July 8, 2014 at 10:19 AM ET
Sure, they're one of summer's most delicious treats, but it turns out that strawberries are also one of the best all-natural D.I.Y beauty ingredients the season has to offer. Calling them a super-fruit on par with antioxidant-rich blueberries, healthy living expert Dr. Ro, author of "Dr. Ro's Ten Secrets to Livin' Healthy" and "You Healthy and Happy" explains that when it comes to beauty-boosting powers, "Strawberries are rich in [the] antioxidant ellagic acid, which increases your skin's elasticity. What's more, they are a good source of the B vitamin biotin, needed for healthy nails and hair.” Also packed into the powerhouses: Vitamin C, potassium, folic acid and fiber, along with Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs), which are excellent for everything from restoring dry skin to reversing the signs of aging.
Read on to learn a few of our favorite ways to incorporate this farmer's market find into to your next D.I.Y. beauty recipe for high-impact, healthy results.
Toner: The fruit's naturally exfoliating AHAs can discourage aging and reduce the onset of acne. To concoct your own toner, use a juicer to extract the juice from a handful of ripe strawberries and mix with 50 ml. of rose water. As long as it stays refrigerated, the toner will remain fresh for up to 10 days.
Tooth whitener: In addition to the health points you'll rack up from eating them, you can rub strawberry pulp on teeth to gently clean and remove stains.
Foot polish: D.I.Y. an exfoliating scrub made up of 6 to 8 mashed strawberries mixed with equal parts ground oats and several drops of glycerin. After soaking feet in warm water for 10 minutes, scrub gently with the mixture in a circular polishing motion for at least one minute. Wash off and seal the deal with foot cream.
Hair conditioner: Looking for a little shine boost? Use a blender to combine 7 to 8 mashed ripe strawberries and 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, pureeing until the mix takes on a smooth, paste-like texture. Apply generously to hair and scalp and cover with a shower cap for at least 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse hair and shampoo as usual.
Anti-aging mask: Vitamin C, along with other antioxidants found in strawberries, can help block damage caused by free radicals, thereby slowing the appearance of aging. To prepare a rejuvenating mask, mix 1 teaspoon honey, 2 teaspoons cream and a few very ripe mashed strawberries. Apply an even coat of the concoction to your face and neck, leaving it to work its magic for approximately 20 mins.
Acne treatment: The Vitamin C, AHAs, salicylic acid and flavonoids in strawberries make them ripe for the picking as anti-acne and moisturizing powerhouses.
To combat spots (or repair damaged skin), mash up 7 to 8 berries and mix with 1 tablespoon milk before applying the mixture evenly to your face. After 10 to 12 minutes, rinse. Repeat twice a week until trouble areas are resolved.
Body scrub: If you and your skin are going through a rough patch, mash 10 to 12 strawberries with a teaspoon each of sugar and olive oil. Apply the paste to your body in a circular motion until skin is polished. Not only will you rinse to reveal restored, smooth skin, but the smell left behind tops any artificial scent you'll find in the beauty aisles.
Eye de-puffer: Long day? Or maybe it hasn't even started. If you need to de-puff in a pinch, place a few strawberry slices on your eyelids and relax for 10 minutes. Remove and moisturize.