Three Natural Remedies for Acne — And The Scientific Reasons Why They Work

We’ve all been through a breakout cycle at one point or another.

It high school, it seemed like acne was something we had to deal with every day. But as many of us in our 20s, 30s and 40s know, the plague of pimples doesn’t end when you turn 18. There’s nothing worse than waking up for work one day and feeling an unfamiliar bump on the side of your chin or the tip of your nose.

Acne’s not only unsightly, it also leaves us with some unpleasant choices. We can leave our pimples as they are and wait for nature to take its course, but that means days of looking less than our best. Popping them can lean to even bigger issues, including infections, and using harsh chemical treatments can be painfully drying.

Luckily, it is possible to effectively treat acne using natural ingredients.

Here are three great formulas for doing just that (along with the explanations for why they work), from the book 500 Time-Tested Home Remedies and the Science Behind Them; Ease Aches, Pains, Ailments and More with Hundreds of Simple and Effective At Home Treatments, by Linda B. White, MD, along with Barbara H. Seeber and Barbara Brownell Grogan.


1.) Green Tea Wash

INGREDIENTS: 1 green tea bag

PREPARATION AND USE: Brew a cup or small bowl of green tea. Let cool to the touch. Apply to the affected area with a clean cloth.

YIELD: 1 application

HOW IT WORKS: Tea is astringent, antiinflammatory, and antibacterial. One study found that a 2 percent green tea lotion reduced acne.


Aloe vera photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

2.) Essential Oil Lotion

”I’ve had my kids apply these essential oils directly to acne. Aloe adds a soothing element.” ~Linda B. White, MD

2 drops pure tea tree or lavender essential oil
1 teaspoon (5 g) Aloe vera gel

Blend the tea tree essential oil with the aloe gel. Dot the mixture on blemishes using a cotton swab or clean finger.

1 application

HOW IT WORKS: Tea tree and lavender are both anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial. Lavender smells nicer and can be applied without dilution. Aloe vera is also anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial. In addition, it reduces discomfort and speeds healing. Topical applications of 5 percent tea tree oil gel have been proven as effective as benzoyl peroxide (Oxy-5) and other commercially available products.

3.) Essential Oil Face Spritzer
This is a soothing and reviving elixir.

½ cup (120 ml) witch hazel
½ cup (115 g) Aloe vera gel
20 drops lavender essential oil

Place the ingredients in a clean spray bottle and
shake until combined. Mist over your face.

1 week of twice daily applications

HOW IT WORKS: Witch hazel extract, which you can find in most drugstores, is an astringent. It can be used alone to gently clean the skin. It also tones the skin and decreases inflammation. This mixture stays good for one week.

500 Time Tested Home Remedies Look no further! From insect bites, insomnia, and upset stomach to nasal congestion, stress, and heart health, 500 Time-Tested Home Remedies is an authoritative and comprehensive guide offers easy, effective recipes to bolster your resistance to illness, ease aches and pains, and manage minor ailments naturally.

The authors explain the science behind these remedies, debunk common myths, and let you know when to call the doctor.

In addition, they provide a blueprint of wellness for you and your family. This book’s 500 recipes contain readily available, inexpensive, and safe ingredients–many that you will find within your cupboards or at the grocery store.

Linda B. White, M.D., holds B.S and M.S degrees from Stanford University and an M.D. from the University of California, San Diego. She is the co-author of The Herbal Drugstore and Kids, Herbs, and Health. She served as a medical advisor and contributor to The National Geographic Guide to Medicinal Herbs. Since 2004, Dr. White has been on faculty at Metropolitan State, Denver, in the Integrative Therapeutic Practices Program in the Health Professions Department.

National Geographic editor and award-winning feature writer Barbara H. Seeber is a 30-year veteran of the publishing world. As an editor for National Geographic Books, she helped launch a number of titles in National Geographic’s line of health books.

