1. Make a Cooling Summer Bath
Call me an old granny, but I love Epsom salt baths and their surprising health benefits. But do I love taking a bath in 95-degree weather? Not so much. So since Iím kind of addicted, Iíve devised a cooling Epsom salt bath that is the perfect antidote to a hot, stressy summer day. Itís a bath that incorporates, ta da, cucumbers! Along with fresh mint, and a hit of floral essential oil. Mmmmm. According to University of Maryland Medical Center, peppermint has has a soothing and cooling effect on skin irritations caused by hives, poison ivy, or poison oak; it reduces headache symptoms; and it can be used in the treatment of depression. (So if youíre hot, itchy, depressed and have a headache Ö)
To a tub of tepid water add 2 cups Epsom salt, stir in 1 sliced cucumber, a handful of torn peppermint leaves, and an optional 3 drops ylang ylang pure essential oil. Soak, be soft and happy.
2. Soothe Puffy Eyes
This is one of the oldest tricks in the book. The high water content helps to hydrate tender skin in the eye region, while the chill of a refrigerated cucumber helps contract blood vessels in the area–both effects combine to reduce swelling. To use cucumbers as an eye treatment, grab a cold cucumber from the refrigerator and cut two thick slices. Find a comfortable place to relax and set the cucumbers over your closed eyes for about 10 to 15 minutes. I also like to grate the cucumber and just kind of pack it in.
3. Make a Cucumber Toner
This formula is inspired by one in the book Ecobeauty: Scrubs, Rubs, Masks, and Bath Bombs for You and Your Friends–it is very mild and works well for all skin types. If you ever wake up feeling like your face is a little puffy, this toner is your best bet for calming and tightening your skin.
1/2 cucumber with peel, chopped
3 tablespoons witch hazel
2 tablespoons distilled water
Put all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to remove all of the solids, then pour the toner into a clean bottle with a tight-fitting lid. Store this toner in the refrigerator for a longer shelf lifeóit should last for several weeks. To use, apply the toner to your face using a clean cotton ball.