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Homemade Beauty Recipes for Skin

Natural Treatments for Face & Body
  -- By Liza Barnes, Health Educator
Many of the same wholesome foods that you eat to help your skin glow from the inside-out can also be used externally, as cleansers, moisturizers, and skin masks. These vitamins, minerals, and oils that nourish your body also nourish your skin. Below you’ll find recipes for a variety of skincare products that you can make at home with a few simple ingredients. Make them for yourself or even give them as gifts by reusing pretty class jars or bottles. Your friends and relatives will love the personal touch, and you’ll be recycling and saving money too! Here are some recipes to get you started.

Note: If you have sensitive skin, do a patch test before using any of these products. Apply a few drops to the inside of your wrist, and wait 12 hours to see if any irritation develops.

*For more information about uncommon ingredients, see bottom of article.

Soothing Lavender Body Wash
Lavender essential oil gives this body wash a fragrant scent, while grapeseed oil helps keep skin healthy.
Pour ingredients into a container, swirl to mix, and store in the shower for up to one month.

Mother Nature’s Moisturizer
There are lots of simple plant oils that your can use to moisturize your skin, all of which can be stored in your bathroom.
Combine water and beeswax in a saucepan and heat until melted. Add cocoa butter and stir until smooth. Allow to cool somewhat, then add oils. Pour into a glass jar, and allow to cool completely.

Grapeseed Face Wash for Dry Skin
This face wash will clean your skin without drying it out. Whip all ingredients until smooth. Pour mixture in a tightly-sealed glass jar and store in the refrigerator. This facial wash will keep for a few weeks.

Chamomile Facial Cleansing Gel (for all skin types)
The oats in this cleansing gel help to gently exfoliate your skin. Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan, turn off heat, and drop in the tea bag. Allow to steep for 5 minutes, then remove the bag and add the flaxseeds. Return to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Pour cooled mixture through a fine mesh strainer, into a glass jar. To use, sprinkle a small amount of ground rolled oats in the palm of your hand, and mix with a small amount of the flax gel. Scrub face gently, and rinse well. Store the gel and the oats separately in the refrigerator. They will both keep for a few weeks.

Banana Face Mask for Oily Skin
Both of these recipes for face masks use easy-to-find ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen. Whip all ingredients until smooth, and apply. (For best results, cleanse and steam your face before applying.) Leave on for 15 minutes, and then wipe clean with a warm washcloth.

Yogurt and Honey Face Mask for Dry Skin Combine ingredients until smooth, and apply. (For best results, cleanse and steam your face before applying.) Leave on for 15 minutes, and then wipe clean with a warm washcloth.

*Information about Uncommon Ingredients

Beeswax, a natural wax made by bees in honeycombs, is commonly used in cosmetics. It helps to seal, moisturize and protect the skin. You can buy beeswax in chunks or "pearls." Beeswax chunks are more economical, and slightly less processed than pearls, which are more heavily filtered to achieve cosmetic grade. Many natural foods stores sell beeswax in bulk form (buy only as much as you want), and you can also find it in craft stores.

Castile soap refers to liquid or bar soap that is made exclusively from vegetable oils (as opposed to animal fat) and comes in a variety of scents (or unscented). You'll find it in natural foods stores. Dr. Bronner's is a commonly used brand.

Cocoa butter, natural fat in cacao beans, is extracted during the process of making chocolate. Commonly used in cosmetics, thanks to its smooth texture and sweet fragrance, this stable fat has a shelf life of two to five years. Look for 100% cocoa butter in natural foods stores, craft stores, or online sources that sell soap-making supplies.

Coconut oil (or coconut butter), which comes from coconuts, is an excellent moisturizer. You'll find it in most natural and conventional food stores, next to other cooking oils.

Grapeseed oil (also called grape seed oil or grape oil) is pressed from the seeds of various grapes. It possesses regenerative and restructuring qualities, and is often used in commercial eye creams. You'll find it in most natural or gourmet food stores, next to other cooking oils.

Lavender essential oil (or "oil of lavender") is derived from lavender plants via steam distillation. Simply put, an essential oil carries a plant's distinctive scent (or "essence"), but no other fundamental properties of that plant. Lavender has been used in aromatherapy for years to ease anxiety, stress, and depression. You'll find essential oils in small, tinted glass bottles in your natural foods store (in the bulk, beauty or aromatherapy section).

Wheat germ oil is extracted from the germ of a wheat kernel. This highly perishable oil contains more vitamin E (a powerful antioxidant) than any other natural (non-fortified) food source, along with minerals and B-complex vitamins. You'll find it in the supplement section of your natural foods store.