The skin-aging effects of sun exposure are well known, but there are other hazards in the atmosphere that can harm the skin.

For example, we are continuously exposed to ground-level ozone, a chemical that Dr. Giuseppe Valachi, an expert on pollution’s effects, describes “as if designed specifically to injure our skin.” And ozone is only part of the story.

A recent study in China and Germany pointed towards air pollution as the cause of brown spots on the skin, reflective of science’s growing focus on how polluted air can accelerate the skin’s aging.

Toxic air has been linked to premature aging and worsening skin conditions such as eczema and hives. Fine particulate matter known as PM2.5 is many times smaller than the pores through which skin breathes, causing inflammation that accelerates the development of age spots and wrinkles. The Guardian

Sunscreens are not effective against air pollution, but there are steps we can take to protect our skin from it:

  • Cleansing – removing the accumulated harmful particles
  • Moisturizing – replenishing the skin’s moisture barrier
  • Protecting – using products rich in antioxidants to neutralize free radicals

Naturally, the quality of products you use can make all the difference. If your daily routine is based on clean beauty products, it is likely your skin is already well-protected from air pollution. But if not, then it may be time to make a change and give your skin a complete break from perfume, alcohol and other synthetic chemicals, while providing it with the support it needs to thrive in our often challenging environment.

“Environmental pollutants are pretty much inescapable, but these defensive measures can neutralize their effects”.

Read more about environmental threats to the skin and how to defend against them in this article in the New York Times.

One adult-acne sufferer found that her condition forced her to reassess her preconceived ideas about acne and facial beauty. The oft-heard reminder to not pick, or touch the face, when the face in question is showing eruptions was one taboo the sufferer learned was not necessarily good advice. Aryuvedic massage actually encourages those with skin outbreaks to not only touch the areas of concern, but also to massage them with therapeutic ingredients. The female sufferer in this instance also realized that another oft-used admonishment to keep away from using oils on the face was also not necessarily the best advice. Aryuvedic treatment advises the use of various oils, like almond oil and tea tree oil, both to calm agitated skin and to boost the skin’s immunity, so that it can fight off pathogens. Aryuvedic treatment also encourages sufferers to press the Marma points on the skin’s surface, which function the same way as acupuncture points do, that is they address highly specific points of the body and help both the body and mind to cope with various conditions. Besides the physical treatment of the condition, alternative and holistic treatments, like Aryuvedic treatments, can make sufferers aware that diet and emotion can also affect the skin. It’s important to develop compassion for the so-called blemishes one sees in one’s face and others, as they may be the skin’s way of showing inner agitation and turmoil.

Key Takeaways:

  • Oils get a bad rap in the beauty biz, as many oils are actually good for a healthy complexion.
  • For example, coconut oil and almond oil are good for calming agitated skin.
  • Oils like neem oil and tea tree oil support the immune function of the dermal layer, thereby guarding against unwanted pathogens.

“A facial abhyanga, or facial massage, is an easy way to give ourselves some love!”

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Our newest selection of products includes convenient miniatures of our most popular skincare items. We designed them to offer eco-conscious, travel and cost friendly options to our line. In her latest post, beauty writer Yasmine Duval of Peels, Masks and Scrubs Skincare Blog provides a thoughtful review of four of our Les Petites collection along with a detailed list of our ingredients and uses.

The Design

“The bottles are gorgeous, they are thick glass which has not broken even though I have dropped them many times! Just another lovely thing to add to the luxury of these products.”

The intention behind our refillable, frosted glass packaging was to provide a sustainable, luxurious experience. Every bottle can be refilled numerous times and even when you’re done the glass is easily recycled to reduce plastic waste.

The Products

Yasmine reviewed our Les Petite selection of Balm Supérieure, Toner Supérieure, Exfoliant Supérieure and Masque Supérieure. We were delighted to learn that the general consensus on every product was absolutely ‘lush’.

“My skin felt very smooth, brighter and clearer after I washed this off. Just a lovely mask, which I feel would be suitable for all types of skin. Loved it.” -Yasmine on our Masque Supérieure Petite

“This brand has flourished with their incredible skincare products which are extremely high quality, result delivering, and very luxurious. It’s been an absolute pleasure using the Les Petites, they are just gorgeous.”

We couldn’t be happier to know that Yasmine had such lovely things to say about our Les Petites collection. To read more of her thoughts on the line, check out the full review.

Here is an inspiring account of a woman who learned to set aside stories about her body that she had told herself since childhood. Her upbringing had left her with shame, reinforced every time she looked in the mirror. She realized she was looking at everyone else through the same distorted lens.

