In Crete there is a cave that goes down to the depths of the earth, you can reach it by foot or on the back of a donkey on a steep path. Once inside, only the light from the lamps illuminates the stalactites and stalagmites that accompany the visitor on a path that leads him to the origin of the myth. The legend says that Zeus, the king of the Olympians, was born in this cave. Rhea, in fact, to save the child from the fury of his father Cronos, who was afraid of being ousted, decided to give birth in this cave. The child was entrusted to the care of the nymph Melissa, who fed the little Zeus with honey. Zeus grew strong and powerful but Cronos, having become aware of this and of Melissa's role, turned her into an earthworm as a punishment. But Zeus, to save her, changed Melissa into a bee. In fact, the plant that takes the name of Melissa officinalis or lemon balm, with its bright green leaves and lemon scented, is very loved by bees. But the scent of lemon balm not only attracts bees but also good mood, so much that an Arabic saying says that lemon balm makes the heart cheerful and full of joy. So, let's enter the myth, in a distant and legendary era, populated by nymphs and divinities, by preparing cosmetics able to remove tensions and fears and to protect our skin.
Lemon balm for the skin
Infusions, decoctions or floral water to be sprayed, lemon balm is suitable for all these preparations! This plant soothes red and irritated skin, thus resulting useful in case of sunburn or as an aftershave, it is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and healing and therefore helps in case of acne, it calms by acting as an anxiolytic and therefore it is perfect as an evening treatment before going to sleep (Cases et al, Med J Nutrition Metab., 2011 - Ramanauskien? et al, Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2015). But lemon balm is also illuminating and anti-aging for a rejuvenated skin since it is able to counteract the damage of UV rays that prematurely age the skin (Perez-Sanchez et al, J Dermatol Sci, 2016). Finally, as proven by scientific research, lemon balm also gives elasticity to the skin (Yui et al, J Nutr Sci Vitaminol, 2017).
We see a sebum-regulating and soothing mask for acne-prone skin. Take a handful of fresh lemon balm leaves and infuse them in a cup of boiling water for ten minutes, then filter and let cool down. In a bowl mix two tablespoons of ventilated green clay and as much lemon balm water as needed to give a creamy consistency, apply on clean face for ten minutes then rinse. For mature skin instead, in order to take advantage of the antioxidant and elasticizing properties of lemon balm try to mix two tablespoons of oatmeal, add 1 teaspoon of argan oil and as much lemon balm water as needed to create a cream, also in this case apply the mask on the clean face with a light massage and leave on for ten minutes. Finally, as a last cuddle, for all skin types and also as an aftershave, spray a little lemon balm water on the face as a tonic and complete with your cream.
Here is a real super relaxing cuddle. Bring a liter of water to the boil, remove from the heat and add 3 tablespoons of dried lemon balm, leave to infuse for 20 minutes, then filter and add to the bath water, immerse yourself to remove the tensions.