Happy New Year, everyone!
Whew- what a whirlwind holiday! It feels like Thanksgiving was only yesterday, but here we are on January 2nd, looking at a new year ahead of us.
The last few days have been an intense test of endurance; by yesterday evening I was running on nearly two weeks of very little sleep, the high stresses of life, and the exhaustion of being on my feet for hours and hours at a time. By the time yesterday evening rolled around, I felt thoroughly done-in.
That’s when I decided to take some time to rejuvenate myself a little bit. A few quick internet searches pulled up some helpful recipes for skin soaks, scrubs, and moisturizers. I also had a few recipes of my own that I wanted to try out. Below is a full-pampering treatment that can be made up at home in a few minutes for a few hours of soothing relaxation that really, really does the trick!
Now, to make it a more relaxing (and less messy!) experience, I filled a large pitcher of water and brought two large soaking bowls to my selected spa spot. Lay a towel down on the floor under the bowls, and leave enough room to set both feet down if possible. Then, arrange your recipes on a tray and set them down near the bowls. This way, you can do your whole treatment without having to get up to move.
Lemongrass Chamomile Foot Soak
Take out a shotglass or small bowl
Add 1 tablespoon each of dried spearmint leaves, dried lemongrass, and dried chamomile flowers. (I use herbal teas to get these ingredients, but they can be purchased wholesale if you prefer).
Also include 3-5 fresh slices of lime.
Fill a pitcher with warm water- make the temperature comfortable for you!
Pour 1/2 of the pitcher into a soaking bowl, followed by the herb/lime mixture.
Dip in your feet, and enjoy for 10-20 minutes! I would occasionally rub the damp herbs into my skin to really get the full effect of the mixture! When you’re done, towel your feet dry and set the bowl aside.
Brown Sugar Foot Scrub (as found online here).
Rub the foot scrub (1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon baking soda- stirred) onto your feet. The mixture doesn’t stick to your skin that great, so be ready for it to end up on the towel or (if you’re not that careful, like me) on your floor. I used this scrub on my feet and my hands- although be wary, it stings a little on fresh cuts.
This scrub makes your skin so incredibly smooth and soft, it was fantastic! Rinse the scrub off in your second bowl (filled with water from what remains in the pitcher) and towel your feet dry.
Banana-Honey Moisture Treatment
I had read in Reader’s Digest awhile ago that smashing up banana and using it as a skin mask was a great moisturizer and toner. I took a ripe banana and cut it up in a small bowl and drizzled a little bit of honey and a dash (just a dash!) of 1/2 and 1/2 on top. How much 1/2 and 1/2 you use will depend on how milky the mixture is- and I’ve heard of some people using plain yogurt instead.
Mix it up! I just smashed it with a fork- but if you want a creamier mixture, use a food processor.
I spread this mixture on my feet and hands, and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Rinse it off in the soaking bowl.
Chamomile- Lavender Bath Soak
To finish off my spa treatment, I took a “make your own” tea bag and added 1 tablespoon of dried chamomile and 1 tablespoon of lavender pellets. I tossed this into the tub while I ran a hot bath.
While the tub was filling, I used the Banana-Honey Moisture Treatment on my face. It’s sticky as it dries, so I only left it on for about 7 minutes before washing it off in the sink (to avoid taking a bath with banana everywhere!) But it can be left on for 10-20 minutes.
After I rinsed off the mask, I lit some candles, played Helen Jane Long, and took a very relaxing bath. I finished off the evening by using Aveno Active Naturals Skin Relief lotion, which is basically the only lotion I’ve found to actually work on my dry skin in the winter.
All in all, it was a fantastically regenerative treatment that still feels great the next day. The awesome part is that all of these items were just in my kitchen- I didn’t even have the stress of shopping to enjoy a spa night!