Five alternative uses for Christmas spices table decorations face masks and more
05 November 2018 | Schwartz
From a traditional fruitcake and fresh cinnamon cookies to a show-stopping gingerbread house, there’s nothing quite like festive baking.
However, your festive spice exploits don’t have to stay confined to the kitchen!
Stock up on Schwartz cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and mixed spice and try something new – ever thought about incorporating them into your beauty routine or turning them into decorations? Take a look below and get inspired to try something a little different this Christmas.
1. Stunning Christmas table decorations
Set the tone for the big day with some beautiful Christmas table decorations.
Whether you prefer a sizeable Christmas centrepiece or small touches to set the mood, spices are your festive friend.
Glue cinnamon sticks vertically around jars and tie with red ribbon for gorgeous candleholders, or add whole nutmegs to centrepieces to compliment pinecones, holly branches and red roses.
Your fresh decorations can even smell incredible by mixing your preferred spice with water in a spray bottle and spritzing the centrepiece accordingly.
2. Relax with a soothing face mask
Banish dry winter skin with a soothing honey and cinnamon facemask.
A popular combination of ingredients is honey and cinnamon, which is believed to boost circulation and moisturise skin. All you need to do is blend three tablespoons of warm honey and one tablespoon of ground cinnamon together in a bowl, dampen your face slightly after cleansing, and apply a thick layer using your fingers and leave for around 15 minutes before washing off with warm water.
You’ll be left with glowing, nourished skin – just try not to eat it all before it works its magic!
3. Re-energise yourself with a spiced exfoliator
Ever found yourself a bit jaded after a few too many Christmas parties? Re-energise yourself by whipping up a homemade body scrub, made with all natural ingredients.
Most spices will work here, but ground ginger is a particularly good choice due to its anti-inflammatory properties, while brown sugar is the ideal base for a scrub, as the tiny grains are perfect for buffering.
Add olive oil and a touch of orange or lemon juice to the dry ingredients in a bowl to create a gritty, yet moist texture.
Try starting with one tablespoon of ground ginger, six tablespoons of brown sugar and six tablespoons of olive oil – just make sure to store it in the fridge so it stays at its best.
To apply, simply cleanse your face and gently apply the scrub with your fingers in circular motions to damp skin. Do this for around a minute and rinse off after for wonderfully fresh skin.
4. Mix up some Christmas candles
Fill your home with that gorgeous festive smell by making your own candles – which is great fun to do with kids and it’s actually surprisingly easy!
Just melt some plain wax in a saucepan with your preferred spice and pour it into a jar with a wick glued to the bottom (keeping the wick held up in place using two pencils either side of it and balanced on the jar).
Begin with one tablespoon of the spice and extra if you prefer a more intense fragrance. A candle with ground nutmeg makes bedrooms wonderfully comforting, while zesty ginger is perfect for a refreshing bathroom scent.
As well as dotting these around your own home, you could package them up for friends in a charming Christmas gift basket.
5. Wow guests with homemade spiced soap
Making your own soap is a fun activity to enjoy with children at Christmas time and can also make a great gift.
While there are lots of different methods, the easiest is to gently melt uncoloured, unscented soap in a saucepan and add your preferred ingredients. When adding spices, use around 1/2 tablespoon of the ground spices per large bar of soap to create the perfect festive fragrance.
Once the ingredients are combined in the pan, pour the mixture into a silicon soap mould (or silicone cake or muffin moulds), cover it with cling film, and leave at room temperature. Check on the soap every day until it has set, which shouldn’t take longer than three days. Once firm, slice it into bars and leave for another day before use.
If you’re after a refreshing soap, choose nutmeg or ginger with zested orange or lemon, while dry hands will love a mix of moisturizing ground oats and cinnamon. Pumpkin spice addicts can even make a soap that matches their coffee using a combination of mixed spice and pumpkin puree.