Recipe: Rosewater and Glycerin

15/11/2009 at 11:13 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 15 Comments
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This is another solution to the issue of preserving the skin’s moisture levels, and it comes to you with love and radiant skin from my mother, Shirley. Shirley has a beautiful complexion: glowing and dewy. She looks far younger than her age.  And for much of her grown up life she has used Rosewater and Glycerin. If she swore, she would swear by it.

As a young mother sailing from England to Russia in the 1960s, she carried with her a gallon of Rosewater and Glycerin. It was enough, she calculated, to last her for the duration of her husband’s two-year posting to the British Embassy. Of course, she didn’t get through half of it, and left the rest to her cook, Nadia, who no doubt enjoyed her own radiant complexion for a long time thereafter (and perhaps a few valued friends and customers did too).

Nowadays, I blend my mother’s classic recipe for her, and here it is for you.


1/2 cup  rosewater 1 tsp vegetable glycerin


Put the ingredients in a glass bottle, shake vigorously, and let it settle. Shake before use. Use as a toner/moisturizer morning and evening.

Why it works

Glycerin is a fantastic humectant, which is why it’s valued in soaps (glycerin is actually a natural by-product of soap-making). Whereas oil locks moisture into the skin and prevents it from escaping, a humectant attracts it from the external environment, and draws it up from the internal layers (so keep drinking the water). A humectant such as glycerin is  particularly helpful during the winter months, when the central heating comes on.

Rosewater is skin-soothing, anti-inflammatory, healing and anti-bacterial, with a mood-enhancing scent.

My mother uses Rosewater and Glycerin at night on its own, after soap and water, and in the morning she adds a moisturiser with sun-screen. I love the simplicity of this approach – and it works.

PS Plenty of rest plus regular doses of meditation also help keep the skin young. Check out this easy guide.

Recipe: yummy skin food face mask

01/10/2009 at 10:14 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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This is my favourite exfoliating facial treatment: great for your skin, and absolutely good enough to eat.


1 teaspoon oats

1 teaspoon clear honey

1 teaspoon plain, Greek-set yogurt


Take a small bowl, or teacup. Lightly crush the oats with a pestle and mortar, or with the back of a spoon in the base of the bowl, then add the yogurt and honey.

Mix thoroughly. Taste some if you like – it’s yummy!

Apply all over face, making sure hair is well clear, and rub gently in using small circular movements, up and away from the centre. Then pat evenly all over, and leave mask for around 10 minutes. Wash off. Your skin will feel tingly, smooth, clean and  moisturised.

Why it works

The oats, rubbed over the skin, act as a gentle exfoliator helping old skin cells to be shed, and new ones to glow. Additionally, oats contain wonderful emollient, skin-soothing properties and have relaxing qualities too.

The yogurt is rich in lactic acid which is a gentle and effective alpha hydroxy acid (AHA): anti-ageing, exfoliating, it moisturises, improves skin texture and helps skin to renew. Yogurt also contains skin-boosting nutrients.

The honey is moisturising, anti-bacterial and skin-healing and contains a host of botanical traces to enhance its effect.

Please note: it is a good idea especially after giving your skin a treatment to ensure you don’t spend too long in the sun; use a good sun-screen.

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