Spring beauty for your body
Hello, warmer weather! Time to shed the hats, scarves, mitts and bulky clothing we’ve been hiding under all winter. Whether that thought makes you cringe or rejoice, there’s no season like spring for a little rejuvenation before summer arrives. Here are some ideas for some head-to-toe spring pampering.
Indoor heat and outdoor cold did a number on our tresses this past season. As you refresh your cut and colour, don’t forget to repair damage with a moisture boost for your scalp and hair. Olive oil can help restore your locks — whether it’s used alone as a hot oil treatment or as part of a conditioning treatment.
Cucumber Hair Drench
1 half-eggshell’s worth of olive oil (i.e. one portion of the eggshell you broke apart)
1 quarter of a peeled cucumber
Blend the egg, olive oil and peeled cucumber in a blender or food processor until smooth. Spread evenly through your hair, leave on for 10 minutes, and then thoroughly rinse. For the best results year-round, continue this treatment monthly.
It’s the part of our body that’s often left exposed to the brunt of cold temperatures and winds. Help lose that “weather beaten” look with a mask to exfoliate and moisturize the skin.
Honey is one ingredient from your pantry that can provide intense moisture for your skin. You can use it straight from the pot — simply apply a thin layer, let it sit for a few minutes and rinse — or mix it with a little milk. You can also combine with it with other beneficial ingredients like clay for a do-it-yourself facial.
Pore Refining Honey Mask
(Makes several applications)
1 cup kaolin or bentonite clay, available online or at health food stores
1/2 cup aloe vera gel
1/2 cup honey
2 drops eucalyptus oil
3 drops tea tree essential oil (see note below)
Mix powdered clay in bowl with water to create a paste. Add remaining ingredients. Mix until texture is creamy and smooth. Apply to clean skin, including neck. Leave on skin 10-15 minutes. Rinse with warm water, pat dry and apply your favorite moisturizer or sunscreen.
Note: Some skin sensitivities may not allow the oils. In this case substitute 5 drops of brewed green tea.
(Recipe provided courtesy of the National Honey Board.)
They’re even thinner and more delicate that the skin on our face, yet they often get neglected when it comes to regular moisturizing. If your usual lip balm needs a little boost, trying smoothing on some honey or making your own balm.
Honey-Kissed Lip Balm
1 cup sweet almond oil (can be found at natural food stores)
1/2 cup beeswax (can be purchased at craft or beekeeping stores)
2 tablespoons honey
Place almond oil and beeswax in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute or until mixture melts. Whisk honey into beeswax mixture; stir well. Set aside to cool completely. When cool, pour into small containers with lids. Apply to lips as a moisturizer or on top of lipstick for extra shine. Makes about 1-1/2 cups.
(Recipe provided courtesy of the National Honey Board.)
Our spring and summer wardrobes show a little more skin, but we don’t want to show off flakes and pealing. To help shed winter skin woes, think soak, scrub and moisturize.
Oatmeal baths are a standard treatment for soft skin because this ingredient releases a mineral called silica, which is known for skin-soothing properties. Simply pour two thirds of a cup of oatmeal into an old stocking or coffee filter bag, tie off the top and throw it into a nice hot bath.
To give this old favourite an upgrade, try adding a drizzle of honey and a 1/4 cup of powdered milk. You can also stir in a few drops of your favourite essential oil like lavender or peppermint — both of which aid relaxation.
(For other ideas for using essential oils, check out The blissful benefits of a bath.)
Greek Sugar Body Scrub
1/4 cup of sugar
3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
Mix ingredients to form a thick paste. Apply liberally in the shower, and massage in a circular motion.
(For more ideas see, European beauty secrets.)
Fruit Salad Body Mask
This “smoothie for the skin” from SpaIndex.com offers all the benefits of healthy fruits — like enzyme action, antioxidants and vitamins.
2 slices pineapple – rind removed
1/2 med. honeydew melon – rind removed
1 doz. green grapes
1 med. banana – peeled
1 med. kiwi fruit – peeled
Puree all ingredients in food processor. Mixture will be slightly lumpy. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Smooth onto body and/or face, leaving on for half an hour. This is an ideal treatment to use poolside while lounging. Rinse off with tepid water, or an outdoor shower.
Hands and feet
‘Tis the season for spring cleaning and gardening! Even if you avoid harsh cleaners and wear gloves while you work, your hands can really take a beating. Regular moisturizing is essential — try to take advantage of time where you’re not using your hands so the creams and treatments will have a chance to soak in, like while you sleep or watch TV.
Same goes for your feet, especially with strappy shoes and sandals soon stepping out of our closets. A good soak followed by some intense moisturizer is an inexpensive alternative to a spa pedicure.
Cocoa Butter Hand and Foot Crème
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup dry oatmeal
4 tablespoons cocoa butter
3 tablespoons honey
Process the almonds in a blender or coffee grinder until coarsely ground. In a bowl, combine oatmeal, cocoa butter, honey and ground nuts. Rub into your hands and feet, cover with cotton gloves and socks, and leave on overnight. The next morning, remove the gloves and socks and rinse.
ON THE WEB
For more about ingredients and at-home recipes, see
The do-it-yourself spa on 50Plus.com
David Suzuki Foundation’s Homemade Cosmetics Ingredients
MakeYourOwnCosmetics.com’s Ingredient Encyclopedia
National Honey Board: Beauty Recipes
SpaIndex.com: Spa at Home Tips, Recipes and More