DIY Beauty: All-Natural Homemade Face Wash

DIY natural face recipe wash via @poorandpretty

I have been testing my all-natural homemade face wash for about two months now, and I’m happy to say that it has performed better than any store bought product! Because it contains no harsh surfactants, it doesn’t strip away my skin’s natural oil. Rather, the jojoba oil and castile soap combine to gently remove dirt without drying out my face. It’s pretty fantastic, and perfect for those with sensitive or problem skin, dry or oily. See more details about each ingredient below.

DIY natural face recipe wash ingredients via @poorandpretty

You will need:

  • 1 8oz bottle — I recommend these.
  • a funnel
  • 1 cup castile soap — a very mild soap made from olive oil
  • 1 tbs jojoba oil — similar to our skin’s natural oils; it penetrates deeply without leaving an oily residue & is suitable for all skin types
  • 1 tsp rose floral water or rose hydrosol (they aren’t exactly the same thing, but pretty close) — works as an astringent to balance skin; fights acne
  • a few sprigs of fresh or dried rosemary — rosemary is an antiseptic and encourages cell regrowth
  • 11 drops of lavender essential oil — antiseptic, heals blemishes

DIY natural face wash via @poorandpretty

Place the funnel on top of your bottle and add the castile soap, jojoba oil, and rose floral water into the bottle. Remove the funnel and drop in your rosemary, then add the lavender. Shake it up!

DIY natural face wash with lavender and rosemary via @poorandpretty

And that’s all there is to it! Be sure to shake well before each use, as your ingredients will separate. As with any new body products, you will likely need to try this out for 2-3 weeks before your skin becomes acclimated to it. I’d love to hear what you think!

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DIY Beauty: All-natural bright & fresh strawberry face mask

DIY Strawberry Honey Mask poorandpretty

How about starting off the new year with a bright & fresh face? This is yet another easy mask, made with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. Let’s get to it!

Strawberry & Honey Mask ingredients 1 poorandpretty

Bright & Fresh Strawberry Honey Face Mask. This should make 4-5 applications, which you can store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a week.

Ingredients:

  • 4 strawberries — rich in vitamins A & C, contain salicylic acid, which rids the skin of dead cells and heals & dries acne
  • 1 tbs unsweetend coconut milk — high in antioxidants, removes dirt build-up, replaces moisture in dehydrated skin
    • I highly recommend using coconut milk (you can use the rest to make these coconut cupcakes!), but you can use soy or regular milk as substitutes if you need to.
  • ½ tbs honey — antibacterial, great humectant (it rehydrates skin by drawing on moisture from the air)

Strawberry & Honey Mask - cut strawberry leaves - poorandpretty

Step One: Cut off the strawberry leaves. But don’t throw them away! You can boil the leaves and use the water as an astringent after you rinse off your mask.

Strawberry & Honey Mask - mash up strawberries 2 - poorandpretty

Step Two: Mash up the strawberries in a blender, food processor, or with a fork if you need to get some aggression out ;)

Strawberry & Honey Mask - finished - poorandpretty

Step Three: Add in the coconut milk and honey, and mix well.

Step Four: Apply to your face with your fingertips, carefully avoiding your eyes. Let sit for 15-20 minutes, until dry. Enjoy the Fruit Rollup scent.

Step Five: Rinse thoroughly, massaging the strawberry mixture over your skin gently as you rinse. This gives your face a little extra exfoliation.

Follow up with an astringent and your favorite moisturizer. Enjoy your deliciously-scented, super smooth skin!

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Winter skincare tips & top picks

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…

winter-skincare-faves-poorandpretty

1. Drink lots of water or coconut 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?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which may generate a revenue for Poor & Pretty when a purchase is made. You can read more about my affiliate link policies here.

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Summer skincare tips & top picks

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.

summer skincare tips and top picks - poor and pretty

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!

Bonus: want naturally beachy hair without going to the beach? Try making my DIY sea salt hair spray!

This post is a part of Independent Fashion Bloggers Project #104 Summer Essentials.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which may generate a revenue for Poor & Pretty when a purchase is made. You can read more about my affiliate link policies here.

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Indie Spotlight + Giveaway: Joy Atkisson of Purely You Minerals

Joy Atkisson Purely You Minerals - Poor & Pretty

You might remember seeing Purely You Minerals’ lip gloss as one of my Friday Faves last week. Like you, I struggle with finding the perfect lip gloss and — even more of a hassle — the perfect foundation! So I’m happy to introduce to you Joy Atkisson, founder of Purely You Minerals.

Purely You Minerals 2 - Poor & Pretty

Purely You Minerals is a new line of mineral makeup that is not only good for you, it’s good for others, too. Purely You products do not contain talc, powdered starches, clays, bismuth oxychloride, or parabens, and are gluten free and never tested on animals. 10% of profits go directly to Bring Love In, a non-profit organization founded by Joy’s friends. Says Joy, “It is a beautiful thing that we can make a life changing difference in the world just by putting on our makeup. Purely You Minerals brings out the inner beauty in us all.” Today, she chats with us about skincare, running a small business, and of course, makeup! Don’t miss the giveaway, too! Details at the end of the post.

