Spring Cleaning: Skin Edition
Welcome to guest blogger Kali from La Mouette Botanicals. LMB is a local company that produces a line of coastal-inspired, natural body care products that we carry in our store. Kali is going to share her favorite natural spring skin care tips with us.
It may feel like spring is taking its sweet time to arrive this year and bathe us in warm breezes and cheerful forsythias, but mother nature can only hold out for so long. Even in coastal New Hampshire, it won’t be long before we find ourselves puttering around our yards, lengthening our walks, daydreaming about the beach and -the horrors!- rolling up our sleeves to expose our pale, reptilian, winter skin. A long season spent indoors with warm, dry heat often results in a less-than-desirable appearance. Get a jump-start on your summer glow this season with a big, hydrating glass of water, and these simple yet effective skin care rituals for the spring.
Exfoliating is number one on the to-do list and will work wonders on your body, especially in areas like knees and elbows that tend to bear the brunt of winter wear. An especially inspiring little DIY scrub can be easily whipped up with one part sugar, one part salt, and enough oil to cover the granules. A lighter oil, such as grapeseed or almond, is best for this time of year as it won’t leave a surface residue or a heavy feel. Add the zest of one lemon and a spoonful of dried thyme to your mixture, climb into the shower, and scrub away. The sugar and salt will pleasantly dissolve with rubbing, washing tired and spent skin cells away with it, while the combination of shower steam and light oil will perfectly hydrate skin. Lemon and thyme will help clarify the skin, provide antioxidants, and uplift your mood. No need for additional moisturizing post-shower; your skin will be nicely balanced.
While exfoliators are too rough for the sensitive skin of our faces, a mask made of simple kitchen ingredients will help to pull out impurities and tighten up pores. One of my favorites can be whipped up in less than a minute (while the coffee brews, perhaps?). Mix 2 spoonfuls of yogurt with a healthy drizzle of honey, and slather on. Yogurt contains lactic acid which has been shown to refine skin pores and stimulate collagen production (a GOOD thing!) while honey is a humectant, naturally helping with hydration, and is also antimicrobial. Leave this tasty combo on for 10-15 minutes, and then gently wash off with warm water. I always follow this up with an application of Exposed Face Oil, an infused sunflower/almond/jojoba oil blend made by us at La Mouette Botanicals and stocked at Summer House, but any light oil application will make a nice finish.
The last item for your spring-skin arsenal is a simple nourishing cream to keep hands and feet soft and conditioned. I’m going to share my favorite basic cream recipe that is easy and fun to make, and doesn’t require obscure or expensive ingredients. Any ingredients you don’t have stocked on your pantry shelves can be found at your local grocery or health food store.
- ¼ cup water (infuse your favorite herbs or tea first for soothing scents)
- ¼ tsp Borax (find this natural ingredient in the cleaning section- just make sure it’s not cut with other ingredients!)
- ½ cup oil (for a lighter cream, use almond, grapeseed, or sunflower oil; if your skin tends to be dry try walnut, sesame, or olive oil)
- 2 heaping Tbsp grated beeswax
Heat together water and borax in one container, and the oil and beeswax in another. Either a hot water bath or microwave will do the trick. Allow to cool slightly, pour the water/borax into a mixing bowl, and slowly, slooowly, pour the oil mixture into the water/borax while whisking thoroughly until cool. If desired and available, add a few drops of your favorite essential oils. This time of year, we love the energizing and refreshing blend of grapefruit and mint. Store in a glass jar and enjoy.
Enjoy making your own lotions and potions? One of the newest book arrivals at Summer House
Furnishings is the lovely “Natural Beauty” by Karen Gilbert and it’s packed with inspiring body care recipes that range from toners to lotions to lip balms. Check it out next time you’re in the store.