Foods for hair and beauty

It's a well-known fact that a good balanced diet can help keep your body healthy, and that goes for your skin and hair too. Here's how to harness nature's finest ingredients in your beauty regime...

natural beauty treatments and products

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Known as Mother Nature's antiseptic, honey has been shown to help heal wounds quickly as well as killing bacteria. It's a natural antioxidant and works to kill bacteria, making it an excellent ingredient for naturally getting rid of spots, but it's a great moisturiser too. Try Madeleine Ritchie's Silk Face Gel, containing Royal Jelly, Manuka honey and jojoba oil, for a moisture boost that will leave your skin soft, and help to repair and protect it.

Containing hydrating essential fatty acids and antixoidant vitamins A and C, pumpkin isn't just for Halloween. Within this golden ball of goodness hides an enzyme that effectively peels away dead skin and speeds up the production of new cells, making it a fabulous anti-ageing ingredient. Zia Natural's Pumpkin Exfoliating Mask will leave your skin refreshed, repaired and glowing for a more youthful appearance.

Seaweed has been used for centuries in the Far East, not just as a healthy food but a natural skin care wonder plant too, thanks to a host of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. It is thought to reduce inflammation and irritation, cleanse and soften but firm the skin too, which is why it is often used in products aimed at reducing the appearance of cellulite.

The Body Shop sells an excellent range of seaweed skincare products, from clay masks to clarifying toners and day creams. For a really indulgent treatment, head to the Dorchester Spa in London and try the Thalgo Micronised Algae Seaweed Body Wrap, that will have you detoxed and relaxed in no time.

We should all be well aware of the health benefits associated with oily fish these days, but did you know it can help rejuvenate your skin too? Salmon contains a compound called dimethylaminoethanel, or DMAE, is thought to help firm skin and smooth away those fine lines and wrinkles. Swanson's Cosmetic Science Wrinkle Cream contains DMAE to give your skin a soft, supple appearance, without a greasy feel.

Olive oil
It's hardly surprising that olive oil acts as a natural moisturiser, and because it helps to protect against dry skin, people who suffer from psoriasis or eczema may find they benefit from this natural hydration, even when applied directly after a shower like baby oil.

Better still, it makes for an excellent homemade treatment for those dry, winter split ends. If you're not keen on using the bottle from your kitchen, try Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil, which contains not only olive oil but a range of seed and nut oils - the result is soft, smooth, frizz-free hair that will strengthen your locks and reduce breakage and tangles.

Do you use natural beauty products? What are your favourites and why? Leave your comments below...