Oh no! You’ve been out in the sun all day and you forgot the sunscreen! You were gardening and somehow the odours that smelled so good outdoors are just too aromatic once you get inside. You just checked the mirror and that pimple is now twice the size it was last night. You just came out of the pool and your hair has turned green. What’s a girl or guy to do? Tomatoes to the rescue!
Yes, that’s right. The lowly tomato, that extra bit of color in salads and soups, is your friend for a surprising number of life’s minor emergencies. Grab a tomato to:
- alleviate the sting of sunburn
- shrink pimples
- restore normal hair color
- mask odors, and more!
Although not considered nutritionally essential, the American Cancer Society notes there may be real benefits to eating tomatoes as a cancer preventative. Tomatoes have the highest concentration of the anti-oxidant lycopene of any vegetable.
Tomato home remedies? To cool a sunburn, mix and mash with buttermilk, yogurt, or mayonnaise, then apply. You may be amazed to find how quickly skin returns to normal.
Your hair or skin smells awful? You’ve just chopped onions and the guests will be arriving in half-an-hour. Quick! To get rid of the onion smell, rub tomato paste through your hair, then head for a fast shower and shampoo. You just spent the evening with friends who are among the last of the heavy smokers and your clothes reek. Give them a soak in tomato juice before tossing them in the washing machine.
Or worst case scenario: (this really happened to me and a boyfriend), you were taking a leisurely walk through the woods (preferably with someone who loves you) and you got skunked. I’m here to tell you that the “old saw” does work: really bad smells can be masked, if not eliminated, by a bath in tomato juice.
Chlorine-green hair? Mash up some tomatoes or open a can of tomato paste and give yourself a 10-minute treatment. The weak acid in the tomato can counteract the alkalinity from the pool water to restore a proper pH balance. Rinse it off and you’ll probably see the “green” go down the drain and your hair color return to normal. Follow up with a good shampoo and conditioning afterwards.1
While the idea of applying a tomato mask to your face may seem a bit strange, many people swear by it. For those with oily skin, tomatoes will absorb surplus oil and may help to get rid of pimples and clear away blackheads. If your skin is dry, you can add some day-old curd, mayo, or yogurt to the tomato paste.
A few words of caution: Before applying tomatoes to your skin – as with any mask or lotion, always try it out first on a small patch of skin to check that you are not allergic or reactive. Do be extra careful with tomatoes – they are a member of the nightshade plant family and some people may have strong allergic reactions.
As far as anti-aging products go, tomatoes rank high on the list.
Rich in anti-oxidants, high in Vitamin C, and high in water content, tomatoes have been shown to reduce the number of free radicals in your body. The lycopene in tomatoes is one of the most powerful carotenoids / anti-oxidants — as well as what gives tomatoes their red color. Unlike the beta-carotene in carrots, lycopene does not convert to Vitamin A in the body.
Interestingly, scientists have found that the cooking process increases the availability of lycopene to the body as long as it’s served with a bit of oil or fat – so enjoy your spaghetti sauce and shake on the kétchup!
Feeling pale and washed out? Eating tomatoes regularly is said to give you a pink and glowing complexion, so enjoy a tomato today! Tomatoes to the rescue!
1 Many of the ideas for this article were adapted from http://www.gogreenstreet.com/beautiful-tomato-secrets-one-of-natures-beauty-boosters/ by Veronica Davis, accessed on 4/25/2012.
Image: photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
By Teviot Fairservis.