Saturday, December 5, 2009

Spa Girl says cupboard to face works for me!

I love to research, in fact I can spend hours just picking my way through material. I spent a delightful afternoon last week carefully looking through a book that was in one of my many bookselves. It's old and very fragile, and came to me from my mom's library, and most likely her mom's library before that. Its a 1904 edition of a 1887 White House Cookbook that describes itself as "A Comprehensive Cyclopedia of Information for the Home" published by The Saalfield Publishing Company.

The web is another amazing source of information and between the two here are a few fun ideas that take you from cupboard to face.

Milk: The lactic acid in milk serves as a gentle skin exfoliant while its natural fat content acts as a moisturizer. Add a gallon of whole milk to a tubful of warm water and soak. For a fragranced bath, add 10 to 20 drops of an essential oil such as lavender.

Eggs: Are high protein content and help to improve hair's resilience and luster. Whisk together 1 egg, 2 tablespoons coconut oil which is rich in moisturizing fats and 2 tablespoons sesame oil. Apply the mixture to dry hair and wrap a hot, moist towel around your head. Relax for five to 10 minutes. Without wetting hair first, work in a handful of shampoo, and then rinse and condition your hair.

Apple-Cider Vinegar: Its high acid content makes skin inhospitable to blemish-causing bacteria. Place a handful of parsley, a skin-clarifying herb, into a French press and cover it with 1/2 cup of boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes, and then plunge and let the liquid cool. Transfer to a spray bottle along with a splash of vinegar and four drops of tea tree oil which is an antiseptic and shake well; spritz on a freshly cleansed face. Store the spray bottle in the fridge.

Oatmeal: Soothing and anti-inflammatory, oatmeal contains beta glucan a soluble fiber that creates a thin, moisture-retaining film on the surface of the skin. Place a handful of whole oats in a clean washcloth and immerse it in warm water and squeeze the bag four or five times. Once the water is cloudy, splash it on your face and then air-dry.

Avocado Oil: Its abundant fatty acids help balance skin's moisture levels and the antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E protect skin from damage. Combine equal parts avocado oil and evening-primrose oil, which supports collagen synthesis with its gamma linoleic acid, in a sealable bottle and shake to blend. Massage five or six drops into clean skin, and then cover your face with a warm washcloth for a minute to help the oils sink in.

Walnuts: Rich in oil walnuts make for extra-gentle sloughing. Blend 1/4 cup shelled walnuts, 1/2 cup olive oil, for extra emollients, and a tablespoon of honey to seal moisture into your skin in a food processor creating a fine-particle scrub. Work the mixture thoroughly over your skin for a couple of minutes. Rinse with warm water.

Oranges: Cut a fresh orange in half and squeeze the juice of one half into a bowl. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 cup olive oil and then blend into a moisture-rich scrub. Rub the exposed side of the other half of the orange over knees, elbows, heels, and any other dry spots. Last, rub in the sugar mixture to slough off dead skin. Rinse with warm water and pat skin dry.

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