Admit it: You're a beauty product junkie. Your eyes light up every time you spot a new organic soap, cleanser, body wash, lotion, body scrub or bath salts in a magazine advertisement or in-store product display.
But as we all know, bath and beauty products can put a crimp in your budget-especially if you like to share your latest finds with friends and relatives when gift-giving time rolls around. (Check out the Lemon-Brown Sugar Body Scrub below.)
Here are some great spa "recipes" for creating do-it-yourself organic beauty treatments. They're fast, simple and, best of all, easy on the pocketbook. We recommend using certified organic ingredients in all recipes to minimize your risk of exposure to pesticides, chemicals, toxins and preservatives. Remember: What you put on your skin will be absorbed by your body, so why take chances?
If you happen to have oily skin, this Citrus Facial from Nona George Cohen, owner of The Body Clinic Day Spa, will degrease your face in no time.
With two locations in Los Angeles, the spa attracts a celebrity clientele like actresses Vivica A. Fox and Vanessa Bell Calloway, singer Usher and Miss America 1993/TV personality Leanza Cornett.
"Citrus has astringent, antiseptic and detoxifying effects on the skin," Cohen tells OrganicAuthority.com. "Lemon reduces hyperpigmentation and also exfoliates. Adding ylang-ylang gives citrus added beneficial effects."
1 teaspoon lemon juice (You may substitute grapefruit, orange or another citrus juice, but don't mix them.)
2 teaspoons honey
6 ounces plain yogurt
1 drop ylang-ylang essential oil (optional)
1/4 cup oatmeal or crushed almonds (optional)
1. Blend ingredients.
2. Apply to face.
3. Allow to dry.
4. Rinse with warm water.
Lemon-Brown Sugar Body Scrub
Body scrubs, applied in the shower, have multiple benefits, according to Sharon Mathieu, vice president of development and holistic advisor for Soothe Your Senses, a Mandeville, Louisiana-based company that manufactures all-natural, essential oil-based aromatherapy bath and body products.
A body scrub cleans and exfoliates the skin, improves blood circulation and helps remove toxins, says Mathieu, a massage therapist and aromatherapist who also owns and operates the company's day spa, where she practices therapeutic massage, Reiki, acupressure, prenatal massage, chakra balancing, Qi Qong and reflexology.
"This is traditionally a spa treatment that is finding its way to showers across the country," she tells OrganicAuthority.com.
1/4 cup coarse brown sugar (to gently exfoliate without drying)
1 cup grapeseed oil (to moisturize)
1/4 cup grated lemon peel (to invigorate your senses)
1. Mix together all ingredients.
2. Gently rub on your body in a circular motion. Concentrate on rough areas like elbows, knees and heels.
3. Rinse with water.
Note: Commercial body scrubs sell for about $15 to $25 a jar. This scrub makes a great gift for birthdays, holidays and other special occasions.
Rose Potion Facial
A good facial uses steam to unclog pores, loosen impurities, and eliminate blackheads and whiteheads. Just make sure the water is not too hot, or you risk burning your face. This Rose Potion Facial also comes from Sharon Mathieu at Soothe Your Senses.
We recommend using organic rose petals to avoid exposure to pesticides and chemical sprays. You may purchase organic flowers and petals at Organic Bouquet.
Ingredients and Supplies
1 bath towel
1 spray bottle
1 cup fresh rose petals
1 gallon almost-boiling water
1. Place rose petals in the bowl.
2. Pour the water over them.
3. Cover your head with the towel.
4. Lean over the bowl to absorb vapors.
5. Steam your skin for approximately 15 minutes. Be sure to keep your face at least 12 inches away from the water.
6. Pat your face dry.
7. Apply a light moisturizer of your choice.
8. Allow the rose-infused water to cool, and pour it into a spray bottle.
"You can use the leftover mist to spray the rest of your body or as a room spray," Mathieu says.
If you would like more do-it-yourself organic spa recipes, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If we receive enough requests, we will make this a regular column.
image: Dennis Wong