Putting Your Foot Down and Looking Good While Doing It!

Although your feet are often protected with socks and shoes, they still take take a lot of abuse. They often carry excess weight, pound pavement, walk on uneven surfaces, are shoved into high heels or ill-fitting shoes, and sweat throughout long work days, not to mention play days and nights. While your feet may not age as quickly as the hands do, they take nearly as much abuse, and are often forgotten about when providing daily skin care and maintenance.

Here are some TIPS for FOOT CARE;

*I know that it seems silly to say, but don't wear shoes that are too loose or too tight. Loose shoes may cause blisters, while shoes that are too tight reduce blood circulation, effectively starving the skin of your feet .

*Buying shoes in the middle of the day will help to ensure the proper fit, as feet tend to swell as the day goes on.

*Wear cotton socks to enable breathing of the skin, instead of nylon which traps heat and moisture.

*I know that I put this under all skin part tips, drink plenty of fluids to maintain proper hydration

*Don't forget your feet! Each time you put lotion on your hands, also put it on your feet. Whenever you perform a hand treatment, treat your feet too.

*Soak your feet in a warm water bath for 20 minutes before exfoliating.

*Encourage circulation and stimulation by adding 3 drops of peppermint essential oil to the soaking bath.

*Exfoliate your feet, just as you do your other skin.

*As with your other skin, moisturize after exfoliation.



The easiest, and probably the most enjoyable exfoliator, is a natural method. Take a long walk on a beach! While a great relaxation method for the mind, walking in sand provides a natural exfoliation method for the skin of the foot, while the friction caused by walking creates a great foot massage.


Mix 1/2 cup of dry cornmeal with 2 Tbs. of avocado oil. Spread this mixture all over the feet, then rub it in, in small circular movements, with a pumice stone. Make sure to rub over the heels and any callused areas. When finished, rinse with warm water and pat dry. This recipe exfoliates and smooths rough, dry skin.


Mix 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 2 Tbs. apricot kernal oil, and the juice from 1/2 of a lemon. Once mixed, immediately rub over feet and hands. Rinse off with warm water, pat dry and then moisturize. This recipe is not as abrasive as some of the others, but it offers stimulation of the skin, while also providing it with a natural lubricant, moisturizer, and rejuvenator.

NAIL-HARDENING SCRUB (for hands and feet)-

Take 1/2 cup of shelled walnuts and grind into a course powder. Add 1 Tbs. olive oil, 1 TBS. caster oil, and 1 tsp. honey. Stir until you make a thick paste. Take the paste and vigorously rub into the skin. Once finished, rinse with warm water, pat dry and moisturize. Repeat this treatment twice weekly for optimal benefits.

Castor oil is particularly beneficial for hair, nails, and lips. When combined with olive oil, it enhances the nails' flexibility and makes them less prone to chipping and breakage.
Honey is a natural antiseptic and bacteria inhibitor.
Ground walnuts act as an exfoliator. They provide enough friction to remove surface (dead) skin cells, while replenishing the skin's moisture.


Mix 1/2 cup of green (powdered) clay with 1/2 cup of distilled water. Stir it into a thick paste, then coat the feet with it, then allow to dry. Once dry, rinse off with warm, soapy water, pat dry and moisturize. The clay will pull impurities from the skin and exfoliate while restoring minerals directly into the skin. Clay also serves to conduct heat, which in turn, serves to sooth tired, achy muscles and feet. Not to mention, green clay is is rich in magnesium and silica, is highly absorbant, and is a good deodorizer.


Steep 2 cups of fresh herbs (or 1 cup of dried) in two gallons of boiling water for 20 minutes. Then pour through a strainer, throwing out the solids and pouring the liquid into a basin large enough to accomodate your feet. Allow the water to cool enough to put your feet in without burning them. Soak for about 20 minutes, then pat dry. Then don't forget to moisturize.

Different herbs are good for different things. You can use one or more of the following herbs to create a great foot soak. Try; comfrey, elderberry, lavender, pine, rosemary, sage or horsetail.
If you want to use another, be sure to look at the medicinal uses for herbs in order to help you choose an appropriate one. Also check to make sure that the chosen herb is appropriate for use with any medical condition you may have. Speak to your physician or pharmacist prior to use if you have any conditions or take any medications.


Add 1/4 cup distilled water, 1/4 cup witch hazel, 3 drops lemon fragrance oil, 3 drops grapefruit fragrance oil, 2 drops wintergreen essential oil, and 2 drops peppermint essential oil. Stir well, then place in a spray bottle and store in the refrigerator. Remember to shake well before using. This mixture deodorizer as it works against bacteria. It helps to cool down and refresh hot, sweaty feet (it also works well when spraryed on sore leg muscles). This is an excellent spray for athletes, especially runners. This spray will remain fresh for approx. 3 weeks when refrigerated, less if kept on the counter.

