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Health & Beauty
A simple, delightful recipe, bath salts add trace minerals to the bath water, soften the water, and gently cleanse the skin. Bath salts are made from a combination of mineral salts. Most people are surprised, and some mildly offended, to learn the major ingredient in most bath salts is Borax. Borax is a natural mineral salt mined in only a few places in the world. Put it in a large box with a picture of the 20 mule team on the front and it_used for laundry; put it in a small, fancy jar and it's used as a cosmetic.
Ingredients for Bath Salts:
- 2 cups Borax
- 1/8 cup Sea Salt
- 1/8 cup White Clay
- Essential Oils to scent
(1) Mix borax, salt, and clay together. Use a wire egg whisk to distribute all the ingredients evenly.
(2) Scent with your favorite essential oil. The mix will absorb a lot of oil so buy your scent in a 1 oz bottle.
(3) Cover with a porous cloth and let sit several hours to dry. Mix with egg whisk again. Package in glass bottles or fancy tins.
Growing in abundance around my home in the California coastal range is the gorgeous aromatic bay tree. This recipe is an inspiration from the bay wood forest of that home. For a bracing astringent and for a perfect aftershave tonic to tighten and firm pores try this wonderful "ALL NATURAL" bay rum tonic. It makes a great gift also.
- Bay Leaves (fresh works far better)
- A few Cloves, Allspice, and Ginger
(1) Pack a wide mouth jar full of bay leaves. Fresh leaves are really the best to use here. Add just a few cloves, allspice and ginger, enough to give it a bit of a spicy aroma.
(2) Completely cover the herbs with rum ( an inch or two above the herbs).
(3) Let sit for 3-4 weeks in a warm place.
(4) Strain and rebottle the herbal liquid. You may add a drop or two of essential oil of bay to strengthen the scent; especially if using dry bay leaves.
Cosmeos' shrine is most often found in the least conspicuous room in the house, the bathroom. Here one is likely to find the anointing oils, luscious creams, the facial cleansers, and all the wonderfully scented paraphernalia so fond to the heart of this sensuous goddess. Within the confines of your bathroom, in the temple of Cosmeos, you can create ceremonies to awaken the goddess energy. One of the most satisfying of these ceremonies is the Ritual Bath. It has all the benefits of an exclusive European-style spa, but is accomplished inexpensively and conveniently in your own home. The entire treatment can be completed within an hour. The results? Glowing skin, radiant spirits, and a deep, harmonious feeling of peace.
Step One - Getting Ready
Begin by placing a candle in your bathroom, light some incense, and put your favorite music on your stereo.
Step Two - Filling The Tub
Fill your bathtub with very hot water. Use a generous portion of your favorite Bath Herb Mix (see recipe section). Add 4 tablespoons of you favorite Bath Salt mix (see recipe section). Your bath water should be richly scented and permeated with the healing essences of the herbs.
Step Three - Anointing
Generously apply either massage oil or creamy massage oil (see recipe section) to your entire skin. Using a luffa or natural hemp mitt, vigorously rub your entire body. This therapeutic skin treatment, called dry brush massage, is used in European style spas and sanitariums. It is both a marvelous cosmetic aid and a therapy for sluggish circulation and skin related disorders. When you have thoroughly and vigorously massaged your entire body, you are ready for immersion.
Step Four - Immersion
Slowly immerse yourself into your herbal bath water. Let the candle light lure your dreams; the soft music entice you. While soaking, use the bag of bath herbs as a gentle scrub. Massage it soothingly over your body.
Step Five - Re-emergence
After a time which should seem like forever, when you feel fully ready to re-emerge into the world, slowly step from the tub. Towel dry, then anoint your entire body with your special cream (recipe above). Dust a bit of your heavenly body powder (see recipe section) under your arms and everywhere else it feels good.
This is the nicest powder recipe I know of. It is a natural deodorizer because of its absorbent properties, can be scented with any scent you like, and is simple and inexpensive to make.
- 1 cup White cosmetic grade Clay
- 1-2 cups Cornstarch
- Optional; Essential Oils
- Optional; Lavender and Rose flowers
(1) In a large bowl, using a wire whisk, mix the clay and cornstarch together.
(2) Add essential oil. It will absorb quite a bit, so buy your essential oil in 1 oz bottles.
(3) If you wish to use herbs, finely grind the lavender and roses (or other herbs) to a fine powder. Sift. Then grind again. They must be as powdered as possible or they will give a gritty feeling to the powder. A coffee or seed and nut grinder will work fairly well.
