Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Simple Facial Moisturizer with Aloe for Dry, Sensitive Skin

I thought there was a magic age where your skin suddenly started to behave. Maybe it would be 30?! Haha, nope, says the mighty facial bacteria. Apparently there is no age where you suddenly become beautiful. And if there was a magic age, then I'm almost positive that I would have already passed it. {insert really sad face here}

Results of nature (no chemical) skin careOn my 30th birthday I was tragically disappointed with my skin. It was dry, super sensitive, bumpy, just red and puffy. On my birthday, I knew I had to do something different-- I was going to go green! 
Trust me, I had tried everything and at all price points but most things made my skin worse. I used to wear expensive makeup because my skin was bad! And God help me if I used a face scrub because I'd look like Sebastian from the Little Mermaid.

Eventually I gave up because spending a lot of money is stupid. My facial routine was clean with water and pray. Pray a lot. My skin actually improved a little by doing nothing which let me to think that maybe all the chemicals were causing my face to freak out.

Ahhh.. so what can I do?!!

I found out that if I avoid dairy products the redness seems to be a little better, but I decided that I can do more! When I switched to more natural DIY household products (like laundry detergent) I noticed that my skin was happier and my allergies improved. So, maybe a natural DIY moisturizer would make my face happier, too. Makes sense right?

I did a lot of online research. A LOT of research.

I didn't want to make my face look worse so I wanted to be very particular about what I used. I decided to make a product with Aloe Vera, Almond oil, Jojoba oil, and vegetable glycerin. Why? Well, let me tell you!
Easy, DIY Aloe moisturizer is great for all kinds of skin problems #acne #wrinkles #dryskin

INGREDIENTS: 
Aloe Vera:
  • Smooths skin
  • Moisturizer 
  • Build collagen and elastic which means less wrinkles and younger, tighter looking skin. 
  • Antioxidants which can help the skin repair sun damage.
Sweet Almond oil:
  • Anti-aging 
  • Helps reduce wrinkles 
  • Improve dark circles under the eyes. 
  • Smooth out the skin 
  • Dry skin retain moisture.
IMPORTANT: if you are allergic to nuts, don't use Almond Oil. You can leave it out or substitute ⅛ tsp of rose hips oil or argan oil (you need less for those two because they are super strong and slightly expensive).

Jojoba oil: 
  • It can trick your skin into producing less oils if you have combination or oily skin
  • Retain moisture deep into your pores
4) Vegetable Glycerin
  • Anti-aging properties 
  • Powerful moisturizer. 
  • Unlike the other products, vegetable glycerin actually draws oxygen into the cells which helps you look more youthful.  
5) Essential oils: Lavender and Frankincense
  • Help to support skin health
  • Reduces wrinkles and dry skin
  • Smooths skin and calms irritated skin
This is how you do it:
(I know you are singing that Montell Jodran song right now)

    Aloe Vera Moisturizer for #dryskin #wrinkles #redness
  • 4TBSP aloe vera JUICE-- not gel! (I use)
  • 1/4 tsp Sweet Almond Oil (I use)
  • 6 drops of jojoba oil (I use)
  • 1 tsp of vegetable glycerin (I use)
Simple put everything into a small mason jar, oil dispenser or a misting bottle and you're ready to go! Make sure that you shake it a bit before you use it because the oils can separate

This product does go bad (it's natural) so if it starts to look cloudy it's time to toss it. If you've been using a batch and suddenly you put it on and your face looks red-- it's gone bad. It typically lasts about a month at room temp.  You can prolong the use of your aloe vera moisturizing tonic if you put it in the fridge and only take out small amounts at a time.

If you'd like to use a mister bottle this is the product that I've been using: 2 oz Cobalt Blue Glass Bottle with Fine Mist sprayer 6/bx

I'll review the product in the end of Feb and let you guys know how it did! (P.S. there are more result pictures). 

Questions: Read this -- DIY Beauty Basics

And if you're Pregnant or planning on becoming Pregnant, you have to read this!
Avoid Chemicals in Cosmetics while Pregnant

If you want to see how safe your beauty products are then check out the skin deep cosmetic database. It's a crazy cool (yet scary) website that I use when looking for new beauty products).

75 comments:

  1. I'm excited to try this! It looks like a cleanser though, do you just rub it on your face and don't wash it off? Or do you put it on and rinse with water?

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    1. Hi Britt! It actually does clean, too. I've given up all my old skin rituals in replace of just this one little solution. I use a cotton pad and dip it into the solution and rub it on my face. The pad helps to remove any dirt, makeup or oil that's on the surface of your skin. I don't wash my face afterwards and my skin soaks it up. From my research, they say that the natural oils in this product will go into the pores and push out any dirt or blockage and clear out your skin. I don't know if it's true, but what I do know is that I don't have trouble with my skin like I did before.

