Natural Alternatives to Retinoids: What your skin really wants, rose hips!

Younger, smoother, clearer, more radiant, beautiful-looking skin. That’s pretty much the sum of all the reasons we create, buy, apply, or scrub stuff onto our face in the first place. And simply the fact that you’re reading this post, you’ve probably heard or used a product that contains a retinoid of some sort. Retinoids are an active form of vitamin A that with continual use on the skin alternative-to-retinolcan bring favorable, even beneficial results like reducing the look of wrinkles, scarring and preventing acne. While I’ve written and used several retinol/retinoid-based products, there have been times I have discontinued their use for different reasons and wondered about alternative natural ingredients that could replicate those same benefits.

In my search, I came across a great read on Roxanne King’s natural wellness site, “Holistic Mama.” In her article, this particular mama writes about the favorable anti-aging results she discovered while using Rose Hip Seed Oil as an alternative to a retinoid. Roxanne most graciously sent me a sample of her very own Renewing Facial Serum. This serum is a combination of Rose Hip Seed Oil, Macadamia Nut Oil and Vitamin E Oil. Oils are all the rage in skin care, and these 3 work even better together! Since using this product, results have been impressive. My skin is feeling nourished and I have also noticed it seems to be gaining strength, clarity and smoothness. I will keep you posted on long-term results: all good things take time! Thank you Holistic Mama Roxanne for working with nature and taking a gentler approach too.

From Roxanne’s article:  Effective All Natural Alternatives to Retinol

After learning all of this information I was determined to find a natural alternative to retinol products that would produce similar results.  I came across some interesting information about rose hip seed oil and it’s anti-aging properties.  Rose hip seed oil is an amazing product, which has only recently become recognized by the general public. The popularity is for a good reason because it is believed to be the best oil available for anti-ageing and skin rejuvenation. Numerous scientific studies have also taken place, which have yielded astounding evidence supporting the use of Rose hip Seed oil.

In 1983 the University of Santiago conducted research on 180 individuals using rose hip seed oil. The tests studied people with extensive facial scarring, acne scarring, deep wrinkles, UV damage, radiation damage, burn scars, surgical scars, premature aging, dermatitis, and other skin related problems. In these tests, rose hip seed oil regenerated the skin, reduced scars and wrinkles, prevented the advancement of wrinkles and aging, and helped skin to regain its natural color and tone. Another well-known study in 1988 was conducted on twenty women between the ages of 25-35 with extensive premature aging to their skin. Their skin was wrinkled, and had sun spots from overexposure to the sun. After four months of applying rose hip seed oil daily, their wrinkles and sun spots had almost completely disappeared, and the skin had a fresher and healthier look.

November 11, 2015 at 1:11 pm Leave a comment

Please pass the Pumpkin: What fruit enzymes can do for your skin.

Pineapple. Papaya. Pumpkin.

While wisdom sometimes increases with age, unfortunately our skin cell turnover rate doesn’t. Sluggish turnover can make the skin appear dull, lack radiance and even trigger congestion and breakouts. While many products and ingredients address this issue, some may work better for you than others.

Find wonderful DIY Pumpkin Mask Recipes on Pinterest, Instagram... Google it!

You don’t have to buy a product to get the skin benefits from pumpkin. Find wonderful DIY Fruit Enzyme Mask recipes on Pinterest, Instagram… Google it!

How do you know what will work best for you?

Receiving four decades of sun and environmental skin damage, from time to time, I believe it really pays to seek out for help from professional estheticians.

During one particular consultation, I asked about the various treatments available and what she would recommend. After talking and looking at my actual face, she told me that microdermabrasion may be too harsh for my particular skin type of skin (combination, sensitive and acne-prone), that it would only cause more redness and potential flare-ups.  What she did recommend was a fruit-based enzymatic skin peel.

How will an enzyme peel help?

Enzyme based skin peels work slightly different than chemical alpha (AHA) or beta (BHA) peels. Usually fruit-based (from pumpkin, pineapple, papaya…) enzyme masks or peels literally digest dead skin cells, and in turn stimulate the growth of new collagen, lightening pigmentation and scar tissue, as well as diminishing the appearance of fine lines. All good things! Enzymes can also penetrate the skin to help deeply cleanse pores and improve skin tone and texture. Considered safe for all skin types, it doesn’t wound the skin, as some chemical peels can, and does all this without excessive flakiness, irritation or redness. (more…)

November 3, 2015 at 2:00 pm Leave a comment

Q & A: From anti-aging to hair removal, get answers from an natural skin care expert.

In addition to my glowing review about Annmarie Skin Care, I wanted to follow up by asking her about natural solutions for some of the most challenging skin care struggles. While Annmarie is currently taking time to raise her two young children, her staff graciously took on these questions.

Thank you Abby Jean, Lisa and Annmarie for sharing your wisdom and providing healthy solutions for optimum skin health.


Hate is a strong word, but I am really unhappy about the sagging skin and collagen loss of the neck. How is collagen lost and what can be done about it?

