Ingredients We Never Use

Many of my customers have heard me say that when making my products, I leave out everything that shouldn't be there in the first place -- a long list. Here, we've complied a partial listing to introduce you to the biggest "no no's". If you see any of these ingredients on a product label, it might be a good idea to switch to another product. Some of the ingredients listed below are even known cancer-causing compounds and remain unregulated by the FDA for a number of reasons.

We don't use anything synthetic or harmful. You will never find any synthetic waxes or bee's wax in my products. No shea butter. No GMO. No animal products. No synthetic preservatives. 

What I find curious is that many "Natural" "Organic" skincare products often have some of the ingredients listed below. Read your labels carefully before you put anything on your delicate skin.

Catagories Of Undesirable Ingredients: (A Specific List Follows)

1. SYNTHETIC FRAGRANCES often contain phthalates (pronounced THAY-lates), synthetic chemicals commonly used to stabilize fragrances and make plastic more pliable. These endocrine disrupters mimic hormones and may alter genital development. Avoid products that list fragrance as an ingredient unless the label states that it’s derived from essentials oils, or look for a phthalate-free label on the packaging.

2. PARABENS, ubiquitous in skincare, preserve other ingredients and extend a product’s shelf life–but these antimicrobial chemicals also have hormone-disrupting effects.

3. UREAS, formally known as diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, or DMDM hydantoin and sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, are preservatives that have the potential to release formaldehyde in very small amounts and are a primary cause of contact dermatitis.

4. 1,4-DIOXANE, a chemical carcinogen, is created when ingredients are processed with petroleum-derived ethylene oxide. Common ethoxylated compounds include sodium laureth sulfate and polyethylene glycol (often listed as PEG). To avoid it, skip any product with the following ingredients: myreth, oleth, laureth, ceteareth (or any other -eth), PEG, polyethylene, polyethylene glycol, polyoxyethylene, or oxynol.

5. PETROCHEMICALS are derived from crude oil. Petroleum-based ingredients such as petrolatum, mineral oil, and paraffin (derived from nonrenewable sources) form a barrier when applied to the skin that does not allow it to breathe and can clog pores.

6. MEA/DEA/TEA are “amines” (ammonia compounds) and can form harmful nitrosamines when they come in contact with nitrates. Used as foaming agents, synthetic stabilizers, and to adjust the pH of cosmetics, they can cause allergic reactions, eye irritation, and dryness of the hair and skin.

7. SULFATES, such as sodium lauryl and sodium laureth, are harsh detergents that give cleansers, soaps, and shampoos their latherability. Often derived from petroleum, sulfates can also come from coconut and other vegetable oils that can be contaminated with pesticides. Sulfates can cause eye irritation and skin rashes.

8. CHEMICAL SUNSCREENS, such as oxybenzone and octylmethoxycinnamate, have been shown to disrupt endocrine activity. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are safer alternatives.

9. QUATS, such as benzalkonium chloride, steardimonium chloride, cetrimonium bromide, and cetrimonium chloride, give a positive charge to conditioners in order to prevent static. They are necessary for conditioners, but we have allowed only the mildest quats in our Beauty With a Conscience standard: guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride, hydroxypropyltrimonium oligosaccharide, and SugaQuats.

10. ANTIBACTERIAL COMPOUNDS, such as triclosan and chlorphenesin, do not break down in the environment and may contribute to bacterial resistance.

11. SYNTHETIC POLYMERS, such as sodium polyacrylate and carbomer, come from petroleum and give viscosity to skincare products. They are highly processed and their manufacture creates toxic by-products.

12. SYNTHETIC COLORS are made from coal tar. They contain heavy metal salts that may deposit toxins onto the skin, causing skin sensitivity and irritation. Animal studies have shown almost all of them to be carcinogenic. They will be labeled as FD&C or D&C, followed by a color and a number.

13. CHELATORS, such as disodium EDTA and tetrasodium EDTA, are used in personal care products to remove impurities from low-quality raw materials. They do not readily biodegrade in the environment.

14. NANOS are a new technology with inconclusive but potentially hazardous study results. Research suggests that when tiny nano particles penetrate the skin, they may cause cell damage.

15. ANIMAL TESTING: A grim history of cruelty to animals lies behind many cosmetic ingredients. But scientists are developing new technologies to test cosmetics before a European Union ban on animal testing begins in March 2009.