      It's honestly my favorite DIY recipe because it's completely changed my skin. My mom uses this recipe too and she has a noticeable reduction in wrinkles especially around her eyes. She even puts it on her lips and swears that she never gets chapped lips anymore. I use it for sunburns and I think it helps them to heal faster without as much peeling.

      I hope you like it! Let me know what you think! And tell me if you find any new uses for it! :)

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  2. Is it safe to use on your eyes? Or is there an eye makeup remover you recommend?

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    1. I'm so sorry-- I replied, but as my own comment!! I hope you got it before but if not here it is:

      I don't use it as an eye make up remover, but I know that all the ingredients are considered safe for use around your eyes, so I don't see why you couldn't use it if you wanted to. I just don't know how affective it would be because I haven't tried it. If you try it, then please let me know!

      What I use to remove eye make up is a mixture of rose water, distilled water, argan oil and vegetable glycerin. I use it as a facial toner and a moisturizer, but it's so gentle that it's safe for use around the eyes. I have it in a misting bottle and I squirt the edge of a soft cloth to remove eye make up. If you want something that's completely safe for use IN your eye, then that's plain old rose water (or you can mix it 50/50 with distilled water). Rose water can actually be used as an eye drop to help with allergy symptoms!

      I also heard of people using straight coconut oil as well, but I haven't tried it.

      The post where I make the recipe for the rose water mixture is here : http://www.overthrowmartha.com/2013/08/gentle-toners-for-sensitive-skin.html

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  3. This works so well it is scarey! Thank you so much!

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  4. Do you use the toner once a day and this oil blend another time? My skin is a red blotchy disaster right now and all my DIY experiments are wreaking havoc on my skin. I'm giving this a shot. I have the witch hazel stuff on hand so I will use that as a toner. I would just like some clarification on when you are toning and when you are doing the oil moisturizer. Thanks!

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    1. Hi, Genna! Sorry for the delay in response, but I've been out of town!

      I use the aloe vera moisturizer in the morning and I actually gave up on using the oil blending every day because I think my skin is too sensitive. I am now using African black soap (that stuff is AMAZING) at night.

      I really saw a lot of good results using this product once a day and then using the black soap at night. I also use a toner (either witch hazel or rose water) both in the morning and at night.

      I have seen the most tremendous changes in my red blotchy skin using these products. I highly recommend looking into African Black Soap-- it really helped with the redness. You can see my routine here: http://www.overthrowmartha.com/2013/08/natural-skin-care-regiment-for.html and there is a link to a post about African Black Soap if you wanted to read a little bit about it.

      You probably already know this, but please make sure your witch hazel is non-alcoholic or it might make your redness worse!! I hope this answered your question!

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  5. Hi,
    Can you use this under makeup?

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  6. Thanks so much Sherri, I will do that experiment and let you know how it goes. And I'll look into the Black Soap and Witch Hazel too...

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  7. Thanks so much Sherri! I used everything except the almond oil, and it is awesome! To replace that oil, I did as you suggested per our emails, and used rose hips oil, but I keep it refrigerated so it won't go bad. I really like the black soap as well! You saved me lots of money an my skin is happier! I am 35 but got told I look 22 the other day! (But I have gotten that before when using some expensive face creams!)plus I am a redhead so I am a perpetual kid look alike! Love you blog! keep it up! Next step for me, hair cleansing methods you recommend!

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    1. Paula! I'm so happy that it worked out for you! Rose Hips is such a great oil, too. I'm glad you like it. You made my day! I love making people happy AND saving them money! Now you can go buy something awesome like shoes!! :)

      22! That's such a great compliment! :) I am 30 and I'm super short so I have that perpetual kid thing going for me too, but it's still so amazing when people think your a decade or so younger than you are!

      The hair cleansing is probably the hardest, but one of the most rewarding transitions. So do not be discouraged!! I hope to hear how it goes for you and definitely keep me updated on your progress! :)

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  8. Hi Sherri, I am new to all of this natural products. Where could I buy those ingredients?

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    1. Hi! It can be a challenge to find some of these products, but it's definitely possible. I buy almost everything on amazon.com because they carry a lot and you can often get free shipping. If you click on the links by the recipe ingredients it will take you to the exact product I buy. If you can't or do not want to buy on Amazon.com, then you should be able to find these products at natural food stores like Whole Foods or Chamberlin's.

      I will just say that you can usually buy Aloe Juice at your local grocery store, BUT they often have a lot of preservatives which can make your skin angry. So make sure you look at your labels-- it should be aloe juice with or without citric acid (a preservative) and really nothing else beyond that. You can also make your own aloe juice if you have an aloe plant, but it does take some work! I hope this helps. :)

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  9. Can you leave out the jojoba oil and also, can I use plain glycerin instead of veg glycerin?

