When I'm Not Eating Fruits And Vegetables, I'm Putting Them On My Face

These five pieces of produce make for easy, inexpensive facial treatments, so they don't have to go to waste if you didn't feel like eating particularly healthy this week.
Publish date:
March 12, 2013
masks, moisturizers, How-To, natural, DIY, toners, lemon, organic, avocados, vegetables, fruit, cucumbers, papayas, tomatoes

Thanks to my new diet, I’ve been obsessed with food lately. I mean, not in an “OMG, how many calories are in this?!” way, but more of a being-conscious-of-what-I’m-putting-into-my-body kind of way.

This brought me to thinking that maybe I should be just as conscious of what I’m putting onto my body. I don’t really have the time or desire to take you on a tour through all the organic products in your local Whole Foods' beauty aisle, so I’m going even more locally: raiding my fridge.

Here’s what I discovered on my journey through the refrigerator (also the internet, because I’m not just going to start rubbing zucchini on my face on a whim):


Apparently, when you apply papaya to your face, it not only smells amazing, it also eats away at your dead skin cells, which is weird, but a great exfoliator nonetheless. So I resisted the urge to wrap up my pre-sliced papaya with prosciutto and instead threw some in the blender. Once it was of a smearing consistency, I started putting it on my (clean) face. Then I sat back in my bathroom and caught up on my Facebook feed for 15 minutes.

After I washed off the sticky papaya paste off of my face with lukewarm water, my face smelled awesome, felt a bit more refreshed, and yes, my skin looked brighter. However, it felt kind of sticky and dry. This led me to …


My favorite superfood is actually a great moisturizer for your face. Avocados are full of vitamins C and E, both great for anti-aging purposes like maintaining collagen with their antioxidant power. The natural fats and oils will keep your face moisturized longer, too.

You apply it the same way you apply the papayas: blend and smear. Seriously, I swear by an avocado masque. Your face will feel softer than a baby’s ass. It’s my go-to face cream when I’m underemployed and can’t afford to restock my favorite Lancome face cream. Even at the organic price of $5 for 2, it’s still much more affordable, and unlike Lancome products, you can eat what you don't apply.


This I learned from my mother, who loves making her signature salad. She cuts up tomatoes, slices some onions, peels and slices cucumbers, and then adds a splash of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. It's a staple side at the Boyko dinner table.

After peeling the cucumbers, she'd rub the inner side of skin on my face when I was a kid. Not only did it feel great (especially after running around in the humid Baltimore summer heat), but it also cleansed my skin. She swears by them, and if I have time to nurse my hangover in the morning, I like to slice up some cucumber and put the slices over my eyes to help de-puff them.


Did you know that if you combine tomato paste with olive oil, the mixture can rejuvenate your skin and prevent sunburn? I didn’t either until, like, yesterday. You’re welcome.


When juiced, lemon can be used as a toner. Makes perfect sense. It’s always beem especially helpful in helping to clear up my red pimple scars back from when my forehead would erupt with breakouts every few days.

It’s actually kind of funny how many of the vitamins and benefits that expensive skincare offers can be easily found in the fruits and veggies at the farmer's market. It’s actually making me consider actually switching to a more DIY skincare regimen, like a hippie.

Oh. My. God. What is happening to me? (Don't worry, Lancome. You'll always be my BFF. When I can afford you.)

What's your favorite easy-to-do, food-based beauty treatment? Let me know if you try anything above!