The summer season is a time of the year when things are in full swing. The Earth is in full bloom and we celebrate the richness of abundance and fertility surrounding us. Food and sunlight are in plenty and many of us spend the most time outdoors in clothing that reveals more of us than any other time of the year. I enjoy the energy of this time. I always feel are particular rush of happiness and excitement as we edge closer to the Summer Solstice or Litha. Tradition tells us the Goddess is fully pregnant and her round belly blesses us with the promise of more abundance to come. We celebrate the sun and the warmth it provides, allowing for an ease of the life and green growth that the Winters cannot understand. It is with these thoughts that I find it easiest to be indulgent with myself and pamper my body the way one would honor and pamper a person so full of life. I often take the time to partake in luxurious beauty treatments that during the rest of the year, I perhaps allow myself to forgo. Here are some great summer beauty and self-care recipes to help you embrace the energies of the season. Enjoy!
A great way to start of the summer is with an all-over body scrub. Often the ash from the bond fires of Mid-Summer’s night are reserved to use as protection for the remaining part of the year. I like to use a salt scrub to exfoliate the dead skin from my body as well as neutralize the energy of my auric field, rebuilding it in my own way after a wonderful shower. Here’s a great recipe for my citrus scrub.
Mix in a one ounce jar:
1 teaspoon cornmeal
Pink Himalayan Salt finely grated ¼” below the rim of the jar
(mix the cornmeal and salt together in the jar so that they are well incorporated together)
15 drops of sweet orange, tangerine or other citrus essential oil
¼ teaspoon castor oil
Fill the jar with olive oil until all of the salt mix is wet and there is a small amount of oil on the surface.
Put lid on and shake well.
To use simply take a small amount in your hand when in the shower and massage over skin. The combination of the cornmeal and salt with exfoliate and buff your skin leaving it silky smooth. The oils will nourish and moisturize the skin leaving it feeling rich and soft to the touch. I use this every where but my face. Be careful with oil based scrubs though they can make the bathtub or shower floor a bit slippery. I make sure I have tub decals or a rubber mat for extra security.
** Warning, citrus oils are phototoxic, which means that when exposed to sunlight they change and make your skin more susceptible to burning. DO NOT tan or spend time out in the sun without sunscreen after using a citrus oil. It can cause severe sunburn and permanent red or brown marks.**
On a basic formula you can use any salt and any oil. It just won’t smell the same. You can also omit the cornmeal if you like. Again, I don’t use salt scrubs on my face.
Sugar scrubs for the face. I never use salt scrubs on my face. Instead I use the sugar scrubs. The molecular structure of salt is square, while sugar is rounded, and the jagged edges of salt molecules can create tiny tears in the surface of the skin that on the face can make small lines and wrinkles more visible. So I always use a sugar scrub. The reason that I do not use a sugar scrub on the rest of my body is that I prefer the energetic neutralizing qualities of a salt scrub that one cannot achieve with a sugar scrub. The choice is entirely yours.
Also, I never use a citrus oil on my face because of the phototoxic qualities.
In a 1 oz. jar mix
Extra fine sugar
10 drops of rose oil
¼ teaspoon castor oil
Fill the jar with grape seed oil until all of the sugar is wet and there is a thin layer of oil on top.
Add lid and shake well.
Apply to face in small circles, exfoliating the skin. Do not get into the eyes. Rinse well. Pat face dry.
You can use different kinds of sugars. Brown sugar makes a great scrub as well and has deeper tones and aromas, I prefer to use this in the fall and winter, but whatever you choose will be wonderful.
I like to apply to my hair about once a week a refreshing deep conditioner while I am still in the shower. It’s the first thing that I put on when I get into the shower. I shampoo it out afterward with a mild natural cleanser and it leaves my hair shiny and soft and my scalp tingly. Also the head massage stimulates more hair growth and feels fantastic.
In a 3 oz plastic container mix: (I only use plastic in the shower, I don’t think glass is a good idea here.)
I cup of coconut oil
2 tablespoons castor oil
10 drops of peppermint oil
10 drops of rosemary oil
30 drops of vitamin E oil (this is your preservative)
Blend well. Store in the shower. The heat from the shower will soften or liquefy the mix.
Apply enough on the hair to fully coat. Massage scalp and hair for 2-3 minutes. Allow mix to stay on your scalp and hair for the remainder of the shower. Rinse and shampoo with a mild cleanser. Again, watch for slippery bath or shower floor, a mat or decals is safest.
If you prefer a bath, giving yourself the luxury of soaking is a wonderful way to treat yourself right. The summer season is a time of honey and milk, both are fantastic ingredients for your skin and bath that will leave you glowing. Into a warm bath mix:
1 cup of powdered milk
½ cup of powdered honey
Swish around with your hand until dissolved into the water
Soak for 20 minutes.
