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Cranberries may be a staple of your Thanksgiving table, but did you know they're also a tried and true beauty booster? Packed with tons of natural antioxidants, flavonoids, carotenoids and polyphenols, these berries can work wonders for both your health and your complexion when made a regular part of your diet and beauty routine.

Save some leftover berries from this year's Thanksgiving feast and treat yourself to some all-natural pampering with these power-packed super fruits! Here are a few quick and easy cranberry-based beauty ideas to help get you glowing:

1. Add shine to hair with a cranberry juice rinse.

If you're a redhead or darker brunette, a natural cranberry juice rinse can help add shine and radiance to your hair.  Simply rinse with cranberry juice after shampooing and conditioning as normal to help seal follicles and add a little sheen to the surface of your strands. Natural beauty expert Kristin Collins Jackson also recommends adding a little apple cider vinegar to the rinse if you have oily buildup you'd like to remove.

A word of caution: when choosing a cranberry juice to use, be careful to select only pure cranberry juice with no added sugars and preservatives, rather than the "juice cocktail" commonly found on store shelves, which contains tons of unnecessary added sugar that will do nothing for your locks. Also, blondes and lighter-haired beauties, be warned that unless you want a pinkish tint to your hair for a few shampoos, this tip is best left for the brunettes and redheads. Try chamomile and white wine vinegar for a golden shine instead!

2. Tone oily skin back into balance.

Cranberries are highly acidic, giving them brilliant natural antiseptic properties. This comes in handy for unclogging dirty pores and balancing overly oily skin. Beauty Glimpse contributor Aprana Anand recommends using pure cranberry juice (the kind we talked about above - remember, no added sugars!) on its own as a balancing toner by simply dipping cotton swab into it and applying directly to skin after cleansing. Concentrate on the oiliest areas of the face. Be careful not to over-tone - once a day or once every other day should be enough to see positive results without over-drying skin.





3. Reduce the appearance and occurrence of acne.
When researching for this post, by far the most cranberry-related beauty uses I found had to do with the treatment and prevention of acne. (This would have been so nice to know during my teen years!) As mentioned above, cranberries are naturally antiseptic, preventing the spread and growth of bacteria into the pores when applied topically, resulting in fewer blemishes.

They're also positively bursting with naturally occurring acne-fighting compounds, including resveratrol and salicylic acid, which many skincare companies attempt to replicate synthetically in popular acne creams on the market today. Skip the synthetics and go straight to the source by using cranberries to treat acne. Simply mash up raw, organic cranberries into a pulp, apply directly to blemishes, and allow to dry before washing off to help minimize the redness and swelling of acne spots. As a preventative measure to guard against future breakouts, you can also create a cranberry mask and apply to your whole face a couple times a week. Kristin Collins Jackson also shares another easy face mask recipe using cranberry, honey and nutmeg in her article mentioned above.

4. Protect skin from harsh winter weather.

Cranberry juice is high in Vitamin C, a key component needed for the formation of collagen in the skin. Experts recommend making cranberry juice a regular part of your diet to help keep this process up and running, which in turn helps protect and fortify skin cells against damage and dryness typically brought on by cold, dry weather. 

Beauties, were you surprised to learn that this tiny fruit packs so many powerful benefits?  I've certainly gained a whole new respect for these little health and beauty powerhouses. Be sure to let us know if you try out any of these fun DIY tips in the comments below!