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Are you throwing a cookout this weekend? If the lines in the grocery store are any indication…you’re not the only one.

In my family, we ALWAYS throw a big barbecue at this time of the year — it’s the perfect time to get the WHOLE family together.

And as I was unpacking some of my groceries, I realized something: Some of my cookout essentials are amazing…for your skin.

I’m serious — sometimes the most UNEXPECTED ingredients make the biggest difference.

Now, it may seem a little silly to slather food on your face, but honestly…if you end up with glowing skin, isn’t it worth it?

So in honor of the beginning of summer, here are my Top 5 Cookout Beauty Foods for your skin!


Sour cream is rich in lactic acid — an
incredible natural exfoliant!

1: Sour Cream This is a pretty popular Russian beauty trick — and it can work wonders on dull, itchy skin.

That’s because sour cream contains lactic acid, which naturally removes dead skin gently, leaving your face bright, even, and well-moisturized.

To use: Coat your face with about 1 tablespoon of full-fat sour cream. Let sit for 20 minutes, and rinse with cold water.

2. Avocado For me, it’s not a party without a big helping of chips and guacamole…and avocado is also great for your skin.

It helps restore your skin’s moisture, and can even help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, thanks to its high vitamin A content.

To use: Mash half an avocado until it forms a smooth paste, and use your fingertips to apply to your face. Let sit for 15 minutes, then rinse with warm water.


It might sound strange… but a paste made of
beans could help you get your glow back!

3. Kidney Beans They’re great for nachos, chili, 7 layer dip and…your skin? Actually, yes!

Kidney beans are an incredible source of Vitamin B6 , which is great to help clear your skin1…and that alone would be worth it.

But they’re also rich in folic acid, which has been shown to improve the skin’s firmness and hydration to give skin a natural glow. It’s weird… but it works!

To use: Rinse cooked kidney beans well, then add to a blender or food processor. Puree until a thick paste is formed.

With fingertips, apply to your face in an even layer. Let sit for 10-15 minutes, then rinse with cold water.

4. Tomatoes — Tomatoes are rich in nutrients that are amazing for the skin:

  • Potassium is shown to boost skin’s hydration. 2
  • Vitamin A helps fight wrinkles. 3
  • Vitamin C reduces dark spots and sun damage.4

That’s why using a tomato-based toner can really improve your complexion and even fight certain signs of aging.

To use: In a blender, puree a large, ripe tomato until smooth as possible.

Strain through a mesh strainer, saving the tomato water.
Apply the tomato water to your skin with a cotton swab. Let absorb for 15-20 minutes, then wash off with warm water.

Note: Since tomato is acidic, it may cause mild irritation on sensitive skin. Make sure to do a patch test somewhere discreet before applying to your face.


It’s not just a side dish for wings — celery
is also a powerful beauty booster!

5. Celery — It’s great dipped in ranch or bleu cheese. But until recently, I’d never considered putting celery on my face.

But I noticed a celery face mask on the menu at a spa…so I did some research.

And it turns out celery is packed with anti-inflammatory compounds, is extremely hydrating, and is shown to help balance the oils in your skin5.

To use: Grate 2 ribs of celery into a bowl. Gradually add 1-2 tablespoons of all purpose flour until it forms a spreadable paste.

Apply to your face, let sit for 10 minutes, and rinse with cold water.

Now I know these aren’t your average beauty treatments — some people will tell you you’re crazy for even trying them…

…but even the biggest doubters will notice when your skin looks more radiant!

Results like that are always worth it…no matter how strange the treatment may seem.

So when you’re doing your shopping for the this weekend’s festivities, make sure to pick up enough of these ingredients to use in your recipes, and on your skin.

And after you give them a try, tell me what you think — just leave us a comment below! I know you’ll love the way your skin looks.

1 Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6). Medline Plus Website. Available at: Accessed May 27, 2016.

2 Sugawara T, Kikuchi K, Tagami H, S A, Sakai S. Decreased lactate and potassium levels in natural moisturizing factor from the stratum corneum of mild atopic dermatitis patients are involved with the reduced hydration state. Abstrac. J Dermatol Sci. 2012 May;66(2):154-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jdermsci.2012.02.011

3 osgrove MC, Franco OH, Granger SP, Murray PG, Mayes AE. Dietary nutrient intakes and skin-aging appearance among middle-aged American women. October 2007;86(4):1225-1231.

4 Edlich R, Winters K, Lim H et al. Photoprotection by Sunscreens with Topical Antioxidants and Systemic Antioxidants to Reduce Sun Exposure. J Long Term Eff Med Implants. 2004;14(4):317-340. doi:10.1615/jlongtermeffmedimplants.v14.i4.40.

5 Lewis DA, Tharib SM, Veitch BA. The Anti-inflammatory Activity of Celery Apium graveolens L. (Fam. Umbelliferae). Int J Crude Drug Res. 23(1):27-32. doi:10.3109/13880208509070685.

About the Author

Dr. John Layke

Dr. John Layke grew up in Milwaukee, WI, where he knew from a young age that he wanted to practice medicine. After completing his undergraduate degree at Marquette University, Dr. Layke went on to attend medical school at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and trained in general surgery at the University of Illinois Metropolitan Group Hospitals in Chicago.