Organic Skin Care Brands That I Love

You don't have to search far for beauty products that are labelled as natural, but for the truly organic skin care brands you do have to dig deep. These little gems can cost more than your average facial cleanser or anti-aging serum, but if you are taking the organic living plunge (food, clothing, bedding, cleaning, and beauty), then you definitely want to make sure your skin care arsenal follows suit. 

Why use only organic beauty products?

There are a lot of reasons to raise your own personal standards from natural to organic. The well-being of the environment for one. Buying certified organic products sends the message that there is a demand, which leads to more support for organic agricultural production. 

Choosing organic skin care for your beauty needs does make a difference for your skin and for the earth's skin - no pesticides, no chemical fertilizers. Also, organic includes the use of techniques that will sustain and preserve the soil, such as growing a variety of crops or rotating to make sure the earth isn't over-farmed or robbed of key nutrients, nutrients that should be in your rose water and apricot kernel oil. 

Aside from the ethical and environmental benefit, you get to nourish and replenish your skin with pure, chemical-free, organic ingredients. Do organic herbs, fruits, and oils have more vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients than non-organic? They may, although I would think that the nutritional concentration depends on a variety of different factors, not just whether enough organic methods were used to garner certification. 

My top three organic skin care brands:

  1. Dr. Hauschka. This is my high-end, I treat myself once in awhile natural skin care choice. Everything is not actually 100% organic, but it all is either organic, ethically wild-harvested, or grown biodynamically (biodynamic farming practices revolve around improving and supporting a healthy planet. They are really fascinating and worth a look-up. I am presently using the Quince Day Cream, it was a splurge but I love it! It melts into my skin and is incredibly softening without weighing my skin down. It is intended for dry skin, but I like it with combination.
  2. John Masters Organics. I love this organic beauty line because it radiates simple purity. Even the marketing is clean and refined. There are only a handful of ingredients in each product. This makes sense to me. After all if you have 30 ingredients, your awesome green tea extract and pomegranate oil, the ingredients that may have got you to buy the product, may only make up a tiny portion of the whole recipe. Keep it simple, honest, and pure. Right now I am using the Bearberry Skin Balancing Face Wash, which is moderately priced, but more importantly it has literally lasted for 2 months and I still have quite a bit left. I also love the Vitamin C Anti-Aging Face Serum.
  3. Acure. Another great organic skin care brand that I use regularly is Acure. They are the most affordable of the three so I have been able to try more of their products. I admit I haven't loved everything, but I keep going for the Argan Oil + Starflower Line Eraser as a super dry skin quencher. I am also a fan of the Rose + Red Tea Facial Toner. It is perfectly refreshing, although I can't say that it calms my skin as much as I would have expected. 
Go organic with your skin care! I think it is worth it and better for your skin. A lot of natural beauty brands are not as natural as they seem at first glance (just read the ingredient list) but they still carry the elevated prices. 

While organic beauty may cost more, you can always use my homemade natural skin care recipes for face masks and other DIY beauty products to stay within your budget! Please feel free to share if you have tried and enjoyed any organic skin care lines. I'm curious what other people like. I have no affiliation with any of the products or brands listed except for the image at top.  

How to Make Your Feet Soft and Smooth for Spring Sandals

Sandal season is right around the corner. Time to give those pups some much needed care so you can show off your beautiful feet in your new spring sandals. Want to know how to make your feet soft and smooth? Follow these five steps and transform your feet into pristine les pieds. To really help shed dry skin and tough calluses, try using this treatment once a week, but you should moisturize your skin daily. This treatment is great for foot softening, but the extra attention from the soaking and rubbing will increase blood flow, making your feet healthier, happier, and rejuvenated!

