Au Naturel Essence

All natural treats for body and soul


Evande Facial Care – A Product Review

For the month of January, I have been using a whole new set of skin care products.  It’s the Evande Skin Care Set.  This set was sent to me free of charge.  In return, I’ve been using it religiously so that I could provide you all with my personal review of the set.



The scent of any skin care product is really important to me.  I have to like it or I simply won’t use it.

The scent of the Evande set reminds me of a light baby powder.  It’s a very feminine and delicate scent.  I love the way it smells when I put it on.  I also love that I catch a whiff of it every once in a while throughout the day.

Each of the products in the set has the same scent, so they work really well together.

Evande Cleanser and Make-Up Remover

The soap-free cleanser is light and creamy all at the same time.  It works well as a makeup remover.  The hardest makeup I had to remove was some lipstick that had lasted beyond its best before date.  It was very sticky on my lips and felt horrible.  A dab of the cleanser/makeup remover allowed me to wipe it off in one swipe.  So yes, it works as a makeup remover.

As a cleanser, it is gentle on my skin.  After I’m done using it, my skin feels clean without that dreaded squeaky clean feeling.  My skin doesn’t feel dry afterwards, either.

Evande Cleanser

Evande Cleanser

Evande Alcohol-Free Pore Minimizing Toner

This is the only toner I’ve ever been able to use without breaking out.  In fact, I had all but given up on toners until I received this set to try.  I figured I had to give it a try in order to do a complete review.  To my surprise, my skin didn’t react poorly at all.  I love spraying this toner on my face and neck after cleansing.  It seems like such a lovely way to ensure my skin stays moist.  I am totally hooked.

Evande Face and Neck Moisturizer

The moisturizer is light.  I just need a little bit for my face and neck, especially after the toner.  It leaves my skin well-balanced and hydrated, but not greasy or feeling heavy.

Evande Face and Neck Moisturizer

Evande Face and Neck Moisturizer


This skin care set has served me well for a whole month.  It’s been cold and dry for most of the month and my skin has been well hydrated throughout.  The cleanser is gentle and the moisturizer is nourishing.  It’s exactly the right combination I need to keep my skin clean and moisturized.


The packaging is simple.  The pumps for the cleanser and moisturizer and the spray nozzle for the toner make each product really easy to dispense.  I personally like the clean look of the white bottles and the touch of gold classes it up a little bit.



The Evande brand uses the tag line, “Feel the Natural Elegance”.  Evande prides itself on creating products that are great for your skin without using harsh unnecessary chemicals.  On their website, they have listed the chemicals that are prohibited from use in their product line:

  •    DEA (Diethanolamine)
  •     Dyes
  •     Mineral Oil
  •     PABA
  •     Parabens
  •     Paraffin
  •     phthlates
  •     Sulfates

I love that Evande uses more natural substances to create their products.  They also clearly list all their ingredients right on the back of each bottle.  I’ve also reproduced the ingredient list below, in case you’re interested.

Evande Ingredient Listings

Evande Ingredient Listings

Cleanser and Make-Up Remover:

Water, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Cocomidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Vaccinium Myrtillus (Bilberry) Fruit Extract, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Aloe Barbedensis Leaf Juice, passiflora Edulis (Passion Fruit) Extract, Phyllanthus Emblica (Amla) Fruit Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Glycol Distearate, Carbomer, Sodium Hydroxide, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance

Pore-Minimizing Toner

Extracts of (Marigold, Chamomile, Rosemary, Cucumber, Elder, Arnica, Linden, Cornflower, Matricaria, St. John’s Wort, Hops, Horsetail, Pine Cone, Mallow, Ivy, Pellitory, Burdock, Sage and Soapwort) in Water, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel), Glycerin, Propylene Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Aloe Barbedensis Leaf Juice, Laureth-23, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Tetrasodium EDTA, Fragrance

Face and Neck Moisturizer

Water, Glycerin, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Cetyl Alcohol, Petrolatum, Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Aloe Barbedensis Leaf Juice, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Almond Butter), Silk Amino Acid, Ficus Carica (Fig) Extract, Kigelia Africana Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Niacinamide, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Glycol Distearate, Coco-Glucoside, Glyceryl Oleate, Propylene Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol,  Carbomer, Sodium Hydroxide, Tetrasodium EDTA, Fragrance

I looked up this brand on the Good Guide and on Skin Deep.  Unfortunately, it was not listed on either site, most likely because it’s such a new brand.  I’d love to know how these products rate on either of those sites.