*REMEMBER; when using new ingredients, especially essential oils, try on a small area of skin first to test for potential reaction. If redness or swelling occur, discontinue use. I do not suggest or represent any information as anything but educational. The information may be inaccurate or incomplete. It is NOT meant to prescribe or diagnose and should not replace medical advice or attention. If you have any questions seek a physicians help and guidance.

Nailing Nail Care

When caring for your hands, don't forget the nails! Here are some tips that you will need to nail down to maintain good nail care!

*First and foremost, your nails are NOT tools, so don't use them to pry open lids or other such things.

*Don't use nail polish and polish remover all the time. Some polish has
acetone that dries the nails, and most remover has it as well. This ingredient causes the nail bed to dry out and split.

*Don't use a sharp object to "clean" your nails. This too is harsh and can split the nail bed. Don't bite your nails or cut your cuticles.

*Don't over "buff". A
pplying too much pressure when buffing makes the nail bed thin and prone to breakage.

*Of course, you'll want to keep your nails out of harsh detergents , drying soaps, and too much water, just as you keep your hands away from these irritants.

*Basically, you need to treat your nails just as well as you treat your hands and other skin! Massage and moisturize your nails and cuticles as often as possible.

*Give yourself a manicure every week. Soak your cuticles in warm water to soften and gently push them back when needed.

*Trim dead (and only dead) excess skin with sharp manicure scissors as needed.

*As with all the body's skin, it is important to keep it nourished from the inside and the out. Maintain your hydration level, and eat and supplement adequately.



Simply scrub them gently with white vinegar. Or,
Mix 1 Tbs. hydrogen peroxide in 1 cup of warm water and soak your nails in this solution for 15 minutes. Once finished, rinse and pat dry. Whichever you choose, do this two times a week to obtain the desired effect.


In a small bowl, mix together 2 Tbs each of almond oil, jojoba oil, olive oil and honey. Also add in the liquid from 4-5 vitamin E capsules. Set this aside while you soak your nails in warm water for ten minutes, then pat dry. Then massage the oil mixture into the nails of your hands, and don't forget the toenails! Really concentrate on the cuticles. Use this mixture after you shower or wash your hands too. You will have enough oil mixture for at least four treatments. This recipe locks in moisture, while it strengthens and conditions.


Heat 5 Tbs. of cocoa butter until it is just melted, then stir in 1 tsp. of wheat germ oil, 3 Tbs. avocado oil, and 3 drops of rosemary essential oil. Stir this mixture for about five minutes, until the mixture is cooled, then massage into the cuticles (also great for calloused areas) of the hands and feet. This formula is made of extra rich conditioning oils and will be a great moisturizer. This mixture will remain good for 2-3 months, so feel free to make extra!


In a small saucepan, heat 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil. Allow the olive oil to cool down until it is just warm to touch, then add in the liquid from 2-3 capsules of vitamin E. Stir well, then massage the mixture into the nails, concentrating especially on the cuticles. Massage the excess oil into your hands for a moisturizing treat! This treatment nourishes, while strengthening and affording flexibility of the nails.


