Do you ever feel frustrated, because you really, really want to do something luxurious or spoil yourself, but can’t because of a lack of time or money? Argh!!! I remember feeling so frustrated when I started in magazines. It was hilarious, because I was surrounded by all this luxury, but I couldn’t afford any of it.
It can feel the same when starting a business or a blog, except you need to add the emotional roller-coaster factor. One day you’ve had your things shared on Apartment Therapy and everyone loves what you’re doing and the next, something flops or a narky comment comes in and a pick me up is desperately needed. But, you’re watching where the money goes and your time’s pretty limited too. Meanwhile, Betty is posting pictures of her stay at a five star retreat on Instagram…
It’s strange how we often think of luxury as being something expensive and this seems to apply to beauty products more than anything else, yet it’s not really true.
You wouldn’t be surprised if I told you a fresh asparagus spear has more nutrients and tastes better than a tinned one, but the same can be true of beauty products. The active ingredients in a lot of cosmetics can be depleted by the time we use them.
Sometimes fresh is best. Sometimes, we don’t even need to buy special ingredients. Sometimes, we can use things we were throwing out.
An invigorating coffee scrub to help bust cellulite’s arse, a papaya fruit enzyme mask to give our face a lift when we’re feeling a bit lifeless or watermelon rind hydration boost to give the skin the big drink it needs after we’ve been pushing too hard for too long. These are free or cheap as chips and work like a charm. One of my favourite home spa treats is a rose body scrub. It leaves my skin feeling silky smooth and gives me the oomph to tackle another day.
Rose Body Scrub
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, which is lucky because rose essential oil is nearly as expensive as gold. People pay for it, because of how good it is for the skin, but it’s pretty easy to get the benefits without paying the price simply by using dried rose petals.
The best petals to use are dried spray-free ones. We have a lovely lady down the road who has the most spectacular rose garden and I’ve just arranged to take the blooms when they start to wilt and I’ll gift her with some infused rose oil, later.
My favourite salt is Murray River salt. This pretty pink salt contains minerals from the ancient saltpans of inland Australia and has the added bonus of helping salinity issues. Epsom and Himalayan salts are also great, but any sea salt you have in the cupboard is fine, too.
This is a pretty zingy scrub, which is great for stimulating the body, but if you have any grazes, rashes or cuts there can be the salt-in-wound stingy thing. You can either avoid the area or swap the salt for sugar.
I like to bump up the fragrance of the scrub with some rose geranium or palma rosa essential oil or an infused rose oil. You can buy rose oil, usually a 3% dilution is reasonably priced, or you can make your own infused rose oil, but it’s hard to give an exact quantity for this in the recipe below as the potency varies a lot, so be guided by your nose when adding it to the scrub.
Rose Body Scrub Recipe
Makes about 1 cup of body scrub
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
¾ cup salt
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons dried rose petals, ground or cut up finely
30 drops rose geranium or palma rosa essential oil (or add infused rose oil, according to your preference)
0-2 tablespoons sunflower or grape seed oil, depending on the consistency you prefer
Warm up the coconut oil if you need to soften it.
Mix together all ingredients in a new or sterilised jar.
Label with date and ingredients.
Always test new products in a discrete spot in case of allergies.
Apply to damp skin in gentle circles all over the body - if possible, leave for a few minutes - thoroughly rinse off, dry and moisturise. Enjoy!
How do you like to spoil yourself?
Cybele (Bele) Masterman, a freelance interior, food and travel writer, who once upon a time trained as a beauty therapist, make up artist and aromatherapist. You can find her at Blah Blah Magazine.