Do It Yourself Facial Mask

Christine Vernon

Facial Mask
Make a mask to condition and soften your skin using these relatively readily available ingredients, chamomile, bran and honey. First make a six ounce cup of chamomile tea. If you don't have this tea on hand, you can get chamomile flowers at a health food store. This is considered a wash or an infusion. (A decoction involves a longer simmering period, 20 or 30 minutes.) Let the chamomile tea/wash/infusion steep and cool for about ten to fifteen minutes. Add three tablespoons of the strained chamomile wash to one teaspoon of honey and two tablespoons of bran. Mix and apply to your face. It's sticky but the results are nice.

Potpourri
This is a a nice experiment and experience and can be done easily using common plants and herbs once they are dried. Try putting sage, thyme, marjoram, in combination with mint, dried orange peel, cinnamon sticks, nutmegs, marigold flowers, or other flowers and herbs. Essential oils, in this case, mint or orange can heighten the fragrance.

Other ingredients to experiment with can make the fragrance sweet or woodland or spicey. Try basil, strawberry leaves, bay leaves, bergamot leaves, peppermint leaves, rose petals, mace, lemon verbana, orris root, larkspur flowers daisies, mock orange flowers, the list goes on.

Start with something simple like lavender flowers, mint, lemon verbena and thyme. A stronger scent is achieved by adding orris root or any essential herbal oil. Be careful using essential oils because if they are spilled on a finished surface of wood it will be marred.

It is best to store the potpourri mixture in a plastic bag for several days to season because a plastic bag will not absorb the essential oils. After the potpourri ages for several days, display it in a bowl, or cut some small pieces of fabric in squares to make a pouch or bag. Put the flowers in the center, pull up the edges of the fabric, and tie the fabric together with a colorful piece of string or ribbon. Put in drawers or pillows in guest rooms.

Christine Vernon

Christine Vernon is the founder and editor of Women's International News.