Real Beauty
Tips and tricks for natural body care

Make Firming Eye Cream with Essential Oils

Smiling, laughing, and many facial expressions are natural causes of lines around the eyes that cannot, and should not, be avoided. They add character over time, and make us human. However, achieving smooth, blemish-free skin is a sign of healthy skin. Consider making firming eye cream at home to improve the health of the skin around the eyes.

The delicate skin around the eyes is far thinner than skin anywhere else on the face or body. It is prone to signs of aging, including fine lines, crow’s feet, and deep-set wrinkles as we grow older. Natural oils are pure and can be absorbed into the skin safely and effectively to help the areas around the eyes retain moisture and, therefore, reduce the appearance of wrinkles. This firming eye cream allows nutrients and proteins in essential oils, like frankincense oil to encourage the regeneration of cells.

Firming Eye Cream 1

Commercial skin care products often contain chemicals that clog pores, feel heavy, and can potentially damage the skin. They are typically water based as well. Water based creams may make the skin initially feel moisturized, but they are drying over time. A waterless eye cream you can make at home has many benefits including:

  • Improving skin texture
  • Reducing puffiness
  • Lightening dark circles
  • Smoothing wrinkles
  • Moisturizing
  • Nourishing
  • Repairing sun-damaged skin
  • Improving discolorations

Firming Eye Cream 3

With this formula, shea butter stimulates collagen to increase skin firmness and improve the appearance of wrinkles around the eyes. It also reduces inflammation to combat puffiness. Coconut oil boosts circulation to reduce dark circles while keeping connective tissue strong and supple. Beeswax helps retain moisture to prevent wrinkles. The addition of multiple essential oils combines to create a firming eye cream designed to support the healthiest skin possible. Plus is smells delightful!

DIY Firming Eye Cream Recipe


  • 1/4 cup body or shea butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/8 cup beeswax or soy wax
  • 1 teaspoon raspberry oil
  • 1 teaspoon Neroli oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vitamin E oil
  • 5-10 drops bergamot essential oil
  • 5-10 drops rose essential oil
  • 5-10 drops geranium essential oil
  • 5-10 drops lavender essential oil


  1. Add body butter, coconut oil and beeswax to a small pot or microwave safe bowl. Use a water bath to gently melt if using a pot. If microwaving, heat in 30 second intervals until completely melted.
  2. Add Vitamin E Oil.
  3. Add neroli oil.
  4. Add raspberry oil.
  5. Add essential oils.
  6. Whisk ingredients together.
  7. Using a dropper, move mixture to a small, airtight container. Allow to harden overnight.

Firming Eye Cream 2

Gently apply the firming eye cream under and around eyes, twice per day, with your fingertip. The cream is light enough to use morning and night. It is rich and fluffy so that the cream absorbs quickly and penetrates deep into the skin. It works well under make-up too.

Evening primrose oil is another great carrier oil that offers anti-aging properties. Try using half coconut oil, half primrose oil for a variation. Containers of homemade eye cream, lip balm, and body scrub make lovely gifts for birthdays, holidays, teacher appreciations and more.

Photos courtesy Heather Mayes.

3 Must-Have Beauty Products for Fall and Winter

It’s November: Dark and cold, the leaves are falling, fireplaces are burning logs of light and warmth, soup is on in the kitchen, and holiday gatherings are like waves rolling in. I’ve selected three of my favorite go-to products that will help you enjoy the holidays more, while maintaining your glow!

Adoratherapy roll-ons 

Aroma is a healthy way for people of all ages to regulate mood. I love ADORAtherapy Chakra Boost roll-ons because their blends are fresh, tried-and-true and yummy. Place them in the dining room or bathroom so guests and visitors can use as needed. Use Vitality for strength and grounding, Creativity for creating cards and homemade gifts, Joy to feel “it” even when your mother-in-law chastises you for your outfit and your kids are fighting! Buy the whole set ($112 for a set of 7) and have them ready for your or give them as a great gift.

ilike exfoliating mask 

ilike Rose Hip Exfoliator Mask ($48)is a winter miracle for dry, dull skin. It’s full of vitamins and trace elements that gently remove impurities while soothing skin and lending a super-fresh rosy glow. Lactic acid loosens dead cells and encourages new cell growth while rosehip revitalizes, balances and protects, while light herbal oils nourish the skin. This mask is so refreshing it’s like a mini vacation. I use it twice a week on my face and décolleté. A must try for out of this world results!

