Mother Earth Living

Real Beauty

Tips and tricks for natural body care

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Every season offers its own set of benefits and challenges to our skin—in summer, it’s the drying sun and breakout-causing sweat, not to mention the deluge of toxins our bodies fight every day. Fortunately, it’s easy to use simple, natural recipes to bolster the brightness and clarity of our complexions. These recipes were provided by the skin experts at Derma-E,  whose extensive line of natural skin care products offers healthy solutions for just about any complexion.

Photo by Fotolia

1.  The get-your-glow-on natural detox drink:

Don’t let the summer heat wreak havoc on you skin.  Keep hydrated, detox, and keep skin clear and glowing with this amazing natural DIY detox water.

Shopping List:

12 mint leaves –  Great for digestion, and adds a fresh crisp taste

1 medium cucumber – Excellent source of hydration, and has wonderful anti-inflammatory properties

1 medium sized lemon – ”The detox queen” with abundant detoxification properties & helps cleanse and neutralize acids in the body

• Cut up cucumber & lemon in thin slices, scrunch up mint leaves, add into pitcher and fill with water
• Refrigerate over-night
• Enjoy in the morning for a refreshing treat that tastes great and keeps skin clear and radiant.

Photo by Fotolia

2. The oh-so-easy charcoal soap

Toxins are everywhere and they have tons of negative effects on our skin.  Neutralize these nasties with this easy to make recipe, which is especially great for oily and acne-prone skin.

Shopping List:

15 drops tea tree essential oil 

1 lb shea butter soap base

5 activated charcoal capsules (buy at your local pharmacy or online)

• Melt shea butter, add tea tree oil & charcoal, mix together, and let cool down.
• Store in a lidded jar for up to two weeks.
•To use, simply massage onto wet face in a circular motion, then rinse.
•Use daily.

Photo by Fotolia

3. Get Your Radiance On

The summer sun can really take its toll on your skin.  The main concern:  it dehydrates, making your complexion oh-so-dull.  This easy handmade mask will help reverse sun damage while adding a radiant glow.

Shopping List:

½ teaspoon finely ground coffee beansrich source of antioxidants, fights free radicals, helps reverse the damage caused by UV rays, and increases your production of collagen.  Wow!

½ teaspoon coconut oilAlso loaded with antioxidants, deeply nourishing to your skin, and naturally antibacterial, making it great for all skin types, especially oily & acne prone skin.

• Mix together and apply to your face using circular motions. 
• Avoid sensitive areas like your eyes, nose and mouth.
• Leave on for at least 15 minutes and up to a full hour.
• Rinse off with warm water and enjoy glowing skin!

Photo courtesy Derma-e

For more great summer detox choices we recommend the DERMA E Purifying collection, with 6 deep detoxing products perfect for naturally drawing out toxins, replenishing nutrients, and restoring radiance.


Whether you are packing for an island adventure, a weekend camping trip or a five star hotel, the general trend for summer is:

Travel more. Sleep less. Keep beauty basic.

For brilliance on the go, these three beauty essentials will be your new summer besties.

Coola facial sunscreen 

COOLA Cucumber Face SPF 30 Matte Finish is no fair weather friend. Lightweight, TSA-approved, and water resistant up to 40 minutes, it comes with me on the most trying adventures! Rose hip seed oil, vitamin C, omega 3 and gamma linolenic acid improve elasticity and make this formula one of my favorite easy-to-wear and -pack, natural facial sunscreens.

Neal's Yard Remedies Rose Beauty Balm 

Neal’s Yard Wild Rose Beauty Balm is equally at home at a five-star hotel as it is in a tent. This shape-shifting, nourishing balm is an all-in-one makeup remover, dry skin mask, gentle exfoliant and cuticle rescue cream. It contains rosa canina fruit oil, shea butter, beeswax, cannabis sativa seed oil, borage and boswellia oil. And its sturdy packaging—a thick, reusable cobalt glass jar—means you can knock it around some without fear of breakage.

Kypris night serum 

Kypris Moonlight Catalyst is like a cooling, hydrating magickal dew. Created with organic, wildcrafted and sustainably-sourced plants, it enhances and refines the complexion while you sleep! Stellar ingredients, such as fermented pumpkin enzymes, gently exfoliate and reduce the effects of an inflammatory-inducing lifestyle (sun, iced mocha lattes, wine). Hawaiian sea algae deeply hydrates, extracts of rose hip and sea buckthorn oil deliver essential fatty acids (EFAs) and phytonutrients.