The skin is the body's first line of defense. It keeps out many would be attackers, just as it protects delicate organs. Breaks in the skin, the largest body system, put the entire body and all of its systems at risk. A simple cut in the skin can result in body wide infection, potentially leading to death. Therefore the proper care and the maintenance of its health is of great importance, yet we often forget to provide that care in a meaningful way or on a regular basis. Now that you've faced your face care needs and managed the five steps that will help you maintain your lovely face, it's time to move on to your hands. The hands are often the first skin part to express the signs of everyday wear and tear. They take a beating daily as they are exposed to heat, cold, sun, wind, harsh detergents, soaps, and water, so it should not come as a surprise that they tend to exhibit signs of aging faster than any other skin on the body. *CARE TIPS* First and foremost, it is very important to replenish the skin's surface with moisture and nutrients, from both the inside and the outside. Dehydration depletes the skin's elasticity and compromises its integrity, not to mention the effects on other bodily systems. It is important to drink plenty of water (limit caffeine intake, as it is a diuretic) and use a moisturizing lotion, oil or cream daily, at minimum. When your skin is chapped, irritated, or suffering from over-exposure it may be necessary to apply a moisturizing treatment multiple times in a day. Beside frequently moisturizing, be sure to cover exposed skin, including the hands, with an adequate sun screen when venturing outs of doors. UV rays damage and burn skin, not to mention the fact that they are a leading cause of premature aging and skin cancer. A sunscreen with a spf of 20 or more is a simple, yet effective way to protect your skin and your life! Use protective gear as much as possible. In other words, use gloves in the cold, gloves when using cleaning solvents, gloves when submersing your hands in water, and gloves when peeling citrus fruits. To avoid the potential rash, use gloves with natural fiber lining rather than those with synthetic liners. Because we use our hands so much during the course of the day, night time is the best time for hand treatments. Applying a moisturizing lotion or cream on your hands, then immediately covering them with gloves, either before going into the cold, or before cotton gloves for best results. You may also apply a rich moisturizer to your hands, then cover with plastic wrap for 30 min. for a deep treatment. Make sure to clean your rings frequently. Using a solution of white vinegar with distilled water will not only work well , but will keep you from exposing your skin to harsh chemicals. Use a hand mask one time a week. Massage hands once a day. Use your fingers, a commercial massager or an avocado pit. Make sure you exfoliate, cleanse and moisturize.
*Recipes for you to make at home*________________________________
1/2 cup lemon juice (fresh is best) 1/2 cup granulated sugar 2 Tbs. apricot kernal oil Combine all of the ingredients and immediately rub the mixture on the hands. Be sure not to press too hard. Instead, rub in a gentle, circular motion. Rinse with warm water and pat dry. The apricot kernal oil serves as a natural lubricant, moisturizer and skin rejuvenator, while the sugar is abrasive and cleanses the skin as it stimulates.
This mild wash works well for irritated skin, as cucumber juice is a mild astringent and relieves puffiness and helps to heal abrasions. 1 small cucumber, peeled 1 Tbs. witch hazel After you peel the cucumber, put in the blender and blend until it is liquefied. Add the witch hazel to the the cucumber juice, then wash your hands in the liquid and pat dry, the moisturize.
*LAVENDER HAND WASH* also can be used as a foot wash
Works great to relieve reddened and inflammed hands and feet. 1/2 cup dried lavender flower buds 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh sage 2 cups water 8 drops lavender essential oil Place the lavender and sage in a saucepan and cover with the water. Simmer, covered, on a low heat for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and strain the mixture through a cheesecloth . Save the liquid and throw out the solids. Allow the liquid to cool. After the mixture is cool, add teh lavender essential oil., then put on the hands and feet with a wash cloth. Repeat as neccessary.
This recipe will deep cleanse, exfoliiate, and moisturize the hands. 1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted (remember to keep the pit for a massage tool) 3/4 cup oatmeal (old fashioned kind not instant) 1/4 cup almond oil 1/4 cup olive oil 1/4 cup water (or less) Place the avocado, oatmeal, almond , and olive oil in the blender, blending until smooth. Put the blender on low and, while it's still running, remove the lid and add the water slowly, until the mixture becomes a thick pudding consistancy. You may not need all of the water. Once you have the thick pudding consistancy, rub over, and massage into your hands in circular motions. Rinse off with tepid water and pat dry. Using this formula twice a week will help to maintain optimal results.
This recipe works well for irritated hands, especially those with paper cuts or ones that are itchy. 1 cup fresh chickweed, crushed 1 cup grapeseed oil 30 drops lavender essential oil
Place the crushed chikweed in a glass jar and cover with the grapeseed oil. Store this in a dark place for three weeks, occasionally rolling jar around in your hands, then returning to the dark place (see May post on how to make your own essential oils). After the three weeks, strain oil and throw out the chickweed pieces. Add the lavender essential oil and stir. Then apply to affected areas with a cotton ball as needed.
This is especially good for dry, sensitive, inflamed, and prematurely aged skin. 6 dried apricots 2 cups distilled water 1 ounce grated beeswax 1 cup apricot kernal oil 1/2 cup coconut oil 1/2 cup aloe vera gel 6 vitamin E capsules Put the dried apricots in a saucepan and cover with the water.Bring to a boil over a medium heat, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool. In a heavy saucepan, over low heat, melt the beeswax and coconut oil. Add the apricot oil. Make sure to stir constantly, cooking for 10 minutes.When finished, set aside. Take the now cooled apricot water and pour it into the blender and blend until smooth. Then strain through a piece of cheesecloth, throwing away the solids and putting the liquid back into the blender. Take the vitamin E capsuls and break them open. Add this liquid and the aloe vera to the liquid in the blender. Blend at low speed. While the blender is still running, slowly drizzle the beeswax misture previously set aside, into the blender, continuing to blend until the mixture is the consistancy of frosting. You may not need all of the beeswax mixture. When the mixture is the correct consistancy, pour it into a jar (you may need more than one, depending upon size) and store in a cool spot. The mixture will thicken as it cools. Apply it to your hands each and every time after you wash them.

