Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mercredi: The Art of Beauty

For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, the weather is turning cool, perhaps even cold. Where I live it is literally freezing, at least at night. This change, from warm to cold and in many places from humid to dry, can wreak havoc on even so called “normal” skin.

My mother and my grandmother both had that general skin type. It was evenly toned, not terribly prone to breakouts and what my mother derogatorily referred to as “sallow”. This particularly when she was speaking about her mother. Though Mom was a Merle Norman gal through and through, grandma favored more “down home” skincare, probably since she spent most of her childhood on a farm in Minnesota. She was particularly fond of milk for cleansing and toning.

Of course when speaking of milk for skincare we’re talking about whole milk and raw milk if possible. Don’t make that face; no one is asking you to drink it. All the same that gallon of two percent in your frig will do you about as much good as water in this instance. Whole milk has all its lactic acids which are exfoliating and toning without removing oils from the skin. Whole milk (or the powdered version) is a wonderful additive to a bath on cold, itchy, mid-winter days. You might want to add a few drops of essential oil and you will certainly want to scrub out the tub when you’re done. Rancid milk is not a beauty bonus.

But here is one. This recipe for milk cleanser is easy to make and very flexible. While the flowers and herbs used are all gentle enough for use on irritated skin but you can play with the blend once you have some idea of how your skin reacts to certain herbs. You might consider adding oatmeal instead of chamomile for a little extra exfoliation. I like to use dried jasmine petals in place of the lavender if I can get them. They add no scent (jasmine oil can be added sparingly to impart that) but they are calming to the skin; just what mine needs on a chilly day.

2 tbsps dried rose petals
1 tbsp dried lavender
1 tbsp dried chamomile
1/3 cup whole milk
1 tbsp glycerine (preferably vegetable glycerine)

Place the herbs in the bottom of a glass jar with a secure lid. Pour in the milk and glycerine and close tightly. Shake gently, then let the mixture sit in the refrigerator over night. In the morning, strain the mixture through cheesecloth into an airtight bottle. Store your finished product in the frig for up to one week.

You can use this like an astringent, wiping it onto your skin with a cotton ball. Or, you can wash you face with it as you would any liquid cleanser. Just remember to always shake the bottle before use to encourage re-blending of the ingredients. À votre santé ~

Header: Venus With A Mirror by Titian


Timmy! said...

No wonder you always smell and look so good when you get out of the bath, Pauline!

Pauline said...

Hey, that's nice. It's a plus to hear I don't smell like rancid milk the next day, too. Although I would probably realize that, come to think of it :)