  1. Dry exfoliation. You can use a loofah, but I find that a pumice stone is way more effective for getting rid of calluses on feet. Scrub gently while your skin is still dry to loosen dead skin.
  2. Soak. Now it is time for a soul soothing natural foot soak. You can simply use warm water with a little sea salt or epsom salts or you can try my refreshing Minty Foot Soak recipe. It is so soothing for tired feet after a long day! Fill a small basin, your home foot bath, or even your bath tub.
  3. Foot scrub. You exfoliated to start, time to exfoliate your feet again to help make your skin perfectly soft and smooth. This time, I suggest a foot scrub to dose your skin with moisturizing and nourishing ingredients. My Homemade Citrus Foot Scrub Recipe works wonders. Gently massage your scrub over wet skin, lifting away impurities and dead skin while also boosting circulation.
  4. Rinse and dry. Soak for a few more minutes until you've squeezed out every last ounce of enjoyment from your home foot soak. Pat dry with a towel. 
  5. Moisturize. Once your skin is dry you can rub in your favorite foot cream. I'm a big fan of Burt's Bees Peppermint Foot Lotion. If I don't have any foot creams around I simply use coconut oil, slip on a pair of cotton socks, and my feet feel like a dream. 

Enjoy slipping your soft and smooth feet into your cute new spring sandals!

DIY Moisturizing Facial Mist for That Gorgeous Glow

Keep your skin hydrated with this easy, homemade moisturizing facial mist. It combines soothing and balancing cucumber and rose flower waters with the skin softening benefits of natural vegetable glycerin and a dab of my present favorite natural skin care ingredient, flax seed oil. You can use it to wipe away oil and dirt without drying out your skin like alcohol-based toners can. It is a perfect toner for combination skin. I use it as a refreshing spray to help keep my skin moisturized and soothed during the day.

Storing Your Facial Mist Properly

I recommend preparing only a small amount at a time. These natural beauty ingredients can lose their potency the longer they sit around on a shelf, especially when exposed to heat and light. I store my natural facial mist in a small glass spray bottle in the refrigerator. I actually reuse a purchased bottle of toning spray, 2 ounces. It is hard to find little glass spray bottles on sale,
and I prefer not to use plastic bottles. Glass isn't going to rob your hydrosols of any of their therapeutic properties like plastic can.

I spritz every couple of hours, so I go through one recipe in two or three weeks. If you are only going to use your facial spray once or twice a day, be sure to store it in the refrigerator and consider making half of this recipe.

DIY Recipe

To make this moisturizing facial mist, you will need:

  • 1/2 ounce cucumber water
  • 1/2 ounce rose water
  • 1 ounce vegetable glycerin
  • 1 capsule flax seed oil, prick and squeeze out the oil

Add all ingredients to your bottle, close, and shake. Spray on your skin as needed or spray onto a cotton ball or cloth and use to wipe away surface oil, dirt, and makeup and leave your skin feeling clean, refreshed, and smooth! Cucumber is an amazing skin soother. I love the cucumber rose combination as rose balances and nourishes your skin. It is also known to have anti-aging benefits. And then wonderful, softening vegetable glycerin. It helps to protect your skin against moisture loss, and according to Mountain Rose Herb's info, to attract oxygen to your skin. Lovely!

7 Simple Home Remedies for Smooth Skin

Large pores, dryness, blemishes, redness, the list of skin imperfections is daunting. There are a few perfectly pure and simple home remedies for smooth skin that you can use to combat all these issues from a holistic standpoint. I do not recommend giving them a try. I suggest making them a part of your regular beauty regimen. Infuse them into your daily life. Make them your beauty mantra. They are natural, well within any skin care budget, and they work.