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    1. Good questions!

      Yes, you can leave out the jojoba oil or even substitute it with Rose Hips oil or Argan oil, which both are excellent for the skin, but a bit more expensive than jojoba oil.

      I would not recommend using plain glycerin instead of vegetable glycerin for a few reasons. They come from different sources: veg glycerin is plant based and does not go bad, while glycerin is usually animal or petroleum based and can go rancid. Veg glycerin is purifed and food grade and not all regular glycerins are. Also, an important reason not to use regular glycerin on your skin is that it is likely to clog your pores and increase dryness.

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  10. Hi Sherri,

    I love love love your blog... I was just wondering if there's something I can substitute for glycerin. My skin is super sensitive and doesn't seem to agree with it. So, I'm thinking of just omitting it from the next batch. But if there's something else I can use... :)

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    1. Thanks Monica! I'm so glad you like the blog!! :)

      That's a really good question. But just to clarify-- are you using vegetable glycerin or glycerin? If you're using glycerin switching to vegetable glycerin should stop the problems. I believe only 1% of the population reacts to vegetable glycerin. However, if you are having a reaction to vegetable glycerin you should definitely not use it!

      You can omit it or you can swap it out for one of the common "substitutes" for veggie glycerin. There are quite a few options to pick from: shea butter, different carrier oil (rose hips oil, argan oil, grapeseed oil, and so on), grapeFRUIT seed extract (only 1/2 tsp), or liquid lecithin (only 1/4 tsp). Of course, the shea butter will make it more creamy and I haven't tried that yet so I can't speak to how it'll mix up. If you do try it, I'd be interested in how it turns out. I hope this answers your question!

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    2. Hi Sherri,

      Just an update.

      I was using vegetable glycerin. And it's not technically a reaction, it's just a little extra redness and inflammation on my extra sensitive cheekbones. I don't know for sure but I've read a few things online saying that glycerin actually dries your skin in dry climates (I live in New Mexico). BUT I have read things saying that's not true... So, regardless, I took the glycerin out and replaced it with a 1/4 tsp raw honey, that felt kinda sticky, so I added a Tbsp of distilled water and now... So far so good... :)

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    3. Monica, thanks for letting me know how you're doing! I'm a big believer in listening to your skin and if your skin doesn't like vegetable glycerin, then no sense in using it, right? Raw honey is awesome and I never thought of substituting with it so kudos to you! And I think it's perfect that you added distilled water to thin it out. Love it! I hope you let me know how it continues to work out! I'm really excited :)

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  11. How do you get aloe vera juice? I have a plant, but the inside of the leaves is a gel, not juice... some of the gel is more fluid than the rest, but it's still definitely not juice (it's very slimy). Can I use this?

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    1. Hi Eve! Definitely, you can use your plant! Aloe vera juice is basically aloe vera gel that has been thinned out a bit with water to make it more liquid like than gel like.

      Honestly, I don't recommend the store bought gel because it's a lot harder to find a preservative free version than the juice, but since you're making your own it doesn't really matter which you use! The gel will be a bit stronger potency so you will need less. I'd use 2 TBSP instead of the 4 TBSP of juice.

      To make the juice, traditionally, all you need is 1-2 TBSP full of aloe vera gel in 1 cup of water so a little makes a lot, but there really isn't any rules here. You can make it the consistency that you are comfortable with.

      If you have vitamin E, you can add some to help make your solution last a little longer and it will give your skin some extra benefits as well.

      It sounds like you've done this before, but if you want want here's a website to look at. She has a lot of good tips too, like when to know which leaf to harvest. ;)

      http://bestnaturaltips.com/how-to-make-aloe-vera-juice-at-home

      I hope this helps!

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    2. Thanks, I'll give it a try! I might add a preservative, I have something called 'ecosafe' at home, (brand is gracefruit) which is mostly acids and some alcohol (Benzyl alcohol, Dehydro Acetic acid, Sorbic acid and Benzonic acid). It's supposed to be added at 0,5 to 1%, so I think that wouldn't damage skin... But only if it's needed, I'll try it without and see how long it lasts! (I don't have vitamin E)

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    3. Thanks Eve. I learn something new every day! I've never heard of "ecosafe" so thanks for telling me! I'll have to look into it. :)

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  12. By the way, I'm also not really sure if my glycerin is vegetable glycerin (it just says 'glycerine' on the bottle and in ingredients) but it can be used in food. Does that mean it's vegetable based?

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    1. Glycerin is a name for quite a few different products... there's vegetable glycerin, animal glycerin, petroleum glycerin and medicinal glycerin. If it says Glycerin USP that means it's been through public standards to make sure it's safe, but they do not have to disclose a source of the glycerin. This is important if you are a vegan, use non-animal cruelty products, or do not use petroleum based product.