I loved and valued the people who had what I wanted. And I judged those who had qualities of mine that I didn’t like in myself.

Her life was totally conditioned by her hatred of what she did not like about her body. And yet she broke free. She learned to accept herself and was able to enter a world of love, able at last to enjoy authentic friendships – first and foremost with herself!

“When we change the stories we tell ourselves about our bodies, everything changes!”

Read her story here –


Some people do not believe in the use of oils for their skin care. However, studies are showing that they really should. Particular oils can be good for your skin in more ways than one. They can prevent wrinkles from forming, plump up fine lines to make them disappear from sight, and ensure that your complexion has a healthy glow. Oils can also be used for deep pore cleansing, avoiding the dryness that often accompanies conventional cleansers.

Key Takeaways:

  • Our body’s cells are comprised of fat, or lipids, about 50% worth, which means that they require more lipids to replenish themselves.
  • Our living bodies require living oils from nature, not synthetics, like petroleum jelly.
  • Healthy living oils come from trees, grasses, shrubs and annual and perennial plants.

“The importance of nourishing from the inside with living oils is matched by the benefits of massaging high-quality oils into our skin.”

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Botanical astringents are the best organic toner ingredients. They have been used safely for centuries to clear the complexion and give skin a smoother, more flawless look.

They are suitable for all skin types and will:

  • minimize pores
  • balance pH
  • soothe irritations
  • reduce breakouts

How Organic Toner Ingredients Work

Astringent Action. When an astringent is applied to the skin, the pores get smaller and the skin becomes smoother, giving a more polished look to the complexion. For best results, an astringent should be used every day, which is why it is important to use an organic toner that you can be sure is free from harmful chemicals.

pH Balancing. Along with minimizing pores, we also want to deeply cleanse them. Cleansers are often alkaline and can cause the skin to lose its protective, acidic mantle. That sets the stage for problems. The solution is to use a toner that is pH balanced so the skin’s acid mantle is restored after the deep cleansing has been done. Botanical extracts do the job very well.

Breakout Protection. When the pores have been minimized, they are less prone to clogging. In combination with balanced pH, this gives rise to healthier skin and reduced breakouts. And in addition to minimizing pores, the best organic toner ingredients will also deliver antiseptic benefits, building further protection from environmental stressors, and contributing further to reduced breakouts.

Soothing Irritation. Large pores are vulnerable to irritation. They can easily become inflamed, causing redness and blemishes that attract the wrong kind of attention. Botanical extracts such as rose water and cucumber extract have soothing properties which, in combination with mild astringency, can bring relief to troubled skin.

The Problem with Synthetic Ingredients

As scientists study the nature of plants, they find a seemingly endless array of complex chemicals.  As new beneficial chemicals are discovered, they seek to isolate them for use in manufactured products.  The result may be a cheaper product, with some of the benefits found in the plant, but it’s not necessarily the best for your skin.  I’m not a fan of synthetic pore minimizers. They often have a temporary tightening effect, giving the feeling they are closing the pores, but over time, the results I have seen are not good. It’s as though they cause the skin to become stretched so that it loses some of its elasticity and you can end up with a bigger problem than when you started.

Toner Ingredients for Different Skin Types

The organic toner ingredients listed below can be used safely on all skin types, provided they have not been preserved with alcohol. However, for dry sensitive skin it is best to blend the stronger astringents with milder ones to provide a more gentle treatment.

Some astringents, like alcohol, can be very drying, which seems helpful if you have oily skin that is breaking out. But repeated use of drying chemicals on oily skin can actually result in even greater output of oil, leaving you worse off than when you started. And if you have dry skin, alcohol is not a good option at all. So it is better to use alcohol-free toner ingredients.

The Best Organic Toner Ingredients

Hydrosols. Hydrosols, made from flowers and herbs, are ideal organic toner ingredients. A hydrosol is a byproduct of steam distillation process used to extract essential oils.  After the highly fragrant oil is extracted, lightly fragrant, astringent water – the hydrosol – remains. Hydrosols can have astringent properties that can cause a tingling sensation on your skin.  A little tingling is fine and it just means your skin is responding to the astringent nature of the product, but if the tingling persists for more than a few minutes, try a different product.

Witch Hazel. With a long history of use as a healing extract and beauty aid, witch hazel is a natural part of good skin care. Its high tannin content makes it a potent astringent, ideal for pore minimizing. Plus, it has antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial properties that can help reduce breakouts, and its soothing qualities can be used to decrease puffiness, particularly around the eyes. However, witch hazel extracts often contain a lot of alcohol. These are to be avoided in favor of alcohol-free extracts. If you have dry or sensitive skin, it is best to blend witch hazel with milder astringents.