It comes in a reusable lapis blue dropper bottle with artwork so pretty it reminds me of ancient castles. “Some things are best done under the moon & stars.” Note: This product is only to be used at night.

Shar VedaShar Veda, Southern Oregon’s Premier Alternative Therapist, offers deep healing through loving touch and compassionate counsel. She is an Ayurveda Lifestyle Counselor & Health Educator, yoga therapist and herbalist. Shar has been blessed to study with leading teachers in Ayurveda, Yoga, and herbalism for 20 years. However, it was her adopted grandma, Doe (English-American and Blackfoot Native), who instilled within her profound appreciation for the supreme power of loving touch, healing arts, and world family. Visit her website for a video, full bio, and photos or find her on Facebook and Instagram!


girl with sun hat

Photo by iStock

The middle of summer means we’re spending lots of time outdoors, whether it’s in the garden, camping or simply relaxing on the porch. Plenty of commercial products aim to keep us bite- and blemish-free, but they often achieve these goals with iffy ingredients. Take care of yourself naturally this summer with allergen- and fragrance-free personal-care products.

1. Naturally Dry

Nourish Organic Deodorant

Made for sensitive underarms, Nourish Organic’s fresh and dry deodorant uses coconut oil, beeswax, cocoa butter and shea butter to keep you feeling fresh. The Pure Unscented variety is both cruelty- and fragrance-free.

Buy Nourish Organic deodorant: $10

Photo courtesy Nourish Organic



2. All-Ages Hair Care

Everyone Shampoo

Give dry hair the sulfate-free clean it deserves with EO’s Everyone Hair Nourish shampoo. Quinoa protein and coconut extract bind in moisture and give overworked hair a royal treatment. It’s fragrance-free and suitable for all hair types.

Buy EO shampoo: $13

Photo courtesy EO




3. Fix Follicles

Adore Botanicals

Specially developed to heal and protect a sensitive scalp, Adore Botanicals Flourishing Scalp Nectar contains argan, jojoba and rosehip oil along with a signature botanical blend, helping prevent everything from dandruff and psoriasis to split ends.

Buy Adore Botanicals scalp nectar: $10

Photo courtesy Adore Botanicals





4. Intensive Nourishment


Made with organic beeswax, antioxidant-rich oils and scented with sandalwood and ylang ylang, Badger Body Care’s Argan Beauty Balm is a nourishing treatment for face, neck, hands and undereye areas. It’s highly moisturizing yet easily absorbed with no greasy residue.

Buy Badger beauty balm: $15

Photo courtesy Badger


5. Baby Smooth

California Baby Eczema Cream

This botanically based eczema cream protects and heals cracked and irritated skin without the sulfates that can dry or irritate already-sensitive skin. On top of that, the product is allergy tested and suitable for all skin types, from babies to adults.

Buy California Baby eczema cream: $32

Photo courtesy California Baby




6. Repair and Renew


Sea Buckthorn oil is a powerful source of healthy omega fatty acids, including omega-7, which is vital to producing collagen. Its naturally antimicrobial, antibacterial and repairing properties help soothe inflamed and troublesome areas, diminish blemishes and reduce redness and discoloration.

Buy SIBU oil: $20

Photo courtesy SIBU



7. Positively Pampering

Poppy and Someday

If you’re looking to treat yourself, try this luxurious organic face oil. Poppy and Someday’s Neroli Blossom Serum is high in fatty acids and its organic essential oil blend is designed to provide positive energy and an intoxicating, all-natural fragrance.

Buy Poppy and Someday serum: $45

Photo courtesy Poppy and Someday


We all look healthier and more attractive with a little color on our faces and bodies. But the sun is no joke and skincare in the summer needs to be taken seriously, as damaging UV rays are at their strongest and most harmful.

"Fall, winter, and spring account for around 20 percent of the [UV] exposure that we have," says Ron Shelton, MD, a board-certified dermatologist, and assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. "Yet, the the bulk of the sun damage happens in summer."

summer fun 

That doesn’t mean you should stay indoors: just play it smart! There are BBQs to attend, block parties to host, oceans and rivers to play in, mountains to climb, bikes to pedal, trails to run, and all manner of outdoor activities that keep us outside for hours at a time.

Here are six key tips—and a few great products—that will keep your skin healthy, safe and glowing all summer long.

