I love cooking in my kitchen and enjoy whipping up some natural beauties for my face there, too. Since I was a little girl, I had my own spa offering mud pies as facial treatments, rain water as skin toner and plants for aromatherapy. My girlfriends loved it. My mantra is not all beauty needs to come from a store-bought jar. Making your own potions can be good for you, it’s relaxing, saves you money and is fun to do.

Natural products have many beautiful beauty benefits and make you feel good too! Beauty is all around us. Farmers market stands around town, your kitchen pantry and even your backyard garden have hidden treasures just waiting for you to discover and explore! Wanna do your face and body a favor and on the cheap? Treat yourself to a few D.I.Y. recipes naturally from head to toe and you don’t have to spend a fortune!

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Face

A pot of water and fresh mint or rosemary from your garden or the grocery store are a great treat for two reasons. They are an aromatic steam bath similar to what spas do for your skin, only this one is cheap! Boil a pot of water, add a sprig of fresh herb, shut off the burner and let the steam rise towards your clean face. Place a kitchen towel over your head only allowing your face to peek through without getting too close to the pot of water. Let the minty steam bath make your pores sweat and pull out toxins. Your face and nasal passages will love it too. Do this for three minutes, then rinse and towel dry your skin.

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Exfoliate

Say bye bye to dry skin and clogged pores and use a soup spoon full of cornmeal from your pantry and a quarter cup of water. Mix the two for a liquid but grainy treatment. Next, scoop up the mixture with your fingers and on a wet face, apply the mixture in circular motions.

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Lips

Treat your lips to a sweet lip polish to exfoliate and hydrate the dead skin. All you need is 1 tbsp of organic brown sugar, then add a teaspoon of coconut or grape seed oil. I like to either use my fingers in circular motions or use a baby’s toothbrush to gently brush and polish the skin. Add a dash of your favorite lip conditioner or grab some coconut oil and rub over your lips to condition them.

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Skin

An easy mask to try is in your kitchen. Simply apply organic or local honey to your face and neck, leave on 10 minutes and rinse well. It does wonders for the skin and is even more wonderful after a scorching day in the sun. This method is great for all skin types.

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Hair

Professional hair stylists recommend this mask for the hair, consisting of one fresh, ripe avocado mashed and one egg or just the egg whites. The avocado acts to smooth and hydrate the hair, while the eggs contain omega-3 vitamins and fatty acids. Apply to dry hair and leave on at least 15 to 20 minutes. Take that shower cap you took from your latest stay at a hotel and put your hair all in it with this mixture. Rinse well and shampoo as usual. Your hair will be shiny and healthier looking.

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Bath Time

Sometimes I use fresh rose petals in a warm bath with a quarter cup of Epsom salts. You can also use a drop or two of rose essential oil, found in the health food store beauty aisle. You can even grow your own roses or simply buy them as a treat to yourself. Roses smell amazing in the bath and add moisture to the skin. After this warm bath, dry off and with your body slightly damp, apply your favorite hand and body lotion to lock in moisture. Coconut oil from your kitchen works wonders for your skin, too.

Beauty words of wisdom: Using really hot water in a bath or shower can do the reverse to your skin and actually dry it out. Don’t do it!

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Nails & Cuticles

Simply grab a bowl fill it with warm, cold-pressed olive oil and apply with a small pastry brush to each finger and on the nail itself. Rub on the skin and massage gently. Your nails will appear less dehydrated and the cuticles will look better. if you have one, push back your cuticles gently with an orange wood stick found in the nail section of the drug store. This treatment can also be used on your toes too. Your old mani and pedi will be fresher, and your hands and feet will look and feel both soft and amazing. Walking on the beach is the best way to keep calluses away. The sand makes an amazing foot facial. I like to take wet sand and rub it into the heal and all around the feet for an exfoliating treat.

Take the time and give your body the nourishing and pampering it needs. You can make your body and skin happy without spending at an expensive day spa. Oh, and listen up guys, these treats are not just for the ladies. You want to look good too … don’t you? Obviously if you are allergic to any of the above ingredients. Do not use them. Substitute something else and enjoy the benefits.

By Noreen Young | Contributor