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Homemade Body Scrubs and Facials…There’s No Place Like Home

  • Posted on March 16, 2013 at 3:28 am

Welcome back! I’ve been thinking about you all week, and am going to help you save some dimes today. True, I buy every body scrub, lotion, hair treatment, facial mask, and massage doo-dad I can find, but I do that only because I’m insane. The truth is, creating homemade body scrubs and facials is inexpensive and easy.

For a luxuriant body scrub, for example, I use a cup of brown sugar, a handful of crushed almonds, extra-virgin olive oil (enough to make it gooey), and a drop of liquid almond extract, and you have a heavenly scented body scrub. Just mix it all up in a bowl. Make only enough for one treatment, and discard whatever you don’t use. Or use a quarter cup of sea salt, a banana, and a cup of plain yogurt for a richer body exfoliant. Easy peasy. One avocado, a half cup of sugar, and five drops of lavender essential oil is the perfect nighttime treatment.

I recently got a facial at Ten Thousand Waves, and the aesthetician said, “Your skin is in great condition. You don’t really need a facial.” She then proceeded to smear a bird poop resin concoction on my face, for a hundred-plus dollars. The Japanese are credited with discovering the benefits of bird dung as a face brightener. Disinfected nightingale droppings from Japan are making headlines as celebrities, including Tom Cruise, are slapping down $180 for a “Geisha Facial,” offered at Shizuka, a New York spa.

I also went for my first annual dermatological check-up, since here in Santa Fe, at an altitude of 7,200 feet, skin cancer is about as common as teen sexting. He said, “Your skin looks perfect. I’d gloat if I were you.” Flattering, but little does he know I’m hardly ever in the sun, and my good skin was inherited, not earned. But now I feel guilty getting facials that I don’t need, so here’s my home remedy.

 Today’s Tip

Making your own facial is FUN. Throw some dried herbs—parsley, mint, and lavender are a good combination—in a pot of hot steamy water, hang a towel over your head, bend over the pot, and breathe. Seven minutes and you’re good to go.Now that your pores are open, use a gentle facial cleanser, such as Prada’s Purifying Milk Face (no, it’s not expensive! It’s fairly scented, though, and can double as a makeup remover). If you want a slightly deeper cleanse, try Borghese’s Crema Saponetta Cleansing Crème. I would avoid exfoliants, since the steam has opened your pores, and scrubbing might be harsh. If you want to add a mask in here, awesome. My faves are Dermalogica’s Active Moist (if you have dry skin) or Borghese Fango Active Mud (for normal to oily skin.) Top off with a toner—I love Arcona’s Cranberry Toner—and then moisturize. I could spend ten blogs on moisturizers alone, so for now, just choose your favorite.

 Next week, we’ll compare the fou-fou massage to the plain Jane version.