As families sit down at the table Thursday to give thanks for a bountiful feast, we can also give thanks for the bounty of
, where the harvest is diverse and year-round.
And — more thanks — many of California's abundant crops and natural resources provide more than just good nutrition: They can help in the pursuit of beauty too.
Grapes — anti-aging
"Grapes are naturally rich in antioxidants, so they offer incredible health-protective benefits whether eaten or applied topically," says Dr. Howard Murad, a
and associate clinical professor of medicine at
. "The skins of the grapes contain flavonoids, a type of antioxidants that protect cells against free-radical damage, reduce inflammation and help prevent
." Resveratrol, found in grape skins, is also touted as an anti-aging ingredient, and grape seeds and grape seed extracts are rich in flavonoids and
and can be the base of a terrific body scrub.
Warm Grapeseed oil massage at
Wine and Honey Wrap at
, using local organic honey and
County wine, $110.
Custom Vinotherapy Mask To-Go Box, $24. Red & White Organic Wine Bar gift set featuring full-sized harvest crush Syrah and summer crisp Chardonnay organic wine bar soap, $20, or try the Spa'vignon Blanc Wine Bar organic soap for $7.95.
Citrus — uplifting, detoxifying and clarifying
Citrus is known for its uplifting, happy scents. Products with lemons can also be clarifying, brightening and sanitizing. Lemon was heralded as a freckle-fader in the 1970s, but cosmetic chemist Rebecca James Gadberry says citrus applied topically can irritate the
. So, celebrate your inner lemon-lover, but just make sure the product is right for your skin type.
The Nirvana massage at
— ingredients include the hotel's Pacific Grove oil bursting with Southern California citrus such as lemon, grapefruit and clementine, $175.
& Pomegranate scrub at the
, made with local pixie tangerines, $150.
Fresh Squeezed Blood Orange Juicy shower gel, $15.
Malibu Lemon Blossom spray perfume. $22.
gift pack including a Lemon Sugar candle and Lemon Balm hand cleanser, $26.
Olives — moisturizing
Olives are good for your skin — especially if you're undergoing or have undergone
, says Dr. Ava T. Shamban, a Southern California dermatologist who has many chemotherapy patients. "Olive oil is a terrific moisturizer — it has omega-9 and antioxidants including vitamin E and phenols," Shamban says. "People going through chemotherapy treatments want to avoid unnatural products because of concerns about toxicity from ingredients formulated in a lab."
Ojai Olive Oil Body Soufflé moisturizing body treatment at
Classic olive body butter, signature gift box, $38, or Olivina Classic olive body and leg oil, $32.
Avocados — moisturizing
"Avocados are wonderful! They have
E, K, B and C, folate,
and more," Shamban says "The question is how much of those nutrients gets into the skin. Avocados are high in lipids and penetrate skin better than water-based products. I do know that my chemotherapy patients feel better after the use of an avocado face mask and olive oil on their body."
For a home treatment, mix one-half cup avocado with one-fourth cup honey to moisturize dry skin or mix half an avocado with an egg white and a teaspoon of lemon juice and wear for 20 minutes if your skin is on the oily side.
from Orchard Fresh Gift Baskets contains six Hass avocados, Limoneira Lifestyles avocado mask and Lavender Avocado facial cleanser, $44.
Lavender — relaxing
Lucky for us, lavender fields thrive in California. An
staple, lavender is said to relax and calm mind and body.
Sacred Bath gift set including Organic bath tea, Pink Himalayan and Lavender bath salts and Organic Lavender bath milk, $37. A Napa Valley Farm Gift Set including Organic Lavender Hydrosol, Napa Valley Organic essential oil, Napa Valley Organic Lavender Bundle and local olive oil, $72.
Strawberry — antioxidant
Get sweet. Besides tasting good, the berries are full of
, have antioxidant properties and can provide a rich color in natural cosmetics.
100% Pure Cosmetics has found a way to capture the fruit's berry coloring via the company's
Roses — anti-inflammatory and astringent
They're not just for Valentine's Day. Rose oil contains natural antioxidants and chemical compounds that have astringent, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Rose products are sometimes recommended for dry or sensitive skin, and the aroma can be a natural mood-lifter.
products from Olvina include hand and body lotion, $28; body butter, $26; and bubble bath, $34.
Minerals and mud — good for skin
"Minerals in these therapeutic baths, including sodium bicarbonate and
increase circulation in the body to help remove waste and bring oxygen to the cells — a recipe for fresh, glowing and healthy skin. In addition, if the bath is hot, the higher temperatures encourage sweating, even in the water, which can help to flush out toxins," Murad says. "Mud baths can be a relaxing and indulgent experience. But in addition to being a natural spa treatment, mud that is used therapeutically often contains sulfur, chloride, fluoride and other naturally occurring chemicals, which help clear and detoxify the complexion."
in Corona is known for its mineral baths, and its Club Mud is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. Admission: $39 to $52.
To use at home: Glen Ivy Take-Home mud mask, $14, and Glen Ivy Grotto Mask, $14.
"I am a huge believer in the connection between how you look and how you feel. Time spent watching the ocean has long been recognized as an effective stress-busting meditation. It's the kind of emotional self-care that really does help improve not only skin health but also your overall health," Murad says. "To boost the effect, your marine meditation should be part of an inclusive health lifestyle that also includes topical skin care and internal nutritional care. This three-pronged approach protects and promotes the integrity of cells throughout your body, and that's why it helps you to look and feel as young and healthy as possible."
touts the fragrant organic elements of its Southern California environment: eucalyptus, lavender, rose petals, orange blossoms, lemons, limes and mustard seeds, plus it has a whole roster of ocean-inspired therapies, including a recommended morning walk on the beach and underwater Thalasso massage, $135.
Surf Sea Salt foot scrub, $18.
Salts of the Earth scrub, sold at the St. Regis Spa Gaucin in Dana Point and used in its Ocean Scrub treatment, $40.
Figs — a unisex scent
California leads the nation in the production not only of grapes, avocados, flowers, olives and strawberries but also in artichokes, dairy, dates, peaches, pears, pistachios, walnuts, kiwifruit, almonds, persimmons, plums and mouth-watering figs. Figs are delightful for their unisex scent — and are delicious to eat.
Fig Home Diffuser, $37.95 and Figs and Zinfandel soap, $8.95.