Specific Listing Of Nasty Things That Shouldn't Be In Your Skincare:
1,2 hexanediol
2-carboxy-1methylpyridinium chloride
AA2G-Ascorbyl Glucoside
acetamide MEA
acrylates copolymer
acrylic acid/vp crosspolymer
aerosol sprays
alkyl benzoate
alkyldimethylamine oxide
alpha arbutin
alpha hydroxy acids
Aluminum Chloride Hexahydrate
aluminum chlorohydrate
aluminum glycinate
aluminum hydroxide
aluminum oxide
aluminum powder
amino-guanadine amino-guanadine is not INCI compliant
aminomethyl propanol
Aminopropyl Ascorbyl Phosphate
ammonium alum
ammonium laureth sulfate
ammonium lauryl sulfate
ammonium polacrylate
ammonium xylene sulfonate
AMP AMP is not INCI compliant
artificial colors
Ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate
babassuamidopropalkonium chloride
babassuamidopropyl betaine
behenalkonium chloride
behenamidopropyl hydroxyethyl dimonium chloride
behenoxy dimethicone
behentrimonium methosulfate
benzalkonium chloride
benzethonium chloride
benzyl PCA benzyl PCA is not INCI compliant
BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole)
BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene)
Bis Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2
Bis-Behenyl/Isostearyl/Phytosteryl Dimer Dilinoleyl
Dimer Dilinoleate
bismuth oxychloride
Blue WS 1430
boron nitride
Brassicamidopropyl Dimethylamine
Butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane
butylene glycol
butylene/ethylene/styrene copolymer
Butylphenyl methylpropianol
C 11-15 Pareth 12
C 12-14 Olefin Sulfonate
C 12-15 Alkyl benzoate
C 12-15 Alkyl octanoate
C 13-14 Isoparaffin
C12-15 alkyl lactate
C12-20 Acid PEG-8 Ester
C18-38 alkyl hydroxystearol stearate
Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate Silica
capryl isostearate
Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (and) Diacetyl Boldine
Carbowax (see polyethylene glycol)
castor oil/IPDI copolymer
Castoryl maleate
CDE (see cocomide DEA)
ceramide 2, 3
ceteareth 2 - 100
ceteareth 5 - 20
Cetearyl Ethylhexanote
cetearyl isononanoate
cetearyl methicone
Ceteth -20 Phosphate
cetrimonium bromide
cetrimonium chloride
cetyl betaine 
Cetylpyridinium Chloride
Cinnamidopropyltrimonium chloride
Cocamide DEA
Cocamide MEA
cocamide MIPA
cocamidopropyl pg-dimonium chloride
cocamidopropyl PG-dimonium chloride phosphate
Cocamidopropylamine Oxide
cocamine oxide
coco betaine acceptable if there is documentation to show the source is
coco phosphatidyl pg-dimonium chloride
Cocoamphocarboxyglycinate cocoamphocarboxyglycinate is not INCI compliant
Cocodimonium Hydroxypropyl Hydrolyzed Rice
colloidal anhydrous silica
colloidal minerals
colloidal silver
to show the source is natural
Copper disodium EDTA
corn glycol corn glycol is not INCI compliant
diazolidinyl urea
dicaprylyl carbonate 
dicaprylyl ether
dicetyldimonium chloride
diethanolamine (DEA)
diisopropyl dimerate
Diisostearyl Malate
dimethicone copolyol
dimethicone crosspolymer-3
Dimethicone glycereth-2 cocoate
dimethyl adipate
dimethyl capramide
dimethyl glutarate
Dimethyl oxobenzo dioasilane
Dimethyl Phenyl 2-Butanol
dimethyl succinate
dimethylmethoxy chromanyl palmitate
dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate (DSS)
dipalmitoyl hydroxyproline
dipropylene glycol
disodium EDTA
Disodium laureth sulfosuccinate disodium laureth sulfosuccinate is not INCI compliant
disodium oleamido succinate
Distarch Phospate Acetate
distearate 75
Disteardimonium Hectoride
DMDM hydantoin
emu oil
Equine oil
ethoxydiglycol oleate
Ethyhexyl Methoxycrylene
ethyl acetate
ethyl diglycol (see polyethylene glycol) ethyl diglycol is not INCI compliant
ethyl methoxycinnamate
ethyl vanillin 
ethylene glycol
Ethylhexyl isononanoate
Ethylhexyl Methoxycrylene
Ethylyhexyl Salicylate
FD & C colors
fragrance, synthetic (botanical fragrance, parfum,
germall germall is not INCI compliant
Glycereth-2 cocoate
glycereth-7 cocoate
glyceryl isostearate
glyceryl polyacrylate
Glyceryl rosinate
glycolic acid
Hexadecyl Isononanoate
Hexahydroxystearate/ Hexastearate/Hexarosinate
hexyl laurate
hexylene glycol
human placental protein
Hydrogenated Polydecene
Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol
Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl
Taurate Copolymer
Hydroxyethyl Soyamide
Hydroxyethyl urea
Hydroxypropyl Polysiloxane
Hydroxypropyltrimonium Honey
imidazolidinyl urea
iodopropynyl butylcarbamate
isocetyl isostearate
Isocetyl Stearate
Isononyl Isononanoate
isopropyl methylphenol
isopropyl myristate
Isopropyl phenyl dimethicone
Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate
Isostearyl Isostearate
kojic acid
