Au Naturel Essence

All natural treats for body and soul


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Gift Box of Goodies

A few weeks ago, we spent a long weekend visiting some friends.  We don’t get to see them very often, so it was a very special weekend.

I wanted to give them some treats as a gift.  I decided to make a bunch of different skin care products and then let them divide them up among themselves.

Their gift box included:

  • 1 jar of peppermint foot cream
  • 2 bottles of lotion
  • 3 jars of hand balm
  • 6 tubes of lip lube
  • And a whole bunch of soap!

I had so much fun putting everything together.  Here are some photos of the final product.

Gift Box!

Gift Box!

Gift Box of Goodies

Gift Box of Goodies

Skin Care Treats!

Skin Care Treats!

Lip Lube and Hand Balm

Lip Lube and Hand Balm

Hans Solo Soap

Hans Solo Soap

Fish Soap

Fish Soap

As you can see, I made some specialty soaps for this gift box.  The blue and purple fish and starfish soaps were specially made for our friends’ daughter.  Her favorite colours are blue and purple, so I thought these would be perfect.   And one of our friends is a Star Wars fan.  I thought he might appreciate the Hans Solo soap!


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Perricone Product Review – Part II

This is the Part II of my three part review of my Perricone skin care products. Check out the first part, and the contents of my Perricone stash, here.

For this part of the review, I’m going to focus on the three moisturizers I have in my stash of Dr. Perricone products.  As you see below, I have three items:  More Than Moisture SPF 30, Face Finishing Moisturizer, and the Advanced Face Firming Activator.  I have been using all three for the past few weeks.  Check out my thoughts on each one below.

Perricone Moisturizers

More Than Moisture SPF 30

First of all, the scent in this cream is heavenly.  Every time I use it, I detect hints of cocoa butter and orange.   It smells really rich!  Perhaps that contributes to my feeling that it’s also a bit of a heavier cream.  It’s not greasy on my skin, but definitely feels like a thicker moisturizer.

I have used this cream every time I’ve gone out for a walk.  It does a good job of protecting my skin from the sun.   It’s lovely to have a cream that acts like a sunscreen, but doesn’t smell too strong or feel heavy on my skin.

Face Finishing Moisturizer

This cream comes in a jar with a little spatula.  The cream is more gelatinous and a bit thicker than the other moisturizers.  I guess that’s why the spatula is included.

The moisturizer felt the thickest out of the three that I tried.  It also provided the most moisture out of all of them.

This cream has a floral scent.  Fortunately, it’s not overpowering.  While I’m not usually a fan of floral scents, I quite like this one, probably because it’s not that strong.

Advanced Face Firming Activator

This is the one cream that I had used before.   As soon as I opened it, the scent brought me right back to the time when I was first introduced to this cream.  It was such a memorable time that I’d like to digress slightly here and tell you about it.

A short side story…

Remember the 2010 Winter Olympics?  Well, I was there!  For real!  I was one of fifty people that my company sponsored to volunteer at the Olympics.  I worked with a group of people in the head office.  Our job was basically to help people keep motivated, especially those in the head office who didn’t get a chance to be at the events.  It may not sound like much, but it was a great job.  The easiest way to motivate people was to give out free tickets.  We handed out lots and my team also attended lots of events.

Here’s a photo from one of my first days on the job!

Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

Back to the Advanced Firming Face Activator

I was saying…the scent brings me right back to the first time I used it.  Similar to the SPF cream, I smell a bit of cocoa and a bit of citrus.  It’s a light, refreshing scent. (and to me, smells of the Vancouver Olympics!)

This cream is the lightest of the three.  It moisturizes well, without feeling heavy on the skin.

Which One Do I Like Best?

Well, it depends!  I really like each of these creams.  They all serve a different purpose for my skin.

I like using the SPF when I’m going to be outside.  It does a great job as a sunscreen.

I love the Advanced Firming Face Activator for the morning.  It’s light and moisturizing.

Finally, I really enjoy using the Face Finishing Moisturizer at night time.  It’s thick and moisturizing and is perfect for overnight rejuvenation.

Having said all of that, if push came to shove and I was forced to choose just one, I would go with the Advanced Firming Face Activator.  Not only does it remind me of my Olympic adventure, it also does a great job of moisturizing all day long.

Have you tried any of these moisturizers?  If you have, let me know what you think of them!  For those of you who want to learn more about these moisturizers, or see the ingredient list, check out the Dr. Perricone website here.


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Perricone Products Review – Part I

A few years ago, I discovered Dr. Perricone and his line of beauty products.  I started using them and fell in love instantly.

Then, I started making my own skincare products and set the Dr. Perricone stash aside for a bit.  I found my stash a couple of weeks ago and realized that I still have some great products to use up!  Woo hoo!

