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“A decade ago, it was really hard to find quality green products in the beauty aisles,” says NiteSpa owner Julia Martin. “But I had a background in holistic wellness, so I knew I could rely on grocery store items like avocado, turmeric, coconut oil and yogurt to create truly amazing, organic skincare, in every sense of the word.” At NiteSpa, her cozy West LA salon and sanctuary, Martin sells signature products from her line, creates natural formulas, and even offers a class to teach men and women how to concoct their own treatment masks—which do everything from hydrate dry skin to brighten sallow complexions—in the comfort of their own homes. “It’s a lot like cooking,” Martin says. “Once you see how simple it is to combine the right ingredients, the whole skincare process becomes a lot less intimidating.” Here, she generously shares a few recipes.
Head-to-Toe Brown Sugar Body Scrub
For a simple, aromatherapeutic body exfoliator that will slough off dead skin cells and smooth rough areas like elbows and heels, mix one cup of brown sugar with 3/4 cup of olive or sunflower oil, and add about 30 drops of your favorite essential oil, such as lavender or tea tree, which both have antibiotic and healing properties. “This formula is great for preventing in-grown hair and softening super-dry skin, and all the ingredients are probably already in your pantry,” Martin says. “Use it daily, and you’ll really start to see your skin glow.”
Under-Eye Yogurt and Honey Mask
Who knew everyday breakfast items could do serious damage control after a late night? “A couple tablespoons each of Greek yogurt and honey can do wonders, since they’re both hydrating and anti-inflammatory,” Martin says. Mix them together with a teaspoon of turmeric powder (which contains proven anti-inflammatory properties) to make an under-eye mask that belies a lack of sleep. “Leave it on for 20 minutes, then tissue or rinse off to reveal brighter, more rested-looking skin,” Martin says.
Skin-Smoothing Bath Milk
Cleopatra’s famous bath milks have been well documented for centuries—for good reason. The all-natural ingredient contains lactic acid, a gentle exfoliant that immediately remedies dry skin. “To up the ante on this basic soak, add two cups of powdered goat milk to one cup of Epsom salt, which stimulates blood circulation for a healthy glow, ” Martin says. “Add some lavender essential oil and chamomile tea leaves to make it an even more relaxing pre-bedtime ritual.”
Strawberry Lip Exfoliator
To smooth and soften lips, blend five strawberries with a tablespoon of almond, apricot, or olive oil. Add a teaspoon of gray French sea salt (or a similar finely milled salt) and add a drop of ginger oil or pinch of cinnamon, “which both have plumping effects,” Martin says. Mix the ingredients together to form a paste, and gently massage it over lips. “Finish with a dab of coconut oil to lock in moisture,” Martin says.
Complexion-Toning Green Mask
This everything-but-the-kitchen sink mask tones, tightens, purifies, calms and hydrates. Mash half an avocado, add a tablespoon of pure aloe gel, one egg white (beaten until stiff), a drop of tea tree oil, and three drops of witch hazel. “The egg improves circulation and tightens pores, while avocado hydrates,” Martin says. “And aloe is great for soothing inflammation and diminishing dark spots.”
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