Real Beauty
Tips and tricks for natural body care


A Clean Beauty Bag

Keeping your cosmetics clean and up-to-date avoids bacteria growth, ingredients that expire and products that no longer work. In fact, using expired makeup can affect your skin with rashes, clogged pores or the risk of absorbing rancid oils.

beauty products on white counter
Photo by Diana Kadreva on Unsplash

The following are average shelf lives of each product:

  • Foundation: in a jar, 6 months; in a pump, 12 months
  • Powder Blush & Eye Shadows: 12-18 months  
  • Natural Eye Creams: 3-6 months
  • Eyeliner: 9 months 
  • Mascara: 3-6 months 
  • Lipstick: 18-24 months 
  • Natural Lip Gloss: 12-18 months

Natural cosmetics do not use synthetic preservatives so these products have a shorter life span, especially if the first ingredient is water. Be aware that liquids and creams have a higher percent of water which bacteria thrives in.To keep your products fresh put liquids, creams and glosses in the fridge. Other products like powders and mascaras can be stored at room temperature. Avoid direct sunlight or places where they can get warm, as this speeds up the expiration date.

Using your fingers to retrieve products increases the risk of germs entering the container. Try to find makeup in pumps to lower the amount of debris that enters. If you do use your fingers, always wash your hands before. When your makeup does come in jars, use a clean craft stick or scoop so you lower the chance of contamination.

You can take it to the next level by being eco-friendly! Buy products in biodegradable packaging or containers made from recycled items. When you use your hands to apply makeup you also cut-down on waste such as cotton balls, sponges and brushes. These items are also a breeding ground for bacteria. Keeping everything clean is the name of the beauty game.

3 Homemade Face Masks That Actually Work!

Daily sun exposure can cause our skin to become dull and gloomy over time. Women tend to spend thousands of dollars on commercial skin care products and masks in order to revive their skin and boost its glow, however, little do they know that such products are just doing more harm than good. They are loaded with chemicals and additives that cause more damage to your skin in the long run.  On the other hand, natural ingredients are far more gentle on your skin and produce lasting results. They are loaded with powerful antioxidants and minerals that help in replenishing the skin’s texture, making it glow from within!

After lots of research and experimentation, I have finally found some incredible masks that will help you transform your skin and boost its texture.

 clay mask recipe

Clay Mask for Acne-Prone Skin

Have you been breaking out a lot lately? This bentonite clay mask will be your skin's savor for the season, as it extracts impurities from the skin, leaving it feeling fresh, smooth. and glowing.

What Is Bentonite Clay?

Created from the old volcanic ashes, bentonite clay is a natural healing clay that is high in potent minerals including magnesium, iron, and potassium. It has been used since the 2500 BC and originates from Wyoming.

Skin Benefits: Bentonite clay draws out impurities from the skin like a magnet and helps in clearing up your skin. It removes dead skin cells, shrinks pores, and controls sebum production.

Ingredients

  • Chamomile Flower Water
    •  Produced from the chamomile flowers, this nourishing water has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it perfect for acne! It soothes the skin and reduces inflammation.
  • Lavender Essential Oil
    •  This potent oil is derived from the flowers of lavender has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. It soothes irritated skin and keeps acne at bay.
  • Tea Tree Oil
    •  This oil has long been used due to its great antiseptic and healing properties. It helps in clearing up acne and improves the texture of the skin.
  • Bentonite Clay
    •  A powerful clay that will unclog your pores and clear up your skin in no time!

Get this DIY face mask recipe with incredible acne-clearing effect!

brightening face mask

Brightening Face Mask

Have pigmentation and dark spots ruined your skin over time? This mask will help you brighten up your skin tone and boost its glow!

Ingredients

  • Organic Brown Rice Flour
    •  Extracted by powdering the rice kernels, this flour is high in vitamins B5 and C, which help in brightening your skin and tightening your pores.
  • Orris Root Powder
    •  Made from the Orris root, this plant-based powder is a natural detoxifier that helps in drawing out impurities from the skin. 
  • Chamomile Flower Water
    •  This is a hydrosol extracted from the chamomile flowers, which helps in soothing the skin and reducing redness.
  • Bengkoang Powder (optional)
    • Also known as Pachyrhizus erosus, this powder is made from yam that is a potato-like fruit found in Asia. It helps in brightening and rejuvenating your skin.

