Miraculous Marula Oil

Using oil on our faces has become quite popular lately, but for good reason — facial oils can improve hydration levels, elasticity and overall skin quality.  I recently tried ACURE’s Marula Oil, which is 100% pure and wildcrafted without pesticides. If you’re familiar with argan or jojoba oil, marula oil is less heavy than argan and more similar to jojoba.

What is marula and where does it come from? The Marula tree is in the same family (Anacardiaceae) as the cashew, mango, and pistachio nut and is indigenous to Southern Africa.


{Photo Credit: ACURE ORGANICS}

The great thing about marula oil is that it works well for all skin types.  Aside from using it on my face and neck to moisturize and prevent fine lines, I’ve also loved using it as a split-end treatment and eye makeup remover.  When using the oil on your face or hair, a few drops go a long way so this bottle really lasts and is super reasonable at $15.99. The fact that it has no odor makes it an excellent choice for sensitive skin and/or sensitive noses.

marulaoil{Photo Credit: ACURE ORGANICS}

It’s also nice to know that purchasing ACURE’s Marula Oil supports The Marula Project, which provides economic empowerment to the South African women who harvest and process the oil.

Alegna Soap

What is it: Classic bar soaps that are handmade in small batches. Alegna bar soaps are available in four naturally fragrant scents: Peppermint, Lavender Lemongrass, Lavender and Honey Oatmeal.

What it’s good for: Unlike a lot of conventional bar soaps, Alegna’s are nourishing, not drying, and a great choice for sensitive skin.

Photo Credit: Alegna Soap

Key natural ingredients: Organic olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, shea butter, and essential oils. Some of the soaps also have added botanicals like calendula and lavender.

Where to buy itOrder Online

How much: $6

My favorite perk: Angela, the founder and creator of Alegna Soap, is a New York State licensed Medical Technologist turned bath and beauty product maker. I love when a lady (or man) turns a passionate hobby into a beautiful business idea. Angela’s products are clearly a labor of love and you sense that every time you use them!

A.N.A. featured on WebMD

I recently had the opportunity to provide some of my favorite homemade, natural beauty recipes to WebMD. I’m really excited to have three of my recipes now featured on the site and I’m even more excited to see WebMD’s interest in the realm of natural beauty!

Here are a few recipes to try at home that will help you get 2013 started off on a naturally beautiful foot:

Soothing Oatmeal Face Mask

Purifying Lemon Ginger Foot Soak

Rejuvenating Coconut Oil Hair Mask

A belated Happy New Year everyone! I hope it’s a very happy and healthy year for you. I want to thank you for being a reader of AllNaturalAnnie.com. This blog started out as an outlet for my love of holistic health and natural beauty back in 2008. While I’m still just as passionate about these topics, I know my posts have been a lot less frequent this past year. I truly appreciate everyone who continues to be a reader and I plan on having posts be a lot more frequent in 2013!

Clean Clothes & Beef Fat?

How could the 2 possibly relate? Well it turns out that most dryer sheets are made with animal fat, particularly beef fat! Kind of shocking, right? And in addition to the grossness factor, these animal fats can also dull the coloring of fabrics over time. Not cool.

So to avoid a faded, animal-fat-laden shirt or pillow case (that’s where it really hits home  for me) you can opt for plant derived softeners like the Squeaky Green Dryer Cloths ($5.49) by Method. They use water-based technology (yes, these sheets are actually on the moist side) to infuse the dryer cloths with renewable, plant-based softeners.  Result: Clothes are soft and static free minus the fat and heavy scents.

I would especially recommend this swap for anyone with sensitive skin. Also, if you haven’t already, opt for a detergent that is fragrance free or at the least, naturally scented. I’ve spoken to many people who can’t pinpoint the source of their skin ailments and these switches can often provide a lot of relief.  Easily irritated by strong odors? You’re another great candidate for making these switches. But of course, everyone can benefit from these more natural options!

For Baked Potatoes, Bagels & Your Face!

Here are 2 more easy, natural masks to add to your beauty routine! Both masks are excellent for reducing redness as well as moisturizing and refining skin.

If you have sensitive skin, try this single ingredient mask twice a week:

  • Apply a tablespoon of full-fat sour cream to skin for 20 minutes.

Why it works? The lactic acid gently smooths skin and improves textures. This is a great alternative for people who react badly to store-bought masks.

Another similar option:

  • Apply a tablespoon of full-fat cream cheese to skin for 20 minutes.

My mom actually told me to do this one jokingly when I was complaining about dry skin.  I laughed at first, but gave it a try (remembering that my mom’s beauty suggestions for me always seem to work best). She was right, again! Definitely opt for the full fat version for best results and organic, if possible.

