Monday, November 30, 2009

Herbal Concoction: Miracle Grains Facial Cleanser

The herbs for my Queen of Hungary's Water will be done extracting this week, so I thought I would make a cleanser to use with it. I've been buying handmade facial soaps for a long time, but I wanted to try something different. Enter Rosemary Gladstar's recipe for Miracle Grains. Cleansing grains are a mild, nourishing soap replacement that is suitable for all skin types. One of the things that I love so much about it is that it's completely biodegradable: it won't hurt the environment or leach toxic chemical into the water as some commercial cleansers do.

There are many variations that can be made to this basic formula; it practically begs for creativity. I decided that for my first batch, I would only use the basic formula to get a feel for it and then play with it after I see how my skin responds to it.

2 cups white clay
1 cup finely ground oats
1/4 cup finely ground almonds
1/8 cup finely ground lavender
1/8 cup poppy seeds or finely ground blue corn (optional)
1/8 cup finely ground roses

1. Combine all the ingredients. Store the grains next to the sink in a glass container or in spice jars with shaker tops. (I prefer the glass container with a well sealing lid to keep the moisture out.)

2. To use, mix 1 to 2 teaspoons of the cleansing grains with water. Stir into a paste and gently massage on the face. Rinse off with warm water.

Here's a tip: if you're going to be making a lot of your own homemade cosmetics, invest in a coffee grinder. I bought a cheapie one at Target for $15 and that's what I used to grind up the grains and herbs in this recipe. Just keep in mind, however, that you do want to leave some grit to them which is what serves as the cleansing "grains." *Don't use your regular everyday coffee grinder for this unless you want your herbal products to smell like coffee beans and your coffee to taste like roses and lavender.*

As soon as I made it, I realized that the glass jar that I picked up at Goodwill over the weekend would be the perfect container. And the shell that I found on the beach that I knew would make a perfect scoop actually measures a teaspoon. The whole project came together so beautifully!

Needless to say, I had to try it immediately. My skin has never felt so soft! My Queen of Hungary's water isn't ready yet, so I just used some witch hazel as my toner. It truly was a miraculous result, these miracle grains! I love how my slightly troublesome skin glowed after using it. These light grains gently cleanse, distribute excess oil, remove dead cells, and improve circulation.

I haven't tried it yet, but they can also be made moist for ease of use as well as the benefits of the additional ingredients.

1. Combine the dry Miracle Grains with enough honey and rose water (or plain distilled water) to form a paste.
2. Gently massage onto the face. Rinse off with warm water.

The honey serves as a natural preservative for the grains and also adds moisture. Rose water has light astringent properties. Only mix enough moist grains for a week or two to prevent spoilage, however. If the grains do spoil, it's because the ratio of honey to distilled water was off. The distilled water should simply give the mixture a smoother consistency; you don't need much.

This blog post is a part of the December blog party on the topic of Herbal Aesthetics hosted by Aquarian Bath. I love this topic and I'm really looking forward to reading all of the entries.


Marqueta (Mar-kee-ta) G. said...

Hi there!

I came over from the blog party, and your scrub looks absolutely delicious! I can't wait to try it.



Athena's Armoury said...

I'm so glad you came to visit! Thank you. I hope you enjoy the cleanser!

mermaiden said...

the times i've used clay on face have shocked me at how amazingly soft they've left my skin. why do i not do it all the time? same reason my toe nail polish is just flakes and scratches of color, my legs are hairy and my roots are showing.
kids :D

Athena's Armoury said...

ha! That'll do it! My kid is a fur ball and asleep much of day thus leaving me to my own devices.