(4) Cover the body powder with a porous cloth and let sit for several hours to dry. Package in powder containers, spice jars with shaker tops, or fancy tins.
This richer, thicker oil is really half way between a cream and a massage oil. I especially like it for massaging the face, hands, and feet.
How to Make:
(1) Make herbal oil using recipe above.
(2) To each cup of herbal oil add the following:
1/4 cup Cocoa Butter
1/2 cup Coconut oil
1 tsp Lanolin
(3) Warm over low heat just until all in
gredients are melted together.
(4) Scent with your favorite essential oil.
- A. Step One - Miracle Grains
- Lightly cleanse your face and neck with Miracle Grains (see recipe section). Use the grains to gently massage and stimulate the skin. The grains will massage off dry, dead skin, increase circulation to the facial surface, and provide a nourishing "meal" for your face. Rinse the grains off with warm water.
- B. Step Two - Herbal Facial Steam
- Select an Herbal Facial Steam that's best for your skin type (see recipe section). Bring the herbs to a boil in a large pot of water. Remove from heat source. Completely cover the pot and your head with a large thick towel. It will be VERY hot under that towel. Try to steam for at least 5-8 minutes. To regulate the heat, raise or lower your head or lift a corner of the towel to let in a little cool air. If you need to come out to catch a breath of cool air now and then, do so. But it is best to stay under the towel for as long as possible. Your face should be rolling with steam. It really does feel fabulous. A facial steam is the best possible way for deep pore cleansing. Each of the herbs used are rich in nutrients that nourish and tone the skin. The aromatic oils of the plants are released by the heat and also absorbed by the skin. And best of all, it feels so good!! Your face will feel smooth and glow with radiance. Immediately after you complete your Facial Steam, rinse your face with COLD water and/or gently pat with Rose Water or Queen of Hungary's Water; ( see recipe section). Gently pat dry.
- C. Step Three - Facials
- Facials are excellent for stimulating deep circulation to the facial skin by drawing fresh blood to the surface. They are excellent for deep pore cleansing and help heal blemishes and acne. Facials also help to tone and firm the skin. There are several kinds of facials available. My favorites are made with a base of clay, honey, and/or yogurt. I find clay particularly suitable when one wants a drawing, firming type of facial. The clay is also very high in minerals and nourishes the skin. But more than the mineral content of the clay is the very substance of which it is made. Clay is mineral deposits that are thousands of years old. Those unique deposits of earth, of clay, have seen a thousand sunrises and moon sets; been washed by powerful rainstorms, impregnated by lightning and thunder. We mix that clay with a little water and put it on our faces in the name of Cosmeos. Now that is pretty powerful medicine!
- Honey, too, has its magic. It is a marvelous cosmetic for the skin. A natural moisturizer, bacteria can not live in honey. Honey both moisturizes and cleanses the skin.
- Yogurt has slight astringent properties and helps restore the natural acid mantle of the skin.
- Select the facial for your skin type. If choosing a clay facial, mix with just enough water to make a nice paste. The thicker the clay/water mix, the more drying the facial, and vice versa. Apply and leave on until completely dry.
- If choosing the honey pack, apply a fingerfull to COMPLETELY dry skin. Be sure all your hair is out of reach; it gets very sticky when full of honey! I usually "turban towel" it out of sight. Gently massage honey into the skin. Massage, Pat, and Rub on face. Let your senses tell you what strokes to use. Your skin will be so invigorated and stimulated it fairly glows.ï¿½ Rinse honey off with warm water. It comes off very easily, but be sure to rinse off completely or you will fell sticky for the rest of the day. The fresh flow of blood brought to the surface of the skin by the honey facial will create a deep, warm, lasting glow.
To Determine What Type of Facial to Use
- For DRY SKIN: choose a white cosmetic grade clay. White clay, though lightly drawing, is very gentle to the skin. For a more nourishing facial, mix with yogurt and/or avocado.
- For OILY SKIN: choose either green, red or yellow clay. These clays are much more drying than the white variety. They are also very high in minerals thus feeding and nourishing the skin. They are excellent for problematic skin such as acne, pimples, and oily skin types. In natural therapeutics, these clays are often used for poison oak, ivy, bee stings, and insect bites.
- For ALL SKIN TYPES: honey makes an excellent facial. It brings fresh blood to the surface, removes impurities, smooths and softens the skin.