Plan activities during “off peak” sun hours—before 10am and after 2pm, depending on your location. You should never just lie around sunbathing for color; that’s called cooking yourself. I know some women who did that when they were young and now look a lot older than they actually are, and some have had melanomas removed, too. Never intentionally allow yourself to burn!

hydrating skin care

Hydrate & tone. Hydrosol misters are beauty essentials in summer. These multitasking gems protect skin by allowing moisturizer and sun protection to penetrate deeper, stay longer and work better. Misters also balance pH levels, unclog pores and they are super-refreshing when you feel overheated, irritable or tired.

A few of my favorite hydrating mists are Herbivore Botanicals After Sun Spray, with aloe, mint, lavender and witch hazel, because it’s great for combination skin and after-sun care. Odylique Calming Rose Super Tonic, with rose oil and calendula, which I love for drier or more mature skin. Jane Iredale Pomm Mist, with pomegranate, aloe, white tea leaf, olive leaf, and radish, is great for oily, combination and acne prone skin types. Mukti Organics Rose Blossom Hydrating Mist Toner, with kakadu plum, kangaroo paw and snow flower, is wonderful for mature, dry and sun damaged skin. You can also make your own mist with purified water, a little aloe juice, and a few drops of your favorite essential oils.

Moisturize, liberally, with SPF15+ daily. SPF15 deflects 93 percent of the sun’s burning rays, whereas SPF30 deflects 97percent, reports the American Academy of Dermatology. Oily, combination and acne prone skin types should try Jane Iredale's Powder Me Dry Sunscreen. It’s water-resistant for up to thirty minutes and comes in translucent, golden and tanned. My teenage daughter loves this one. Since I have dry skin, I prefer to use a lotion because powders absorb oil and cling to smile lines, causing them to appear deeper.

If you are going to the beach, boating or will be outside all day, liberally apply SPF30 all over your body! Wear or bring long sleeves, a hat, sunglasses, and/or an umbrella.

Jane Iredale hands, lips, feet

Protect lips, hands and feet. Protect the delicate skin of your lips with Jane Iredale's SPF15 lip balm, which is available in a variety of shades and has a lemony taste. Iredale uses high-quality botanical ingredients in all of her products, such as carrot seed and avocado oils, lotus flower, green tea, coffee and aloe. Her summer SPF line is one of the best. I also recommend her Hand Drink Sun Protection; it lasts a long time and keeps hands youthful, smooth, and protected.

Lips, hands, and feet are often neglected during sunscreen application and are prime spots for melanoma. Remember these vulnerable areas and keep them protected.

Weleda body oils 

Recover & replenish. After a day in the sun treat your skin to a thirst quenching recovery drink. Plain olive, jojoba and coconut oils are fine, but if you want to reap extra benefits try sea buckthorn oil. Weleda’s Sea Buckthorn Body Oil replenishes moisture to the thirstiest skin, protects against sun damage, and slows the aging process. Sea buckthorn and evening primrose are both great options for dry skin. Oilier skin types should try Weleda’s Citrus Refreshing Body Oil or Lavender Relaxing Body Oil, while cellulite-prone skin types might benefits from the Birch Cellulite Oil.

Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water. Add lemon, lime and a pinch of sea salt to replenish electrolytes. Use your favorite seasonal fruits to infuse water with great, refreshing flavors to make it more enticing. Eat sweet, juicy fruits—and lots of them! No amount of skin-care product can beautify you if you’re not drinking water and eating wholesome foods.

There you have it my beauties, a few of my favorite skin-care tips and trusted products! I love to hear from you as well, so please feel free to e-mail me any questions or comments.

Shar VedaShar Veda, Southern Oregon’s Premier Alternative Therapist, offers deep healing through loving touch and compassionate counsel. She is an Ayurveda Lifestyle Counselor & Health Educator, yoga therapist and herbalist. Shar has been blessed to study with leading teachers in Ayurveda, Yoga, and herbalism for 20 years. However, it was her adopted grandma, Doe (English-American and Blackfoot Native), who instilled within her profound appreciation for the supreme power of loving touch, healing arts, and world family. Visit her website for a video, full bio, and photos or find her on Facebook and Instagram!


Many beauty brands are labeling themselves “sustainable,” “green,” and “eco” because they’re the new buzzwords that sell. But just because they say it, doesn’t mean there is action behind the words. As conscious consumers, it’s up to us to do a little research on brands before we invest in their products.

