I thought I'd give you, dear readers, a break from my garden for a minute.
I have a confession to make. I'm cheap.
No, really. I hate to spend money on myself. Ask anyone. And I have a seriously hard time remembering to do girly things like get a haircut (yes, we won't talk about that here), go get a manicure (I'm actually a few weeks overdue for a fill - this is my one vice, but I'm ignoring it right now) or a pedicure. I buy the cheapest facial scrub I can, only because it is cheaper to buy it than make it (except for the stuff I will tell you about below). But I do have a few on the cheap things that I do here at the micro-mini ranch that proves that yes, I am a girl. A girls gotta get a boost every once in a while, right?
The bestest gentle facial astringent/toner out there: Witch Hazel. No kidding. It's like what, a buck a bottle? My current bottle is going on 3 years old. Wash your face, grab a cotton ball soaked in this stuff, and go to town. Cleans your pores, tightens said pores, and doesn't burn or smell overly astringent. Leaves your skin feeling cool and firm, but not dry or tight. LOVE this stuff, especially in the summer time, when I produce enough oil on my face to fuel my car for a week (Oh, I wish).
The bestest cheapest foot soak for cleaning your feet without scrubbing: 2 cups of vinegar in warm to lukewarm water. I am a diabetic, and I have a condition called neuropathy, where the bottoms of my feet and toes feel like they are always asleep. It is not recommended that neuropathy sufferer's get pedicures, as you can't feel how hot the water is, and any cuts, bumps or bruises may go unnoticed and get infected. As a result, I am very careful with my feet. I have found that a vinegar foot soak is a great way to exfoliate my feet without major scrubbing. It also helps alleviate mild cases of athlete's foot (when done every day for up to 2 weeks). I still scrub, but I don't have to really scrub hard. Most of the dead skin cells are whisked away by the vinegar. And I'm sure that I don't want to know how that happens. I'm just glad it does.
For scrubbing rough, dry skin patches on your feet or elbows (or where ever you might have them), the bestest cheapest body scrub is: mix up 1/4 cup of sugar and just enough olive oil to saturate the sugar, but not dissolve it. Then rub briskly on your dry patches, followed by a good soaping and rinsing. If you do this to your feet, DO NOT shower afterwards. Your feet will be too slippery, and I don't want to hear about anyone falling and knocking themselves senseless. Put on some socks and go to bed.
Try these things out and see if they do just as good a job as some of those spendy commercial products. I believe you will be pleasantly surprised. If you find you do like them, make up small batches and add a drop or two of your favorite essential oil to give yourself a special spa-like treat.