, or suffer from dry skin conditions such as eczema.
It contains vitamins, fatty acids, protein and lethicin. Avocado oil is often used in a dilution when used in aromatherapy – usually a 10% dilution.
This means if you were making up 100ml of facial or body oil you would use 10 ml avocado oil and 90 ml of a base oil such as sweet almond, apricot kernel or grapeseed oil.
Avocado Facial Oil Recipe – For Dry Skin
- 45 ml apricot kernel oil
- 5 ml avocado oil
- 4 drops frankincense essential oil
- 3 drops palma rosa essential oil
- 2 drops rosemary essential oil
- 1 drop lavender essential oil
Combine all the ingredients in a dark glass bottle and shake well. Apply to the face in the evenings as a moisturizer or while soaking in a warm bath, to allow your skin to benefit from the hydrating properties of the avocado oil and aromatherapy essential oils.