Here’s what I have left:

Gentle Cleanser
Face Finishing Moisturizer
More than Moisture SPF 30
Advanced Face Firming Activator
Neuropeptide Deep Wrinkle Serum
Advanced Eye Area Therapy

My Perricone Stash

My Perricone Stash

First Steps

I started back into this line with the Gentle Cleanser.  It’s a nice thick cleansing liquid and it’s light green in colour.  It feels pretty smooth on my skin.  I use about half a pump each morning and each night.  Even though I don’t use a lot at a time, I find that I have to work at rinsing it off my skin.  It’s got some sticking power!  A bit of rinsing and rubbing on my face will usually do the trick.

After using it for a few weeks, I’ve found it is strong enough to clean my skin, but not so overpowering that it strips my skin of all of its natural oils.  I don’t like the “squeaky clean” feeling on my face that some soaps and cleanser can give you.

I have always loved the packaging of the Perricone line.  I love the dark glass bottles.  The cleanser comes with a bottle cap and a pump, so that it’s both easy to travel with and to use every day.

Dr. Perricone Gentle Cleanser

Dr. Perricone Gentle Cleanser

How do Dr. Perricone products rate?

The first thing that I love about Dr. Perricone products is that they are paraben free.  Each package is clearly marked that the product does not contain any parabens.  I also looked up Dr. Perricone products on both the Good Guide and the Skin Deep sites. Please note that on both sites, the ratings are based on a limited amount of information for this brand!

Good Guide Ratings

On average, Dr. Perricone products have a received a 5.1/10 Health rating from the Good Guide.   However, when I looked up these specific products, I found that most of them received a rating of 7 or 8 for Health.  The one outlier that I found was the Face Finishing Moisturizer.  It received a 5.0 on Health, listing ingredients that cause a low level of concern.  Thankfully, the other products with the lowest ratings that pull the average Health rating down are not ones in my cupboard!

Skin Deep Ratings

On the Skin Deep site, there were three Dr. Perricone products listed that I was able to find.  On a 10 point scale, they received ratings of 3 and 4, which places them in the Moderate category.  Many of the ingredients that cause concern do so because they have associated with allergies and immunotoxicity.

Overall, I’m satisfied that the Perricone products that I have in my cupboard are safe enough to use on my skin.

Moisturizers and Serums

I’m looking forward to delving into the moisturizers and serums.  I’ll be sure to post my reviews once I’ve had a chance to try them each for a few weeks!  Stay tuned!

Perricone Moisturizers Perricone Serums


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Skincare Tips for the Spring

Spring is almost here!

hydrangeasA few weeks ago, we started to have double-digit temperatures!  It was such a treat to be given a sneak peek into Spring.  I celebrated by going for a long walk with my son in the baby carrier.  Sadly, the high temps did not last and we’ve had more snow since then.  In fact, as I write this, I’m looking out the window at a snow shower.  Nevertheless, I know that Spring is close and it’s time to get ready for sunshine and outdoor fun!

Spring also means that my skin will have different needs. Here’s how I’m planning on taking care of my skin.

Spring Soap

DSC_0017

I just whipped up two small batches of Goat’s Milk Melt and Pour Soap.  I made a few bars of soap using green clay and scented them with Patchouli.  In the past, I’ve sometimes overdone it with the Patchouli scent.  Fortunately, I’ve learned from that and these bars are nicely scented.

I also made some bars of soap with pink clay.  I use these on my face.  They are gentle and are able to clean my skin without removing all of the natural oils. I scented these bars with Grapefruit essential oil.  I like to call these bars Pink Grapefruits!

Light Moisturizers

I’ve been using the Emollient Wheatgerm cream this winter.  It’s been great.  Now that the weather is turning, I’ll be using face oils only.  I love the Suti face oils.  They have a delicious scent and are light on the skin.  I also make my own face oils and have experimented with all kinds of oils.  Once I finish the batch that I have in my cabinet, I’ll be making some more to try!

It’s also time to switch to a light lotion.  I always need to help my skin with moisture.  However, I can get away with a light lotion during the warmer months, rather than a thicker lotion or cream.

Coconut on BeachHair Care

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll already know that I’m a big fan of reverse hair washing.  I just love the results and I continue to wash my hair this way.  With the added humidity that comes with Spring, my hair can get a bit frizzy. I find that a weekly hair mask is just what it needs to stay under control.  My favorite mask right now is plain coconut oil.

How do you pamper your skin during the spring months?

This post is part of the GiG Spotlight #5: Spring Fever.  Thanks to Caity of Moi Contre La Vie and Mari of I Love Green Inspiration for hosting this wonderful event.  Are you wondering what GiG is?  It’s the Girls Inspired Group.  Click on the image below to check out their blog and join!

gigspotlight1


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Scented Baby Balm

I have really enjoyed making my own skincare products for my son.  I feel so much better knowing exactly what I’m putting on his skin.  Now that he’s older than three months, I decided to make him some new baby balm, using an essential oil.

Safe Essential Oils for Babies

It’s best to use essential oils in moderation at all times.  Ideally, they should be diluted and when used directly, they should be used sparingly.  The same applies to babies, especially since they tend to have such sensitive skin.

The two essential oils that seem to be considered safe, in moderation, for babies are lavender and chamomile.  My main source of information has been Colleen Dodt’s book,  Natural Baby Care.

