Sliced Fresh Shiitake

Reduce inflammation, increase elasticity, help with exfoliation, and act as anti-oxidants.

Shiitake mushrooms, papaya, berries, vodka, chocolate—this isn’t an ingredients list for some weird fusion-cuisine from an upscale restaurant. It’s a list of foods and drinks that you can use topically to create beautiful skin. Some of these you can honestly take from fridge to face. Others you’ll want to seek as ingredients in your skincare products.

Shiitake ‘Shrooms: Reduce inflammation, increase elasticity, help with exfoliation, and act as anti-oxidants. These goodies also contain kojic acid, which helps fade dark spots such as those created by sun damage. Skincare products that contain shiitake mushrooms also encourage faster skin cell renewal and block skin-aging proteins.

Papaya. Packed with antioxidants, the nutrient-rich papaya fruit can help protect skin cells from free-radical damage. Because it contains alpha-hydroxy acids, it can also help remove dead skin cells and reduce the appearance of skin aging. You can actually use the skins of peeled papaya for a quick enzyme treatment, but if you’d rather not, there are plenty of skincare products that contain papaya.

Berries. Rich with anti-oxidants, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries battle the free radicals that are a product of the wrinkle-making cellular damage that comes with aging. They’re also highly tannic, so they can be used as astringents. That means skincare products that contain berries can penetrate and constrict pores, neutralize excess oils, and remove dirt and dead skin cells.

Vodka. Drinking alcohol can be bad for your skin, but the type of alcohol found in spirits such as vodka has excellent astringent properties to help shrink pores and give excess oils the boot. Because it’s booze, this is strictly for at-home skincare.

Chocolate. Researchers are still looking at all chocolate can do for the skin, but there are many skincare products that contain chocolate. That’s because it has wrinkle-fighting anti-oxidant properties and typically contains skin-softening cocoa butter.

So, there you have it. Strangely enough, you can honestly claim that ‘shrooms and vodka are good for you—topically applied, of course!