In lieu of toxic beauty products, I tout my organic skincare as much as the next. But somehow the idea of growing your own bath & body apothecary appeals to my inner purist and little mad scientist, not to mention my oft frugal side. Skincare companies will charge exorbitant amounts for their proprietary concoctions of cure-all creams, but sometimes going straight for the source and tapping into the potency of a pure plant’s benefits (that you’ve cultivated and harvested yourself!) has advantages that go far beyond the fruits of mass production. These three plants will get you started, and who knows the brilliance that will gleam forth.
- Aloe Vera: We all know it soothes sunburn, but the gel that squeezes out of an aloe leaf is plump with topical genius way beyond just that. As legend would have it, the seductress Cleopatra ascribed her beauty to the daily regimen of massaging fresh aloe vera into her skin. The high concentration of MSM (methyl-sulfonyl-methane), plant steroids and salicylic acid mean aloe calms, refreshes, moisturizes and tightens. What more could you want?!
- Cucumber: Two cucumber slices upon tired puffy eyes provide the perfect boon when needed, but there’s more. The shiny skin of a cucumber has high amounts of silicone believed to encourage healthy skin, nails and hair growth when eaten. Mashed cucumber can also treat burns, swollen feet, acne and wrinkles you’re not too fond of.
- Lavender: It’s soothing and mood enhancing, plus it’s antiseptic, meaning it eases burns, psoriasis, infections and sensitive skin in general. Brew some strong lavender tea with sprigs from your garden and pour into a little spray bottle. Throw it in your purse, and spritz, spritz, spritz, all the live long day. One thing's for sure: you'll feel better. And that's beautiful!