In the spirit of spring reawakening, I asked the wonderful Rachel Winard of natural-beauty line Soapwalla (or is it a cult? I'd join) for some easy at-home facial-treatment ideas. -Edith
Hi everyone! I don't know if winter felt abysmally long to you as well; now that lengthening days and subtly warmer temps are here, I'm itching to start new projects. One of my favorite things to do: create at-home spa treatments using food items hanging around in my kitchen. I particularly love it when I can use bruised or overripe produce that would otherwise be tossed. Below is an arsenal of recipes to treat yourself from head to toe. If you, like me, have incredibly sensitive skin, I include notes on how to create a happy experience for your skin. Enjoy, and let us know what you think!
- 1 teabag each: chamomile and peppermint tea
Put both bags in a large glass bowl, and add three cups of boiling water from a teapot. Place your head over the bowl with a towel draped over you and the bowl. Breathe deeply for five minutes. Afterward, apply a few drops of your favorite facial moisturizing oil. Your skin — and sinuses — will feel delightful!
Easy-peasy facial wash
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1/4 cup oat flour (I like Bob's Red Mill)
Combine the two well and store in an airtight container. The mixture will keep for about six months. To use: Add a small amount of the liquid of your choice (water, cream, yogurt, facial moisturizer, toner) to the powder blend. Apply to a cleansed face in gentle, upward-sweeping motions. Rinse off with tepid water, then follow up with a toning mist and moisturizer.
Feel free to add 10-15 drops of your favorite essential oils. I recommend lavender or eucalyptus for oily/combination skin, and geranium or rose for dry/sensitive/mature skin.
Avocado face and hair mask
- 1/2 overripe avocado, mashed well (this is the perfect recipe for that sad, bruised avocado sitting on your counter right now)
- 2 Tbs full fat, plain yogurt
Mix well, then apply to a clean face, neck and decollete in gentle, upward-sweeping motions. Leave on for 10-15 minutes. Wash off with tepid water and follow with toner and facial moisturizer. This is also a delightful hair mask — apply to dry hair, starting at the scalp and working outward, and leave on for 15 minutes. Rinse, shampoo and condition. Can be used 2-3 times a week.
Note: If you have any left over, add a sprinkle of salt and eat with chips!
Papaya face mask
- 2 Tbs ripe papaya, well mashed or blended
- 1 Tbs full fat, plain yogurt (for a vegan variety, I recommend Anita's)
Mix until well combined. Apply to a clean face, neck and decollete in gentle, upward-sweeping motions. Leave on for 5-10 minutes. Wash off with tepid water and follow with toner and facial moisturizer.
Note: Papaya is high in vitamin C and a protein-dissolving enzyme called papain; this mask is perfect for creating smooth, clear skin. Halve the amount of papaya if you have sensitive skin or redness. Use once a week.
Cinnamon Roll body scrub
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 Tbs baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- juice of 1/4 lemon
- A scant 1/4 cup olive oil (use less if you like a thicker body scrub)
- Optional: 5 drops of lemon essential oil
Combine all dry ingredients until well mixed. Squeeze in lemon juice. Slowly pour in olive oil until you reach your desired consistency. Stir well with a spoon and apply to your torso, arms and legs — pay special attention to elbows, knees and heels. Rinse off with warm-to-hot water, then towel dry (don't wash off with soap afterward). Your skin should feel soft, smell delicious and be delightfully moisturized! Use as often as you'd like (I recommend three times a week). Not for use on open skin or sunburns.
Strawberry lip scrub
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp olive oil
- 1 strawberry
Mix sugar and olive oil together until you have a paste. Bite into a strawberry so you can access the interior. Dip the strawberry into the sugary mixture, then apply to lips in a circular motion for 15 seconds or so. You can lick the sugary sweetness off your lips or gently wash off with tepid water. Apply your favorite lip moisturizer.
Note: Hold on to that strawberry and use it as a single ingredient teeth-whitener (below)!
Strawberry teeth whitener
Bite into a ripe strawberry. Using the inside whitish part, "brush" your teeth for 10-15 seconds. Smile like the cheshire cat for another 30 seconds, then rinse and go about your day.
Note: Don't do this more than 1-2 times a week, to ensure you don't damage your enamel.
Rachel Winard is the founder and president of Soapwalla, an award-winning luxury natural skincare line. Her philosophy: "The skin is our largest organ. For it to function at its best, we must feed it wholesome ingredients. If I refuse to put something in my body, I don't want to put it on my body either."
Prior to founding Soapwalla, Rachel was a Juilliard-trained violinist and New York City attorney. In her free time, Rachel practices yoga, boxing and groan-worthy puns. She also has a thing for dinosaurs.