      Technically, all food grade glycerin have the same chemical structure so really any food grade version would be considered safe, but I still know people who have sensitive skin and have reacted to non-vegetable glycerin sources with mild skin irritations and when they switch to veg glycerin it stops. Other people have no problems.

      Most likely it's a veg source of glycerin as the majority of food grade versions seems to be, but there would be no way to know for sure.

      I hope this helps!

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  13. Could you use aloe vera gel or does it have to be aloe juice?

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    1. Christine, I personally haven't used aloe vera gel, but I don't see why you couldn't. I had a hard time finding a 100% aloe gel (the extra ingredients -- especially some of the preservatives-- can cause a reaction in people with sensitive skin) so I opted for the aloe juice which is easier to find without a lot of added ingredients. However, if you have a plant you can harvest the gel which would be 100% natural if that's a concern for you. I hope that answers your questions!

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  14. whats the shelf life 4 dis moisturizer if juice is used and also if pure gel is used
    I read it smwhr that u cn use lemon juice to prevent decay of pure aloe juice
    Do u hav any idea abt that
    Pls hlp

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    1. Hi! If you use the juice and leave it on the counter it can last around a month. If you put the extra in the fridge and take only what you need then about 3 months. I would image the gel would be similar if you use a pure gel without additives, but I am not 100% sure on this. I didn't know about the lemon juice, but it's a great idea! I will definitely look into it and see what I can find :) Thanks for the tip!

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  15. hey thanx 4 d info
    And a very happy newyear
    Anyways..i wanted to noe tht u mentioned a little amount of almond oil..but i have oily skin so is it a necessary ingredient or i can just skip the almond oil as it may harm the oily skin.. And if i do skip it then is there any alternative or am i supposed to increase the jojoba oil quantity...?
    Pls hlp

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    1. Happy New Year to you too! You can skip the almond oil altogether if you like. You can either omit it or you can add a different oil such as rose hips oil or grape see oil. You can also increase the jojoba, but it is a bit drying to some people.

      Can I ask where you heard Almond oil was bothersome to oily skin. I have read that it can benefit all skin types, including oily skin. I'd be interested in reading it :)

      Thanks so much!

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  16. thanku so mch 4 such worthy info...n yes i m going to try all of them n see which one is best for my skin...thanx agn..:-)

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    1. Anytime! I hope you find what works best for you! Good luck.

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  17. Dear Sherri - thank you for your amazing blog. I'm so happy I finally found someone I can relate to!!!

    I have several questions: do you keep this DIY moisturizer at room temperature usually? And also - what kind of misting bottle do you use for your eye makeup removing? Did you buy it on amazon as well? If yes - can you give a link please.
    I have combination skin - mostly oily, with large pores and blackheads.Do you think this DIY blend will suit my skin as well?

    Thank you!

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    1. Hi Anna! I'm so glad you like the blog. It means a lot :)

      Let me answer your questions for you!

      1) The Aloe moisturizer can be kept at room temperature, but it'll only be good for about a month. A little longer if it's chilly and a little shorter in the middle of summer. You can store half in the fridge and keep half in the bathroom (that's what I do) which prolongs the lifespan by a couple of weeks.You'll know when it starts to go bad because it'll turn cloudy.

      2) I use those little blue pump misting bottles and yes, I get them from Amazon, but lately I've been using coconut oil on the corner of a wash cloth to eye make up removal and that seems to work really well. I can give you a link to the bottles-- I'll attach it to the post because when I try to put it in my comments it always gets messed up ;)

      3a) I had large pores too-- this helped minimize the pores and any wrinkles. I'm a dry skin kind of girl, but going natural helped my skin kind of reprogram itself and I found that I'm a bit more balanced. I've heard of other people who were oily becoming less oily by using natural products.

      3b) As for blackheads, I don't think this will help a lot. Some of the oils used in the recipe can help, but I don't think it'll be drastic. But there are some simple things you can do for blackheads. Use a clay based mask (I like redmond clay), use a witch hazel toner (I use Thayer's non-alcoholic toner), or use RAW honey (I use raw honey for acne and it's AMAZING-- you can either do a spot treatment or a mask). I heard that people can use lemon juice for blackheads, but I haven't tried it-- I think that would demand a bit more research!

      If you look at my Beauty Tab you'll see posts concerning all of those things I mentioned in the last paragraph (except lemon juice) if you're interested.