Get this skin brightening face mask recipe!

Ayurvedic mask

Ayurvedic Face Mask

Win the battle against acne with this tried and tested Ayurvedic face mask that will help you get rid of those stubborn pimples and breakouts!

Ingredients

  • Sacred Lotus Seed Powder
    •  This exfoliating powder is an astringent that will kill pimple-causing bacteria whilst promoting cell regeneration to boost your skin’s texture.
  • Amla Fruit Powder
    •  Rich in vitamin C, this potent powder will purify your skin and help you fight off wrinkles.
  • Multani Mitti Clay (Fuller’s Earth)
    •  This powerful clay will cleanse and detoxify your skin, leaving it feeling fresh and radiant.

Visit Organic Beauty Recipes to get this recipe!

Natural Remedies for Crow's Feet

Aging is a natural process. As you age, there are so many changes going on in your body, and the skin undergoes gradual changes. The signs of aging become more prominent in facial region since this skin is so delicate. One such area, which is easily susceptible to showing the signs of aging, is the eye region. The little lines which occur in the corners of your eyes can be frustrating. This common concern is called 'crow's feet,' which develop due to tiny muscle contractions that happen every time you make a facial expression.

woman laughing
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Types of Wrinkles

Wrinkles are nothing but the creases, folds, or ridges that appear on a person's face as a result of muscle contractions due to facial expressions. Besides aging there are some other factors which causes wrinkles.

  • Dehydration
  • Sun damage

  • Smoking

  • Certain medications

  • Environmental & genetic factors

Wrinkles are classified in to two types. 

  1. Dynamic - These appear during muscle contraction. For example you are smiling and your crow's feet appear primarily at that time, then those are dynamic wrinkles. 

  2. Static - These worsen with muscle contractions and are visible all the time. 

Though there are different treatment options available for crow's feet, the best option is preventing them.

  • Eat healthy. Include a diet full of green vegetables, whole grains, fresh fruits, and healthy oils. A healthy diet can protect the skin from free radical damage. 
  • Moisturize your skin. Your dry skin, due to Vata aggravation in old age, needs gentle nurturing and feeding of oils. You can always have a DIY moisturizer with you. Mix equal amounts of Coconut oil and sesame oil. Add few drops of Frankincense essential oil. Whisk all the three oils together for a thicker oil portion. Apply on the face at bedtime to leave your skin nourished and moisturized throughout the night.
  • In conventional medicine, chemical peels are used which can improve the appearance of crow’s feet and promote younger, healthier looking skin. You can use a more natural and cost-effective fruit enzyme peel at home for preventing crow's feet. Cut a lemon in half and remove the skin around the cut edge. Using gentle circular motions around your eyes, give your eyes a natural citrus lift.
  • Alleviate Vata with a gentle facial scrub. You will need the following:
  • 1 cup of oats coarsely powdered
  • 2 tbsp. Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup ground cashew powder
  • 1 tbsp. Honey
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 drops of frankincense essential oil

Mix all the ingredients together and gently scrub the face during bath time once a week. 

  • Exercise. Staying active and regularly exercising can increase the flow of blood in the body. Increased blood flow brings in increased oxygen supply, there by reducing and preventing wrinkles. 
  • Limit sun exposure. Always use polarized sunglasses, hats, and sunscreen, even if it's just for short periods of time. 
  • Get good sleep (at least 6-8 hours), and practice yoga and meditation to relieve stress. 

How to Manage Crow's Feet

Retinoids reduce fine lines and wrinkles by increasing the production of collagen. They also stimulate the production of new blood vessels in the skin, which improves skin color. Additional benefits include fading age spots and softening rough patches of skin. However, it takes three to six months of regular use before improvements in wrinkles are apparent—and the best results take six to 12 months. Tretinoin (Retin-A) is widely used to fight the signs of aging because it stimulates the production of new skin.

In addition, the conventional treatments include — Botulinum toxin or BOTOX, chemical peel, laser correction, dermal fillers, and more.  

Ayurveda on Crow's Feet

  1. Aloe Vera: The benefits of aloe vera in protecting the skin against harmful radiations has been clinically proven. Aloe gel significantly improves wrinkles and elasticity in photo-aged human skin, with an increase in collagen production. The presence of beta carotenes, as well as vitamins C and E help in keeping the skin firm and hydrated. It is an excellent Rasayana – anti-aging property – which helps in rejuvenation and regeneration.  Regularly apply aloe vera lotion or gel  to hydrate and moisturize your skin.
  2. Fenugreek or Methi seeds: These are a rich source of vitamin B3 and niacin, and promotes the regeneration of new cells and tissues that help in lightening age spots, hyper pigmentation wrinkles, fine lines, and crow’s feet that form on the forehead, at corner of eyes and lips. Soak a handful of fenugreek seeds overnight and grind them in the morning with a little water to form a thick paste. Mix with 1 tbsp. of honey and apply it over the face and leave for 20 minutes. Wash off with warm water. 
  3. Avocado: The oleic acid (a healthy fat) in avocados, helps reduce inflammation, lower redness, and  fights wrinkles. It can be used on skin daily without adverse effects. To use avocado as a facial moisturizer, a person can take the inside of an avocado peel and massage it onto their face. Leave the residue on for about 15 minutes, then rinse the face with warm water.
  4. Papaya: Vitamin C in papaya  promotes skin regeneration, tightens pores, and works to keep the skin taut and well-hydrated, erasing fine lines. Mash a ripened papaya and add 1 tbsp. of honey to it. Apply on the face and leave for 20 minutes. Repeat this once in a week. 
  5. Kumkumadi oil: This is an Ayurvedic herbal oil used for face massage. It is helpful to improve skin texture, complexion, and also to relieve skin problems such as acne and scars. Kumkuma means saffron, which is the main ingredient of this medicine.

References:

 Do retinoids really reduce wrinkles?

Making Homemade Lip Balm Couldn't Be Easier

When I make something I try to make it the easiest way possible. Sometimes I choose complicated projects, but not usually. Lip balm is one of my easy projects and I need it so much in the winter time. I get chapped lips at the drop of the hat. I even use lip balm to soothe my dry, rough cuticles. When I'm sitting and waiting for something to happen I'll whip out my lip balm and touch a dab to each fingertips and rub it in. It feels good.

lip balm in metal tins
Photo by Pixabay

Easy Orange Oil Lip Balm

Enough for 20 small lip balm containers

A word about used double boilers: They're not easy to find. Maybe someone left them too long on the stove and they burned black. I've done that a couple times over my long career so it's not unheard of! There's also the risk of leaving the boiling pot on the stove to boil dry and accidentally setting the kitchen on fire. I've never done that!

I don't want to buy a brand new double boiler for melting wax and paraffin so I just use two pots that are similar in size. The bottom is a little larger and the smaller top pot sets inside the slightly larger one. I got my top pot from a second hand store and it has a spout. Having a spout is very, very helpful. It's almost necessity here.

Ingredients:

• 4 tablespoons organic coconut oil
• 4 tablespoons organic olive oil
• 4 tablespoon grated beeswax
• 5 drops essential oil (lemon, almond, and orange are good choices)

Instructions:

1. Put these four ingredients into the top pan of a double boiler. The bottom of the double boiler should be filled with a few inches of water.

2. Melt the mixture on medium high and keep watch as it will not take long before it melts. Stir it to so everything gets mixed evenly.

3. When everything is melted and blended completely, pour the mixture into your containers. I bought 20 small pots online. Sometimes I have used left over small jars from things I've bought. When you pour it into little containers, use a steady hand. If you spill don't worry. Just scoop up the spill and melt it again. If you want to stop just before it spills over, you can try an eye dropper to top it off. I just pour very carefully and it works just fine.

