Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Winter Beauty

Now that a wintry breeze is a-blowin' you'll be intermittently battling the elements and spending more time indoors. Is it time to indulge in some cheap, easy beauty treatments at home! I'll share with you a few of my favorite ways to relax, look good, and seal in all the moisture that the wind will soon try to whip from your skin.

First of all, its amazing how many natural laxatives can double as beauty products! I have heard that you can make a mask out of milk of magnesia but haven't tried it yet. But here are two products that will make your skin very happy (I can't say what they will do to your digestive system, but take a wild guess.)

Epsom Salts
Dump about half of a small carton of epsom salts into a big bath, swirl it around to dissolve, and hop in. Epsom salts melt the tension from your muscles. However, don't soak longer than 15-20 minutes. Did you know that long hot baths and showers can leech nutrients from your body?
Available at any drugstore, about $2.

Swiss Kriss (flake form)
This herbal laxative looks like green tea mixed with moss and does quite well as a facial steam. Put a tablespoon in a bowl and pour boiled water over it. Cover your head with a towel and steam--careful not to burn yourself!
Whole Foods, about $4.

Since dry indoor heat and icy winds can sap the moisture from your face, you may need a heavier moisturizer for winter. I recommend Jason Vitamin E Moisturizing Creme, which comes with either 5,000 or 10,000 IUs of E. A little dab will do.
Buy at Yes! about $6 for the 5,000 IU version.

If you overdid it with your moisturizing and wake up with an oil slick on your face, act swiftly to correct the problem with Humphrey's Maravilla Lotion.
It's really just Witch Hazel in beautiful packaging that is well worth the trip to the Botanica on 18th Street, where you can pick up some machetes and other voodoo items while you're at it. Also available in any store that sells wigs. $5.

Winter brings on holiday parties, and holiday parties bring on excess. After a night of excess, I like to spray Heritage Orange Flower Water all over my face and hair. It has a subtle scent and has been said to help depression, insomnia and nervous tension. I say it is a hangover helper. It also has slightly astringent properties and smooths the skin, which makes it a good preparation for facials. I like to keep mine in the refrigerator to provide an extra-bracing wake-up effect as I reach for my soy milk.
$4 at Yes! or Whole Foods

Don't forget your lips!
Babies know best:

Kielhs baby lip balm, $5 at Blue Mercury

Last but not least, LADIES, cleansing from the inside out is easy with Woman's Moon Cycle. If you get PMS you may suffer more in the winter, when there's less light and things are generally more yin. You could single-handedly keep Yogi Tea in business by drinking their recommended 4-5 cups a day of this nice herbal blend, which features Dong Quai, Chaste Tree Berry, Raspberry Leaf, Parsely Leaf, and Chamomile, among others. Or you could simply enjoy a steaming mug before bed-time when you are feeling your "moon days" hardest. This relaxing concoction is sure to put you to sleep.
$3 or $4 at health food stores.


Kata said...

omg i want to try all of these asap. thanks for helping me brace the snow fiona!

Cath said...

Love the orange flower and botanica suggestions. Amy Sedaris would be green with envy.