Take advantage of the all the lovely aromatic herbs and gorgeous veggies now appearing in your local farmer’s market to make 2 nourishing skin care recipes for yourself at home.  Just like making a great dish to eat, the act of careful selection and thoughtful preparation of ingredients, is, in and of itself, a soothing self-nurturing ritual. And as with nutrition, the healing and regenerative qualities of the plants in their purest form (and organic if possible), is what you want to experience.  Spring never felt so good!


Herbal Face Wash and Cleanser

Fennel has been used throughout history as an aid to digestion or as a slight diuretic. As an infusion, fennel seeds can be gently cleansing and toning for the skin, and they can help reduce puffiness and superficial irritation. Thyme, which is used in antiseptic preparations, is a good astringent. Because this cleanser is very gentle, it can be used each morning. Dab it on your face and neck with a cotton ball, and rinse.


-               2 generous sprigs fresh thyme (stems removed)

-               2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed

-               1 tsp chopped fennel leaves (the feathery sprigs at the end of the stalk)

-               1/2 cup boiling water

-               Juice of half a lemon

Mix the thyme and fennel parts in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Add lemon juice and steep for 15 minutes. Strain the infusion and store the liquid in a glass jar, in the refrigerator.  Will keep up to 5 days.


Avocado Carrot Anti-Aging Face Mask

This mask combines avocados, which are rich in Vitamin E, with carrots (high in beta-carotene and antioxidants)  and cream (high in calcium and protein)  — all antidotes for the aging process and over exposure to the sun.  The egg white draws out impurities from the skin and the honey is antimicrobial (kills germs which can lodge in the skin).  This mask will help to rebuild skin collagen, improve tone and texture, and fade age spots.


-        1 avocado, mashed

-        1 carrot, cooked and mashed

-        1/2 cup heavy cream

-        1 egg, beaten

-        3 tablespoons honey

Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth.  Spread gently over your face and neck, and leave in place 10-15 minutes.  Rinse with cool water and follow with your favorite toner.