Barbara Brownell Grogan, former editor in chief at National Geographic Books, is also a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, in New York City. At National Geographic she grew the health line of publications, including Desk Reference to Nature’s Medicine, Body: The Complete Human, Brainworks, and Guide to Medicinal Herbs, and has worked with health and well-being experts including Joe and Terry Graedon, of The People’s Pharmacy, among others.


Does the Halloween Season Give You the Jitters? Use these Crystals to Calm Your Fears

Black cats crossing your path. Ghosts hung from lamp posts. Giant decorative spiders attached to the sides of houses. Full moons, cold wind and crunchy leaves. If you are the nervous type, there are plenty of things to give you the jitters during the Halloween season. And cold winds.

Author and new age healer Judy Hall is not only a calm and centered presence, she is also an expert on all things crystal, so naturally we turned to her handy how-to guide “The Encyclopedia of Crystals” to find something to calm our nerves during this time of goblins and ghouls.


JetCrystal system: Amorphous
Chemistry: Oxygenated hydrocarbon
Hardness: 0.2-2.5
Source: Worldwide, especially USA
Chakra: Base, heart
Number: 8
Zodiac Sign: Capricorn
Planet: Saturn
Beneficial for: Mood swings, depression, migraine, epilepsy, colds, glandular and lymphatic swellings, stomach pain, menstrual cramps

Electrically charged when rubbed, Jet has been looked on as a magical talisman against “entities of darkness” since the Stone Age, and is said to become part of the body of the wearer. In ancient Greece, worshipers of (the goddess) Cybele wore Jet to seek her favors, and in Britain, fisherman’s wives burned it to ensure their husbands’ protection.

It is said that those who are attracted to this stone are “old souls” with long experience of incarnation on earth. Jet promotes taking control of life, transmutes negative energy and alleviates unreasonable fears, guards against violence and illness, and gives protection during spiritual journeying. To stabilize finances and protect businesses, place in a cashbox or the wealth corner.

Jet cleanses the base chakra and stimulates kundalini, placed at the chest, directs kundalini toward the crown chakra.

BLUE QUARTZ (natural)

Crystal system: hexagonal
Chemistry: SiO2 Silicon dioxide with impurities
Hardness: 7
Source: Africa, England, Russia
Chakra: Throat
Number: 44
Beneficial for: Organs in upper body, detoxification, depression, bloodstream, throat, immune system, overstimulation, spleen, endocrine system

A master healer for any condition, multidimensional cellular memory healer, and efficient receptor for programming. If Blue Quartz is rutilated, it is said to restrain premature ejaculation.

In addition to carrying out the generic properties of quartz (see book for more info), Blue Quartz reaches out to others and inspires hope, calms the mind, assuages fear, and assists in understanding your spiritual nature during metamorphosis. Excellent for overcoming disorganization, it instills mental clarity and self discipline and fires creativity. Natural Blue Quartz way have Dumortierite, Aerinite, Rutile, or Indicolite included within it.

Note: Blue Quartz is a high vibration stone.

The Encyclopedia of Crystals

The Encyclopedia of Crystals

The ultimate guide to crystals gets even better in this new edition of The Encyclopedia of Crystals! International bestselling author Judy Hall presents a comprehensive guide to more than 400 powerful healing crystals, plus information about 150 newly discovered stones in this new edition of The Encyclopedia of Crystals. Beautifully illustrated and effortless to navigate, The Encyclopedia of Crystals, 2nd Edition is organized by crystal color for easy reference, relates the colors of the crystals to chakras, and lets you know how to cleanse and activate them. This book is also full of helpful authoritative advice on healing with crystals. This encyclopedia is an essential addition to the libraries of everyone working with crystals.

