NEW YORK, Feb 14 — Two heads of broccoli, a spoon of mustard and a sprinkling of red onion. It may sound like a culinary creation, but these foods are actually the latest essentials coming to your new beauty routine. In recent months, natural ingredients have become the stars of the bathroom cabinet, giving rise to unusual cosmetics with previously unsuspected powers.

While the kitchen and the bathroom were once two very distinct spaces in our homes, this no longer seems to be the case. The foods we’re used to seeing on our plates are now making their way into our beauty kits, taking on a variety of forms, from oils to skincare creams to shampoos, serums and facial cleansers.

That’s nothing new, you might say. The cosmetics industry has long been drawing from our kitchen cupboards to exploit the virtues of natural ingredients. Honey, olive oil, sugar, eggs and lemon have always been considered as beauty allies. But the return of these age-old remedies and recipes — an inexhaustible source of inspiration for the beauty industry — has given rise to new crazes based on more unusual ingredients. Let’s take a look at some of the latest contenders.

The nourishing powers of broccoli

While it may not be a hit with some children — or their parents — broccoli is packed with health benefits. But what interests us here are its countless cosmetic virtues that are still little known to many. Still, once dry and sensitive skins give this veggie a whirl, they’re sure to be life-long converts, because broccoli oil has above all moisturising and nourishing properties, both for skin and hair.

Dry, damaged or even dull hair will greatly appreciate the ability of broccoli to make it shinier and silkier. This Brassica, which has its origins in Italy, can also naturally tame frizz, and help make detangling easier. As such, it’s an ideal partner for shampoos and/or conditioners. The vegetable can be found in this form at Unbottled — a brand known for its responsible solid cosmetics — which combines broccoli, argan and green clay to promise shinier hair. The Compagnie des Sens chooses an organic virgin vegetable oil, while Freshly Cosmetics opts for a facial mask made of charcoal, seaweed, clays and broccoli enzymes.

Mustard gives hair a boost

It unblocks your nose, livens up our plates and helps... to promote hair growth. The hair benefits of mustard are still all too unknown, and yet this natural ingredient stimulates hair growth while making it stronger and more resistant. If hair masks with mustard (seeds or powder) have long been recommended—ouch, it stings—there are now vegetable oils, or even shampoos, which do the job perfectly, letting you benefit from the same properties without the inconvenience.

But mustard seeds also have skin benefits. Not only do they bring radiance to skin—the perfect last minute boost for an unexpected outing—but they are also an ally for mature skin thanks to their firming properties and action on blood circulation. The brands WAAM Cosmetics, My Mira and  MyCosmetik all offer mustard oils for hair and skin.

The purifying properties of onion

Another ingredient that isn’t always popular in the kitchen — whether for its taste or its ability to make the person who chops it cry. However, here too, onions can work wonders in cosmetics, and are gradually finding their way into our bathrooms. Essentially offered in the form of oil, the onion — and, in particular, the red onion — is an object of growing interest from the cosmetics industry. As soon as this year, we could start seeing creams, masks and serums formulated with its extracts.

If red onions are the beauty industry’s most coveted variety, it’s because they appear to be the richest variety in sulfur compounds. These are beneficial for hair, promoting its regrowth. But onion can also be a top ally for problem skin, thanks to its purifying virtues, helping fight against acne and reduce scarring. Still relatively little marketed, natural onion oil is proposed by certain retailers and specialised brands, as well as by the brand WAAM Cosmetics, which evidently has a taste for unusual natural ingredients.

But how far can this phenomenon go? It’s hard to say, as consumers are now very fond of natural cosmetics, relegating long-winded formulas to the back of their beauty kits. And, as we know, the riches of nature are virtually infinite. In fact, a French brand called Perlucine now even offers a whole range of cosmetics — for face, body and hair — with white oyster shell powder. They may not be crunchy, but they’re no less indulgent! — ETX Studio