Naturally Clean – Baking Soda

Another great alternative to harsh cleaning product is baking soda, which is a natural deodorizer and gentle abrasive. I’ve mentioned it’s beauty uses before, but here are some of its best household uses:

  • The very well known – put an open box in the refrigerator or freezer to absorb odors
  • Rub into sponges and dish rags to freshen
  • Sprinkle on carpets before vacuuming
  • If you’re a cat owner, put a layer of baking soda underneath cat litter for maximum freshness
  • Add 1/2 cup to your next load of laundry – the baking soda is a natural fabric softener that also provides added freshness AND makes both white and colored clothing brighter! (a great alternative for people with sensitive skin)

Honeysuckle Soap

Honeysuckle Soap uses the cold press method to make each bar so it retains the naturally occurring glycerin. The result is a soap the actually attracts moisture to the skin. The addition of healing ingredients like olive oil, vitamin E, and honey combined with a lack of skin-irritating preservatives, results in a bar of soap that has been known to aid skin infirmities. 

I tried the Citrus Splash, which smells delightfully fresh and sweet and was very mild on my sensitive skin. Honeysuckle Soap also makes face lotions and body lotions: HoneysuckleSoap.com.

Photo Credit: www.honeysuckle.com
Photo Credit: Honeysuckle Soap

Aloe – one of nature’s best skin foods

I recently used Aubrey Organics Pure Aloe Vera and it reminded me just how much I love using aloe on my skin. Aubrey is one of the older and better natural skin care companies around today. For this great natural beauty product, Aubrey simply combines organic aloe vera with grapefruit seed extract and vitamin E (two natural preservatives). The Pure Aloe Vera is so excellent as a daily moisturizer for all skin types. It’s also one of the best remedies for sunburns and it’s especially lovely on summer skin when it’s stored in the refrigerator for a cooler splash of natural goodness!

Photo Credit: AllNaturalAnnie.com
Photo Credit: AllNaturalAnnie.com

Wrinkles? Stop worrying…

No Worries face cream for sensitive skin by Garden Girl Skin Care has no scent, a great consistency, and is quickly, well-absorbed by the skin. With aloe, jojoba oil and hylauronic acid, this cream richly moisturizes skin to fight lines and wrinkles without clogging or irritating your complexion. Once you have purchased your first jar of cream, you can order an eco-friendly refill (which has minimal packaging) so you can refill your original jar yourself! 

Photo Credit: Garden Girl Skin Care
Photo Credit: Garden Girl Skin Care

Face care from the garden

Oasis for Faces Cleanser for Dry/Sensitive Skin by Garden Girl – This gentle, non-drying face wash is ideal for parched and/or sensitive skin.  This cleanser features aloe, hydrolyzed oats and silk protein to thorougly clean the skin while nurturing it at the same time!

Photo Credit: Garden Girls Skin Care
Photo Credit: Garden Girls Skin Care

 For more info about the Garden Girl Skin Care line: Garden Girl

2 Moms + 6 daughters = Great Natural Skin Care!

As I said in an earlier post, I am VERY excited about a company called Good For You Girls, which makes natural skin care products for young girls. Cofounders and friends, Kim and Grace, created the company when they could not find skin care products that lived up to their standards of quality and safety for their young daughters.

Both coming from natural product backgrounds, the two moms put their passion and know-how together to create a 3-step skin care line specifically designed for young girls. Kim and Grace are making worthwhile efforts to not only create safe natural products, but also to educate young girls, as well as the people who make decisions on their behalf. Good For You Girls is helping to provide a foundation of natural beauty for young girls (like the 6 daughters Kim and Grace have combined) that they will continue for the rest of their lives.

I recently tried the line and enjoyed it so much! Although, I’m not in the age range that Good For You Girls is specifically targeting, the products have been excellent for my sensitive and sometimes dry skin. The cleanser, toner, and moisturizer have beneficial ingredients like organic aloe barbadensis leaf juice, organic arnica extract, organic lavender extract, organic white tea extract, green tea extract, and organic avocado oil.

My skin felt so soft and smooth after using the cleanser, toner, and moisturizer! I would highly recommend this line to young girls, as well as young women, especially if they have sensitive skin. I’m going to have my 10-year-old niece try the line and I’ll post her thoughts soon!

For more info: www.goodforyougirls.com


Photo Credit: Good For You Girls
Photo Credit: Good For You Girls

Weleda’s Ultra-Gentle Cleansing Lotion

I recently had the pleasure of trying Weleda’s Almond Cleansing Lotion from their sensitive skin line. I absolutely love this cleanser! It is so gentle and nourishing, with just the slightest scent of almond. This cleanser has a short and simple ingredient list, which makes sense since it is designed for sensitive skin. Weleda’s Almond Cleansing Lotion thoroughly removes makeup, but without stripping the skin of its natural moisture.  All of  the facial care products from Weleda’s Almond line are natural, gentle and truly balancing, especially this cleansing lotion!

For more information and other great Weleda products: www.weleda.com (I also love their website!)

Weleda Inc.
Photo Credit: Weleda Inc.