It was in the first season of Breaking Bad. The beautiful Skylar White stood in her bathrobe in the kitchen talking to her meth-cooking husband, Walt. Her face was plastered with a thick layer of green cream. I’m guessing it was avocado. Avocados are filled with vitamin A, which helps to purge off any dead skin cells. The glutamine amino acid present cleanses the skin and offers protection against harsh environmental factors.

It’s easy enough to make, take one fully ripened avocado and after removing the pit and skin, mash it up well until it’s creamy and butter-like. Apply the paste to your face and let the avocado butter exercise its magic over your skin for almost half an hour before washing it off with cool water.

Like Skylar and her avocado mask, Cleopatra bathing in milk and honey and the ancient Greeks massaging with extra virgin olive oil, civilizations have been using the purity of natural foods to nourish our body’s exterior long before modern cosmetics appeared on the market.

Monika Wright in Nova Scotia swears by her baking soda and water facial exfoliator, her oatmeal and honey masque and cucumbers for soothing and tightening. “They work brilliantly and my skin feels and looks so much better when I’m done,” says Monika.

Like Monika, Alix Luciani of Thorold makes a paste from baking soda and water to exfoliate. She also mixes brown sugar and olive oil for a luxurious body scrub.

So why do so many of us put food on our face? Because it’s just plain good for you. “If it’s not good enough to eat, why would I put it on my skin or hair?” asks Hilton Tobin, founder of the food based, organic beauty line of the same name (www.hiltontobin.com). “Skin is your largest body organ. If you can’t eat it, it wouldn’t be nourishing to my skin.”

If there were such a thing as a naturopath for your skin, Hilton Tobin would be just that. After researching food based ingredients for over 30 years, he recently started making all natural, organic beauty products out of his home kitchen in St Catharines. All of Hilton’s products are free from toxins, chemicals, harmful preservatives and artificially tampered foaming agents.

Unlike Monika and Alix’s baking soda habit, Hilton explains, “baking soda causes me to have red puffy skin.” However he offers alternatives to people like him with sensitive skin. “Mix blue green algae, matcha green tea or spirilina with water to form a paste and it work wonders.” Tobin likens the baking soda paste to a microderm abrasion treatment. Tobin will even custom mix skin products to match your specific skin condition and/or type.

When asked for a few all-natural beauty tips, Hilton launches into the benefits of oil cleansing and oil pulling. First thing in the morning rub your face with a spoonful of coconut, sesame or olive oil and leave it on for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, put a spoonful of the same oil in your mouth and swish it around for 15 to 20 minutes.

Oil cleansing interacts with the glands and attracts facial oil and toxins from the skin and pulls them out. Oil pulling is most effective done first thing in the morning and can be repeated three times a day but always before meals on an empty stomach.

This simple technique has the ability to promote clear skin, remove dark bags from under the eyes and cleans the colon and intestines, which helps to improve skin texture. The benefits don’t end there. What is really remarkable is that it also intensifies metabolism, improves dental health, whitens teeth and freshens breath. “To be the best you can be requires a combination of things. Oil pulling simply sets the stage for my products to do an amazing job”.

Tobins products include facial cleansers, hair washes, facial masks, facial scrubs, scalp and body detox, serums for the face, scalp and hair and moisturizers for the face, body and hair. All Tobin’s food based products are 100% natural, organic and preservative free. Some of Hilton’s products are Truganic which is beyond Organic.

So too is the rest of the cosmetic industry clueing into the synergistic and nutrient rich value of pure, fresh food, those that are alive with nutrients that get to work immediately to revitalize, heal, restore and beautify on contact.

Yum Gourmet Skincare in Vancouver, British Columbia (www.YumSkinCare.com) is an entire company that focuses on the best quality food ingredients to beautify your skin. Each carefully chosen food-grade ingredient is purely derived from vitamin enriched, high-antioxidant fruits, vegetables, and botanicals that truly feed the skin from the outside in and provide an array of nutrients which are completely safe and naturally effective for maintaining a healthy, radiant glow. It’s a holistic approach to health and wellness for the mind, body and the planet.

A little closer to home is the Shaw Spa at the Shaw Club Hotel in Niagara-on-the-Lake (www.ShawClub.com). It’s here they offer maple treatments. The ingredients are made from the sap of only a select type of Canadian maple tree. This special compound does a brilliant job of moisturizing extremely dry and dehydrated skin restoring its natural vibrancy, glow and youthfulness.

This secret sweet ingredient is used in both a body wrap and facial. The body scrub includes maple sugar to exfoliate as well as acting as a super rich hydrating agent with cocoa and shea butter to nourish. The maple not only affectively hydrates dry facial skin but aids in repairing and protecting against harsh wind and over exposure to sun and cold. The results are a more revitalized, hydrated, smoother and healthier looking complexion.

In the heart of wine country the 100 Fountain Spa at the Pillar & Post Hotel (www.Vintage-Hotels.com) offers a unique medley of vinotherapies from a facial that features a proprietary hydrating serum and anti-aging moisturizer containing grape-based products with high levels of polyphenols to the full vinotherapy body wellness wrap; a wine-based hydrating body wrap infused with potent anti-oxidants and health encouraging wine extract, skin and juice from local vineyards.

Vinotherapy treatments use wine grapes with natural anti-oxidants called polyphenols. Resveratrol is a type of polyphenol found in the skin of the grape and are powerful antioxidants that act as a free-radical scavenger-defending the skin against the daily assault of weather and pollution. It also promotes tissue elasticity for a more youthful appearance.

Along with grape skins, grape seed oil is high in procyanidolic oligomers (PCO’s), another powerful anti-oxidant that penetrates deep into the skin instead of sitting on top of it. By absorbing the nutrients they will fight free radicals and inhibit several enzymes that degrade collagen, elastin and other connective tissue. Vinotherapy products actually help the underlying structural problems caused by the loss of collagen and elastin instead of temporarily smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles or experiencing a short-lived plumping of the skin.

You can eat your nutrients, apply them directly or for greater beauty from within and out, do both. Anyway you choose, there’s no mistaking the long lasting beauty and health benefits of pure, rich, ripe, natural foods.

Lynn Ogryzlo is a food, wine and travel writer, international award winning author and regular contributor to REV Publications. She can be reached for questions or comments at www.lynnogryzlo.com.