Beauty and food have a very close relationship. The majority of beauty products contain foodie ingredients, and our skin, hair and nails are directly affected by the foods we consume.
Here we share our favourite recipes for healthy skin and hair, along with some concoct-at-home beauty preparations.
This recipe comes from one of my favourite organisations, Herbal Health Waiheke, who allowed me to take part in one of their wonderful Herbal Workshops, which include collecting wild ingredients.
Anti-wrinkle Facial Serum
10ml jojoba oil
1 x Vitamin E capsule
1-2 drops each of rose geranium, petigrain, neroli and lavender
Pour the jojoba oil into a dropper bottle.
Break open the Vitamin E capsule and add it to the bottle along with the essential oils. Tailor the number of drops according to your scent preferences.
Makes 15ml; use within 6 months.
Add apricot kernel oil for dehydrated and mature skins; avocado oil for a nourishing serum; or boronia for sensitive skin.
British ethnobotanist James Wong is the guru of homemade beauty products. This recipe comes from his bestselling book and BBC programme Grow Your Own Drugs (Collins).
Lavender Bath Bomb
5-6 fresh lavender sprigs
1 tbsp citric acid powder
3 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
10 drops lavender essential oil
1 tsp plant-based oil (vegetable or almond oil)
1. Heat the oven to 180degrees centigrade. Once it has reached that temperature, turn it off and place the lavender, hanging upside down, in the oven to dry for about 2 hours. When dry, remove the flowers from the stalks and set aside.
2. For the next stage you need to make sure that the bowl you are using, and your hands, are completely dry – otherwise the bomb will start fizzing. In a glass bowl, mix the citric acid and bicarbonate of soda together. Add a few drops of lavender oil and 1 tsp dried lavender flowers, along with the vegetable or almond oil. Mix everything together with a metal spoon.
3. Place a biscuit cutter on top of a sheet of baking paper. Put the mixture into the biscuit cutter and press down with the back of the spoon. The oil now needs to evaporate so the bomb can set as a dry, hard block – leave for a minimum of 30 minutes and preferably overnight.
4. Store in tin foil to keep out moisture.
Natural beauty gurus Sarah Stacey & Josephine Fairley include lots of homemade beauty recipes in their latest book, The Ultimate Natural Beauty Bible (Kyle Books) Beautybible.com.
Strawberry Smile Brightener
1 ripe strawberry
½ teaspoon baking powder
Crush the strawberry to a pulp, and then mix with the baking powder. Paint the mixture onto teeth and allow to set for five minutes. Then use a soft toothbrush to lighten and brighten teeth. To remove the mixture, be sure to brush thoroughly with your normal toothpaste. Rinse with plenty of clear water.
RADIANCE DRINK (this one you can eat!)
This recipe is taken from the wonderful book Younger Skin in 28 Days by Karen Fischer (Exisle Publishing). Fischer says this alkalizing drink is designed to promote a healthy skin glow.
Cucumber And Mint Juice
2 medium or large cucumbers
4 celery stalks
1 knob ginger
½ bunch fresh mint
½ lemon, juiced
Soak the cucumbers, celery, ginger and mint in water with a splash of apple cider vinegar for 3-5 minutes then remove and drain.
Scrub the celery and ginger if needed. For a stronger ginger flavor, leave the skin on; for a milder taste, peel off the ginger skin. Trim approximately 1cm (1/3inch) of the stalks from the mint.
Using a juicing machine, juice the cucumber, celery, mint and ginger, ending by adding a splash of filtered water.
Remove from the machine then add the lemon juice and stir.