Face Off and Put This On.....

Now you are the final step of a perfect face care regimen. You've cleansed, steamed, masked or peeled, and toned, so now it is time for the final step of moisturizing. Moisturizing is important in order to replenish the skin with fluid, and to finely coat it with a protective film barrier. *ROSE MOISTURIZER* Rosewater is the byproduct of rose essential oil. It takes 5,000 pounds of rose petals, as many as 100 million, to produce one pound of rose oil. The rose, its steam distilled oil, and the byproduct rose water, have many therapeutic properties. They are used in treating respiratory coughs to ulcers. In beauty treatments rose oil is effective for treating wrinkles, puffiness and dry skin. Rosewater has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and toning properties. Combined with the aloe gel, this lotion will leave skin moist and supple. 1/2 cup virgin olive oil 2 Tbs. aloe vera gel 3 Tbs. lanolin 4 Tbs. beeswax, grated 4 Tbs. rosewater (see previous posts for recipe) Blend the olive oil and the aloe vera gel together in a small bowl and set aside. Melt the beeswax and the lanolin together, over low heat, in a small saucepan, stirring constantly. When melted remove from heat. Gradually pour in the olive oil lanolin blend, while continuing to stir. Then pour this mixture and the rosewater into a blender and blend until very smooth. Once blended, pour into a glass or plastic jar and place into the refrigerator. This blend will solidify as it cools. After it sets it is ready for use. *SENSITIVE SKIN COLD CREAM* This recipe has cucumber juice which is excellent for cleansing sensitive skin. It is a mild astringent and is very soothing. The lanolin absorbs water and holds holds it next to the skin. 2 small cucumbers peeled and halved 1 cup lanolin 1/4 cup almond oil 1/2 cup boiling water Using a blender thoroughly liquefy the cucumber halves, then slowly add the boiling water to the cucumber liquid. When added, set aside to cool. In a saucepan melt the lanolin over low heat. After it is melted, remove from heat and, while stirring continuously, add the almond oil to it gradually. Now strain the cucumber pulp through a piece of cheesecloth or a strainer (you can also use a coffee filter if you don't have cheesecloth). Throw away the pulp and preserve the juice. Gradually add the cucumber juice to the lanolin and oil mixture, all the while stirring. When completely mixed, put into a jar (can be glass or plastic) and store in the refrigerator. *DRY SKIN NIGHT CREAM* This skin cream contains ingredients with properties to rebuild and regenerate cell tissue, while killing bacteria on the skin surface. They also offer some sun-screen properties, and will help seal in the skin's moisture, leaving the face feeling incredibly smooth. 1 egg 1/4 cup sesame oil 1/4 cup sunflower oil 1 Tbs. liquid lecithin 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice 1/2 cup coconut oil Crack the egg and drop the white and yolk into a blender. Add the sesame oil and blend. While the blender is still running, slowly add the sunflower oil, lecithin and lemon juice. Add in the coconut oil gradually, until the mixture is thick. Refrigerate the mixture fro one hour, then blend again, on low speed. You may now apply the cream to your face and neck. Store the remainder in a jar, plastic or glass, in the refrigerator. Because of the egg, this cream will only be good for approx. 2 weeks. *EYELASH CONDITIONER* If you frequently wear mascara, your eyelashes will get dried out. The tiny hairs of your eyelashes look best when they are not brittle and broken. Natural oils can be used to lubricate and condition your eyelashes. Just take a 50/50 blend of apricot kernel oil and sweet oil (sweet oil is extra, extra virgin olive oil. Ask your pharmacist for some). After mixing the two oils, lightly coat your eyelashes with it, using a clean eye wand. Leave it on overnight. In the morning, wash it off before applying your mascara.

Time To Tone It Down

SO you've cleansed, steamed, masked or peeled your face. Now it's time to tone it. Toning tightens the skin and prepares the face and neck for the final step of moisturizing.

*Rosewater Astringent*

Remember the rose steam that you did earlier? I told you that you could easily make the rose water from it and, if you did, here is where you use it! If not, the following recipe is how to make it from scratch.

Take 1 cup of fresh rose petals and place into a bowl (make sure to use petals that are completely chemical free. Many roses are chemically treated to enhance color and prolong their longevity). Bring 1 cup of distilled water to a boil, then pour over the roses. Allow to steep for 30 minutes. Strain the petals from the liquid and pour the liquid into a glass bottle. Cover and store bottle in the refrigerator.
Rosewater is a natural astringent. Apply it with cotton balls to the face and neck areas, avoiding the eyes and mouth.

