Natural Solutions for Dry Skin

If you want to improve dry skin using naturally formulated products, look for ones that contain essential oils, shea butters, and food-based ingredients to help restore the skin’s lipid barrier by providing a big (chemical free) drink of moisture. Here are a few I’ve tried that can really help to bring dry skin into a more quenched state.


H2O Sea Pure Creamy Facial Cleanser

Those with dry skin should avoid gel and soap cleansers that can strip away needed moisture. Sea Pure’s Creamy Cleanser uses citrus oils to melt away dirt and makeup in a soft, cushiony formula that leaves skin feeling hydrated and refreshed. It’s one of their best sellers with good reason, it’s hard to find a cleanser that foams up without stripping the skin. It’s just a bonus that it’s without sulfates, parabens, petrochemicals, pthalates, and synthetic chemicals.


Arcona Golden Grain Gommage

I first met the Arcona team backstage at Fashion Week a few years ago and I fell instantly in love with the small-batched line that’s been pioneering chic, holistic skincare since the 80′s. Arcona’s Golden Grain Gommage is perfect for dry skin, it’s full of essential fatty acids, lemon extract, and oatmeal to soothe and gently buff away dullness associated with dryness in an ultra gentle way.


Bioelements All things Pure Moisturizer

I love the All Things Pure Moisturizer, an organically formulated 12 ingredient cream that uses the best of nature to moisturize even the driest of skins. I gave mine to a friend with skin so dry, she stacked on 2 heavy moisturizers day and night just to get some relief. She’s now totally committed to the whole ATP line since the moisturizer successfully renewed her moisture levels and gave her skin a whole new look. (She also swears by their Eye Oil which she also uses on her driest spots pre-moisturizer.)


Decleor Aroma Night Angélique Nourishing Night Balm

You haven’t felt pure moisture until you’ve tried one of Decleor’s balms. They’re known for their soft solid essential oil based balms that melt and glide into the skin. Angélique is a mix of 7 of the most hydrating oils blended together to nourish the skin overnight so you wake up with softer, hydrated, and ready for makeup skin.

Facial Scrubs; Dense, Denser, and Densest

Whether you realize it or not, you choose a scrub based on its density, or how packed the formula is with the scrubbing particles. You either like the feeling of a lot of little scrubbers, or you don’t. If your skin is mature, thin, or sensitive, you probably like a lighter exfoliation but if you have dry, oily, or troubled skin, you’d want something dense with beads to really sweep away dead skin.

I’m surprised I have any skin left after trying out these scrubs, but at least I can tell you which ones are the densest right?

L’Oreal Go 360 Clean Deep Exfoliating Scrub

Density Score: 2 out of 5

I hate gimmicky stuff, so I was fully expecting not to like the little scrubber thing that rests in the open cavity of the bottle for L’Oreal’s 360 Scrub. It’s job is to give a little extra exfoliation beyond the light smattering of beads in the cleanser. It’s a formula that’s great for all skin types because the scrubbing beads aren’t very dense so there’s more cleanser in there to cushion the exfoliation.

If you’re feeling like you need a little more oomph, pop out the scrubber and let the little rubber-tipped points massage your face. It isn’t harsh at all, it’s actually super relaxing and leaves skin so soft.

Mmmm doughnuts…
Not a ton of beads, but the little scrubber kicks it into high gear.

Naturopathica Oat Facial Polish

Density Score: 3 out of 5

The Oat Facial Polish from Naturopathica uses jojoba beads encased in Apricot Kernel oil and Oat Beta Glucan to polish and hydrate. It’s a best seller for the line because of its ability to soothe the skin while exfoliating, a difficult thing to pull off. You’ll be able to feel the fine beads buff the skin in a ratio of about 50/50 beads to creamy skin nourishers. It’s not overly scratchy but it certainly gets the job done.

SkinMedica Skin Polisher

Density Score: 4 out of 5

SkinMedica is a professional line, so when they create a  Skin Polisher it’s one that really polishes. It has a unique feel for a scrub because it completely coats your face in tiny jojoba beads but it doesn’t feel the least bit abrasive. I loved how completely soft my skin felt after I used it which helped my makeup to smooth right on.

Tiny little beads

DERMAdoctor Physical Chemistry

Density Score: 5 out of 5

It’s not just buffing, it’s renewing your skin. DERMAdoctor’s Physical Chemistry is the densest scrub of the bunch with a thick consistency and tons of polymer beads to remove your skin’s top layer of dead cells. You’ll feel a little somethin’ extra going on because of their Multiacid Resurfacing Complex – a cocktail of Glycolic, Lactic, Azelaic and Beta Hydroxy Acids to combat an uneven skin tone and fine lines.

Ooh thick

It stayed this way until I used it again

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Sukí Advanced, Organic Skin Care

A line that has 10% Vitamin C serums, peels, and skin care that relieves cystic acne, eczema, and aging skin may not seem unusual, but when you consider how Sukí achieves clinically-proven results, you might think twice.

