Grow These Plants in Your Garden to Have an At-Home Spa Experience Anytime You Want
Love to indulge in a luxe beauty routine but hate spending a fortune on it? Or maybe you're the DIY type who would rather gather supplies and craft your own lotions and potions than buy something from the store? Either way, the secret to luxurious, easy, and economical spa-like treatments could waiting just outside your back door. A variety of well-known perennials, vegetables, and herbs can be added to your garden in numerous ways to make harvesting and enjoying your own beauty ingredients a cinch.
If you're tight on space (or live in an apartment without a yard), try planting these choices in large pots, either singularly or grouped together in one large pot for easy access. If space is a nonissue, consider adding them to your existing vegetable or herb garden where they can also be used for cooking and baking. Just be sure to take stock of what's currently growing around your house—you might have some of these plants in your garden already. As an added benefit, these wellness boosters will aid the environment as much as they aid you since many are great for attracting beneficial insects and pollinators.
Plus, creating your own beauty treatments means that you can be sure of quality and safety of the ingredients you're putting on your face and body. With that in mind, avoid using any plants that may have been treated or sprayed with chemicals and pesticides, and plan to grow your spa-inspired garden using organic methods. Whether you plan to use these plants in face scrubs, hand scrubs and lip scrubs, creams and toners, or face masks and hair tonics, one thing is certain: The possibilities are almost endless. With these feel-good herbs, vegetables, and perennials at your disposal, our self-care ritual may never be the same.
This hardy, drought tolerant herb is traditionally used for culinary purposes or in low-water landscapes as a woody shrub, but we like this tough plant best in facial scrubs and hair tonics. To make your own hair treatment, add some fresh rosemary to a quart of water and bring it to a boil. Remove from the heat and cover until cool, then remove the sprigs and pour the liquid into a clean container. You can use this infused water to rinse your hair after shampooing or leave it in to promote scalp health and hair growth. Some even say it can help delay graying.
A well-loved perennial herb that thrives in full sun and well-draining soil, lavender usually ends up in sachets in our drawers, but we think it's time for you to add it to your beauty routine. Try using aromatic and relaxing lavender flowers in a bath soak or body cream. You can also make an easy facial steam bath by adding fresh lavender sprigs to hot water in a shallow bowl and draping a towel over your head to wrangle the healing steam. Just avoid getting too close—you don't want to get burned. The heat releases the plant's oils which open pores and sooth skin. When you're done steaming, simply splash your face with cool water and pat dry.
Like a useful multipurpose tool, mint works wonders in drinks, cooking, and in your spa treatments. Just remember to plant your mint in a sunny to partly sunny spot and in its own container to keep it from spreading everywhere. (Mint is a super invasive plant!) You can use your fresh mint to restore shine to your hair or as part of a luscious lip or body scrub. To make a refreshing scrub at home, combine a handful of chopped mint leaves, the zest and juice of half a lemon, a cup of coconut sugar, and one teaspoon of melted coconut oil. Use the finished product in the shower to soften and invigorate skin.
This evergreen herb isn't just for Thanksgiving. Loaded with antioxidants and vitamin A to help balance skin and ward off signs of aging, sage is a plant worth growing and using all year long. Situate this velvety, low water plant in well-draining soil and full sun, then use it to add shine to dull hair or as an astringent skin toner. To make a sage-based toner, boil a few of the plant's leaves in a cup of water, turn off the heat, and let it steep for 30 minutes. When the liquid finally cools down, strain it and apply it to your face with a cotton ball.
Most known for benefitting garden soil, repelling pests, and attracting beneficial insects and pollinators, calendula is also a superhero when it comes to healing skin conditions including bee stings, rashes, and scrapes. This super easy to grow, edible, short-lived medicinal herb has anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and anti-bacterial properties. You can use your colorful calendula petals to blend your own healing oil or cream. Start by harvesting and drying fresh calendula flowers. Pluck the dry petals and fill a clean jar with one part petals, one part organic olive oil. Put a lid on the container and let the mixture soak in a sunny spot for a few weeks. Drain and use this golden oil on parched, unhappy skin.
Not just delicious in salads, we love cucumber for its cooling and hydrating skincare properties (it's especially great on sunburns). In addition to helping skin stay hydrated, cucumbers contain vitamin C and caffeic acid, which are antioxidants that excell at reducing inflammation and fighting aging. To create your own radiance-boosting face mask, purée half a cucumber and mix with a tablespoon of yogurt. While it does its job, be sure to place a few slices of cucumber on your eyes to reduce puffiness.