Strawberries for your skin

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For me, memories of summer vacation revolve around strawberry picking. Fresh out of school for the summer holidays, our first trip would always be going back home to my parents, and the first activity on our to-do list was always strawberry picking.

My girls loved it from when they were young—Brittany was even nicknamed “Brittany Berry” because she loved strawberries so much. She would sit amongst the rows and instead of putting them in the basket she would just eat them, freshly picked off the vine. An ironic fun fact: The first garden strawberry was actually grown in Brittany, France in the late 18th century.

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These luscious deep red gems are a sure sign of summer and are one of the most popular berry fruits in the world—except that it technically isn’t considered a berry but rather an “aggregate accessory fruit” (which means that the flesh is not derived from the fruit’s ovaries but from the receptacle that holds the ovaries…so strawberries are all ladies!).

The strawberry (Fragaria) is actually a member of the Rose (Rosaceae) family, which made me very excited to learn, as anything in the Rose family is one of my favourite ingredients to use in Aromatherapy—thinking I’ll need to add strawberry to my arsenal of skincare product ingredients.

Since strawberries are rich in vitamin C, nutrients and acids that can help fade blemishes, exfoliate, tighten pores, and nourish the skin to a healthy glow. The high levels of alpha hydroxy acids, salicylic acid, and flavonoids make strawberries great for treating acne naturally.

Sounds face mask-worthy, right? Grab 5 ripe strawberries (no stems or leaves), a tablespoon of honey, and the juice from a quarter of a lemon. Mash or puree the strawberries and add the honey and lemon to create a smooth paste. Apply to your clean face for about 20 minutes. Wash off with warm water, and follow with a serum or moisturizer.

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For more of an anti-aging mask, grab a few strawberries (no stems or leaves), 2 teaspoons of yogurt or cream, and a teaspoon of honey. Mash or puree the strawberries and add the yogurt and honey. Apply to your clean face and neck and enjoy a cup of antioxidant rich green tea while you relax for 20 minutes. Wash off with warm water, follow with a serum or moisturizer, and enjoy brighter and tighter skin.

And for all of you mamas-to-be out there, eat as many strawberries as you can this summer! Strawberries are a good source of folic acid—one serving provides 21mcg. Folic acid is an important B vitamin for the health of your growing baby; it promotes pre-natal health by aiding in cell regeneration and the production of new cells. Folic acid is often recommended for women who are pregnant or trying to conceive, especially in the early stages of pregnancy to help in the development of the baby’s brain, skull, and spinal cord. The folic acid in strawberries could even help to prevent birth defects such as spina bifida.

Peak season is June to July so grab your sunhat, find your local organic farmer, and get pickin’!