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they have gone to the garden for help. There are all sorts of beauty secrets to be unlocked in the potager and the flower beds. I love the slice-chop-or-


mash and apply secrets, but those who enjoy stirring and brewing can have hours of fun in putting together reci- pes that can be bottled and sealed for future use.

or as long as women have wanted to enhance their beauty,

beauty treatments from the garden

Cucumbers We have probably all heard of the

magical skin properties of cucumbers which are rich in vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and caffeic acid both of which reduce swelling, soothe irritation and prevent water retention. The easiest way to use them is to cut

two fat slices from a cold cucumber fresh from the refrigerator and lie back for a relaxing 10 to 15 minutes while they drain the puffiness from your eyes. The skin of the cucumber also has

useful ingredients. Being rich in silica, potassium and magnesium it offers both hydrating and relaxing properties to potions.

Try this: Cucumber skin toner ½ cucumber with skin, chopped or

grated 3 tablespoons witch hazel (available

from drugstores) 2 tablespoons distilled water. 4 tablespoons mint (optional) 1 teaspoon vodka (optional) Put chopped cucumber (and mint if

using) through the blender and then use a fine sieve to remove all chunks. Add witch hazel and distilled water. To keep for up to one week, add a teaspoon of vodka. Pour into an airtight bottle. The vodka will help the toner keep for up to 10 days in the refrigerator. The mint adds a cooling effect to the concoction.

Strawberries Strawberries are rich in vitamin E, a

natural anti-oxidant, and they contain alpha hydroxyl acids (like salicylic acid, which dissolves blackheads). Strawber- ries also contain a host of other minerals such as copper, calcium, iron, magne- sium and they are full of vitamins A, B5, B6, B8 or biotin which contains sulfur to help contain acne (maybe you should just eat them . . .). Strawberries are also a wonderful pick-me-up for that last minute rush to look great. Slice a strawberry in half and apply

to the puffy area under your eyes. Rest quietly for 10 to 20 minutes and let them do their magic. For a quick facial tonic, just rub the cut side of a straw- berry over your face. To whiten teeth and remove stains,

simply rub strawberry pulp over your teeth.

Try this: Strawberry foot scrub

8 strawberries 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 teaspoon kosher salt Mix it all into paste and massage into

your tired feet. Rinse off and dry. It softens and removes dead skin.

26 • Summer 2015

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