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Ask the Aesthetician….

Ask the AestheticianI get a lot of skin care and beauty questions daily and I thought I should start a new series where you all can ask the questions and I’ll do my best to give you the answers!  Some of you may not know but I began my career as an aesthetician.  I specialized in facials but also did waxing and makeup.  I worked for 10 years in spas cultivating a loyal clientele.  I loved working in the beauty industry.   Some skin care lines I’ve worked with are Murad, Guinot, Aveda, and Dermalogica.  I did microdermabrasion, oxygen facials, pumpkin peels, vitamin C treatments and glycolic peels just to name a few!  A lot has changed since then and I am definitely more selective when choosing skin care.

So for my first topic of discussion let’s discuss where to start when trying to reduce harmful chemicals from your beauty and skin care products.  Many people come to my blog excited and ready to make some changes.  I think once reality hits, things can get really overwhelming.  Especially if you’re on a budget.  I hear questions all the time like, “should I diy my skin care or buy it?”.  “If I buy it, how do I know which lines are safe?”.  If I diy what should I make?”  I’m going to try to clear the air today and shed some light on your starting point.

First off, ask yourself what your needs are.  Do you simply want to clean up your skin care or does your skin need work?  What results are you looking for?  What is your budget?

Some of you might be shocked by this next statement but bare with me-DIY skin care is not for everyone and not all skin care products should be DIY’d.  I have made loads of products using common sense and research.  I’ve hit lots of walls-lots of bad batches that had a weird texture, didn’t foam enough or clogged my pores.  While I love making my own skin care, I have gained a respect for the science that goes behind it and realized that there is a lot I don’t know.

Making salves and balms is awesome-you don’t have to worry about bacteria and mold because there is no water in the product.  When adding essential oils, herbs and carrier oils, balms and salves can be quite effective when moisturizing and healing.  Making facial oils is a highly effective moisturizer.  The possibilities are endless with infusing herbs and adding essential oils and by cutting out the middle man, water (you mix oil, water and an emulsifier to make cream), you will have a much more potent product.

You can actually make a cleanser from a balm.  Go HERE for my oil cleansing cleanser recipe.

I also LOVE making tonersThayer’s is an amazing brand of witch hazel.  They offer loads of options and by adding your own essential oils to them, you can customize it exactly to what your skin needs.

As far as water based cleansers and moisturizers go, at this point I stick to the professionals.  While I have made and sold many creams, there is so much I don’t know.  So many things that chemist can add to boost a products efficiency.  Cleansers often have a really high pH and need chemicals to bring the pH down or else they will dry out your skin.  There are a lot of factors that go into making any product that contains water.  Bacteria is always a fear and it is next to impossible to determine bacteria and mold amounts from home.  Sending your homemade cream to a lab for testing will actually set you back thousands of dollars!

So that being said, where do we go from here?

This is the fun part.  Despite what you may think, there are a lot of amazing natural/organic skin care and makeup companies popping up.  Now I can go to Target and find a bag full of safe yet effective beauty products!  Organic skin care is no longer outrageously expensive and hard to find.

My Favorite Natural Beauty Brands:

I have linked each brand to the store with the best price based on shipping and product price.  A few like Eminence and Juice Beauty can sometimes be found on Amazon at a cheaper price and as a prime product.  I hope this makes finding these products a bit easier!  And by all means, head to your local Target and check out all the organic/natural beauty you can find in the store!

Skin Care:

When choosing the right skin care products, identify your needs first.  For those of you who are looking for results, whether it be anti aging or skin clearing, I would start with Juice Beauty and Eminence.  I love and trust both these lines.

Eminence is more luxurious.  They have tons to choose from and I’ve never had an Eminence product I didn’t love.  Results come fast.  Once I finish a bottle of something I always move on to another product because skin gets used to the same thing used day in and day out.  You’ll never run out of products with Eminence, but if you do, you’ll be excited to start over!

I am currently using Juice Beauty’s Anti Aging 5 in 1 kit.  I am loving it.  I’m seeing good results and have finally found an oil free moisturizer that actually moisturizes and has an SPF of 30!

If you are looking for a more affordable line, I would check out Yes to…..  This is a fun line that is at Target.  They offer lots of affordable products that are free of harmful chemicals!  I am currently testing out a few of their products, including their eye makeup remover wipes.

Make Up:

I love my DIY mineral makeup-it works really well and is very comparable to any mineral makeup on the market.

As for buying makeup-Tarte is my absolute favorite!  At this point, everything in my makeup bag is Tarte.

E.L.F is an easily accessible line and very affordable.  I honestly haven’t tried much from E.L.F but I plan to since it’s at Target as well.


I am currently using Pacifica for body wash and body cream.  I love this line so much!  Not only do they have the most gorgeous packaging, they also have great body products.  They carry perfume as well, but I haven’t found a smell I would wear as a perfume so far.

A new product from Pacifica to look out for are their lotion wipes!  They actually work!

In Conclusion:

Basically I DIY lip balms, skin salves and toners.  I like to use certain skin salves as a heavy night moisturizer, make up remover and even a mask.  I’m head over heals in love with my Anti Wrinkle Eye Stick so I have not tried out other eye treatments at the moment.  When it comes to water based cleansers, moisturizers and exfoliators, I prefer to buy mine from a natural skin care company.

If you are willing to spend the money to buy what you need to make your own mineral makeup, you will love what you’ve made.  My recipe works great and many people have preferred it over Bare Minerals.  When it comes to blush, shadow, lipstick/gloss and mascara, I prefer to buy mine.

I hope this post has helped clear up any confusion about where to start with finding the natural products that work for you.  Below I will link the products I have been using lately and that check all the boxes!

