Aromatherapy: Geranium for Beauty and Home

Skin Tonic

This refreshing tonic is especially good for oily skins. If you don't wish to filter the mixture as suggested in the recipe, use only 2 drops of essential oil and shake the bottle each time before use.

5ml cider vinegar
4 drops pure geranium essential oil
100ml distilled water
Plastic funnel
Coffee filter paper

Pour the cider vinegar into a dark glass bottle. Add the essential oil and shake well to disperse the oil droplets. Pout the distilled water into the bottle through the plastic funnel and shake again. Leave the mixture to stand overnight. Next day, shake the bottle well before pouring the tonic through a coffee filter paper into a jug. Use the funnel to pour the filtered mixture back into the dark bottle. Store the skin tonic in a cool, dry, dark place and use within 4 weeks. Apply morning and evening with cotton wool after cleansing the skin.

Seaweed and Geranium Anti-cellulite Treatment

If you live near the beach, gather some bladderwrack. It makes a helpful detoxifying treatment for cellulite. Pop the blisters on the bladderwrack and squeeze out the gel-like substance inside them.

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Put the gel into a bowl and mix it with 1 drop of geranium oil diluted in 5ml of carrier oil to make the gel liquid enough to run into the skin. As well as enhancing the anti-cellulite action of the seaweed gel, the geranium oil gives the liquid a pleasing aroma.

To help absorption, exfoliate your skin beforehand, using a loofah. Alternatively, use a body brush and gently dry-brush your body (avoiding the delicate skin of the face and neck). Apply sweeping movements upwards over your whole body, always towards the heart. Immediately afterwards, take a warm shower or bath, then apply the anti-cellulite treatment to the affected areas, massaging it well into the skin. For best results, repeat the entire routine 3-4 times a week. Make a fresh batch of the liquid every time - once collected the seaweed will keep in a bucket of salt water for a few weeks at a time.

Pelargonium Aftershave

If you have some rose-scented geraniums growing nearby, here is a recipe for a gently astringent, mildly antiseptic aftershave formula. If rubbed well into the roots of the beard, it will also help to keep scurf at bay.

30g rose-scented geranium leaves
300ml cider vinegar
Coffee filter paper

Bruise the leaves in a pestle and mortar to release the essential oil, then place in a glass jar. Pour the cider vinegar over the geranium leaves, then cover the jar with a tight-fitting lid. Leave to infuse for 10-14 days, then strain through a coffee filter paper into a glass jug. Pour the strained liquid back into the jar.

Use diluted after shaving by mixing 5ml of the vinegar mixture with 20ml of distilled water. Alternatively, use the diluted mixture several times a week to perfume and condition a beard. A cosmetic bottle with a fine mist sprat is ideal for applying the aftershave, otherwise put some in the palm of your hand and splash it on. Store the undiluted mixture in a cool, dry, dark place and use within 3 months.

Midnight Oil Burner Blends

aromatherapy tools burners

Whenever you have to study or work late, perfume your surroundings with one of these two energising and head-clearing blends. If you don't have an essential oil burner, put the same combination of oils (4 drops in all) onto a tissue or handkerchief and inhale deeply from time to time. This is a far better alternative to drinking cups of coffee as inhaling essential oils does not over-stimulate the nervous system, so you won't have a problem getting to sleep later.

Mensa

2 drops pure geranium essential oil
2 drops pure rosemary essential oil
4 drops pure lemon essential oil

Einstein

2 drops pure geranium essential oil
1 drop pure peppermint essential oil
2 drops pure eucalyptus essential oil
2 drops pure lavender essential oil

Fill the small bowl of a burner with water. Add the oils. Light a night light to heat the oils.

Gift-wrapped Bath Salts

Treat your friends to a bottle of home-made bath salts. This recipe is based on Dead Sea mineral salts (available from chemists) which are therapeutic and relaxing, without being too drying on the skin.

100g Dead Sea mineral bath salts
10 drops pure geranium essential oil
10 drops pure chamomile or mandarin essential oil
2.5ml pink food colouring
Home-made or bought gift tag

Put the bath salts in a plastic bag, add the essential oils and food colouring, and lightly knead the bag with your hands until the salts are evenly coloured. Transfer to an attractive glass bottle. Buy or design a gift tag and attach it.

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