Dr. Hauschka Bronzing Tint 

Last but not least, I’ll tell you my secret for pure sun-kissed color even in winter…SHHHH!!! Dr. Hauschka Translucent Bronzing Tint ($45) has been in my bag for over a decade and is one of my all-time favorite products. It contains only the purest ingredients, such as olive oil, beeswax, witch hazel and copper. This bronzing tint offers super-light, gorgeous blendable color that brilliantly matches your skin tone, whatever it is. I mix it with a moisturizer and apply in morning. It smells and feels great on the skin, plus it lasts forever!

Shar VedaShar Veda, Ayurveda Lifestyle Counselor & Health Educator, yoga therapist and herbalist, is Southern Oregon’s Premier Alternative Therapist, offering deep healing through loving touch and compassionate counsel. Shar has been blessed to study with leading teachers in Ayurveda, Yoga, Thai Yoga Massage 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!

DIY Winter Skin Care: Homemade Face Masks and Body Scrubs

Rachel Schwartz

Winter’s harsh weather can be hard on skin, leaving it dry, dull and even raw. Homemade face masks can restore skin to its springtime glory and—better yet—can be made with ingredients from your kitchen.

To slough away dead skin cells and restore moisture, try this banana facial mask recipe from OrganicAuthority. All you need is half of a banana and a teaspoon of honey. Banana has acids that remove dead skin, while honey helps your skin retain moisture and fight away dryness. Blend these two ingredients, spread the mixture on your face and leave it on for 15 minutes.

Not only is dry, irritated winter skin uncomfortable, but it’s also more susceptible to damaging UV rays. To protect your skin from the sun, hydrate with homemade face masks such as this moisturizing papaya mask. It also requires just two ingredients: one ripe, mashed papaya and one teaspoon of olive oil. Leave it on your face for 15 minutes, rinse and apply a moisturizer. 

green tea scrub 

Facial skin certainly needs extra attention during winter, but don't forget that the rest of your body's skin needs nourishment, too! Coffee is typically used for drinking, but this coffee body scrub recipe requires you to scrub coffee grounds mixed with sugar and massage oil all over your body. You might be hesitant now, but I’m sure you’ll be rushing to make it when you hear this: not only does this scrub smooth dry skin; it helps cut cellulite and reduces the visibility of varicose veins. 

For additional moisturization, check out this rose body scrub. It will leave you smelling like a garden as its main ingredient is rose petals. Even though this recipe has more ingredients, the end result of healthy skin makes up for that.

Image: Photo By Elenathewise/Courtesy Fotolia  

Rachel Schwartz is a Natural Home & Garden editorial intern. She attends the University of Kansas where she studies Journalism and writes columns about environmental and organic health for the campus newspaper, The University Daily KansanShe is passionate about reducing her carbon footprint and filling her body with the best possible foods.  

Natural Sunscreen: Lavera Baby and Children Sun Milk

With a blend of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, Lavera Baby and Children Sun Milk offers broad UVA and UVB protection with natural minerals. Lavera developed Baby and Children Sun Milk’s formula with baby’s skin in mind, so right out of the tube you can feel the difference; Lavera Baby and Children Sun Milk is thick, creamy and uber-moisturizing thanks to organic peach, apricot kernel oil and calendula. The Environmental Working Group gives Lavera Baby and Children Sun Milk an overall score of 3/10 on the safety factor, meaning it’s low-risk with only moderate health concerns.

Lavera Baby and Children Sun Milk
Lavera Baby and Children Sun Milk costs $24 for 4.1 ounces. Photo Courtesy Lavera.

While I appreciate the moisturizing properties of Lavera Baby and Children Sun Milk, as with any natural sunscreen made with zinc and titanium, you run the risk of looking a little ghostlike because zinc oxide and titanium dioxide naturally appear white on your skin. Because I have natural olive coloring in my skin tone, Lavera Baby and Children Sun Milk’s white film seemed a little more obvious on my body; even after massaging it in for 10 minutes, I was still glowing white. Luckily, Lavera Baby and Children Sun Milk doesn’t have any sort of shimmer in it, or else I would have been channeling Edward from the “Twilight” series.