      If you have any more questions-- just let me know. I'm glad to help if I can. I hope you keep me updated on your progress! Good luck!! :)

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    2. Hi Sherri!
      Thank you so much for your detailed response! I literally spent the whole day today reading (almost) all of your posts. As a result I ordered ~$200 worth of products you recommended from Amazon (even those baby wipes *giggle*). I'm going to make an Aloe moisturizer, hair rinse, scrub etc. Basically shamelessly stealing your routine. I hope it will work for me as well. Again, thank you so much for doing all this research and sharing it with others. I simply don't have time to research and I am so glad that someone does. I NEVER comment on any blogs - but yours is an exception. Wonderfully done - I love that you are into natural stuff - I am too.
      One more question:
      100% Pure - have you ever used their foundation and powder? Any thoughts? Will they clog the pores? I only use tinted moisturizer - but from another company and occasionally - some powder from Bare Minerals and a mascara - that's all. (So basically I am almost always with NO make up whatsoever). But reading about 100%Pure credentials - I thought to try their Foundation and Powder so my skin looks flawless when I need (for important events). And I definitely am buying their Mascara (btw what shade do you use of those?).

      What other products did you use from 100%Pure?

      Thank you again!

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    3. Haha! Thanks Anna! And those baby wipes are awesome! I love them-- they are the perfect size! Wash them a couple of times because they repeal water initially. ;)

      Steal away! That's why I put it out there. I hope it works for you, too. Just a word of advice--- start slow. If you do one thing at a time, then you will know exactly which one works for you and which one doesn't. I learned the hard way because I got really excited trying the natural ways and I started to get a reaction-- I wasn't sure what it was in response to so I had to stop everything and backtrack. It's easier if you add things one at a time :)

      Anna, I relate to you! I hardly ever wear makeup, too. In fact, I gave up make up all together except some mascara and eye shadow for dates and holiday parties. And then I found 100% Pure and I fell in love. I was really skeptical at first, but 100% Pure hasn't let me down yet. I have never used anything more for coverage than their tinted moisturizer. It gives a light coverage-- very natural looking, but enough to even out skin tone. If you want more than that, then their foundation has really good online reviews and said it's great at covering large pores (but it runs a bit dark) and that it can be a bit thick, but a few reviewers said they just add a little bit of moisturizer and it thins out to the level of coverage they want. I don't have any experience with their powdered and there weren't any reviews so I can't really say how that would be.

      I don't think the foundation will clog pores especially if you only plan to use it every now and then. I LOVE the tinted moisturizer-- I've never had any issues with it effecting my skin negatively. Their products are all natural and plant based, so I don't see why it would cause issues.

      I get the black mascara and I love it! It's really good. I also use their powdered eye shadows, lip glaze and lip gloss and their jasmine /green tea moisturizer plus their coffee bean eye cream. I LOVE all of them. I've tried their eye liner-- it's a bit thick and NOT black. It's more like a glittery charcoal color. It's okay, but not my favorite.

      I hope you keep me updated on your progress and how everything does! If you have any questions about anything-- just ask! I try to respond within 24 hours to any comments or emails. And just FYI: The hair routine seems to be the hardest of the bunch so if you need some moral support-- I'm here!

      If you do end up buying the 100% Pure foundation and/or powder I would love to know what you think so if someone else asks me I can tell them your experience with the products.

      Thanks!

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    4. Sherri - I just ordered Foundation, Powder, Mascara -Black tea, Nail Polish and Horsetail Base coat from 100%Pure. I will keep you updated on everything. Thanks for telling me to take it slow, I am super excited too!

      Have a great weekend! Anna G.

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    5. Anna, I'm really excited to hear what you think about the 100% Pure products and how the natural beauty products work out! :) I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you that it all goes smoothly and that you'll love it as much as I do!

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  18. I know this is meant for dry skin, but do you think it could work for oily skin types?

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    1. Hi Ashley! I said that it was for dry skin because of the moisturizing capabilities and it improved MY dry skin. However, oils can help any skin type and the ones that I used in this recipe-- jojoba and almond oils--- are good for all skin types. Some research actually says that almond oil may be more beneficial for oily skin. So, yes, I think it would work for oily skin as well. It's very light and leaves no oil or residue.

      In fact, I had some friends who had oily skin try this and some of the other products I've used and they all said their skin seemed to produce less oils after they switched to natural skin care products :)

      I hope this helps! Good luck :)

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  19. I just tried it for a week now and it's FABULOUS! Since I started using natural product, my skin looks so much better, I don't have anymore acne (just one or two pimple when it's the time of the month :( !) but my skin was still a little dry and I still had some redness. I tried your moisturizer for a week now and I don't have anymore redness, it's really moisturozing and light. At first I only used it at night after removing my makeup with almond oil and cleaning up my face. Since it's really cold outside these days, I apply it before applying my moisturizer and it's amazing! So thank you soooooo much!
    I also wanted to ask for your other beauty tips, can I use almond oil instead of coconut oil because my face doesn't really like it?

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    1. Yay!! I'm so happy that it's working for you! That's such awesome new and thank you so much for taking the time to let me know about your great experience. I love it!

