3 DIY Recipes to Help You Unwind This Holiday Season

December can be a mad rush of holiday obligations, gift buying, gift making, decorating, crafting, visiting family, baking, cooking, chasing children, entertaining children…. Phew! As January approaches, this is a great opportunity to take a few minutes to rest and unwind. And what better way to do that, than to treat yourself to a few super simple, inexpensive DIY treats?

 These 3 simple DIY recipes will help you take a few minutes to pamper yourself, without breaking the bank, and with little skill required on your part.

 1. Exfoliating Sea Salt Hand Scrub

 This hand scrub is super simple to make, and it’s a delicious treat for hard working hands.  Sea salt is simply evaporated seawater (which means it’s not processed and doesn’t contain any additives). It is also a great exfoliator. If you have particularly sensitive skin, you can swap out sea salt for brown sugar in this recipe.  Coconut oil is an amazing moisturizer, and it has natural hydrating and anti-inflammatory properties (1).  It also absorbs quickly into your skin, so it won’t leave your hands greasy.

 Recipe

  • 1 cup coarse sea salt (or brown sugar)
  • 1/2 cup liquid coconut oil
  • 5 to 7 drops of essential oil (grapefruit – a natural anti-inflammatory and anti-stress agent (2) – or rosemary – a natural antioxidant and antimicrobial (3) – are 2 great options to use in this recipe, or experiment with your favourite scent)

Instructions

  • Mix sea salt (or brown sugar), coconut oil, and essential oil together in a reusable glass jar (a small mason jar works great).
  • Use scrub sparingly (once or twice a week) by spooning a small amount into your hands, gently rubbing it in, and rinsing it off with warm water. 

2. Exfoliating Lip Scrub

If your lips get dry and cracked, then a simple lip balm isn’t enough to make them soft and gorgeous again. An exfoliating lip scrub gets rid of all the dead skin and helps keep your lips smooth and beautiful (and comfortable! I hate the feeling of scratchy lips).

 Recipe

  • 1 part honey (or vegetable glycerine to make it vegan)
  • 1 part brown sugar
  • 1 part olive, jojoba, almond, or coconut oil
  • A few drops of essential oil (optional)

 Instructions

  • Mix all your ingredients together in a small, sealable container (used lip balm pots work great, or pick up some small screw-top pots on Amazon).
  • Use a small amount of scrub when your lips are feeling cracked and dry. Rub gently onto your lips, and then rinse off with warm water. Follow with a lip balm.

 3. Lavender Oatmeal Bath Soak

 I don’t think there’s anything more relaxing than a lavender oatmeal bath. This recipe is super simple to make, and great for helping you unwind for a few minutes in the tub. Oatmeal is also naturally calming and moisturizing for your skin (4).  Baking soda helps to cool and reduce any itchiness. It also acts as a natural cleanser (5) so you don’t need to use any kind of additional soap. And lavender helps with relaxation (it also leaves your skin delicately scented).

Recipe

  • 4 cups plain old fashioned oats
  • 3 tablespoons dried lavender buds (look for “culinary lavender”, which hasn’t been sprayed with any chemicals – lavender essential oil will work in a pinch, but you won’t get quite the same effect as with lavender buds)
  • 1 cup baking soda

 Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor and grind until very fine and powdery.
  • Pour the powder into a reusable jar (mason jars work great for this) and store in a cool, dry place.

Add 1 cup of the oatmeal soak to a warm bath when you need to unwind and relax. Stir to distribute the soak in your tub.

 

 

 

 

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20645831
  2. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/1e08/647e7cf7ae8b61299afbd13324dfbfedc9c7.pdf
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17708648
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17373175
  5. https://sciencing.com/physical-chemical-properties-sodium-bicarbonate-6571412.html

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