One day I was lamenting the speed at which my hair is graying, when my big boy consoled me, "Mamma, gray hair doesn't matter at all!" I felt better. Briefly. Because then he continued: "Wrinkles, however, do!" No problem, I thought to myself. I'll just tell my skin not to get wrinkles ...
In a decades-long effort to delay skin aging, I've always bought facial moisturizers whose labels contain poetic, hopeful anti-aging promises on their labels. Before I had a family I used to buy expensive creams in elegant bottles, but no more. Not only because of our family-induced tighter budget, but because now I have wrinkles despite all that money spent on expensive creams - aging, it seems, comes with living.
My interest in anti-aging products perked up immediately when, at the beginning of summer, I read on an Italian gardening blog about the properties of Hypericum perforatum (St John's Wort) oil. Though my garden is full of wild hypericum plants, I've never harvested it before, but reading that hypericum oil counts anti-aging effects among its many skin-healing properties, I had to make it. And I'm glad I did.
Making hypericum oil is in fact a beautiful process. According to the instructions, you need to harvest the tiny, bright-yellow blossoms when in full bloom at summer solstice (which is St John's day), and steep the twigs (not just the flowers but the leaves as well) in olive oil in an air-tight clear-glass container, where you let it infuse in direct sunlight for a moon cycle. [Note: Tom strongly advised me against leaving olive oil in sunlight because it becomes rancid and develops free radicals which are actually harmful to the skin. He also pointed out that oil, being a solvent, extracts essences just as well in the dark. So I left my oil to infuse in direct sunlight, and absorb the benefits of the sun, only the first and the last day of the moon cycle]. After just a few days, the oil turns a beautiful deep ruby color. When about thirty days are up, you strain the twigs out, and pour the hypericum oil into a dark-glass container.
I keep my hypericum oil in an amber glass bottle with a glass eye dropper: two drops added to my regular facial cream, and my skin feels really nice - and my spirit feels all the benefits of that ruby infusion of garden blossoms, sunshine and summer.