Honey has many antibacterial and healing qualities and the lactic acid in the milk will help break down dead skin cells in your body leaving your skin soft and silky. It is quite an experience and I’m willing to bet once you try this bath, it will become one of your regulars. You can find powdered honey on line. Amazon even carries it. Powdered milk is available at most local grocery stores or on line.
I like to use a refreshing body spray after getting out of the shower. Living in the desert, especially in the summer one often battles both the heat and dry skin. I can never have enough cool solutions or ways to nourish my skin. I like to make a simple hydrosol to spray on myself while my skin is still damp but not dripping wet.
In a three oz. glass spray bottle mix:
20% alcohol, I use brandy, but you can use vodka or other clear, mostly odorless alcohol with a high proof
10 drops of peppermint essential oil
30 drops of rose geranium essential oil
Fill the remaining portion of bottle with spring water.
Place sprayer on and shake well. Spray on body and allow to dry.
The geranium oil has a beautiful floral scent that will dissipate during the day, and it mixes well with citrus if you used the citrus salt scrub while in the shower. The mint will add a cooling sensation to the skin. I prefer to use this instead of a chemical perfume or other unnatural fragrance.
Mid-Summer is a time when the veil is thin and the portals to other realms are open. One of these realms is that of the world of the Fey. It is wonderful to leave little offerings for the fey and to honor them in your life. I am not one for perfumes as I mentioned above, but that does not mean that I am not for scent. It is said that the fairy Queen is most fond of the scent of the violet and if you have ever smelled violet leaf essential oil, you will understand why, it is truly a magical aroma. I like to wear it in the summer and usually make a roll on for my purse to keep it on hand.
In a small glass vial with a roller ball attachment mix 20% alcohol, brandy or vodka works best.
10 drops of violet leaf essential oil, (warning it’s a bit pricey but the scent is well worth it when compared with the cost of name brand perfumes made of chemicals.) It is dark green in color.
Fill the remaining vial with grape seed oil.
Snap on the roller ball attachment, screw on lid and shake well. The ball will be self cleaning with the addition of the alcohol and will apply more easily having been thinned out by the alcohol as well.
Apply to wrists and neck as you please.
Make sure you leave some offerings for the Fairy Queen, with this scent she will surely be around you!
On a weekend when I have time to really pamper my skin, I like to make a face mask. My green goddess mask is one of my favorite summer recipes. The verdant color is fun to wear and the condition of my skin afterward is undeniably fantastic. Here’s my recipe:
In a ceramic bowl mix:
one ripe avocado mashed with a fork
1 tablespoon of castor oil
1 tablespoon of Bentonite Clay
Mix well and apply to face. Leave on for 20-30 minutes and rise off well. Your face will feel soft and supple. Since Bentonite clay is made from ash, it has so many healing qualities and you will see that your face is smoother and you may even see an improvement in blemishes. It reminds me of the ash of Litha fires and the green of the season. It is wonderful after a sugar scrub treatment for a full spa experience. The fattiness of the avocado is wonderful for the skin and the castor oil helps to allow those fats to penetrate all layers of the skin while the clay works to draw out any impurities.
Here’s the run down on Bentonite clay and a link to my cosmetic clays resource article:
Color: grey / cream, if it is closer to white in color be suspicious of it
Purpose: Bentonite comes from naturally occurring volcanic ash sediments, containing high levels of minerals like silica, aluminum, iron, sodium and magnesium, assisting in mineral deficiencies, and to help bind toxins making them more soluble. Powerful healing clay. Once the clay becomes hydrated, the electrical and molecular components of it change and produce an electrical charge, swells open like a highly porous sponge.
Uses: poultice, mud pack, bath or body/face mask, or in skin care recipes
Shelf life: Under proper storage conditions clay may store indefinitely.
Warnings: ** Indigenous cultures use this clay internally for various reasons but it is recommended that it be used only externally**
A simple face toner is witch hazel with a few drops of rose oil in the bottle. You can shake it up in its original bottle and just use some on a cotton ball to remove make up or just tone your skin as gentle cleanser or after a treatment and before a moisturizer.
The last thing that I do is put a moisturizer on my face. I like simple things and for me a gentle blend of coconut oil, a little shea butter and castor oil is all I need. It seems a bit greasy when it first goes on but after 10 minutes it penetrates the skin leaving it soft and smooth. The coconut oil has natural antibacterial qualities, the shea butter helps the moisturizing qualities to last all day and the castor oil allows the mixture to penetrate all layers of the skin as well as having its own healing qualities.
So there are my secret summer beauty treatments for fantastic self-care. I hope that you try them. If you don’t like a scent of an essential oil change it out to something you do like. Experimenting is half the fun! Well what ever you try, I am sure that even one of these recipes will leave you feeling like the GODDESS that you are.
2016 copyright by Katie Pifer http://www.witchpetals.wordpress.com