Friday, November 11, 2011
While autumn is my very favorite season, I do find that the wonderful brisk chill in the air can begin to dry out my skin as much as those crunchy leaves now carpeting my driveway and lawn. ‘Tis the season for dry, irritated and flaky skin. So today we’re going to exercise our moisturizing muscles to help keep skin smooth, supple and soft – at a major league savings!
I offer a course called “The Secret Spa in Your Kitchen”, which teaches you how to find all kinds of wonderful, spa-like treatments right in your kitchen pantry, for a fraction of the cost of high end department stores and salons. Part of life is about feeling good and saving money, so let’s get started!
Lots of us love luxuriously long, hot bubble baths (with candles, music, a glass of wine or cup of tea, and a good book). Ahhh… you soak, read, relax, and come out looking like a little prune woman! However, hot water robs your skin of its natural oils. It’s better to take lukewarm showers for no more than ten minutes or so. But when you do need a therapy tub treatment, immediately before you towel off grab your favorite moisturizer (or plain old olive oil), and rub that into your skin – THEN towel dry. The oil will trap the moisture in your skin. If you have sensitive skin, be sure to pick up some sweet almond oil, which is the least reactive to all skin types. You can find it at most health food stores, or bigger stores like Wegmans and my very favorite, Whole Foods.
Do your hands feel like you’re wearing cactus gloves? Does your skin crack? Ow-chee-mama! Here’s a solution. You know all those fancy-schmancy (and very expensive) sugar scrubs out there? Put away your pocketbooks, girls, because here’s a scrub that will cost you about ten cents. Grab your white sugar (because you don’t want to eat it ever, so here’s the perfect use for it), and pour in into your cupped hand until you have about ¼-to ½ cup. Pour olive oil over it, until you have a pasty consistency. Begin to massage this over your hands, exfoliating and buffing away all the dead skin cells. It’s the same motion as washing your hands. Second step, just add a little squirt of your favorite liquid soap, keep scrubbing, then add just a bit of warm water and suds it up. Rinse with warm water, pat dry, and then use your favorite hand lotion. The results are terrific, and you can do this daily. Just be sure to scrub GENTLY! You can use this on your hands, feet, knees and ankles – NOT on your full body or face!! For an intensive treatment on your hands/feet, don’t use liquid soap – just rinse off and put on cotton gloves or socks. I recommend you do this before bed.
For an herbal oil bath, run a warm (not hot) bath, and toss in a half-dozen herbal teabags of your choice (I’m partial to chamomile, or the sleepy time teas, and my favorite lavender tea). Add about an 1/8th of a cup of olive oil, and soak for ten minutes. Be careful – the tub will be slippery when you get out!!! Again, when you’re done, use the routine above for moisturing afterwards for a double-dip treatment!
Another tub treatment is to simply add whole milk and oatmeal – oatmeal soothes the skin, and the lactic acid in the milk softens the skin. If you are lactose intolerant you may want to be careful that the milk doesn’t cause any problems – check with your doctor first, or do a test by putting milk on a patch of your arm and see if you have any reactions. Add 1-2 cups of whole milk, and about 1/4-1/2 cup of plain oatmeal (not instant). Oh yeah, be sure to scrub the tub immediately afterwards!!
I hope you’ll make time for yourself this weekend to treat yourself to a silky soft spa treatment. And if you’re in Ewing, I invite you to Central Church where I will be speaking on “Holi-DAZE stress management”, and you can also enjoy a relaxing pre-holiday breakfast with other amazing wild women! It begins at 8:30, and you can find contact info and directions at www.worshipatcentral.com. Have a wonderful, relaxing, silky soft wild woman weekend!