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Hello and Welcome! I decided to start this blog for everyone out there who has an interest, or WANTS to be interested, in living a life that is a little more sustainable. I am still learning, and invite you to follow this blog to learn along with me. I will share what I have learned as we go, and hopefully you will pitch in and share what YOU are doing to live a little more off of what you can grow and DO from home. PLEASE BELIEVE ME when I say, if I can learn how to do this on a very small backyard plot in a city, then ANYONE can do this!!

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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Freshy Fresh Winter Skincare Routine

Just remember.  I'm NOT crunchy.  I'm sticking to that.  I have, however, experienced enough of a difference in making my own skin-body-hair care products that I can't go back to the synthetic/chemical-laden-plastic-bottled stuff in the store.


Ummm, chemicals.  That's why.  And you're putting them on your face!  Anywhere you have pores (i.e. anywhere you have skin), you will absorb what you put on it.  If the average person uses 10 different products on their skin daily, you're absorbing well over 100 different chemicals through your spongy body (yes, I just called you spongy.  I'm not saying you wear square pants and live in a pineapple under the sea.  Our skin is more like a sponge than a barrier with this stuff).  Take a gander at these digits (which are all EW!):
  • 4 Pounds: The average amount of lipstick a woman ingests over her lifetime
  • 11: The percentage of the 10,500 ingredients used in the personal-care products that the US      
  • 1,110+: The number of ingredients banned in cosmetics in Europe
  • 10: The number of ingredients banned in cosmetics in the US
  • 20: The percentage of personal care products that contain at least one chemical linked to cancer.
  • 22: The percentage of cosmetics contaminated with possible cancer causing impurity 1, 4-dioxane
Source:  The Environmental Working Group

Ready to ditch those pretty looking plastic store bought bottles yet?

I live in Colorado, where we enjoy beautiful weather year round.  But we also live in a cold dessert atmosphere.  That=DRYNESS.  We have a whole-house humidifier as well as individual room humidifiers to combat the dry air that causes dry skin, hair and static.  As soon as winter rolls around, the hair that begins to cling to my face and invite itself to explode as though I've recently befriended a light socket with my tongue, that's my cue to add a bit more moisture to my products and routine.  SO, since you already know I'm NOT crunchy but do enjoy natural alternatives and making my own, how's about I share my winter skincare routine with ya?

The below concoctions work well for me in our cold/dry environment.  My skin type is normal to combination and also, MAYBE, aging (*sigh-it happens to the best of us).  You may have to experiment to find the combination of ingredients and routine that work best for you.  I  abide by the basic mantra of Face Wash-Toner-Moisturizer-Sunscreen-2x per Week Scrub or Mask routine.  To make that trial and error process easier for you, I'll break down some basic natural ingredients that are good for ALL skin types:

Face Wash 

I found the best overall base for this to be Castile Soap.  This is a mild soap that gives sudsing action and is completely plant derived.  It doesn't dry the skin, cleans well and doesn't leave a residue.  (I also use this in hair and body wash as bases too).  I also have Vegetable Glycerin as a large part of the base recipe.  This emollient stuff retains moisture and pulls oxygen into the skin.  I've added honey and varying essential oils to boost this cleanser as needed throughout the year.

Winter Freshy Fresh Face Wash:

2-3 Tbsps Mild Castile Soap (depending on how sudsy you want it to get)

1/2 Cup Vegetable Glycerin

3 Tbsps Honey (buy local!)-moisturizing, humectant, antibacterial

2-4 drops Essential Oil  (To see which trusted brand I use, click here)

  • Lemon for detox/purifying
  • Lavender for calming sensitive skin
  • Melaleuca (tea tree) for acne,
  • Wild Orange-cuz it's got a sweet and yummy fragrance, is energizing and uplifting
  • Frankincense for anti-aging properties and age spot reduction as well as moisturizing (love this super-amazing all purpose oil for the skin!!)


The base for this is witch hazel (no broom required).  This is a perfect  natural astringent and can even be used on sensitive skin.  This stuff is gentle enough to be used alone or you can combine it with other stuff to make it doubly-special for your skin.  Just make sure you are buying good quality stuff that doesn't contain alcohol-cuz that will dry out your skin, and that's what we're trying to avoid.  Mountain Rose Herbs has a really good one.

Winter Freshy Fresh Toner:

1/2 cup Witch Hazel

1/3 cup Green Tea (cooled)-antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, improves tightness of skin and overall appearance, and the polyphenols in the tea may slow down the aging skin process.   BOOM

1/2 Organic Cucumber-if not organic, peel first.  Process in blender or food processor.  
Cuc's are a mild astringent, has high water content for moisturizing and reducing puffiness, high Vitamin C and caffeic acid content (soothes inflamed/irritated skin), AND the peel has stuff in it (silica) that helps firm up sagging skin! 

**Combine all ingredients and store in air tight container in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.

2-4 drops Essential Oils:  See above to customize


The point here is to seal in moisture and add ingredients that will enhance your skin properties

NOT My Winter Freshy Fresh Moisturizer:

Rather than reinvent the wheel-I found this FABULOUS moisturizer that I use day and night, year round.  I wasn't sure about the Bentonite Clay at first, but after using it consistently, it keeps impurities at bay, so it stays.   It can get grainy at times after it soaks in, but I just dab with a clean towel or paper towel.  You can adjust the ingredients throughout the year for more/less moisture or change up the EO's you use to address different needs of your skin.

Click HERE for this skin moisture awesomeness recipe!

Additional Essential Oils to consider adding to this recipe: 

Bergamot, Myrrh, Geranium-all have calming effects on the skin
Sandalwood-smooths skin (BONUS-has positive effects on mood too!)
Frankincense!!  This is the workhorse of skincare.  Especially for those of us who MAY be entering the 'aging' skincare needs.  Ahem.

SO-there you have it folks.  Invest in yourself and do what it takes to take care of your beautiful and/or manly spongy skin in healthier ways than that plastic junk in a bottle on the shelf.  And if you need help with that explosive hair, here's my natural haircare link.   Hey-this is Natural Living so easy even I can do it!  

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