Are you looking for a natural skin care product that delivers real results? Well, there are some things you need to know before buying “hope in a jar”.

During the years I spent as an esthetician running an organic day spa in a wellness center, I learned that most of the chemical-based, high end skin care products failed to deliver what they promised.

Even worse, most of them contained harmful ingredients that can not only damage your skin, but enter your bloodstream and put your general health at risk.

Thankfully, you don't need a whole cabinet full of expensive and potentially toxic products to keep your complexion healthy and fresh.

Just a few simple and natural treatments – made with ingredients you may have in your own kitchen - will deliver the same or better results as high end skin care products at a fraction of the cost.

Here's a simple guide for what both guys and gals need to do to keep their skin healthy, clean and looking fresh.



Whether your skin tends to be super oily or desert dry, one of the best ways to thoroughly cleanse without stripping the vital acid mantle is to use an oil cleanser. Oil is an excellent solvent and will remove more dirt and makeup than most cleansers without drying or damaging your skin.

Choose an extra virgin organic, cold pressed oil, such as Nutiva coconut oil, camelina oil or jojoba oil. Dispense one pump (about a half teaspoon) of the oil onto your fingertips and gently massage it into the skin of your face and neck. It is safe to use the oil to remove eye makeup.

Massage the oil into your skin for about 2 minutes, then use an all natural baby wipe, like those from Seventh Generation, to gently remove the excess oil and debris.

You will find that your skin feels very soft and smooth and is much cleaner than it would have been from using a typical cleanser. Don't believe me? Wash with your favorite cleanser, and then do an oil cleanse and see how much junk it left behind!

If you have oily skin, cleansing with more oil may feel counterintuitive – or even a bit yucky – but it is a wise practice. Using foaming cleansers that strip away too much of your natural skin oils can actually shift your already overactive sebaceous glands into hyperdrive, giving you a bad case of gloss-face.


If you want to splurge on a single skin care product, get yourself a quality natural moisturizer. I prefer to make my own, but there are some great organic brands on the market, like Miessence, that offer effective active ingredients without the harmful chemicals.

Note: regardless of your skin type, it is best to use oil based moisturizers. While water-based moisturizers can provide temporary hydration, they do not give the long term protection that an oil will. Besides, what does your own body use to moisturize your skin? Nature knows best!

Use a few drops of an oil based moisturizer after cleansing to nourish your skin.


Before you head out into the sun, apply UV protection. The skin of the face and neck is very delicate and more prone to premature aging and sun damage. I recommend that you use a mineral makeup or a natural mineral-based sunscreen lotion every day, year round.



About every 28 days, the surface of our skin renews itself. However, as we age this process can slow down and dead skin cells build up on the surface, giving your complexion a dry, dull appearance.

Exfoliation, or the removal of dead skin cells, keeps your skin cell turnover rate moving along and gives you a fresh, natural glow that you can't get from any cream. There are two ways to exfoliate; mechanical (scrubbing or otherwise physically removing dead cells) and chemical (using enzymes or acids to chemically break down dead cells).

My favorite mechanical home exfoliant is the salt scrub. I like to use Redmond RealSalt because it is the cleanest natural sea salt and the fine grains are the perfect texture for exfoliating skin. The fact that I already have it in my kitchen for cooking makes it pretty convenient, too!

To do a salt scrub, cleanse your skin and dampen with clean water. Then, take a handful of RealSalt and rub it in a circular motion over your skin, avoiding the eye area. Rub hard enough to get those dead cells off, but not so hard that you are unduly irritating your skin. Keep rubbing until you see a slight pink flush on your skin, then rinse the salt off with cool water.

Note - Do not use a salt scrub if you have active acne blemishes or open wounds as the scrubbing can cause irritation.

My favorite chemical exfoliant is the enzyme peel. Proteolytic enzymes like bromelain (from pineapple stem) and papain (from green papaya) break down proteins, like those found in dead skin, and allow them to be removed.