- D. Step Four - Tonic Astringents
- When the facial is completed, rinse off with warm water. Be gentle to your skin while rinsing. Use soft circular motions. Massage your skin, do not scrub it. The honey will rinse off easily,; the clay requires a few rinses. Immediately after rinsing the facial off it is necessary to give a final rinse with a light astringent to tone and close the pores. If you have dry skin use Rose Water, a very light, gentle astringent. If your skin is medium to oily use The Queen of Hungary's Water or Bay Rum After Shave (see recipes).
- E. Step Five - Massage and Cream
- The finishing touch is to grace yourself with a light, delicate facial massage using a special formulated cream for your skin type (see recipe).
- The above treatment from steps 1-5 takes about 45 marvelous minutes and for best results, is done at least once or twice a month.
An Excellent Skin Care Program to Follow Would Be:
- Daily--* Cleanse with cleansing grains
- * Close pores with an astringent
* Massage in a light cream.
- Weekly--* Do a honey mask or a clay mask suitable for your skin type.
Monthly--* Treat yourself!! Follow entire program for radiant skin!
All of the following recipes are made with the finest of natural ingredients. Each of the ingredients contributes to the integrity of the final product. One of the wonders of making your own skin care products is that you can have the finest quality for the least amount of money. You also have control of what goes into the product and onto your face. Do not be fooled by the many ingredients used in commercial type skin care products. Many of the natural ingredients are added only so that the consumer (us) is impressed. Notice how far down the list of ingredients the natural ones are. The further down, the smaller the amount. Also, note how many ingredients listed are preservatives, coloring agents, synthetic scents, and chemicals. It is true that all chemicals and ingredients with "synthetic" names are not necessarily harmful. But my simple advice is: if you don't know what it is or does, don't smear it on your face.
One final thing before you get started on these recipes; have fun, be creative! These recipes are meant to be played and tampered with. Add the extra pinch of herb, a new exotic scent, a touch of this or that. Just like a good cook follows an exact recipe only once, then adds her own creativity and inspiration, so these formulas are best awakened with your own dreams.
- When experimenting with these recipes:
- (1) Always experiment in small batches.
(2) Know what each ingredient does in and to the formula.
Bathing in herbs is truly like immersing one_body in a giant cup of tea. All the pores are open and receptive. The skin, our largest organ of absorption and elimination , absorbs the healing essences of herbs and you emerge renewed, refreshed.
How to Make:
(1) Place a large handful or two of the herbal mixture (see formulas below) in a muslin bag, handkerchief, or large tea ball. Tie the container onto the nozzle of the tub and turn water on HOT. Let the hot water stream through the herbs making a strong, healthy tea, then adjust water temperature. I like using cloth bags for the herbs so I can use the herbal bag for a wash cloth while bathing.
(2) For shower, tie herbal container onto shower nozzle. When soaked through, untie it, and use as your wash cloth.
- 3 parts Peppermint
- 1 part Sage
- 1 part Rosemary
- 2 parts Calendula
- 1 part Bay leaf
- 1 part Eucalyptus
- 2 parts Lavender
- 2 parts Roses
- 2 parts Chamomile
- 1 part Hops
- 1 part Comfrey
The following are some of my favorite recipes for facial steams. Everybody who makes these steams has their favorite recipe which is , I suspect often based on whatever herbs they have on hand. When blending your own formulas, use herbs that have been traditionally used for the care of the skin. Know also whether the herb is slightly drying (astringents) or moisturizing (mucilaginous). Add flowers for color and texture. It is lovely to be steaming over a soup pot of simmering roses, marigold, chamomile, and lavender blossoms.
Recipe for Dry to Normal Skin
- 2 Parts Chamomile
- 2 Parts Roses
- 3 Parts Comfrey
- 1 Part Lavender
- 2 Parts Calendula
Recipe for Normal to Oily Skin
- 1 Part Sage
- 3 Parts Comfrey
- 2 Parts Calendula
- 1 Part Witch Hazel
- 1/4 Part Rosemary
Mix all the herbs together, adjust amounts to suit you, and store in dry, airtight glass bottles.
Bring 2-3 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add a healthy handful of the herb mixture and let simmer with the lid on for just a couple of minutes. Remove the pot from the heat source. With a large towel, completely cover your head and pot of steaming herbs. Enjoy this mini- sauna. It does wonders for the skin.
(1) Use one or two ounces of herbal formula (see recipes below) to 1 pint of apricot or almond oil. Place herbs in wide mouth jar and pour oil over the herbs. Be certain the herbs are completely covered by the oil.