Aside from the aesthetics of using Lavera Baby and Children Sun Milk (good thing I wasn’t wearing my white swimsuit!), I like this natural sunscreen—but I think it might be better suited to babies and children, who just look a little cuter with that obvious layer of sunscreen on their bodies.

Homemade Sunscreen Recipe—2 Ways

Even though going to the beach seems like a distant reality, nobody’s stopping you from getting a good tanning session in your backyard.  However, it’s extremely important that you take care of your skin while doing so. You may not see it, but the sun’s UV rays are very harmful for our skin, especially with the deteriorating ozone layer.

I’ve created two simple, tried-and-tested natural homemade sunscreen recipes, one with zinc oxide and one without titanium dioxide.

 homemade sunscreen-1-6


DIY Sunscreen With Zinc Oxide

The first recipe includes zinc oxide as a key ingredient. In fact, its benefits not only include sun protection, but it can also be used to heal minor skin irritations such as chapped skins, burns and cuts.

This recipe uses the following ingredients:

  • Zinc Oxide: Known to effectively reflect and scatter UV radiation, preventing sunburn and premature aging.
  • Safflower Oil: Rich in linoleic acid, safflower oil helps balance sebum production in the skin. Its hydrating properties makes it a good emollient, promoting elasticity and reducing the appearance of fine lines.
  • Raspberry Seed Oil: Its rich Vitamin A and E content allows it soothe the skin and replenish collagen levels. It also offers a natural SPF protection of around 25-50, which makes it a vital ingredient for this sunscreen.
  • Beeswax: The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of beeswax help the skin feel replenished without clogging pores.
  • Chamomile Flower Water: It’s fresh, fruity aroma adds a refreshing bonus to this recipe.
  • Grapefruit Seed Extract: A common natural preservative, grapefruit seed extract prevents fungal growth and bacteria, which helps increase the shelf life of DIY products.

Is zinc oxide safe?

Zinc oxide is considered a safe ingredient for sunscreens and skincare by both the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and dermatologists.

One of the best properties of Zinc Oxide is that it’s able to block all harmful rays – UVA, UVB, and even UVC. Most chemicals can only block one type of ray, which is why commercial sunscreens have to mix in several chemicals, which makes them more harmful for the skin.


  • 5 tablespoons raspberry seed oil
  • 5 tablespoons organic safflower oil
  • 2 tablespoons Zinc Oxide
  • 1.5 tablespoon beeswax pellets
  • 2 tablespoons chamomile flower hydrosol
  • 20 drops Grapefruit seed extract
  • 2 100 ml Glass Salve Containers


  1. Add the beeswax, safflower oil, raspberry oil, and hydrosol a double boiler or an aluminum bowl filled with water on low - medium heat, until they are melted.
  2. Remove from the heat and immediately mix with a manual egg beater spatula until the cream starts to form and until it is the consistency of a cream. if it is hot in your kitchen, then add the double boiler in a pan filled with cold water. Your spatula must leave marks in the cream.
  3. Add the zinc oxide, mix well.
  4. Add the grapefruit seed extract, mix well.
  5. Pour in a glass jar container or in a squeezable plastic bottle.
  1. Use within 6 months and apply this DIY sunscreen before going under the sun. Please note, this is not a waterproof sunscreen!

For more information, please visit the DIY sunscreen recipe here.

DIY Sunscreen Without Titanium Dioxide

Titanium Dioxide is a chemical that is used in commercial sunscreens. As with any chemical, it can have harmful side effects on our skin, so I create a DIY sunscreen recipe without it. It’s made with natural ingredients, offers good sun protection, and doesn’t include any toxic chemicals.

Here are the ingredients for this super easy DIY sunscreen:

Jojoba Oil: Jojoba oil is the closest to the sebum produced in our skin naturally, so it does a great job of repairing the skin without clogging the pores. With a natural SPF 4 and anti-inflammatory properties, it makes it a good alternative to harsh sunscreens.

Raspberry Seed Oil: The key ingredient to this sunscreen, raspberry seed oil offers SPF ranging from 28-50, restores fine lines and improves dehydrated skin to reveals a healthy glow.

Shea Butter: This DIY sunscreen has a more dense texture, and shea butter works perfectly for that. It provides intense hydration and a thin protective layer while your skin is under the sun.