Rose Water. Rose water is the gentlest of astringents. It blends well with witch hazel. Like other hydrosols, rose water has a slightly acid pH to restore the chemical balance of the skin and help it ward off breakouts. Of course, its scent is heavenly. You can take it anywhere!

Apple Cider Vinegar. Apple cider vinegar will minimize pores and protect the health of your skin. It will support a smoother, clearer complexion.  Its antiseptic and anti-fungal properties help to reduce breakouts. It is best to blend apple cider vinegar with other natural astringents to enhance their overall beautifying effect, and to provide a more refreshing overall scent.

Green Tea. Green tea is an anti-aging treasure chest. Antioxidants make up 25% of its dry weight. Green tea will clean the pores and improve skin tone. It helps make skin firmer and more elastic, and its antioxidant protection can slow the appearance of aging caused by sun exposure It is an astringent, too. Just what is needed in a facial toner.

Cucumber Extract. Ever wanted to be cool as one of these? You skin has – especially when it is swollen or inflamed. Cucumber is a mild astringent, better known for its soothing and cooling qualities. It relieves rashes, reduces swelling, cleanses and closes pores, and brightens the complexion. Perfect in combination with other astringents to minimize your pores and smooth your skin.

Calendula Extract. Calendula is a pore minimizer, anti-aging treatment, and skin beautifier, all in one. Its petals are colored by 19 different carotinoids, each of which is an antioxidant powerhouse. Calendula smooths fine lines, makes skin firmer, soothes dry skin, and reduces irritation – all while serving as a mild natural astringent to refine your pores. Your skin will love it.

Peppermint Extract. Peppermint is a gentle astringent, high in salicylic acid that clears dead cells and brightens the complexion.  It has anesthetic and disinfectant properties too, so peppermint will give your pores a soothing, deep cleanse while it improves your skin tone. And the scent of mint will refresh your skin whenever you use it.

Elderflower Extract. Elderflowers are mildly astringent. Their anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties can help to reduce breakouts, and their bioflavanoids can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and other signs of aging skin. Elderflowers are an ideal part of your daily skincare routine. They can be conveniently included in your organic toner.

Organic Toner Ingredients You Can Rely On

These ingredients have stood the test of time. They are at their best when they are used without fillers, alcohol or synthetic chemicals. They are safe and simple to use every day, no matter what your skin type.


People with clogged pores, particularly those with pores that have become enlarged due to oil and dirt, should know there are three specific steps to cleaning those pores and thereby allowing them to shrink back to size. Steaming is the first crucial step. Boil water and allow it to rest just long enough to have it be hot and steamy. Add a drop or two of essential oil and lean over. Five minutes is generally a good enough time for a steam, although 15 may be needed if the nose has clogged pores. With dirt and oil loosened by the steam and the skin super-heated and hydrated, it’s the perfect time to use an exfoliant. Massage it in and leave it for about 20 minutes. The final step is to rinse your face and dab on a toner with a cotton ball.

Key Takeaways:

  • To steam pores, you put a small towel over your face and lean over a bowl of hot water that also contains the essential oil of your choice.
  • Exfoliate your skin with a high mineral salt that will get deep into your pores.
  • Tab toner onto your face regularly to avoid future breakouts.

“Steaming is the best way to unclog pores and deeply cleanse them.”

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Large pores give the skin an uneven look and can easily become clogged, causing breakouts and worse. It is important to cleanse large pores deeply and to minimize them so they are less prone to clogging. Doing so will add a flawless look to the skin and keep the complexion healthy and clear.

Key Takeaways:

  • Start by leaning over a bowl of steaming water until your pores open and cleanse.
  • After the cleansing action of the steam, let your skin cool and then, using a cotton ball, dab on a facial toner.
  • Use a toner made with botanical astringents, such as Toner Supérieure, so that the pores are minimized, giving the skin a more flawless look.

“If you have large or clogged pores, these simple steps can make all the difference to the health and appearance of your skin.”

For decades major companies have been coming out with skincare products that promise a lot but deliver little, at a great cost. Unfortunately the focus has been on branding and not the quality of ingredients. The way we see it, Earth has been doing the research and development for millions of years.

It’s important to realize that many of the ingredients in skincare products can be very drying to skin and can actually cause harm. And while many companies claim to be cruelty-free, or natural or organic, the only way you can be sure these claims are true is if they are backed up with certification by qualified third parties.

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