Photography by: Cindy James
Try Frasca's homemade scrub (at right), or look for a product made with sugar (see page 81), which is generally less abrasive than salt. To get the best results, step into a warm shower, let your skin soak for five minutes, then massage in the scrub, starting at your neck and working toward your toes. Rinse off with warm water, then apply a moisturizer to still-damp skin.
Beyond Day Spa's Sesame Honey Body Scrub
3 tablespoons ground sesame seeds
2 tablespoons almond or olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and warm in a microwave for 10 seconds. Massage the mixture into damp skin using circular motions. Rinse off with warm water.
3. Soothe Your Soles
"In summer, heels get very dry and cracked because they're not covered up in protective socks and shoes," says Donna Perillo, owner of the Sweet Lily Natural Nail Spa in New York City. What's more, dirt gets kicked up and embedded into dry areas. Not good.
To clean and pamper tired, swollen, achy feet, try a citrus-infused softening soak (see recipe at left). The acidity of the fruits' natural alpha-hydroxy acids will whisk away dirt and grime, slough off dead skin cells, and keep your feet smelling sweet. Plus, the zesty aroma will cool you down and awaken your senses. Soak your feet for at least five minutes. Use the down time to relax your entire body. Slowly let your head drop to the left, then forward and to the right, moving back and forth in a semicircular motion to stretch your neck. Shrug your shoulders several times, then shake out your arms and spread your fingers wide.
Next, wiggle your toes and massage your feet with a liquid soap. Use a foot file like Fresh Rice Foot Care File ($5; fresh.com) to exfoliate rough, dry areas. "The soap will give your skin the slip the file needs to glide effortlessly," says Perillo. Follow with a mint-infused foot scrub to refresh skin and rev circulation. Rinse well, pat dry, apply a thick layer of moisturizer, and slip into lightweight, organic-cotton socks.
Sweet Lily's Lemonade Foot Soak
1 gallon fresh lemonade, warmed on the stove
2 drops lemon essential oil
4 lemons, sliced
1 lemon, halved
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Pour the warmed lemonade into a large tub. Add the lemon oil and slices, and soak your feet for 2 minutes. Then dip the lemon halves into the granulated sugar, and use them to scrub away any rough skin. Rinse with warm water.
4. Treat Your Face
An at-home facial is a real tension tamer. It's also a seasonal essential to help your complexion look its best. "In summer the warmer weather can cause the skin to increase oil production, which is a bonanza if your skin is dry to begin with," says New York City-based skin-care expert Kimberly Sayer. "But if your skin is oily, the excess oil could mean trouble in the form of blackheads and unsightly shine."
For spotless skin, try lemon. "Whether you apply it topically or take it internally, lemon is one of the best treatments for blemish-prone skin," says Sayer. "It's a natural astringent with anti-microbial properties that help combat shine, and prevent and fight breakouts."