5 Ways to Spring Clean Your Skin Care Routine

Here in Michigan, spring has arrived. The icy winter days have given way to a softer, sunnier outdoors. The birds are singing and early spring plant life is peeking its way out into the world. The grass becomes green again and we can open the windows and take a deep breath without our nostrils sticking together from the frigid temperatures.

We celebrate renewal with springtime rituals, both old and new. 

Walking barefoot to see plants peeking out for their very first time in the herb garden of our new farm. 



And playing with our 5-week-old chickens. 



And counting the buds on our new family apple tree, awaiting arrival of blossoms in a few weeks.



It is safe to say that the transition from winter to spring in Michigan is one of the most dramatic - and most anticipated - changes of season.

Those dramatic changes in weather can also cause dramatic shifts in your skin, as the spring temperatures and humidity begin to make their climb toward summer. The result can be skin that is out of balance - still dry and flaky from the winter months, yet feeling the effects of the warmer, more humid days with increased oil production and seasonal breakouts.

Here are 5 ways to bring winter skin into springtime balance...

1. Switch to a lighter skin care routine

As the days become warmer, begin to transition your skin to products with a lighter touch. The same rich moisturizers and lotions that your skin may need for winter become too heavy for spring. Switch to lighter serums and lotions, as well as moving to a lighter foundation for daily wear.

2. Exfoliate

The dry skin of winter may still be lingering on your bod. A barrier of dry, flaky skin keeps your products from working optimally and, when mixed with humidity and increased oil production from warmer temps, creates a recipe for breakouts.  

Exfoliate your face 1-2 times weekly with either a mild physical exfoliant, like a scrub or gentle cleansing grains (scrubbing gently) or an exfoliating enzyme mask that you leave on and rinse off. 

Treat your body once a week to a thorough exfoliation with a circulation boosting DIY sugar scrub. Mix 1 cup cane sugar with 1/2 cup olive oil (adding a few drops of essential oil if desired). Massage the scrub thoroughly in a circular motion onto damp skin in the shower from the neck down - taking care not to slip and to be gentle on the delicate bits. ;) Rinse off with warm water, towel dry and apply your favorite light lotion.

3. Go "bare-faced" a few nights a week.

The time when we are sleeping is prime skin regeneration time. Although nourishing night serums or lotions do help to enhance our skin's health and appearance, take a few nights a week to allow skin to breathe freely and perform its natural detoxification and renewal process, allowing it to naturally regulate moisture balance.

4. Continue to stay hydrated.

Transitions to warmer days require extra internal hydration to keep skin in proper balance. No amount of lotion applied to dry skin can make up for not drinking enough fluids. Be mindful to increase your fluid intake with water, herbal teas and coconut water accordingly, even more so if you drink caffeine or alcohol or are working out regularly.

5. Wear your sunscreen.

These mild, breezy spring days with the first rays of sun on our skin can glamour us into forgetting we need to apply sunscreen. Although a few minutes a day of sun on bare skin is good for Vitamin D levels, don't forget to wear a natural zinc-based sunscreen. Every. Single. Day. Unless you want wrinkles. :)

What is your favorite springtime ritual? How do you celebrate the coming of the warmer, brighter days?

I Tried It: The Great Guasha Experiment




I am always fascinated by international and cultural skin care treatments and was very intrigued when my plant sister, Sherry, sent me a link to an article on "Guasha," an ancient practice of cleansing and purifying the skin to promote overall wellness.

Historically, gua sha, is a traditional Chinese practice of using a tool, usually a spoon, a bone or pieces of jade, to vigorously scrape a prepared paste or oil off of areas of the body to release stagnant energy. This is thought to open up pathways of healing through the skin. In practice, the treatment sometimes can cause abrasions and bruising. This is a very simplistic explanation, of course, and does not honor the rich history and background of the practice of this treatment.

After more perusing the interwebs, it seems an alternative form of guasha is being practiced in the form of more of a body scrub delivery system, using baking soda and vodka (and sometimes crushed shells and minerals). The premise is that this treatment kills unwanted bacteria, fungus, etc. on the skin and opens up the pores to promote healing of the whole body by allowing skin to purge toxins more efficiently. 

Hmmmm....I have put stranger things on my body. Let's give it a go!

Well, I happened to have both items at the ready so I whipped enough aluminum free baking soda with vodka to make a thick paste. All I had on hand was premium vodka that was a gift, so, hey, fancy for a body scrub, huh?

My gorgeous guasha paste.
The process to perform the treatment is to shower for a moment, then turn off the water and apply some of the paste spread onto a loofah in vigorous circular motions to the body, starting at the feet and moving up.

The slight smell of a distillery was a little odd, but, since I'm taking one for the team here, I forged ahead, while pondering offering this as a spa treatment alongside a shot of vodka and a caviar face mask... 

Anyway, after a thorough scrubbing, including my face (gently for 30 seconds only, rather than the 3-5 minutes I saw recommended), I rinsed, got out of the shower and applied a light layer of coconut oil to my entire body, as suggested.

