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The fruit-growing season in Canada is short, and when summer comes I like to take advantage of what is fresh, available, and at its flavour peak. In late June and July, cherries are in abundance. They are rich red, mahogany even, and the plumpest, sweetest, juiciest fruits around. Cherries are magnificent.

While cherries are delicious to eat, they also do wonders when applied topically to our skin. The following is a recipe for a chocolate cherry smoothie/mask, which I like to call “Dessert for Your Face”. You will benefit inside and out from this tasty, in-season natural beauty product.

“Dessert for Your Face”

1 cup fresh pitted cherries

¾ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt

¼ cup whole oats

¼ cup dark chocolate chips (70% cocoa or darker)

½ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp vanilla

Melt the chocolate chips and blend all ingredients together. Apply ¼ cup of the mixture to your face and neck area, wait 10 minutes, then wipe off with a warm, damp washcloth. Eat the remaining smoothie portion for breakfast or for your pre-bedtime snack. After removing the mask is a great time to kiss your significant other, because your face will smell truly delicious.

Cherries are said to have the highest antioxidant level of any fruit, which means that they help our skin fight the aging free radicals in our environment. They are a good source of vitamins A, B, C, and E, which help to give us glowing skin, both when consumed and when applied topically. When applied to the skin, cherry juice is believed to help clear dark spots.

Yogurt contains lactic acid, which dissolves dead skin cells. We have all heard that Cleopatra used to soak in milk baths to maintain her coveted velvety skin. The lactic acid in yogurt helps to moisturize and exfoliate our skin, as well as to relieve discomfort from sun exposure and reduce discoloration. I chose to use Greek yogurt in this recipe because its thicker texture holds the mask together well; however, you could use regular yogurt too.

 Whole oats contain polysaccharides, which gel in moisture and penetrate the skin to help deeply moisturize, thus activating immune cells within. Oats are also anti-inflammatory, can provide healing for dry and itchy skin, and improve skin tone and firmness.

 The flavonoids found in 70% or darker chocolate are antioxidants that help to protect our skin from sun damage and increase blood flow to give our skin a happy, rosy glow.

Finally, cinnamon can reduce fine lines by stimulating blood vessels and bringing blood to the surface of the skin, resulting in a plumping effect. The vanilla was added simply for its delicious flavour!

 As you can see, this beauty mask/smoothie is a true multitasker. I find it to be effective and delicious. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do.



Recipe by: Nicole Lachance

Crystal Hills Bella Vita Blogger

Nicole earned her Bachelor of Arts degree (with distinction) from the University of Alberta, with a major in French Language and Literature and a minor in Italian Language. She then continued her education at McGill University, earning her Bachelor of Common Law and Bachelor of Civil Law, where she was selected as class valedictorian. Nicole is a practicing lawyer and writes the Bella Vita Beauty Blog for Crystal Hills Organics. Nicole enjoys being active with her husband and three small children. She also enjoys traveling, playing tennis, ballet, cooking, baking, and experimenting with skin care and makeup. With too little sleep and a very exciting and hectic life as a mother of three young children, Nicole can appreciate the value and importance of implementing a skin care regimen composed of products containing quality ingredients. She also believes in the power of positive energy, and recognizes the benefits of using essential oils and other natural elements to create at-home beauty treatments.

Our amazing group of bloggers includes Nicole Lachance the Bella Vita Beauty Blogger, Renee Altman a Holistic Nutritionist, and many other guest writers.

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