Set the mood: easy listening music, something relaxing whatever that may be for you. Light candles. Light your essential oil diffuser. Dim the lights everywhere. Get all the ingredients of the recipes you want to try the day before. Get containers, small bowls, utensils, food processors, whisks etc. from the kitchen and towels from the bathroom. Invite your BFFs over or simply enjoy a quiet evening at home pampering yourself.
12 Natural Home Cosmetics & Spa Treatments
1. Honey Oat Sugar Scrub
- 2-3 tablespoons organic, raw honey
- 1 teaspoon rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon organic cane or brown sugar
- Wedge of lemon
Mix ingredients together until the scrub becomes thick. Squeeze in lemon juice. Add more sugar as needed to thicken the mixture. Apply a small amount to wet skin and massage gently in a circular motion. Avoid eye area. Let the scrub sit for 3-5 minutes. Rinse face well and pat dry.
2. Face and Body Cleansing Scrub
This invigorating ubtan (cleansing paste) scrub improves circulation and helps tone muscles. In a large bowl, combine
1 cup oat or chickpea (garbanzo) flour
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 tablespoons each ground mustard and crushed fresh coriander leaves
3 tablespoons rose water
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup water
Stir to blend. Work the scrub all over your face and body. Rinse with warm water.
3. Coffee Body Scrub
A skin-softening body scrub made from coffee grounds and aromatic plant essences is a traditional treatment that’s used in Thai and Balinese spas, and it’s a luxurious way to start the day. This recipe couples a rich, smoky coffee aroma with the sweet scent of peppermint – known in aromatherapy for its mentally stimulating, energizing properties. Thanks to raw sugar crystals and olive oil, which exfoliate and moisturize, your body gets a pick-me-up, too. It makes enough for two to three applications.
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup pure turbinado sugar
15 drops peppermint essential oil (Mentha piperita)
1/2 cup used coffee grounds from a freshly brewed pot
- Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl; using a fork, thoroughly blend. Transfer the scrub to a wide mouthed jar, and store in a cool place until ready to use. The scrub will keep for one to two weeks, longer if refrigerated.
- While showering, apply handfuls of the coffee scrub to wet skin in circular motions, starting at the feet and working up. The scrub contains oil, so it’s best to do this over a rubber mat to avoid slipping. Pay particular attention to rough spots such as heels, ankles, knees, and elbows.
- After scrubbing, cleanse skin as usual using a mild natural soap or body wash. Pat skin dry with a fluffy towel, and follow with lotion to seal in the moisture.
4. Natural Lip Balm
1 tablespoon beeswax pearls (also called pellets or pastilles)
1 tablespoon pure shea butter
2 tablespoons sweet almond oil
10-15 drops essential oils
Melt beeswax, shea butter, and almond oil together in the top of a double boiler or in a heat-safe bowl set over a pot of simmering water; stir continuously with a whisk. Once the ingredients are liquified, remove them from heat. Whisk in essential oils. Working quickly, transfer the liquid to a measuring cup or a container with a pour spout and then divide it among four 1/2-ounce lip balm tins. Let balms cool completely until solid, about 20 minutes. Store in a cool, dry place.
Variation: Vanilla-Rose Lip Balm
Use 10 drops of rose oil, also called rose otto, and 5 drops of vanilla oil, also known as vanilla absolute.
5. Teabags for your Eyes
Chamomile, Green, or Black Tea Bags
Chamomile tea, a natural anti-inflammatory, helps ease redness and puffiness around the eyes. Green and black teas contain compounds called tannins, plus caffeine. Tannins have an astringent effect on the skin and shrink swollen tissue, while caffeine constricts blood vessels to reduce swelling.
Steep two chamomile, green, or black tea bags in just-boiled water for three minutes. Remove them from the water and place in the refrigerator until cooled. Place one bag over each eye and relax for 15 minutes.
6. Cucumber Slices
A classic remedy for puffy, irritated eyes, cucumbers contain ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and caffeic acid, both of which help reduce swelling.
Rest two 1/2-inch-thick cucumber slices on a bed of ice to chill. Once cool, place one slice over each eye, lean your head back, and relax for 10 to15 minutes. Remove the slices and rinse your face with cool water.
7. Natural Manicure
- Trim Hangnails.
Using small nail scissors, clean up any ragged skin around the nail. Do not cut cuticles (the delicate area where the skin meets the nail), as they help protect the nail bed from infection.
