Today is happy birthday to me! I’m celebrating with friends and family later this weekend, but today I treated myself to a spa right here in my Witchen Kitchen.
First, I whipped up some amazing, skin softening lotion. Remember that diaper rash balm I made and wrote about a few weeks ago? Well, I began using that on my elbows and feet not long after I made it, and I was so impressed with it that I soon started using it as an all over moisturizer after every bath.
It is miraculous in the way it softens my skin and makes it so fresh and dewy. At the risk of sounding like a gimmicky commercial, I have to say that my skin literally looks years younger and is exceptionally soft and smooth since I’ve been using it. We’ve also used it to heal bug bites and scrapes, as well as the original diaper rash. It is good for just about any minor skin irritation. I’m no longer calling it diaper rash balm. It is now Mimi’s Magic Balm.
The balm was made of infused oils of yarrow, plantain, and cottonwood buds (balm of Gilead). I soon ran out of that initial batch I had made for Jelani’s bottom, so I made fresh batches of the three oils separately, using fresh yarrow picked from a neighbor’s field, plantain from my yard, and dried cottonwood buds I had ordered from Mountain Rose Herbs.
This morning, I mixed about a 1/4 cup of each infused oil along with about 1/2 – 3/4 ounce grated beeswax, and melted them together over a double boiler, then poured into a jar to set. As the mixture cooled, it firmed up nicely into a salve/ balm.
I also wanted to try making a lighter lotion out of these three herbal oils. Here’s what I did. I put a few tablespoons of the still warm, liquid balm into a pouring cup. Into a bowl I put about an equal amount of a strong infusion of chamomile, warmed also. Then I started whisking the chamomile infusion as I slowly dripped the oil into the bowl. By the time I had dripped and whisked in all the oil, it had emulsified into a lotion.
I, of course, tried it out right away. It is amazingly light and absorbs quickly with no greasy feeling at all, yet it feels just as nourishing and softening as the heavier balm. Seems a much better consistency for every day moisturizing, though I’ll continue to use the original balm for problem areas like heels and elbows, as well as for first aid for minor skin abrasions.
Okay, lotion ready, on with the spa treatment. Next I mixed up one of the best facial masks I’ve ever used. A nice hunk of kombu seaweed, ground to a powder using a coffee grinder to yield about a tablespoon, plus a tablespoon of cosmetic clay, and enough plain yogurt mixed in to make a nice paste.
Then I drew a nice warm bath, pouring in some rose petal vinegar to soften and balance the skin, and eased down into the delicious warmth for a nice long soak. I patted the seaweed mask all over my face and neck and put a couple cucumber slices over my eyes.
Lay head back. Go to daydreamland for almost an hour. Then rinse face to reveal radiant, baby soft skin, and nearly invisible pores. Wash, dry off, and apply Magic Lotion liberally to entire birthday suit.
Ahhh… what a nice day!