(2) (a) Let sit in a warm place for two weeks, shaking the herbs and oil mixture every day. Or: (b) place herbs and oil in a double boiler and slowly heat the mixture. Bring to a low simmer (Do Not Overheat the oil or you will end up with burnt massage oil). Keep on low heat for about 30 to 45 minutes.
(3) Whichever method you use above, after desired length of time, strain herbs from oil. Use a fine sieve with a piece of cheese cloth placed in it so that no herbal particles get mixed in with the strained oil.
(4) You may wish to scent your herbal oil with a bit of essential oil. Carefully add a few drops of your favorite essential oils and mix in well.
You now have one of the finest herbal massage oils available. Made with the pure essences of herbs extracted in high quality fruit and nut oil, your massage oil will serve both as an excellent lubricant for massages and as a nutrient for the skin.
Formula 1 (for Dry Skin)
- 1 part Chamomile
- 2 parts Roses
- 1 part Comfrey
- 1 part Lavender
- 1 part Calendula
Formula 2 (for Oily Skin)
- 2 parts Comfrey
- 1 part Sage
- 1/2 part rosemary
- 2 parts Calendula
- 1 part Lavender
- 1 part Witch Hazel bark (not the extract)
Mix the herbs together and scent with your favorite essential oil. Follow directions above. Please note: I suggest you add essential oil both while you mixing the dry herbs and at the very end of the recipe when you have strained the herb from the oil. It gives a deeper, richer scent.
These cleansing grains, a perfect soap replacement, are mild, nourishing, suitable for all skin types, and can be used daily.
- 1 Cup finely ground Oats
- 2 Cups White Clay
- 1/4 Cup finely ground Almonds
- 1/8 Cup finely ground Lavender
- 1/8 Cup finely ground Roses
- (1) Grind all ingredients to the desired consistency. You may wish to grind the oats very fine. The almonds are nice with just a touch of "grit" left in them. Generally try to powder the roses and lavender as much as possible; they will always have a bit of coarseness or graininess left. This coarseness is desirable as it serves as the cleansing "grains". The clay is already finely powdered. I have found that electric coffee grinders work best for grinding small amounts of herbs, flowers, and spices. However, a word of wisdom, do not use the grinder you use for coffee. Your herbs will all smell like coffee, and your coffee will forever smell and taste like roses and lavender. Blenders work well, also.
- (2) Mix all ingredients together. You may wish to add a few drops of essential oil(s) to enhance the scent and the effect of the grains. The oils must be PURE essential oils such as lavender, peppermint or orange. Do not use synthetic oils; they could possibly burn or irritate the skin.
- (3) Your miracle grains are now ready to use. Store in a pretty glass container. A shell makes a nice scoop and mixing receptacle as well. You can also store in spice jars with shaker tops. To use, mix about one to two teaspoons of the cleansing grains with water. Stir into a paste and gently massage face. Rinse off with warm water.
- (4) To make moist miracle grains: add enough honey and a small amount of pure distilled rose water (or plain distilled water) to the dried powdered mixture to make a nice paste. The honey serves as a natural preservative for the grains as well as adding its wonderful moisturizing quality. I usually mix only enough moist grains for a week or two to prevent spoilage from occurring. I store the remainder of the grains in dry powder form and mix as needed.
- (5) As with each of my recipes, you are not only invited, but encouraged, to be creative. You can add cornmeal, seaweed, vitamins such as vitamin E and A, and numerous other substances into your cleansing grains. However, my favorite Miracle Grains recipe is the plain and simple formula above.
This is by far the most wonderful face cream I have ever used. It is rich with natural ingredients. A real moisturizer, it provides nourishment, moisture and food for the skin. And for the final stroke, it is relatively easy and inexpensive to make. Hundreds of my students have made it using this recipe. Almost all agree it is the best skin cream they have ever used. Many have further personalized the recipe for their own unique skin type. This basic formula, though excellent as is, can be further embellished.
Unlike many commercial creams that only coat the surface of the skin, this cream penetrates the epidermal layer and moisturizes the dermal layer of the skin. Because it is extremely concentrated, a little goes a long way. A common mistake when using this cream, is to use too much of it. You only need the smallest finger full. Take a tiny amount and gently massage into your face and skin. There will be a temporary feeling of oiliness that will, within a few minutes, disappear as the cream is quickly absorbed. Though I recommend just a small amount on your face, you can be generous on the rest of your body. Because you make this cream yourself, you can afford the luxury of using your richest face cream on your entire body.
