Avocados are one of the world’s healthiest foods – they’re also rather tasty, inexpensive and versatile. You can toss avocado into a nutritious smoothie, top a salad with it or add some to a taco. And, if you get tired of eating them, you can use avocado in your beauty routine too. Actually, considering the many, varied benefits, you’ll probably want to continue doing both.
This single-seeded fruit contains an astonishing amount of essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and important monounsaturated fatty acids that can do wonders for your body, inside and out. This is why you’ve probably seen avocado listed in the ingredients of so many beauty and health products.
Take advantage of the many benefits of the amazing avocado by incorporating it into your beauty routine – the options are practically endless.
1. Turn it into a moisturizer
The healthy fats in an avocado fruit are great for moisturizing skin, and as the oils are very similar to the natural oils in your skin, it’s also very nourishing, helping to protect the skin from the stresses of the day.
The natural oils in avocado are able to penetrate deeply into the skin to soften and hydrate those annoying flaky, dry patches. Just mash up the flesh of a fully ripe avocado and then lather onto dry skin. Leave it on for about 15 minutes and then shower, or simply rinse it off in lukewarm water before patting dry.
If you’ve got very dry skin, make an extra nourishing, moisturizing face mask that will restore that youthful glow by combining the mashed flesh of an avocado with a tablespoon of raw honey and a tablespoon of plain yogurt. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes, and then rinse to slough away dead skin cells and leave the skin feeling soft, smooth and more supple.
2. Tame frizzy hair
The fatty acids and other nutrients, particularly vitamin E, along with the natural oils in avocado make it excellent for taming damaged, frizzy hair, which is generally caused by heat and humidity, though it can also result from the use of heated styling tools like a flat iron and blow dryer. One of the most effective ways to use avocado to tame frizz, is to make an avocado-based hair mask.
To do so, mash up the flesh of one ripe avocado and then mix in about a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil. Massage the mixture into your scalp and throughout your hair, and let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Afterward, rinse well and then shampoo as normal. If your hair is especially coarse, you might want to rub a couple of drops of warmed avocado oil onto the ends of your hair as well. The result? Your hair will be smooth, more manageable, and have a nice shine to it as well.
3. Eradicate unsightly dandruff
Men and women of all ages can experience dandruff. It’s generally caused by the massive flaking of dead skin tissues when dead skin is shed from a dry, very oily or microbe-infected scalp. The result is redness, itching, flaking and irritation. In an attempt to restore moisture, the scalp produces excess sebum, which then blocks the hair follicles and leads to bacterial and fungal infections.
Dandruff is especially annoying during the fall and winter when the weather is drier – and, as we tend to wear chic, often darker clothing this time of year, every last flake shows up on your shoulders. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way, thanks to avocados. As dandruff loves a dry scalp, moisturizing is key to preventing those flakes. It helps to rejuvenate and moisturize, while its rich supply of proteins, amino acids and vitamins work to soothe the scalp.
In addition to avocado, this hair mask features other ingredients that work together to eradicate that unsightly dandruff for good, including tea tree oil. Tea tree oil, which is an antifungal, antiseptic and antibiotic, has been used for centuries to treat everything from fungal infections to cold sores, with its healing properties well documented.
To make it, mash up the flesh of an avocado in a bowl until there are no large chunks remaining. Add 2 tablespoons of raw honey, 2 drops of tea tree oil and 10 drops of argan oil. Mix until it becomes creamy and smooth. Use gloves to apply the mask directly to your scalp. Press it in while gently massaging using the fingertips. Allow it to sit for about 20 minutes and then rinse thoroughly before shampooing as usual.
4. Sun protection
The high proportion of monounsaturated fat in avocado makes it excellent for use as a sunscreen as the fats form a protective layer over the skin. In fact, avocado oil is said to have the highest natural SPF among all vegetable oils. It will protect against both UVA and UVB rays as well as protecting the skin against environmental damage, due to its high level of powerful antioxidants. Thanks to its high palmitic acid content, avocado oil is also quite easily absorbed by human skin, helping to keep it firm and smooth.
5. Treating a sunburn
If you didn’t use avocado oil, or anything else for protection and find yourself with a nasty sunburn, you can still use avocado to ease the pain and prevent chafing. Mash up half of a fully ripe avocado and apply it directly to the affected areas. Or, you can also mix in a tablespoon of aloe vera gel to further aid in calming the burn as well as rehydrating the skin.
6. Fight wrinkles and other signs of premature aging
Most of us envy the virtually flawless complexions of beautiful celebrities, but few can afford the pricey skin care routines most of them employ. Anti-wrinkle creams can run upwards of several hundred dollars, and many of them aren’t all that effective and come with a host of potentially harmful ingredients too. Instead, spend a couple of dollars on a good avocado to make your own potent antioxidant, amino-acid rich mask that will help fight off signs of aging like crow’s feet and fine lines.
