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. . . BODY CARE


Rose and Lavender Cleansing GrainsRose
for all skin types
by Colleen Hulett
VE, GF, SF

This recipe is great for those pressed for time. It is easy to make and creates a two-in-one cleansing and exfoliating product.

Ingredients

1 cup finely ground oats
2 cups white clay powder
1/4 cup finely ground almonds
1/8 cup finely ground rose petals*
1/8 cup finely ground lavender flowers
1 tsp finely ground kelp
Lavender pure essential oil (optional)
Rosewater (distilled)
Honey
(see ingredient properties below)

*Tip: Buy whole rose flower heads and pick off the petals by yourself as purchasing just the petals can be very expensive. If your local health food store or bulk herb shop does not keep whole flower heads in stock ask if they can special order them for you.

Directions

1. Separately grind the first five ingredients to the desired consistency.

  • oats: finely grind;
  • almonds: finely grind but leave a bit of grit;
  • rose and lavender flowers: powder as much as possible;
  • white clay and kelp come finely powdered already.

An electric coffee grinder is best but only if you do not use it to grind coffee. A blender can be used successfully but I prefer to have a separate coffee grinder for herbs because of its easy pulse system. For optimum freshness purchase herbs whole and grind as needed.

2. Mix the first six ingredients together and add three drops of the lavender oil if desired to enhance the scent and effect of the grains.

3. Store in a glass container.

To use: mix 1-2 teaspoons of the cleansing grains with enough rosewater to make a paste and gently massage the face in a circular motion towards the nose to offset gravity and stop wrinkles. Rinse off with warm water. Gently pat skin dry with soft towel (do not rub dry). Before using the grains do a skin patch test.

To make a larger batch of moist cleansing grains: add enough honey and a small amount of rosewater to some of the dried powdered mixture to make a nice paste. Mix only enough needed for a week to prevent spoilage. Store tightly and leave beside the sink. My teacher, Rosemary, stresses that honey is excellent for facials because it brings blood to the surface, removes impurities, smoothes and softens the skin. Honey is also a natural preservative for the grains and will keep them for up to two weeks; however, I feel a week's supply at a time is best since some of us do not cleanse daily (although my grains are gentle and should be used daily). Please store remaining dry grains away from moisture in a dark cupboard.

Your Skin Care Routine

After cleansing with the grains you should close the pores with your favourite astringent and then massage in a light cream. You may choose to do this routine in the morning or the night…whichever suits you best. Robin (webmaster) mentioned she would do her cleanse at night since the sedative quality of lavender will help her drift off to sleep.

Customizing

You may wish to adjust this recipe to suit your unique skin type by adding a pinch of this or that…like vitamin E oil, or cornmeal. Likewise you may not enjoy the scent of lavender oil and wish to replace it with something more refreshing such as neroli oil. Any floral water can be used to replace rosewater depending on your needs. Remember to research each change to know what its purpose is and how it works.

Changing the recipe is entirely up to you. To simplify the recipe you may omit the essential oil and kelp altogether and mix as you go with plain distilled water instead of floral water. This variation would be beneficial for those sensitive to fragrances.

Purchasing Quality Ingredients

Let a local herbalist help you decide where you can buy the best ingredients… never compromise the quality of your herbs - they should be freshly dried, have a distinct fresh smell and look vibrant and alive with the same rich colour as if they were living. I use herbs I grow myself plus those I purchase from Clef des Champs and Frontier Co-op. Use only 100% pure essential oils such as those made by Heliolab or Essentia. More importantly try to purchase organic products where possible - only the finest ingredients should be used on your face.

Good luck and please let me know how your recipe turns out! You can write me at colleen@recipenet.org with your questions or comments. If you wish to adapt this recipe for a specific skin type or use different herbs I would be happy to offer advice.

Ingredient Properties

Almonds: gentle moisturizing exfoliating for dry and sensitive skin

Honey: brings blood to the surface, removes impurities, smoothes and softens the skin.

Kelp: nourishes the skin - especially with cartenoids.

Lavender: promotes tissue regeneration; good for aging skin, as well as oily, dry, cracked, scarred and sensitive skin, a truly universal skin flower; anti-depressant, antiseptic, and nervine.

Oats: gives skin a smooth silken appearance; heals wounds and cuts, soothes irritated skin, nutritive, anti-depressant and nervine

Rose: helps control thread veins, good for cracked, scarred and sensitive skin; heals wounds; helps skin keep elasticity.

Rosewater: gentle astringent and antiseptic.

White Clay: cleanses and draws out toxins; helps the skin to rejuvenate, stimulates circulation and soothes inflammation.


Webmaster's Note:

For more information about how cleaning grains can benefit your skin please refer to Colleen's article: Natural Cleansing Grains: an important step in healthy facial skin.

If you are currently being treated for a specific skin disorder please consult with your health care provider before using the grains.

Sources:

Gladstar, Rosemary .Herbal Healing for Women, Fireside, New York, NY, 1993.
Hoffman, David. The Complete Illustrated Holistic Herbal, Element Books Ltd., Rockport, MA, 1996.
Lawless, Julia. The Complete Illustrated Guide to Aromatherapy, Element Books Ltd., Rockport, MA, 1997.

Colleen has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography and has been a practicing herbalist since 1996. She is currently studying The Science and Art of Herbology with revered herbalist Rosemary Gladstar.


" If you are just starting to make your own skin care products, this recipe is a good one to try as it is very easy to make. My only complaint is that the clay seemed to absorb the fragrances of the flowers, and after a while the mixture had no scent. Next time I make this recipe, I might store the powdered flowers separately in a glass jar. So when making the moist grains, the ratio would be 1 part flowers to 13 parts clay mixture. You can measure this in teaspoons or half teaspoons depending on how much mixture you intend to use within a one week period.

As far as efficacy goes, these grains worked quite well for me. The gentle daily exfoliation created clearer, softer looking skin. "

Robin Russell, Tester

Recipe published: Spring, 2001

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Body Care Recipes

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