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Citrus for the skin, not just for eating

By Ranelle Kirchner

Food waste is a huge problem. This has been true for years. In fact, we waste 150,000 tons of food per day here in America. But, the good news is, there is plenty we can do, as we cook and create, to help mitigate the effects of food waste, and cut back on the things we throw away.

For example, there are benefits hidden amongst the food scraps you might normally toss in the trash. Today, we’re going to focus on one specific ingredient that is especially potent in winter: Citrus. We’ll learn not only how to keep those special extra bits from ending up in landfills, but also how they can be turned into delicious treats sure to impress your friends and family.

Ranelle Kirchner, ChefRDN

No need to toss the peels after cooking with citrus, because you can save the peels to make your own skincare line.  Vitamin C helps protect your skin while also giving it that glow, renewing damaged skin. Additionally, the citric acid from citrus kills bacteria and pathogens present on the skin, which leaves you feeling fresh and clean.

Citrus scrub
  1. Dry your peel by removing the pith (white part of citrus) from the rind (the colored part) using a knife. Dehydrate for several hours using a dehydrator or oven (150F) for about 8 hours.
    2. Grind when completely dry.
    3. Combine 1 tbsp with 2 tbsp plain yogurt and 1 tsp honey until thoroughly mixed.To use:
    1. Massage into wet, damp skin.
    2. Rinse.
    3. Pat dry.
    4. Store citrus scrub in the refrigerator.

Mint, orange skin toner

Makes 12 ounces
This will deep clean your skin and tighten your pores after cleansing and is especially good for those with oily skin.

Ingredients:
3 tbsp fresh mint leaves
Peel of 1 medium orange
2 cups boiling water
1 tsp witch hazel

Directions:
1. Place mint leaves and peels in a ceramic bowl and pour boiling water over. Allow to steep and cool completely.
2. Strain out mint leaves and peels and stir in the witch hazel. Pour into a clean container with a tight-fitting lid.

To use:
Apply toner to your skin after cleansing with a clean cotton pad OR put in a spray bottle to spritz after bathing.

Lemon face pack

Great for those with sensitive skin, frequent rashes, and sunburned skin. The yogurt helps reduce inflammation and irritation, while the lemon lightens the sin tone and acts as an astringent.

Ingredients:
1 tsp yogurt
1 tsp lemon peel (dried and ground)
2 drops rose water
1 drop sandalwood oil

Directions:
1. Add all ingredients in a bowl.
2. Apply to skin evenly. Allow to absorb in the skin for 10 minutes.
3. Rinse with cold water.

Still hungry? Check out other amazing recipes here, like my DIY mint, honey elixir or homemade vanilla extract.


Ranelle Kirchner, a practicing Registered Dietitian and Le Cordon Blue culinary graduate based in Minnesota. Ranelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition Dietetics from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in Clinical Nutrition from Rush Medical College of Rush University Medical Center. Ranelle wears two hats — as a clinical dietitian specializing in diabetes, Ranelle collaborates with endocrinologists and other healthcare team members to address, engage, and manage patients. Her private practice, ChefRDN, reflects her passion for health plus all things food, including cooking/nutrition classes, recipe development, grocery store tours, meal planning, and personalized nutrition counseling with a focus on diabetes and weight concerns. Visit her website to read more articles and learn more about her services, and follow along at @KirchnerRanelle on Twitter.