There are some aspects of going natural with your beauty routine — staying away from chemical ingredients, shopping at organic stores, etc. — that are common sense. But, like any new endeavor in your life, there are plenty of questions we have as beginners. Which products actually work? Is there a special way to use natural products? What kind of places can I find these products? There’s research to be done, and it’s not always that easy.
If you’re looking to switch to an all natural beauty routine (or just lean more in that direction so you can gradually make the change), the best way to go is to ask someone who is knee deep in natural products. Luckily, we asked the tough questions for you. Lauren Musacchio, the owner and curator of the online shop Straw and Gold which has an entire apothecary filled with natural, handmade products, is a total pro when it comes to a natural beauty routine. Below, Lauren shares her sage wisdom on natural skin care and makeup, some of her favorite products, the importance of dry brushing, and more.
On Her Skin and Hair Care Routines:
My main focus in natural beauty is tending to the skin. Our skin is our biggest organ and it needs to be taken care of the same way you’d treat your insides. The first step to natural beauty is to know your skin type. When you can recognize if your skin is dry, combination, oily, or normal, you’re able to know how to treat it.
I always having music playing in the background (mellow, happy songs) when I’m getting ready in the morning. Every morning I wake up, make a cup of tea and get started on my skincare regimen. I scrub my body with a Yerba Prima Tampico Skin Brush. The method is called dry skin brushing, which helps to reduce dry skin but more importantly, it boosts circulation and lymphatic drainage. While doing this, I’m running the bath water. I always add something to my bath either to calm or to heal. In the mornings, I like to use oregano oil with a carrier oil (usually grapeseed oil). This is an anti-inflammatory and heals my skin if I have dryness, cuts or little bumps.
At night, I always use a calming bath salt. My favorite is Sparrow’s Pink Himalayan Bath Salts. The smell intoxicating, and the nature of salts is to relieve your muscles, nerves and joints while also replenishing elements and nutrients. While bathing, I like to sip on an herbal tea and just breathe, while preparing for the day or decompressing from the day. I wash my body with an all natural olive oil soap on a loofah. I massage my scalp for a good three minutes with John Masters Organic Evening Primrose Shampoo and condition with John Masters Organic Lavender and Avocado Intensive Conditioner.
On Caring For Your Face:
All in all, it’s important to maintain a regimen that works for you. A lot of it is about testing what works and what doesn’t. In addition to your own at home regimen, I always recommend a good facialist. I try to get a facial at least once a month. More important is to just leave your face alone during the day. You are touching so many things between computers, subways, cab doors, and shaking hands — it’s important to just keep your hands off.
On Her Favorite Natural Products:
Cleanser: I use Light as a Featha’ by Fat and the Moon and Soul Sunday Rice Wash Cleanser – while cleansing, I like to do a good two minute circular massage hitting all areas of my face.
Toner: Rose and Aloe Toner by John Masters Organics is my favorite. It not only hydrates, but also refreshes your skin throughout the day. I always have a bottle in my bag. — you never know when you’ll need a little refresher!
Exfoliator: The most amazing exfoliant is Aesop’s Tea Tree Leaf Face Exfoliant. It polishes your skin to a perfect shine.
Oil: When I first heard about using oil, I thought it was just going to clog my pores. Using oil has changed my skin drastically. I’ve been using two oils morning and night for at least one year and my skin has not had one blemish. I use One Love Organic Chia Oil and Enessa’s Facial Nourishment in Geranium.
Mask: Indian Healing Clay mixed with apple cider vinegar. This mask works miracles. You use it and it looks like you’ve had a $500 facial. It’s pretty intense because you feel your face pulsating and tingling. The results are amazing.
Moisturizer: I love Coola’s Unscented SPF Moisturizer. I like to use a moisturizer with an SPF in it. It’s important to stay our of the sun for long periods of time, however I like to recommend 10 minutes a day either in the sun or sitting in a window. Getting vitamin D is incredibly necessarily, and it can be lost easily. A good SPF should be worn winter, summer, spring and fall.
On Tea as a Part of Your Beauty Routine:
My other body and skin healer is being an herbal tea fanatic. Below are a few of the different benefits that come along with certain teas:
- Chamomile: A natural sedative to help relax and rest.
- Red Saffron Tea: An anti- inflammatory that’s great for dry skin.
- Sage: It’s rich in antioxidants and wonderful for your skin.
On Her Favorite Natural Makeup Products:
My makeup regimen isn’t too involved. I use Kimiko’s hydrating beauty tint in Sapporo Sand. For my lips and my cheeks, I use Mullein and Sparrow’s Lip and Cheek Tint. For mascara, I’m crazy for Kjaer Weis mascara. I really try to keep it simple, and if you have a good skin care routine, too much coverage isn’t necessary. Also, for fun, it’s always nice to have a scent that’s yours. I mix my scents between Le Labo Santal 33 and Frazer Parfum in Corsica Everlasting. Both are so intoxicating.