NATURAL BEAUTY FOR MOTHERS
A good facial mask is important to healthy skin. I like to use a mask weekly to deep cleanse my face and remove any surface impurities, allowing my skin to work more efficiently and retain more moisture. One of the best things about using a facial mask is that it forces you to take a break and relax for 15 to 20 minutes. (I never answer the door or talk on the phone when I have one on.) This recipe contains honey, which has natural antiseptic properties known to help regenerate damaged skin tissues. Egg yolk is a rich source of lecithin, an antioxidant essential for healthy skin. After using this mask your skin should feel smoother and softer.
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon almond oil
1 teaspoon vitamin E oil
Place all the ingredients in a bowl and stir until smooth. Spread on your face and neck using your fingertips or a small pastry brush. Leave the mixture on for 15 minutes, then rinse off with warm water and pat dry.
Yield: 2 ounces, enough for one mask
Peppermint Leg Gel
This is a light, nongreasy, invigorating gel that is perfect for tired legs and feet. It was a lifesaver on one hot, humid summer trip to Singapore when I was eight months pregnant! For extra cooling action, place this gel in the refrigerator before using.
1/2 cup aloe vera gel
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon witch hazel
3-4 drops peppermint oil
Combine the aloe vera, cornstarch, and witch hazel in a heat-resistant container. Warm the mixture until it is a clear, thick liquid about the consistency of honey. (You can do this in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds for 1 to 2 minutes on high, or in a double boiler on the stove top.) After the mixture has cooled, add the peppermint oil and stir thoroughly. Pour into an airtight container. Massage this lotion into your legs and feet for an instant pick-me-up.
Yield: 4 ounces
Toward the end of my pregnancy and for the first few months postpartum, I mixed 1 teaspoon of orange flower water in a cup of warm milk and drank it in the evening before bed. Orange flower water is made from the blossom of the bitter orange tree. The flowers contain neroli oil, whose scent is believed to reduce stress and induce sleep. I sometimes prepare a cup to sip while I take a warm bath in the evening. I buy orange flower water at the liquor store, but I have also seen it sold in specialty bake shops and natural food stores.
Commonsense Natural Beauty Tips
Even if you feel you don't have time to pamper yourself, you'll look and feel much better if you do these simple things:
New Mother Gift Idea
A unique shower gift for a special friend is a basket that you make
yourself. Line a basket with a flannel baby blanket and fill it with
your own homemade beauty products (Cocoa Butter Cream, Buttermilk Baby
Bath, Lavender-Scented Baby Powder, and Peppermint Leg Gel). You may
also want to include other items that you found helpful during those
first few months-special books, tea bags, music CDs, a copy of Mothering
magazine . . . be imaginative. Cut a long piece of cotton fabric and tie
up the basket with a large bow.
Written by: Janice Cox
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