Au Naturel Essence

All natural treats for body and soul


Get Your Daily Dose of Caffeine in Your Skin Care Products

Is it OK to include caffeine in your skin care products?

My Caffeinated Eye Gel

Au Naturel Essence - Smoothing SerumI have experimented with adding a caffeine powder to my eye gel.  The purpose of my eye gel is to tighten the skin around my eyes.  Caffeine has the effect of constricting blood vessels to make your skin look tighter.  It sounds like a match made in heaven to me!

Some will question if they should be patting caffeine powder onto such a sensitive part of their skin.  Will it keep them awake all night?  So far, my own experience has been that it DOES NOT keep me awake all night.  Since I’m not a regular tea or coffee drinker, I would think that I’d be quite sensitive to such a jolt, if it existed.

Caffeine in Skin Care

There are lots of skin care recipes that include caffeine.  Whether you use coffee grinds in a mask or scrub or use caffeine powder in a cream, a little bit can go a long way to keeping your skin feeling firm!  If you want to experiment on your own, check out this recipe on Dr. Oz’s blog.


Are You Using Enough Sunscreen?

Like it or not, sunscreen is an important part of your skin care routine.  In all seasons, the sun’s rays can be quite damaging to unprotected skin.

Side Effects of Too Much Sun

It’s common knowledge that too much sun exposure has been linked to cancer. Unfortunately, excessive sun exposure isn’t limited to cancers.  It has also been linked to eye damage, including cataracts, and problems with the immune system.

Too much sun also leads to wrinkles in your skin. Wrinkles occur when the collagen structure breaks down.  Once the collagen is damaged, it cannot repair itself.

We often view a suntan as a sign of good health.  Unfortunately, a sun tan is evidence of sun damage.  It’s your body’s way of trying to protect you from further sun damage.  Unfortunately, a sun tan doesn’t provide a great deal of protection.

But, I Love the Sun!

If you’re like me, you love the feeling of the sun on your skin.  I can understand avoiding being in the sun for long periods of time, but I couldn’t forego that pleasure altogether!

I have dark skin and for the most part, I don’t get sunburns.  However, a few years ago, I was visiting Mendoza, Argentina with my husband and two friends.    We were there in December, one of the hottest months of the year.  We spent a day horseback riding in the mountains.  Not only was I totally uncomfortable riding a horse (more on that another day), but the back of my neck and shoulders got sunburned.  I couldn’t believe it!  By the time I put sunscreen on, it was way too late and I was moving pretty gingerly for the next few days.

Protect Your Skin from the Sun

There are lots of sunscreen products on the market.  Most of them require application every few hours and they range in price.  Many of those products also contain parabens or other ingredients that have been linked to cancer and other disease.

I prefer to make my own or build the sunscreen agent into my skin care products.

The two most common natural sun screen agents are titanium oxide and zinc oxide.  I grew up hearing about zinc oxide, so that’s the one that I tend to use.

I’ve tried using zinc oxide in my lip colours and lip balms, lotions, and creams.  After much experimentation, I’ve learned one thing.  The ratio of zinc oxide to the other ingredients is really important.

Zinc tends to leave a chalky white residue on your skin.  So, it’s important to mix it with agents that will help it be spread across your skin without leaving you looking like a ghost!

Is zinc enough to protect you from the sun?  Well, it’s a good start.  However, physical barriers, like clothing, or staying out of the sun completely are probably the best remedies.  While I try to limit my time in the hot sun, I also like to wear something with zinc oxide in it to make sure that I’m getting a little bit more protection.

One More Word of Caution

When looking for a sunscreen agent or making your own, avoid ones with citrus essential oils.  In general, they are known to be photosensitizing. In other words, they aren’t good to have on your skin when you’re out in the sun.


Smoothing Fine Lines

Serums and Creams

You can spend just about as much money as you want to serums and creams dedicated to removing those fine lines on your skin.  I don’t like spending a small fortune on cosmetics, but even I have tried some of them.  However, not having seen immediate results, I’ve never really stuck with any one serum and have just relied on the hope that I’m treating my skin well enough that it won’t be terribly wrinkly one day.  (I know, probably not the most reliable plan.)

Natural Serums

All of that changed when I learned how to make my very own serum for smoothing fine lines.  You don’t need a lot.  You simply dab a drop on your skin.  If you keep it in the fridge, it feels wonderfully cool on your skin.  You can actually feel your skin tighten when you put it on.  The best part is that it is made with non-mysterious ingredients that won’t harm your skin.

Special treatment for the Eyes

I use the serum around my eyes.  The skin around the eyes is very delicate, so you can and should use this sparingly.   By the way, that rule (use sparingly) applies for anything you put on in the eye area.

I liked this product so much that I made this part of the last set of Christmas gift bags that I gave out.  It turned out to be a coveted item for both the men and women who received the gifts!