Just in time for Mother's Day, Carla Emery offers some recipes for homemade pampering for the wonderful women in your life — or for yourself!
NOTE: To prevent allergic reactions, test a small quantity of any unaccustomed substance by rubbing it on the underside of your arm. Then wait 24-48 hours to see if a rash develops.
For Your Face
Face Masks. A mask consists of a "binder" (which makes it adhere) and other ingredients mixed in with the binder. Choose your binder according to whether your skin tends to be oily or dry. For oily skin, use yogurt or egg white as a binder. For dry skin, choose lanolin, honey, sour cream, or egg yolk. Experiment with the other ingredients. You can blend vegetables and fruits and combine them with your binder, or use any of the recipes below.
Wash your face clean before applying the mask. Don't ever put a mask onto the area around your eyes. Rinse off after a half hour or as soon as the mask dries. (While you're waiting, it's a good time to take a nap.) To remove the mask, use a washrag and warm water. Then use cold water to close your pores. NOTE: If you feel any irritation, rinse off immediately!
- Oatmeal Mask: Mix together 2⁄3 c. oatmeal and enough honey to make a pasty consistency. Optionally, add 2 t. rose water.
- Honey/Lemon Mask: Mix 2 T. slightly warmed honey with 1 t. lemon juice. Put the mixture on your face and leave for about a half hour.
- Peaches and Cream Moisturizer: Blend together 1 ripe peach and heavy cream. Refrigerate. Massage onto your skin wherever needed once per day.
- Homemade Lip Gloss or Rouge: Mix a drop of food coloring with a fingerful of petroleum jelly. Kids have fun with this, and it won’t hurt their skin.
For Your Body
Herbal Bath. Make a strong tea by pouring boiling water over your chosen herbs. Let steep while you draw your bathwater. Then strain into the water. Or just put herbs right in your bath water - either loose or in a little cheese- cloth bag. Let them steep 10 minutes; then join them in there. Good herbs for bathing are chamomile, lemon verbena, mint, peppermint, and rosemary.
- Herbal Bath Salts: With Epsom salts, mix sage, thyme, and pennyroyal; lemon balm and peppermint; lavender, rosemary, and pennyroyal; or another herb or herbal combination that pleases you. Or use Epsom salts with a few drops of your favorite fragrance or herbal oil mixed in. When bottled attractively, this makes a nice gift.