This year I’m stepping out of fear and pursuing the life that makes me feel happy, valuable, and aware. This includes far more travel than I have done in the last few years. I also want to move through these experiences mindfully meaning respecting local culture, traveling light, maintaining healthy habits, and being as eco friendly as possible.

As someone who is sensitive to their environment, that is easily impacted by toxins, pollution, lack of sleep, dehydration, and unhealthy foods, consciousness around my habits and routines keeps me feeling balanced. 

I just returned from a trip in Madrid, Barcelona, Puglia, Rome and Konavle. All new cities and countries for me, that also happen to be around 85-100 degrees (F). While traveling it can be tough to stay hydrated and conscious of waste, for this trip I purchased a sport Berkey bottle which was a life saver and meant that I didn’t have to purchase plastic bottles when staying hydrated in the extreme heat, and this bottle filters out bacteria, viruses and other toxins.

Another delicious way to hit the hydration mark is through fruits and vegetables. In some cases this can better than water since micronutrients from fruits and veggies including electrolytes help keep your hydration and nervous system balanced. (1) These same micronutrients are beneficial to skin health: vitamin C helps build collagen and reduces the damage induced by the sun’s UV rays (2), potassium keeps cells hydrated to moisturize the skin, and magnesium helps to reduce oily skin, acne, and rosacea, just to name a few.

To top it off, there are several foods you can apply directly to your face for skin care! You can also check out my DIY Irish Sea Moss face mask to learn more about functional foods used as skin care.  If you follow me on IG you may have seen my IGTV episode about using mango and melon topically to enhance your skin. Using fresh foods in your skin care routine provides:

  • Nutrients internally when you eat it
  • Nutrients topically after applying it to the skin
  • It is environmentally conscious (especially if you are buying locally)
  • Saves you a great deal of cash on products 
  • Can help you travel lighter

To see the video version of this information, and to watch me rub fruit on my face, check out my IGTV episode, for in-depth information, keep reading!

This post is going to feature two fruits, melon and mango. There are several variations of each of these fruits, all of them will have nourishing benefits to the skin. To apply them topically mash up the edible portion into a pulp and apply it as a mask or use the inside of the rind and rub it on your face. Be sure to always do a patch test to make sure you won’t have a reaction and avoid using foods you are allergic to. 

Melon: for hydration, toxin removal, and age spots

Since I was in Spain while filming this episode I used a Spanish melon aka, Santa Claus melon or Piel de Sapo, you can use honeydew, cantaloupe, watermelon or any of the other dozens of melons. 

Benefits of melons:

  • They contain about 90% water
  • They are said to bind to toxins including mold, mycotoxins, viral neurotoxins, undigested protein toxins, ammonia gas, and bacterial toxins, flushing them out to allow the immune system to restore itself
  • Has a high electrolyte content that helps protect the brain and the rest of the nervous system
  • Thins the blood and reduces heart attack risk, helps prevent heart disease and vascular issues, and can even reduce liver and kidney disease
  • Increases the detoxification processes
  • High in silica which can restore ligaments, joints, bones, teeth, connective tissue, and tendons
  • Bitter melon is a glucose balancer, working to prevent insulin resistance and lower elevated A1C levels (3)
  • Contains antioxidants and is anti-inflammatory 
  • Watermelon may support liver health (4)
  • Topically melon is great for dry skin and age spots

Mango: for hydration, acne prone skin and collagen production

  • Contains phenol and antioxidants that can move inside cells, when used topically they can penetrate the skin and work right on problem spots 
  • Contains mangiferin, found in the seeds, skin and kernels, it is a powerful antioxidant that can reduce inflammation produced by acne and other inflammatory skin conditions
  • Vitamins A and C help to maintain your immune system and collagen production
  • Alpha hydroxy acids that are excellent at chemical exfoliation by breaking down the bonds between dry skin cells removing dull, dry skin 
  • May inhibited wrinkle formation (5)
  • Can prevent a wide range of bacterial and fungal occurrences on your skin
  • Can inhibit the growth Staphylococcus aureus (acne-causing bacteria), Bacillus cereus (cause food poisoning), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (cause dermatitis, bone and joint infection, and urinary tract and respiratory system infections), and Escherichia coli (cause food poisoning and breathing issues) (6)
  • Anti-fungal activity exhibited by mango sap (7)
  • Topically is great for anti-aging, acne, collagen production, and exfoliation  

Both mango and melons are used in many skin care products including expensive high end products that unfortunately also contain some pretty toxic ingredients. So why not cut out the more wasteful middle step and apply the fruits directly! 

Do you use any fresh foods for skin care? Share your favorite items and recipes below.