Tag Archives: steam

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 first autumnal cold/sniffle/illness…

It would appear that my dear hubby has fallen foul of the first bug of the autumn/winter illness season.


He usually has a cold or some kind of congestion from now until March and then hayfever kicks in, the poor guy, but this year I wanted to be prepared and have some ideas up my sleeve to hopefully make him feel better.  Sure, he can keep using the Lemsips and the over the counter pharmacy preparations, and on some occasions, he will probably have to to keep his tubes clear and operational, but if we can give him a head start with some natural alternatives, then so much the better.

Obviously, chicken soup is FABULOUS when you are feeling grotty.  I have some stocks of some pre-made stuff, and if he is determined to go to work and battle through, then he shall go with some of them.

tomato tea

I did find, in my research on line that I could also make him something they called tomato and garlic tea.  I am not sure I could persuade him to drink it (because he is not wild about tomatoes generally… but I wonder if I could work the ingredients into something he would imbibe without complaint?  The ingredients are tomatoes, garlic, lemon juice and hot sauce.  You put them in a pan, heat them up and drink down.  Sounds great.  I swear my bronchioles are opening just THINKING about that.

It is also a good idea to do a steam inhalation… you know the old stick a towel over a bowl of boiling water, put your head under the towel, breathe in, cough up a lung, repeat until you can breath without coughing.  It really works (plus it does marvellous things for your complexion) and is extra specially effective if you put some herbs or essential oils in there as well.  I am thinking Rosemary, Eucalyptus or Tea Tree Oil would be great.  We have also used a teaspoon of Vicks Vaporub in the water as well… but that really is the heavy artillery!

steam inhalation

And the final idea to help him is something that we do every night anyway.  And that is have a big old steaming mug of tea.  The steam helps the lungs, but good old black tea is chock full of antioxidants.  That will help him feel better as well.

I trust that you have not yet succumbed to a cold!  I can feel that tell tale tickle at the back of my nose… so I am going to indulge in a steam inhalation I think.  Kill it before it takes hold!