lactamidopropyl trimonium chloride
lactic acid acceptable for use as a pH adjuster
Lauramide MEA
Lauramidopropylamine Oxide
Lauryl Amidopropyl Betaine lauryl amidopropyl betaine is not INCI compliant
Lauryl betaine 
Magnesium Aluminum Silicate
Magnesium Myristate
MEA-containing ingredients
methoxycinnamate methoxycinnamate is not INCI compliant
Methyl Gluceth-10
methyl glyceth-20
methyl glycol
methyl nicotinate
Methyl Propanediol
methyl rapeseed extract
Methyl soyate
methylsilanol mannuronate
microcrystalline wax
mineral oil
myristic acid 
myristyl alcohol
myristyl ether sulfate
Myristyl Lactate
myristyl myristate
nanotechnology ingredients <100 nm
nonoxynol 10
Octadecanol octadecanol is not INCI compliant.
Octyl dimethyl PABA
Octyl Dodecyl Neopentanoate
octyl methoxycinnamate
Oleamidopropyl dimethylamine
Olefin Sulfonate
oleth (2-50)
oleyl betaine 
Oleyl Oleate
PABA (Para-Aminobenzoic Acid
Palmitoyl dipeptide-5 diaminobutyloyl
Palmitoyl dipeptide-5 diaminohydroxybutylrate
panthenyl ethyl ether
panthenyl triacetate
Para-Aminobenzoic Acid (see PABA)
PCA-ethyl cocoyl arginate
pearl powder
PEG (see polyethylene glycol)
PEG 35 (stearate) castor oil
PEG-10 Sunflower Glycerides
PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate
PEG-150 distearate
PEG-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate
PEG-20 glyceryl triisostearate
PEG-20, 100 stearate
PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil
Peg-55 Propylene Glycol Oleate
PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric glycerides
PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate
PEG/PPG-20/15 dimethicone
pentaerythrityl distearate
Pentaerythrityl Tetra-di-t-butyl
Pentaerythrityl Tetra-di-t-butyl
Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate
pentaerythrityl tetrastearate
Pentasodium Pentetate
pentylene glycol
phenyl-butyl-nitrate phenyl-butyl-nitrate is not INCI compliant
phenylbenzimidazole-5-sulfonic acid
placental protein
polaxamer 335
polyethylene glycol (PEG)
polyethylene terephthalate
Polyglyceryl -10 Behenate/Eicosadioate
polyglyceryl -2 dipolyhydroxystearate
Polyglyceryl Methacrylate
polyglyceryl-3 diisostearate
Polyglyceryl-3 Polyricinoleate
polyglyceryl-3 stearate
Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate
polyimide 1
polypropylene glycol
Polyquaternium 7, 10, 11
polysilicone-11, -15
potassium alum
Potassium C12-13 Alkyl Phosphate
potassium iodide
Potassium Myristate
PPG-12/SMDI Copolymer
PPG-15 stearyl ether
propyl gallate
propylene carbonate
propylene glycol
propylene glycol alginate
Propylheptyl Caprylate
Providone (see polyvinylpyrrolidone)
PTFE (teflon)
pvp/eicosene copolymer
pvp/va copolymer
Quaternium 87
Quaternium 95 (and) 1,3 Propanediol
Ricinoleylpropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate
salicylic acid 
Silica Dimethyl Silylate
silica silylate
silver citrate
silver dihydrogen citrate
soapstone (see talc)
sodium acrylate
sodium bisulfite
Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate
sodium cetearyl sulfate
Sodium coco-sulfate
sodium cocoyl sulfate
Sodium Dodecylbenzene Sulfonate
sodium erythorbate
Sodium fluoride
sodium hydroxymethylglycinate
sodium isostearoyl lactylate
sodium laureth sulfate
Sodium Lauryl Glucosideoxyacetate
sodium lauryl sulfate
Sodium lauryl sulfoacetate
Sodium lauryl sulfoacetate
sodium metabisulfite
Sodium Methyl Oleoyl Taurate
sodium myreth sulfate
Sodium PEG-7 Olive Oil Carboxylate
sodium polyacrylate
Sodium sulfate
Sodium Trideceth Sulfate
sorbitan isostearate
soyamide DEA
soyamidopropalkonium chloride
squalane only shark-derived squalene unacceptable
Squalene only shark derived squalene is unacceptable
stearamidopropyl dimethyl amine
Steardimonium Chloride stearamidopropyl chloride is not INCI compliant
steareth-2, 20, 21, 100 etc
styrene-pvp copolymer
Styrene/acrylates copolymer
Sulfated Castor Oil
Synthetic Beeswax
synthetic fluorphlogopite
synthetic fragrance
Synthetic Wax
TEA-Lauryl Sulfate
Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate
Tetrahydroxypropyl Ethylenediamine
tetrasodium EDTA
Tetrasodium N,N-bis(carboxymethyl) L-Glutamate
Thiotic Acid thiotic acid is not INCI compliant
tin oxide
Tri Alkyl Citrate
Tridecyl Neopentanoate
tridecyl salicylate
triethanolamine (TEA)
triethoxycaprylysilane triethoxycarprylysilane is not INCI compliant
trisodium EDTA (see tetrasodium EDTA)
Trisodium ethylenediamine disuccinate
tromethamine stearate
vanillyl butyl ether
Water Caprolactam/VP/Dimethylaminoethyl
Methacrylate Copolymer
Wheat germamidopropyl betaine
Wheatgermamidopropyl Dimethylamine
willow bark extract
Zinc pyrithione

