I wanted to break up my road trip updates a bit with a quick & easy beauty tutorial. This isn’t your standard chemical facial peel. It won’t give your skin second-degree burns or make you look like Lucille Bluth. Lemon juice acts as a natural “peel” because it removes dead skin cells, leaving your skin smooth and refreshed, but also more exposed. As such, I don’t recommend using this right before heading to the beach. And because of the combination of lemon and baking soda, it may burn sensitive skin. Please test on a small patch of your skin before spreading it all over your face.
Ingredients/Supplies — this makes 2-3 uses:
juice from half a lemon
2 tbs baking soda
½ tbs honey
a glass jar (if you are storing leftovers — remember, lemon is acidic!)
1. Mix all of your ingredients together. Tip: If you mix the honey and baking soda together first, it won’t fizz as much when you add in the lemon juice.
2. Wash your face as you normally would with your chosen face wash, then pat dry.
3. Apply your lemon and honey peel liberally, and rub in gently with fingertips for about 30 seconds.
4. Let sit for up to 10 minutes.
5. Rinse off and follow with astringent or toner and your favorite moisturizer. Use moisturizer with SPF in it if you’re going to spend a lot of time in the sun after you use this peel.
Remember my Summer Skincare Tips post? I thought I’d do another for winter. I know it isn’t officially winter yet, but since we saw our first snow fall earlier this week, I’m thinking it’s close enough. Truthfully, many of the tips I shared in my summer post are relevant for winter skincare, but given how dry the air is, it’s even more important to stay hydrated and moisturized. Here are my favorite ways to do so…
1. Drink lots of water orcoconut water. Some people aren’t big on the taste of coconut water, but if you can get past that, it really is an amazing hydrator — some say it hydrates even better than water because it’s choc full of electrolytes. It’s also rich in potassium. Try adding it to smoothies if you don’t like the taste.
2. We’re all tempted to take hot baths or showers in the winter to stay warm, but this can actually dry out your skin. So if you do take a bath, try to keep it warm rather than hot and add some milk and honey to your bathwater. As celebrity esthetician Catherine Ianelli says in her milk and honey bath soak recipe, “milk makes the skin soft, is rich in AHA’s (alpha hyroxy acids), which promote exfoliation, and gives the skin a glowing complexion.”
3. Just as it’s important to exfoliate your face, it’s crucial to exfoliate your body, too, especially in the winter. My homemade vanilla coconut sugar scrub is my go-to body scrub. The sugar gets rid of dry, flaky skin and the coconut oil swoops in to moisturize. I’m also partial to my Jar of Frosting, a whipped soap body scrub made with jojoba beads to cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize.
4. My Coco Body Balm packs a super-moisturizing punch because it’s made from cocoa butter, shea butter, coconut oil, and jojoba oil. Liquid lotions tend to contain chemical preservatives, whereas my Coco Body Balm is entirely natural, and therefore entirely good to your skin. I use it on particularly dry patches of skin like my elbows, knees, heels, and slather it on my hands before I go to bed.
5. Whether or not you’re prone to dry skin, it’s better to use a natural bar soap for your face in the winter. Not just any bar soap, of course, you’ll want one specifically formulated for the sensitive skin on our face. Why? Because natural facial bar soaps are made with skin-loving oils that provide your skin with more moisture rather than removing it. Most liquid face washes contain surfactants (also in household cleaning products!) which strip your skin of its natural oils, leaving your face too dry. I like this oatmeal & lavender facial cleansing bar from Blissoma.
6. Hopefully, if you’ve followed all of the above steps, your skin will be well-moisturized, but if you need a little extra help, you’ll want to keep a face serum handy. Facial serums can be pricey, but they are packed with rejuvenating oils, so you only need a few drops for your whole face. The best serums — like this Organic Face Serum from Antho — contain Rosehip and Argan oils, loaded with powerful antioxidants and natural essential vitamins.
What do you do to keep your skin soft in the winter?