What should you expect from a sustainable beauty brand?

Quality ingredients. All of them, not just the first three or four on the list! Sustainable brands will have quality organic, plant-based ingredients.
Cruelty-free. Never buy from companies that test on animals. Zero tolerance here.
Conscious packaging. Is the brand using recycled materials? Can the packaging be recycled? If not, why?
A mission statement that clearly states their commitment to the environment.

Researching and reviewing conscious companies is a passion I’ve enjoyed since walking into my very first natural food store, with my mom, when I was 12. I remember the scent of the place and all the good energy. I read all of the ingredients on everything I could and began researching the herbs and plants I didn’t know. I shared my favorite brands with family and friends. Now I share them with the world. You can trust my picks! Guaranteed. Follow me on Instagram to see more of my favorite products. 

Shar Veda’s Conscious Beauty Picks for April

ILIA products

How smart is ILIA Balmy Nights? Finally a lip exfoliator in a stick! Organic ingredients blended with grainy volcanic stone powder gently exfoliate, leaving lips smooth and kissable. This product is great for evening use.

I also love ILIA Silken Shadow Stick in “Next to You.” The coconut cream olive oil base glides on smooth and easy. This shade is a warm, slightly shimmery, demure rose that looks great with green eyes and its vegan! All of ILIAs cream-based products come in sleek, recycled aluminum cases and are made in the USA!

100% Pure 

100% Pure Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream smells great and feels good going on. Organic aloe leaf juice, rosewater and rosehip seed oil provide a smooth, soothing base while organic green coffee gives eyes an instant pick me up.  100% Pure was founded in a Napa, California, farmhouse in 2005. They are now based in Silicon Valley and all products are made in the USA.

Marie d'Argan pure oils 

Marie d'Argan Organic Oils come in pretty reusable, amber dropper bottles. The single oils have no added ingredients. Part of the proceeds goes to funding the women’s cooperative in Morocco, who handpick the kernels. I use the Argan oil on my face, neck and chest several times a week when I do abhyanga, Ayurvedic self massage. The macadamia oil is great for conditioning hair, which I use on Sunday evenings and leave it in while I sleep. Pure. Simple. Beautiful.

Shar VedaShar Veda, Southern Oregon’s Premier Alternative Therapist, is an Ayurveda Lifestyle Counselor & Health Educator, yoga therapist and herbalist. Shar has been blessed to study with leading teachers in Ayurveda, Yoga, and herbalism for 20 years. However, it was her adopted grandma, Doe (English-American and Blackfoot Native), who instilled within her profound appreciation for the supreme power of loving touch, healing arts, and world family. Visit her website for a video, full bio, and photos or find her on Facebook and Instagram.


Photo by Fotolia

Contrary to popular belief, increased hair shedding is not solely a male problem. The North American Hair Research Society says that about 50% of women in their 50s suffer from hair loss.

Genetics and underlying medical problems, such as hormone imbalance, are primary reasons behind this condition. However, hair loss in women can also be due to lifestyle behaviors. Drastic weight loss, styling and even trips to the beauty salon are all overlooked causes of hair loss on women.

If you’re a woman struggling with hair loss, here are some factors that may be contributing to your problem.

Pharmaceutical side effects

According to the American Hair Loss Association (AHLA), some pharmaceutical drugs developed to treat acne, high blood pressure, epilepsy, depression and gout have hair loss as a side effect, some examples are Accutane (isotretinoin), Lopid (gemfibrozil), Paxil (paroxetine), Amphetamines and more. Patients are advised to ask their doctors about the side effects of prescribed medicines and to do their own research.

Ditch the hair dryer

Excessive use of blow dryers, flat irons and other appliances can lead to humiliating hair loss. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) warns that high heat from hair appliances leave the hair brittle and prone to breakage.

Poor nutrition, poor hair health

A study published at the National Center for Biotechnology Information suggests that diet and nutrition play an important role in persistent or increased hair loss. Dr. DH Rushton of the University of Portsmouth in the UK confirms earlier studies that women suffering from iron deficiency are susceptible to hair loss. Insufficient protein intake can also adversely affect hair growth. Prevent hair loss by eating a balanced diet, and taking supplements if necesssary.

Sleep like a baby

Poor sleep habits have a lot of health consequences — from anemia to depression. Adults who get less than six hours of sleep each night develop weaker immune function, hormone secretion and stamina. Hair treatment experts at The Belgravia Centre warn that sleep deprivation, which is a form of stress, can lead to hair loss.

