Have you ever wondered how our late ancestors survived without the highly priced, store-bought shampoo and conditioners, anti-aging facial cleansers, exfoliating peels and hydrating lotions we have grown so attached to?
Our beauty standards and product needs keep us returning to stores for the new and improved magic creams, thinking science will help solve all of our skin and hair blunders. Instead, we should be reverting back to the ‘natural’ way of skin and hair care. Our earth provides every ingredient we need to live a healthy, glowing and sustainable life.
Carmen Cherry, aesthetician at Zolton’s Salon and Day Spa in Scottsdale is a vegan and a strong advocate for all-natural beauty products. If what she has to offer sparks your all-natural curiosity, don’t worry, she has several recipes to get you started!
Why did you become vegan? I made my decision mostly for health reasons, because of the way eating all natural made me feel, but the moral and environmental reasons also played a part. Morally, I want to do my part not to hurt animals when there is no need, and from an environmental standpoint, statistics show that fewer people would go hungry in the world if more land was used for growing vegetables than for raising beef.
What health benefits have you noticed because of living a vegan lifestyle? I noticed several benefits once I became vegan. My skin was naturally hydrated—never dry. My skin had a healthy glow like never before. I no longer needed stimulants like coffee to feel alive and energized all day long. I could eat more without feeling full and without gaining weight. I have energy in the morning like I’ve never had in my life.
What benefits can users expect from your recipes listed? The main benefit of using living food ingredients on our skin is the pure nutrients and antioxidants in them that enrich our body and make you look younger and more alive. Here are some examples:
- Cucumber is an excellent natural toner that balances the pH on our skin. It helps with hyperpigmentation, hydrates our skin and reduces the production of sebum or oil.
- Sunflower seed oil has healing proprieties and can be used to reduce acne and inflammation.
- Avocado is a great moisturizer because it contains natural oils that hydrate the skin.
- Apple Vinegar is an anti-fugal and anti-bacterial. It also normalizes the pH and reduces excess sebum or oil.
- Honey has similar benefits and combined with apple vinegar increases the effectiveness of these natural ingredients. Honey never goes bad because it has high pH and low water content.
Why should one switch from store-bought products to these natural recipes? Store-bought products have artificial ingredients and preservatives that can clog the pores and irritate the skin. Some store-bought products may also have perfumes whose aromas can cause allergic reactions in some clients. These products can also be very expensive.
Any advice for someone new who is looking to switch to all-natural beauty products? Don’t be overwhelmed at the task at hand. It is easy to make your own organic, all-natural products from ingredients you have at home. Our ancestors did it for many years, with great results. We learned from them the benefits of these products.
Time for the fun part… Recipes!
Cucumbers are full of antioxidants and help control oily, shiny skin. This toner helps reduce dark spots caused by acne scaring. Use as a toner or for eye and facial compresses
- 2 organic cucumbers
- 24 ounces of warm water
- 1 Lemon
- 3 fresh mint
Wash and thinly slice the lemon and cucumber with the peel still on. Add cucumber, lemon and mint to warm water, cover and shake. Let steep for 10 minutes. Make fresh daily.
A gentle exfoliator and skin moisturizer.
- 8 ounces ground sunflower seeds
- 4 -5 ounces sunflower oil
- 2 -3 drops of lemon juice
Place whole sunflower seeds in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Combine ground seeds with oil and lemon juice. Massage onto skin to exfoliate and rinse clean.
The avocado mask is hydrating and healing.
- 1 ripe avocado
- 2 Tbsp sunflower seed oil
- 2 – 3 drops lemon juice
- 2 ounces flaxseed gel
- 1 Tbsp honey
In a blender or food processor, process the avocado until smooth. Add other ingredients as you choose to customize it.
Use astringent to remove product or freshen skin.
- 7 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 liter water
- 2 tangerines
- 1 Tbsp baking soda
Soak the whole, unpeeled tangerines in baking soda and water for one hour. Peel the tangerines and cut the peel into small pieces. Add tangerine peel pieces to apple cider vinegar and soak for up to seven days in the refrigerator. Strain and pour into a bottle.
Use this moisturizing mask to make dry skin supple and conditioned.
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1/2 tsp sunflower seed oil
Combine the honey and the sunflower seed oil. Gradually add the vinegar to the mixture until the texture is consistent. Apply to the face and leave on for 20 minutes, then rinse with warm water.