Collagen, as you know, is a type of protein which forms the connective tissues that hold our skin together and create “firmness”. This protein inevitably breaks down with age. When this happens, loss of elasticity in the skin occurs – unfortunately, in the form of fine lines and wrinkles (boo!). There are many factors that contribute to our loss of collagen in the skin, things like smoking or drinking too much alcohol, poor nutrition, not keeping the body adequately hydrated, stress, and of course, overexposure to the sun. Fortunately, there are many options available to help stimulate the production of collagen (beyond invasive treatments i.e.: injections, fillers, laser and other costly- and not always effective – medical treatments). The natural options include eating a diet rich in vitamin C, amino acids and antioxidants, all of which help strengthen the body’s ability to increase collagen production in the skin. (The list of specific foods is quite long, but just think lots of greens and a variety of whole, unprocessed, organic foods). (more…)

October 23, 2015 at 11:38 am Leave a comment

What’s in your tablet? An Interview with MegaFood!!

To share a little bit more about how my passion for living simply and naturally developed, please check out this MegaFood Blog: MegaFoodie Spotlight with yours truly. While I am still scratching my head on how this interview even happened, it came about after submitting a testimonial about MegaFood’s Turmeric Strength. In my active life, this product pretty much changed the way I deal with pain and inflammation.

Because I became a little tougher, I am not as afraid to fail anymore. Now I kinda define being real as being brave enough to ask the tough questions, challenging myself to keep learning, to be curious, to be flexible and open to hear another point of view. I love and really live a beautiful life, even if circumstances are good or not so good because I am living it as my heart and mind direct me. It’s not so much about being right; it’s about seeking out to help others.

Because I became a little tougher, I am not as afraid to fail anymore. Now I kinda define being real as being brave enough to ask the tough questions, challenging myself to keep learning, to be curious, to be flexible and open to hear another point of view. I love and really live a beautiful life, even if circumstances are good or not so good because I am living it as my heart and mind direct me. It’s not so much about being right; it’s about seeking out to help others.


September 24, 2015 at 1:32 pm Leave a comment

Annmarie Skin Care – We should all enjoy our beauty regimen this much.

After scraping every last bit of the samples given (a very good sign when it comes to reviewing something), 3 products stood out and I simply broke down and purchased them, I enjoyed them that much! Isn’t that what a beauty regimen should be? While some things in life can be met with frustration or meh… your skin care routine shouldn’t be one of them!

Continue Reading September 23, 2015 at 9:54 am 1 comment

Natural Ways to Tighten and Brighten: Topical Vitamin C, AHAs and more

super-woman.jpgWhen a friend asks me a question about a specific skin care concern, I get excited.

And while I do my best to relay accurate and beneficial information, nothing is better that locating a local and knowledgeable professional esthetician that can guide you through the trial and error of finding what works best for your skin. I remember an interview on Oprah many years ago where David Bowie and his wife, the spectacularly beautiful mega-supermodel confessed that she indulged in a professional spa facial once a week. When asked if that seemed a bit excessive, she replied quite directly and the gist of it was, “It’s your skin darling. You better choose to take care of it.”

Iman’s words stuck with me all these years and try to follow it. While I don’t have the budget for facials every week, I set some of my resources aside to pamper myself in this way. For those on a budget (and most of us are on tight ones), getting information via the internet can provide good information too. While I believe that simpler and all-natural is better, there are some stellar products that exist, are affordable and when they are adapted into your skin care regimen can bring great results.

One bit of advice, if you are curious about a product, but have problematic skin and want to sample before you buy, contact the company! Talk to a member of their team or email them about your concerns. If you agree to try a product, request a sample. They may require you to pay for shipping or a small fee for the sample, however, it may prove useful and save you a lot of money in the long run. A good company recognizes this and will honor sending samples!


August 3, 2015 at 8:44 am 3 comments

Unwanted Facial Hair: What’s a gal to do?

Jen Hill:

Such a top beauty topic, I believe this post is worth re-posting. Lots of insights on various methods of facial hair removal, as well as PCOD (Poly Cystic Ovarian Disorder). The comments are worth reading alone.

Originally posted on Mythbuster Beauty:

This is my facial hair dilemma.  

As a younger woman, I dealt with thick eyebrows and upper lip facial hair.  Now, those hairs aren’t as prolific, matter of fact, my eyebrows are thinning and graying.  Come back my thick, dark eyebrows, come back!

Chin hairs are my biggest issue nowadays.  I almost daily pluck these obnoxious stray hairs on my chin.  The amount of hair isn’t enough to warrant waxing or shaving (thank goodness), however, they keep coming back, and sometimes the the plucking causes an irritation or inflammed bump around the hair follicle.  

I looked into a laser hair removal treatment of my chin and upper lip hair, and it isn’t cheap.  The hair removal clinic also informed me if the hairs are light that the laser will not be effective.   And since about 50% of my facial hairs are blond or gray, and I wonder if the cost would still be worth it and…

View original 218 more words

January 31, 2015 at 8:02 am 1 comment

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