Is this magic skin care set affordable?  In short, YES!

Each bottle contains 200 mL of product.  My best guess is that, after one month, at most, I’ve used about one-quarter of each bottle.

You can buy the whole set of three for $24.99!

Honestly, I didn’t even look at the price until it was time to write my review.  I was floored when I saw how well priced the set is.


Would I Recommend Evande?

Yes – I most definitely would.  I’ve had a great experience using this set for the past month.  My skin feels great and I’ve finally found a toner that works for my skin!  I also love the clean packaging and the great price.


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


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!



A Review of My Suti Stash

My Suti samples arrived a couple of weeks ago, courtesy of D at Sweet Jelly Bean!  Thanks again, D!

I was so excited to try these little gems after reading great reviews about the Suti line of products.

My Suti Stash

Here’s what I received as the free Suti giveaway.  I got samples of two face oils (Rejuvenate and Nourish), a Fabulous Foot Balm, a Purity Balm and a Cleanse Balm.  To top it all off, it all came in this cute little pouch.  I’ve been busy trying all of these (except for the foot balm) and inasmuch as I’ve made my own facial oils and balms, I ended up comparing them to my own personal experiments.  Here’s what I came up with.

Face Oils

Both of the face oils were smooth and had a great scent.  The Rejuvenate Oil is good for day wear.  However, since it uses citrus based oils, you wouldn’t want to wear it out in the sunshine.  The Nourish Oil is intended for night-time to help your skin repair itself as you sleep.  I really loved this oil.  The scent is great and the oils glides on in a really smooth way.  I didn’t think that oils could have different “glide” factors, but this one definitely felt like it went on to my skin easier than my own face oil.

I already use my own homemade face oil as a moisturizer, so I’m used to the idea of these oil blends.  I absolutely fell in love with the scent and feel of the Nourish Oil.  It’s quickly becoming my new favorite!


Each of the balms makes use of unrefined Shea Butter, which looks and feels grainy.  However, it melts on contact with your skin and

Shea Butter

Shea Butter

provides lots of moisture.

The Cleanse Balm is best for cleaning the skin and it can also be left on as a face mask.  I used it as both and found that it was a great moisturizer for my skin.  The first time I tried it, I applied and left the Balm on my face for about 20 minutes.  I then steamed and rinsed it off with warm water.  My skin felt really supple and I didn’t need any kind of extra moisturizer following that.

The Purity Balm is great for those dry spots of skin.  I tried it on my elbows, which often get neglected.  😦  It worked like a charm!

The Foot Balm looks great, but I will have to wait until I’m done being pregnant before I try it.  (There are three essential oils that are not recommended for use during pregnancy.)

How Does Suti Rate?

I enjoyed each of the samples that I received.  I can’t wait to try out the foot balm (just as soon as I reach my feet again!).  Out of all the samples, the Nourish Oil was my favorite, by far.  I truly fell in love with the scent of the oil.  I tried looking Suti up on both Skin Deep and The Good Guide.  Unfortunately, Skin Deep is down right now and the Good Guide hasn’t rated Suti yet.

So, all I can do is give these products my own personal rating!  From what I can tell, Suti is good about using “clean” ingredients and avoiding all of the unnecessary chemicals. Suti clearly lists all of the ingredients in each of their products on their website.  In other words, they are completely transparent.  Based on that alone, I would have no hesitation in recommending Suti to anyone who was interested!

Have you tried a Suti product yet?


Pink Soap – It has a following!

One of my favorite M&P soaps is my pink soap.  I make it with pink clay and Goat’s Milk Melt and Pour Soap.  It’s probably the most gently of the M&P soaps that I have mixed so far.  It’s gentle enough to be used on your face without causing irritation.

Others like my pink soap too!

