Monday, March 29, 2010

Home is where the Spa is.

Getting a professional facial at a Spa is awesome, however sometimes you just don't have the money or time to do it. Here are some great ways to make a beautiful at home spa that won't break the bank or take up a days worth of your precious time.

The Six Steps to a Spa-Worthy Facial:

Creating your own homemade facial is easy and can be done in three basic steps: cleanse, tone and moisturize. There are additional steps you can add, including steaming, exfoliating and masking. Here are some easy, safe recipes you can make at home from all natural ingredients.

1. Steam treatments open pores and prepare the face for cleansing. To achieve this, soak a soft towel in a bowl of warm water mixed with a teaspoon of milk, wring it out, place it over your face and relax until it cools. *Only use lukewarm water if you flush easily.

2. Cleanse face with a gentle homemade cleanser using a circular motion with the fingertips to stimulate skin and help remove excess oil. A great cleanser you can make at home is Rose Cream Cleanser, using 1 tbsp sour cream, 1 tsp rose water and 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil. Another option is a warmed mixture of 1 -2 tbsp whole milk and several drops of olive oil, which is great for cleaning and soothing dry skin. Milk gently removes dirt and makeup while olive oil acts as a great moisturizer. Once the cleanser has been thoroughly massaged into the skin, remove with warm water.

3. Toning the skin is an often overlooked, but necessary step to help balance the pH of the skin, remove cleanser residue and refresh the skin. An excellent toner for most skin types comprises one part witch hazel with two parts rose or orange-blossom water. Witch hazel is an antiseptic with properties that banish blemishes without causing skin to become dry or flaky, while rose water stimulates circulation, and orange-blossom water helps balance the skin’s pH. Apply with a saturated soft cotton pad, avoiding the eye area, and let sit.

4. Seal in the moisture by applying the moisturizer while the skin is still damp from the toner. Mix up an Aromatic Facial Oil consisting of 3 tbsp of either Argan, Grapeseed or Jojoba oil with 3 tbsp rose hips seed oil, 3 drops rose essential oil, 3 drops lavender essential oil, 3 drops geranium essential oil and 2 drops palmarosa essential oil. Work the oil by rubbing your hands together to warm it up, and then apply using patting motions. *When purchasing essential oils please make certain you get a certified organic brand that is sold by a reputable health food store. This will avoid the risk of any pesticides, chemicals or cutting agents being in the essential oil.

5. Once or twice a month, add a gentle exfoliation and mask to your routine to remove dead skin cells, which clog pores and make the skin look dull and patchy. For a gentle exfoliant, mix ½ cup dry oatmeal, 3 tbsp almond oil, 1 tbsp fine sugar with enough warm water to form a paste.
Dampen skin, then use circular movements to apply and rinse off with warm water.*Be very careful on skin that has a tendency to flush, use a light touch when rubbing the exfoliant off as it can aggravate redness.

6. Now it is time to create a homemade facial mask. Masks have many purposes and can be used to stimulate circulation, remove dead skin and hydrate the face.

Benefits of Homemade Facial Masks:
Not only are homemade facial masks inexpensive and fun to make, they also enhance the skin’s health with their all-natural ingredients. These masks have a variety of uses and are a great way to condition, clean and treat the skin. The type of mask you create depends on the skin’s condition, whether oily, acne-prone, dry or combination. Homemade masks are also a great way to relax and rejuvenate a tired complexion.

Easy Homemade Facial Mask Recipes
This homemade facial mask is great for all skin types.
A great homemade clay mask needs the following ingredients:
1 ½ tsp green clay
½ tsp kaolin clay
1 ½ tbsp aloe vera gel
1 tbsp rosewater
2 drops rose essential oil

*Mix the green and kaolin clays together, then add in the aloe vera gel, rosewater and oils. Refrigerate mixture for up to four weeks.

Soak into a warm bath while the mask does it's work. Adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the water will help relax you even further and heighten the experience. Keep the mask on your face for 10-15 minutes, then remove it by gently rinsing it off with warm water. Finish your facial by applying a thin layer of moisturizer.

And Voila! There you have it, a great way to relax and pamper yourself at home.

~Lilly <3