Sukí carefully crafted a complete line without these common ingredients that are used in place of the plants, flowers, and fruit extracts which have been used to treat the skin for hundreds of years. The use science to formulate Earth-based ingredients that make positive changes in the skin.

Their website is information disguised as art, it’s beautifully done and brings to life an understanding of what their products can do for your specific skin type. One of my favorites is their Balancing Day Lotion ($32) for all skin types- even breakout-prone, and sensitive. Its consistency packs more of a punch than a usual lotion, and my skin drinks it right in.

Even though it seems like it would make the problem worse, using their Moisture-Balancing ($30) oil on skin that’s troubled or oily can slow (or even stop) excess oil production to eliminate unwanted shine and even breakouts.

For skin that’s mature or is showing some signs of aging, their award-winning Renewal Bio-Resurfacing Facial Peel uses plant-based enzymes along with vitamin c to exfoliate dull skin while creating a bright, new complexion. It’s a one-of-a-kind because of its effectiveness using an ingredient lineup that’s clean and green.

You can learn more about Sukí and purchase products HERE on their site.

It’s also sold HERE at

Acne-Fighting Skin Care

Is there anything worse than your skin breaking out? It’s so annoying. The only thing that makes it bearable for me is knowing that it might make me look a little younger. I know, I’m really stretching the limits of my glass being half-full. I’ve tried everything for my often troubled skin, so I know what works and what falls short. Here are a few things to get you through the teenaged skin days without using harsh ingredients that can tear your not teenaged skin apart.

The best thing you can do for troubled skin is to use a gentle daily cleanser so your products can absorb into a calm environment. Purpose Gentle Cleansing Bar, a dermatologists favorite because it’s oil-free, and super gentle on even the most irritated skin gives squeaky-clean results without stripping your much needed moisture barrier.

Keeping your pores clear is key when you’re fighting acne so you need to polish away dirt, oil, and dead skin regularly. Use an exfoliant once or twice a week that isn’t too harsh. Using a harsh scrub could make breakouts worse, but Clean & Clear’s Morning Burst Scrub uses mellow beads surrounded by a gel cleanser that won’t cause redness or additional irritation.

Troubled skin is often times oily skin but you have to resist the urge to go completely sans-hydration. Keep your surface comfortable and smooth by using Murad’s Oil-Control Mattifier SPF 15 to control oil production all day before it can get out of hand and clogs pores.

Of course, you might still see the occasional little visitor every now and again, but when you do, you should have some Trifix Acne Clearing Lotion from Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare on hand. It’s a spot treatment that uses Colloidal Sulfur, a kinder to the skin alternative to Salicylic Acid so the pimple is zapped, but not your skin.

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Yu·Be Foaming Skin Polish

There’s this hierarchy of what to use when shaving your legs for maximum softness, I believe it goes a little something like; soap, shaving cream, exfoliants. Bonus points are alloted for an exfoliant that creates light lather without being too abrasive.

Foaming Skin Polish from Yu·Be is probably the best I’ve found for getting a really close shave since it gives your skin a light foamy coating along with rice bran and bamboo grains to lightly exfoliate dry skin. It’s not a dense, abrasive sort of scrub like the ones that come in a jar, and it’s perfectly packaged in a big, no-mess tube for easy shower use.

Of course it isn’t shave-specific, it’s especially nice when you want to remove dull skin but aren’t into a harsh sugar or salt scrub. It’s more on the soothing side because the  rice grains float in a cleanser rich in ginger root, ginseng, green tea, geranium oil, and camphor that tones, cleans, moisturizes, and refreshes skin like crazy.

$18, Select Retailers Nationwide

Yu·Be Foaming Skin Polish

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Mud Cleansers; Erno Laszlo, LUSH, Olay

Using mud to purify and cleanse the skin has a history that’s several thousand years old. Today, mud based cleansers are used to get a deep clean and remove all traces of oil for a fresh feeling you don’t get from creamy cleaners. Keep in mind that the mud breaks down oils, so if you have dryer skin, these may not be ideal for you. Here are a few I’ve used and really like.

Erno Laszlo’s recognizable Sea Mud Soap is a well-loved best seller. This black bar softens the skin by removing all traces of oil while gently exfoliating at the same time. If you’ve never used a bar cleanser, this one is a great place to start- you’ll be amazed at how much longer it lasts versus a liquid cleanser.

With the success of their blockbuster cleanser Angels on Bare Skin, LUSH has introduced Dark Angels ,  a cleanser packed with Rhassoul Mud and Powdered Charcoal to draw excess out oil. Just a tiny bit works to really exfoliate your skin giving it a radiant glow, and the Organic Avocado Oil gives a little moisture so your skin feels comfortable and not tight.

Purifying Mud Lathering Cleanser from Olay delivers the same quality results you’d get from a 20 minute mud mask in a foaming daily cleanser. It sops up oil so well you may not need a toner after, and the scent is so fresh and clean.

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