Better living through nature
Camille is a licensed aesthetician and operator of Autumn Moon Aesthetics. Her holistic skin care practice incorporates natural, homemade products, herbal therapy, aromatherapy and energetic bodywork. She encourages individuals to become more connected to their body and the Earth by creating natural products themselves at home. Visit her blog at www.skincareforyoursoul.blogspot.com.
Every spring, our yard looks like a jungle. While all of our neighbors are mowing and preening their yards, ours grows with reckless abandon as we wait like kids on Christmas morning for the first weeds to grow. Well, I guess it’s more myself than my husband that awaits this gleeful time, but each year he keeps the tractor in the barn until the end of May and sits back to watch his crazy wife harvest wild backyard greens in her Sponge Bob sweatpants.
Common violet leaf is calming and soothing to sensitive skin.
Thankfully, our yard is a bounty of wild plants. We are blessed each spring with an abundance of dandelions, yellow dock, plantain, wild violet, catnip, mint, poppy, chickweed, nettle, ground ivy and more. Each year, I find a new affinity for them all and new ways to use them in skin care treatments.
Common plantain acts to soothe and reduce skin inflammation.
What many see as common weeds can be very beneficial when applied externally to skin. Plantain and violet leaves are very healing and can help to relieve irritation. Ground ivy is cooling, anti-inflammatory and has a nice tightening, astringent effect on the skin. Dandelion is a great all-around detoxifier and is also full of nutrients for healthy skin.
Ground ivy, found in many yards, has a toning effect when applied to skin.
I swear by this spring greens mask recipe for immediately glowing skin. Use whatever greens (listed below) you have readily available to you nearby.
The humble dandelion leaf contains nutrients that skin loves.
Photos by Camille Leinbach
Spring Greens Mask
• 1 small handful mixed dandelion, violet, ground ivy and/or plantain leaves
• 1/3 cup raw honey
• 6 tablespoons kaolin clay (available in your local natural foods store or online)
• 1 small chunk of a fresh aloe plant (optional)
1. Gently wash greens under cool water.
2. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processer. Blend well, adding a bit of water if needed.
3. Apply to freshly cleansed skin and leave on for 15 to 20 minutes.
4. Rinse with cool water and finish with your favorite toner and moisturizer.
After using this mask, your skin will feel toned and refreshed and you, too, will be that person snipping weeds from their backyard. Welcome to the club! (Sponge Bob sweatpants are optional.)
For safety, please be sure you have properly identified any plant prior to using it in any way. A great resource for plant identification is the USDA Plants Database.
Also, if you tend to have plant allergies or very reactive/sensitive skin, please first test this mask on a small patch of skin for 15 minutes, rinse off and then wait for 24 hours to ensure that it will not cause any adverse reactions prior to using it on a larger area.