Here is my verdict on this treatment:

THE PROS
  • Although I expected the paste would be brutal, it actually had a nice creamy feel.
  • The thorough scrubbing was very invigorating and my skin felt very smooth and toned afterward (I suppose the vodka had the same toning effect as an aftershave on skin tissues). I felt peppy and ready to start my day!
THE CONS
  • My skin did feel dry and tight afterward, even with the application of coconut oil, as I suspected it may, using alcohol as a body cleanser.
  • My skin was smooth, but not moisturized, as it would have been with a traditional oil-based body scrub.
  • It smelled like I was at the bar. Should I ever try this again, I may add a drop of essential oil to cut the booze odor.
  • It is advised to perform this treatment several days in a row, which seems excessive and so drying/irritating, that it makes me want to cry a little.
THE BURNING QUESTIONS
  • By scrubbing vigorously with a treatment containing alcohol, a strong solvent that strips the skin of lipids and protective moisture, how much are we compromising our skin's natural protective lipid barrier, resulting in damage to the skin?
  • Since skin houses good bacteria, are we effectively killing them off, also, causing an upset of the natural bacterial balance of skin? 
  • Is the excessive scrubbing reaching a tipping point of over-exfoliation, thus compromising the skin's healthy balance and function?
Arguably, I am looking at this from the perspective of a skin care therapist without any actual facts or experience regarding the treatment as a wellness application. This practice has been going on since ancient times and I trust the healing foundations for it. 

But, this is the kind of stuff that keeps me up at night.

So overall, I'm not sure I would try this again. I would much prefer to exfoliate with a treatment that, removes unwanted dead skin cells and debris, allowing pores and skin to function optimally, while still moisturizing and protecting the skin and it's delicately balanced lipid barrier.

Would you try this treatment? Although, I would not recommend it, if you do try it or have tried it, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Yours in exfoliation,
Camille xoxo








Lavender Cocoa Kiss DIY Sugar Lip Polish

***This post contains affiliate and etsy shop links that help to support this blog. Thank you!***

With the winter's chill in full force, there are lots of dry, flaky kissers happening around here. Here is a simple, 4-ingredient lip scrub that you can whip up in seconds to exfoliate, smooth and soften your lips.



2T plus 2t organic cane sugar
2t coconut oil (melted or use liquid coconut oil)
1t cocoa butter (melted)
1 drop lavender essential oil 

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl, allow to cool to room temperature and transfer to an airtight jar.

Apply to dry lips in a gentle circular motion for about 15 seconds. Wipe scrub off with a warm, damp cloth and immediately massage a bit of cocoa butter or your favorite lip balm into your lips. Treat yourself to this lip scrub weekly and use within one month.

Don't have cocoa butter or lavender oil on hand? Make a simple 2 ingredient lip polish with just the sugar and coconut oil! Add a few sprinkles of cocoa powder for an extra treat. ;)

A few tips to prevent dry, flaky lips:
  • Apply lip balm prior to going outside into the elements - every single time.
  • Look for lip balms that are rich in natural moisturizing oils and butters, as well as beeswax, which helps lips retain moisture.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Avoid the urge to lick lips when they feel dry, as this will continue the cycle of dry lips. Apply lip balm instead.
  • Apply a nourishing lip balm or lip oil, like Lip Serum No. 14, prior to bedtime to regenerate lip tissues while you sleep. 

LIP SERUM NO. 14: Lip Oil, Lip Rouge, Handmade, Natural, Artisan, Botanical, Tinted, Renewing, Lip Treatment, Herbal, Lip Tint

DIY SWEET LOVIN': Edible Chocolate Body Paint


The loviest, doviest day of the year is nearly here. Are you ready? 

Here is a quick and easy, last-minute DIY idea to kick your swoon-fest up a notch this Valentine's Day - DIY Chocolate Body Paint!

DIY Edible Chocolate Body Paint

1 oz chocolate (white, milk or dark to allow for different colors, or you can even tint white chocolate with a natural food color, like India Tree)


1 teaspoon organic coconut oil (or more to get your desired consistency)

Gently melt ingredients in a glass bowl set in a warm water bath inside of another pan (the fancy word for this is a "bain-Marie" ). Stir and use while still slightly warm (but not hot - please test the temperature before painting any body parts, for goodness sake!!!). 


Alternately, you can use 1 t or more of cocoa powder in place of the chocolate. 

You can double the recipe for more paint and any extra can be stored in a covered container and rewarmed for later use. You can even use leftovers as a moisturizing and toning face mask.

Have a super-sweet, chocolatey, sticky, love filled, ooey gooey Valentine's Day!

XOXO

:::THE PAINTED POUT::: Membership Winner & A Special Offer!

Congratulations to Sharry B. - the winner of :::THE PAINTED POUT::: 3-Month Handcrafted Lip Lovers Membership! Thank you to all of you who participated in the contest.

As a thank you to all of my blog friends, I will be offering 10% off both :::THE PAINTED  POUT::: and :::PLANT GLAMOUR BOX::: Memberships in my etsy shop between now and Monday, January 19. Just enter MEMBERSHIP10 at checkout. Ordering by the 19th will ensure that you will receive your first package in February - the Valentine's Edition. However, you can choose to join at any time.

Both THE PAINTED POUT and PLANT GLAMOUR BOX memberships allow you to try a variety of handmade, artisan botanical body care products at a price point lower than what the items would be listed for individually in my shop. All items are crafted by myself with natural ingredients to enhance your beauty and support your wellness. Some products that will be found in your surprise product shipments will be offered in the Autumn Moon Boutique, however, many will not. Members will receive these special items exclusively.

The 10% off bonus could save you up to over $20, depending on which membership you choose.

For more details about each available membership and if it is a good fit for you, please click on the image below. It will take you to that offering in the Autumn Moon Etsy Boutique:




 



















                                                                                            

In addition to handcrafted botanical surprises delivered to you, all Autumn Moon Memberships include all shipping and handling fees and sales tax for MI residents, as well, so there are no extra fees. 

Please join me in a unique way to make luxurious, pampering time for yourself. You deserve it.

Much Love,
Camille xoxo