Get dirty: Beauty booty that'll clean up your act
It's not entirely counterintuitive to get dirty to get clean, ladies. Yep, it's crazy, but true. But how can mud, dirt, clay and roots beautify skin on a topical level? We'll show you.
Though we don't recommend shopping for beauty products in your garden just yet, two backyard mainstays – dirt and mud – have been garnering buzz for their clinical benefits. "Mud from the Dead Sea is said to be better at combating oily skin and acne because of its high sodium component, and lake mud often contains higher levels of collagen-stimulating vitamin A derivatives as a by-product of algae found in water," explains Dr. Matthew Schulman, a board certified plastic surgeon in New York City.
Mud also acts as an anti-inflammatory, has been shown to increase blood flow and physically exfoliates skin with pumice-like particles. Mineral components found in mud and clay (including calcium, niacin, magnesium, bromine, phosphorus and copper levels) offer topical benefits including the tightening of large pores and the formation of elastin and collagen. They also contain antiseptic and antibiotic properties which soothe acne inflammation.
While we might be tempted to wield those leafy greens and discard the intricate web hidden beneath the surface, it really does make biological sense to conserve this fibrous tissue, which is indeed the powerhouse of the plant. "Plants need to protect themselves from diseases like fungus, viruses and bacteria," explains integrative dermatologist Cybele Fishman, MD. "For this reason, they make their own antioxidants to help repair those cells, many which are found in the root of the plant."
Dr. Marina Peredo, founder of Spatique, recommends root vegetable extracts routinely for their topical benefits. For instance, carrots, high in beta carotene, offer a burst of vitamin A which is great for anti-aging. Those prone to acne can benefit from radishes which are high in skin-rejuvenating vitamin C. And if you've got oily skin, potato root is your best bet.
Here you'll find the most effective Mother Nature-inspired products on the market that'll leave you with a clean conscience to boot!
HydroPeptide® SPF 30 Anti-Wrinkle Skin Enhancing UV Protection ($40)
This little baby is formulated with galanga root, a plant related to the ginger family that naturally enhances this serum's SPF score. The best part? Goodbye shine! This day cream reduces active sebaceous glands by 15 percent after two months, resulting in a clearer, shine-free complexion. The color changing spheres also even out skin tone so you'll wear less makeup overall.
Kelly Tee Garden Organic's Radiant Facial Cream ($35)
Featuring marshmallow root extract, this powerful antioxidant boasts excellent anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory qualities while fighting skin degeneration and cellular oxidation. This 100% organic lotion mixes a healthy blend of good-for-you ingredients including willow bark to stimulate new cell formation, organic green tea to prevent premature aging and jojoba seed oil that offers a rosy glow while holding much needed moisture in.
Borghese's Fango Active Mud for Face and Body($33.50-$64)
Sourced entirely from mineral-rich volcanic mud in the heart of Tuscany, this product is a tightening treat for your face and body. While we can only explain this 10 minute, once-weekly routine as luxuriously tedious (hey, you're slathering it on your entire body!), its reward truly is energized and softened skin. Eggplant and lycopene extracts provide powerful antioxidants that claim to help slow the aging process – and because we hear the neck is the first place to go, we recommend letting it soak on there for 15 full minutes for good measure!
Tarte's emphasEYES™ Waterproof Clay Shadow/Liner Pot ($22)
Ditch the primer potion and seal your eyeshadow with this treat. Infused with micronized Amazonian white clay, this nutrient-rich clay is a complete multitasker, and helping to remove surface oils, essentially waterproofing your look helping it to withstand sweat, tears, creasing and rain. In five timeless shades including black, brown, bronze, plum and indigo, this shadow/liner combo claims to also improve eyelid clarity, elasticity and texture over time.
Zax's Original Heelspur Cream ($19.99)
Containing dried roots from the Devil's Claw plant, known for its anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties, this natural cream is a shoe-in for runners, athletes or any gal who's a glutton for slinky stilettos. It naturally helps with foot discomfort, but why not indulge in a nice cozy memory foam slipper while you're at it?