7 All-Natural Beauty Remedies for Better Skin and Hair

The benefits of essential oils and aromatherapy include stress relief, better sleep, glowing skin and more. Here are some easy DIY recipes to try

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Aromatherapy and essential oils

Being a natural beauty is easy when you use products that you make yourself. Here are seven aromatherapy recipes that incorporate aromatic herbs and essential oils that are easily found at your local health food store. Not only will these essential oils help you disconnect and de-stress, but you’ll also have pampered, glowing skin and luxuriously shiny hair.

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Rose Petal Bath Bags with Essential Oils

This sensuous blend transforms an ordinary bath into an indulgence. Marshmallow root and camomile soften skin, while the delicate fragrances of lavender and rose essential oils balance the emotions and soothe the psyche.

1 cup fine-ground oats
4 tsp dried camomile
4 tsp dried rose petals
4 tsp dried lavender
1 tbsp powdered dried marshmallow root
10 drops rose essential oil
5 drops frankincense essential oil
6- x 6-in. square pieces of fine muslin cotton or multi-layered cheesecloth

Place oats, dried herbs and powdered marshmallow root in a bowl; mix well. Add essential oils, several drops at a time, mixing well after each addition. Place 1 to 2 spoonfuls of the mixture in the centre of a fabric square, then gather up the sides and secure with ribbon or twine (reserve leftover mixture for future use; store in an airtight container). Hang bag from the hot water tap so the water runs through it as you fill the bath. Then untie the bag and let it float in the water. Soak for 15 minutes.

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Hot Oil Treatment & Vinegar Rinse for Shiny Hair

The molecular structure of apricot kernel oil is small enough to penetrate the hair shaft, where it nourishes, strengthens, protects and repairs and also brings a sheen to dull or damaged hair. If your hair has lost its lustre, apple cider vinegar will remove the buildup of residue left by shampoo and other products and restore your hair’s natural pH balance, leaving it shinier. Note: This isn’t recommended for coloured hair.

½ cup apricot kernel oil
20 drops rosemary essential oil
½ cup apple cider vinegar (for rinse)

Combine oils and mix well. Drape a towel – warmed in the dryer, if you have time – around your shoulders. Massage oil into clean, damp hair,  starting at the ends and working toward your scalp. Continue until all your hair is coated in oil. Cover with a shower cap. Warm another towel, then wrap it around and over the cap. Relax while it cools. Wash hair in the shower using a small amount of shampoo. Then, carefully work the vinegar into your hair with your fingers, keeping your head tilted back to avoid getting it in your eyes. Rinse well; finish by adding a little conditioner and rinsing well. Dry your hair as usual.

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Rich Body Butter

For winter-worn dried-out skin, this luscious body butter delivers relief. Rose, calendula and camomile are naturally soothing, while the plant fats in avocado oil and shea butter sink in quickly to keep skin soft and elastic.

¼ cup grated shea butter
1 tbsp grated beeswax
½ cup avocado oil
2 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp vegetable glycerine
10 drops rose essential oil
10 drops calendula essential oil
10 drops camomile essential oil

Place shea butter, beeswax and avocado and coconut oils in the top of a double boiler over simmering water and heat gently until beeswax and shea butter have liquefied (or microwave gently in a covered bowl). Remove from heat and cool slightly. Whisk in vegetable glycerine, then add essential oils, several drops at a time, whisking after each addition. Cool fully before smoothing onto dry skin; reserve remainder in an airtight container and store in a cool, dark place.

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Calendula Cream Facial Moisturizer

Calendula is excellent for sensitive skin. This moisturizer soothes skin and helps defend it against environmental stress.

4 tbsp jojoba oil
4 tsp rosehip oil
3 tsp grated beeswax
4 tbsp rosewater
1 (250 IU) vitamin E capsule
1 (1,000 mg) evening primrose oil capsule
7 drops calendula essential oil
3 drops camomile essential oil

Place jojoba oil, rosehip oil and beeswax in a small double boiler. Place over low heat and allow to melt (or microwave gently in a covered bowl). Warm rosewater separately. Remove pans from heat. When the contents of both pans are lukewarm, whisk rosewater into oil mixture. Using an electric mixer set on low, beat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add contents of capsules and the essential oils; whisk until cool. Spoon mixture into a small, wide-mouthed jar. To use, warm a little of the potion in your palms, then massage into skin.

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Essential Oil Elixir

This hydrating serum is especially designed for dry or sensitive skin. Sandalwood and calendula essential oils are anti-inflammatory and regenerative, while rosehip and macadamia nut oils are rich in skin-supportive essential fatty acids.

2 tbsp jojoba oil
2 tbsp rosehip oil
1 tbsp apricot kernel oil
1 tsp macadamia nut oil
1 tsp carrot seed oil
4 drops palmarosa essential oil
3 drops calendula essential oil
3 drops sandalwood essential oil

Combine the first five oils in a small, dark-coloured glass bottle. Add essential oils. Shake well and massage a few drops of elixir into damp skin.

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Floral Milk Toner

This is good for normal skin (not too oily, not too dry). Milk, nature’s own skin softener, contains lactic acid, a mild exfoliant that gently lifts dead cells and tones your skin. Milk’s fat content acts as a soothing moisturizer.

2 tbsp dried rose petals
1 tbsp dried lavender
1 tbsp dried camomile
? cup homogenized milk or table cream
1 tbsp vegetable glycerine

Place herbs in a glass jar. Add milk and glycerine and seal securely. Chill overnight in the refrigerator. Strain and pour into a bottle with an airtight lid. Shake bottle well and upend onto a cotton ball. Wipe gently over skin a couple of times, then rinse. Use to simply refresh your skin or after cleansing morning and evening and before applying moisturizer. Store floral milk in the refrigerator and use within one week.

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Lavender Bath Salts

Looking for an easy DIY gift idea? Consider this healthy bathing beauty. Epsom salts are rich in magnesium, which eases muscle aches and tension; borax and baking soda leave skin silky smooth; and lavender’s relaxing aroma promotes sleep.

You’ll need:
Mason jars
Self-adhesive labels from office supply store
Optional: Twine or ribbon to tie around lid

1 cup Epsom salts
¼ cup baking soda
¼ cup borax
20 drops lavender essential oil
10 drops clary sage essential oil
10 drops camomile essential oil

Place dry ingredients in a bowl; mix well. Add essential oils, several drops at a time, mixing well after each addition. Sprinkle 2 to 3 tablespoons of mixture into warm bath water. Swish water with your hands to disperse evenly; relax and soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Store mixture in an airtight jar in a cool, dark place.

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