  1. Coconut oil. A jar of virgin coconut oil is a must have for any natural beauty recipe cupboard. I love this stuff. It is rich, smells like soft, creamy clouds (what I would imagine them to smell like), and it melts into your skin creating a perfect, moisturized surface. Coconut oil is high in vitamin E and antioxidants that your skin will love. Use it in coconut face mask recipes, rub it into dry, chapped hands in the winter, massage your feet with it after a foot bath, or give your neck and decolletage an easy smooth skin treatment. 
  2. Milk baths. You will love making this home remedy for smooth skin a regular beauty ritual. Milk baths are great for keeping your skin soft and glowing. The idea behind this home beauty treatment? Milk helps to exfoliate your skin, while also nourishing and moisturizing with minerals and fatty acids. A creamy bath with three or four drops of lavender essential oil is also great for stress relief at the end of the day!
  3. Your loofah. Use your loofah sponge. If you don't have one, get one for your body and try the facial loofah pads for your face. Why should you loofah, aka exfoliate your skin, to keep it smooth? Exfoliating will get rid of dead skin while also boosting circulation to the surface of skin, bringing nutrients to help replenish cells. Don't loofah daily, too much will dry out dry skin and can rev up your oil glands leading to more breakouts if you have an oily complexion. I suggest a weekly, very gentle scrub down as a general rule of thumb. 
  4. Wonderful water. If you read beauty blogs and books then I am sure you've already heard this one. Drink water for clearer, smoother skin. Water will help flush out impurities so your skin never has to deal with them. I always thought of myself as a good little water drinker. Then a friend of mine, yes she has gorgeous skin and is a couple years older than me, told me I needed to drink even more (she was recommending a 3 liter minimum, which is a tough goal). Three days of her water drinking habits and it was amazing how much better my skin looked. Clearer, less redness, softer. I don't think there is any reason to stress out over your fluid intake, but when you think of it, drink a glass of water or herbal tea. Try to have a glass when you wake up, whenever you come home, that sort of thing. If you build up the habit, improving your skin with good old H2O will seem effortless. 
  5. Nuts and seeds. Eat them for the minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Thank them for their healthy fats. For plump, smooth skin you need good fats, the kind you find in nuts, seeds, and coconut. 
  6. Clay masks. No secrets here, I think clay masks are one of the most powerful home face masks that you can use. They are also incredibly inexpensive if you buy clay powder in bulk. Try out different kinds, mix your clay powder with water, milk, flower waters, essential oils, you name it. They really suck debris out of those pores, refining your skin at least temporarily, while also boosting circulation. Mountain Rose Herbs has a great selection. I am an affiliate, if you want to support me, then check them out at the bottom of my blog. You can also get clay powders at Whole Foods or any health food store.  
  7. Green and white teas. Drink more tea. Green and white tea are loaded with antioxidants that will help to keep your skin healthy and young-looking. Antioxidants also means anti-inflammatory, which is a huge plus for sensitive and dry skin. 
What are your favorite home remedies for smooth skin? What works for you? 

Homemade Citrus Foot Scrub Recipe

I write so much about having great facial skin, but don't think I don't have foot love! I really enjoy treating my feet to soaks, massages, and scrubs. This homemade citrus foot scrub is one of my favorite natural recipes for foot pampering. It is easy to make a batch to use for the week. I use it to exfoliate my feet in the shower and for the occasional foot soak (okay, occasional is probably not the right word, I am a luxurious bubble bath and foot soak addict!).

Scrubbing doubles as a foot massage!

Giving your feet a beauty makeover is not just about keeping your feet soft, smooth, and gorgeous, it is about your well-being too. Of course the exfoliation and the attention helps to keep your skin healthy. You gently remove dead skin, reduce calluses, and soften your skin. Another bonus to caring for your feet is the circulation boost. Good circulation, keeping that nourishing blood flowing through your entire body freely and easily is in my opinion one of the most essential goals you should have for your health and to help you look and feel younger. Exercise, regular massage therapy, and a healthy diet are all circulation boosters. Simply sitting in the tub or at your desk and taking a few minutes to rub your feet is an easy way to get your blood flowing as well. When showering, I am basically giving my feet a quick morning massage while also softening the skin with this citrus scrub.

Citrus scrub ingredients

This recipe combines brown sugar crystals for their grittiness and ideally the natural alpha hydroxy acids found in sugar cane, with moisturizing olive oil, and a refreshing blend of citrus essential oils to revitalize your feet and your senses. I add a little apple juice to get the right consistency but you can also just use a water.

To make this homemade citrus foot scrub, you will need:

  • 1 cup brown sugar or sugar cane crystals (just not refined white sugar)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 drops grapefruit essential oil
  • 3 drops orange essential oil
  • 3 drops neroli essential oil
  • apple juice or water, just enough to loosen the consistency of the sugar scrub, about 1/4 cup

Start by adding the citrus essential oils to the olive oil. Of course you can use other carrier oils like sesame, almond, or avocado. Olive oil is usually the most inexpensive and you do need to use quite a bit to prepare this homemade scrub. Mix the oils into the sugar and then add your juice or water. I mix right into the glass bowl that I store the scrub in, sealed and refrigerated. Before jumping in the shower I scoop out a few spoonfuls in a cup and bring it with my to the bathtub. It's that simple.

Are Flaxseeds the Secret to Perfect Skin?