Fight stressors

Alopecia areata (AA) is a form of hair loss believed to be an autoimmune disease. People with AA show circular bald patches on the scalp that could lead to persistent hair loss. The AHLA warns that extreme stress may trigger this condition in some people. Dr. Amy McMichael, of Wake Forest Baptist Health in North Carolina, explains that hair shedding may be one way the body reacts to physiological stress due to diet, medical or lifestyle changes.

Air pollution and Sensitive Scalp Syndrome

In a research paper, hair transplant expert Dr. Rajendrasingh Rajput of Dr. LH Hiranandani Hospital in Mumbai, cautions young people moving to urban cities about the risk of developing Sensitive Scalp Syndrome. This condition results from exposure to air pollutants such as particulate matter, dirt smoke and ammonia. These free radicals stay on the scalp and hair, leading to oxidative stress and hair loss.

Avoid chemicals

Excessive use of chemicals such as bleach and hair color can cause hair breakage and eventual hair loss. One hair loss cure is to go natural! Use plants and herbs such as chamomile or walnuts in hair dye, natural rinses and other hair care products.

Excessive (unhealthy) weight loss

Dramatic weight loss caused by an eating disorder is a form of physical stress that can shock the body’s system, and bring on hair thinning or hair loss.  Hair can grow back during recovery from an eating disorder, but should be addressed by a doctor if it struggles to return to its original healthy condition.

Be gentle

One of the most commonly overlooked things women do that causes hair shedding is improper hair practices. Excessive brushing, using too much shampoo and conditioner, or aggressive towel-drying can lead to hair loss. If chemical treatment of your hair is a concern, try using a natural shampoo alternative.


Braids are easy, convenient and chic. According to the Women’s Health Research Institute at Northwestern University, however, this hairstyle can be a cause of hair loss. Braids kept in hair for an extended period of time can cause scarring, and an irreversible form of baldness called Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia, that starts at the center of the scalp and spreads toward the edge of the hairline. The best thing to do is to take hair out of braids and let it rest, rather than leaving it in.

Patricia Evans is a part time interior designer and a full-time mother. She has worked in marketing, but quit her job to pursue her true passion: interior design. When she's not busy balancing her household and career, Patricia writes about lifestyle, travel, architectural trends, fashion, health, gardening, tea and cooking.


Based on an “understanding of the power of plants to renew and help maintain healthy skin,” the Vineyard Hill Naturals line features recovered Napa Valley grape seed oil and extracts, which would otherwise be discarded during the wine making process, as the key ingredients in their artisanal bath and body collection.

Grape seed oil, one of nature’s most potent antioxidants, is highly concentrated with regenerative omega-6s and healing vitamin E. It naturally bonds to collagen in the skin, delivering greater elasticity and offering a visible plumping effect. Grape seed oil is also anti-inflammatory and great for pre-arthritic conditions. Organic olive oil, calendula, chamomile, lavender, green tea, cucumber, and arnica are also included in this intelligent herbal formulation for antioxidant, soothing, regenerative, anti-inflammatory, moisturizing and softening properties.

Products from Vineyard Hills Naturals Skin Care

Don’t let the unassuming packaging fool you: Vineyard Hill Naturals is a high-performance, intelligent, and spa quality line. After applying the butters and creams to my hands, there’s a visible difference—the skin is brighter and feels softer. The body butter is rich, creamy and long-lasting. The hand cream is lighter and soaks into skin easily. I keep the Lemon Verbena Hand Cream in my gym bag for daytime use and the Lavender Rose Body Butter on my nightstand for deep, nighttime nourishment.

I applaud this company for using a by-product of the wine industry and for keeping the line affordable. I like them so much I am sending a hand cream to my Mom!

Shar VedaShar Veda, Southern Oregon’s Premier Alternative Therapist, offers deep healing through loving touch and compassionate counsel. She is an Ayurveda Lifestyle Counselor & Health Educator, yoga therapist and herbalist. Shar has been blessed to study with leading teachers in Ayurveda, Yoga, and herbalism for 20 years. However, it was her adopted grandma, Doe (English-American and Blackfoot Native), who instilled within her profound appreciation for the supreme power of loving touch, healing arts, and world family. Visit her website for a video, full bio, and photos or find her on Facebook!

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