In our fourth installment of DIY organic skin-care recipes, Donna Maria shares her yummy “Banana Moon” facial, and we showcase a unique recipe for a “Very Vanilla Pumice Stone.”

Note: Because you’re committed to organic living, we recommend using certified organic ingredients in skin-care products (when available) to minimize your risk of exposure to pesticides, chemicals, toxins and preservatives.

Banana Moon

There’s nothing like giving yourself a facial using ingredients that are likely to be in your kitchen year-round. Except for the essential oils in this recipe, you surely have all the ingredients in your cupboard — or can easily obtain them in a flash! This will leave any type of skin feeling refreshed and pampered.

Makes 1 application

Ingredients

1 banana, just ripe
1 tablespoon honey
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon wheat germ oil
1 tablespoon finely powdered oats
1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional, if mask will not be used immediately)
1 drop rose essential oil
1 drop melissa essential oil

Directions

  • Peel and mash banana. Add honey, egg yolk, wheat germ oil, oats and lemon juice, if used. Mash further to form a smooth, creamy paste.
  • If mask is too thick, add a bit of distilled water, and stir well until smooth.
  • Add essential oils last, and stir to mix well.
  • To use, apply to clean face and neck, avoiding eye and mouth areas. Rest for 10 minutes, or longer if your skin is very dry.
  • Rinse with warm water, and follow with toner and moisturizer. Use application within a few hours of making.

“What’s appealing about banana is its texture,” says Donna Maria. “It really does have a good effect on the skin when it’s dry. It doesn’t leave a film, and it truly seems to help with dry skin.”

Editor’s note: This recipe is featured in “Making Aromatherapy Creams & Lotions.” Copyright © 2000 by Donna Maria Coles Johnson, reprinted with permission from Storey Publishing.

Very Vanilla Pumice Stone

Four years ago, Lisa Maliga, founder of EverythingShea.com, published “Beautiful You! A Guide to Making Organic Bath & Body Products” (now out of print, but you may be able to find a copy at your local library or a store specializing in used books).

Maliga, who describes herself as an “action-oriented consumer,” became frustrated when commercial products failed to provide the results she desired. She began studying herbal, holistic and aromatherapy solutions, trying her hand at making various “lotions and potions” — and a full-fledged business was born.

The following recipe for a vanilla-scented pumice stone is adapted from Maliga’s book. Pumice stones, she notes, are “nature’s ingredient for smoothing calluses and rough skin, particularly on your hands and feet.” Natural pumice stones — found in drugstores, beauty supply shops and whole foods stores — are made from the light glass that forms on lava’s surface after a volcanic eruption. They are usually gray in color.

Caution: Never use a pumice stone on dry feet, or you will create painful abrasions (scrapes on the skin caused by friction and irritation). Instead, place your bare feet in a bucket, footbath or tub filled with warm water (large enough to accommodate both feet), advises Dr. Marlene Reid, a Chicago-based podiatrist and past president of the American Association for Women Podiatrists. Relax and soak for at least 10 minutes. Then use the pumice stone to slough away calluses and thickened dead skin around the heels, balls and sides of your feet.

Ingredients and Supplies

1 store-bought natural pumice stone
1 kitchen plate
1 kitchen saucepan
2 tablespoons organic jojoba oil
12 drops of organic vanilla essential oil
Organic cotton balls

Directions

  1. Unwrap your pumice stone. Place it on the plate.
  2. Mix the jojoba oil and vanilla essential oil in your saucepan. Warm it over a low heat.
  3. When the mixture is warm (not too hot!), dip your cotton balls into the saucepan. Always check the temperature to ensure you don’t burn yourself.
  4. Rub the pumice stone with the soaked cotton balls until the liquid has penetrated. Use all of the oil mixture.
  5. Let the fragrant stone dry, uncovered, for 24 hours.
  6. Store it in an airtight bag so it retains its luxurious very-vanilla scent.