Spas can get expensive, yet natural organic skin care is best. Beauty begins with a well-cleansed face and continues with do-it-yourself steams and masks. Cleansing the face of dead skin promotes new cellular growth.
A classic, make-at-home cleanser starts with baking soda as its main ingredient:
2 tablespoons baking soda
1 tablespoon almond oil
2 drops lavender essential oil
1 cup water
1 tablespoon honey
On low heat, combine all ingredients except the honey. Remove from the heat, and let the mixture cool. Add the honey, and stir well. Apply to the face like a soap, rinsing with tepid water.
Facial steams are beneficial for deep cleaning the pores. They allow for the blocked ducts in the skin to be freed of debris. Steaming is probably the best way to really cleanse the skin.
An easy way to do a facial steam at home is with a teapot. Start by boiling four cups of distilled water in the teapot ceramic or enamel is best. Remove the teapot from the stove and add herbs or essential oils. I recommend the following:
• For blemished skin, add lavender for its antiseptic and cleansing properties, comfrey for its skin-healing properties and rose for its astringent qualities.
• For normal sin, add chamomile for its calming properties, calendula for its cell regeneration properties and Irish moss for its soothing and detoxifying qualities.
Let the herbs steep for 10 minutes. If using essential oils, the mixture is ready right away. Put the teapot somewhere where you can bend over it. Place a large towel over your head, and lean over the teapot, allowing the fragrant steam to penetrate the skin. Do this at least once a week.
Exfoliants are designed to remove dead cells from the skin. Purely botanical exfoliation is an effective addition to any skin care regimen.
Facial exfoliants are simple. Apply fresh papaya or pineapple, either blended or mashed, directly to your face. If you only have access to the juice, mix this with honey and/or clay for an exfoliating mask you leave on for 10 minutes.
You can even make your own toner, which refines larger pores and tightens the skin. Since lavender is so balancing, it's appropriate for all skin types. Everyone can use a toner made out of lavender:
3 cups distilled water
1/2 cup lavender flowers
4 drops essential oil of rose
Combine water and lavender flowers in a glass jar. Leave the jar on a sunny shelf for five days, shaking it every other day. Strain out the flowers, and add the essential oil of rose. Splash on the face every day after cleansing. Keep refrigerated.
Many types of "kitchen cosmetics" are appropriate for any type of skin.
Adapted from "Beauty, Health, and Happiness" by Lily Morgan.
Lily Farm Fresh Skin Care is the original pioneer of organic skin care in Colorado. Lily Morgan has been handcrafting purely natural skin care products since 1986. "We were organic before organic was cool," she says. Her line is the only organic skin care company in the world that allows customers to buy organic skin care directly from the USDA certified organic grower. Lily Morgan is a 7th generation American grower and author of the book,"Beauty, Health and Happiness -- A Way of Life." Lily Farm Fresh provides the highest degree of sustainability and traceability as well as 185 acres of Colorado organic farmland and open space. Lily Farm Fresh Skin Care is available at Vitamin Cottages and Whole Food Markets in Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico.