I love all my readers but I think my favorite experience of all is when I get emails with questions on health and nutrition, beauty and personal care, and detoxing your environment around you.  Usually I answer these questions privately but it struck me last night that it might be kind of fun to answer some of them online, a little like “Dear Abby”.

Note:  I am not going to use names, only initials, to protect the innocent.  Feel free to send me your questions but let me know if you would prefer I answer privately.

The first question we have is from M in Kansas City who writes:

Dear Detox Diva:

It’s one thing to offer advice for us to change every product we use on ourselves but another to really practice what you preach. Do you do what you say you do?  What is your daily beauty routine like and what beauty products do you really use?


Dear M:

I do practice what I preach.  In fact, I am often the “guinea pig” for trying what works before I give a recommendation, be it for a beauty product, food, supplement, or any other type of product that is meant to balance your health and wellness.

I am a lot like you wondering when a celebrity endorses a product if he or she really uses that product.  Most of the time the answer is probably “no”  but if I recommend a product I guarantee I use it.

My daily beauty routine is very “crunchy” and not very glamorous these days.  I no longer live in a big city so I don’t have to be a glamour puss every day.  I do look forward to when I travel or when I am giving a seminar so I can add a little bit of “oomph” back into my daily routine.

When I wake up the first thing I do is drink a BIG glass of warm water followed by another one with one whole lemon squeezed into it.  That is the absolute best thing you can do get your skin to glow because it stimulates the lymphatic system and helps eliminate toxins.

Next, if I am showering in the morning (three times a week I shower in the evenings so I can do a self-massage or abhayanga) I dry body brush and coat my skin with a little sesame oil.  Because I only wash my hair three times a week I wrap my hair in a towel. I put a few drops of almond oil on my face to protect it from the water in the shower.   In the shower I use my Homemade Coconut Milk Shampoo (I don’t always have it made) or, currently, my obsession of a body wash from Cowshed.  My favorite is Gorgeous Cow with it’s linden blossom and rose scent.  I buy this from Amarya in the UK.  I have no idea where to find it in the US but Amarya ships to the US with no problems and usually within a few days. (It’s not available from the company’s own website for some reason.)

I don’t wash my face often in the mornings.  If my face is feeling a little gritty I use One Love Organics Easy Does It  foaming cleanser with a little Brand New Day exfoliant mixed in but that’s once a week or so. I get asked to try a lot of products and I usually try them when I travel. I do like an “ubtan” (a mixture of dehydrated herbs) that I mix with yogurt, rosewater, or aloe I picked up in India from Forest Essentials.  It’s gritty and a little messy but I use it about once a week.  I slather it on at the beginning of the shower, let it sit and rinse it off just before I exit.  I am almost out of it and, though the company is super easy to order from, I think I will wait until I go back to India to stock up again.  It does make my skin super glowing though.

When I get out of the shower I have a blend of almond, sesame and essential oils I mix that I slather on my skin.  There are many body oils I love on the market but I don’t have any at the moment and my blend is amazing.

Right now I am in love with my Lina Hanson Global Face Serum, which is all I need for moisture during the day. It has a blend of over 11 nutrient dense, protective, and antioxidant properties.  I mix this with a little rose hip oil which is a natural sunscreen if I am not going to be spending a lot of time in the sun.  In the summer I do add a little Vive Sana natural sunscreen but in the fall and winter I don’t use it as I do want to absorb Vitamin D and it is harder to do that while wearing sunscreen.  Rose hip oil is a remarkable natural Vitamin C source and eradicates free radicals with ease.  On the days when I do need a little extra moisture I am a big fan of Dr. Alkaitis Day Cream.

If I am staying home I don’t wear makeup.  It’s not about giving my skin a break, simply that, because I take care of my skin with natural products and I eat well my skin glows even without it.  Even when I do go out during the day, my routine is simple.  I am a big fan of  The Organic Pharmacy’s Sheer Tint with a little RMS Beauty Lip 2 Cheek on both the cheeks and lip.  (My favorite for fall is Illusive).  A little swipe of Pixi Beauty Lash Booster Mascaraand I’m out the door.  If I need a little extra “oomph” to the eyes I “tightline” them with NatureGirlz Cosmetics mineral gel eyeliner.  It’s a small Etsy shop but she has really high-quality products that never irritate my eyes.

If I need to “glam up”  either going out at night, travelling, or when I am doing speaking engagements I use Inika mineral foundation with a little One Love Organics Skin Savior as a primer.  I use Cleopatra’s Choice pressed mineral eye shadows (they don’t explode all over my makeup bag when I travel and the colors are to die for.).  When I travel my eyes always get a little “dull”  and, depending on how far afield I have gotten with the time zone, I get the same dark circles most beauties get.  Pixi Beauty has this Eye Bright Kit that has two concealers (perfect for blending the just right shade for you) one highlighter and one brightener.  It is my “go-to” travel eye quad for waking up my tired eyes and making me paparazzi ready.  (As if…..)  My favorite lipsticks of all time are Ilia Lipsticks.  Non-toxic (meaning NO lead in your red!), moisturizing, I swear even a little plumping, the shades suit everyone, the reds are true and really “va va va voom”.  The neon pink you would think would scare women off is really flattering on most tones.  The nudes and naturals…… you have to see to believe.  They are hands down, my favorite lipsticks.  (Unless some other organic natural line thinks they can unseat them, I believe they will stay my favorites.)

When I need to “take it all off”  I use the Oil Cleansing Method.  I don’t even need a moisturizer afterwards!

Two or three times a week I oil my hair and then wash it with a non-toxic shampoo such as Rahua or Acure Organics  or a mixture of shikakai and aritha paste (that’s a post for another time).  On the days I wash my hair I give myself a self-massage or abhayanga and really take the time to pamper myself.

That’s my beauty routine.  It sounds much more complicated than it is but there are a lot fewer products with which to contend, all non-toxic and natural and all nourish and protect my skin rather than invading it with chemicals.  I am asked to try out quite a few products and I do happily but they all meet very strict guidelines of natural and organic ingredients before I agree even to test them.

I do practice what I preach, dear readers.  My motto is “If you wouldn’t put it in your mouth why would you put it in your body?”  “If you wouldn’t lick a subway floor why would you put chemicals on your face?”

Wishing you peace and balance,