      As for your question about switching oils-- I'm a little confused about which product you're asking to switch the coconut oil to almond oil so I'm really sorry if this sounds vague, but I don't want to give you the wrong info. Technically, you can use any carrier oil (avocado, almond, jojoba, grape seed, castor.. and so on) or combination of carrier oils that you want in almost any of the beauty recipes. Coconut oil is the only one that's really harder to switch in and out from because it changes consistency due to temp. For example, if I used it in the aloe moisturizer, the coconut oil would become a solid in the winter, but the rest of the moisturizer wouldn't. If I want a solid lotion bar and I switch from coconut oil to something else, it's harder to get it to a thick consistency.

      But for the most part, definitely change things up if they aren't working for you and make it your own-- that's really a lot of the fun about DIY beauty. If you're curious you can check out a post that I wrote that explains what the different oils do and which ones are better for dry skin (like avocado) or all skin types (like Almond) or look up Crunchy Betty's website. She has a lot of really good information on oils.

      I hope this helps, but definitely message me back if you have more questions. And thank you so much for your awesome story and kind words. I hope you have fun making your own signature beauty products ;)

      http://www.overthrowmartha.com/2013/07/cleaning-your-face-with-oil-what-you.html#.UuhDI_30BhA

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  20. Great recipe for a healing tonic! I have been using this recipe for just a few days now, and my skin seems to love it. It is so inexpensive to make a batch so I am using this everywhere my skin needs a little TLC (legs, hands). I used avocado oil for mine, but followed your recipe otherwise. It is way too dry in Ohio right now to use this as my only moisturizer (the indoor dry heat combined with the arctic temps outside has caused my face to become painfully dry!), but I had already switched to using avocado oil as a moisturizer, so I'm using that on top of your aloe juice tonic. I've also started to use what I'm calling an oil and honey rescue treatment: I just put a few drops of my avocado oil in the palm of my hand and add a dab of honey, mix them together and then pat it onto my face and neck. So hydrating and healing, and not really sticky at all after a few minutes!

    My skin has been a disaster since last fall, but, thanks to your blog and few other great sites, I have now switched to all-DIY skin care. Huge improvement to my skin so far! What a relief.

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    1. Oh, I love avocado oil for dry skin! It's wonderful! I'm glad you made that substitution! I also use avocado oil with honey for mask-- it's AMAZING, right?! There are so many benefits to honey it's unreal! It's like a superfood for your face. :)

      I'm so happy to hear your success switching over to a natural skin care routine! It really is amazing the difference and it's so great to hear that you are getting such wonderful results. Thank you so much for sharing your story!

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    2. Hi Sherri - just an update for you. I still love your aloe tonic - it has been wonderful for my skin! I am putting in slightly more of each of the ingredients for added benefits and moisture and it has worked really well. But I still was dealing with too much redness, so I decided to add lavender essential oil to my routine. Wow! It has made a HUGE difference with the redness. I put 2-3 drops of avocado oil in the palm of my hand and add 2-3 drops of lavender (sometimes I also add a drop of jojoba oil) and apply it to my face. I noticed a difference within 24 hours! Just wanted to share. - Kay

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    3. Ohhhh!! I love that you put essential oils into the mix! That's a fabulous idea! Seriously, brilliant! I also love avocado and jojoba oil-- they are two of my favorite oils! That's great news and wonderful info to pass on! Thanks for sharing!

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  21. Hi - love the natural skin remedies! I have been using cocounut oil as my OCM, but have been breaking out from it. I was searching for other solutions and came across your blog. It says this is a face moisturizer, what do you use to clean your face before you apply it? Also, how do you apply it? With your fingers? Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks you! The aloe mix is a very gentle moisturizer and it works wonders! I have very sensitive skin so I usually don't use any soap in the morning and I use black soap in the evening, but I do use Rose water or Thayer's witch hazel toner which is also a gentle cleaner. I have a post under the beauty tab which lays out my compete routine if you're interested ;)

      It is a liquid so I find it is best to use either a washcloth or an organic cotton pad to apply it.

      P.S. Are you sure the OCM is causing regular acne and not comedogenic acne?

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  22. Hi! Great post - and great moisturizer! I've been using it for about 3 wks now and really like it. What do you do for SPF when you use this moisturizer? Prior to using your aloe concoction, I used the Eucerin sensitive skin moisturizer with SPF 30 (in addition to a loose powder that is also SPF 30). I still use the SPF powder, but would prefer that extra layer of protection that was in my old moisturizer. What do you use? Thanks for the lovely blog and wonderful (useful!) ideas!

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    1. Thank you! I'm soooo glad that you like the moisturizer AND the blog!! :)

      Just some fun facts before I get into your question :) Many facial oils (including the ones in the aloe moisturizer) are natural sunscreens between 10-20 SPF. Aloe also has some skin protective qualities as well. That's why I don't really use an extra SPF very often unless I'm going to be spending time in the sun.