*Aging Skin Tea Tonic*

This is a simple tonic that cleanses as it sooths, and tones. It is highly recommended for aging and tired skin.

Take 2 tsp. of powdered green tea and steep it in 1/2 cup of boiling water for 10 minutes, then allow it to cool. Once cooled, apply to the face and neck with a cotton ball or gauze. Use daily for best results.

*Normal to Slightly Oily Toner*

This toner removes residue, closes pores and restores balance to the skin. It is a lemon-mint toner.

Place a peppermint tea bag into 1 cup of boiling water and allow to steep for 15 minutes. After steeped, throw out the bag and allow the liquid to cool. Once cooled, add 1/4 cup of witch hazel and 1 Tbs. of lemon juice to the liquid. Store, covered, in a glass container in the refrigerator. Apply daily to the face and neck after following the other cleansing routines previously discussed.

*Mild Astringent Toner*

The acidity in the cranberries works as a mild astringent and toner in this recipe. Savory helps to cleanse the skin of excess oils and possesses antiseptic properties.

Place 1 Tbs. of dried, crushed savory leaves into a bowl and cover with 1/2 cup of boiling water. Allow to steep for 15 minutes, then strain and set liquid aside. Take 1/2 cup of cranberries and place into a blender and puree. Strain the pulp out of the liquid, throw out the pulp, and place the liquid with the savory liquid you previously set aside. Soak cotton pads or a facecloth in the liquid and lay on face, avoiding the eyes, leaving for 15 minutes. When time is up, remove pads or wash cloth and rinse face with warm water. Pat dry.

*Problem Skin Toner*

This toner is good for oily skin and skin with some acne. The ingredients are natural antibacterials and they will perk up and dry up the extra oil.

Mix 1/2 cup of witch hazel, 6 drops of tea-tree extract, 3 drops of rosemary essential oil, and 6 drops of oregano extract or oregano oil. Store in a glass container, covered, in the refrigerator. Shake well before using. Rub over face with a cotton ball after following the other skin care steps previously outlined.

*Dry Skin Toner*

Dry skin really just needs to be clarified at this point. You do not want to over dry it. This recipe is a very gentle toner. The chamomile sooths as it tones and the peppermint is a mild toner.
Mix 6 drops of chamomile essential oil, 6 drops of peppermint essential oil., 1/4 cup distilled water, and 1/4 cup of witch hazel. Store in a glass container, covered, in the refrigerator. Remember to shake well before using, and to follow the proper skin care routine.

*Normal skin Toner*

This is a balanced toner that is strong enough to remove all traces of cleanser, yet is not harsh and will not over-dry your skin.
Mix 1/4 cup distilled water, 1/2 cup gin, 6 drops of rose essential oil and 6 drops of lavender essential oil. Store in a glass bottle, in the refrigerator. Shake well before use.

All these toners should last 3-6 months in the refrigerator.

References: The Good Earth, by Casey Kellar, The Ultimate Spa Book, by Pam Sarnoff, Recipes for Natural Beauty, by Katie Spiers and Natures Beauty Kit, Deb Carpenter

More Mask Recipes

In preparing for the next segment of facial care, I came across a couple of other mask recipes that sounded good, so here ya go!

*Soy Mask*

1/4 Cup soy powder
1/4 Cup unflavored yogurt
1-2 drops peppermint essential oil

Mix the soy powder and yogurt until you have a nice paste, then add the essential oil. Pat onto your face and allow to sit for 30 minutes. Rinse off with warm water and pat dry.

This is a good mask for any skin type, but is especially good for dry skin, as will not over-dry, even as the peppermint clarifies the skin. There is no shelf life to this, use it as soon as it is made.

*Pore Reducing Mask*

1/8 Cup French Clay (you can get this at most health food stores)
1 medium, peeled & mashed, cucumber
1 tsp. sweet almond oil
enough water to make a paste

In a small glass bowl, mix clay, cucumber and oil. Add water until you make a very moist, soft clay, mask. Put on your face and let dry. This usually takes 10-15 minutes. As the moisture evaporates, leaving the mask, it creates a pulling action. This presses out black and whiteheads from the skin and tightens the pores. Once it is dry, wash off with warm water and pat skin dry.
Your skin will be tight and glowing!

*You can alter the amount of oil in this recipe to suit your skin needs. If you want a more conditioning mask, if you have very dry skin, add more sweet almond oil.
If you skin is very oily, add less sweet almond oil.