In The Know: Good Cookin' Good Lookin'

beauty products

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A grouping of almonds, coconut, butter and dishes of liquid on a white surface

©Food Stylist: Jamie Kimm

Food Stylist: Jamie Kimm

Take a cue from these busy chefs and search your kitchen for makeshift beauty products.

Kelly English, Chef/owner, Restaurant Iris, Memphis

  • BEER - "As a broke college student who had to choose between beer and shampoo, I found you can wash your hair with beer—it strips away impurities built up on your scalp. Just pour the beer on in the shower. But be sure to rinse it out well or you might smell less than appropriate."

Sue Zemanick, Executive chef, Gautreau's, New Orleans

  • NUTS - "Nuts are a key ingredient in lots of our desserts, and I've noticed they do wonders for my skin. I soak some almonds, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts or hazelnuts in water overnight to soften. Then I puree them in a blender with a little bit of water and strain them. I use the nut milk as a body and face scrub: It makes my skin really shiny."

Jacques Torres, Chef/owner, Jacques Torres Chocolate, New York City

  • COCOA BUTTER - "A year ago, I started using cocoa butter on my skin, and now it's incredibly soft. I use the same brand that's in my chocolate, Blommer. I melt and temper it, then pour it into muffin tins to harden in the refrigerator. I run the 'bar' under hot water to lather up. Each bar lasts about two weeks—I give them away as presents."

Zoe Nathan, Executive pastry chef/co-owner, Huckleberry Bakery and Cafe, Santa Monica

  • OLIVE OIL - "No one is allowed to wear perfume or lotion in our kitchen—it would change the flavor of the bread and pastries. But working with dough and flour dries out your skin, so we put olive oil on our hands and lips all day long."

Frank Bonanno, Executive chef/owner, Mizuna, Denver

  • RICE - "I've been cooking for about 24 years, so I haven't done much sitting in my life. As a result, my back always hurts. To treat the pain, I fill a sock with rice—I always have rice around, as we make a paella at the restaurant—and I microwave the entire thing for two minutes. It makes a great heating pad. I lie on it and it's nice and warm."

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