I'm still recovering from holiday celebrations. I happily indulged in way too many guilty pleasures, which curiously involved lots of nutty goodies--pecan pie, dark chocolate covered cashews and chocolate chip walnut cookies. They were all homemade using no gluten or dairy products, since I have special dietary needs.
Much to my delight, I received several packages of mixed nuts from family and friends as gifts. Almonds, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, macadamias and hazelnuts not only make ideal snacks, but they also pair well with veggies, breakfast cereals and desserts. High in protein, unsaturated fats and vitamins, they're known to help reduce cholesterol--as long as they're eaten in moderation, and not coated in sugar or salt.
The beauty industry embraces the healing properties of nuts too. In fact, many skincare manufacturers utilize the oils in their formulations to nourish the needs of damaged or dehydrated skin--which comes in handy during the dry winter months. Check out the most popular:
Almond: Linoleic acid repairs the skin, while high oleic oil balances loss and absorption of moisture.
Macadamia: Palmitoleic acid, and omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids combat dryness and free radical cell damage. Plus, the oil helps regenerate mature skin, and heal scars, stretch marks and sunburns.
Kukui nut (aka candleberry, aleurites moluccana and candlenut): High in essential fatty acids, the oil has been used by Hawaiians for thousands of years to protect skin from salt water, and harsh sun and wind. Also known to benefit dry and sensitive skin, and psoriasis and eczema.
Take a look at the latest topical treasures utilizing nut oils. Your dry winter skin will thank you. Note: For those who suffer from nut sensitivities, please consult your allergist before using any of these products.
SHINE: Basq Resilient Body Toning & Hydrating Oil (Stretch Mark Prevention). BEAUTY: Tone and tighten loose skin due to pregnancy or weight loss with hazelnut, sunflower seed, sesame seed and sweet almond oils. BEACON: No animal testing. Free of parabens and phthalates.
SHINE: CellCeuticals Extreme Defense Anti-Cell Damage Skin Treatment. BEAUTY: Sweet almond and avocado oils, vitamin E and aloe vera leaf juice help hydrate and heal the skin. BEACON: No animal testing and vegan. Contains no artificial colorants or fragrances, sodium lauryl sulfate, phthalates or parabens.
SHINE: Dermalogica Precleanse. BEAUTY: Remove excess sebum oil, sunscreen, waterproof makeup and environmental pollutants with apricot kernel and rice bran oils, vitamin E and kukui nut oil. BEACON: Free of artificial fragrances and colorants. Championed joinFITE (Financial Independence Through Entrepreneurship).
SHINE: Ioma Cocoon Voluptuous Body Cream. BEAUTY: Sweet almond and sunflower seed oils, shea butter and vitamin E help restore moisture and stimulate cell renewal. BEACON: Contains no fragrances, silicones or parabens.
SHINE: LATHER Sweet Almond Exfoliating Creme and Sweet Almond Face Moisturizer. BEAUTY: Soften dry or mature skin and gently slough dead surface cells with sweet almond oil and vitamin E. BEACON: No animal testing. Also free of parabens.
SHINE: LCN SPA Almond Foot Lotion. BEAUTY: Green tea and aloe vera extracts, and sweet almond oil boost the suppleness of your feet and legs. BEACON: Free of parabens.
SHINE: Malie Organics Mango Nectar Body Wash and Mango Nectar Body Cream. BEAUTY: Enhance your bathing experience and refresh your skin with mango Hawaiian hydrosol, aloe vera leaf juice, and kukui nut and jojoba seed oils. BEACON: No animal testing and vegan. Contains no petroleum, sulfates or parabens.
SHINE: Nature Pure Labs Tangerine Creamy Sugar Scrub with Hippophae. BEAUTY: Macadamia nut, rose, orange blossom and ylang ylang oils revitalize your skin and soul. BEACON: No animal testing. Free of parabens, and artificial colorants and fragrances.
SHINE: Neal's Yard Remedies Almond Oil. BEAUTY: Formulated to soften and soothe all skin types, including babies, children and those with sensitivity issues, with 100% almond oil. Blend with other essential oils to create a luxurious massage lotion. BEACON: No animal testing. Contains no parabens, synthetic fragrances or colorants, silicones or mineral oils. Supports Friends of the Earth and Women’s Environmental Network.
SHINE: Sumbody Hand It Over Hand Cream. BEAUTY: Coconut, sweet almond, avocado and grape seed oils, and shea butter and soy milk restore moisture loss to the hands. BEACON: Free of parabens, animal oils, sodium lauryl/laureth sulfates, artificial preservatives and synthetic chemicals.