Purely You Minerals - Poor & Pretty

Poor & Pretty: Like many of us women, you struggled with skin problems and cakey makeup. What made you switch to mineral makeup?
Joy Atkisson: For years, I had been caught up in the nasty cycle of wearing makeup, breaking out, having to wear more makeup to cover it up, breaking out more. I tried every crazy “cure” you can think of… including egg on my face! True story. In 2007, mineral makeup started gaining popularity, so I decided to give it a try. It took a little while to get used to the messy powder and to learn what the heck a Kabuki brush is, but my skin started clearing up.

Purely You Minerals foundation 1 - Poor & Pretty

P&P: What makes mineral makeup so different?
JA: Quality mineral makeup allows your skin to breath and doesn’t clog your pores. It also appeals to my inner hippy because it doesn’t contain harsh chemicals, so it’s about as natural as you can get. What I truly love about it is that I don’t have to hide behind cake makeup. I can apply mineral makeup as fancy or as natural as I want and I still feel like ME! I love that!

P&P: So instead of continuing to buy mineral makeup, you decided to make it yourself. Why?
JA: Haha! I get this question a lot. The truth is…. I was broke! My husband and I had been married for a year, we had just had a baby, and I wanted to stay home with her. There was no extra room in our budget for expensive makeup. Most companies at that time were very expensive. I looked at the back of one of one of my jars and saw that there were only a few ingredients and I thought to myself, “I wonder if I could make this?” I seriously underestimated how hard it was going to be, but I love research so it really became a hobby. I would work on it during my daughter’s naps or late at night. Necessity is truly the mother of invention.

Purely You Minerals eyeshadows - Poor & Pretty

P&P: How is Purely You Minerals different from other brands?
JA: That is a key question! Purely You Minerals is made in small batches to insure quality control. I have tried to stay away from some of the most common allergens (gluten intolerance runs in my husband’s family, so I am very mindful of that especially). I also don’t use any fillers such as cornstarch (which can clog pores, and don’t even get me started about GMOs!) or Bismuth Oxychloride (it doesn’t photograph well, it’s shiny, and makes many people breakout). Another HUGE factor is price! Because I do the formulating, manufacturing and packaging myself, I can keep my expenses down, which in turn lets me keep my prices at an affordable level. Perhaps most importantly, I have a face; I am not a big company with fancy machines. I am a stay at home mom with a home office/lab. And, I wear my own products!

P&P: What propelled you to start selling your products?
JA: My husband! He and I have never really fit the 9 to 5 mold, but we weren’t sure how to survive without a “normal” job. However, my formula rivaled and out-performed some of the leading mineral makeup lines and my husband saw how it was helping my skin. He said, “You really need to start your own makeup line!” It has been five years (and 2 more babies) since then, but we are finally making it happen.

Purely You Minerals Berry Red lip gloss - Poor & Pretty

P&P: Wow, three kids! How do you balance being a mom with running a home-based business?
JA: I have no idea! Haha! Most of the time, my sink is full of dishes and I’m tripping over shoes and toys. I try to work mostly during naps and at night, but some weeks are busier then others. Family will always be my priority, but I am doing what I love so I am blessed! I am definitely not superwoman; I have help. My husband is a fantastic father and super supportive. My best friend, Melody Spencer is my Marketing Manager and Social Media Coordinator. My brother, David Arnold also owns his own business called Code Luna. He does computer nerd stuff, so he built my website.

Purely You Minerals foundation 2 - Poor & Pretty

P&P: Okay, let’s talk tips. Finding the right shade of foundation is hard! Can you help?
JA: Absolutely! Order my free samples! The best thing you can do is try and identify your undertone (warm, cool, neutral). I have cool undertones, but I get quite red in the face so I prefer to counteract that by using neutral colored foundation. If you still have a hard time getting the shade just right, I can formulate something just for you.

P&P: What are a few essential skincare tips we should always observe?
JA: Get good sleep. Drink lots of water. EXFOLIATE! I swear by One Minute Wonder gel exfoliator by Max International. Good skincare is essential to good makeup application.

Purely You Minerals blushing lip gloss - Poor & Pretty

P&P: The Purely You Minerals lineup currently includes foundation, bronzer, blush, eyeshadow, and lip gloss. Any new products on the horizon?
JA: We will be launching our all-natural pressed eyeshadows and blushes in the very near future. It will be a build-your-own pallet sort of thing where you can purchase refills and not have to purchase a new pallet each time. Also in the works is pressed foundation, nail polish, and all-natural mascara!

Want to try out Purely You Minerals for yourself? Joy is giving away one of her products to a lucky Poor & Pretty reader. Just “like” Purely You Minerals on Facebook, pick out your single favorite Purely You product from their online shop {choose from foundation, silk veil, blush, loose eyeshadow or lip gloss} and tell us what it is in the comments below. Hurry, though! The contest ends Sunday, February 10th at 10:00 pm EST.

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