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Beauty In The Garden

Originally Posted: April 20, 2012

Erika Katz

The garden is another source of Bonding Over Beauty. (Erika Katz)

Southampton - In planning my garden at my Southampton home, I always think of which flowers I would like to use to decorate my Hamptons home and to give color and fragrance to my table settings. However, I also use my flowers, fruits and vegetables to provide me with ingredients to make fresh, organic beauty products.

Use flowers, fruits and vegetables for ingredients to make fresh, organic beauty products. (Erika Katz)

My book, "Bonding Over Beauty," and my blog discuss the importance of connecting with your daughter during her tween and teen years on "sticky" issues such as hair, skin, makeup, hair removal, puberty and more. It also provides easy, at home DIY beauty treatments that parents of tween and teen girls can use to bond with their daughters. Girls and women of all ages love beauty treatments, and doing these activities at home will allow you to start a dialogue with your daughter. From product and styling tips, such as how to create the perfect ponytail for your tween, to at home recipes for creating an organic facial scrub, "Bonding over Beauty" focuses on encouraging and strengthening the mother-daughter relationship through simple, fun and intimate activities.

The garden is another source of Bonding Over Beauty - I like to call it "Gardening for Beauty."

Here are a few recipes I created using fresh ingredients from the garden along with other items from the kitchen that can be easily replicated. I use these as a bonding activity with my daughter during spring and summer months.

My rose garden is my pride and joy. For example, I love to use rose petals to make a rose water to deep clean my pores and wake up my skin before I put on makeup.

Use rose petals to make a rose water to deep clean pores. (Erika Katz)

Rose Water Steam And Mist

 • 1 cup of fresh rose petals
 • 2 cups of bottled water

Boil the water. Then pour it over the rose petals and let it steep. You can breathe in the steam to open pores and remove impurities. Once you are done steaming let it cool, remove the rose petals and pour it into a spritz bottle and refrigerate. Keep it cool in the refrigerator and spritz your skin before bed and when you get up in the morning. You can also pour it onto cotton and use as a gentle toner to remove excess dirt and oil. It should stay fresh for about two weeks.

Nothing relaxes me more than the smell of fresh lavender and I have it all over my garden. Here is a great way to make lavender oil for the bath. You can even use it as a body oil to moisturize skin and give it that wonderful scent of lavender.

Strawberry seeds have antioxidants which help fight sun damage. (Erika Katz)

Lavender Bath Oil

 • 3 cups lavender flowers
 • 2 cups fragrance free oil such as coconut oil or a mineral oil
 • Cheese cloth
 • A tinted sealable glass jar

Put your lavender flowers in the jar and cover it with the oil. Close the jar and put it in the window in the sun so the heat brews it like a tea. You can shake it occasionally too. Let it sit for two to three days so the fragrance really sinks in. When it is done, strain the oil through the cheese cloth and store your oil in a tinted glass jar so the oil stays cool and fresh.

I have a wonderful strawberry patch in my garden. Not only are strawberries delicious to eat, but the seeds have antioxidants which help fight sun damage.

Strawberry Facial Scrub

 • 6 pureed strawberries
 • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
 • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
 • 2 tablespoons of granulated white sugar

Mix all the ingredients well and put into a pretty jar.
I like to use strawberries in this recipe because they are rich in salicylic acid which helps dead skin shed more easily. The sugar granules also help to exfoliate skin but are super gentle on delicate skin. You can keep this in the fridge for up to a week. To use your scrub, simply rub your face gently in circular motions and rinse with warm water.

There are so many more wonderful treasures in your garden. Happy gardening!

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