Fun Beauty Activities to Help Parents and Kids Bond.

As children grow older, parents should find fun ways to spend time together that make their kids feel pampered, teach them how to take care of themselves and improve communication.

That's according to beauty expert Erika Katz, a former actress and model and now mother of a tween girl and boy.

Katz wrote the book "Bonding Over Beauty, a Mother-Daughter Guide to Self-Esteem, Confidence and Trust." She uses Epsom salt to help teach her daughter basic beauty rituals, including preparations for painting nails and creating a salt glow scrub to help keep skin feeling soft and smooth. She also has her son soak in Epsom salt when his muscles are sore from playing soccer.

"Anything you can do to spend time together is great," Katz said. "You do an activity to get them to talk. You make something together — it's crafty, it's cool and it's a great way to open the door."

With mothers and daughters, for instance, Katz said the nature of their relationship as girls approach their teenage years hinges largely on how the mom handles sticky issues, such as shaving legs, using tampons or wearing makeup to school. Katz suggests practical, comprehensive tips to help create lifetime bonds, including:

  • A salt glow scrub for use either to exfoliate before shaving or to add to a bath to help tired muscles recover. (Mix 1/4 cup Epsom salt, 1/4 cup sea salt, 2 Tbsp. powdered milk, 2 Tbsp. honey, 1/3 cup almond oil, 5 drops jasmine oil).
  • Apply an Avocado and Mayonnaise Hair Treatment to help moisturize and nourish locks and support hair's strength and elasticity. (Mix 1 cup mayonnaise, 1/2 avocado, 1 Tbsp. olive oil).
  • Add Peppermint Muscle Soak to a bath and help soothe achy muscles. (Mix 2 cups Epsom salt, 2 Tbsp. sea salt, 5 drops rose oil, 3 drops rose water, 3 drops peppermint oil).

"It's all about pampering them and making them feel treasured," Katz said. "You're not doing this to get perfect skin, although that's a nice side benefit. It's just a way to make them feel treasured and get them talking to you."

Katz said she often recommends Epsom salt because it's good for your skin, the recipes will last a long time and, "because I like things that are inexpensive and that work." Whether it's soaking feet in Epsom salt before a pedicure or preparing a soothing bath with Epsom salt to help children sleep, Katz said parents can help kids feel special. "It's all money in the bank," Katz said. "This is what they will remember."

Note: For human use, the Epsom Salt Council recommends only Epsom salt with the USP designation.