I’ll admit it:
I’m a beauty cheapskate.
The worst kind of cheapskate, in fact.
The kind that expects to look absolutely gorgeous on absolutely nothing.
Chalk it up to experience. I spent my 20s buying all the latest products. The ads in the magazines looked so convincing. Surely the ONLY reason I didn’t look that good was because I didn’t have the right products.
You know what?
That was a lot of money down the tube.
Money that I could have used for more important things, like lattes or shoes.
I learned my lesson. The right products weren’t going to save me. I was only buying them to mask my looks, anyway. I didn’t like how I looked, and nothing was going to change that … short of a miracle.
Little did I know, that miracle was already happening.
It took me longer than expected—like over a decade longer—but I finally arrived at the skin and body I deserved. This is how I wanted to look all those years ago, when I was flailing about in the cosmetics aisle at Walmart. Better late than never.
Crazy, right? Everyone knows that beauty products make you beautiful. Food just makes you fat.
But your pantry is the place where beauty begins.
What you eat has a PROFOUND impact on your figure and complexion.
Here are 3 beauty secrets I wish I’d known years ago.
1. Your skin loves healthy fats.
The war on fat has got to stop.
Choosing the nonfat versions of your favorite foods seems like a healthy choice, right? Except it’s not. Food manufacturers load up nonfat foods with sugar, to make up for the loss in flavor.
Enjoy those sweet treats, and your skin won’t thank you. Eating a carb-heavy diet can make your blood sugar levels spike, setting in motion a scary process called glycation.
Glycation happens when sugar molecules bind to proteins, including collagen. The result is premature aging.
Wrinkles and age spots appear. Skin sags and toughens. In fact, researchers have determined that you appear 5 months older for every 1 mm/liter increase in blood sugar.
Here’s what to do.
Introduce fat back into your diet. Not just any fat, but healthy fats like avocadoes, oily fish, nuts, and coconut oil. Skip the vegetable oil (except for extra-virgin olive oil), margarine, and trans fats.
Switch back to the plain, full-fat versions of your favorite foods. Pass on the flavored yogurts and doctor up plain yogurt with berries or cinnamon. Enjoy a splash of half-and-half in your coffee (or make it bulletproof with coconut oil) instead of loading up on nondairy creamer. A tablespoon of flavored nondairy creamer can contain as much as 1 ¼ teaspoons of sugar.
2. Be careful with dairy.
I grew up with those “Got Milk?” ads with celebrities wearing milk moustaches. Of course milk was good for you. Everyone knew that.
Not so fast.
The latest research paints a more complicated picture of dairy. Dairy has been implicated in higher rates of breast cancer and heart disease. But where it really shows up is in the skin.
Registered dietitian Maria Bella explains:
There is a very strong correlation between consuming dairy products—such as milk—and acne, skin breakouts and aging.” 
She recommends cutting out dairy for 12 weeks to see a complexion boost.
If cutting out dairy isn’t an option, switch to organic versions of your favorite dairy foods.
3. Use food as skincare.
Got a burn? Slather raw honey on it.
Got oily skin? Smear plain organic yogurt onto your face, leave it for 10 minutes, and wash it off.
Got dry hair? Mash up an avocado, drizzle in a little olive oil and honey, then work it into your hair as a mask.
I’m a huge fan of natural skincare. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more sensitive to the chemicals in most beauty products. So I started making my own.
There are recipes online for everything from homemade shampoo to toothpaste. And once you start making your own, you’ll never look back.
Neely Quinn thinks like I do.
She’s a huge fan of using food to improve your complexion and your looks. (Her top 3 favorites? Honey, avocado, and coconut oil.)
She’s taken the time to test all the crazy ideas you see online and has come up with a list of the methods that actually work—the ones that make you look and feel amazing.
Your natural beauty is the best kind of beauty, because it reflects true health instead of faking it with cosmetics. Of course cosmetics have their place! Use them to make a good thing—your natural beauty—even better.
So go ahead. See if natural beauty remedies can give you the #justwokeuplikethis glow the beauty products aisle never could. Your bathroom mirror may smile back at you with all the evidence you need.