Even with these oils being considered safe, I chose to use a very limited amount in his new batch of baby balm, just to be on the safe side.

Lavender

I chose to go with the Lavender essential oil.  It has such a soothing scent.  That’s exactly what I need during those midnight diaper changes!

Lavender Baby Balm

Lavender Baby Balm


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Oil vs. Lotion – Which One Do You Use?

Do you use a moisturizer on your face or skin at least once a day?  My guess is that most of you do, even if you are one of the lucky ones who does not suffer from dry skin.   Assuming you do use a moisturizer, what do you use?  Oil or lotion?  Or, do you use a combination?

My Daily Routine

For as long as I could remember, I have used a moisturizer on my face.  I have tried various different creams and lotions to treat my dry skin and keep it hydrated.

Then, some time ago, I learned how to put together a face oil.  I tried it on my face and I loved it!  I was so anxious about applying an oil to my face.  Fortunately, it turned out great and I was so happy to have found a moisturizer to use on my face that didn’t cost me an arm and a leg at the store!  Plus, I could make this on my own.

Suti SamplesA few months ago, I tried a sample of Suti’s Nourishing Oil.  I liked it even more than the one I had made.  The scent was lovely and it made my skin feel great.

Finally, a few weeks ago, I had a facial.  It was pointed out to me that my skin was a bit dry.  What?!  How could it be?  It certainly didn’t feel dry to me!  Yet, after an hour of exfoliating, steaming and moisturizing, I could feel a marked difference in my skin.  It felt so smooth!  I even received a few comments on how great my skin looked.  I left the spa with a jar of Pure Creations’ Emollient Wheat Germ Cream that was used on my face.  It’s a rich cream and good for moisturizing my skin during the dry winter months.  I’ve used it once a day ever since the facial and my skin still feels great.  Stay tuned to my blog for a full review on this product!

And all of this lead me to ask which is better, lotion or oil?  Did I make a wrong turn when I started using a face oil?

Lotion

There are so many lotions and creams available on the market.  They can have all kinds of additives, like Vitamin E and oils that are beneficial for our skin (my most recent favorite oil to use is Kukui Nut Oil).  Lotions come in varying degrees of greasiness.  The ideal lotion is one that doesn’t leave a greasy film on your skin.

Lotions are designed to penetrate the skin.  This allows your skin to absorb all of the great ingredients in that lotion, thus replenishing the look and feel of your skin.

Oil

Body and face oils are used widely in certain parts of the world.  Like lotion, they can contain oils that are beneficial for your skin. Oil Where oils differ from lotion is that they tend to prevent moisture from leaving your skin.  However, they are not necessarily designed to penetrate your skin like a lotion.

Check out these links to learn more about the differences between lotion and oil.

http://www.rodale.com/moisturizers

http://www.vivawoman.net/2009/11/24/is-oil-better-than-a-moisturizing-lotion/

Baby’s Skin

The best test I’ve found was on my son’s skin.  Like many babies, he had dry spots on his skin in the first few weeks following his birth.  I used a bit of coconut oil on them and for the most part, they went away.  However, there were a few very persistent spots that the coconut oil simply would not address.  On a whim, I tried a wee bit of lotion that I had made. It was very basic and did not have any essential oils in it.  Surprisingly, it worked immediately and eliminated those pesky dry spots. I couldn’t believe it!

Baby Skin

Oil vs. Lotion – The Verdict

So, which one is best?  Well, it depends!  Both oils and lotions have their place in providing extra moisture for your skin.  Right now, I use an oil on my face in the morning and a cream on my face at night before bed.  That combination has worked great during the dry months of winter.  I have no doubt that I will have to change that routine when the weather warms up a bit and it’s not so dry.

What do you use to keep your skin hydrated?


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Body Lotion – Featuring Kukui Nut Oil

Experiments in Body Lotion

Every few weeks, I make a batch of body lotion.  I have very dry skin, so I always need a healthy supply of moisturizer to keep my skin smooth.

Since I need so much lotion, I make a point of trying new oils each time.  For example, a recent batch of lotion that I made featured Sea Buckthorn Oil.  More importantly, my latest batch of lotion is one of my favorites.  I used Kukui Nut Oil in the mix.  This was the first time that I had used Kukui Nut Oil.  I took some time to learn about it and here’s what I found out.

Kukui Nut OilKukui Nut

Kukui Nut Oil comes from the Candlenut tree, the state tree of Hawaii.  The Kukui seeds have many varied uses, one of which is to use the oil from the seeds in skin care.  Not only is this oil known to soothe and soften the skin, it has also been used to treat wounds.  Some people have even seen positive results when using this to treat skin conditions, such as eczema.  This oil, when used in soap, makes the lather creamier.

I found most of this information from this site.

Does this lotion measure up?

Absolutely!  I love this latest batch of lotion.  It is nourishing, making a little bit go a long way.  It glides on smoothly and does not leave a greasy film behind.

I scented it with a mixture of vanilla and citrus essential oils.  I love the deep and slightly sweet scent of the vanilla essential oil.  This is a treat to put onto my skin each morning.