Monday, November 8, 2010

The Spa Salt Experience

With family being my main rock for the next ten days, I think this is ideal time to bring you another informative beauty article from the pages of my eldest daughter. It's about pampering yourself during the cold months. I think its rather appropriate on this New England morning where despite the beautiful sunset last night, the sleet is raining down. Rooftops and ground are a mushy white. I think winter is saying its first hello.

You can find an introduction to Gayle, in an earlier post I made here, and of course, all her articles can be found under Natural Beauty on the blue sidebar of the website.

The Spa Salt Experience, by Gayle Whelan

With its cold days, biting winds, central heating and long nights in front of the fireplace, the winter is an ideal time to treat your skin to a simple spa experience, without leaving your home and without a hefty price tag. Taking some time to spoil yourself with natural bath salts and essential oils invigorates your senses, calms frayed nerves, and relaxes tense muscles. There is no time like the present to put yourself first.

Begin with a spa facial made with three tablespoons of honey, 1/3 cup ground oats and 2 teaspoons of peppermint tea. Apply in circular motions and leave for a few minutes before rinsing off. Your skin will be exfoliated and will look gorgeous and feel soft. Now it's time to start running your bath. Consider the temperature of your bath or shower as this can affect energy levels. A cool shower is very energizing, while a warm bath set at a few degrees above body temperature is relaxing while maximizing absorptions of nutrients. A hot bath, however is best with a few drops of lavender oil, and helps promote sleep.

While considering what to add to your bath for the ultimate relaxation, it is best to use only natural products. Mixing essential and aromatherapy oils with bath salts can result in beautiful aromas that enrobe you while offering a host of healing and relaxing properties.

Using Dead Sea salts in your bath is also an effective way to absorb the qualities of the minerals the Dead Sea is renowned for. Research has proven that the nutrients in these salts can help alleviate many skin conditions including psoriasis. Add two or three handfuls to your bath water to relax, rejuvenate and relieve muscle tension. Salt aids buoyancy, which helps take the load off the muscles.

A couple of cups of apple cider vinegar in your bath will help restore a natural pH to skin, as well as rejuvenating and building up the body's resistance. Cider vinegar combats unfriendly bacteria and is soothing to the skin, helping to alleviate itchiness, poison ivy, and sunburn.

For the ultimate spa experience, mix your Dead Sea salts with oils to create your own mood enhancers and stress relievers. Bath salts offer wonderful relief of stress symptoms by increasing circulation and encouraging detoxification of cells. They also moisturize the skin and enhance relaxation. Bathing close to bedtime may help you get a good night's sleep, which is necessary for regeneration of the body.

Whichever way you choose to indulge in the benefits of salt soaks and rubs, use a good natural moisturizer to help retain all the good nutrients your body has just absorbed. For best results, apply within two minutes of leaving the bath. Your spa experience should leave you relaxed and content, and able to face another day.

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