Who knew that the year’s most viral beauty inspirations would read like a café menu? Glazed donut skin. Tomato girl summer. Latte and strawberry makeup. Seriously, the PR pitches are making all of our staffers hungry—which got us thinking about how to really snack one’s way to better skin. Especially given there are more edible beauty options than ever, from a.m. shots of apple cider vinegar to Erewhon’s cultish beverage options (see: Hailey Bieber’s ‘skin glaze’ smoothie or the store’s first-ever beauty branded juice, released in partnership with Origins) to It ingredients like sea moss and myriad mushrooms.
But what’s the easiest way to eat your beauty?
“Eating your beauty starts at the farmers market,” says board-certified naturopathic doctor Maria Geyman. “Taking care of the inside through healthy food, hydration, and supplementing with vitamins if needed is an essential foundation.” And should you be interested in bolstering such a well-rounded regimen, an ever-expanding list of herbal supplements rooted in ancient and Indigenous traditions offers a wealth of all-natural beauty-boosting options, all easily incorporated into your dietary routine.
Companies like Moon Juice and Anima Mundi Herbals offer adaptogenic herbs, flowers, barks, and fungi in powdered and extracted forms, with one-offs and special blends designed to aid in mood elevation, stress alleviation, gut health, and better skin. “Beauty is a mirror of inner balance,” says Amanda Chantal Bacon, founder and CEO of Moon Juice. “When we feel the most beautiful, it’s a reflection of a calmed nervous system, tamed inflammation, balanced hormones, and flowing lymph. Targeted ingestibles can create harmony from the inside out.”
Meanwhile, products like Anima Mundi’s Butterfly Pea Flower powder feature star ingredients inspired by ancient traditions (in this case Ayurveda), and include antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties primed for calming internals and skin. A Collagen Booster powder aims to aid in the production of collagen via an entirely plant-based formula that supports multiple collagen-adjacent areas. Holistic is, after all, the name of the game. “We designed our original Collagen Booster formula as a mineralizer that tackles multiple systems, piecing a formula that assisted longevity and rejuvenation as a whole, rather than thinking of it to achieve a singular function,” says Adriana Ayales, founder of Anima Mundi. The powder also includes horsetail (said to promote collagen), nettle (a natural astringent), and calendula (a soothing antibacterial).
At Moon Juice, loose powders and topicals come in the form of capsules. The brand’s SuperBeauty capsules contain antioxidants like glutathione and vitamins C and E, along with a “super berry” called Schisandra; an adaptogen said to support liver function and quell age-related inflammation. But for those who’d rather not add another swallowable supplement to their daily handful, sprinkling the powders over meals and into smoothies can be a simple and efficacious way to start.
“Adding nutrient-dense herbs into regular meals increases the bioavailability and nutrient density of what you’re already eating everyday,” says Ayales. “It’s a safe and easy means of integrating adaptogens and ritualizing your health in a beautiful way.” Incorporating bioactive and bioavailable ingredients into existing meals also means that your body can actually absorb them and put them to use, rather than simply excreting them through urine.
While topical beauty treatments tend to treat one area in a specialized manner, ingestibles help with maintenance. “When we take these herbal solvents, we’re treating multiple organs and systems at the same time, and all of them contribute their piece to the puzzle when it comes to healthy hair, skin, nails, joints, and bones,” says Ayales. “We combine adaptogens to reduce oxidative stress, paired with hormonal balancing herbs, mineralizers, and strengthening plants, to holistically encompass beauty and its many parts.” This approach is a welcome reminder that our body and mind are a complicated web—that symptoms are linked to systems, even (or especially) when it comes to your skin.
“Skin health is connected to digestive, hormonal, and mental health,” adds Geyman, who notes that her preferred means of incorporating herbal remedies is a calm, hydrating tea time. “Anything that affects these systems can affect the skin.” The takeaway? Supplementing with herbs is not a skincare cure-all, but it is a means of enhancing your beauty routine. After all, if you’re going to stock your bathroom shelf with helpful products, why not consider your pantry, too?
This article was originally published on Vogue.com.