Read more:

Hypoallergenic Certification....

Back in August a customer asked us on our blog if our products are "certified Hypoallergenic."

I thought to myself "Why haven't we done this yet?" and Kim said, "It's probably really expensive. A scam."

Turns out it's totally a scam but not expensive. This is what the FDA has to say about it on their website:

There are no Federal standards or definitions that govern the use of the term "hypoallergenic." The term means whatever a particular company wants it to mean.

So if you have sensitive skin be sure to actively ignore the word "Hypoallergenic". 


Carcinogens and Toxins Hidden by Trade Secret Status

This is ripe with scandal, and I'm not going to lie, I love a good scandal. But this is wrong. 

In California, Prop 65 and the California Safe Cosmetics Act require cosmetic companies to disclose any ingredients that are considered carcinogens or reproductive toxins. 

22 Big Cosmetic companies, even self proclaimed "green" ones, have rallied the expensive corporate lawyers and filed for "trade secret" status...because there is a loophole.

Companies don't have to disclose (toxic) ingredients if disclosing the ingredients would allow other companies to reproduce their "recipe" and cause them to loose revenue. This is called trade secret status. 

Because of the trade secret loophole, companies that use carcinogens and reproductive toxins in their secret cosmetic recipes don't have to tell consumers, because another company might come along and "steal" their (carcinogenic and toxic) recipe and the original company could loose revenue. 

These companies prioritized their profits over their customers' health. Would they loose money by disclosing their ingredients? Maybe, but we (consumers, women, mothers, fathers, daughters) should be able to choose what we put on and into our body. Especially when it comes to reproductive toxins and carcinogens. 

Take Your Skin from Dull to Radiant: Our 2 Day Vegan Guide

One of the most common questions we get is, “What do you recommend for dull skin?” Today we spell out how to have glowing skin by the weekend, with a targeted, vegan-friendly diet and skincare regimen.

    1. Plan your meals using our template as a guide for the next two days, around the vitamins and minerals we have listed below. You should also minimize or eliminate your intake of processed foods, sugar and grains, which cause inflammation in many people and are a total glow killer.
    2. Exfoliate with our Papaya Enzyme mask on Thursday or Friday (not both) and follow with the Rosewater mask each night (use both nights).
      Note: Two days ago, Kim reformulated our nourishing serum, by adding Rose Hip Oil. Tamarind Seed Oil, is significantly more effective than Hyaluronic Acid in helping the skin to hold moisture (read glowing, radiant skin). Rose Hip Oil has a very high concentration of Linoleic Acid, which penetrates deeply into the skin dissolving any coagulated sebum (helps unclog pores).



