The Seasonal Spa

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Most people will agree that fresh is best when it comes to the nutrition of our food.  This reason, among others, has inspired a growing number of people to begin eating locally.  This means that they are purchasing as much produce as possible from local farms and growers.  Not only are farm fresh fruits and vegetables tasty and nutritious, when you purchase these things locally you are often supporting farmers in your own community.  Many people also believe that buying locally may help reduce your personal carbon footprint.  While the environmental pros and cons of buying locally are a topic of debate, I have a personal fondness for local farm stands and markets.  Meeting the people who grow the food you are eating brings a sense of community, and for me, a burst of inspiration.  After all, if fresh food is good for you on the inside, imagine what it can do for your fresh spa treatments!

Here in New England, Spring has come into full bloom.  By the time that Spring gives way to Summer several of my favorite home spa produce items will come into season:

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Strawberries

Packed with antioxidants and fruit acids, strawberries are excellent at brightening complexions.  Mash fresh strawberries into your next face mask to take advantage of their sweet benefits.

Spinach
Rich in vitamins A, K, and C, as well as folic acid, calcium, and antioxidants, spinach is a nutritious addition to your skin care diet.  Raw, or gently steamed spinach can be pureed and added to fresh facial and body masks. Fresh spinach also makes an excellent ingredient in spa cuisine.  Baby spinach leaves can be added to salads or sandwiches in place of lettuce for an extra boost of nutritional value.

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Rhubarb
Rhubarb is often dried and powdered for use in hair treatments.  Hair teas, oils, and masks are made with Rhubarb to lighten or brighten light brown to blond hair.

Cucumber
A classic spa ingredient, fresh cucumbers will be remembered for eternity as edible eye masks.  The reason they are so often used in place of sleeping masks is that fresh cucumbers have a slight de-puffing effect on the eye area.  Cucumbers can also be quite soothing, and are known to help soften skin by gently removing dead skin cells.

Carrots
These beta-carotene rich roots can be minced in a food processor and
added directly to fresh masks and treatments.  Fresh carrot juice also
makes a wonderfully nutritive wetting agent for clay masks and facials.

A very handy website, The Sustainable Table, features seasonal food guides for over 25 states including California, Alaska, and New York.  These guides can help you keep an eye out for the locally grown foods that will be available soon.

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