You'd be surprised by how many things you can use dried flowers for besides potpourri... not that making potpourri isn't riveting on its own. Dried flowers often retain the same beauty benefits that your fresh bouquet came with. Depending on the type of bloom, your dried flowers can make an amazing hair rinse or body scrub. The bonus is obviously that you get to enjoy the flowers' natural beauty before you get to work on your own.
There have been multiple studies conducted on the emotional impact of flowers, including one out of Rutgers University in New Jersey that states flowers have potent aromas that are used in essential oils, perfumes, and even medicine. Those benefits can be directly applied topically to diminish signs of wrinkles, treat acne, and other skin irritations. I always assumed that once a flower dried out, any nutrients that could help with skincare would have vanished. However, according to sources at Aura Cacia and anyone who knows a thing or two about tea, many of these properties live on in the afterlife of a flower.
Dried flowers often carry calming properties that can ease inflammation and improve complexion. Plus, the texture of dried flowers acts as a natural exfoliate to rid away dead or damaged skin cells while using its attributes to replenish new skin cells, heal scars Some flowers can even provide natural cleansing properties.
You can order your favorite dried flowers in bulk, or try your hand at drying your own flowers. Keep in mind that petal flowers dry differently than other types, but all flowers appreciate a cool, dry, and dark place while drying. Old coffee tins and shoe boxes make great little coffins for your new dried flowers. Once you've got your flowers dried, you can try some of these recipes that make me feel like the prettiest lil DIY scientist in the world.
1. Herbal Bath
This herbal bath recipe from Frontier Group is a great note to end the day on, especially in cold weather that can dry out your skin and cause achy joints. Infuse your bath by pouring boiling water over your flowers, then strain and add to the infusion to your bath water. For this flower bath, I chose dried white roses and dried helichrysums. Treat yo'self.
2. Body Scrub
If you'd like to feel pampered on the regular, I suggest you make a rose body scrub and watch the benefits of roses transform dull skin to soft, touchable skin. For this recipe, I used coconut and sunflower oil, finely ground sea salt, rose water, and dried roses before adding rose essential oil.
3. Softening Lavender Mask
Another great dried flower recipe roaming around the Internet is this softening lavender mask with oats, flaxseed, and dried lavender buds. Steep the flax and buds in a cup of water and then use the reserved water to make a paste with your oats and cornmeal. Apply on makeup free skin and rinse with lukewarm water.
4. Linen Freshener
If you're like me, heavily perfumed detergent gives you a straight-up rash, so you have to resort to scent-less, hypo-allergen, pricey detergent for your clothes. Still, just because your skin is super sensi, doesn't mean you can't have undies and bras that smell beautiful. I repurposed a mesh pouch that once contained WTF knows for my new linen pouch with dried yellow roses, dried carnations, and a few drops of ylang ylang essential oil.
5. Calendula Skin Healing Toner
Calendula has great healing powers, and the oil itself has been used for medicinal purposes and its microbial properties. I find the scent of the oil mildly offensive and heavy, but dried calendula flowers are something I'm trying to put all up on my face. Just boil water over dried calendula flowers and strain. Next, add a teaspoon of aloe vera and blend together. Depending on your skin type, add a drop of essential oil like lemon or lavender tea tree or witch hazel to keep the life of your toner. Otherwise, your toner will definitely need to be stored in the fridge.
6. Chamomile Hair Rinse
It's no secret that I love hair rinses since I've ditched the 'poo. Making a chamomile tea for your hair can have loads of benefits on your scalp and your hair shaft. I use about two tea bags for every eight ounces and let my rinse cool before applying it to soaking wet hair. Leave in for about 10 to 15 minutes and rinse thoroughly before conditioning.
Image: Kristin Collins Jackson (8)