      The SPF that I use is a coconut oil lotion which I make that has an SPF of 15, but you can increase it by increasing the zinc oxide, but it might leave a bit of a white residue if you increase it much more.

      Recently, I have been using a product from Beauty and the Bees called Liquid Velvet that use olive sequalAne (not sequalEne) which has some sun protective qualities as well. I'll be posting more details about it soon, but so far I'm really loving it.

      If you want to check out the coconut lotion post here is the link: http://www.overthrowmartha.com/2013/06/diy-sunscreen-lotion-with-coconut-oil.html

      Also, if you're into really boring reading here is a research article from 2011 that talks about skin protective natural products: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3263051/

      I hope you have a GREAT weekend! Happy friday!

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    2. Awesome! Thank you so much. After I left that post, I realized I could do a little research on natural sunscreens and was amazed at how many options there are. I've been using jojoba oil alone, but have ordered carrot seed oil and wheatgerm oil to blend with the jojoba. I'll check out your coconut lotion post as well. I've been using your aloe juice blend at night after oil cleansing (blend of jojoba, sweet almond and tea tree oils) and Thayer's witch hazel toner. Love! My skin is glowing and looking so healthy. Thank you so much for sharing all your findings and for motivating me to go all-natural! :)

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    3. Jeannie! I'm glad you found more options! There really are a lot to choose from. I LOVE carrot seed oil! It's really good for you, but just make sure you aren't preggo or planning on becoming preggo. It can complicate carrying the baby to term. Other than that it's FANTASTIC!

      I am soooo happy you like the products! Isn't it amazing how good your skin can look naturally?! I love it!! Thanks you so much for sharing your experience!

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    4. Well, I truly cannot thank you enough for sharing your light bulb moment. Your blog created a light bulb moment for me - and I am giddy with joy over the difference it has made to my sensitive, oily skin. Thank you thank you thank you! I now have so many lovely additions to my oil arsenal with which to experiment -tamanu, tea tree, carrot seed, wheat germ, cedarwood- I'm excited to see what works best for me. I also ordered non-nano zinc oxide and beeswax pellets to make DIY sunscreen bars - can't wait to try it out! Again, heaps and loads of thanks to you for sharing your discoveries and knowledge. My skin is AWESOME! :)

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  23. Hello Sherri. I stumbled across this information on your blog while researching the benefits of aloe and I am so excited to have found your site. I'm 41 and worried that I may have waited too long to find a good moisturizing routine, but I guess it is better late than never. I just received all of my ingredients from Amazon and made the aloe moisturizer just like you explained. I have some questions though. First, I placed the concoction in a glass spray/mister just like you. This may seem like a silly question but do you simply spray your face and leave it or do you spray a cloth and then wipe your face? Also, I don't have a problem with acne (except for the occasional hormonal ones) but what is your exact skin care routine. I can tell that you really know what you are talking about and I hope to benefit from your generous wealth of knowledge. Do you use the aloe moisturizer twice a day? Do you also cleanse your face twice a day? I read that you use some black soap I think but if that is for acne than can I just use the aloe moisturizer as a cleanser? I am also considering using rose petal witch hazel as a toner/cleanser. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. I hope it isn't too late for me. :)

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  24. Thank you so much for your quick reply and for giving me hope! :) I am so excited to see results. I do have one other question. You said that you use an oil blend for deeper moisture in the evening. What do you use? If you don't mind, I want to follow your system. You look amazing.

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    1. Flattery will get you everywhere! :)

      I've been using something called "Liquid Velvet" by Beauty and the Bees for a couple of months and I love it! Absolutely love it. I've used an argan, almond oil and jojoba mix before that, but I like this better. It absorbs fast and isn't greasy and people have been saying that I look like I'm "glowing". It's got to be the liquid velvet because it's the only thing that's changed in my routine lately! And, the main ingredient is known as "nature's facelift" so that's got to be fabulous, right?! I've noticed some improvements with fine lines (they look softer) and my skin tone looks better, plus any dark circles under my eyes have lessened. I really like it. A lot.

      I hope you let me know how it works for you and what you think about the system. :)

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  25. I will let you know indeed! Thanks again. I really appreciate your time in getting back to me and sharing your secrets. :) Talk to you soon.

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  26. Hi Sherri,
    After an absurd amount of research, I've given this recipe a try. The first night of using it, everything was fine. The second night, I had a harder time getting it all to absorb...I ended up having to rinse some of it off. Tonight, my 3rd use, I dabbed a small amount all over my face using a cotton ball and most of my face turned bright red within a minute of application.
    I have sensitive combination skin but no allergies to any of the products used. I'm thinking about mixing a new batch, leaving out either the jojoba oil or the sweet almond oil. Do you think that is a good idea? If so, which oil would you recommend omitting first, or should I omit both and then add one back over time?