I'm not one to believe that there is any one solution for perfect skin, but eating the right foods can and will make a tremendous difference in the appearance and health of your skin, especially over the long term. If you were to ask me, 'what are some of the best foods to eat for healthy skin?', then flaxseeds would be one of my top picks. Why are these little, brown seeds such a powerful tool for transforming your complexion? Because they have the characteristics of a beautiful skin super food and then some - fiber, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, and flaxseeds' special claim to fame, lignans.

Flaxseeds are, like other nuts, seeds, and whole grains, high in fiber. These seeds pack a nice little body cleansing punch with a combination of soluble and insoluble fiber as well as mucilage, which is going to help your body get rid of waste faster, a tidbit of knowledge from the University of Maryland Medical Center. A cleansing diet with plenty of high-fiber foods and lots of fluids is essential for keeping your skin clean and and free of congestion (aka blemishes). According to my home supply of ground flaxseed meal, 2 tablespoons supplies 4 grams of dietary fiber, which comes out to about 1/6 of your daily recommended requirement of fiber.

The essential fatty acids are another reason that flaxseeds are one of the best foods to eat to get perfect skin. They contain both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Those anti-inflammatory omega-3's are really valuable for healthy skin and a healthy heart. I am presently taking flaxseed oil supplements to see if there is a noticeable difference in my skin. No marked improvement yet, but it has only been about two weeks.

The magic, miraculous, shout from the mountain tops nutrient that makes flaxseeds the cream of the crop when it comes to foods for perfect skin is the lignans. Flaxseeds (not the oil but the actual seeds) are the highest plant source of lignans. What are they? Lignans are natural compounds that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, but more importantly they act as phytoestrogens. This means they mimic estrogen in the body. What does this have to do with your skin? Well, estrogen is the hormone that makes skin plumper and more elastic. The spike in estrogen during pregnancy is known for the 'pregnancy glow.' Likewise, diminishing estrogen production as a woman ages, especially around menopause, has a lot to do with skin becoming drier, thinner, and less firm.

Eating flaxseeds regularly may not alone create perfect skin, but making this beauty food a regular part of your diet, exercising, drinking plenty of water and maybe a few cups of herbal tea here and there, (and of course using all my amazing homemade face mask recipes!), may not be a bad idea when it comes to trying to improve your complexion and hold onto that radiant glow over the years.

I wouldn't suggest sitting with a spoon and a bag of ground flaxseeds and going to town. I do suggest throwing a couple spoonfuls on your yogurt with some fresh fruit or over your oatmeal. You can also add ground flaxseeds to your smoothies, baked goods, and your favorite pancake recipe. If anyone has any tasty flaxseed recipes or suggestions, please share!

Calming Face Mask for Dry Skin With Flax and Honey

Nothing is better for dry, irritated skin than pure, natural ingredients. Try out this calming face mask with skin soothing flaxseed oil, honey, and lavender. It will help to beef up your skin's protective barrier against moisture loss while also nourishing and softening.

Flaxseed oil is going to give your skin that ultra moisturized glowing look while also calming redness with anti-inflammatory omega oils. Honey (raw, unprocessed, organic honey) brings to the table an array of organic acids to feed and replenish your skin. Honey itself is known for being soothing to skin, which is why it is excellent in any face mask for dry skin, but it is also useful for calming sunburns (keep this in mind for summer!).

Lavender rounds out this DIY beauty recipe with anti-inflammatory and balancing properties. I know, I
know, I use lavender essential oil, powder, and hydrosol in a big chunk of my natural skin care formulas. If you don't like the aroma, sorry. I just believe lavender to be one of the most universal beauty ingredients. It is gentle and calming for irritated, inflamed, and mature skin. It balances oily skin. It even has anti-bacterial properties to help combat blemishes!

To make this calming face mask for dry skin, you will need:

  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 2 capsules flaxseed oil
  • 2 drops lavender essential oil 

Open the flaxseed capsules and stir the oil into the honey. I use two capsules to help soften the consistency of the mask. Add the essential oil drops. Now cleanse your skin. You definitely want to start with a clean canvas for this beauty treatment. There is something about trapping dirt and grime under honey and oil that is a bit unsettling to me. If your skin is really dry and over-cleansing is an issue, make sure you are washing with a facial cleanser that has been made for dry skin. Creamy cleansers usually work well. You can also try washing your face with olive oil. Wellness Mama has an awesome explanation of how to clean your face with olive oil.

