Homemade Spa Treatments Part III: Body and Soul…and Feet
By Melissa Schneider December 6, 2012 No Comments
Every year, about three minutes after the weather cools down, I discover that my supple summer skin has mysteriously stiffened into dry spots and irritated patches, some of which appear bent on leaving me altogether. My purse, light and innocuous all summer long, becomes a ponderous receptacle concealing three kinds of hand cream and enough no-nonsense lip ointment to salve a Siberian border town. You know what I’m talking about. Over the years, I’ve discovered that weekly at-home exfoliation can go a long way toward combating my creeping desiccation, and today, I’ll share my two favorite homemade spa treatments with you: Lavender Corneal Body Scrub and Ginger Sea Salt Foot Scrub.
As usual, you’ll need to look no further than your pantry for almost all the ingredients. DIY skin treatments are inexpensive and soothing, and these two in particular would be a great addition to your cool-weather pampering plan.
Lavender Cornmeal Body Scrub
I made a big batch of this scrub the week before my wedding and used it every day. It was wonderful! I’ll probably never be that soft again — sorry sweetie! — but it became a favorite after that.
- 1/3 cup coarse cornmeal
- 2 tablespoons of almond oil
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- Optional: 5 drops of lavender or rose essential oil
Method: Place cornmeal in a shallow plastic cup or bowl, add oil and honey, and stir to combine. The resulting mixture should be sticky but spreadable. Bring a spoon, run a hot shower, and wash your skin. Then, stepping out of the way of the water, gently rub the cornmeal scrub over your body, massaging your dry spots in particular. Let it soak in for a few minutes before rinsing, and apply additional body lotion if needed after you towel off.
Tips: I recommend almond oil because it is one of the lightest oils, but you can substitute with any other natural oil, like coconut oil (one of my favorites and it smells great too), vitamin E, sunflower, or jujube. Olive oil is fine too, if you don’t mind the smell! Also, raw honey is always a bonus if you have it. Finally, choose a cornmeal that is coarse enough to slough away your dead skin, but not so coarse that it’s painful to apply.
Ginger Sea Salt Foot Scrub
- 3-4 tablespoons coarse sea salt
- 2 teaspoons olive oil (you can substitute vitamin E oil too)
- 1 tsp of very finely grated ginger (or just use Ginger Zing! Sea Salt)
- Optional: 5 drops Tea Tree oil (a natural anti-fungal that smells great too!)
Method: In a plastic cup or shallow bowl, stir together the salt and half the oil, adding the remaining oil just until you have a good consistency. You want a foot scrub that is thick enough to spread — not to dry, not too oily. (If you don’t have coarse salt, coarse sugar works just as well.) Once you like it, add the ginger and tea tree oil, if using. Then, run a hot shower or bath, soak for a few minutes, and gently massage the scrub into your feet. Give special attention to areas prone to dead skin buildup and wait a few minutes before rinsing, to let the oil do its job. Note: Be very careful standing up in the tub afterwards! This scrub will make your feet quite slippery.
Bonus Gift Idea: These home body treatments make lovely holiday gifts too — just make a triple batch of either recipe and seal it in an airtight glass jar. Include a note suggesting your recipient use it within two months.
Have a great winter everyone!