      Print out this guide to plan your 2 day skincare meals and regimen. It doesn't take much to change your skin from dull to radiant.



      Silica: Silica is the most abundant element on this earth, only second to oxygen. We need silica for structure, in order to stand upright, for healthy bones, and healthy skin. It helps wounds heal and is essential for maintaining healthy connective tissue which helps keep our skin tight. The best food source for silica is oats, but you can also find it in garbanzo beans, strawberries, cucumbers, and asparagus.


      Vitamin E: Vitamin E is an antioxidant that repairs and protects the skin. Antioxidants neutralize the oxidant effect of free radicals. Free radicals are the cause of fine lines, wrinkles, dryness of the skin, and damage to collagen. Vitamin E protects against sun damage and speeds up cell regeneration. Unfortunately our bodies don’t produce it naturally, meaning we have to get it entirely from our diets. Eat these foods to boost your Vitamin E intake: sweet potatoes, hazelnuts, apples, and wheat germ oil.


      Pantothenic Acid (B5): Pantothenic Acid is named after the Greek word “Pantos” meaning everywhere because it is found in practically every food, and almost every living organism requires it for growth and metabolic function. Our skin cells need it for proper growth and regeneration, protection from oxidation, and to help wounds heal. It reduces the signs of aging, wrinkles, and even defends against skin cancer. For high doses of Pantothenic Acid eat: shitake mushrooms, avocados, sweet potatos, and lentils.

      Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These fatty acids help regulate oil production in our bodies. Having regular oil production is essential in making sure our skin is hydrated, and to avoid dry and flaky skin. Omega-3’s are antioxidants that protect against those nasty free radicals that oxidize healthy cells and cause wrinkles and acne. They also help repair sun damage. Food high in Omega 3’s are: edamame, wild rice, flax seeds, and walnuts.

      Sulfur: Sulfur is necessary for collagen synthesis, without collagen our skin would have no strength and structure. By maintaining Sulfur in your diet you will also provide the foundation for collagen production, which will help keep your skin firm and glowing (like pregnant women). Sulfur can be found in: edamame, onions, garlic, leeks, and avocados.

      Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a key part of collagen production. It slows the rate of free radical damage to the skin, reduces signs of wrinkles, and decreases levels of dry skin. It has an important role in healing wounds, and assists in the proper formation of scar tissue. Vitamin C is very sensitive to heat, so consuming the following foods raw, or lightly cooked is key to absorbing the most Vitamin C possible. For more vitamin C eat: bell peppers, guavas, dark leafy greens, broccoli, and strawberries.

       Now that you know what to eat, print out our 2 day guide and take 5 minutes to plan your meals. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us (707) 372 6765. We can't wait to hear your success stories, send us your glowing faces on Instagram @LUMINANCESKINCARE so we can show you off!


      The 3 Easiest Things You Can Do to Dramatically Improve Your Skin

      1. Regulate your skin's oil

      If you have dry or oily skin chances are that it's not your cleanser. No seriously - most cleansers use a grease stripper and a foaming agent to get your face "clean." Problem is, it takes off all the oils that your skin makes to protect itself. Grease stripper is not soap. It's a petrochemical derivative and it's way too harsh to use on your skin. It messes with your feedback mechanism that regulates how much oil your skin produces. (It makes your skin produce too much or not enough oil after it obliterates everything on your face). You want to use a gentle soap-based cleanser that is pH balanced for your skin, and will lather up to get dirt and makeup out of your skin while deeply moisturizing. Ahh.  

      2. Balance the pH

      Tap water, while fine to drink (in most cities) is far too alkaline for your skin. This means that your skin has to work extra hard to adjust the pH back from the high 9's into the high 5's or low 6's (depending on your age). And it takes a toll on your glow, often turning it into shine or eliminating it completely. This is the other major factor that contributes to dry or oily skin and the easiest thing to regulate! Every time your skin touches tap water, use a toner that has a pH in the low 6's or upper 5's. It should not have any alcohol or astringents, because while shrinking your pores sounds like a great idea, it's temporary and dries your skin out in the long run. It's a total glow killer. Our Rosewater Toner has only one ingredient (rosewater) and only one purpose... to adjust the pH of your skin and help you get your glow on :) 

