What's the deal with watermelon? Well, for starters, watermelon contains a whole lot of....big surprise - water! Water is obviously fantastic for skin, being hydrating and important for maintaining skin flexibility, but watermelon has a lot of other benefits to offer our skin this summer.
Watermelon is a delicious, sweet fruit that gets its bright red pigment from teeny tiny properties called phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are essentially plant chemicals that are naturally occurring in the fruits, vegetables, and other plants that help sustain life on this big blue planet. While they aren't absolutely necessary for survival, they do some pretty cool things to help us in other ways...like helping to fight cancer cells. Special types of phytonutrients called carotenoids (antioxidants) work in different ways to provide our bodies with vitamins and important acids to function as antioxidants. Carotenoids are responsible for those pretty orange, red, and yellow pigments (and their blended colors) found naturally in fruits and vegetables like berries, pumpkin, carrots, and melon. Lycopene is behind the red tint you find in many fruits and vegetables, and this antioxidant can be found in watermelon, tomato, pink grapefruit, and more!
Lycopene is a special antioxidant that has been shown to reduce damage and inflammation from UV rays . Tomato was once a strong leader in the lycopene category, but recent studies are showing that watermelon may be even higher in this awesome antioxidant!
Today we're making a cool and refreshing summer skin treat with real watermelon, plus mint and just a touch of refreshing lime if desired!
I'm using ground sunflower seeds as my exfoliant for this body scrub. Since we'll be using real watermelon, we don't want to use sugar or salt that will dissolve quickly in liquid. Seed powders, oat powders, and other natural pantry goods can step right into their place, providing a gentle surface polish to remove dead skin cells and promote even skin tone. Exfoliation promotes circulation which helps stimulate blood and capillaries to transport oxygen and nutrients through skin. All of those vitamins and nutrients in your blood stream aren't doing your skin any good if they aren't being distributed throughout all of the cellular layers + we want oxygen and other vitamins that nourish our skin externally to make their way into deeper skin cell layers.
For this body polish, I'm grinding my sunflower seeds in a coffee grinder to produce a fine, gentle powder. Sunflower seeds contain sunflower oil, an excellent, Vitamin E-rich skin oil that has additional benefits of its own! A touch of fresh mint adds cooling, anti-inflammatory properties to help skin that has been exposed to harsh UV rays, and lime zest with real citrus oil adds extra Vitamin C, plus helps promote even skin tone and removes dead skin cells on the surface. Take care to avoid heavy sun exposure following the use of citrus juices and oils, as they can make your skin slightly more prone to burning.