Judy Hall is a successful Mind Body Spirit author with dozens of books to her credit, including the best-selling Crystal Bible (volumes 1 and 2). She has been a past-life therapist and karmic astrologer for more than forty years. An internationally known author, psychic, healer, broadcaster, and workshop leader, her books have been translated into fifteen languages. She recently appeared on the Watkins Review list of the 100 most spiritually influential authors. A trained healer and counselor, Judy has been psychic all her life and has a wide experience of many systems of divination and natural healing methods. Judy has a bachelor of education degree in religious studies with an extensive knowledge of world religions and mythology and a master of arts in cultural astronomy and astrology at Bath Spa University. Her mentor was Christine Hartley (Dion Fortune’s metaphysical colleague and literary agent). She runs crystal, past life, and creative writing courses at her home in Dorset, England. Her specialties are past-life readings and regression, soul healing, reincarnation, astrology and psychology, divination, and crystal lore. Judy has conducted workshops around the world and has made 15 visits to Egypt, the subject of her novel Torn Clouds. Visit her website at

Your Meditation Mandala for the Day

Are you stressed? Tired? Take a deep breath and check out this meditation. Try printing and coloring this mandala and let your mind wander. Your brain needs a break. It’s perfect for the end of a long, fall day.



You can find more mandalas like this in Coloring Mandalas for Meditation by Armelle Troyon. There’s two hundred to choose from!




With the perfect shape, mandalas allow us to refocus. A mandala is a drawing organized around its center. It is a universal form that is often found in nature in things like flowers, spider webs, the solar system, or a human cell. Because of its shape and the way it is designed, mandalas allow your eye to rest in the center while taking in the beauty of the whole object. They help achieve brain balance by calling for the use of both brain hemispheres. Before you know if you’ll be thinking of nothing else but what color to use next. Complete with 200 mandalas in a variety of themes, you will soon be finding relaxation and clarity.

Ombré Your Nails for Halloween or the Holiday Season

Here’s a fun nail polish style that I’ve never seen before and it looks super easy to try. PLUS it’s cute, stylish, and different from any usual nail design.

It’s called the Ombré. You can switch up the colors for any season or holiday.

Keep these colors in mind for upcoming seasons:

  • black and orange for Halloween
  • red, brown, and orange for the fall and Thanksgiving season
  • blue and white for the winter season

Learn how to create this fresh style and other fun tips about nail designs from Glam Nail Studio by Amber-Elizabeth Stores.

- – -



The ombré trend is everywhere, from dip-dyed clothes to hair color, and now to your nails.


  • Base coat
  • Three to four polishes in different tints of the same color
  • Top coat
  • Makeup wedge sponge
  • Paper towel
  • Polish remover
  • Cotton swab

1) Apply base coat and let dry. Line the polishes up in order from lightest to darkest. Grab a make-up wedge sponge and lightly dampen it with water.


2) Take the lightest or darkest polish and apply a stripe of color along the thin end of the wedge. Alongside it, quickly apply a stripe of the next color in the line. Repeat with additional stripes from each polish color.

3) Dab the sponge on a paper towel a few times to blend the colors.

4) Line the tip of the wedge up with your free edge and firmly press it down on the nail plate like you’re stamping it on. Dab the sponge in the same spot a few times (but try not to move it around too much).ombre2

5) Repeat steps four through seven for each nail.

6) Clean up any excess polish on your skin with a cotton swab soaked in polish remover.

7) Let dry completely and apply top coat.ombre3

- – -

Try dozens of other nail designs from Glam Nail Studio by Amber-Elizabeth Stores.


Buy from an Online Retailer


Celebrity manicurist Amber Elizabeth Stores brings the salon straight to your living room in this graphic, information-packed guidebook, working from the inside out, Stores starts with research-supported advice on which foods to eat and products to use for optimal nail health. Next up she gives a basic introduction to the kinds of equipment you’ll want to have on hand, explaining how and why each tool is used. She’ll then delve into the vast world of nail polishes, illuminating the differences between base coats, ridge fillers, strengtheners, sealers, and more. Included in her polish tips is a unique guide to selecting the perfect colors based on your skin tone, style, and the season. Polishes are followed by a chapter on nail shapes—what they “say” and how to attain them. A chapter on the “Not-So-Basics” takes the salon experience to the next level, with tips for electric manicures, hot oil manicures, paraffin waxes, and more. The “Queen of Shellac” goes on to share her top secret tips for acrylics, gels, and myriad effects (marbling, dotting, fading color, glitter dust, to name a few) in the second to last chapter. The book’s grand finale is a collection of stunning, fashionable photography showing how artful and fashionable nails can be—and inspiring an infinite array of ideas in the reader.

