'Tis the season to prepare festive foods that tempt your taste buds to stuff the turkey and your tummy. But save some of that pumpkin, potato and other holiday foods to make homemade hand creams, festive facials and more. Use leftovers to treat issues like dry skin, tired eyes and chapped lips while also stretching your food dollar and beauty budget. Check out some recipes that I researched below to take your seasonal ingredients beyond the kitchen. Read on for foods that truly feed your face and boost your beauty.
Facial Homemade Recipe: My Favorite Facial Smoothie
I showed this facial recipe several years ago in a segment and I have made myself this magical mask every winter since. I have sensitive skin with bouts of Eczema, so my skin is very delicate. Fortunately, this banana beauty smoothie soothes my face every time. Plus it's simple to make and uses ingredients that you probably already have on hand. So you can call this your festive free facial. Get your blender out and simply mix half of one banana, 1/4 cup oatmeal, 1 tablespoon honey and 1/2 cup yogurt for about 30 seconds. Then apply to your face, leave on for five minutes, rinse and your will have amazing skin. This works because bananas are naturally moisturizing, oats cleanse the skin and honey adds additional moisture. Yogurt also contains an abundance of healthy enzymes that sloughs off the top layer of dead skin cells. The recipe will smell so good that you will want to eat it, too! It should feel cool and soothing, but with any facial treatment, if your face feels tight or sensitive take it off right away in case you have a food allergy that you didn't know about. It works wonders for my mostly dry skin type and I blend one up every winter.
Homemade Skin Care Recipe using Sugar and Salt
As you add sugar to your many holiday recipes, take a moment and savor a little on your hard-working hands. During this busy cooking season, we tend to wash our hands more than usual which results in dry skin. Here's a quick skin care recipe: Simply combine 1 teaspoon of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of sugar or sea salt and rub on your hands. Then rinse hands in warm water and you will be amazed by how soft and silky your hands feel. Olive oil is a great moisturizer and the salt or sugar does the exfoliating, so you are giving yourself a free and easy home spa treatment. If you are trying to cut calories, try treating your skin to the sugar, not your waistline! Exfoliating removes the dead skin cells that regularly cover our skin. Not removing these cells can result in uneven skin color and tone, so this is also one secret to keeping your hands looking young while feeling soft and hydrated.
Facial Homemade: Pump Up Skin with Pumpkin
Pumpkin pigments fight wrinkles plus it is filled with Vitamins C, E and A as well as strong enzymes that cleanse the skin. So, it pays to play with your excess pumpkin to make an age-fighting pumpkin peel. Health Magazine has a great recipe for a Pumpkin Pudding Facial. Grab your blender and combine two cups of canned pumpkin, four tablespoons of vanilla yogurt, 4 tablespoons of honey and 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice. Mix and then put the pumpkin mixture on your face, leave on for 10 minutes and then rinse. Your face will feel hydrated and soft.
Facial Homemade: Potato Peels for your Peepers
Did you know that some of your favorite cosmetic concealers contain an ingredient found in spuds? Catecholase, an enzyme found in potatoes, can naturally lessen the appearance of the dreaded dark circles that appear under your eyes. If you find yourself exhausted from preparing that big holiday meal, save a slice from your mashed potato recipe and apply it under your eyes for 10 minutes. Beauty industry insiders say that you will have brighter eyes in an instant. As I did my research for this article, I was surprised to find numerous articles about this all natural and free remedy! One of my favorite books, "Reader's Digest Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things" also lists raw, cold potato slices as a way to reduce under-eye puffiness. So save those supper spud skins for your own skin so that your eyes sparkle right along with the holidays.
Homemade Recipe: Lip Gloss
No time for lip gloss? Olive oil to the rescue!
No doubt you will be pulling out the olive oil for your holiday cooking, so dab a little on your lips for a quick, free and natural gloss. For dry elbows, heels and over-washed hands, olive oil does the trick, too!
Homemade Recipe: Radiant Rosemary Rinse
My gal pal Val and her Mother, Dot are always giving me good ideas for natural beauty solutions. I especially love getting advice from Dot because her generation knew how to stretch the budget and go organic before organic was hip! So, when she recently gave me a rosemary plant for a birthday gift, I knew that this must be a power plant. I discovered that rosemary is part of the mint family of herbs that not only enhance your holiday meats, but also your mane.
To make a refreshing rinse for your roots, simply place several sprigs of rosemary into a saucepan with enough distilled water to just cover the twigs. Then simmer until you get the scent that is most appealing to you. Strain the liquid and remove the sprigs. After your normal shampoo, apply your homemade rosemary rinse to your hair for added shine and a nice subtle scent. This works so well that products like Olay Body Botanical Fusion Body Wash have come out with rosemary scented products. So in addition to using rosemary for cooking and beauty, you can also give the plant as a unique and useful gift. Dot purchased mine at Trader Joe's.
From potatoes to pumpkins, salt to sugar and rosemary, too, savor the tastes of holiday foods and reap the beauty benefits. Plus the above homemade recipes are practically free. Happy cooking and remember to take time out with your olive oil, potatoes and bananas to treat yourself to a home spa day that can relieve some of the stress of the season. After all of that cooking for everyone else, you deserve some pampering, too. And the above ideas shouldn't bust your budget! Here's to a tasty and beautiful holiday season!
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