Spa

By Kayla Fioravanti

I started my entire business in my kitchen using ingredients like essential oils, oatmeal and coffee to create skin care products for personal use and to create a supplemental income for my family. I’ve been in the beauty industry now for the past twelve years. Even with access to more beauty products than the average woman, I still hold tight to my roots as a ‘kitchen chemist’. The key to my creations is to always include the use of essential oils; because as a mom I have found I can create just what my family needs with just a few basic essential oils and what I find in my kitchen. My aromatherapy essentials include; lavender, tea tree, laurel leaf, peppermint and eucalyptus.

I will always hold tea tree essential oil near and dear to my heart. It is the essential oil that launched the early phase of my company Essential Wholesale. A stubborn case of ringworm on my son’s face led me to the health food store desperately seeking a natural cure after prescriptions failed. Once his ringworm was cured, I used the tea tree essential oil to make soap in my kitchen as Christmas gifts. Once my inner ‘kitchen chemist’ was released, there was no stopping my innovative side. My husband and I combined my new found passion with his business genius to build the foundation of Essential Wholesale.

When it comes to creating, I am a waste-not-want-not kind of gal. I love to put everyday items to use in my beauty routine. There is so much potential in your kitchen cupboards to create mini home-spa therapies. I don’t want to have to run to the store every time my feet are aching for a soak. I’d rather see what I have in the kitchen that will not only do the trick but will one-up expensive treatments. Why soak your feet in warm water with a dash a salt when you can sink your feet into mashed potatoes or oatmeal? The therapeutic value of food items should never be underestimated (not to mention the fact that these soaks retain heat better than plain water does, thus enhancing the overall experience).

Potatoes in your beauty regime have unexpected value. You can slice raw potatoes and put them on your eyelids to reduce puffiness. Or you can cure swollen feet with a mashed potato foot soak! It is so easy – simply purchase a box of dehydrated mashed potatoes and follow the recipe. Once you have your mashed potatoes, add lukewarm or cool water to get the temperature to the right level in which to soak your feet. The potatoes not only retain heat longer than a traditional footbath but they actually help reduce swelling and soften skin. To make it special, add lavender or peppermint essential oil before you put your feet in. Then sit back and indulge feet into one of the best soaks you’ll ever experience!

If potatoes aren’t your thing, oatmeal truly is the ultimate multi-purpose food. It can be used to make one of the most amazing foot soaks of your life, as well as many other beauty and spa treatments. Oatmeal foot soaks are the most soothing and deeply restorative treatments for dry, cracked and painful feet. Simply follow the directions on the box to make a very generous helping. Once the oatmeal is made, simply add a touch of lukewarm or cool water to get the right temperature and then indulge your feet. The same idea can be used for a hand soak as well. Oatmeal is incredibly soothing on dry irritated skin. If you have athlete’s foot, add tea tree essential oil, and if your feet are aching, add peppermint.

Oatmeal is for more than just foot soaks. It is the perfect ingredient to add to facial masques and scrubs because of its soothing properties. I like to add equal parts instant oatmeal to any type of Dry Masque, and simply follow the instructions to mix the masque. The oatmeal creates a very gentle exfoliant when applied with gentle circular motions. These masques with the oatmeal added not only detoxify the skin but leave it feeling soft and smooth. Instant oatmeal can also be added to your favorite cleanser at the time of use. Simply mix equal parts cleanser to equal parts instant oatmeal and use immediately. Cleanse and exfoliate your skin with gentle upward strokes and rinse. Lavender and tea tree make the perfect essential oil blend to clear up troubled skin.

For an at-home spa experience, take advantage of the cranberry season by making your own homemade facial masque. Below is a simple recipe and this same recipe could be varied by using pumpkin pie mix, mashed potatoes and other seasonal fresh foods.

Cranberry Concoction 
¼ teaspoon Green Clay, 
1 teaspoon Plain Yogurt, 
1 tablespoon Honey, 
¼ cup of cranberries, 
¼ cup cranberry juice

Directions: Blend the cranberries to a pulp. Mix in all other ingredients thoroughly. Apply to face and leave on for 10-15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with a dark colored wash cloth (so you won’t stain a light one). Tone and moisturize as usual. If you would like your masque to be thicker, you can add more green clay. What you are left with is a radiant, exfoliated, hydrated, fresh face without spending the $$$ on a professional facial.

Don’t discount the therapeutic remedies that can be found in your own kitchen cabinet. Buying green clay as a base for creating your own in-home spa treatments will open up the possibilities to you. You will never look at your eggs, yogurt, soy milk, goat milk, rice milk, kefir, distillate water, pureed baby food, honey, milk, fruit or vegetable juices, or vinegar the same way again once you experience the phenomenal in-home spa treatments you can create by adding any of these to a powered masque for fresh immediate application. Open your eyes to the countless in-home spa treatments you can create for pennies…and of course, don’t forget to have fun with it!

Kayla Fioravanti is an ARC Registered & Certified Aromatherapist and the Co-founder and Chief Cosmetic Formulator for Essential Wholesale (http://www.essentialwholesale.com). She is the go-to-specialist for formulating and supplying information regarding natural, organic and pure cosmetics. Kayla formulates everything from household products, skin care products, and hair care to mineral makeup and everything in between. Kayla and her husband Dennis started Essential Wholesale in their kitchen with $50 and now have a multi-million dollar business housed in a 30,000 square foot certified organic facility.
Key Words: Kayla Fioravanti, starting your own spa business, essential wholesale, recipes for spa treatments, at-home facials, at-home foot and hand soak, oatmeal and potatoes in spa treatments.

Originally published November 2009
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