      3. Feed your skin something good 

      Have you ever seen kids go off to school after eating cupcakes and whipped cream for breakfast? They get a little crazy. Your skin is the same way. If you feed it things you can't pronounce, because they are synthetic compounds, your skin is likely to get out of whack and give you bumps and irritation. Skin really likes oil. I know all the people with adult acne just freaked out. I have acne-prone skin and I'm here to tell you, oil is good. The right oils in the right concentrations are very nourishing for your skin. In your sample you received either Deep Hydration (smells like lavender and chamomile) or Hydration (smells like roses). In both of these moisturizers we use evening primrose oil and meadow foam oil, two huge anti-inflammatory oils that are wonderful for soothing irritated skin. Both also include argan, kukui nut, and Jojoba Oil which are wonderful for all skin types. Along with a nice collection of nourishing herbal and botanical extracts. Mmmmmmmm!

      How To Cleanse Your Face

      Every day I am confronted with a variety of skin challanges and conditions and by far the most common contributor to problems with facial skin is improper cleansing. Typically with a commercial synthetic solvent or alcohol based facial cleanser. Oil based cleansers can be just as damaging if improperly used. Cleansing and caring for facial skin is so simple and so straight forward it is astonishing to me how the commercial skincare industry has tangled such a simple procedure into such a complex mess.

      Proper Facial Cleansing Procedure Using Our Delicate Facial Cleanser.

      1. Do not adjust water temperature with preconceptions. Run your water until your hands feel comfortable. Skin is very very smart and when your hands are comfortable this is your skin telling you that you have arrived at the proper water temperature for cleansing.

      2. Use a properly pH balanced liquid soap cleanser. Fact is there is nothing more effective or more gentle for cleansing any skin than real soap. The only issue is liquid soaps are generally too alkaline (high pH). Use my pH adjusted Delicate Facial Cleanser.

      3. Wet your hands and wet your face.

      4. Shake the Delicate Facial Cleanser bottle to mix all of the pH adjusting ingredients. Spray several spritzes on your hands and then rub your hands together until a nice thick low profile lather forms. 

      5. Close your eyes and gently massage the lather into your face with your palms and fingertips. Never ever use anything scratchy on your face. So no sponges. No micro-derms. No brushes. No wash cloths and for heavens sake no machines with spinning brushes, these are horrible for your skin. I am planning a entry to this blog with regard to proper exfoliation soon.

      6. Keeping your eyes closed splash a few splashes of water onto your face. Only a few. It is beneficial to leave your skin "slippery clean" rather than "squeaky clean". Slippery clean means all the beneficial, theraputic ingredients I use in my Delicate Cleanser remain on your face.

      7. Open your eyes and if they sting a little bit and you can handle it simply pat your face dry with a really soft and absorbant towel. The little bit of sting is not harmful. If you have a bit too much sting simply rinse with another splash or two.

      My next entry will address why you should tone using a non alcohol, non astringent facial toner.


      How And Why You Should Use Toner

      You must tone your facial skin to adjust the pH every time your skin is exposed to tap water. The reason is that tap water is highly alkaline, as high as 9.3 in the San Francisco Bay Area and even higher in mineral rich areas of the world. While high alkaline water might be nice internally, external exposure is one of the most damaging things you can do to your skin. 

      When your skin is too alkaline, the fatty acids are depleted and your skin feels dusty and dry. Depending on your genetics your skin may either not replenish the fatty acids (oil) and your skin will stay dry or it will produce extra Sebum (naturally occurring oil in the skin) to compensate giving you oily or combination skin. 

      The solution is so very simple.

      Apply a low pH (low 6's high 5's) toner after rinsing your face. It is important that your facial toner is alcohol free and astringent free. Be careful of herbal astringents like Witch Hazel as well as the synthetic varieties, none of them have any justified place in your facial toners.

      Think about it. Your cleanse your face with a wonderful cleanser and then rinse. And while it is important to readjust the pH of your skin, why would you wish to apply an alcohol or astringent toner designed to tighten and close up your skin before you apply your serum and moisturizer. You want your serum and moisturizer to penetrate easily and deeply. Alcohol and astringent based toners are a brilliant deception perpetuated both by the commercial skincare industry, and sadly many on the natural side of the industry still find this a confusing concept and continue to follow suit in step with commercial skincare's conventional wisdom. 

      So don't skip your toner. And if you want a really good one, find one with a low pH and a natural anti-inflammatory like Rosewater.