As families sit down at the table Thursday to give thanks for a bountiful feast, we can also give thanks for the bounty of California, where the harvest is diverse and year-round.
And — more thanks — many of California's abundant crops and natural resources provide more than just good nutrition: They can help in the pursuit of beauty too.
"Grapes are naturally rich in antioxidants, so they offer incredible health-protective benefits whether eaten or applied topically," says Dr. Howard Murad, a dermatologist and associate clinical professor of medicine at UCLA. "The skins of the grapes contain flavonoids, a type of antioxidants that protect cells against free-radical damage, reduce inflammation and help prevent skin damage." Resveratrol, found in grape skins, is also touted as an anti-aging ingredient, and grape seeds and grape seed extracts are rich in flavonoids and vitamin E and can be the base of a terrific body scrub.
Warm Grapeseed oil massage at Auberge du Soleil Spa in Napa Valley, $180. http://www.aubergedusoleil.com
Wine and Honey Wrap at Spa Hotel Healdsburg in Sonoma County, using local organic honey and Sonoma County wine, $110. http://www.hotelhealdsburg.com
The Grapeseed Co. Custom Vinotherapy Mask To-Go Box, $24. Red & White Organic Wine Bar gift set featuring full-sized harvest crush Syrah and summer crisp Chardonnay organic wine bar soap, $20, or try the Spa'vignon Blanc Wine Bar organic soap for $7.95. http://www.thegrapeseedcompany.com
Citrus — uplifting, detoxifying and clarifying
Citrus is known for its uplifting, happy scents. Products with lemons can also be clarifying, brightening and sanitizing. Lemon was heralded as a freckle-fader in the 1970s, but cosmetic chemist Rebecca James Gadberry says citrus applied topically can irritate the skin. So, celebrate your inner lemon-lover, but just make sure the product is right for your skin type.
The Nirvana massage at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills — ingredients include the hotel's Pacific Grove oil bursting with Southern California citrus such as lemon, grapefruit and clementine, $175. http://www.peninsula.com/Beverly_Hills
Pixie Tangerine & Pomegranate scrub at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, made with local pixie tangerines, $150. http://www.ojairesort.com
100% Pure Fresh Squeezed Blood Orange Juicy shower gel, $15. http://www.100percentpure.com
Malibu Lemon Blossom spray perfume. $22. http://www.sephora.com
Limoneira Simply Lemons gift pack including a Lemon Sugar candle and Lemon Balm hand cleanser, $26. http://www.orchardfreshgiftbaskets.com
Olives — moisturizing
Olives are good for your skin — especially if you're undergoing or have undergone chemotherapy, says Dr. Ava T. Shamban, a Southern California dermatologist who has many chemotherapy patients. "Olive oil is a terrific moisturizer — it has omega-9 and antioxidants including vitamin E and phenols," Shamban says. "People going through chemotherapy treatments want to avoid unnatural products because of concerns about toxicity from ingredients formulated in a lab."