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Natural Beauty with Sunflowers

One of my favorite summer flowers and garden beauty ingredients is Sunflowers. This bright tall blooms just make you happy to look at! We should all be like a sunflower: Stand Tall, Enjoy the Sun and Make people happy! When it comes to natural beauty the sunflower is super useful as all parts of the plant can be used. The yellow petals can be used to create skin toners and hair rinses, the seeds are rich in natural oils and finely ground can be added to bath mixes or used as a gentle skin scrub. The natural oil pressed from these seeds is easily found at most grocery stores and helps soothe and moisturize your skin. I have heard of some small farms pressing their own oil as this is not for the average home gardener and love this idea. My daughter found a local "micro farm" which is a new farming concept I totally love. Small farms specializing in just one or two crops this one had, you guessed it Sunflowers! It was such a nice place to visit -- we were given buckets and clippers and got to pick our own blooms to take home. Of course the photos were pretty amazing too as sunflowers are just so photogenic. Here are some of my favorite sunflower recipes for you to try at home:

Soothing Sunflower Soak

When added to a warm bath, sunflower seeds release their rich, natural oil, leaving your skin soft and well moisturized.

1 /4 cup shelled raw, sunflower seeds

1 /4 cup oatmeal

1 /2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 /4 teaspoon ground ginger

1 /2 teaspoon vitamin E oil

In a food processor or coffee grinder, grind the sunflower seeds and oatmeal until you have a smooth powder that is the consistency of whole grain flour. Stir in the spices and vitamin E oil, and mix well. Store the mixture in an airtight container. To use: Pour the bath soak into a warm tub os water and stir well to mix. Moisturize your skin after bathing with some sunflower oil or a rich cream.

Yield: 4 ounces

Sunflower Scrub

Sunflower seeds make an excellent facial scrub. This treatment can be used to cleanse your skin, leaving you face incredibly soft and smooth. Sunflower seeds are rich in vitamin E oil. You may also use this recipe for an all-over, full body treatment.

1 /2 cup raw sunflower seeds, shelled

pure water for mixing

In a food processor or coffee grinder, process the raw seeds until you have a fine powder that resembles coarse sugar. Pour this powder into a clean container with a tight-fitting lid. To use: Mix 1 tablespoon of ground sunflower seeds with a few teaspoons of water to create a smooth paste. You can do this in the palm of your hand or in a small ceramic bowl. Massage this mixture into your face and neck and rinse well with warm water first, followed by a cool water rinse. Pat your skin dry with a soft towel.

Yield: 4 ounces

Sunflower Petal Toner

Bright yellow sunflower petals can be used fresh or dried for year round use. The make a cleansing facial toner that can be used before cleansing your skin as you would rosewater, witch hazel or other natural astringents.

2 Tablespoons fresh sunflower petals (or use 1 Tablespoon dried)

1 cup boiling water

1 /4 cup witch hazel

1/8 teaspoon argan oil

1 /4 teaspoon vegetable glycerine

In a glass or ceramic bowl place the sunflower petals and pour the boiling water over them. Allow the mixture to cool completely then strain out the petals and discard. Add to your petal water the remaining ingredients and stir well. Pour into a clean bottle with a tight fitting lid. (I like to use a spray bottle). To use: Splash or spray the toner onto your skin before cleansing. I also use this same toner after cleansing to close my pores and before applying my moisturizer.

Yield: 8 ounces

For more garden beauty recipes and treatments - look inside "Natural Beauty from the Garden" You can order on my website and use the code "Sunflower" for 20% off all books.

You are beautiful!!!

xoxo Janice

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