The holidays can be a bit of a stressful time: running around trying to get your food ready, your home in order and figuring out what gifts to give everyone you love can really take its toll. This winter why not sit back, relax and give some easy-but-impressive homemade gifts instead. You can whip up some amazing beauty gifts with a few easy ingredients, which you should be able to find locally in health stores or online, but your loved ones will be so impressed by your handmade talents (we just won’t tell them how easy they were!) Scroll through to see three of my favorite winter treatment recipes.
Mint Chocolate Body Lotion
Add 1/4 cup coconut oil, 1/4 cup sweet almond oil, 1/4 cup shea butter, 1/4 cup cocoa butter and 20 drops of peppermint essential oil to a bowl, and melt over a Bain Marie. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature (it will harden slightly) and then whisk using an electric beater until it reaches a firm, creamy consistency. Place into a jar or container of your choice and it should last for a couple of months.
Gingerbread Face Mask
Mix together 2 teaspoons of bentonite clay, one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, one teaspoon of water, one teaspoon of ground ginger and 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Mix together into a paste, adding more water if needed until you reach the desired consistency, place in a small reusable container and store in the fridge.
‘Mulled Wine’ Exfoliating Skin Treatment
Mix together 1/2 cup pure cranberry juice, 1/4 cup ground oats, 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup olive oil and 20 drops of orange essential oil for an exfoliating skin treatment. Simply rub this mixture over the skin and then wash off with warm water and a towel to leave your skin nourished and happy.
And there you go! All of these recipes take barely any time to put together, but are free of any nasties and are impressive with very little effort, the perfect balance for a stress-free giving season. To continue the natural effect, why not decorate your containers with some twine and greenery you forage from local nature areas such as parks, again keeping away from the wastefulness of wrapping paper whilst having a beautiful effect. It’s easy to make your holiday giving a little more natural and a little less consumption heavy, and it’s a whole lot more fun too!
Francesca Willow is a London based performance artist and founder of Ethical Unicorn, a website focusing on living an ethical, zero waste lifestyle. She trained in contemporary dance and spends a lot of time touring the world with international poets, but her passion in all that she does is to leave places better than when she found them. It was this that led her to start Ethical Unicorn, with the ambition to help busy people find simple solutions to make the world a more sustainable, happier place whilst still supporting innovation and the next generation of creative thinkers.