I was quite flattered when, a few weeks ago, a friend of mine asked me to replenish her stock of pink soap!  Woo hoo!! I had given her a few samples to try some time ago and she stuck with them.  It was an exciting moment for me.  🙂  And of course, I’m so happy that I can share a great product with such a close friend.

Here’s the most recent batch of soap I made for her.  I’m guessing this will last her a good long while!

Goat's Milk M&P Soap with Pink Clay


Tea Tree Oil – Nature’s First Aid


Tea Tree Oil is indigenous to eastern Australia’s tea trees.  It’s Latin name is Melaleuca alternifolia and it is also known as Australian tea tree oil or Melaleuca oil.

This oil has a strong camphor-like smell.  To be honest, it’s not my favorite scent.  However, it works great to clear a stuffy nose!

The oil itself is clear.  If you purchase it, be sure to get it in a dark glass bottle to  protect it from light that can reduce its potency.


Tea Tree Oil has long been used a natural remedy.  It has been used to treat acne, athlete’s foot, dandruff, and skin infections.  It should always be used in a diluted form and should not be ingested.

Tea Tree Oil is used in creams, shampoos, lotions and other skin care products. It’s even found in some toothpastes and mouthwashes.  These are considered safe since you should not be swallowing either the toothpaste or the mouthwash.

Tea Tree Oil is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding. Continue reading


Pure Creations Spa – Local and All-Natural

I indulged in a second facial.  The first one was so good, I just had to go back for more.  This time, I chose a local spa that makes and uses their own all-natural, toxin-free products.  The spa is Pure Creations.  I tried two services while I was there.

The Pedicure

I started with a pedicure.  I used to have pedicures every couple of weeks, Nubar Nail Polish Coloursespecially in the summer time.  However, once I became more aware of all the chemicals involved, I stopped and attempted to take care of  my feet all on my own.  Needless to say, they have suffered a wee bit.  So, I had a pedicure at Pure Creations.  They used their own exfoliating botanicals in the water, their own creams, and used a 5-free polish, Nubar. This is a great brand of polish that lasted quite a while on my toes and offers hundreds of different colours.  The pedicure was lovely and my feet felt pretty again!

The Facial

Green teaI also had a facial.  It was different from the first facial I had a while back, but fortunately, it was equally as relaxing and lovely.  Once again, the products smelled great and moisturized my skin thoroughly.  She started with a gentle sandalwood cleanser, followed by a green tea serum, and finished with a wheat germ moisturizer.

I love to support local businesses.  Knowing that the team at Pure Creations makes their own products and ensures that each product is toxin-free is great.

I’m already looking forward to my next visit!


My Day and Night Oil

What do you use to moisturize your face?  Do you use a serum, a cream, or oil? Or, are you someone with naturally oily skin who would never contemplate using any kind of moisturizer on your face?

I’ve always had dry skin…

I`ve always had dry skin, so I’ve always used some kind of moisturizer.  For the most part, I have used a light cream, both in the morning or the night.  If I didn’t, I could feel my skin tighten within minutes of being washed.

I was able to help myself a few months ago when I stopped using strong cleansers on my face.  Once I went to a milder soap, I thought I might be able to get away without using a moisturizer. Unfortunately, that was not the case.  Even with a mild cleanser, my face still needed some help to stay moisturized.

How about straight oil?

As I learned more about the unnecessary and toxic chemicals hiding in most skin care products, including the ones I was using at the time, I started looking for a healthy alternative for moisturizing my skin.  Around the same time, I learned how to make a Night Oil at a workshop at Soap & More.  I never thought that I would actually use straight oil on my face.  Surely it would be too much and cause me to break out instantly (or, at the very least, overnight!).  I was so convinced that I didn`t touch the oil that I made in the workshop for several Skin Breakoutweeks.

And then one night, I ran out of my moisturizer. Out of desperation, I turned to the little bottle of night oil.  I just used a little drop and massaged into my face and neck.  It actually felt pretty good and my skin didn`t seem oily.  Still skeptical, I went to sleep, fearing the worst for the morning.

Miraculously, I woke up in the morning with my same clear skin.  I used a dab of the oil again that morning, and again that night.  In fact, I have continued that for several months now and I have yet to break out! I’m convinced that this Face Oil, combined with my other serums, will keep the wrinkles away!