4. Let everything cool and they're ready for use.

A word of advice: Clean the top pot while it's still warm. Otherwise the wax will harden and be tough to clean up without it heating again. You can reserve this pot for melting only wax and paraffin. Then it doesn't matter. That's what I do. I also use this pot to make fire starters. I just wipe the pot clean after I've melted something in it.

2-Ingredient DIY Facial Oil for Glowing Skin

When it comes to facial skin care, I’ve always been a soap and water kind of girl. Sure, I’ve dabbled in using various store-bought skin-care products over the years, but I’ve never found anything that really stuck with me. For the most part, many products either didn’t really do anything visibly positive for my skin, or otherwise had a long list of unfamiliar ingredients that left me feeling uncomfortable. So for many years, my skin-care routine consisted only of washing my face, and occasionally using a witch hazel toner.

Recently, this all changed. The dry, cold air of fall and winter had really taken its toll on my skin in ways that I’ve never noticed before. My skin became dry in places with more fine lines, yet still somehow managed to be oily in places, too — especially in the t-zone and along my hairline. And overall my skin just looked dull. It seemed to have just lost its brightness and glow, and no amount of makeup was able to improve the situation.

So, I began doing some research online and came up with the idea of a facial oil as a possible solution. Of course, facial oils are all the rage right now so there were on my radar, but they weren’t something I had ever seriously entertained as a possibility. Because my skin has always tended towards the oily side, and I had suffered from acne as a young adult, I’ve always assumed that slathering my face with oil probably wasn’t a great option. Still, I reasoned, I needed to do something, and after dong my research, an oil seemed like a natural way to nourish and brighten my dull skin (and I figured that if my skin became oily or broke out, I could just stop using it). I decided to give it a try.

I found an antioxidant facial oil blend at my local food co-op that had great online reviews, so bought it and began using it that same night. Now let me tell you now that this was a real game-changer for my skin. When I got up the following morning, I splashed some warm water on my face and dried it with a soft towel and my skin was glowing! I couldn’t believe my eyes. And it only got better in the following weeks. My complexion is much brighter and more even, with fewer visible fine lines. And not only has my skin not become greasy or broken out, but it’s noticeably less oily. I am a total convert.

simple homemade facial oil
Photo by Melissa Doris-Binig

The downside? The price. My small bottle of oil came with a hefty price tag. Miraculous though it may be, I couldn’t see myself shelling out that kind of money on a regular basis. I needed something that would be a more financially-sustainable solution. Being the DIY-gal that I am, I began to research various oils and their beneficial properties, and how different oils work with different skin types. I finally came up with an easy, 2-ingredient blend that is suitable for many skin types. I’ve been using it now for several weeks, and I’m very happy with the results.

Of course, there are many oils out there that can be used for skin care, but I wanted something that would be suitable for any skin type — that would also have hydrating, anti-aging properties while also being non-comedogenic. For my purposes, I chose pumpkin seed oil and rosehip seed oil for my custom blend.

Pumpkin seed oil is full of fatty acids and is rich in antioxidants (including vitamin E), and other nutrients. And in addition to nourishing and hydrating the skin, it’s purported to be anti-inflammatory and good at curbing breakouts. When purchasing, look for organic, cold-pressed pumpkin seed oil.

The second oil I used, rosehip seed oil, is pressed from the rose hips (the fruit) of the rose, and has long been touted as a powerful anti-aging oil. Chock-full of fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamin A, it has been said to brighten the skin, reduce signs of aging, and reduce dark spots and scars. Many people find that it helps with acne, but everyone is unique, so if you have acne, you will need to experiment and decide for yourself. Look for organic, cold-pressed oil. And because rosehip seed oil is fragile, you’ll want to store it in the refrigerator or other cool place.

