Make beauty products from leftover food

Joanne O’Connell
Article Type
Love Food
Hate Waste
What To Do
Article Subcategory

There’s nothing like squashy strawberries, leftover spoons of yoghurt or dusty porridge oats to inspire me to whip up some gorgeous skincare products says guest author Joanne O'Connell.  

Using leftover food to make our skin soft and our hair shine is a fantastic way to keep everything from banana skins to avocado stones out of the bin. What better way of ‘Compleating’ the food (using all of it) than making sure absolutely nothing is wasted such as the skin, shell or stone?  

When you consider that 4.5 million tonnes of edible food is thrown away in UK homes every year it makes sense to learn some new tips and tricks to stop food waste and make a dent in these numbers. 

So, to celebrate Food Waste Action Week, here are my top tips:

  • Avocados - are delicious and something we cannot afford to waste, since a lot of water is used to grow them. Once you’ve eaten the fruit (or whizzed into a dip if it’s too ripe for a salad or a sandwich) rub the shell of the avocado on your elbows. Instant moisturiser! The stone can be dipped in some olive oil and used for a foot massage (just rub it on the sole of your feet). Then rinse the stone and stick it in some soil and compost to grow a leafy house plant.  
  • Over ripe fruit - Lots of squashy, over ripe fruit that you think is past the smoothie, puree, spread-it-on-toast stage can be mashed into a super cool face mask. Don’t chuck it! Just blend your squashy fruit with a spoon of yogurt and a sprinkle of oats, and apply it to your face for a couple of minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm water. Mangos, bananas and strawberries are all ideal.  
  • Bananas - How about making a foot conditioner? Just mash up a banana – totally over ripe is fine – with a drizzle of olive oil and pop it on your feet for a few minutes before washing it off with water.   
  • Oats - If you have a bag of oats way past their best, and perhaps too chewy even for flapjacks (or for soaking overnight into a creamy breakfast) throw them into the bath! Just put a handful into an old sock or pair of tights, adding some essential oils if you like, and put it into the water for a creamy soak.
  • Coffee grounds - For a wake-up body scrub, re-use old coffee grounds after you've dried them out a bit, maybe on a sunny windowsill. Just add a scoop of sugar and a tablespoon of coconut oil and mix. 

Many of my favourite food saving hacks have made their way into my debut novel, Beauty and the Bin. In the book, a girl called Laurie Larksie enters a school competition with her gorgeous homemade beauty recipes made from leftover food. The great thing about Laurie’s recipes and ideas is that they’re super-easy, planet-friendly hacks we can all do at home to save our food from the bin.