Do-it-yourself Spa

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When friends ask Jakki Wienecke to suggest a body lotion to relieve dry skin, the owner of Divine Creations Aromatherapy tells them to raid their kitchen pantry instead of going to the drugstore. Peel the rind of a lemon and soak the pieces in olive oil and slather it on your body, says Wienecke, the former owner of Body Logic Wellness Spa in Bel Air.

The lemon contains antioxidants while the olive oil boosts your immune system, says the Bel Air resident.


"All lotions begin with oil and they add water to it," Wienecke says. "I've always gone the natural route," when it comes to beauty treatments. "This is a way of life for me."

Wienecke's suggestion is just one of many DIY treatments you can find at home, often for a lot less than commercial products. Here's a rundown of some of the exfoliating scrubs, eye treatments and facial masks you can try, using such household staples as oatmeal and yogurt.


Yogurt Facial Plus Pineapple or Turmeric

Sources: Jakki Wienecke, former owner of Body Logic Wellness Spa in Bel Air and owner of Divine Creations Aroma Therapy; Lynn Piwowarski, manager at Crossroads Apothecary in Ellicott City

How it works: The vitamin C and antioxidants in pineapple leave your skin clearer and younger looking. The probiotics in yogurt will balance out the skin, clear out the bacteria and help with the skin’s pH balance, Piwowarski says. Available at Asian grocery stores, the bright yellow spice turmeric contains anti-inflammatory properties that treat acne and even the skin tone.

Instructions: Mix half a cup of plain yogurt and 1 Tablespoon of fresh pineapple juice or 1 teaspoon of turmeric and apply it to your face. Leave on for five minutes and wash off.

Oatmeal Plus Honey Mask

Source: Stephanie Lightfoot, owner of The Face Place in Columbia

How it works: Oatmeal is an exfoliator and reduces redness in the skin, making it great for people with rosacea. Mixed with honey, the combo has a calming effect on your skin. Try not to eat it!

Instructions: Mix 2 Tablespoons of ground oatmeal, 1 Tablespoon milk or water and 1 teaspoon honey. Apply to your face and leave on for 10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly.

For added luxury: According to Rosemarie Miller of Par Excellence Day Spa, you can also add 1 teaspoon of lemon, which acts as an astringent. Or add a handful of mashed berries, which add the benefit of wrinkle-fighting antioxidants.

Almond Oil Plus Sugar Scrub

Source: Stephanie Lightfoot, owner of The Face Place in Columbia

How it works: The combination of almond oil and sugar makes for a scrub that moisturizes and exfoliates the skin.

Directions: Mix 1 cup granulated sugar and half a cup of almond oil and store in a jar so you have enough to use for about half a dozen treatments. Apply the scrub to your body after a shower and then rinse off.

For added luxury: Add a few drops of lemongrass or peppermint oil if you want an aromatherapy treatment, Lightfoot suggests.

Avocado Mask

Source: Rosemarie Miller, owner of Par Excellence Day Spa in Havre de Grace

How it works: Avocado and honey moisturize the skin and leave it looking younger and softer. Avocado also eases the pain of sunburns.

Instructions: Mash 2 tablespoons of avocado and half a tablespoon of honey. Leave it on your skin for 10 minutes and rinse off.

Coconut Oil Hair Treatment

Source: Lynn Piwowarski, manager of Crossroads Apothecary, a health-food store in Ellicott City

How it works: Coconut oil is rich with vitamin E and other nutrients that make your hair softer and fuller.

Instructions: Apply coconut oil to the ends of your hair. Wet a small towel and wring it out to remove any excess water. Then wrap the cloth over your head like a turban. Leave it on for 20 minutes to lock in the moisture.

For added luxury: Coconut oil also can be applied to the skin as a moisturizer.