Tag Archives: Lemons

A Friday facial? Yes… why not!

Unfortunately, it is not in a high end spa.  Today, I have done the glamorous task of defrosting the freezer.  It is one of the worst tasks of housework I think… next to oven cleaning.  And ironing.  Instead of whining about it and feeling miserable, I cracked on with the job, getting it done as quickly as I could.

domestic goddess

As an aside, can I totally recommend using a steam cleaner for the job?  Obviously it will work better if it can be detached from the mop bit… but luckily, mine can be.  45 minutes later, the glacier from the last ice age which had taken residence in my freezer is no more, and the freezer contents actually has some breathing room.

In addition, my face has been steamed, just like in a spa.  But, you know, with less glamour.  Sopping wet towels from the run off and kneeling on a concrete floor contorting yourself to get the icicle hanging at the back of the freezer is not really the scene I would like to have when opening my pores.  But I will take it!

spa steam

So, it got me thinking what sort of facials I could whip up at home, using natural ingredients and maybe herbs from the garden.  Off to my friend Google to see what I could find.  And of course it came up trumps!

mint 2

As it is summer (although the weather seems to have lost that memo entirely), I found several really good refreshing face masks.  The first one is made of fresh mint leaves (which are growing like crazy in my garden at the moment).  If you take a good handful of them, along with enough luke warm water for them to be blended to a paste, and then add a pinch of turmeric powder… you will have an antibiotic and refreshing face mask.  Leave it on the face, having avoided the eye area, for about 10 minutes and then wash it off with cool water.  Be careful only to use a pinch of turmeric as it is known for dying what it touches a nice shade of orange.  Just a warning there… though the antibiotic properties are more than worth it!

from bigoven.com

from bigoven.com

If you have a cucumber lying about in the fridge looking sorry for itself, you could peel it and mash up the flesh along with 1tbsp of sugar.  The flesh needs to be kept a bit chunky though as you don’t want a liquid.  Mix in the sugar well and then apply to the face and leave it for 10 minutes.  Wash it all off and pat dry and you will have brighter and refreshed skin.  It is really cooling for those hot, hot days, especially as you can make it ahead of time and keep it in the fridge.  It is also extremely good for sensitive skins.


Another really summery recipe requires strawberries and lemons.  I would be inclined to add the lemon to a cool drink of water and the strawberries straight into my mouth, but if you can bear not to eat them, mash them together into a spreadable paste.   You need about 2 tbsp of lemon juice, 1 tbsp of yogurt and 1 tbsp of honey.  Mix it all together, apply to the face and leave it to dry.  Then you can wash it off and pat it dry.  Strawberries have salicylic acid which is great for calming acne outbreaks and lemon juice tightens the skin to refresh it.

If you use any of these recipes, you will have to let me know how they turn out… I think I might whisk up some of the cucumber sugar scrub and add some mint, to see how that works out!  Watch this space!


The health benefits of Lemons

Last week I entertained some friends for a dinner party.  It was a raging success – they had THIRDS… of the STARTER!!  I love feeding an appreciative audience, and they most certainly were.   It is quite interesting when you are putting together a menu for a meal.  I found that one ingredient featured in all of the courses – Lemons.  I had to get quite a few of them for my recipes, and as I have a couple left over, I wondered to myself, what health benefits to lemons have?


It has been known for many years that Lemons are good for you.  in 1593, Admiral Sir Richard Hawkins suggested that drinking lemon juice was a useful as a means of preventing scurvy.  He was right!  Lemons are PACKED full of Vitamin C.  All that Vitamin C helps to give glowing skin, and if you apply lemon juice topically, it will kill the bacteria which causes acne spots.

As well as being an antiseptic, it is also important for restoring pH balance in the body.  It is considered important to maintain a slightly positive alkaline state in order to fight cancer and other illnesses, and lemons, despite the acidic taste, are one of the most alkaline foods.  It helps to push the body to the required 7.4 pH level.

lemon juice

Fresh Lemon juice in a large glass of water is a great liver detoxifier, cleansing the kidneys and the digestive system as well.  It can also aid the digestive system.  Lemon juice can stimulate the production of stomach acid – so be careful if you have peptic ulcers or ulcerative colitis.  Lemon water makes you feel fuller, so has been hyped as a weight loss aid, and can reduce the development of Type 2 diabetes by slowing down absorption of sugar by the body.

Lemons have pectin, and pectin has power!  It has metabolism and circulation boosting properties, and can lower cholesterol, as well as strengthening blood vessels which can help treat high blood pressure.

tarte au citron

Unfortunately I think that the Lemon juice I used in the pudding last week (the juice of 4 lemons!) was probably nullified by the sugar and cream and eggs that went to make the lemon filling of the Tarte au Citron.  It was tasty though.  Sometimes that is more important!