A Winter Skin Refresh with All Natural Beauty

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Brand-new on our bookshelf, All Natural Beauty is a collection of more than 40 recipes for DIY beauty treatments to try at home. Made with natural and organic ingredients, the recipes range from nourishing lip balm to chemical-free shampoo and toner. Along with each formula, authors Karin Berndl and Nici Hofer also share the benefits of their carefully-chosen ingredients. We recently caught up with Karin and Nici, who shared their inspiration for the book along with a winter skin remedy that feels like a vacation! 

terrain: What was your inspiration for writing All Natural Beauty?

Karin & Nici: The book was a natural extension of our interest in healthy living. It felt like the logical next step from our first book, Vinegar Socks, which is about natural home remedies for coughs, colds and general well-being. The power of natural remedies doesn’t stop at the health topic; we, along with our family and friends, used many of these homemade beauty products already. We're always experimenting on ourselves, trying out new combinations for creams. Collecting facts and researching the interesting recipe ingredients came naturally after writing the first book. 

terrain: What are the benefits of making your own beauty products at home?

Karin & Nici: The benefit of making your own beauty products is that you know the exact ingredients in each one. Also, you only need to make as much as you can use. That allows you to avoid unhealthy preservatives, since your own product won't be sitting on a shelf, waiting to be seen and bought before it reaches your home. You also can make sure that you're starting with the best ingredients. You don’t have to compromise when it comes to organic produce, or how the base product was made. For example, cold-pressed oils from nuts and seeds offer benefits not found in oils that aren't cold-pressed. 

terrain: Dry, cold winter weather can be tough on skin and hair – what ingredients or recipes would you recommend for a winter refresh?

Karin & Nici: Coconut oil is one of our favorite all-rounders, as it works so well on both skin and hair. Avocado oil is extra-rich, so it's also wonderful for extreme dry skin. We love it in our avocado face mask, which we developed specifically to comfort dry winter skin. Our nourishing turmeric face mask includes honey and lemon juice; while the honey provides wound-healing properties for your skin, lemon juice encourages collagen production. While you're creating the face mask, you could also use some lemon and honey for a hot drink to boost your immune system, another great example of the crossover between the worlds of homemade beauty and health remedies. 

terrain: We love the idea of a “bottled holiday!” Can you tell us about this recipe, and the benefits that its ingredients offer?

Karin & Nici: In this recipe, we wanted to capture the memory of a place – a favorite [vacation] destination. Smells can easily trigger a memory, and this mix of fragrant essential oils takes us back to a place in the sun. The beauty of all our recipes is that the choice of essential oils is flexible, depending on personal preference, so every homemade cream is a custom-made version based on favorite smells or specific skincare needs. 

'Bottled Holiday' Body Cream
Nici says, "We took an orange orchard, some Mediterranean sunshine and then added some silky softness. And, voilà – here it is: the perfect body cream, which carries the smell of a holiday in a bottle."

Things You'll Need
1/2 tablespoon beeswax
1 tablespoon shea butter
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 tablespoons jojoba oil
12 drops of bergamot essential oil
7 drops of neroli essential oil
7 drops of jasmine absolute oil

Start by melting the beeswax and shea butter in a double boiler. Once they are nearly melted, stir in the coconut oil. Take off the heat once the wax, butter and oil have melted into a smooth liquid. Now, carefully stir in the jojoba oil. Add all the essential oils last, whilst the mix is cooling down. Mix well until the cream is smooth. Store in a cool, dry place; the cream has a shelf life of 4-6 months. We hope that a little bit of a holiday feel will be released whenever you use this body cream, and the smell will transport you right to a sunshine-filled orange grove.

Benefits
Beeswax is skin-protecting and moisturizing. Shea butter is also moisturizing and wound-healing, supporting the skin’s own healing process. Coconut oil has deeply moisturizing and nourishing properties. Jojoba oil is great for locking in moisture – it even offers natural sun protection, but only up to factor 4 (so you will still need to use your regular sunscreen). Besides the beautiful smells, the essential oils contain important properties: bergamot supports healthy skin, neroli nourishes dry skin, and jasmine absolute oil is healing.

Recipe and photos from All Natural Beauty by Karin Berndl and Nici Hofer. Hardie Grant Books, 2016.

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