Friday, June 6, 2014

A Farmer's Market Beauty Routine

A bounty of skin care goodies, all made from the most natural of ingredients.  No chemicals, no fake stuff, just simple indulgence in its purest form, from the earth.  Now that's some pampering that I can sink my teeth into!

I will personally attest to the surprisingly powerful effects of each of the products below- I've made them and "guinea pigged" them ALL on myself. You know that feeling when you have stood overwhelmed in one of the many beauty aisles in your local big box store, shelled out way too much cash for a product full of promises, gotten home and tried it out only to find that it didn't deliver on any of those promises? Yeah, this is exactly the opposite of that.

Lemon Tea Sugar Scrub:
(face & body)
A sugar scrub exfoliates the skin and removes old, dead skin cells to reveal new, fresher-looking skin.  Using green tea topically has nearly as many health benefits as drinking it!  Green tea on the skin can help to reduce inflammation, protect against UV radiation (applied after before and after sun exposure, though NOT as a substitute for sunscreen), neutralize free radicals and prevent cell damage, and it can even help to slow the progression of skin cancer and inhibit the development of melanoma.
  • 3 tablespoons Epsom Salt
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 3 Green Tea bags (just open tea bags and pour into the bowl)
  • 10 teaspoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Lemon Zest from 1 lemon
In a large bowl, mix salt, sugar, ant tea.  Next mix in the olive oil, then mix in the honey, finally, add the lemon zest.  Apply to skin in the shower (when your pores are good and steamy and open), scrub gently, then rinse off.

Papaya-Aloe Anti-Wrinkle Facial: 
This is the real deal! I could feel my skin tighten and firm, almost immediately. Plant power! Papaya contains the natural enzyme papain, which acts to naturally and gently remove the outermost layer of dead skin and reveal beautiful, fresh, new skin.  Be careful not to leave the papaya mask on your skin too long as it may be too drying- about 5 minutes is best.  Apply to clean skin, leave on up to 5 minutes, rinse with cool water and moisturize well.  We tripled this recipe to make enough to fill a small jar (and still had a little left).
  • 2 tablespoons Mashed Papaya
  • 1 teaspoon Aloe Vera Gel  
To begin, open the papaya and remove the seeds.  Spoon the fruit into a small bowl and mash.  Add the aloe vera gel and mix.

To get the aloe vera gel; 
cut a piece from an aloe vera plant, 
split along one side with a paring knife, 
and then use a spoon to scrape out the gel.

Watermelon Toner:
I cannot wait to make another batch of this- my skin felt impossibly great and looked even better. Watermelon is a truly amazing, nutritionally powerful food that is just as good for you on your body as it is in your body.  The fragrance is delightfully fresh and uplifting and vitamins A, B, and C help to make your skin glow. I'm not certain that its necessary, but we kept ours in the refrigerator to prevent any spoiling.
  • 2 tablespoons Fresh Watermelon Juice
  • 1 tablespoon Vodka
  • 2 tablespoons Witch Hazel
  • 2 tablespoons distilled water
 Get fresh watermelon juice by using a blender or food processor, or from an especially juicy melon (just be sure to strain out most of the solids).  Combine all ingredients and mix well.  Apply to clean skin daily.

Olive Oil Body Lotion:
This is my one of my favorite lotions.  Even though I was a little skeptical as I hadn't ever thought about beeswax in a lotion before, I use it after showering and on my baby's eczema and we have found it very soothing and nourishing to dry skin.  We love it!  The vitamin E in the extra virgin olive oil can help protect against UV radiation (applied after sun exposure- do not use in place of sunscreen), combat free radicals an cell damage, and can help treat eczema and psoriasis.  The oil does tend to separate, so be sure to give it a good shake before use.  Also, (not surprisingly) this lotion tends to be a little on the oily side- this is why I like to use it after showering, so that I can towel off any excess oil.

  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon grated Beeswax
  • 1/8 teaspoon Borax powder
  • 1/2 cup distilled water
  • 3-5 drops Essential oil (your choice of scent, we used a ginger/citrus blend)
Combine olive oil and beeswax in a bowl and slowly heat in the microwave (about 60 seconds at a time) until the wax has melted.  In another bowl mix borax powder and water until dissolved, then heat to roughly the same temperature as the oil mixture.  Pour the borax mixture into a blender and mix on low while slowly adding the oil solution in a steady stream.  Put the blender lid on and mix on high for about 2 minutes.  Pour into a lotion bottle and allow to cool.

Honey Almond Lip Balm:
This. Stuff. Rocks.
Not only do I love it on my lips, but it works wonders on dry gardening hands and crusty, been-cooped-up-all-winter feet.  Also magical on elbows, and I think I'll make a batch with some eucalyptus oil to use on my babies when they're sick.  Or color a batch with some fresh beet or berry juice and use on lips or cheeks. With this recipe as a base formula, the possibilities of awesome-ness are endless!
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons grated beeswax
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vitamin E oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cocoa butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, heat slowly (about 60 seconds at a time) in the microwave until the wax has melted.  Then blend in a blender 1-2 minutes, pour into tiny tins or jars and allow to cool.
We have had a bit of trouble finding tiny tubs or jars for lip balm or lip gloss.  The ones pictured above came from the travel cosmetics section of a big box store.  The following websites may also prove helpful: DIY Cosmetics, Sunburst Bottle, or Lip Balm Tubes.

Lavender Mint Bath Tea:
The scent of mint can be elevating and brightening, and can help soothe a headache (even migraines). The healing benefits of lavender range from soothing joint pain and sore muscles, to warding off depression, to treating eczema. 
2-3 tablespoons each of the following-
  • Dried Lavender
  • Dried Mint
  • Sencha Tea
Add all ingredients in layers to a small sachet, spice or tea bag.  The sachet can then be hung from the faucet under warm running bath water. 

All dressed up in 
a pretty basket 
makes it a beautiful 
and thoughtful gift!

Some recipes in this post are from the following books:
The Big-Ass Book of Crafts, by Mark Montano.
Natural Beauty for All Seasons,by Janice Cox. 

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