Natural Beauty With Fall Nuts

Autumn is a season of transition and harvest, during which we cut back the garden, dry and preserve our herbs, and enjoy fresh apples, grains, and a wealth of healthy and delicious nuts.

When we think of fall nuts we often think of them defined in the culinary sense: large, oil-rich kernels found in hard shells. Botanically speaking, many nuts, including hazelnuts, chestnuts, and acorns are actually fruits composed of a hard shell with an edible seed inside. This tasty seed is packed with unsaturated fatty acids, protein, fiber, and a good dose of omega-3’s.

While they’re certainly tasty, common fall nuts like Brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts, cashews, and pecans are perfect for natural beauty because they contain so much protein, as well as vitamins, minerals, and natural oils. Finely ground, they make an effective ingredient in skin scrubs, and they help cleanse the skin without drying it out or damaging the surface. You can also make them into rich milk and butters with very little processing.

Nut oils offer a broad range of beauty recipes, and pure almond and walnut oils make wonderful skin and hair conditioners. {Of course, eating them also promotes beauty from the inside out, because they boost collagen production in our skin.} The bonus: you can find them easily at most grocery or natural food stores. Here are some easy natural beauty recipes for you to try at home. Enjoy!

Hazelnut Cleansing Scrub

Quite a few hazelnut species exist, including one native to the Pacific Northwest and Oregon. These nuts, or filberts as they are sometimes called, grow in abundance and are harvested in the month of October. Offering a sweet, mild flavor, hazelnuts are rich in natural oils that keep skin soft and radiant. They have a long shelf life and can stay fresh up to a year if kept in a sealed bag at room temperature or even longer if stored in the freezer.

1 Tbls hazelnuts, finely ground

1 Tbls walnut or almond oil

1 Tsp honey

Mix all the ingredients together.

To Use: Gently massage into your face and neck, then rinse with warm water and pat your skin dry.

Yield: 2 ounces

Almond Facial Scrub

In this cleansing scrub, almonds gently remove dead skin cells from the face to soothe the complexion. Make sure you grind the nuts into a very fine powder, as large pieces can damage delicate skin {you can do this in a food processor or coffee grinder}. You can also purchase ground almond meal at most grocery or natural food stores

1 Tbls almonds, finely ground, or

1 Tbls almond meal

1 Tbls almond oil

1 Tsp maple syrup or honey

Mix together all ingredients. Store in a clean container.

To Use: Gently massage into the face and neck. Rinse well with warm water and pat skin dry.

Yield: 2 ounces

Walnut Oil Cream

Europeans have cultivated walnut trees since the time of ancient Rome for both culinary and cosmetic use. The oil extracted from the walnut contains essential fatty acids important for maintaining beautiful skin and hair.

2 Tbls grated beeswax

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup walnut oil

2 Tbls rose water

In a heat-resistant container, mix together the beeswax and oils. Heat gently in the microwave or a water bath until the wax and coconut oil is melted. Stir in the rose water and pour into a clean container. You may have to stir once or twice to keep the oil and water blended as the mixture cools into a thick cream.

To Use: Massage this rich cream into dry hands, or add a tablespoon mixed with vitamin E oil for a remarkable eye cream to dab on at bedtime.

Yield: 4 ounces

Nuts & Natural Beauty

Here are a few simple ways to use nuts and nut products in your skincare regime:

Oils: Add walnut and almond oils to baths or creams for extra moisture and softness. If you have thick or damaged hair, these oils work great as natural, leave-on conditioners {apply lightly}.

Ground Nuts: Cleanse and exfoliate your body with finely ground nuts, which remove dead skin while also cleaning pores and moisturizing.

Nut Milk: These are classic skin cleansers that you can use in place of soap. Find them in stores or make your own. Add milk to the bath or use as a base for facial masks and skin scrubs.

Nut Butters: If you grind fresh nuts with a bit of oil you will produce an edible nut butter that’s high in protein and natural fats, For cosmetic use, try nut butters as a conditioning hair pack or skin treatment for dry skin and rough skin spots.

Almond Milk Bath

Honey, a natural humectant, locks in moisture in your skin, while almond milk provides rich, natural fats and oils that soften and treat dry or sensitive skin. For a scented bath, use a combination of your favorite essential oils. Scent combinations to try include: sweet orange and lemongrass; peppermint, tea tree, and rosemary; and lavender and rose.

1 cup almond milk

2 Tbls pure honey

4-5 drops essential oils

Mix together all ingredients.

To Use: Pour into a warm bath as you fill the tub. Soak for 15 to 20 minutes. Pat your skin dry and follow with a rich cream or natural oil.

Yield: 8 ounces

Lavender Almond Milk Facial

We all know lavender for its ability to soothe and relax a stressed mind and spirit. It also has antibacterial properties that, when combined with almond milk and yogurt, help deep clean your skin to remove surface impurities and dead skin cells. This is a good facial mask for all skin types, especially sensitive or mature skin {use it weekly}.

1 Tbls Greek yogurt or sour cream

1 Tbls almond milk

1 Tsp dried lavender

1 drop essential oil of lavender {optional}

Mix together all ingredients.

To Use: Spread on face and neck and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Rinse with warm water and follow with a cool-water rinse. Pat your skin dry and use your favorite moisturizer or skin cream.

Yield: 1 ounce

almond milk

Make Your Own Almond Milk

Store-bought almond milk can be expensive; this simple process offers an easy way to make it at home. Just follow these steps.

  1. Place 1 cup of raw almonds in a bowl and cover with water. Let sit 12 hours to overnight, and then strain.

  2. Place the soaked nuts in a blender with 3 cups of water, a pinch of salt, and 1 tablespoon of honey or agave if you like a sweeter flavored milk. {You can omit the sweetener if you’re using the milk for cosmetic use}.

  3. Process the mixture on high. You should have a white creamy milk. Strain your milk through a piece of cheesecloth and discard the solids. Pour your milk into a clean container and enjoy.

Raw Sugar Walnut Lip Scrub

When it comes to exfoliating, we often neglect our lips. But we want to keep them clean and clear of dead skin, so we look and feel fresh. A gentle scrub with oil-rich walnuts will do the trick!

1 Tsp finely ground walnuts

1 Tsp honey

2 Tsp brown sugar

Mix together all ingredients until you have a smooth paste.

To Use: Gently massage a small amount of the scrub into your lips using your fingertips. Rinse well with warm water, then follow up with a rich lip balm or natural oil.

Yield: Just over a half-ounce