- Soften Rough Skin.
Soak hands in a basin of warm whole milk for several minutes. The lactic acid in milk helps remove dead cells and soften cuticles; the natural fats help replenish dry skin.
- Push Back Cuticles.
Using an angle-tipped nail stick, gently push the cuticles back toward the base of the nail, clearing the nail surface for buffing.
- Shape Nails.
Using a nail file, shape nails into squares with rounded corners, which makes them more resistant to cracks and tears. To avoid misshapen or split nails, file in one direction only — no sawing back and forth.
- Buff Nails To A Shine.
Using a smooth-surfaced buffing block or buffing disk (not a filing block, which will scuff nails), buff the entire surface of nails using a side-to-side motion.
- Moisturize And Massage.
As a final step, rub hands with warm almond oil, avocado oil, or light olive oil, or apply an oil-rich hand and nail cream. Pay particular attention to the nail and cuticle areas.
8. Orange Spice Foot Mask
1/2 cup whole oats
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons warm water
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
4 drops sweet orange essential oil
- Using a food processor, grind the oats to a fine powder. Transfer to a medium-size bowl, add the remaining ingredients, and stir until blended into a thick paste.
- Prepare two warm, wet washcloths or hand towels, either by wetting them and placing them in the microwave for one to two minutes or by soaking them in hot (not boiling) water. Wring out excess water and set aside.
- Sitting with your feet in the tub or a large basin, use your hands to spread a thick layer of the mask over each foot, covering them completely up to the ankles. After wiping hands clean, wrap each foot in one of the washcloths to seal in the moisture from the mask. Sit back and relax for 10 to 15 minutes.
- When you’re ready to remove the mask, carefully lift off the washcloths. Rinse your feet thoroughly using warm water. Pat dry with a towel.
9. Mood Mists
These mists are the simplest way to experience aromatherapy for yourself. Spray the air around you, mist your hair and skin, or spritz them on linens to leave a light scent. (They won’t stain.) Whether you’re stressed or sluggish, one of these mists will suit your mood.
1 drop eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus)
2 drops geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)
3 drops peppermint (Mentha piperita)
2 drops bergamot (Citrus bergamia)
1 drop frankincense (Boswellia carteri)
3 drops lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
- Fill a clean, dry mini spray bottle with 4 ounces of pure distilled water.
- Using a dropper, carefully put the selected blend of essential oils directly into the spray bottle.
- Tightly close the bottle and shake vigorously to combine. Be sure to shake it before each use, as the water and essential oils tend to separate.
10. Facial Steaming
Facial steaming can be as simple as heating up water in a large bowl in the microwave or on the stove, draping a towel over your head and letting your skin absorb the steam for 5 minutes. For a rejuvenating steam add green tea and some herbs such as rosemary, thyme, or mint to the water. Facial steamers will open up the pores providing a deep cleansing by steaming out embedded dirt, as well as hydrates the skin.
11. Natural Face Mask
Oatmeal contains beta-glucans, which are very skin-soothing, and it also has a tightening effect when you apply it as a mask. Mix 1 tablespoon oatmeal (preferably not the instant kind, which is more finely ground) with 3 Tbsp plain yogurt—which helps exfoliate and moisturize the skin thanks to its lactic acid—and 1 Tbsp soothing honey. Apply this blend to your face and leave on for about 5 minutes, then rinse with warm water. Your skin will feel soft, smooth and refreshed.
12. Natural Loose Face Powder Foundation
2 tbsp of cornstarch
1½ tsp cinnamon, nutmeg or cocoa powder, add more as necessary
5 drops of an essential oil for your skin type or a carrier oil like jojoba or sweet almond, more if you want pressed powder
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and stir until well combined. Add more tint (cinnamon, nutmeg or cocoa powder) until you reach your desired color.
Oils Good for Oily Skin and Acne:
Cedarwood, Chamomile, Lemon, Tea Tree, Lavender, Patchouli, Palmarosa, Rosemary
Oils Good For Aging Skin, Fine Lines and Wrinkles:
Frankincense, Neroli, Lemon, Myrrh, Patchouli, Palmarosa (very hydrating)
Today’s Video: Queen Latifah in ‘Last Holiday’ (2006) – Spa Scene
This is one of my favourite movies ever. If you haven’t seen it, please do! It’s profoundly existential and funny. :-)