Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mother Culture: Pampering the Body

Is there not some need for "mother culture"? But how is the state of things to be altered? So many mothers say, "I simply have no time for myself!" "I never read a book!" Or else, "I don't think it is right to think of myself!" They not only starve their minds, but they do it deliberately, and with a sense of self-sacrifice which seems to supply ample justification. There are, moreover, unfortunately, only too many people who think that sort of thing so lovely that public opinion appears to justify it. But does public opinion justify anything? Does it justify tight-lacing--or high heels--or bearing-reins for horses? It can never justify anything which leads to the "Oh, it's only mother" tone in any young person.
from The Parents Review
Volume 3, no. 2, 1892/93, pgs. 92-95

In this article, they were mainly discussing the growing and caring of the mind. However, I think 'Mother Culture' should apply to the body as well. Too many of us give up the care of our bodies during the time our children are young. I'm trying to change some of those bad habits I've fallen into. Some things that tend to fall by the wayside are: diet, exercise, hobbies and even spirituality. I'm working on several of these right now. However, today's post is just for the skin.

Old Man Winter has done a number on my body. My hands are dry, my legs are itching and my scalp is flaking. Not a pretty picture I know. A couple of years ago I bought some ingredients for making skin care products. I did the smell test and they all seem to be viable. So today I decided to make up a couple of products and indulge my body in some overdue skin repair.

First a shampoo. I basically made a pot of tea. I boiled water and put in a couple of tea bags of sage, one of peppermint and some rosemary. After it had steeped for about 30 minutes, I took the tea bags out and added in about 2 oz of castile soap. I have a huge block of castile soap I had bought and I shaved some off for this recipe. The castile and tea get warmed up so that the castile is well melted. You let this cool and then add a couple of tablespoons of vodka and whatever essential oils you like. For this shampoo, I went with the herbal theme I already had going and added rosemary and peppermint. I haven't used this yet as it needs to sit for a couple of days.

Second a body butter. This I've never made before, but I have to do something about my itchy legs. I melted shea butter, cocoa butter, and a little beeswax in a bowl in the microwave. Added some other oils like apricot kernel oil and rosehip seed oil. Then I heated separately 1 cup of water with 1 teaspoon of borax in it for one minute in the microwave. With the hand mixer I started blending the melted oils and gradually added in the water. Wow! That's how they get the cream to turn white! Borax, who knew? LOL

I blended and blended but it was taking too long to cool and firm up. Soooooo, I started putting the mixture into my freezer for 5 minutes at a time. After each 5 minute period, I would take it out and blend it up again. Towards the end I added the essential oils I wanted which were rose, lavender and geranium. I now have a full jar of body butter! So exciting!!!

A few more items were needed before I headed to the tub: sugar-to blend with my liquid soap and do a body scrub, my face wash--will also mix with sugar for a face scrub, hair rinse-a blend of apple cider vinegar and water. These supplies were placed next to the tub.

Now for the pampering...Ahhhhhh! Once that was done, body butter on (heavenly and went on like dare I say it ? butter!) I wrapped in a big tower, applied a facial mask (this one was bought--I'm using that up first) then got dressed. I feel wonderful and I smell really good! LOL And a bonus, my legs don't itch. (sigh of relief!)

I'm not done yet! After a detour in pampering the boys a little (details tomorrow), I'm onto my feet. I realized during the brief warm up we had this week, that my feet need a little TLC. Last night I remembered to put on my Burt's Bees Foot Creme with socks. Then today I pumiced during the bath and now my pedicure is done! In honor of spring, my toenails are a pretty pink, namely Tulip Take Off. More pumicing and moisturizing must be done on my heels to get them ready for flip flop weather, but at least now I've made a start. Ever since I was a little girl, I hated the sight of cracked heels. Only vigilance will keep it from happening and I aim to pamper my feet this spring.

I shouldn't have waited so long to get this done. It makes it that much more work to slough off the old and herald in the new. Nighttime moisturizing is now on my schedule.

How about you? Have you pampered your skin lately? Get those old, scaly feet ready for spring!!!


live4evermom said...

Sounds like fun just making up all the stuff you did. I'd love to make some unscented stuff. I did pamper myself today. hehehe I shaved. yippeee!! Can't go looking like I was to our CA this weekend. *wink*

The Glasers said...

So, besides not having all of those nasty chemicals and getting the change to pick your scents, is it also more economical? Where did you find your recipes?

{ jamie } said...

Lovely! Sounds like some refreshment we could all use! ♥

keri said...

Didn't the kids want to join in on all those mixtures?!!

Richele said...

What a great back to basics regime. My sister's MIL has the most beautiful skin and told me she has only ever used olive oil as a moisturizer.

Jeanne said...

This sounds absolutely wonderful. I love the PRArticle quote as well.

Jeanne (who is not good at pampering herself, but loves the odd spa treatment...ah bliss!)