Organic beauty products straight from the garden
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, they say, but when it comes to ourselves, we are usually our own worst critic.
Firstly, being beautiful starts from within. Throw away any negative energy and surround yourself with positivity. Not only does a positive energy, attitude and behaviour make you feel healthier, it makes you look it as well.
Secondly, treating your skin and body is important in maintaining a healthy attitude. In a quote made by novelist, Sophie Kinsella, “if you look good, you feel good”, and that is true for many who take the time to care for themselves.
Look after your body by using appropriate treatments for your skin and hair. These do not necessarily have to be the most expensive brand on the shelf, but they can be made using organic products straight from the garden; and for some, items we use every day – like mint, lavender, lemon, avocado, and rose.
Painful and unsightly cracked feet can be cured using mint. Mint is easily grown in an herb patch and all you need is a handful. Mint leaves are said to act as a softening agent.
How to prepare: boil mint leaves in water and allow to cool. Dip feet in. Alternatively, create a paste of olive oil or honey and crushed mint leaves and rub it on to your heels. One may also want to add sea salt or sugar in to act as an exfoliator as well.
Mint, is also useful as a toner and can remove blackheads quite easily.
How to prepare: Crush mint leaves and dab the mixture of mint leaves on your blackheads. Leave it on for 15 minutes and then wash off with warm water.
Tone the face:
Lavender, which is known for its soothing, calming benefits, is also a prominent ingredient in an organic beauty regime. It can tone the skin as it boosts circulation resulting in oxygen supply to skin cells.
How to prepare a toner: Boil 100 ml of water in a glass beaker and then put in the lavender sprigs. Cover the top of the glass beaker with clear plastic wrap and allow to sit for a few hours until cool. Then, pour the mixture into a spray bottle and squirt onto a cotton pad or cotton wool and gently wipe over face. Do not wash. Allow to sit on the face for about 8 hours (overnight) and gently wash off in the morning. Pat dry. This will refresh your skin like a toner and remove unwanted dirt naturally.
Elbow, knee and hair lightener
Lemon is known for its acidic nature and has a wonderful effect on lightening blemishes and dark areas on the skin and can be found in vanishing creams and in oil-free lotions.
For those who have used a self-tanning product, you will know that there is the risk of developing streaks or dark patches, and some have this naturally, through sun exposure and hormone changes.
How to get rid of the streaks and dark patches: Cut half a lemon and take out the pips. Rub the lemon, cut side down, on your worrisome areas and alternate between a clockwise and anticlockwise motion. You should find that your dark patches will become lighter. Repetition may be needed to achieve better results.
Not everyone enjoys damaging their hair with bleaches and dyes, so why not try using lemon juice for a dye-free highlighting solution.
How to achieve: Squeeze lemon juice into a spray bottle and spray to your hair before you spend time in the sun. This will allow the hair to naturally develop highlights by the reaction between the lemon and the sunlight. The heat emitted from the sun unseals the hair cuticles and the juice then lifts the colour for the sun to then act as a bleaching agent. However, lemon can also be quite harsh on the hair strands, so it is best to add a drop or two of olive oil to avoid dryness.
Dandruff be gone
Lemon juice is also known to rid the hair of dandruff.
How to achieve: Mix lemon juice with coconut oil and apply liberally to your scalp. Massage the mixture into your scalp and leave overnight. Wash in the morning. Repeat if necessary.
An avocado has many benefits for the hair. Avocado oil helps rejuvenate and moisturize the scalp as it has a high monounsaturated fatty acid content.
How to prepare a hair mask: Combine mashed avocado, olive oil and 1 tablespoon of honey to form a paste. Apply to the hair strands and apply a shower cap to the hair. Leave on for 1 hour and then rinse off the mixture with lukewarm water. Your hair should feel silkier and smoother.
Rose has, for many centuries, been used in beauty regimes. Believe it or not, but rose petals help fight acne. Rose petals have antifungal and antibacterial properties and rose water is most commonly used for moisturising dry skin as it helps increase oil production in the skin cells. Combined with lemon, rose water helps fight acne.
How to use: Soak rose petals in a little water and once soft, create it into a paste. Then apply to the face and leave on for 30 minutes to help keep skin moisturised.
Add a tablespoon of lemon to the mixture, should you have acne.
Puffy eyes are a thing of the past
Rose petals are also known to soothe the delicate skin underneath the eye. Directly apply the petals to the eye area and leave for 10 minutes. It is most beneficial to do this after a shower or hot bath as the steam opens up the pores of the facial area.
Embrace your garden and the organic ingredients available directly from nature. When trying these natural ingredients, ensure that you test the product in the inside of your arm or behind an ear, to check if there is any reaction, before applying it to a larger area.
Granny Mouse Country House & Spa’s culinary artist, Kirstie du Toit, has provided these natural beauty hacks which she has adapted, with ingredients picked out of her own garden.