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    1. Danielle, it can sometimes not absorb completely and people will blot off the excess-- so that's not unheard of. A lot of times it's the aloe, but some people have switched some the carrier oils and found better results. You can technically substitute any of the oils for any carrier oils (ex: jojoba can be replaced with rose hips or argan, almond can be replaced with hemp seed or hazelnut).

      But the redness actually sounds like bad aloe. That has happened to me a few times after my aloe went rancid and it happens really quickly! Monday is fine, Tuesday is lobster face.

      Have you had the aloe for longer than a month or two? Have you checked the expiration date on the bottle? Or are there added ingredients in your aloe rather than aloe and citric acid? Expiration and added chemicals seem to be the two reasons why people can get bright red faces. The chemical thing usually takes a few days, too, because it seems like it effects the skin overtime more of than right away.

      What I look for as signs that my aloe is going bad is that it will begin to look darker and not that pale color. It can also begin to look cloudy. If I ever see those two signs-- I toss my moisturizer and make a new batch.

      If you don't think it's the aloe, then what I would do would be to use a few drops of each product on my forearm as a type of spot test. That way I can quickly see there is the same reaction to a single product and I wouldn't have to risk my face turning bright red again. If I didn't have the same reaction on my forearm to any of the ingredients, I would do exactly what you suggested by omitting everything except the aloe, then slowly adding back in 1 ingredient every couple of days.

      Please keep me updated! I really would like to know what you find out. :)

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    2. Thank you for getting back to me so quickly!
      The aloe juice is brand new and pure. This occurred less than a week after purchasing it and the expiration date is nearly a year away. The small batch I mixed up was still clear and I've been dipping cotton balls instead of my fingers to avoid bacterial contamination. I can't think of any reason it would have spoiled.
      I'll have to try the spot test, though I've never had trouble with any of these ingredients before. I'll let you know the results :)

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    3. That's really interesting, Danielle. I am very interested to hear what your experiment comes up with!

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    4. Hello Sherri, I have the oils for the Aloe Vera Tonic. I also bought coconut oil. How much of that would I add to the Aloe Vera mixture or should I not combine those?

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    5. I'm always up to try something new, but I remember coconut oil is very thick. Your skin may love it, but it may be too greasy. Coconut oil is often used to wash the face, but it's not really something I can leave on my face without breaking out. But your skin my like it! If you want to do it, I'd make a small batch and test it out. Remember coconut oil can become a solid when it's exposed to temperatures below 76 degrees so it may make the consistency funny too. I can't tell you how much to add because coconut oil is one of those things that's very much an individual thing. What my skin likes may cause your skin to break out but another person may like more.

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    6. That's very interesting! I'm so glad you figured it out and you took the time to let me know. {scratches head} I wonder what it could be reacting to in your face wash. Interesting....

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  27. I think my skin is well moisturized but since I'm 40+ - I also needed to start using a better moisturizer. I tried the one you recommended, but my dermatologist recommended the Somaluxe Moisturizer - and he was right - its EXCELLENT for dry skin. It's non-greasy and if you have very dry skin and you need the extra moisturizer, I think you'll the Somaluxe Moisturizer. Your make-up glides over it, and many others suggest using it on elbows and other troubled spots. . ..

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  28. Hi ~! i really like your post and i think it really amazing how your face doing greatly !!! but can i ask you, about how much did you spend on buying that 4 bottle to do the mixture of DIY moisturizer ?? :)) and is it effective if i do the DIY moisturizer with the natural or real things ? and can i just use aloe vera gel instead of aloe vera juice? whats the difference ? can you tell me?? :) im reaaally excited to do it ! <33

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    1. How much did I spend to buy the bottles? Hmmm... not sure exactly. The total cost for all the bottles probably came to around $35, but you have to remember that the recipe only calls for a fraction of each. To make a month's supply, it is probably only a couple of dollars to make. I use the carrier oils for a lot of different things and it takes me months if not a year to run out of most of them so to me it's more of an investment than an expense.

      Are the DIY products effective? To me, yes. They are better than any commercial brand I've purchased.

      You can use aloe gel instead of juice, but it's thicker so you may want to wash it off after applying. The major difference between the two is that juice is made by blending the pulp and adding water. The gel is made from the pulp without being as watered down, although some companies still add some water. It's usually thicker and can be as thick as gel or it may be as a thick water. Depends on the company.

      I hope that helps! :)

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  29. Hi !!! can i know...how to clear slime of the aloe vera gel on the leaf ?

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    1. The slime is the gel-- that's the good stuff!

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  30. Hallo!!!
    Is the misture supposed to rather thin or is it just me who have failed making it the right way.
    Greetings from Denmark

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    1. Hello! It is thin-- very much like a liquid. If you use the gel, it will be a little more thick.

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