Each year, Americans spend thousands of dollars on bottled face washes, creams, scrubs, and pills that all promise to improve, prevent, or completely cure facial acne. Yet as the science expands, it is becoming universally recognized that the nutrients found in citrus have strong eradicating effects on the appearance and severity of acne.
The most prominent is Vitamin C which is recognized as a powerful and multi-functional nutrient. As an antioxidant, it can counteract the damaging effect of free radicals on the skin, which if left without intervention can damage or even kill otherwise healthy cells. These weakened cells are more susceptible to infections, including the emergence of acne.
Additionally, it plays a fundamental role in the production of collagen and elastin which are essential to the creation of healthy skin cells. In fact, Vitamin C helps to create a stronger form of collagen that supports the skin even through infections so as to prevent scaring and discoloration as well as insure that the breakouts are smaller and less severe.
Other important nutrients found in citrus fruit include magnesium, potassium, fiber and bioflavonoids. All are useful in preventing infection and inflammation. More specifically, the bioflavonoids of hesperidin and diosmin work with Vitamin C to strengthen its effect as well as balance the hemoglobin levels in the blood so that in the event of a breakout the discoloration of the skin is minimal.
So what’s the best way to get all the acne-fighting benefits of citrus fruit? There are many products, recipes and tips on using the citrus peel and natural oils on the surface of the skin, including the new product line Citrus Clear that has seen positive results. However, in order to receive the benefits from Vitamin C, the bioflavonoids, and the rest of the nutrients, they must be internally ingested. Simply put, the best way to get the most out of your citrus fruit is to eat it. Whether juiced or eaten as is, it is the fruit itself that provides the most nutrients. Though debatable, the minimum amount of Vitamin C a person needs is 90 mg for men and 75 for women. To put things in perspective, one cup of grapefruit contains about 85 mg of Vitamin C and has been proven to have more vitamins and bioflavonoids than an orange.
But if tipping back a big glass of orange juice or chowing down on a raw grapefruit is not your idea of a good time, there are other options. Simply flavoring your water with citrus fruits is a great way to get the nutrients of the juice and rind without feeling like you’re drowning in OJ. The internet and recipe books are also full of citrus-based recipes. Best Health magazine lists a few easy ideas for getting more citrus into your diet such as creating a quick grapefruit vinaigrette for a salad, putting together soups and pastas finished with a pop of flavor from lemon or lime, or now in the colder season, adding clementine, orange, and lemon juice to a hot spiced cider.
With new breakthroughs in the benefits of citrus fruits, it’s now easier, cheaper, and healthier to have beautiful, flawless skin – not to mention that these new methods are considerably more delicious.