Japanese Beauty Secret: Azuki Beans

When I was growing up, my mom used to make a tasty sweet treat with azuki beans. The beans are small and red, and when cooked for a long time with some sugar, the result is a delicious red bean sauce we ate with mochi or atop shaved ice. Yum! But these little beans work double-time as a potent beauty secret that Japanese women have been using for centuries to keep their skin soft, smooth and blemish-free. When ground into a fine powder, these beans act as a gentle exfoliator that won't damage or over dry your skin. And luckily, it's simple to make:

What You Need:

-Azuki Beans -Coffee Grinder -Water

Instructions: -Use the coffee grinder to grind the azuki beans into a fine powder. Put a few of teaspoons of the powder in a bowl, mixing in 1-2 teaspoons of water to make a paste. -Wet your skin with warm water and gently rub the paste over your face or body. Rinse. To use as a mask, just make a thicker paste by using less water. -Store the leftover azuki powder in an airtight container for later use!

All of this will cost you a mere few bucks. Let's hear it for beans, beans the magical fruit!