What's Sweet About Brown Sugar
This baking staple moonlights as everything from a natural pest buster to an anti-aging scrub.
Want to look fresh-faced? Break out the brown sugar. The grains remove dead skin cells for a healthier glow, says David Parker, co-founder of The Body Deli, an all-natural skin care company.
To subtract a few years, mix up Parker’s DIY scrub: Pulse 1/2 cup dark brown sugar in a coffee grinder to make it finer and a bit less abrasive (no need to grind if you’re using it for your body). Add 3 tablespoons olive oil for extra moisture and, if you want, a pinch of nutmeg for fragrance; stir until it forms a paste. Wet your face, apply scrub in a circular motion for 1 to 2 minutes, then wash off with warm water.
Use twice a week for a gorgeous complexion.
Fast first aid
If you nicked yourself shaving and don’t have antiseptic on hand, reach for the sweet stuff—it can help heal minor cuts in a pinch. "Brown sugar acts as an anti-inflammatory, and its anti-microbial properties may prevent infection," says Starre Vartan, author of The Eco Chick Guide to Life.
Clean the wound with soap and water, then pack a little brown sugar onto the cut (enough to thoroughly cover it). Put a Band-Aid over it and leave on for a few hours; repeat once once or twice over the course of 36 hours. You’ll be on the mend before you know it.
Trap an annoying housefly stat with this brown sugar–based fly paper from Meghan Carter, author of The Meghan Method: The Step-By-Step Guide To Decorating Your Home in Your Style. With a butter knife, spread a dab of petroleum jelly on a small piece of cardboard, then sprinkle it with a pinch of brown sugar. Flies are drawn to the brown sugar—then get stuck in the jelly.
Carter suggests hanging it like traditional fly paper (just punch a hole in the cardboard and insert twine). Bye-bye, flies!
Satisfy your sweet tooth guilt-free with a bit of brown sugar. "It has a richer flavor than white sugar, so you’ll likely end up using less overall," says Marissa Lippert, RD, author of The Cheater’s Diet. Translation: fewer calories!
Next time you’re craving a treat, top sliced grapefruit or a sautéed banana with a little of the brown stuff. For a side dish, toss sweet-potato chunks with brown sugar, fresh rosemary, and a touch of olive oil before roasting in the oven. Delish!