Sugar and spice and everything nice . . . this column and the next will be dedicated to all those readers with a sweet tooth. There is a virtual candy store of recipes for health and beauty which make good use of sugar and other sweets. Honey, sugar and molasses may all be put to the service of your hair and skin, with no harmful side effects like calories and cavities. Finally, a guilt-free way to indulge!

Honey face-pack

Put the stickiness of honey to good use by applying a thin layer of it to your well-cleansed face, then gently patting all over with your fingertips until the honey has become quite tacky. The slight pull the tap gives your skin does an amazing job of stimulating the local circulation, and the honey itself will nourish and moisturize your skin. You will emerge from five minutes of this with a distinct glow in your cheeks, velvety smooth skin, and on top of this the natural antibacterial properties of honey will benefit any skin complaints.

Sweet fruit face-pack

Fruits are so sweet that you don’t need to add to their natural sugars: strawberries, papayas, or melons may all be used in face-packs that will stimulate, refresh and nourish your skin. Simply mash the fruit and apply the pulp to your well-cleansed face, then lie down and relax for five to 20 minutes before rinsing. Some people are allergic to strawberries, so it’s best to do a patch-test first with that fruit. Otherwise the strawberry is great for oily skins. Papaya contains an enzyme that sloughs away dead skin cells, so is good for any one with dull, tired skin — but again, test first. Melons are nice for just about any kind of skin, and should not cause any kind of irritation.

Black sugar wash

This is a traditional Japanese recipe for beautiful skin. Take some unrefined kurozato (black sugar), and add a bit of hot water to it in the palm of your hand and rub over your face for a gentle cleansing. Add a bit of rice bran to it for a more soaplike effect. The black sugar, like molasses, will stimulate and tone your skin.

Black sugar tonic lotion

This is a simple remedy for tired skin: dissolve a little unrefined sugar in some hot water, then pat onto the face and leave for five minutes before rinsing. The face will feel warmed and revitalized, and your skin will enjoy the toning nutrients.

Rum and molasses hair pack

After shampooing your hair, and while you are luxuriating in a bath, sauna, or steam room, allow your hair to take in the vitamins and minerals of molasses with a rum and molasses hair pack. Rum, of course, is an age-old French hair beautifier. Leave the mixture on your hair for 20 minutes, then rinse. Afterward, you should find your hair is silky and full of vitality. Add an egg yolk and increase the nourishing benefits.

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