Parents across the world have long urged kids to eat their carrots, and it's no wonder — they're damn good for you! This orange root veggie is loaded with vitamins and nutrients — most notably B carotene, which is converted into vitamin A, a powerful vitamin that combats acne and slows cell death to reduce signs of aging and sun damage.
"Carrot juice improves the skin's ability to heal faster and to fight infection, as well as reduces noticeable signs of skin inflammation," noted Anna Mitsios, a nutritionist, naturopath, and the founder of Edible Beauty.
Curious about the many beauty benefits of this trendy vegetable — and eager to learn a couple new DIY recipes — we hit up Mitsios and a dermatologist with the ol', "What's up with this ingredient, doc?"
Here's what we learned!
Reduces Redness and Scarring
"Carrot juice contains high amounts of beta carotene, which are converted into retinol, one of the purest forms of vitamin A," said Mitsios. "Vitamin A works as a wonder vitamin when it comes to skin healing and reducing redness and inflammation."
It's definitely most potent when consumed, though you can also hit your refrigerator for a DIY beauty treatment utilizing carrot juice to rejuvenate, brighten, and calm your skin. One option is to gently dab pure carrot juice onto your skin with a cotton pad. Another is to create a mask.
"It is as easy as mixing the juice of one carrot with two tablespoons of oatmeal and one tablespoon of organic coconut nectar or honey to create a thick paste," said Mitsios. "Oatmeal works synergistically with the carrot juice to calm redness and inflammation and to purify pores due to its high saponin content. One tablespoon of yogurt can also be added to this mix for assistance with oil balancing."
Apply the mask on your face and leave it on for 20 minutes.
Prevents and Treats Sun Damage
"Topically, carrot juice can help combat sun damage as it contains falcarinol, an antioxidant," said Dr. Purvisha Patel, a board-certified dermatologist and the founder of Visha Skincare. "Also, the carotenes act like a very mild sun protector."
She noted that small baby carrots are better to juice than big ones since they contain more nutrients. Also, topical application or oral consumption of carrot juice does not replace the need to protect your skin from the sun with an SPF; it just offers a bit more protection.
Improves Energy Levels and Metabolism
Dr. Patel said that carrot juice can increase your energy levels, and it can also give your metabolism a boost. You can thank the high quantity of vitamin B complex for that. This complex actively breaks down glucose, fat, and protein and ensures your body's energy is being used efficiently. When you have tons of energy, you naturally look healthier and more alive!
"The beta carotene content of carrot juice makes it effective in controlling sebum production and reducing the incidence of acne breakouts," said Mitsios. "For more effective results, I recommend drinking carrot juice along with applying it topically."
With consistent consumption, you'll notice a decrease in acne and smoother skin within a few months. (Just be aware that there's such a thing as drinking too much carrot juice. Add it to your diet, but be moderate in your consumption.)
You can also make a DIY mask using carrot juice to reduce and prevent acne. Dr. Patel said that in India, acne-fighting masks are made with one teaspoon of chickpea flour, one teaspoon of turmeric, and one cup of carrot pulp. Mix until the mask has a smooth consistency, apply, let it set for 15 minutes, and then rinse.
Stimulates Collagen Production
"The high levels of vitamin C found in carrot juice also work to stimulate collagen production and maintain skin elasticity," said Mitsios.
Collagen is what makes your skin firm, bouncy, plump, and healthy. As we get older, our production of collagen decreases. In that sense, carrot juice is a wonderful ingredient to incorporate into your diet and beauty regimen to prevent and reduce signs of aging.
Dat Glow, Tho
"The high levels of carotenoids found in carrots are strong antioxidants, which work to scavenge free radicals, which detract from healthy glowing skin," explained Mitsios. "The juice is also hydrating, so works to retain moisture levels leading to plump and radiant skin."
Double down by dabbing pure carrot juice onto your skin while sipping on a carrot-loaded smoothie. Just make sure to tag carotenoids in any selfies as your new BFF.