Refresh Your Lips with this Fruity Exfoliating Scrub That You Can Make At Home

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Strawberry photo courtesy of Wikimedia commons

We all want to have soft, good-looking lips, right? But we all have to contend with a variety of factors that are constantly waging war against our lips.

From the cold winds of winter to bright sunny days at the beach to stuffy days in dry offices, it seems like the next bout of chapped lips is always just a moment away.

So what’s the solution? To load up on expensive cosmetics or chemical-based lip care products?

Shannon Buck has another way. In her book, “200 Natural Tips, Techniques and Recipes for Natural Beauty,” Buck provides some great recipes for making your own lip care products at home.

Her is her recipes for a fruiting exfoliating lip scrub.

Lip scrubs: These are thick and rich exfoliating and conditioning treatments for your lips. Made from rich butters and gentle scrubbing sugars and salts, they will leave your lips feeling smooth and looking healthy and bright. They can be used one or twice per week.

Fruity Lip Scrub
Makes approx. 1 ounce

This is a sweet, strawberry-scented scrub to polish and protect your lips.

  • 1⁄2 teaspoon beeswax
  • 2 teaspoons sweet almond oil
  • 1 teaspoon mango butter
  • 11⁄4 teaspoons finely ground freeze-dried
  • 2 teaspoons superfine or castor sugar
  • 40 drops vitamin E oil

Measure out the beeswax, sweet almond oil, and mango butter into a small glass measuring cup and place in a saucepan containing a few inches of simmering water until the beeswax and butter have fully melted.

2. Remove from the heat and quickly stir in the ground strawberries, sugar, and vitamin E oil. When the mixture starts to harden, simply spoon it into a
container with a lid to continue cooling to room temperature.

To use: Massage a small amount of the scrub over moistened lips to exfoliate.


200RecipesforNaturalBeautyMany of today’s beauty products contain harmful chemicals and other additives that most of us don’t even know about – and if we did, we wouldn’t use them–no more. With 200 Tips, Techniques, and Recipes for Natural Beauty you’ll learn all that you need to know to make your own organic beauty products. Create delightful lotions and potions in your own kitchen, using all-natural, holistic ingredients like herbs and flowers. Discover conditioning carrier oils, sumptuous butters, and aromatic floral extracts that will nourish you head to toe. Also, use some of the recipes for your overall health, including curative herbal extracts and therapeutically effective essential oils. With step-by-step photographs, clear instructions, and expert tips, each recipe is easy to follow. Give them as gifts or keep them for yourself. Regardless, you’ll never want to buy beauty products from the drug store again!

Shannon Buck is an Herbalist, natural-beauty expert, and author of the popular natural beauty blog, Fresh-Picked Beauty. She enjoys creating home-spun skincare and beauty products in her kitchen near Seattle, Washington and is currently training to become a Certified Aromatherapist.Read Shannon’s blog at

How to Keep Your Infant or Toddler Free of Cavities

The recipe for keeping older children free of cavities seems pretty clear —teach them to brush regularly, floss everyday and try to reduce the number of sugary foods that they eat.

But what about babies and toddlers? When is it time to start thinking about their teeth? How soon should they start to brush?

And what can parents do to promote good dental health from the moment the first tooth appears?

The answer to all these questions can be found in the book The Best Homemade Baby Food Recipes on the Planet, which in addition to being a delicious cookbook, is also an invaluable source for all things related to food and nutrition for young children.