Though this recipe appears easy, it is also a bit challenging. You are attempting to mix (homogenize) water and oil together; and they don't normally mix. Follow the recipe closely. If it doesn't turn out the first time, don't be discouraged, try again. It is well worth the effort.
THE RECIPE FOR THE PERFECT CREAM
- 3/4 cup Apricot oil and/or Almond oil
- 1/3 cup Coconut oil and/or Cocoa butter
- 1 tsp. Lanolin
- 1/2 oz. grated Beeswax
- 2/3 cup distilled water (can also use distilled Rose water or Orange Flower water).
- 1/3 cup Aloe Vera gel
- * a drop or two of essential oil
- * Vitamins A & E as desired
(1) Basically the proportions of our cream recipe should be about 1 part group one (oils) to 1 part group two (waters).
(2) In group one, the oil proportions should be approximately 2/3 cup liquid oil (such as almond and apricot) to 1/3 cup solid oil (cocoa butter, coconut oil, beeswax, lanolin, etc.).
(3) In group two, the water mixture, the "waters" can include distilled water, rose water, lavender, orange and other flower waters. It can also include tap water but tap water will sometimes introduce bacteria to your cream that results in the growth of mold. The water mixture also includes your essential oils, vitamins and aloe vera gel. If using aloe vera, your cream will be heavier, but very moisturizing. It is important never to use aloe on staph or strep infections.
There is a lot of flexibility and room for creative input in this recipe. What is essential to its success is proportions and temperature.
(1) Melt group one over low heat in a double boiler. Heat just enough to melt.
(2) Pour into a glass measuring cup and let cool to room temperature. Oils should become thick, creamy, semi-solid, and cream colored. This cooling process can be hastened in the refrigerator, however, keep an eye on it so it doesn't get too hard. When completely cool you are ready for step (3) Place group two in the blender. Turn blender on the highest speed. In a SLOW, THIN drizzle (just like making mayonnaise) pour group one (oil mixture) into the center vortex.
(4) When most of the oil mixture has been added to the water mixture, LISTEN to the blender and WATCH the cream. When the blender coughs and chokes, and the cream looks thick and white like buttercream frosting, turn the blender off. DO NOT OVERBEAT! You should have a beautiful rich thick cream. It will thicken a bit as it sets up.
(5) Pour into cream or lotion jars and store in a cool place.
* Followed as above, the cream recipe should work for you. If it doesn't and the waters and oils separate, it is most likely because of improper temperatures. The waters have to be room temperature and the oils completely cooled.
* If the water and oil separate, you can separate them entirely and begin the process over again. Or, put a little note on your package that says "SHAKE BEFORE USING".
* This recipe is a basic formula and is ready for all your enthusiastic ideas: vitamins A, D, & E; elastin, collagen, avocado oil, various combinations of essential oils, herbs, and etc. One caution: experiment in small batches.
This wonderful astringent lotion has been hailed as the first herbal product to ever be produced an marketed. Legend has it the early gypsies formulated it and claimed it to be a cure-all for everything. Whether or not it is, I hardly know; but I do know that it is an excellent astringent for the face and a great hair rinse for dark hair. I think in some ways it is one of the world_finest cosmetic formulas. It combines gentle common herbs in a masterful way, is easy and inexpensive to make, and is a very versatile formula that serves many purposes. The Gypsies claimed it was good as a hair rinse, mouth wash, headache remedy, aftershave, foot bath and who knows what else! I have seen this exact same formula bottled in exotic little bottles and sold in expensive department stores for a fancy price. You can make it for the cost of a few herbs and a bottle of vinegar. It smells very much like vinegar, so you might wish to add more rose water.
- 6 Parts Lemon Balm (also known as Melissa)
- 4 Parts Chamomile
- 1 Part Rosemary
- 3 Parts Calendula
- 4 Parts Roses
- 1 Part Lemon Peel
- 1 Part Sage
- 3 Parts Comfrey
- Vinegar to cover (apple cider or wine vinegar)
- Rosewater and/or Witch Hazel extract (proportions follow)
(1) Place all the herbs in a wide mouth jar and cover with vinegar. Be sure there is about one to two inches of vinegar above the herb mixture. Cover tightly and let sit in a warm spot for two to three weeks.
(2) Strain. Set the liquid aside.
(3) To each cup of herbal vinegar add 1/2 cup rosewater and/or witch hazel.
(4) A drop or two of essential oil such as lavender or rose can be added.
(5) Rebottle. This product does not need to be refrigerated and will preserve itself forever.