Sometimes there are days when you just feel a little worn out and not your radiant best. Whether you’re having a bad hair or skin day, too many late nights (and you’ve been staring at those dark circles under your eyes) or you just feel generally flat, here are some ideas you can use to give yourself a mini indulgent or pampering session.
Do at least one of these things every day for 10 days – for a daily feel good remedy.
1. Exfoliation: if your skin is feeling dull or rough, you can give it a quick exfoliating scrub to lift off dead flaky skin for a smoother softer complexion using this simple home made recipe.
Mix tablespoon of brown sugar, pinch of salt, a teaspoon of honey, tablespoon of mashed papaya or pineapple, half a teaspoon of olive or almond oil and 10 drops of lemon or orange juice. If necessary, add more brown sugar until it reaches the consistency of toothpaste. This mixture contains fruit acids, glycolic acid and other exfoliating properties. It works synergistically to exfoliate and moisturize at the same time. Apply this mixture to your skin using gentle circular motions and then leave on for approximately 3 or 4 minutes to allow the enzymes and acids (in the fruit and sugar) to dissolve proteins and dead layers of skin. You can also use this as a body scrub by adding a tablespoon of ground almond flour or ground oatmeal with a little more liquid added.
2. Fruit peel: Make and apply a mild homemade chemical peel with puréed papaya or cantaloupe and black strap molasses in equal quantities. This makes a very sticky gooey mask with natural acids to remove the dead dull surface layer of your skin. It also stimulates new cell growth. Leave this mask on for 10 minutes for best results. I like leaving this on while I’m sitting in the bath as a treat.
3. Hair softening treatment: Make yourself a deep conditioning hair treatment using 1 teaspoon of extra virgin coconut oil or a tablespoon of mashed avocado, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 egg yolk (optional). Apply well mixed mixture to hair and leave on for 5 to 10 minutes before washing off. Alternatively you can add a teaspoon of coconut oil, argan or wheatgerm oil to your shampoo or conditioner in the shower and then wash out as normal. Both of these methods give your hair a soft shiny conditioning treatment.
4. Foot scrub: This minty refreshing scrub is fabulous for softening and moisturizing feet in the shower or bath. Use 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of honey, a squeeze of lemon juice, four drops of peppermint oil or essence, four drops of tea tree oil, four drops of eucalyptus oil, 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Blend together well. Massage the scrub around your feet. You can use a pumice around cracked areas if you wish.
5. Coconut oil lotion: Coconut Butter Body Lotion leaves skin feeling silky smooth and is extra nourishing especially when left on overnight while you sleep. The recipe calls for 2 tablespoons beeswax, 2 tablespoons coconut oil, 4 oz cocoa butter, 4 tablespoons Sweet Almond oil.
Warm the beeswax in a double boiler until melted, add oils and mix well. Pour into a glass jar before cooled so it can set. If you want to add essential oils at this point you can. This lotion will thicken as it cools.
Coconut oil is antibacterial and softens skin. It also had mild SPF properties so is especially good if you are exposing yourself to the sun.
6. Dry loofah: Giving your body a dry loofah scrub helps with circulation and gives your skin an extra brisk exfoliation treatment. Some say dry loofah scrubbing your body every day is one of the ancient secrets Cleopatra and other natural beauties used to maintain their natural beauty.
7. Ten minutes lying on the floor deep breathing with your eyes closed : This exercise can be incredibly calming and a great way to relieve stress. Notice your breaths – are they short and shallow? Long breaths change your biorhythms and slow down your heart rate. If you don’t have 10 minutes, simply take ten long breaths in and out for as long as you can extend each breath. You’ll be surprised how good you feel after following this simple exercise.
8. Early nights: I know this sounds ridiculously simple, but research has shown that having just 3 to 4 early nights in a week by going to bed an hour earlier helps to balance hormones reduce stress and regulate adrenaline levels in your body. It can also help to maintain an efficient metabolism and help your body repair itself. Try going to bed just one hour earlier than you normally would two to 4 nights a week for one or two weeks. Take a book with you if you need to wind down after a long day. You’ll be amazed at the difference after a week.
9. Living in the now: Most of us spend our whole existence living in the past or future which leads us down the path of worrying about what may happen or judging ourselves (or someone else) for decision or events in the past. Try to practice for a day imagining that this was the last day on earth. How would you spend it with the resources you have right now. Would you take longer to enjoy the savoring of a meal, enjoying a hot bath or spending time with people you love. I know it may sound cheesy, or cliché but practicing living in the now without worrying about the future or what may or could happen is a very enriching experience. One of my favorite books is called The Power Of Now which teaches you present moment living. I try and practice being present every day, even just if it’s focusing on it for ten minutes at a time.
10. Fresh air. This is yet another common sense tip that when you think about it, is vastly underestimated. Our ears, eyes and other senses are bombarded with stimulation every day. Our environment is permeated by the sounds of televisions, stereos, household appliances, voices, the list goes on. Get outside and at the very least give your mind a chance to break the patterns of stimulation to give your mind a mini break. Breathing in oxygen, fresh air from the outdoors (unless of course you’re living in the metropolis) feeds your cells, helps your body remove toxins and does many more things to benefit your physical and mental health.
These are just some small things you can do in your weekly routine to give yourself a physical, mental and emotional lift. The small things can really count and remember you deserve to make time to enjoy a little peace and calm. It’s good to take a little time to be kind to your body and mind and slowly but surely make them part of your life’s busy schedule.
There are many more natural body and skin care recipes you can make as part of a natural beauty and health routine. You don’t need to spend money on skincare products to give yourself a mini home spa treatment and a little pampering session for your body (and mind) whenever you wish.