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Happy Labor Day! Let’s take a minute to appreciate our skin today, which works so hard to keep us pretty. ;)
This is a mask you can easily whip up in seconds. At the core of it is one green tea bag (dry, not steeped!) and one tablespoon of baking soda. Rip open the tea bags and mix with the baking soda, then store this mixture in an airtight container. When you’re ready to use the mask, take one teaspoon of the dry mixture and combine with one teaspoon of the following, depending on your skin type:
water – for oily skin
milk – for normal/combination skin
olive oil – for dry skin
honey – for all skin types; raw honey is a great humectant (it rehydrates skin by drawing on moisture from the air).
I like to think of this as a “choose your own adventure” mask. Remember those books? I always seemed to choose poorly. Lucky, you can’t do that with this mask because no matter which liquid you choose to mix in, your skin is still going to be exfoliated. Win!
Wash your face with your favorite cleanser.
Mix up the mask according to your skin type above.
Spread the mixture on your face with your fingertips and gently rub into the skin for 30-60 seconds.
A few of my friends have asked me for tips on getting rid of acne or basic skincare maintenance. Skin is either too oily or too dry; there’s almost never a happy medium. We all have this problem (even me!), and of course it varies with the seasons. I thought I’d share my summer skincare routine with you, along with some of my go-to products.
1. I notice my skin is the clearest when I wash my face at night. Right now, I’m using a cream cleanser I’m developing myself, but my favorite retail cleanser is the Burt’s Bees Soap Bark and Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream. It’s made entirely from natural ingredients and doesn’t include harsh chemical detergents that cause your skin to dry out.
2. I always, always, always follow up with my homemade rosewater and witch hazel astringent. I used to be terrible at using astringents, but now that it’s a part of my routine, my skin stays much cleaner. It’s super easy to make — you can find most of the ingredients at your local health food store, or online. After using your cleanser, put a few drops of the astringent on a cotton ball and swipe over your face (avoiding your eye area, of course). I sometimes use the astringent throughout the day to freshen up.
3. Exfoliate at least twice a week. Admittedly, I’m still working on this one. When I do remember to exfoliate twice a week, I get less acne. My favorite exfoliating masks are both homemade: DIY strawberry mask (strawberries contain salicylic acid, which fights off acne-causing bacteria) and DIY oat & cornmeal exfoliating facial scrub & mask (this one’s easier to keep on hand).
4. Traveling is no excuse not to take care of your skin! If you need a good on-the-go cleanser, try the Yes to Cucumbers Hypoallergenic Facial Towelettes. Infused with aloe vera, cucumbers, and green tea, these babies remove makeup, soothe, and clean your skin. Plus, they smell great, too!
5. Now that you’ve got the cleaning part down, don’t forget to moisturize, even if your skin is typically oily. One of the biggest reasons why skin becomes oily is because we wash it with all of these harsh cleansers, strip its natural oils, then we don’t bother replacing any of those oils. This makes our skin work extra hard to compensate for those missing oils, pumping them out and resulting in shiny, slick, yucky skin. Gross, right? So always replenish those oils — just like you would drink water after sweating. My favorite moisturizers are both from DressGreen: Purifying and Blemish Controlling Face Serum (best for drier skin) and Calming and Clarifying Face Cream (better for oilier skin). Like most people, I have combination skin, so I use these interchangeably. They’re both 100% natural and free of toxic chemicals.
6. Of course it’s Summer, so we can’t forget the sunscreen. Dermatologists suggest wearing sunscreen on your face daily because our facial skin is most susceptible to sun damage. My natural sunscreen of choice is Naked Bee’s Face & Body Moisturizing SPF 30 Sunscreen, which contains 70% organic content and is enriched with Vitamin C. It smells lovely and has no Parabens, Propylene Glycol, Laurel/Laureth Sulfates, or alcohol.
Be safe, don’t forget to drink lots of water and share your Summer skincare tips in the comments!