Within the fascinating diversity of plant species lies many trusted home remedies, including age-old beauty secrets that promise gorgeous results. Luckily, as gardeners, this means that we have an abundance of wonderful body-care options right within our reach, and can easily emulate many costly spa treatments with little effort right from home!
Quick, cost-effective, and with noticeable results, you can have it all — from a youthful glow to baby soft skin and shiny, strong hair — All you need to do is to look to your garden for some easy DIY beauty tricks that you’ll thoroughly enjoy.
Here are four beauty treatments that I’d love to share with you since I know that you’ll relish them as much as I do:
Sage Facial Steam
Having struggled with oily, acne-prone skin for much of my adult life, I’ve found that there are a handful of tried and true methods that can help reduce and soothe this affliction. One such treatment is the simplest thing ever — the miraculous benefits of sage-infused steam, which I do at home fairly often.
Steam helps open up the pores, increases blood flow, and loosens all of that icky dirt that gets embedded in your skin, making it easier to slough it all off for a rejuvenated radiance, making it an essential spa step. And, by adding sage to your facial steam treatment, you’ll gain all of the medicinal advantages found within this herb.
Known to be a potent antibacterial, skin toner, redness-reducer, and collagen promoter, sage is a natural and effective remedy towards a youthful complexion.
Interested in trying this at home? Follow these steps, and repeat every few weeks as needed:
- Start with a clean, washed face (This is important since you’ll be opening up your pores, and residual grime can cause infection and outbreaks).
- Bring 2-3 cups of water to a rapid boil.
- Add a handful of fresh sage to a large bowl.*
- Place the bowl on a sturdy table, and carefully pour boiling water over it.
- Seat yourself comfortably, place a towel over your head, and hover your face about ten inches over the pot to take in the steam.**
- Enjoy the aroma, and allow the steam to penetrate your skin for 5-10 minutes (no longer).
* Opt for fresh sage that has not been treated with any pesticides. Pluck straight from your garden, or buy sage clippings from your grocers’ produce aisle (just don’t opt for dried varieties).
** Make sure you’re not too close to the bowl, as you may burn yourself — find a comfortable distance.
After the steam treatment, apply a face mask (it’s an ideal time to do so), or just rinse your face with cool soapy water — but don’t use any scrubs, since this will irritate your open pores.
Mint-Infused Face Mask
This leads to my next suggestion involving fresh mint as part of a fantastic, no-fuss face mask that works wonders.
By applying a mask after opening up your pores with steam, you’ll ensure that the ingredients work deep into your skin, leaving it soft, purified, and squeaky clean.
I suggest using a mint-based mask specifically, since this wonder-plant is known to contain antibacterial compounds, and also helps prevent acne and excess oil buildup. This is because it’s full of vitamins C, A, and salicylic acid, which are all great for soothing and brightening your complexion as well as hydrating your skin.
Give this minty-fresh face mask a try, and repeat every 1-2 weeks for best results — I bet you’ll be as sold as I am with the outcome:
- Trim a handful of fresh mint leaves from your garden*
- Rinse, and place in the food processor.
- Add 1-2 tablespoons of honey, and blend in a food processor or mash with a spoon**
- Apply to face***
- Rest for 15-20 minutes while the mask does its magic.
- Gently rinse off with a cool face cloth.
As an extra step, apply cucumber rounds to your eyes while the mask does its work — The cucumbers will help alleviate any puffy, tired eyes at the same time.
* Ensure the mint is fresh and free from chemicals or pesticides.
**If you’re feeling brave, you can crack a raw egg into the mixture as well, since it will help tighten the skin. If you do this, just be sure not to put it near your mouth or eyes, since raw eggs can carry salmonella.
***Be sure to avoid your eye area, which can be quite sensitive to mint.
After washing off your mint mask, apply a toner to seal that clean skin and follow with a lightweight moisturizer to ensure a well-balanced and hydrated complexion.
Rosemary Hair Treatment
In traditional medicine, rosemary’s widely known for its healing properties. Thought to promote a positive mood, boost memory, and increase blood circulation, it’s also a pretty effective bug deterrent, among many attributes.
Not only that, but rosemary also happens to be a fantastic hair treatment that’s said to slow down the development of grey hair and reduces hair loss. And, although I can’t back these theories personally, there’s plenty of scientific evidence that proves that rosemary indeed helps if used over many months (just don’t expect infomercial-like miracle outcomes here, people).
What I can guarantee from this treatment is stronger, healthier hair that not only shines but smells great too. It’s also pretty effective at reducing dandruff as well.
To see how this herb can help your mane maintain its beauty, why not create your own rosemary hair rinse. It’s simple, and if used a few times a week, you’ll be delighted by its results:
- Bring 3-4 cups of water to a rapid boil.
- Add 4-5 sprigs of fresh rosemary.
- Turn heat down and simmer (just over medium heat) for approximately 5-7 minutes*.
- Cool the rosemary water, and strain into a spray bottle or glass jar.
- Pour/spray rosemary mixture liberally from root to tip on damp, freshly washed hair.
- Allow hair to dry (don’t rinse it out).
*Don’t cook for too long since you’ll burn off all the beneficial rosemary oils.
Whatever you don’t end up using immediately, you can store in the fridge for up to two weeks (I wouldn’t hang onto it much longer than that), or pour into an ice cube tray and freeze for longer.
As an extra tip, if you have dry or curly hair, you can opt to add a teaspoon or two of your favorite oil to the rosemary water — be that, almond, jojoba, olive, castor, or whatnot.
Rose Petal Bath Salts
I’m sure you’ve heard that roses are wonderful for their beautifying power. Not only do they smell divine and look heavenly, but they’re also known as an excellent skin antioxidant as well as a powerful anti-aging remedy. They’re also remarkably gentle and restorative in effect.
Due to these properties, it’s no surprise that many ancient cultures coveted roses not only for their scent but also for their rejuvenating nature. In fact, many cultures still hold roses with high esteem as a fundamental part of their personal care regimen, with products such as rose water, oils, and other treatments remaining widely popular (I adore rose water — it’s fantastic and versatile stuff!).
Considering all the benefits that roses provide, let’s take a look at an easy recipe that’s not only useful for those stressful days when you desperately need to unwind but makes a great (and budget-friendly) gift as well.
By combining rose petals with muscle-soothing Epsom salt, and a dash of essential oil, you’ll be able to emulate a spa-like and luxurious bath time, where you’ll melt away all your aches and worries (temporarily, anyhow).
- Pour 1 cup of Epsom salt into a large bowl.
- Add ½ cup of dried rose petals*.
- Add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Add 5 drops of pure rose essential oil**
- Mix together and store in a sealed glass jar.
- To use, simply add a few tablespoons to a hot bath, and soak for 15-20 minutes***
*Don’t use store-bought roses, since they’re usually covered in pesticides. Ideally, pluck fresh roses from your garden, and dry for a few days before creating your bath salt mixture. Alternatively, you can buy organic dried rose petals in some shops or online.
** Pure essential oil is best. Go for the real deal, not synthetic knock offs.
After your salt bath, make sure to drink plenty of water, since although Epsom salt does a great job at soothing painful muscles, as well as softening skin, it can also dehydrate you.
Most gardens are incredibly versatile spaces, providing not only esthetic pleasure, food, and sometimes medicinal home-remedies, but can also provide you with the perfect ingredients for some indulging spa-inspired treatments that will leave you feeling refreshed and lovely inside and out.
Give it a go, and see for yourself how the beautifying benefits of many common plants can give your body and spirit a boost.