Apothecary Skin Care vs. Conventional Skin Care

If you’ve been reading Holistically Haute? since the beginning, you may remember seeing a book called “Babushka’s Beauty Secrets: Old World Tips for a Glamorous New You“, by Raisa Ruder and Susan Campos.? This is a great recipe book for homemade skin care products that use ingredients and tips from the author?s heritage.

I had a couple of issues with the book, but overall agree with the message that good skin care can start right in your kitchen, for very little money.? There is a niche of aesthetics called ?apothecary skin care?, which incorporates those ingredients from nature that are known for their benefits to the skin.
I will say again what I said in the review I wrote for the Babushka book?skin care made of natural ingredients and nothing else absolutely can improve the appearance of the skin and prevent future skin care problems if used regularly over time.? However, you cannot take a piece of fruit, mash it up, slather it on your face and expect a miracle.? Yes, many anti-aging skin care ingredients are derived from fruits and other natural ingredients, but they have to be treated in a certain way to make them able to effect the skin.

Leave the catch-phrases and exaggerated claims at the door.

I don’t buy into any claims that certain ingredients or products are ?better than botox?, or give an ?instant facelift? because quite simply, nothing but a medical product or procedure prescribed/performed by a doctor in a medical or medi-spa setting can produce those types of results.? I don’t care if it is a $500 serum made from the water of some magical sea in Shangri-La, some $12 cream filled with chemicals that you get at the drugstore, or something you whip up at home.? None of these products can cause a change in the physiology (function) of the skin.? Otherwise they would have to be labeled as drugs and prescribed by medical professionals.
Professional skin care products that you get from an aesthetician or at a salon or spa (outside of a medical environment) are definitely more effective than something you’d get at the mall or drugstore, because they have higher concentrations of higher quality ingredients.? They can cause drastic improvements in the skin?s appearance, and are essential in maintaining the skin?s barrier and preventing premature aging and further damage.? But even these products won’t paralyze facial muscles, cause long-term plumping or filling in of lines, or magically remove loose, sagging skin.

Apothecary skin care can give beautiful results.

Both homemade apothecary skin care products and high quality commercial and professional products can certainly soften fine lines, help reduce puffiness, smooth out the skin?s texture, and treat conditions like acne, rosacea, or eczema.? However, many of the commercial and even many of the professional products on the market still contain parabens, sulfates, chemical sunscreens, and other potentially harmful ingredients.? I try to bring you the safer options in my Product Spotlights, but I encourage you always to educate yourself on ingredient safety and read your labels.
I have been learning quite a lot about apothecary skin care ingredients, and have experienced firsthand (Product Spotlight: The Celtic Complexion Beauty Society) that these ingredients can be as effective, if not more effective than conventional skin care products.? I have learned quite a lot about natural butter and beeswax bases, carrier oils, essential oils, herbs, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and gels.? These ingredients are wonderful at repairing and maintaining the skin’s natural barrier, which really is the first step in reaching any skin care goal.? Having a healthy barrier immediately improves the appearance of the skin.? Furthermore, some of these ingredients can treat skin issues, temporarily lighten age spots, fight free radicals, soften and smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and give a firmer appearance to the skin.


I have ordered many of these ingredients and have compiled several different recipes and am ready to start experimenting.? I will not be using any fresh fruits or vegetables or other fresh or raw food ingredients (besides honey), because they are much too prone to bacterial, viral, and fungal growth.? Many of the powdered herbs, butters, and essential oils naturally have self-preserving and antibacterial/antifungal properties.? Nothing I make will have crazy long shelf lives because I will not use any chemical preservatives. Since I will just make them in small batches as I need them, long shelf lives won’t be necessary.

A fun experiment?not a new skin care line.

I’m not doing this with the intention of formulating my own skin care line?I am looking at it as a fun learning experience to see what I can come up with.? If I come up with something really good, I will offer the recipe.? I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel?the reason I wouldn’t formulate my own skin care line is because I don’t feel like I am in the position to do so.? If I made some significant anti-aging discovery that would be different; but I’m not an explorer, botanist, doctor, marine biologist, chemist, etc. so really I would never be in the situation where a discovery like that would happen. Plus, I really feel that everything we need to have beautiful skin is already out there.
My main message is this: since many of the skin products out there give similar results that homemade apothecary skin care products do, why not try making some?? I cook most of my family?s meals from scratch because I want to know exactly what is in my food, so why wouldn’t I try that for my skin care products?

People spend small (and sometimes not so small fortunes) on products that are no more effective than something they could concoct in their kitchens for a fraction of the cost.? I am not by any means discounting professional skin care products, and safer over-the-counter alternatives, and I will certainly continue to bring you Product Spotlights; but I realize that good skin care products are simply not affordable to everybody.? In this instance, I would really rather see people make their own products with natural ingredients than go to the drugstore and put cheap, toxic chemicals on their faces.? It?s as simple as that.
So that’s my (one of my) new project(s).? I’m excited to start mixing things up, and plan to make it a fun activity with my kids.? I’ll keep you posted!
UPDATE: It turns out I make REALLY good apothecary skincare products. My clients think so too. And now I teach people how to make their own gorgeous, fully customized apothecary skincare products. Learn more at www.createyourskincare.com!

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2 thoughts on “Apothecary Skin Care vs. Conventional Skin Care”

  1. We are always on the same page even though we are 2 time zones apart! I have been mixing up some stuff for holiday gifts on a budget and I have to say I am looking forward to some exciting new adventures in 2013. Thank you for all your hard work and through information. You are a Rockstar!

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