  • 4 tablespoons organic shea butter
  • 5 tablespoons raspberry seed oil
  • 5 tablespoons jojoba oil
  • 2 100 ml Glass Salve Containers


  1. Combine shea butter, raspberry seed oil and jojoba oil in a glass bowl.
  2. Start mixing the shea butter and oils with a hand immersion mixer to make the homemade sunscreen.
  3. Continue mixing until smooth, should take no more than 2 minutes to turn onto a cream.
  4. Pour into a pretty glass jar container.
  5. Use within 6 months and apply this homemade sunscreen on your face before going under the sun. This is not a waterproof sunscreen!

For more info, please visit homemade sunscreen recipe.

Use Common Sense Under the Sun

I know we all love being under the warm, bright sun, but we need to understand that we can’t be exposed for extended periods of time. Limit your sun exposure to around 20 minutes a day to prevent any long-term sun damage. If you’re outside or have been in the water, reapply your sunscreen every 30 minutes or so. And don’t forget to take something like a large hat or an umbrella; it’s the best natural sun protection!

Natural Remedies for Puffy Eyes

Many people suffer from dark under-eye circles (I know I do), but another common and unsightly annoyance of the eyes is puffiness. The skin around your eyes is the thinnest part of your skin, and as such is very sensitive. Avoid rubbing your eyes or falling asleep with makeup on—both of which can risk irritation and lead to inflammation around the eyes. Puffiness can also occur thanks to a range of circumstances, including fluid retention; seasonal allergies; cold or sinus infections; lack of sleep; stress; or even poor diet.

Other times, puffy eyes can be a symptom of an eye condition known as blepharitis, which is an inflammation of the eyelids and base of the eyelashes. This condition is associated with bacterial infection or skin disorders such as rosacea or seborrhea, and is usually non-contagious. If you think you may have this condition, talk with an eye-care professional.

If you’ve woken up to find tired-looking eyes, turn to these simple at-home remedies.

Natural Remedies For Puffy Eyes 

8 Home Remedies for Puffy Eyes

DIET DILEMMA: Limit your sodium intake. An excessive amount of salty foods can lead to water retention—water will move from areas with a low concentration of salt to areas with a high concentration in order to balance out the levels of sodium. Replace that bag of salty crackers with a banana, handful of unsalted almonds or box of raisins.  

STAY HYDRATED: Make sure to drink plenty of water. Keeping the body well hydrated can also reduce the chance of water retention. Drink at least eight to 10 glasses of water a day.

MAKEUP MAKEOVER: Look at the ingredients in the products you’re putting on (or near) your skin. Oftentimes, irritants and chemicals found in makeup, perfumes and detergents can have inflammatory effects on eyes. Check out the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database to check your ingredients. Especially steer clear of fragrance.

ICE, ICE BABY: Sometimes, all you need is a nice splash of ice cold water to help reduce the swelling around your eyes. Wash your face with ice cold water, or wrap an ice cube in a cloth and apply to your eyes.

TEA UP: Caffeinated teas can help constrict blood vessels and reduce swelling. Green or black tea is great for soothing irritated eyes; herbal teas such as chamomile contain anti-irritants that also help soothe redness. To make a tea compress, steep two tea bags of your choice in hot water for three to five minutes. Let cool until comfortably warm, place over each eye then cover with a soft cloth.

SPOON SOLUTION: Tighten the skin around your eyes and relax the blood vessels with the following home remedy: Chill five to six metal spoons in your refrigerator for 10 minutes; once chilled, hold the rounded portion against your eye for a few minutes until it becomes warm; replace with another cold spoon.

DIY CREAM: Topical eye creams rich in aloe and vitamin E can be soothing to your skin. Mix 1 tablespoon vitamin E cream with 1/2 teaspoon aloe gel, and store in a small tin. Be extra gentle as you apply the cream around your eyes and use daily.

MASKED AVENGER: Apply mild pressure to the puffy area around your eyes at night with a homemade eye mask. Try the following cucumber eye mask recipe—cucumbers contain antioxidants that may help reduce irritation, cool skin and lessen swelling. Blend 1 large cucumber at high speed until liquefied, adding small amounts of water to thin as necessary. Soak cotton pads (about the size of your eyes) in the solution then squeeze out any extra juice. Place pads in a sandwich bag and freeze—make up to 30 at a time! To use, place thawed cucumber pads on your eyes for 10 minutes.

