Beauty Guru: Basil to the Rescue

One of the few things that I like to grow (and can grow) successfully is basil. By the time warm weather arrives here on the Gulf Coast, I've got a kitchen window loaded with showy, full plants that smell as freshly fragrant as they are bright green. Even after giving away tons of leaves, I always have plenty leftover to make my favorite two summer beauty concoctions - right in my kitchen sink. The first is a cleansing toner, the second a detoxifying drink that I love to sip all summer long.

First the toner…

Start with a handful of fresh basil leaves. I pull them right from my plant when I need them.

Sort through them and toss out the yellow leaves. The leaves should be crisp, green and firm.

Fill a bowl or mortar with fresh leaves. Roll the pestle over the leaves just enough to release the fragrant oil of the basil leaves.

Put the crushed leaves in a clean jelly jar and fill it with purified water. I let the water infuse by leaving the basil leaves in the jar for 24 hours. I like refrigerating this concoction to keep it fresh and cool.

On hot days when I need a quick refreshing, I dampen a soft towel with the basil water and wipe away grit and grime. It's also great as a toner in between your cleanser and moisturizer.

As a detoxifying drink...

Are your summer days full of sugary iced teas or alcoholic spritzers? If so, you probably need a detoxifying drink, like me. Here's a good one I make with basil.

You need these ingredients:

1 sliced cucumber

1 sliced lemon or lime

5 or 6 whole, fresh basil leaves

Purified water

Sweetener (if you like something sweet)

Mix all the ingredients together in a plastic or glass pitcher. Let fruits, veggies and herbs soak for an hour before you begin drinking this satisfying drink. Delish and detoxifying!

What is your favorite healthy, beautifying drink for summer?

Monica is a Beauty Guru who enjoy finding beauty in other cultures. Monica also blogs about her life and career at Vixen With a Pen.