This recipe makes 1-1/2 ounces of facial oil. Don’t be tempted to mix a larger batch — it’s best to mix a small batch at a time in order to maintain freshness. And while these oils are unlikely to cause an allergic reaction, it could happen. If you have sensitive skin or allergy concerns, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and do a patch test before using.

face oil bottle with funnel for filling
Photo by Melissa Doris-Binig

2-Ingredient Facial Oil Recipe

Ingredients:

• 1 ounces cold-pressed pumpkin seed oil
• 1/2 ounce rosehip seed oil

Directions:

Combine pumpkin seed oil with rosehip seed oil in a 2-ounce dark-colored dropper bottle. Store it in a cool place away from the light.

To Use:

You can use this oil any time of day or night. I like to gently rub a 5-6 drops of it on my face before I go to bed, and then wash my face with warm water in the morning. If my skin needs a bit more brightening, or is a little dry, I also sometimes use a few drops of oil during the day. For a healthy glow, try mixing a drop or two into your foundation or CC Cream before applying.

Dry Skin Solutions: Quick & Easy Sugar Scrubs

Blustery days, howling winds, and layers of ice…that’s been the weather in our part of the Midwest the last two weeks. Like so many of you across the country, each morning we woke up to drifting snow and temperatures that plummeted way below freezing.

While I would have loved to curl up by a crackling fire with some chocolaty cocoa and a good book, winter on a farm means going out into the weather several times a day. And so, if you would have stopped by last week, I would have been found bundled up head-to-toe, and while I was certainly not stylish, I was definitely warm!

If you’re like me, when it’s this cold and windy, my skin dries out quickly. The best solution I’ve found is to exfoliate with a sugar scrub. While sugar scrubs can be found in many shops, they can not only be expensive, they will most likely contain a list of ingredients that are far from organic and simple.

sugar_scrub
Brown Sugar Scrub. Credit: Windy Meadows Farm

Which is why I make my own! Once or twice a week I’ll use a sugar scrub on my hands and feet, and they’re even gentle enough for my face. There are countless variations from refreshing mint to calming lavender, and even decadent chocolate! 

Why sugar and not salt?  Well for me, I prefer sugar because the grains are smaller than salt, meaning it’s more gentle on the skin. And unlike salt, sugar naturally draws moisture from the air helping to hydrate skin.

Here are a few of my favorites. Sometimes I’ll add a little less oil or a bit more sugar; you can easily adjust them to your personal preferences. You can also use any oil you prefer; I like sunflower oil because it doesn’t have the strong aroma that many oils do.

Cinnamon Scrub

Substitute pumpkin or apple pie spice for the cinnamon…perfect for autumn!

• 1/2 c. white sugar
• 1 c. brown sugar, packed
• 2 T. cinnamon
• 1/2 c. plus 1/2 T. sunflower oil

Whisk together sugars and cinnamon. Add oil; stir to blend. Spoon into jars and secure the lid.

Peppermint Sugar Scrub

Great for gift-giving…tie a little wooden scoop to the jar.

• 3 c. white sugar
• 1 c sunflower oil
• 10 drops peppermint oil

Combine sugar and oils; blend well. Spoon into jars and secure the lid.

Honey-Vanilla Sugar Scrub

We have our own honey bees, so this scrub is one of my favorites.

• 1 c. white sugar
• 1/4  c. honey
• 1 t. vanilla extract
• 2 t. sunflower oil

Combine all ingredients; spoon into a jar and secure the lid.

mel_scrub2
Chocolate Sugar Scrub. Credit: Windy Meadows Farm

Chocolate Sugar Scrub

For all of us chocolate lovers out there!

• 1 c. white sugar
• 1/4 c. cocoa
• 1/8 c. coconut oil, melted

Combine all ingredients well; spoon into a jar and secure the lid.

Vanilla Sugar Scrub

Mmmm, smells like a sugar cookie.

• 1 c. white sugar
• 1/2 c. sunflower oil
• 1 t. vanilla extract

Combine ingredients; blending well. Spoon into a jar and secure the lid.

With just a few ingredients, sugar scrubs are so easy to make…try whipping up one just for fun. Better yet, get a few girlfriends together and make an afternoon of it!


