lavender

Masque of the Month: Honey & Oat Soothing Masque

NOW BACK as a regular feature to

the Plant Glamour blog -

MASQUE OF THE MONTH!

MASQUE OF THE MONTH features, well, a masque - each month - that you can make yourself at home using natural, botanical and locally wildcrafted ingredients. These masques will also often be featured in seasonal facial offerings in the

Autumn Moon Skin Care Studio.

THIS MONTH'S MASQUE -

::HONEY & OAT SOOTHING MASQUE::

Soothing Colloidal Oats fuse with nourishing Raw Honey and Oils of Avocado & Rosehip Seed, all delicately scented with Essential Oils of calming Chamomile & Lavender. This mask is wonderful for dry and sensitive skin needing moisture and nourishment.

::HONEY & OAT SOOTHING MASQUE:

1T RAW HONEY

1T SHEA OR MANGO BUTTER

1 TO 2t COLLOIDAL OATS (you can also substitute with ground oats)

1T AVOCADO OIL

1t ROSEHIP SEED OIL

1 DROP CHAMOMILE ESSENTIAL OIL

4 DROPS LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL

Blend all ingredients with a whisk by hand. Depending on the texture of your shea/mango butter, you may need to slightly warm the ingredients to allow them to blend together properly. For a thinner masque, add more avocado oil. 

Apply masque to freshly cleansed skin and leave on for 15-20 minutes. Gently remove with a warm, damp cloth and rinse with warm water. Follow with your favorite toner, serum and moisturizer. Use masque within one week.

Timeless Beauty: The Yardley English Bath Ritual

This beauty ritual comes from Beauty Secrets from Bond Street, published in 1937 by Yardley & Co. - the classic English toiletry company. Yardley of London is one of the oldest cosmetics and toiletry companies in the world, founded in 1770. Their signature scent - English Lavender - was launched in 1873. The lavender grown for Yardley products - Lavendula angustafolia - is grown in special gardens in the south of England.

Beauty begins with a tablet of Yardley English Lavender Soap – at the edge of your bath. So important is this daily rite, that Yardley of London, with the whole tradition of English bath luxury to draw upon, has provided the luxuries to make it a veritable beauty ritual. Start your bath with either Lavendomeal or Lavender Bath Crystals. If you choos Lavendomeal, you will find it a new delight. Lavendomeal is a compound of beneficial cereals, crushed lavender flowers and special water softening ingredients. Into your warm, deep bath, you throw a generous handful…and soak in it for about ten minutes, relaxed and sybaritic. It will soften the water to a silken texture, but better still, the action of the cereals will soften and whiten your skin and impart to it a gentle lasting fragrance. Slathers of creamy lather from Yardley’s English Lavender Soap, rinse, then pat yourself dry, mist with dusting powder, slip into a warm robe, lie down for about twenty minutes before you dress for dinner…and see how many years younger, lighter and fairer you look and feel. - Beauty Secrets from Bond Street, 1937

Sadly, Lavendomeal is no longer manufactured, but Yardley English Lavender Luxury Soap is still available, although the original lavender fragrance has been made contemporary, described now as :

A beautifully fresh, clean elegant fragrance combining bergamot and clary sage with a heart combining English Lavender, eucalyptus, geranium, jasmine, chamomile and violet, enhanced with deeper, warm notes of wood, vanilla and patchouli.

Luxury baths are truly a timeless ritual. Why not take one now "and see how many years younger, lighter and fairer you look and feel!" ;)

Lavender Infused Witch Hazel

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THIS LAVENDER/WITCH HAZEL INFUSION IS LOVELY TO HAVE ON HAND AS AN ELEMENTAL SKIN CARE PREPARATION. USE IT "AS IS" OR AS AN ADDITION TO OTHER SKIN CARE PRODUCTS.

Witch hazel, which can be found readily in your local store or purchased in specialty varieties (organic, etc.) online, works great for infusions of dried plants. It seems to take on a true quality of various plants in a short amount of time and has a variety of uses.

You can use this lavender/witch hazel infusion for:

  • Toning facial skin - witch hazel is a wonderful astringent that is perfect for combination to oily skin types.
  • Cleaning minor scrapes - the witch hazel helps to constrict capillaries and encourage swifter healing, while the lavender helps fight infections.
  • Aftershave- witch hazel and lavender both have anti-inflammatory properties good for razor burn.
  • A soothing sunburn spray - place in a spray bottle and keep it in the refrigerator for cooling relief.
  • Itch relief - dab on bug bites or other itchy areas to soothe.
  • A "mixer" - use a splash with a facial cleanser or mask to customize your products.

Some other materials that lend themselves beautifully to a witch hazel infusion are any type of mint, elderflower, lemon balm, roses, orange and lemon peel, vanilla bean or even spices like cinnamon. Get creative and let me know what you infuse!

  1. Fill a glass jar to the top with dried lavender buds.
  2. Pour the witch hazel over the buds until it completely covers them. Place a lid on the jar, label it with the preparation date and contents and place it in a cool, dark place for two weeks (or more), shaking the jar daily.
  3. Strain the infusion through a funnel lined with cheesecloth into a clean glass jar. This is the easiest way I have found for straining just about any plant preparation, after much trial and error (not to mention lost infusions on my countertop!). You can cut the infusion with a bit of distilled water, at this time, to vary the potency of the brew, should you wish.
  4. Place a lid on the jar and label with the date (I usually use the original date it was prepared). You can also store it in a pretty bottle with a cork, just because it is fancier :) This does not have to be stored in the fridge, but it will keep it fresher, longer, if you do and will have additional cooling effects. Just remember to throw it out if it starts to smell funky or grow anything weird.