While most people think enzymes are just digestive aids, regular use of enzyme peels can speed up your skin cell turnover rate and encourage it to make more collagen, giving you a naturally fresher complexion. Enzyme peels also have an anti-inflammatory effect and can help heal and prevent acne and congested skin.

To give yourself an enzyme peel, mix either powdered green papaya (about 1 tablespoon) or the contents of one 500gdu capsule of bromelain or papain with enough cold water to make into a thin paste. Alternatively, you may mix the powder with yogurt or kefir for a gentler effect.

Apply the paste to your skin and gently massage with your fingertips. Keep the mixture damp by wetting your fingertips as needed. Leave the treatment on for 5-10 minutes and then rinse thoroughly with cool water.

You will likely notice a tingling or itching sensation as the enzymes go to work, but if for some reason you experience significant discomfort, simply rinse immediately with cold water.

Note – Do not use papain or powdered green papaya for peels if you are allergic to papaya or papain.


After you have cleansed and exfoliated your skin, it's the perfect time for a detox.

Environmental toxins, dirt and excess oil get trapped on the skin and in the pores and can be difficult to remove with mere cleansers. The best way to deep clean your skin is to use a clay mask or poultice.

Clay has a natural ionic drawing effect that pulls impurities and excess oil from the skin, tightens pores and increases circulation to the skin. Increased circulation means better flow of nutrients to the skin and better evacuation of wastes, as well as a nice healthy glow.

Here are the best clays for detoxifying your skin:

1. Pascalite Clay - This clay has a uniquely powerful drawing effect. If you allow the clay to dry all the way on your skin, you will literally feel your pulse in your face as your circulation increases and toxins are drawn into the clay. Because it is so strong, I recommend Pascalite for people with oily skin or heavy skin toxicity.

2. Redmond Clay - This is the best all purpose clay for all skin types. It is detoxifying, healing, soothing and helps to increase circulation and deep cleanse the skin. Redmond Clay has a smooth, silky texture and a strong drawing effect, but is gentler on the skin than Pascalite. It can be left to dry on the skin without any discomfort and rinses off easily.

3. Kaolin Clay - This fine, white clay is very gentle, yet still effect for detoxifying and toning the skin. It helps to increase circulation to the skin, but does not draw out much oil, making it the best clay for dry skin.

To get the best results from your clay mask, mix about a tablespoon of the clay of your choice into an equal amount of water until smooth. If desired, add a little more water to make the clay easier to apply and then spread over your face and neck in a thin layer.

Do not be tempted to add other fancy ingredients to your mask: they can interfere with the ion exchange of the clay and reduce its detoxifying power.

Try to keep the clay moist for a time, such as while you are in the shower, and then either allow it to dry fully for a strong drawing effect, or remove it while it's still damp. Follow up your clay mask with your favorite moisturizer to prevent any unwanted dryness.

Following these guidelines and sticking with simple, natural skin care treatments will do wonders for your skin and your bank account. Using what you may have on hand in your own kitchen, like enzyme supplements, sea salt and coconut oil, you can look as healthy on the outside as you feel on the inside.

Author's Bio: 

Carisa Holmes is a certified Holistic Health Advisor, Reiki practitioner and author based in the Dublin area of Columbus, Ohio. Carisa has worked in the holistic health and natural beauty fields for nearly 10 years.

Through overcoming a plethora of personal health issues and working with clients, Carisa has developed a clear understanding of the functions of the physical body as well as the more subtle layers of the human energy field.

In her practice, Carisa helps empower people to move toward higher levels of wellness. Using tools such as whole food, natural skin care and powerful yet gentle Reiki energy healing, Carisa helps clients lose weight without starving themselves, heal sickness and injury, increase energy levels and feel more calm, happy and alive.

Carisa is very grateful for the many things she has learned and is eager to share them with others. Carisa writes a health and wellness column for GrapeVine Columbus Diversity News and maintains a private practice in the Dublin/Columbus, Ohio area.

To contact Carisa about how you can heal yourself naturally, visit or email directly at