PILLOW POSITION: Keeping your head elevated may also reduce the swelling around your eyes. Sleep in a position that increases blood flow to your eyes.

Gina DeBacker HeadshotGina DeBacker is the associate editor at Mother Earth Living. She loves that part of her job entails testing beauty products enriched with natural ingredients.

5 Health Benefits of CBD for Skin

The skin is the body’s largest organ, but it doesn’t receive the same amount of care and attention as its much smaller counterparts. For example, people spend a lot of time worrying about the state of their hearts, lungs, livers, and kidneys, eating special diets to optimize these organs’ health. But the skin goes largely unnoticed, with little done to protect it.

As the body’s first line of defense against invading cells, the skin plays a vital role in your overall health. As such, it needs special care to keep it functioning correctly.

happy woman in hat with glowing complexion
Photo by
Michael Fenton on Unsplash

CBD and Your Skin

At the moment, CBD is a buzzword used relating to helping people with depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Its medicinal properties are widely praised, although most of its success stories are anecdotal, and it is the subject of intensive research.

What not too many people know is that CBD has also been found to be an effective skin treatment for a variety of conditions. More and more people are turning to CBD as an alternative treatment to avoid using harsh chemicals on their skin.

Will CBD give you a buzz?

Absolutely not. While both CBD and marijuana come from the cannabis plant, they are not the same. They are only two of about 100 components found in this family of plants. CBD stands for cannabidiol and is found in high concentrations in the hemp plant. It has no mood-altering effects, unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is prevalent in the marijuana plant. 

Legal CBD products contain less than 0.03% of THC, meaning that they have no psychoactive properties and are not regarded as habit-forming.

CBD Benefits for Your Skin

CBD helps to regulate sebum production

The endocannabinoid system contains naturally produced cannabinoids, which interact with different receptors in the body, regulating the production of various substances. CBD augments the endocannabinoid system, allowing it to function optimally.

The sebaceous glands occur in the skin and are responsible for supplying it with natural oils, called sebum. Often, the skin produces too much sebum, resulting in oily skin. Using CBD products can regulate sebum production, preventing an oversupply to the skin.

CBD has analgesic properties

The endocannabinoid system also affects the body’s pain receptors, allowing it to reduce the pain sensation. When the body perceives pain, these receptors interact with the brain to allow for a pain response. For example, if you put your hand onto a hot surface, the pain receptors tell the brain it hurts, and the brain tells the hand to move away from the heat.

By reducing pain receptor activity, the endocannabinoid system lowers the body’s pain experience. This analgesic effect is helpful for the skin when you have a sunburn, injuries, or a painful acne outbreak.

CBD acts as a natural antibacterial

An acne outbreak is caused by a combination of follicles blocked by sebum and dead skin cells and a bacterial infection. Once the bacterium invades the skin, it spreads, causing an acne outbreak that goes beyond a few whiteheads or blackheads.

Scientists have seen evidence that CBD can act as an antibacterial, but they’re not entirely sure how and why it does. This phenomenon is the subject of current research. Using CBD products on wounds can also help to prevent infections that can invade damaged skin cells.

CBD is rich in antioxidants

Antioxidants help to combat free radicals in the body, which are cells that can cause the body harm. Free radicals occur naturally in the body, but more can form after sun exposure and through an unhealthy diet. 

Free radicals have been linked to the fine lines and wrinkles that occur as the skin ages. As CBD is a rich source of antioxidants, it can combat free radicals and fight the signs of aging.

CBD can help reduce the prominence of scar tissue

One of the antioxidants CBD contains in abundance is Vitamin E, which has been associated with stimulating the production of new skin cells and the restoration of damaged skin cells.

Vitamin E is well-known to be effective in the treatment of skin damage caused by the sun and other burn sources. It can contribute to the healing of scar tissue by stimulating the regeneration of the skin cells.

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Your friends at Mother Earth Living are committed to natural health and sustainable living. Unfortunately, the financial impact of COVID-19 has challenged us to find a more economical way to achieve this mission. We welcome you to our sister publication Mother Earth News. What you sought in the pages of Mother Earth Living can be found in Mother Earth News. For over 50 years, “The Original Guide to Living Wisely” has focused on organic gardening, herbal medicine, real food recipes, and sustainability. We look forward to going on this new journey with you and providing solutions for better health and self-sufficiency.

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Your friends at Mother Earth Living and Mother Earth News

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