Real Beauty
Tips and tricks for natural body care


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.

3 DIY Body Butters for Dry Skin

You might look forward to cozying up on the fireplace during winter nights, but this season can be too much for the skin. During winter, the extreme drop in temperature makes it hard for the skin to maintain hydration and often people end up with dry, itchy and cracked skin. Good thing there is a natural and homemade way to bring your skin back to its hydrated and radiant state—and you can do it in your own kitchen.

I love DIY body butters! I’m sharing with you my top three DIY body butter recipes for dry skin. Making your own homemade body butter can bring a huge deal of relief to your dry skin (and your pocket, too!). With DIY body butters, you’re guaranteed that only natural and quality ingredients go on your skin. It allows room for fun and creativity too, as you can customize the recipe to your liking.

mango body butter in cobalt jar

Mango Body Butter Recipe

Mango Body Butter is one of my favorites for dry skin because it is cost-effective, incredibly easy to make, and works wonders on your dry skin.  A lot of mango body butters out there are manufactured with added chemicals, but this recipe ensures that only pesticide-free organic butter is used. Using proper ingredients and following the steps below, you can easily whip up your own mango body butter in less than 30 minutes. You can get my full recipe on my blog here.

Ingredients

  • 12 tbs of organic unrefined mango butter
  • 2 tbs of organic refined shea butter
  • 6 tbs of organic safflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon of arrowroot powder optional
  • 15 drops of roman chamomile essential oil
  • 3 drops of bergamot teraphene-free essential oil
  • 10 drops of patchouli essential oil

Instructions

  1. On low heat, slowly melt the mango butter and shea butter in a metal or glass bowl that you can put inside a water-filled pan. Add the safflower oil after the ingredients melt. Mix them well.
  2. Leave the mixture in the freezer for 5-10 minutes until it’s a soft and thick paste. Make sure it’s not completely frozen.
  3. Whip the paste with on low speed until it becomes fluffy. You may opt to add arrowroot powder in this step to bring in a soft and less greasy texture to the skin.
  4. Bring up the whipping speed to medium until the cream has the proper texture. You can also add your choice of essential oils and whip it again for another minute.

simple shea butter in tin pot

Whipped Shea Body Butter Recipe

Another wonderful recipe among my top 3 DIY body butters for dry skin is the Whipped Shea Body Butter. The three ingredients used for this recipe, including the vitamin-rich shea butter, can restore damaged skin and hydrate dry skin. With a simple ingredient list with easy-to-follow creation steps, I’m sure you’d love to make your own Shea Body Butter over and over again. Find out more on my blog  Organic Beauty Recipes here.

Ingredients

  • 12 tbs of organic refined shea butter
  • 2 tbs of organic mango butter
  • 6 tbs of organic camelia seed oil

Instructions

  1. Slowly melt the mango and shea butter on a glass or metal bowl placed inside a water-filled pan. Set the fire on low heat.
  2. Add the camelia seed oil when the butters are all melted and mix them well.
  3. Place the bowl inside the freezer until the mixture becomes a soft wax (around 10-20 minutes).
  4. Using an electric whip, whip the soft wax on low speed then switch to high speed once the wax becomes foamy. Continue whipping until the body cutter texture is as desired.
  5. Essential oils of your choice may be added and whipped into the mixture afterwards.

small cobalt pot of ucuuba butter

Ucuuba Body Butter Recipe

Ucuuba Body Butter cannot be easily found on the market because it is a rare ingredient.  Ucuuba butter has a wide range of skin-healing effects that can restore the skin even when it’s in a terrible condition—and this is why the Ucuuba Body Butter is among my top choices. Along with ucuuba butter, the other ingredients you’ll need are jojoba oil and shea butter, both natural ingredients containing vitamins that are good for your skin. Get the full recipe here on my blog.

Ingredients

  • 6 tbs of raw ucuuba butter
  • 3 tbs of organic refined shea butter
  • 3 tbs of organic jojoba oil

Instructions

  1. Fill a pan with water and place a bowl (glass or metal) containing the shea and ucuuba butter inside. Set the stove on low heat to melt the ingredients slowly.
  2. Add the jojoba oil after it has melted and then mix them well.
  3. For 5-10 minutes, place the bowl on the freezer until the mixture is thick enough but not frozen.
  4. Whip the paste mixture on low speed at first and then turn the speed up to a medium after it begins looking fluffy. Continue until you reach the desired texture.

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

Ingredients

• 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

Instructions

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.

Essential Products for Your Skin-Care Routine

When it comes to skin care, it's not about using the best and most expensive brand. It’s about the ingredients and what they do to the skin. By following a good skin-care routine, you can really change the surface of the skin. It does take time for certain ingredients to work in the skin, but with enough patience and dedication you have the ability to repair and improve your skin. If you have no skin concerns for now, you can start a preventive skin-care routine that will make sure your skin stays looking good for longer. Because the reality is that our skin does age, just like our body. It takes 10+ years for sun damage effects to show up on the surface of our skin—brown spots, fine lines, wrinkles, and broken veins. Check what is already in your cabinet and see which things you need to add to your routine. Start making more time for your skin today!

skin care products
Photo by Charisse Kenion on Unsplash

Cleanser: To cleanse the skin and pores, lift off dirt & makeup, and prepare skin for further product absorption. Gel cleansers are best for normal/oily skin types; milk cleansers for normal/dry skin types. Oil-based cleansers can be used for all skin types, especially when used as the first cleanse in the evening, removing makeup, and prepping the skin for second cleanse.

