My first job out of college was a corporate New York City office job like any other. Except instead of trading bonds or building models, my daily responsibilities included smelling blotter strips and refilling little bottles of moisturizer. When I applied to L’Oreal my senior year, I’m sure I went on and on about all the luxury products I used everyday. But the truth was that most of my make-up and toiletries came from the CVS down the block from my off-campus house.
Regardless, during my 2-year stint, which included a monthly $100 spending stipend at the company store, I quickly became a product junkie. In the early days, I tried a variety of items, never buying the same things each month. But as time went on, I developed very expensive taste, and my beauty regimen evolved to only include the best of the best.
I knew my tenure at the company would not be too long, so I tried my best to conserve and stockpile my favorite products. When I moved out of my last apartment, I think at least two boxes contained bottles of shampoo and conditioner. But try as I might to use only a smidge of this and that, there dawned a very dark day last fall when I was faced with the reality of having to buy my own face wash.
Now that I don’t have a job that can support these expensive habits, I’ve tried to find natural ways to beautify myself. Once you understand what vitamins have certain beauty efficacies, and what foods contain them, it’s pretty easy to create your own regimen to eat yourself pretty, from the inside out.
One of the best ingredients for supporting clear skin is the almighty carrot. In general, orange fruits and vegetables are full of blemish-fighting vitamin A, which helps encourage cell-turnover and prevents the buildup of dead, pore-clogging cells. Carrots also contain antioxidents which prevent free radical damage of skin cells.
So, in hopes of having my tube of Kiehl’s blemish cream last forever, I give you a Moroccan carrot recipe for clear skin, and very delicious eating.
For more info on break-out fighting foods, check out this awesome article on The Beauty Bean here.
If you can’t find harissa, simply substitute another hot sauce like siracha, or add ¼-1/2 teaspoons cayenne, depending on how much you like heat.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon paprika
½ tsp turmeric
½ teaspoon salt
1 tsp harissa
2 tsp honey
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
1. In a large non-still skillet or wok, warm the oil over high heat. Add the carrots and saute until they’ve released their moisture and have begun to brown, about 8 minutes.
2. Add the cumin, paprika, turmeric, and salt. Continue to saute until the spices are very fragrant and have almost formed a paste on the carrots. Stir in the harissa, honey, and lemon juice, using the liquid to scrape up any brown bits and spices that have clung to the bottom of the pan.
3. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cilantro, reserving a tablespoon for garnish. Transfer to a serving plate, sprinkle with the remaining cilantro, and enjoy.