Sunday, August 16, 2015

Natural Summer Skin Care Recipes

Selection of Masks and Creams with Rose Blossom
Ingredients so Pure, They're Edible

Recipes from The Recipe for Radiance

Something about summertime makes me nostalgic. I love remembering summertimes past. Reading on the porch swing, running around with friends, practicing needlework with my expert grandmother, jumping into the neighbors’ pool, going on excursions with my eccentric great aunt Sophie, the 80-year old baby of her generation. She would have loved the idea of making skin products from kitchen ingredients since she was crazy about unusual hands-on projects. We’d have made up the formulas in the morning, the only time her big sisters allowed her in the kitchen--after all they still considered her just a baby. We'd have applied them during a mini-spa afternoon, laughing about our goop-covered appendages. So with Aunt Sophie in mind, I gave a kitchen-based spa day a try.

Image shows, clockwise from center left, Cucumber Rose Cooling Mask, Baby Bottom Balm, Avocado Banana Hand, Face, and Foot Mask

Simply Avocado and Banana
These skin care recipes are from The Recipe for Radiance, written by Alexis Wolfer, a young woman from the beauty industry who sees good nutrition as the basis for external beauty. “Crystal Light is not a food group,” she says and even goes as far as recommending eating plenty of healthy oils to benefit skin and hair, even if it means gaining a few pounds—unheard of in the glamor professions!  This book has recipes for both foods to eat and external treatments, to feel better both inside and out. Read more about the book here. Although not all recipes are foolproof, here are a few of my favorites.

Happy Summer, and I hope you’ll take a bit of time for yourself this week, whether it’s a home-spa afternoon, a relaxed trip to the beach or lake, or just kicking back with a book on the porch swing.

Cucumber, Rose Petals, and Greek Yogurt
Cucumber Rose Mask Ingredients
Cucumber & Rose Cooling Mask
Perfect for hot summer days. Pat in on and take a 20-minute rest. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

½ medium cucumber
1 large rose (or 2 small) in full bloom
¼ cup thick Greek yogurt

Wash wax off cucumber if necessary (I peeled mine for smoother cream). Roughly chop cucumber.

Pluck petals from rose.

Put cucumber and rose petals into a blender. Begin by pulsing and scraping down frequently. As cucumber purees, buzz the mixture for longer, until liquefied. Remove mixture to bowl.

Beat in yogurt until well combined. Place in freezer 15 minutes before applying. Meanwhile, steam face or take warm shower to open pores.

Apply mask and let sit for 20 minutes. Rinse off with cold water. Follow with moisturizer.

Sea Salt and Olive Oil Being Blended in Bowl
Just Sea Salt and Olive Oil
Callous-Removing Scrub
If you don’t have coconut oil, use all olive oil—in equal parts with the salt. The most important part of this classic treatment is to massage it into the feet. Try this delightful ritual outdoors with friends, and rinse off with the hose to spare the plumbing. Feels sooooo good!

¼ cup coarse sea salt
2 tbsp. extra virgin cold pressed coconut oil
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Combine all ingredients in small bowl. Soak feet in warm water for 10 minutes. Vigorously scrub softened feet with mixture. Massage all areas, including between toes, with more attention to calloused areas.

Rinse salt off with warm water. Pat feet dry, leaving some residual oils on skin.

Baby Bottom Balm, Avocado Foot Mask, and Cooling Rose Cream
Creamy Baby Bottom Balm (Left Back)
Baby Bottom Balm
My favorite: very thin mask that nourishes dry skin. Apply it with a pastry or paint brush after toweling off from a bath or shower. Wait 10 minutes, then rinse it off. Store leftovers in fridge.

¼ cucumber, peeled and seeded
½ cup whole milk
1 cup plain full-fat yogurt
¼ cup raw honey

Chop cucumber into chunks. Puree with milk in immersion blender. Add yogurt and honey, and buzz till combined.

Using a pastry brush, apply thin layer of mask to all dry skin.

Let sit for 10 – 15 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.

Banana Avocado Hand, Foot, and Face Mask
Delightfully Moisturizing
Hydrating Hand & Foot Mask
Messy but effective. A good use for overripe bananas and avocados. Be careful not to slip if you stand or walk while treating your feet.

1 ripe banana
½ ripe avocado

Use an immersion blender to puree banana and avocado until smooth.

Apply thick layer of mixture to your hands or feet. Cover with plastic bags to contain any dribbles. Let sit 15 minutes. Use paper towels to remove excess. Rinse off skin with warm water.

You can use this as a hydrating facial mask also, but use only ½ banana with the ½ avocado.

Rose and Cucumber Puree
Blending Roses with Cucumber


  1. I love these!
    I've been making my own scrubs for a while, but you've inspired me to start experimenting with face masks again.

    1. I'd love to hear more about your scrubs! Any favorites?