Fresh skincare in April
Make the most of any sunny days in April to go out for a walk and seek among the new shoots some fresh gatherings for Blend-it-Yourself skincare.
Here five things to look out for and how you can use them.
Daisy’s are one of those flowers that open up when the sun shines.
This alone can make you smile, but be happy too that they can bring relief from the pain of bruises, swellings and burns. To use them effectively, include in an ointment or lotion.
An infusion is also useful for treating eye inflammations. Or you can add this to the bath to relieve tired muscles.
Cowslips with their gentle scent are a traditional ingredient in creams and ointments. Only pick them if you find them growing in abundance, and then only a few. Be sure to do a patch test with anything you create (as with all new skincare) because cowslips in particular are something certain skins can be sensitive to.
As cowslips are thought to be particularly good for inducing sleep be careful if lying down in a field of cowslips, it may be more relaxing than you think.
Comfrey leaves are starting to put on some vigorous growth. The leaf has been used in skin preparations for years, in medieval times being considered a cure-all.
Among its many benefits are the ability to soften skin and clear skin problems such as acne and eczema, rashes or flaking skin.
Infuse in water to make a gentle toner or cleanser which is gentle enough for delicate skin and powerful enough for oily skin.
The name sweet woodruff references the ruff-like collars of circular whorls of leaves up its stem and it’s natural habitat. Most often found in shady places it has a characteristically dark green colour with tiny white flowers. Find it by sniffing out the scent of freshly mown hay, created by the chemical coumarin which is in sweet woodruff and also sweet vernal grass found in meadows.
Sweet woodruff can be infused to create a firming complexion water, used in soaps and is useful as a fixative for keeping other scents in perfume. If you dry the leaves the scent will get stronger and last for a couple of years.
White dead nettle
White dead nettle has been called up on by wise women for gynaecological and obstetric problems for many centuries, although I’m not aware of any modern research on the plant for these purposes.
Good for the complexion you could either infuse the leaves in water for a toner or macerate them in oil for a toning face oil.
Like the idea of gathering your own skincare ingredients? …
… you might like to read some more.
There’s more about the different plants you may see on your Spring walk here
And, as you build your repertoire of skincare ingredients, here’s another five that you may find in your garden (whether you want them there or not).
For everything you need to know to get started with Blend-it-Yourself skincare using the plants that grow around you, see Vital Skincare by Laura Pardoe. This book takes you through the techniques and ingredients you’ll need to know to make your own natural skincare.