Whether you are heading home for the holiday, meeting the parents or just rejoicing in a Friends-giving feast, one thing is certain-there will be a TON of leftovers. Let’s be honest there are only so many days those leftovers are appetizing after over indulging on that thankful day. Don’t’ fret, we’ve come up with some yummy ways to turn Thanksgiving leftovers into beauty treatments that will leave your skin and hair jumping for joy. Use that extra butternut squash, cranberries, and pumpkin pie to reduce wrinkles, firm your skin, and rejuvenate dry winter hair. Although your dinner table holds the power to add a pound (or two) to your figure, it also holds the power to brighten your skin, soften your hair, and tighten pores. Say what? It’s true: Many common Thanksgiving ingredients—and even some complete recipes—can double as DIY beauty treatments. So this year when you say no to seconds, you’ll both save calories and have more leftovers to turn into all-natural masks, scrubs, and soothing bath soaks. Whip up these recipes for smooth, glowing skin and soft, shiny hair.
APPLE CIDER EXFOLIATING MASK
This fall drink staple brightens the skin by regulating its pH. A higher, or more basic, pH diminishes the skin’s ability to protect itself. Apple cider regulates the skin’s pH, plus it has high amounts of alpha-hydroxy acids that eat away at dead and dull skin. The oats in this mask have natural cleansers called saponins that help remove dirt, oil and other buildup, while the enzymes and vitamin C in the fresh lemon juice evens out skin tone and the brown sugar acts as an exfoliator.
3/4 teaspoon apple cider
3 teaspoons ground oats
3/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse brown sugar
Combine cider and oats in a bowl to form a smooth paste. Add lemon juice and sugar and stir to combine well. Apply to cleansed skin and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes to allow ingredients to work away at the top layers of the skin. Then rub in circular motions to promote circulation and help exfoliate off dull skin cells. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.
BRUSSELS SPROUT FIRMING MASK
Finally a good use for the veggie you hated as a kid (and may still wrinkle your nose at): These mini-cabbages are great for a taut face. Brussels sprouts contain vitamin C, which has a firming effect.
1 Brussels sprout, cooked
Puree sprouts into a frothy foam in a food processor. Apply liberally to a clean face and leave on skin for at least 10 minutes before rinsing with warm water.
CRANBERRY AND SWEET POTATO EXFOLIATING MASK
Your nephew may think mixing these two colorful sides together is only an easy way to gross out his sister, but the two can also give you a glowing complexion. Bright orange sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A, which plays a key role in maintaining healthy functioning of the skin and supporting collagen and elastin.
1/2 cup steamed or boiled sweet potato (or 2 large carrots)
2 tablespoons fresh cranberries
1 tablespoon coarse brown sugar
In a bowl, mash sweet potato with a fork. Add cranberries and sugar and work into mixture until smooth. Apply to cleansed skin and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes for the ingredients to work away at the top layers of the skin. Then rub in circular motions to promote circulation and help exfoliate off dull skin cells. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH HEEL SOOTHER
Food and bare feet don’t sound like a good combo, but winter squash can help relieve dry, cracked skin. The vitamin E in butternut squash protects and repairs your skin. Then mix it with hydrating oil to soothe skin.
1 large cooked and mashed butternut squash
2 cups safflower or vegetable oil
Combine ingredients and transfer to a pail large enough to accommodate both feet. Submerge clean feet for 30 minutes. Rinse with tepid water and put socks and slippers on to contain the hydrating benefits of the soak.
PUMPKIN SPICE BODY SCRUB
Dessert really does help your body look its best! Pumpkin is known to be a source of more than 100 beneficial vitamins and nutrients, including alpha- and beta-hydroxyacids, which have been shown to promote smoother, younger-looking skin by increasing the rate of cellular renewal.
1 part pumpkin puree (It’s okay to use pie filling, as the sugar will exfoliate)
1 part extra virgin olive oil
2 parts sugar
Mix all ingredients and apply to dry skin in circulation motions over your entire body, then rinse off in a warm shower.
Before you pour the rest of that uncorked bottle down the drain for fear it will only go flat, pour it into your bathtub. The carbon dioxide in champagne tightens and constrictspores. And while Epsom salt detoxifies your skin in plain water, the bubbles in bubbly intensify the process!
1/2 cup Epsom salt
1 cup champagne
1 teaspoon honey
Warm honey in the microwave for 30 seconds and combine with champagne in a mixing bowl. Pour into running bath water and, when the tub is full, soak for as long as you wish.
SWEET POTATO HAIR CONDITIONER
The ingredients here could be the making of a healthy snack, but instead of eating it, put it on your tresses. Sweet potatoes, honey, moisturize and prevent fly-away hair.
1/2 plain large sweet potato, cooked and mashed
3 tablespoons honey
Combine everything and apply to damp hair. Put on a plastic shower cap and wait 20 minutes before rinsing off with tepid water.
Imagery via The Bohmerian, CoolSpotters, NY Times Style, Byrdie
Words written Mallory Maupin