Mary is a Midwest farmgirl who enjoys the simple pleasures of living in the country. "For us, living where there is plenty of room for gardens, chickens, goats, honey bees, and for our family to relax, is the best kind of life." You can visit Windy Meadows Farm here, Windy Meadows Farm.

Moisturizing Your Skin Naturally: Ayurveda Remedies

During winter your whole body may be bundled up tight while going outdoors, but your face is exposed at least to some degree. This can lead to chapped, dried skin, as atmospheric humidity will also be lower during winter. The indoor heating systems can also cause drying of the skin. All these factors point to one common remedy—staying moisturized.

Skin is the human body’s largest organ and requires regular attention to stay young, blemish-free, and healthy. Daily moisturizing is vital for skin health. In order to keep your skin smooth and supple, moisturizers are perfect solutions. In this perspective article I will be explaining the natural ways to keep you moisturized internally and externally.

Natural mosturizer
Photo by Ethan Robertson on Unsplash

Ayurveda explains about different skin types, among those the one prone to most dryness is Vata.

How to Moisturize Vata Skin Type

Generally, people with Vata skin type will be more likely to experience dryness, dehydration, as well as a thin, delicate texture and fine pores. Your skin will be predisposed to symptoms of early aging, which is made worse by mental stress such as worry, fear, and lack of sleep.

The most important times to use moisturizer are after a bath, shave or exfoliation. A basic moisturizer recipe can help ease the Vata dryness symptoms at home.

You will need the following:

  • 2 tbsp. Aloe Vera gel
  • 4 tbsp. Oil (You can choose coconut oil)
  • 2 tbsp. Cocoa butter
  • 2 drops of essential oil (Rose, Orange or Jasmine for Vata skin types)
  • 4 tbsp. Floral water

1. In a pan, heat coconut oil (or oil of choice) and cocoa butter together. You just need to warm the mixture, do not boil.

2. In another pan, heat aloe gel and floral water. Make sure both the mixtures are the same temperature.

3. Combine the contents in both pans together to make a cream. Blend it with 2 drops of essential oil until smooth and creamy. Store in an airtight jar and apply after shower.

Sesame oil and jojoba oil are the most highly recommended moisturizers for Vata skin because of their heavy texture and ultra-nourishing properties. You can replace coconut oil with sesame or jojoba oil if you like.

How to Moisturize Pitta Skin Type

Pitta skin type tends to have more breakouts, redness, broken capillaries. and photo-sensitivity. If you have Pitta skin, you’ll typically have issues with breakouts, inflammation, and allergies. Your skin-care regime needs to focus on calming and cooling.

Pitta is the Ayurvedic body-type that is typified by red, easily irritated skin. A pitta predominant person might have highly sensitive skin, so be careful when you moisturize because you may end up with acne.

Coconut oil is great for Pitta skin because it’s both anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. Ghee is another great Ayurvedic moisturizer for Pitta-types. Ayurveda explains ghee to be ideal or best for pacifying Pitta.

You can add a pinch of turmeric in your oil for preventing acne breakouts. Pitta persons can use natural moisturizers before showering so that they won’t have that greasy look after.

How to Moisturize Kapha Skin Type

Kapha skin is thick, oily, soft and cool to the touch. Your skin will be prone to clogging and will need more cleansing than other skin types. Be careful to avoid greasy, clogging creams and products.

Hazelnut oil or sunflower oil is a gentler option and a great choice for Kapha complexions. It helps to regulate sebum production, preventing excess oil secretion.

Cleanse your skin twice daily and exfoliate with a mud mask at least once a week.

Throughout this article I have focused more on your face. But do you know staying hydrated within is also important for smooth skin? 

Hydration from within comes from eating and drinking correctly. Eat food according to your dosha type and add warm, moist foods if you feel that your skin needs extra hydration. Leafy green vegetables, squash, sweet juicy fruits, and lots of water are essential for rehydrating your skin.

Don't skip or delay meals, get enough rest, and make sure your elimination is regular. Practicing yoga can also enhance the detoxification process and opens the channels of the body.







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