Toner: To make sure all remains of cleanser are off the skin and brings the skin back to natural pH level.

Serum: The most penetrating product due to molecule size, serums are usually where you will find active ingredients such as vitamin A and C, peptides, hylauronic acid, AHA, and BHA. Choose a serum with ingredients that are best for your skin type.

Eye Care: The eye area is the most delicate part of the skin and needs to be treated with care. Apply a pea-size amount of eye cream or eye gel around the eye bone with ring finger.

Moisturizer/SPF: If your moisturizer doesn’t contain SPF, make sure you use one on top of it, or apply makeup containing sun protection. SPF blocks the UV radiation from the sun, which is present all year long.

Night Moisturizer: Specific night moisturizers contain more active ingredients than day creams. As your skin is sleeping, it is regenerating so what you apply before bed does count.

Exfoliator: Once or twice a week its important to slough away dead skin cells that have built up on the surface of the skin. By removing these dead skin cells, the skin becomes brighter and smoother.

Face Masks: Once or twice a week, apply a mask. There are clay masks for oily/acne-prone skins, and cream or gel masks for drier/aging skins. They really plump and refine the skin, leaving the skin glowing. For best skin results do an exfoliation before applying a face mask, and leave the mask on for as long as possible or sleep with it on overnight.

Thanks for reading! You can read more about skincare on The Beauty Mind blog and my social media pages Instagram & Facebook

#SKINISIN Katie

How to Go All-Natural With Your Hair Care Regimen

Are you tired of the store-bought products for hair? Are you planning to try an all-natural hair care routine for yourself? Have you tried witching your hair care products and still can't find a perfect solution for your hair type? Then this article is for you.

The three steps for a perfect hair care routine are: 

  • Cleanse
  • Condition
  • Leave-in conditioner


girl with dark hair in face blowing in wind
Photo by F on Unsplash

Cleanse

In order to maintain beautiful, healthy hair, cleanliness is very important. Oil your scalp at least twice a week. Instead of store-bought oil, with artificial ingredients, prepare your own nourishing hair oil at home.

How to Prepare an All-Natural Herbal Hair Oil

Here coconut oil acts as a base for the hair oil.

Ingredients:

• Triphala powder - 250 g + 100 g
• Water - 4 liters
• Coconut oil - 500 mL

1. Preparation of Triphala decoction: 250 g of Triphala powder is added to 4 L of water. Boil and reduce it to 1 L. Now the decoction is ready. The general rule for making ideal decoction is always maintain a low flame, stirring continuously and always use a wide mouthed vessel.

2. Take 100 g of Triphala powder in a small bowl, add some water and make it a smooth paste. 

3. Add 500 mL of coconut oil to this paste and stir well. Add this to the decoction and boil it till only the oil part remains.

How to know when you should stop heating the oil?

Initially while boiling bubbles will be appearing, at the end stage no bubbles will be there, and froth sets in. The muddy formed liquid in the initial stage starts getting clearer indicating it's time to stop heating. It may take up to 3 hours for the full procedure. You will get about 400-450 mL of final yield of oil. 

Use this oil twice a week and wash off with an herbal shampoo after one hour.

Make an All-Natural Herbal Shampoo Powder

Ingredients:

• Aritha (Natural Cleansing agent) – 1 tbsp
• Shikhai powder – 1 tbsp
• Hibiscus powder – 1 tbsp
• Water – quantity sufficient to make a smooth paste
• 2 drops of essential oil (I prefer rosemary)

1. Mix all the ingredients together in jar and leave it overnight. The next day when you are having a shower, apply this mixture to oiled hair and scalp, leave in for 20 minutes. Wash thoroughly in running water.

Most commercial hair cosmetics contain chemicals that have side effects on our body, in the long run. For example, constant use of some hair products could predispose one’s scalp to some diseases and skin allergies. Natural shampoo and conditioner tackle every hair concern you might have.

Now that the cleansing part is over. We will see what should be done for natural hair conditioning.

Prepare Natural Hair Conditioner

Ingredients:

• Ripe Avocado mashed – 1/2
• Olive oil – 1/2 tsp
• Rose Mary Essential oil – 2 drops

1. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Apply to wet hair, focusing on ends and leave for 10 minutes. Wash with cold water for silky smooth hair.

It is good to use a leave-in conditioner after using shampoo and conditioner. How can a leave-in conditioners help your hair? They can help provide extra moisture, as well as detangle strands, which can help make styling easier.

Homemade Leave-In Conditioner

Ingredients:

• 1 cup aloe vera juice
• 2 cups coconut water
• 2 tsp. jojoba oil

1. In a spray bottle, mix all the ingredients together. Spray it onto towel dried hair after shower.

Jojoba oil mimics your natural hair oil, while aloe vera and coconut water help lock the moisture in your hair. After applying a leave-in conditioner, you can style your hair as usual.

These are simple, easy-to-prepare herbal remedies for healthy hair, which has natural moisture and glow in it.

What are your favorite herbs for hair? Let us know in the comments below.







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