Something a bit different today, but something I’m really keen on: natural cosmetic recipes. A cautionary rule of thumb: do not put anything on your skin that you are intolerant to in your diet. It may very well irritate. Keep all of this stuff away from your eyes. Don’t ingest any essential oils.
I’ve always had super-sensitive skin which gets more and more fragile as I progress through my perimenopause (a common symptom). I use Weleda Baby products day-to-day, but I make my own skin treats and bath-time indulgences.
The simplest (and best) moisturising bath is a good cupful of milk and some lavender essential oil (if you are lactose intolerant or vegan, almond or oat milk is good). A handful of salt or a couple of capfuls of cider vinegar help to balance the skin. I like to add essential oils (rose and geranium is a mixture that I like, but everyone has their own favourites). I usually exfoliate with a cotton washcloth but for an extra, soul-deep clean, I use this recipe:
Take 1 teaspoon oil (olive, almond, coconut, etc.) and mix in a cupful of brown sugar until all the grains are coated. Finely grate square inch of fresh ginger and mix in. Add the juice and zest of half a lime and stir. You can apply the scrub by hand or on a washcloth. Use it within a week.
Face masks of honey or honey and yogurt work well for me, being moisturising and calming. A recipe I saw many years ago had you smooth honey over the face, and then gently pat with flat fingers all over to stimulate circulation and draw out muck. Chilled white tea is a lovely skin tonic. You can whip coconut oil and aloe vera (go for a pure-as-possible aloe vera gel, lots of them have alcohol and other additives) together with a hand blender to make a good general moisturiser for dry or rough skin. Although I often use pure rosehip oil on my face these days, for many years I used virgin olive oil with rose, lavender and tea tree essential oils (5-10 drops of each added to about 15ml of base oil). If you have oilier skin, olive may be too heavy and almond or jojoba will be better.
A nice cooling spray can be made thus: pour 30ml of witch hazel into a 100ml spray bottle, add 5 drops of peppermint oil and shake well. Add 30ml of aloe vera gel and shake again until mixed (if the aloe gel is very thick it may be best to mix these ingredients in a bowl). Top up with distilled water. It’s great for when you’re overheated, on any part of the body, but close your eyes if you are spraying your face! This is similar to a very easy room spray recipe: 30ml witch hazel in a 100ml spray bottle, 5-10 drops of essential oils, shake, top up with water. I react badly to artificial air fresheners (they can trigger migraines) and find these natural ones much better. Lavender is supposed to be good for relaxing, I find lemon and mint refreshing (only use a couple of drops of mint, it overwhelms all other fragrances), rose is calming, citrus oils are a good pick-me-up. But again, you will have your own faves. If you don’t yet know what oils you like, you can research online, ask at a good health food shop, or just go in and smell a few to find a pong that suits you!