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Beauty that’s good enough to eat

Try these 2-in-1 tonics for clear skin and even better health.

As consumer demand for greener, cleaner beauty grows, one company is making truly edible skin care and body care products. Organic Pharmacy’s new Beauty Drops, an antioxidant-rich blend of Gotu Kola, bilberry, and ginseng, can be applied to the skin to increase cellular oxygenation or taken internally to boost immunity.

“This idea is already quite popular in Europe,” says Organic Pharmacy’s resident homeopath Urvi Radia. “It’s common in herbal medicine to think both internally and externally and we’re seeing that consumers want to merge the areas of beauty and health more and more.”

The general dosage: As a topical beauty serum, smooth five drops onto your face or for internal benefits, take 10–15 drops twice a day (placed under the tongue or mixed into tea). Your only dilemma, where to store it? Bathroom medicine cabinet or kitchen cupboard.

Here, Radia offers up four other botanical beauty-and-health tonics (consult a naturopath for specific recs) that can maximize your glow, improve digestion, work as after-shave, and help with muscle recovery.

propolis

What A resin produced by certain trees. Bees collect it and use it to seal the hive from wind and cold. The antioxidant, amino-acid-rich extract is used in tinctures and tonics.

Topically It boosts collagen formation and tissue repair and reduces the production of inflammatory prostaglandins. “The anti-inflammatory and anesthetic effects make it great for soothing redness in the skin and irritation after shaving,” says Radia.

Internally A great daily immune-booster that can improve digestion and calm stomach ulcers. “Its anti-bacterial and anti-septic so it will help you fight a cold, sore throat, or flu,” says Radia. Adding marigold and St.John’s Wort will pump up the action.

calendula

What It’s the botanical name for marigold, part of the sunflower family. You’re probably familiar with this plant’s bright orange flowers, but did you know nutritive carotenoids provide the color?

Topically There’s a reason it’s found in baby products. Calendula helps regenerate tissue as it soothes. Pat it on as aftershave to stop small nicks from bleeding. It also fights breakouts due to its antiseptic qualities. Combined with nettle, it can minimize redness and help treat rosacea, notes Radia.

Internally Calendula has been well studied for its potent anti-inflammatory effects and can be helpful for post-workout aches and pains. It also contains free-rad fighting flavonoids and eye-protective lutein.

aloe

What This clear gel is found inside the stalks of succulents—aloe plants that just sound juicy.

Topically It’s the go-to sunburn soother used to calm inflammation and rehydrate summer-parched skin. “It helps bind moisture in the skin and stimulates collagen production to repair skin tissue,” says Radia. “If you mix it with bilberry, it can also help repair broken capillaries and improve circulation, which can improve healing.” Adding propolis can boost benefits.

Internally Aloe contains antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E, B 12, folic acid, plus calcium magnesium, zinc, selenium, and potassium. Drinking aloe rehydrates and calms inflammation inside as well, improving digestion when taken in moderation.

turmeric

What An Indian spice from the curcuma longa plant, turmeric probably already has a place in your cupboard but there’s a reason Indonesian women cleanse with it for a pre-wedding glow.

Topically The curcumin in turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory flavonoid that fights free radical damage. Its anti-bacterial properties curb breakouts, too. Mix the drops with some yogurt and honey for a 20-minute hydrating, smoothing mask, suggests Radia. “It can also be used if you get a rash or summertime insect bites because it’s an anti-allergen—it blocks histamine.” (Combining it with nettle, another anti-allergen, can increase the benefits of turmeric).

Internally Extensive research shows curcumin helps fight Alzheimer’s, many forms of cancer, and inflammatory conditions like arthritis—and the anti-inflammatory effects can also help relieve exercise-related soreness. (Curcumin is hard to absorb but ingesting it with pepper can improve bioavailability).