By now you've probably realized that your local farmer's market (and your fridge) is teaming with truly amazing natural ingredients that you can incorporate into your everyday or weekly skincare routine. But just because it's all-natural goodness, doesn't mean that you can just put any fruit or veggie on your face. Ingredients straight from the earth can be very potent, and therefore you need to know how and if you should be using them. In the first of a two-part series, we explore how to safely and effectively use common herbs you probably have in your kitchen right now for gentle skincare treatments.
Commonly used for its soothing and relaxing effect on the mind, lavender also has the same effect on your skin. This antiseptic and anti-inflammatory heavyweight can soothe even the most irritated and inflamed skin.
For sensitive skin
- Brew lavender tea with dried lavender and let it cool down. In a glass spray bottle, fill with the lavender tea and mist over your face to soothe irritated skin. This can also be used as a natural mood enhancer, so feel free to mist when you want to feel (and look) refreshed. Use as a toner after washing your face and apply with an all-natural cotton ball/pad.
For normal or oily skin
- Add dried lavender or lavender oil to your herbal facial steam. Follow our how-to guide to at home facial steaming.
Did you know mint has natural acne-fighting properties due to its salicylic acid content? Its anti-inflammatory properties can also calm itchy skin, and if you suffer from excessively oily skin, the vitamin A in mint helps regulate that as well. As you can see, mint isn’t just a refreshing scent used in some of your favorite products. It’s beneficial for some of the most common skincare issues.
For acne-prone skin
- With a mortal and pestle, take a handful of mint leaves and grind into a paste, gradual adding a few drops of distilled water to loosen up the mixture to desired consistency. Apply to your face as a mask or to problem areas or blackheads as a spot treatment. After 15 minutes, rinse off with lukewarm water, pat dry and moisturize.
For oily skin
- Brew clean mint leaves and let cool. Transfer liquid to a glass bottle with a cap. After cleansing, apply the toner once a day with an all-natural cotton ball/pad. This also works on acne-prone skin, and helps refresh and rejuvenate dull skin.
- Brew mint leaves and let cool until comfortably warm. Transfer to a pedicure bowl and soak your feet for 10-15 minutes. Remove your feet, rinse and pat dry. This treatment helps sooth cracked, dry heels, neutralize odor and soften your feet. You can also add peppermint essential oil to the water as well as lime zest to energize and cleanse, respectively.
Sage is an antioxidant superherb when it comes to fighting free radicals, improving the signs of aging and regulating oily, acne-prone skin. Rich in vitamin A and calcium, it also can also aid in cell regeneration. Let’s not forget your hair; research indicates sage may promote hair growth due to compounds that stimulate circulation.
For oily skin
- Brew clean sage leaves and let cool. Transfer liquid to a glass bottle with a cap. After cleansing, apply the toner once a day with an all-natural cotton ball/pad. With regular use, this toner can help regulate sebum production, resulting in clear, glowing skin.
- Puree 1tablespoon sage, 2 tablespoons organic honey and 1 apple to form a smooth consistent paste. Apply the mixture to clean skin and let set for 20 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water, pat dry and apply a moisturizer.
- Boil sage leaves, let cool and use a scalp and hair rinse. As a result of improved circulation, this rinse can help regulate minor hair loss, and improve hair follicle formation, which promotes the growth of healthy hair.
Of course there are many more herbs and plants that boast big benefits for your skin and hair, but these are just a few of our favorites to get you started with a simple at-home beauty ritual. Have you used any of these in your at-home spa? If you haven't, would you try them