Cacao: Winter Beauty Inside + Out

One of my most favorite ingredients for winter beauty, cacao, has been showing up in my skincare routine and in my diet a LOT more lately. Did you realize that cacao delivers skin benefits from the inside and outside?

When the weather turns cold, I reach for cacao in my smoothies, hot drinks, desserts, and even savory dishes (a little cacao in homemade chili is amazing). And this year, thanks to Josh Rosebrook and the Beauty Heroes team, my skin is getting a dose of cacao from the outside as well, with the Josh Rosebrook Cacao Antioxidant Mask that arrived in my November Beauty Heroes Discovery box.

Here's what you need to know about this powerful mask, and a special recipe from the pages of Eat Pretty Every Day that's a staple in this season of sweets & treats. Enjoy!

CACAO FOR BEAUTY - OUTSIDE: To me, this mask has both a silly and a serious side. Smearing it on feels a bit like donning warpaint; arming yourself against future harms to your complexion, perhaps? But if you're a beauty buff the ingredients inside will catch your attention for their potency and purity (not just natural—organic). Not only does antioxidant-rich cacao show up as the second ingredient, it's accompanied by such desirable anti-agers as turmeric, baobab, marula, ashwaganda, cinnamon, elderberry, and ginger. It's like slathering a superfood smoothie directly on your skin.

And if you have ever met Josh Rosebrook, you understand on an even deeper level exactly how much love goes into his craft. His formulas are unique, high-performing, and in a class of their own—much like Josh himself. If you ordered the November 2016 Beauty Heroes Discovery box, you'll also be able to mist on Josh Rosebrook's Hydrating Accelerator, and dab on his incredible new unisex perfume, Ethereal. Amazing, right? I can't say enough amazing things about Beauty Heroes!

CACAO FOR BEAUTY - INSIDE: Salted Superfood Chocolate Bark, from the winter chapter of my latest book Eat Pretty Every Day, is one of my favorite recipes, for its ease, deliciousness, and beauty benefits. Make a batch of this amazing Salted Superfood Chocolate Bark (recipe below- top it with your favorite raw nuts and seeds, spices, and dried fruit) and enjoy it while Josh Rosebrook's Cacao Antioxidant Mask works its magic from the outside. Consuming cacao reduces redness in the skin, protects against UV damage, and increases moisture in the skin by boosting nutrients, blood, and oxygen supplied to skin. It also contains a phytochemical that helps block wrinkle formation and, of course, creates feelgood endorphins in the body when we eat it. Time to make a batch of this amazing treat tonight:

Salted Superfood Chocolate Bark, from Eat Pretty Every Day:

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NOTE: If you purchase a Beauty Heroes subscription, or one of the aforementioned products, I will receive a small commission on behalf of Beauty Heroes. My honest review and experience with Beauty Heroes and these products was in no way influenced by my affiliate status.

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Beauty Ingredient 101: Coconut Oil

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"...the phenomenal moisturizing properties of organic, cold-pressed coconut oil on the skin cannot be matched by any chemical moisturizer." - David Wolfe

Coconut oil is an amazing beauty food that should absolutely be a staple of your pantry. At some point coconut oil was given a bad rap, likely because it's a saturated fat (you'll find that it's a solid until about 75 degrees F).

But the fact is that it contains medium-chain fatty acids (unlike saturated fats from dairy and animal products) that the body metabolizes quickly- and it doesn't develop trans-fats when heated like most other cooking oils. Not what you thought, right? In addition to that, coconut oil balances blood sugar levels and may help lower cholesterol and restore thyroid function. All this from a saturated fat?!

According to David Wolfe's book, Superfoods, coconut oil appears to double the body's ability to use omega-3 fatty acids. And it has strong antioxidant properties on its own.

Of course the skin-softening, healing and hydrating properties of coconut oil double its value. Massage coconut oil directly into skin or hair (as a deep-conditioning treatment or a smoother of split ends). You can purchase organic, cold-pressed coconut oil at the grocery store, or buy a version specifically for beauty, like these from Adara.

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