Gently dry your skin and then smear the mask over your face and neck. A thin layer is fine as the flax and honey blend is very hydrating for even really dry skin. Let it set on your face until it is dry, about 20 minutes. Then, rinse with a cloth and warm water. Finish with your normal serum and moisturizing routine. 

Homemade Minty Foot Soak for Dry Feet

Refresh, soften, and breathe with my homemade foot soak for dry feet. The magical ingredient in this DIY treat for your feet is peppermint essential oil. A couple drops will invigorate your skin and get your blood flowing. A little nourishing sesame oil and you can help to soften your skin while revitalizing your feet, and your mood. Inhale those minty fumes for invaluable mental refreshment!

To make your own minty foot soak, you will need:

  • 5 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 3 drops lavender essential oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup epsom salts

Add the peppermint and lavender to the sesame oil. You can use other essential oils if you want. Peppermint pairs well with rosemary or eucalyptus for a more invigorating blend, but use only a drop or two of these oils as they can be strong. Peppermint is great on its own for relieving dry feet. It has a cooling, soothing effect on dry, irritated, and itchy skin. It also has mild analgesic properties, which can serve as much need pain relief for tired feet. I like the lavender because it makes the foot bath more calming and stress-relieving, but it is unnecessary.

Fill your foot bath with hot water and then swirl the salts and the oils into the water. Make yourself comfortable and then submerge peacefully and fully. I used to use one of those stand alone foot baths, it had the massage setting, vibration, and everything, but to be honest I prefer just adding hot water to the bath tub and sitting on the edge. I never liked having to move it around, dealing with the spilled water and the upkeep (one more thing to clean!).

However you soak your dry feet, let them soak up all that peppermint and sesame goodness for at least 10 minutes. This is definitely a good time for a pumice stone scrub down to soften rough calluses and even to help massage your feet.

After soaking dry your feet well and moisturize. I know it is easy to forget, but make sure you are slathering a foot cream or body butter on your feet after every bath, shower, or foot soak. This will help to maintain that silky, softness and keep your feet incredibly healthy (and beautiful!). 

Homemade Anti-Wrinkle Serum With Flaxseed and Pomegranate Seed Oil

Two of nature's most powerful beauty oils combine to create an amazing homemade anti-wrinkle serum for your face and neck! It is soothing, softening, and incredibly easy to make. You can use it as an evening anti-aging facial oil to help restore your skin while you sleep.

As you may know (check out this Friday's post) I am doing a little skin care experiment right now with flaxseed oil; I am taking supplements to see how it improves my skin. Of course I am having fun opening my little supplement capsules to create a few new natural beauty recipes!

This one is wonderful for dry, damaged, and aging skin. It protects and soothes with essential fatty acids, but it also helps to protect your cells from environmental damage with those free radical fighting antioxidants found in pomegranate seeds. The nourishing benefits of this anti-wrinkle serum are excellent for replenishing your skin and promoting cellular regeneration. I also add a couple drops of frankincense essential oil, which is renowned for its resotrative benefits.

To make this serum mix:

  • 5 capsules of flaxseed oil (just prick the gel caps to get the oil out)
  • 1/2 ounce pomegranate seed oil
  • 3 drops frankincense essential oil

I store my oil blend in a 1-ounce glass bottle with a screw top (Mountain Rose Herbs sells a selection of colored glass bottles), but a dropper top will work even better. Use three or four drops. Massage into skin at night after cleansing and letting the skin dry. I use it under my moisturizer.

Be sure to store this anti-wrinkle serum in a darkly colored glass bottle, away from direct sunlight. Cosmetic oils and essential oils degrade quickly. If you're not into making your own homemade beauty products, Desert Essence makes a decent pomegranate anti-aging serum,Desert Essence - Organic Pomegranate Face Serum. It isn't made with flaxseed oil, but with green tea extract and rose hip oil it still boasts some potent anti-wrinkle ingredients.


While I love my skin, I am not actually a dermatologist or a medical professional. The information on this site is not meant to treat or diagnose any health issues.