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Try Autumn’s Harvest for Natural Beauty

Try Autumn’s Harvest for Natural Beauty
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BY KITT WALSH

It’s that time of year again where we in most of the country can say goodbye to our local farmer’s markets and hello to apple picking or a visit to the pumpkin farm. It is also the season to usher in dry skin and hair, so here are a few recipes to make use of the glorious fruits and vegetables available to us even as we begin to feel Old Man Winter’s chilly breath on our necks:

Apples

Apple cider vinegar:  This is good for many homemade beauty products and useful to have in your pantry for cleaning and cooking, too. Use the organic apples you buy and then leave the peels and core out to turn brown. Put them in a mason jar and cover with water, then cover the jar with cheesecloth and put in a warm, dark place. When a greyish scum forms on top, start a countdown. In one month, stain through a coffee filter and bottle.

Cider vinegar hair rinse: Once a month, rinse your hair with 1 cup cider vinegar mixed with 2 cups distilled water. It will get rid of residue from shampoo and hair products (but if you dye your hair, use it before you tint, else it may strip your new color too!)

Apple exfoliator:  Blend ½ cup each of sea salt, apple cider vinegar, and almond or corn meal with three Tbs. homemade applesauce and your favorite essential oils for fragrance. Use on your feet, elbows or knees, but dilute with some honey to use anywhere else on your body. Keeps for a month in an airtight container.

Apple & cinnamon essential oil: In a 20 ounce jar, put one and a quarter cups canola oil and one or two tsps. ground cinnamon. Add the skin of any kind of fresh apple. Cover tightlty with muslin or cheesecloth and shake twice a day for two days. Change the cheesecloth and strain the liquid. Clean out the jar. Put the oil back into the jar with another apple skin and more cinnamon until it smells like you desire. Keep it in a cool dark place for 6 months. You may use this as massage oil (perhaps for a tryst in front of the fire?) by adding a few drops to carrier oil like almond or to treat dry lips, try this:

Apple cinnamon lip balm: Melt 4 Tbs. cocoa butter in a small plastic bowl. Don’t cook it! Just melt it. Add a few drops of apple and cinnamon oil and 1 Tbs. of honey. Mix well (reheat if it starts to get hard). Add ¼ tsp. cooking oil and the contents of a  Vitamin E capsule and stir well. Pour into a small pot with a tight fitting top.

Maple Syrup

Maple syrup hair mask: For dry hair, mix 4 Tbs. maple syrup (the real dealno Mrs. Butterworth’s) with 3 Tbs. lard (Crisco will do) and 2 teaspoons of honey. Microwave for about 10 seconds or until all the ingredients melt together. Cool until you can touch it and apply to hair, combing through with a wide tooth comb. Wrap your hair in a shower cap (or plastic wrap.) Wait 20 minutes, rinse, shampoo and rinse again. You may use this every week until your hair recovers from its dryness.

Pumpkins

Pumpkin face scrub: Scrape out a pumpkin’s pulp, removing seeds and stringy parts too. Cut pumpkin into small pieces and peel. Put in a steamer over boiling water for about 50 minutes until tender, then mash. Mix 4 Tbs. mashed pumpkin with 3 Tbs. plain yogurt and 1 Tbs. of ground nuts. Apply to face and leave it for a few minutes before rubbing in circular motion to take off dead skin.

Pumpkin face mask: Mix 3 Tbs. mashed pumpkin with 1 whipped egg white and a Tbs. each plain yogurt and honey.  Apply (not near your eyes) all over face and leave on 10 minutes, then rinse.

Pumpkin pie scrub: Stand in the shower for this one. Combine one and a half cups mashed pumpkin and ½ cup brown sugar with a spoonful of cinnamon. Use a wet washcloth as a scoop and apply to your entire body making circular movements, starting with your feet, all the way up to your head (watch your eyes), then rinse.

Pumpkin body conditioner: Mix ½ cup mashed pumpkin (or pureed if you put it in a blender) and ½ cup coconut oil with a teaspoon of cinnamon. Jump in the shower and massage it into your skin. Wait 15 minutes and then rinse with warm water and patdon’t scrubdry.

Use any or all of these gifts of autumn and you’ll not only smell like a confection, your hair will shine and skin will glow like a candle.

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Kitt Walsh owns a web content company, Behind Blogs (www.behindblogs.com), is a regular contributor to CNN Money, a public speaker on Social Media, a book editor and ghostwriter, and freelances as a feature writer, editor and marketing consultant for magazines, newspapers and private clients around the world.

 

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Kitt Walsh owns a web content company, Behind Blogs (http://www.behindblogs.com), is a regular contributor to CNN Money, a public speaker on Social Media, a book editor and ghostwriter, and freelances as a feature writer, editor and marketing consultant for magazines, newspapers and private clients around the world.