Get Creative and Save Money with DIY Gifts

The holiday season should be filled with joy, but often the pressures of finding just the right personalized gifts can stress us out, especially when on a tight budget. Take a look at a few healthy, do-it-yourself gift options offered by the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA).

Getting pampered at the spa is quite a treat, but it can be costly. Why not spoil a loved one with a spa day featuring your own homemade line of spa-style products? Start with a cleansing Raw Honey Mask to remove dirt off the skin. Raw, unpasteurized honey also contains antibacterial properties to provide a deep cleanse. Add an antioxidant-rich Green Tea and Raw Sugar Exfoliant to remove dead skin cells and reveal naturally nourished skin. You can find the recipes for these DIY face masks below.

Specialty soaps can be a thoughtful hostess gift, but the soaps you buy in stores may contain ingredients that can irritate your skin or be too fragrant. There are also chemicals in these products that do more damage than you'd think. You can make your own specialty soap at home with all-natural ingredients that are safe for all skin types. Your guests will be more than impressed to know that you made them yourself. See the All-Natural Soap recipe below.

Most importantly says CHFA, don't let gifts be the main focus of your holiday season when it is more important to enjoy the time spent with loved ones. Simple and thoughtful DIY recipes can be a real hit for those you care about. Go to chfa.ca for a few ideas, as well as these:

Raw Honey Mask

• Combine 2-3 tsp raw, unpasteurized honey and 1/2 tsp of warm water.

• Mix together and gently rub on face.

• Leave for 5-10 minutes.

• Rinse off with warm water.

• Pat skin dry.

Green Tea and Raw Sugar Exfoliant

• Brew a very strong 1/4 cup (50 ml) of green tea.

• Steep for half an hour.

• Remove the tea bag and empty the brewed tea leaves into a small bowl.

• Add 1 tbsp of coarse, granulated sugar to the tea leaves.

• Rub gently into skin, let sit for 5-10 minutes.

• Wash off with warm water.

All-Natural Soap

Ingredients:

• 2 cups (500 ml) pure Castile soap

• 1 cup (250 ml) melted organic coconut oil

• 1 cup (250 ml) organic grapeseed oil, or sweet almond oil

• Optional: For an exfoliating scrub, add 1/4 cup (50 ml) of organic granulated sugar.

• 40 drops of your favourite essential oil

Directions:

1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Create a “double-boiler” by placing a glass or metal bowl on top of the pot (but not immersed in the water). Turn off the heat as soon as you place the bowl on top of the boiling water (the water will stay hot enough to complete the next steps).

2. Gently melt the coconut oil. Once completely melted, add the grapeseed oil or sweet almond oil. At this point, it will be a lovely light-gold colour and translucent.

3. Now add the Castile soap and mix well with a large spoon. As the oils interact with the soap, the mixture will turn opaque and take on a creamy white colour.

4. Now add your essential oils. Add them 10 drops at a time until you reach your desired fragrance. Mix well.

5. Use a funnel to transfer your body scrub into a clean, reusable soap container.

6. Enjoy naturally clean and nourished skin.

(NC) www.newscanada.com

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