5 Foods In Your Kitchen That Are Brilliant Beauty Remedies

We met James Wong, the man behind the BBC 2 series Grow Your Own Drugs. Passionate about plants, he's the go-to guy when you want to know what'll work for what, and when.

James WongAt the launch of Liz Earle into Arnotts this morning, we spotted someone we knew we recognised. Aha, yep. That was James Wong, an ethonbotanist who works at London’s world-famous Kew and also for Liz Earle, and whose Grow Your Own Drugs TV programme we’d watched with interest.

James is one of those people who makes plants super-interesting, and his show used the sort of things that are all around us to create natural remedies. “I want to make people think differently about plants – growing all around us are plants that could make you feel better,” he’s said, and so we had a bit of an idea…

Yeah, we’re pretty much over washing our hair with eggs and ending up with scrambled gruaige, but there’s still something about the lure of kitchen cupboard remedies we can’t resist. So, we asked him for his top five finds that really pack a beauty punch. This is what he told us…

Lyons Tea

1. Teabags

“Teabags are great for constricting blood vessels so they can help with puffy eyes and whiten the eye,” James says. Here’s where it gets really good: “The more tannin the teabag has, the better, so it’s builders tea you want, not anything herbal and fancy.” We can definitely manage that.


2. Avocado

“In Latin American countries, this is as common as cucumber but it’s a much better beauty remedy because it’s full of fatty acids and vitamins. Use it under the eyes or on the face.” Or, er, on your toast?


3. Oatmeal

Pass on that Bircher muesli or Proats just for once, huh? “Oatmeal is an emollient,” says James. “It’s great to reduce dryness.” In fact, lots of people with severely atopic or sensitive skin actually add it to a bath and bathe in it, to find relief, and it’s also why you often find it in facepacks too. No wonder we love the humble oat so much.


4. Honey

This is nature’s liquid healer. “It’s antibacterial,” he points out. “You can use it on household burns and also on sunburn.” Packin’ some for our next trip abroad, BBZ.

coconut oil

5. Coconut oil

Yep, forget putting eggs on your hair. “Coconut oil is one of the few oils to be absorbed by the hair,” James reveals. “However, it’s difficult to spread along the hair shaft so it can result in greasy patches. It’s best to use at night,” he advises.