Please comment below with your skin care and beauty questions for the next post in this series!  I would love to help!

xx, Jenni




  1. Kristin Mohn says:

    I am 33 and looking for a one step moisturizer that is relatively inexpensive. I have three kids and an 8-5 job and don’t have a ton if time for a bug beauty routine. Something from Ulta, Target or Sephora would be ideal. Thanks xxxx

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Great post….I completely agree with leaving some things to the professionals. That being said, my skin has never looked better since I began oil cleansing. I usually use coconut and castor oils, but mix it up some time with others, and add essential oils at times. But when it comes to makeup I am not DIY! I was surprised to see E.L.F. listed as a more natural line. I had no idea. Thanks for the great info!

  3. Jenni,

    Is the Sodium Nitrate in Yes to cucumber eye gel the same toxic Sodium Nitrate we see in foods?

  4. Deborah H says:

    We love the Anti-Wrinkle Eye Stick at our house too! It’s not only great for the eyes, but the moisture is soooo pure…it’s better than anything I can buy in the store for chapped lips!

  5. Elastin! I’m losing a little weight (or maybe it’s just shifting southward) and I’m noticing my skin is sagging a bit. I’m heavy into helping my body create collagen already, but I haven’t heard you talk about maintaining and rebuilding elastin. Whatcha got?

  6. Excellent post! I’ve recently gotten into making my own skincare products. I’ve been using a facial oil (either jojoba or argan based) and I love it. But since then I’ve stopped with the serums, but I’ve been wanting to start using some again for an added benefit. Would I still apply it in the same way, wash face, serum, then the facial oil? Thanks!

  7. Christina says:

    Thanks so much for this go-to list. I’m in the process of switching my beauty regime to more natural products and it can be overwhelming as to where to start or what product lines are good. I’m not a DIY gal so these suggestions really help! Thank You!

  8. I don’t know what to do!!! I had perfect skin! Almost zero breakouts! I’ve used Mary Kay for 20 years (sorry if I wasn’t supposed to use the name brand). And then I changed to diy natural cleanser and moisturizer to reduce my chemical intake. And I LOVE my essential oils. I’ve been using them for 2 months now and my face has only been clear for about a week of that time. While it was clear my skin was radiant and I loved it. But I hate this process! I’ve always stuck with the same brand bc if I change ANYTHING then I will break out. So, this try-this-and-then-try-that method is reeking havoc on my face!! Should I just go back to using my old brand and just incorporate some of my EOs? Confused and impatient! Please help.

    • Christi-I don’t know much about Mary Kay but I do know they use harsh chemicals in their products so I wouldn’t go back. Quite possibly your skin is detoxing. But, it could also just not like what you are using. Since you are experiencing breakouts I would suggest to ditch the DIY’s and head to Juice Beauty products. I use their clearing cleanser and their oil free moisturizer. I really like them. Keep going with essential oils-they are great for spot treating-most of them are antibacterial and anti inflammatory so they really help when applying right to a blemish! Good luck!! Hope this helps!

      • I decided to go back to bare basics. I tried the oil cleansing method using only jojoba oil. The blistery, inflamed, itchy, red reaction that I was having is stopped after one cleansing!!! I’m going to stick with that for a while before adding any essential oils and even then I will only add one at a time. I’m so happy to see my face healing and getting back to normal! Thanks for your inspiration!!!! I can’t wait to try some of the more natural make-up lines that you have recommended on your site!

  9. Christine says:

    Do you still use the Coola SPF30 daily? Or do you prefer Juicy Beauty Oil-Free? I looked up the link you provided and it doesn’t state it has any SPF?

    • I use the Juice Beauty now. What link do you mean?

      • Christine says:

        Ok the first link I click showed the Juicy Beauty with no SPF but the second link did. I was getting ready to invest in the Coola. My skin is combo, with it being more dry in the winter. Do you think I should go with the Juicy Beauty instead? I want a moisturizer that is good enough to use alone, with an SPF added. I am getting tired of layering serum, moisturuzer, sunscreen, etc

    • Christine, Since the Juice Beauty is oil free I don’t use it daily in the colder months-Coola adds a bit more moisture but is still light. Hope this answers your questions-My response above was a bit of a hurried one-sorry!! Feel free to ask more questions and I’ll take more time to help.

  10. Hi Jenni,
    Thank you for all the natural beauty lines. I’m looking into these as we speak. I know you posted this back in 2014, however am I understanding correctly that you will be no longer DIY ‘ing any creams, cleansers or facial lotions that are waterbase? Sounds like you are suggesting to purchase waterbased products to avoid bacteria issues and that your salves and serums can be DIY’ed for added skin benefit, is that right? The reason I’m asking is because I just started following you a few months ago so now I’m wondering what I should do with all of my emulsifying wax and Neo-defend for my creams. Are there other products I can do with these besides what you suggest I should purchase? The Dry Skin Moisturizer hasn’t turned out both times I’ve tried. It was weird consistency the first time then burned my skin the second so now I am following your post on moisturizing serum and camomile facial spritzer. Just curious about how I can use the ingredients I have in a different way now.
    Thanks for your post! I love your blog!

    • Casey-Hi! I stopped DIYing for a while in 2015. Someone I was consulting with about recipes scared me about bacteria. Once I did more research and really double checked that I was getting my proportions right, I now feel way more confident to continue making creams. However, I still have not come back to cleansers. I’m not convinced those are good to DIY unless it’s an oil cleanser. The dry skin moisturizer is probably my most popular cream-I’m sorry it burned-did you add citric acid when you made it? That was part of the old recipe. I omitted citric acid because it is not a legit preservative and made the pH too acidic which could explain why it burned. I would continue to use your ingredients for sure! I do recommend moisturizing with oil and skipping the lotions-a non-diluted oil is so much more effective for the skin. Hope this clears some confusion up!

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