Food Is Beauty

Make a ChocoFacial soon . . . your skin will thank you

From Becky

I've been traveling in Arizona over the past few days, and I've eaten pizza, tacos, bread, chips & an assortment of "energy bars". This is a far swing away from our usual gluten free, dairy free, night shade free life at home. It's been a fantastic memory of tastes & diet of another time. Although I'm eating a salad as a main at least once a day, my food does not feel as vital, & quite honestly, neither do I. By the time you read this I will be back in NZ, disappearing into carrot juice & a homegrown salad. Here's a great lesson for me, that I learn more deeply as time goes on. Party food (processed, fatty, fried, takeaway, alcohol) is fine as party food when you have it every once in a while. If you have it every day, it's just a bad diet. "Food is medicine", so if you're not feeling great, point your diet to a better place & you will feel better.

This week Dr. Wendy has delighted me with a new idea, "Food is Beauty." I don't know why I've never really thought of it. We use the almond oil from Goodbye Sandfly in our kitchen (isn't that comforting?). Look at all the ways that the kitchen can be beauty care. I love the idea of the Chocolate Facial (the Divine Chocofacial) and I promise you, yes, I must do this!

In health, Becky

Beauty Products Good Enough to Eat

by Dr. Wendy Maddocks-Jennings (RN, DHlthSc)

Most of us will have a few ingredients lurking in our pantry which can easily be adapted to make everyday home-made products, to use as a treat on our skin and body. This is a great way to make bespoke products just for you or your family, as well as saving some money.

The following ingredients are handy to have for beauty care:

  • ground almonds
  • oatmeal
  • seaweed
  • cocoa powder
  • raw sugar
  • lemons

We have put some clips on YouTube, to show you how to use these ingredients in a number of ways. These can be viewed at drwendysbotanical on youtube.


This has a long history of being used as skin softener and soothing agent for itchy and inflamed skin, such as with eczema or chickenpox. If you have severe itching, then an easy way to use it is to add a good handful to a tepid bath. Another way is to put a handful into a net bag (or old stocking!) and hang it over the tap while the bath is running. It will create a milky solution. If you have a single patch of itchy eczema try making a paste with a handful of oatmeal and boiled water and apply to the area. Cover with a clean cloth. If that is a bit messy for you then it is possible to make a poultice using the oatmeal water. Add 2 handfuls of oatmeal to a bowl and cover well with boiled water and leave to stand until lukewarm. Strain out and squeeze out. Soak a clean facecloth in this water and apply to the area. This way is also perfect for itchy chickenpox spots.

If you suffer from dry eczema on your hands then give them a real treat. Mix a teaspoon of oatmeal with your favourite hand cream and massage into your hands, or even better, persuade someone to give you a nice hand massage!! Remove the excess oatmeal, and if you have the time, apply cotton gloves which will allow the moisturiser to soak in.

Oatmeal can also be used to make a face pack which is great for dry skin or wind/sunburn (e.g. after skiing or being outdoors). The best way to make a smooth pack for the face is to use a small stick mixer and add 1 tablespoon of oatmeal with your usual cleanser and beat to a smooth paste. Apply this to face (avoid the eyes) and leave on for 5-10 minutes (a good idea while in the bath).

Cocoa Powder

Another great ingredient is pure cocoa powder, organic if you have it, as it is so much richer and more effective. Cocoa is rich in many goodies that not only taste good, but they are also good for the skin. Whilst the cocoa molecules are too large to be absorbed on the skin, there is certainly a noticeable skin-softening effect when cocoa is applied to the skin. You can pay lots of money and have a luxurious chocolate treatment at a spa, or you can create this yourself at home. In my experience cocoa is best for dry/mature /devitalised skin (it may be too rich for acne or blemished skin, sorry). It also acts as a gentle exfoliant.

For your face you can make a pack with 1 teaspoon of rich cocoa powder and your favourite cleanser (cream cleanser works best) and apply to the face (avoiding the eyes) and leave on for 10 minutes. It won't set and is easily removed with warm water or under a shower. Another treat is to give yourself a home pedicure. Remove the rough skin off your feet with a pumice file and mix 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder with a rich body moisturiser. Slather this mix onto your feet and cover with a plastic bag and hot towel. Lie back and relax, and let the nourishing cocoa mask work its magic. If your feet are a bit swollen or tired add 2-3 drops of peppermint essential oil to the mix as well. When you remove the plastic bag, slide off the rest of the cocoa mask, and remove with warm water (be careful as your feet will be slippery).

Remember your skin is your largest organ, and much of what you put on it is absorbed into the bloodstream. Using natural products means you are not adding chemicals to your body, and you are reducing the risk of irritations and allergies. However, as with anything, if there is any irritation, do not use and remove with soap and water. These homemade remedies do not contain any preservatives and are designed for instant use. At most, they may last for a few days in the fridge. Handling them with fingers will increase the chance of contamination.

Using items from your home kitchen means you can create high quality, low cost, and chemical-free products that feel great to use. Try a recipe or two, you'll feel the difference!

From You

We do chop wood for heat! The woodpile has become a topic of annual conversation in our house. Will we have enough, will the boys help chop and stack, must it sit in the middle of our backyard until we are ready to move it. When will we be able to secure another load? Where did I put the ax? sigh. but, at the end of the day, when it's cold out (and in!) it is lovely to sit in front of the dynamic woodburning stove – and it even works during a power outage We love it And I think Dave is funny – who 'wood'n't!?



The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do.
About the author

Dr. Wendy Maddocks-Jennings

RN, DHlthSc

Dr. Wendy Maddocks-Jennings (RN, DHlthSc) is a registered nurse and aromatherapist who has been involved in many aspects of aromatherapy and health care since 1983. Her clinical nursing experiences spanned critical care, and emergency nursing as well as acute pain management. Wendy studied Aromatherapy and massage in the UK initially. From there she studied further including with Dr. Peneol in France on an aromatic retreat with Aroma tours and completed NZ's first doctoral degree investigating the use of aromatherapy within a clinical setting in New Zealand. Wendy taught aromatherapy and clinical nursing for 15 years and now runs Dr. Wendy's 100% Botanical Skin Care Range as well as a natural skincare and aromatic consultancy/education company, MJ Health Ltd. She edits Sharing Aromatherapy, the NZ register of Holistic Aromatherapists Journal, and has published widely in various aromatherapy publications over the last 15 years.