Monday, June 28, 2010

Garden Recipe: Strawberry Astringent for Natural Skincare

I want to share with ya'll this garden recipe you don't eat.  I first made this about 3 months ago, and I have noticed a big improvement in my skin.  Strawberries have salicylic acid, which discourages acne, and this toner is loaded with antioxidants.  You won't believe how smooth and soft and clean your face feels after you use this.  It is so cooling and fresh, and reminds me of the "Sea Breeze" astringent I used as a teenager- except this is all natural, with none of the harsh chemicals.

Here is all you need from the garden:

That is 7 strawberry leaves (and by 1 leaf, I mean all three leaflets) and one long rosemary sprig.  Or you could use several smaller sprigs....this isn't rocket science and you don't have to be exact with your amounts.

Chop up this vegetative matter and throw it in a pot with a cup of water.  Add 1 organic green tea bag.  Boil all of this, and then cool and strain.  Add 1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar (use the unfiltered kind that says "with the mother"), 7 drops patchouli essential oil (patchouli is great for the skin; you really won't smell it in the final product once everything is mixed), 8 drops peppermint essential oil, and 1 drop pine essential oil.

The peppermint is the only nonnegotiable oil in this recipe, as it gives the cooling effect.  As I said, patchouli is really great for the skin, and definitely recommended.  But if you don't have any, you could substitute lavender oil instead.  You could also use tea tree oil instead of pine, if that is what you have.  I do really recommend using the patchouli and pine, though.

I pour my toner in a Grolsch beer bottle, which has a handy flip top lid.  If you don't drink beer, you can usually get these from a bar for a quarter apiece, or you can use whatever you have available in approximately the same size.

 After you add your mixture, fill the bottle the rest of the way with distilled water, cap and shake well.  Apply to your face morning and night.  You could use cotton balls or pads, or if, like me, you prefer not to use disposable products, you can do what I did and find a nice soft old tee shirt and cut it into squares for this purpose.

You will love the cool tingling sensation and how soft and smooth your skin feels after using this.
I discovered recently that it works pretty well as a deoderant, too.

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