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Homemade Spa Be the first on your block

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If I told you that you can create a healthy, healing environment in your own home that everyone will love to experience, would you believe me? Instead of traveling to a spa, you can set up a similar feel in your own space without having to go far. Just like baking bread from scratch or following a favorite recipe for a special dinner, making your own creams and moisturizers can be a very pleasurable experience. Although myriad wonderful body care and grooming products are in the marketplace, there is something unique about mixing up the potions yourself. Granted, I am talking about doing this occasionally. Turning your home into a homemade spa can be very, very cool. While encouraging creativity, it can become a relaxing get-together with friends or a wonderful family project.

Home/Spa Phenomenon

When my son was a young adolescent, who I am happy to say, is now out of the house and gainfully employed, we treated his acne using only natural products. At that time we owned the Bread of Life, a natural food store in Fort Lauderdale, and had shelves full of natural cleansers, acne treatments and moisturizers that he used religiously on a daily basis. As helpful as these products were to his skin, he also had great results from our own homemade mask.

Facials became a weekly family event at our house. Usually on a Sunday evening, my son Isaac and I would mix the mask ourselves, using one of my most favorite ingredients, French green clay. As a great absorber of impurities, we mixed the green clay with enough water to form a poultice. My husband joined in as we applied the homemade mask on our faces, then sat together in the living room with our feet up. Sometimes we had wet tea bags on our eyes; sometimes we listened to music or just sat quietly for twenty minutes. At a stressful time in his life as a teenager, this family ritual helped us to bond.

You can create your own wonderful atmosphere. I have often thought how much fun it would be to invite a small group of friends and spend time pampering ourselves. Because men are now becoming more aware of the need to take care of their skin and hair, this can be a co-ed gathering. In much the same way you organize a dinner party, this is a homemade spa party.

Picture a few of your closest friends milling around a pot of boiling water on your kitchen stove containing aro- matic herbs. They take turns bending over it as the vapors cleanse their pores. A homemade mask is next, followed by thorough rinsing and then applying a freshly made moisturizing cream. Everyone is laughing, having a great time, and looking gorgeous!!!

Most of the ingredients I recommend can be found in your refrigerator or pantry. Be choosy, though, and bring home only the finest quality ingredients, making sure they are natural, free of preservatives, and organic when possible. Even though these ingredients are not meant to be eaten, they do get absorbed into our systems through our skin and scalp, and we want to ensure we do not add anything that may be harmful or toxic.

The Wonders of Olive Oil

Cleansing the face is the first step in any program. You can make a great facial cleanser by squeezing a lemon and adding a few drops of water. Cleanse the face gently using cotton balls. After cleansing, the facial continues with a good scrub, a mask, and then a moisturizer. All of these can be freshly homemade.

Beginning with olive oil, every house should have a supply that is organic, virgin and cold pressed. At home, I have several bottles of olive oil in my pantry at any time, all of them organic. I keep the one for skin care separate from the ones I use for eating, just to ensure no possible contamination.

Olive oil has been used for beauty since the time of the Egyptians on skin and hair. Many cultures throughout the world revere this liquid gold. Rich in beneficial oleic acid, this powerful antioxidant fights those nasty, wrinkle causing free radicals. Applied directly on the skin, it is moisturizing and hydrating. On the hair, it conditions and provides that beautiful shine. I often pour olive oil straight from the bottle on my head, massage it in, cover with a plastic cap, and sit reading the latest issue of Wellness for about a half hour. I know people who leave the cap on and sleep through the night. Follow this with a good shampoo and conditioner, and your hair will look thicker and full of body.

For a great olive oil facial mask, add about a half cup of olive oil to one egg yolk and one tablespoon honey. Stir until well mixed. Leave on the face for about 30 minutes and rinse with warm water.

Improve the look and feel of your nails by soaking them in a small bowl of olive oil for about 20 minutes. Add a few drops of lemon juice and relax. Your nails will become stronger after doing this over a period of time.

Dermatological Wonders

Honey is another one of those household items that provides miraculous skin healing benefits. We may want to consider Cleopatra as being the pioneer of homemade spas. Known to bathe in milk and honey, her beauty is legendary. Honey is known to reduce fine lines and wrinkles by stimulating collagen production. By restoring the natural acid mantle on our skin, honey protects us against environmental pollution. You can just spread pure honey on your face, using a little bit, and let it absorb for 20 to 30 minutes. Adding egg white to the honey will help tighten skin pores.

A very popular anti aging treatment is the use of well known alpha hydroxyl acids. Known to erase fine lines and wrinkles, these substances are included in chemical peels administered by dermatologists. Considered to be an exfoliant, these substances work by stimulating new cell growth. Although offering such great benefits, they must be handled with a lot of care. Sometimes these treatments cause a lot of irritation, redness, burning and itching. But did you know that you may find natural and harmless alpha hydroxyl acids in the fruit drawer of your fridge? Fruits such as apples, pears, grapes, and citrus contain these powerful anti-aging acids. As part of a do-it-yourself beauty routine, crush a grape, puree an apple or pear, and gently spread on your face. Let it dry for about 15 minutes, rinse, pat dry, and moisturize.

It’s important to exfoliate regularly, giving your face a chance to rejuvenate. A great homemade facial scrub is a combination of rolled oats, ground almonds, and a bit of water. It’s so gentle, you can scrub daily.

Moisturizing creams are easy to make. All it takes is some yogurt and honey. Add olive oil if you wish. I am sure you’ve heard of using avocado on your face. When in season, mash an avocado, add honey and a bit of lemon juice. It’s great on your face and good enough to eat....

Fabulous Feet

Let’s not forget our feet. A homemade pedicure begins with the use of a pumice stone to exfoliate all the dead skin. Rinse thoroughly and then apply a good foot cream. You can make a great hand and foot cream by blending about 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1/2 cup coconut oil, 1 tablespoon honey and a few drops of lavender essential oil. Rub it into your hands and feet. I like to do this before going to bed and put socks on; it’s a cozy way to fall asleep. After removing my socks in the morning, my feet look and feel ten years younger.

When in a private mood, you can treat your whole body. A superb body rub consists of combining ground almonds, honey and yogurt. Mix together into a paste. Rub all over your body. Rinse and soap up. Follow this by soaking in a tub full of warm water and a few drops of essential oils. At the end of the day, if you want to relax, use essential oil of lavender. If its morning and you are getting started for the day, use essential oil of rosemary, a very invigorating scent.

My hope is that you will enjoy preparing some of these body grooming recipes at home, improve they way you look and feel, and share all that goodness with your loved ones.

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