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A Home Spa Companion

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You don't need to go to an expensive salon to treat yourself to a wonderful experience. Turn your bathroom into a weekend spa. Find a good mudmask at the drugstore (or use one of the recipes below). Draw a full bath and add either Epsom or bath salt. Shut the door and leave the fan off, so as to keep the steam as long as possible. Turn off the light and light a candle if you like. You can even play soft music.

After the bath apply the mask or one of the facials below. It's summer and why not take advantage of those gardens aplenty. If you don't have your own, pick up fruits and vegetables of beauty from your local farmers market.

Facial Masks: Apply the mask to a clean face, avoiding the eye area, and leave on 15-20 minutes. Wash off with warm water and follow with a cold rinse.

The following is adapted from The Herb Book, by John Lust

Apricot Facial Mask: Take fresh or dried apricots, mash them and mix with olive oil to form a spreadable paste.

Avocado Facial Mask: Mash an avocado and heat it in a double boiler until warm. A good dry skin moisturizer, this mask provides protein and vitamins.

Banana Facial Mask: Mash bananas with olive oil to form a paste.

Brewers Yeast Facial Mask:
Mix into a paste using a small amount of water. Its abrasive action cleanses pores and stimulates skin.

Cucumber Facial: Apply cucumber slices or juice to face (and hands, if desired). Leave on for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse off. Best for oily or normal skin. Is astringent, cleansing, bleaching (for freckles and discolored skin); also used for sunburn and rough skin.

Carrot Facial: Apply carrot shavings with a little lemon juice to the face. Astringent, provides vitamin A.

Honey Facial Mask: Massage a small amount of warm honey over face. Leave on 15 minutes. Good for blemished skin, cleanses pores and tones skin.

Oatmeal Facial Mask: Make a paste of dry oatmeal and warm water. Dry oatmeal rubbed on the skin will remove flaky peeling skin.

Papaya Skin Treatment: Fresh mashed papaya applied as a face mask removes dead flaky skin.

Tomato Facial: Apply tomato slices or mashed tomato to face. Leave on 15 minutes. This is a good mask against blackheads.

Chamomile Rinse for Blondes:
Take 1/3 cup of chamomile flowers and add them to 1 quart of boiling water. Steep until tepid. Pour repeatedly over the hair. Leave on 15 minutes and then rinse out.

Lemon Hair Rinse for Blondes: Use the juice of 2 lemons in an equal amount of warm water. Leave on 15 minutes and sit in the sun if possible. Rinse out.

Sage Hair Rinse to Darken Hair: Take 1/3 cup sage leaves and add them to 1 quart of boiling water. Steep for two hours then strain. Pour over hair and leave on for half hour, then rinse out.

Beer Hair Rinse: Let a can of beer go flat and use as an after-shampoo rinse. Do not rinse out. Provides body to the hair. The beer smell goes away by the time your hair is dry.

Wheat Germ Oil Fingernail Treatment:
Place fingernails in warmed oil for 3 to 4 minutes. Wipe off and massage nail. Strengthens weak and brittle nails.

Egg White Mask: Used as is or beaten, it tightens and tones the skin.

After all those good recipes using fresh fruit and vegetables on your skin, just imagine how your body would feel if you ate more of them! Next time you are at the grocery store, pick out some avocados, papayas, or mangos for your stomach as well as your face.

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