Stop Ditching those Peels and Save them for Beauty

Living in a house with about a half dozen people can be a messy experience. Often, pots and pans can pile up on the counter, along with the even more repulsive excess food in the drain. I like to give people the freedom to be slightly messy when they are hurrying off to band practice or hurriedly heading off to work.

One day, I noticed several orange peels separated from the madness; upon further investigation, I found out these orange peels were being used to keep the slugs out of our garden. Interesting, I thought to myself as it began to dawn on me that I often saw orange peel oil in the natural beauty care sections of several stores. I had to find out why.

One of my biggest beauty woes has been blackheads, with them recently getting a lot worse as I start getting older. Having had plenty success with lemon juice, I was excited to try out a different citrus in hopes that it could be a cheap remedy for my tiny blackheads and prevent me from spending hours in front of the mirror trying to extract them by hand, leaving my face puffy and red.

For centuries, cultures have used fruit peels — particularly orange for its many curative compounds — to alleviate symptoms of indigestion, cure common colds and boost the immune system. While the center of the fruit may be the tastiest, the slightly bitter peel holds even more of the nutrients your skin craves to be healthy and glowing. The skin of an orange is packed with vitamin C, calcium, B vitamins which are key to anti-aging properties, and zinc which helps protect your skin from UV rays. A face serum packed with these vitamins and healing abilities can easily run you over $20, but you can snag a naval orange for about $1 and easily extract the peel's oils to add to your next skin regimen.

Here are a few reasons you should keep your orange peels after you enjoy your sweet treat. Be sure to purchase organic oranges only, you definitely don't want all those gnarly pesticides and other chemicals on your skin!

Treat Blackheads

Blackheads are those horrendous little spots that occur when bacteria gets stuck into a pore or hair follicle. One of my favorite home remedies to remove blackheads is to combine a few teaspoons of grated orange peel with a lactic acid of your choice. Being lactose intolerant, I use unflavored coconut yogurt (which can be incredibly hard to find), but a few teaspoons of unflavored, plain yogurt will be even more effective if you can stomach the stuff. Rub your mixture in circular motions in the infected areas and leave on for about 5 minutes before rinsing well.

Brighten Skin Color

Adding orange peels to your favorite facial mask can give you a bonus brightening formula. I love to extract the oil from the peel and combine it with my raw honey face mask, which also contains cinnamon and nutmeg. The pH level of the mask is already neutralizing free radicals, which helps bring down the acidity level of the orange peel.

If you've a food processor or a blender of sorts, you are ahead of the game and can easily extract the oil from orange peels. If you are not about that cookin' life, you can pick some extract up at any vitamin shop and most health food stores. You'll spend a little more cash, but it'll certainly last you!

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