Avocados can be applied as a mask directly to your skin, and you can either use them plain or mix them with other healthy ingredients. One of the simplest ways to do it is to mash up the flesh and allow it to soak into the skin for about 10 minutes before rinsing, that’s it! One of the healthy fats in avocados, oleic acid, not only fights wrinkles, but it helps to reduce inflammation and decrease redness too.
For a super powerful anti-wrinkle fighter, combine the mashed flesh of a ripe avocado with a tablespoon of coconut oil in a bowl. Apply it to your face and allow it to sit for 30 minutes before rinsing. Once it’s removed, your skin will feel incredibly soft – and, over time, those signs of aging will be diminished.
Remember to include lots of avocado in your diet too, as this fruit, as mentioned, works from the inside out and will help battle the aging process from within. Its antioxidants help to detox the body, which aids in reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, as well as making the skin more smooth and supple.
7. Battling acne
While avocado is a great moisturizer, it’s also excellent for battling acne as it helps to reduce inflammation and doesn’t dry out the skin, which can cause the skin to produce an excess of oil, exacerbating the problem. It contains vitamin C and K which help to boost the immune system and fight acne-causing bacteria, while its vitamin E not only hydrates the skin, it helps to battle acne as well. Finally, its omega-6 fatty acids, including linoleic acid, acts as an anti-inflammatory agent that reduces irritation as well as keeping the skin moisturized.
If you suffer from acne, it’s another reason to eat more avocados too, as its rich nutrients will work from the inside out to reduce it. Additionally, use this avocado-based mask three to four times each week as an acne fighter for best results.
The lemon juice contains acids that work to reduce bacteria as well as inflammation, while the oats help to soak up bacteria while also lowering inflammation. Mash up the flesh of an avocado in a bowl and add the juice from one lemon along with a tablespoon of rolled oats. Apply it onto your skin and let it sit for 30 minutes before rinsing.
8. A moisturizing shaving cream
The flesh of an avocado also makes a fabulous moisturizing shaving cream, resulting in legs that are soft and silky smooth. It calms and soothes to help prevent those razor bumps too. While you could simply smear the avocado directly onto your skin and shave with it, this recipe that includes avocado oil is probably one of the most amazing DIY shaving creams there is.
You’ll need a quarter cup avocado oil, a one-third cup of coconut oil and a one-third cup of unrefined shea butter. Begin by melting the coconut oil and shea butter on low heat over the stove. When it’s melted, pour it into a container and then add the avocado oil; stir. Place the mixture into your refrigerator and allow it to harden. When it’s solid, remove it from the fridge and place it into a bowl. It should look like a cube of butter. Whip it well for several minutes, or until it’s light and creamy.
Now you can use it just like you would any other shaving cream. Whatever is leftover should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place to prevent it from going bad.
9. A nourishing hand scrub
Many of us suffer from dry, rough hands, especially during the winter months when the air is so dry. But thanks to the practically miraculous benefits of avocado, you can use it to nourish and moisturize those hands to make them feel nice and soft again. It’s quick and easy to mix up and the results are immediate. Your hands will soon be back to their dewy, moist, midsummer’s best – even in the heart of winter.
All you need is half of a mushy avocado, some extra-virgin olive oil, sugar, and patchouli essential oil. Mash it up the best you can, eliminating the lumps as much as possible. Add in a tablespoon of olive oil and stir until it’s thoroughly mixed in. Now add about 5 drops of patchouli essential oil, which has a wonderfully warm scent and is great for healing and nourishing dry skin. Next, add about an eighth cup of sugar. Stir well.
That’s all it takes to make this powerful hand scrub. Of course, you’ll have to apply it too. To do so, scrub your hands with it, letting the alpha-hydroxy acids in the sugar soften those old, dead skin cells, while the avocado, olive oil, and patchouli essential oil work together to moisturize and nourish your hands underneath. Scrub for several minutes, concentrating on the driest areas, and then rinse well with lukewarm water. Pat your hands dry and then apply your favorite moisturizer. Place the remainder of the mixture into a lidded glass container and store in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Repeat the application one to two times each day for three days, and by the end of that three-day period, you’ll be amazed at how baby soft your hands are.
10. Enjoy healthier, stronger nails
Thanks to all of its rich nutrients, including plant protein, folate, Vitamin E and all of those healthy fats, eating avocados will actually help you grow stronger, healthier nails. In fact, they’re one of the best foods you can eat for better nails. You can also apply avocado oil to them directly for healthier nails that shine. Simply massage both the nails and cuticles with avocado oil every night, and within just a few days you’ll notice a significant difference. Take a look at these warning signs your finger nails may be sending you.