What goes into a Face Oil?

rosehip seed oilI’ve had to mix up batches of this Oil a couple of times since I first started using it.  Each time, I’ve tried something a bit different.  I’ve used combinations of argan oil, rosehip seed oil, carrot seed oil, wheatgerm oil, and avocado oil.  I`m sure there are many, many different combinations out there.  Fortunately, all of the combinations that I have tried have worked great so far!

Have you ever tried using Oil on your face and neck?  If not, after reading my personal triumph with it, would you give it a try?


The tingle in your face cleanser – is it really working?

Do you remember the cleansers you used when you were a teenager that made your skin tingle?  It was a sure sign that the product was meant for your exact skin and was doing a great job.

The tingle actually comes from a combination of chemicals such as camphor and menthol.  It has a cooling effect on your skin and makes your skin, well, tingle.

Both camphor and menthol are found in many different products.  You’ll find camphor in everything from medicinal cooling gels to bug repellent to ingredients in food.  It’s not to be ingesting in large quantities and use must be limited to avoid negative side effects.

Menthol is an organic compound that is found in lip balms, chest rubs, and in things like menthol cigarettes.

So, do you think the menthol and camphor are the active ingredients that are cleaning your skin?  Or, do you think that they simply add an extra effect that we’ve learned to associate with an effective cleanser?

1 Comment

Natural Face Care

I attended a workshop on Total Face Care at Soap & More – The Learning Center on the long weekend.  As always, the workshop was lots of fun.  It was especially enjoyable this time because my mom and one of best friends came with me!  It was just great to share my new-found hobby with them both.

During the workshop, we made 5 different products.  We started with aFace Care Regime basic facial foaming cleanser.  I love foaming soap, so I was quite pleased to be making one in this workshop!  Next, we then made a toner.  Everyone made a toner that was customized a certain skin type.  I chose to make one for combination skin.  I’ve never really used toner.  I have found that they tend to dry out my skin.  However, the toner we made in the workshop did not have any alcohol or other drying agents.  I’m looking forward to trying it out.

Next, we made a face moisturizer.  This was a similar process to making lotion, so I was comfortable with the process.  We added a small amount of glycolic acid to this cream.  To counter any effect it might have with making the skin more susceptible to the sun, we also added some titanium dioxide.  The cream came out beautifully and feels very light on the skin.

We mixed up a night oil with one of my favourite oils, argan oil.  As with toner, oil is not something I typically use on my face at night.  Normally, I opt for a moisturizer.  I know there are many who swear by a dab of oil at night.  It’s just enough to moisturize the skin without leading to excess oil.  Since the workshop, I’ve been using it every night and so far, so good.

The final gem we made was a serum.  By far, this was the highlight of the class for me.  We each made a small bottle of serum that can be used to tighten up the skin.  I brushed this on under my eyes.  It was cooling and I felt my skin tighten a wee bit.  I really love this product!

With all five products, I came home armed with a whole new face care regime!

GoodiesAnd finally, any visit to Soap & More, whether it’s for a workshop or not, must be topped off with a bit of shopping.  I bought a few more goodies to add to my growing collection. I can’t wait to try those out too!

Leave a comment

How do you bring balance to your day?

I have a busy day job.  It’s dynamic and challenging and I love it.  I also find it exhausting at times, due to the demand on my time and energy.

Experimenting with skin care products is a great relief for me.  I get to be creative and try out different things.  I get to experiment with scents, textures and viscosity.  It’s very different from my day job and it provides me with the right balance.  I also love sharing my creations with my family and friends and finding out what they like and don’t like about each one.

As a side benefit, I’m learning lots of tidbits about adding balance to my day.  I recently started brushing my skin in the morning again.  I found out I love it!  It’s a great way to start my day and knowing that I get to do this helps me drag myself out of bed each morning.

I’ve also cut a lot of unnecessary chemicals out of my life.  By making a simple change to a natural soap, I realized that I didn’t need my store bought moisturizer anymore.  And by using dry shampoo a couple of times a week, I’ve cut the times that I have to wash my hair in half each week.  That means I have more time to spend on other things.

How do you bring balance to your day?