A balanced diet is not only important to infants and toddlers’ general health, but also for their dental health. Baby and toddler tooth decay had until recently been blamed primarily on baby bottle tooth decay syndrome, cavities developed from allowing a child to drink from bottles of juice or milk while falling asleep, which can cause the liquid to pool in the mouth.

A broader viewpoint now includes the following other causes of tooth decay and methods of prevention:

  • Start early with good nutrition, eating habits and oral hygiene
  • Don’t dip pacifiers in sugar, honey or juice (Never give honey to a baby less than a year old under any circumstances)
  • Limit fruit juices to 1/2 cup (120 ml) daily
  • Do not offer juice or other sweet liquids in a bottle–only in a cup. If you must give your baby something to suck on at bedtime for comfort, use only water or a pacifier
  • Wipe your baby’s gums with a soft, wet washcloth to remove harmful bacteria
  • When your baby has a few teeth, either brush them with a soft bristle brush or wipe them off after meals with a wet piece of gauze
  • Pay an early visit to a pediatric dentist

Between six and twelve months of age, your baby will generally cut about eight teeth. These primary teeth are important for chewing food, speech and good appearance. Baby teeth also help reserve space in the jaws for permanent teeth—all significant reasons for keeping them healthy.

As soon as the teeth break through, clean them daily with a damp cloth, gauze pad, or soft baby brush. Use only fresh water, no toothpaste. Daily cleaning is essential, as this is the time when solids and juices are added to the diet.

Oral bacteria feed on sugar and starches that destroy tooth enamel and cause cavities. Foods that tend to cling to baby teeth include sugary food and high starch snacks, such as dried fruit, crackers, breadsticks and teething biscuits. Eating Cheddar, Monterey Jack, or Swiss cheese immediately after sugary and high starch foods may counteract some of the negative effects but not as thoroughly as cleaning the teeth.

If your water supply is not fluoridated and the natural fluoride content of your water is low, your pediatrician may prescribe a fluoride supplement around six months. By your baby’s first birthday, visit a pediatric dentist and ask for a demonstration and information on proper brushing techniques.

Toddlers are not developmentally ready to brush their teeth by themselves yet, but between eighteen months and two years, start teaching your toddler to spit out toothpaste. So long as it is not swallowed, use a pea-sized amount of fluoride on the toothbrush and guiding her hand, help her brush her teeth. Training toothpaste without fluoride, which is safe to swallow, is also available for toddlers.

Best Homemade Baby FoodThe Top of Its Class!

The Best Homemade Baby Food on the Planet was nominated for the 2012 International Association of Culinary Professionals annual Cookbook Awards competition. Considered the gold standard among cookbook awards and widely lauded as the most selective in the industry, the IACP has been presenting its cookbook awards for more than 25 years to promote quality and creativity in culinary writing and publishing. Past nominees include Julia Child, Mark Bittman, and Thomas Keller, among others.

Food Made with Love Is Food You Can Trust!

Preparing simple, homemade food in the comfort of your own kitchen is one of the greatest gifts you can give your little one. Not only does it allow you to nourish your child with the most pure and wholesome ingredients, but it also gives you the peace of mind of knowing what has gone into every bite your baby takes.

Full of recipes to suit every age and stage—from six months all the way to twenty-three months—The Best Homemade Baby Food on the Planet shows you how simple and easy it is to prepare food your baby will go absolutely ga-ga for. From quick purées like Mighty Tasty Blueberry and Pear Mash and No-Cook Prune Purée, to new and nourishing meals like Sweet Omelet Surprise and Finger-Lickin’ Good Lentils and Potato with Cheese, you’ll find it a breeze to prepare any and all of the recipes you and your little one fancy.

And to make things even more easy-peasy, you’ll find each recipe also contains:

  • Two methods for preparation—stovetop or microwave—herever applicable, so you can whip up recipes in whatever time you have. Many microwave options make it possible for meals to be made in less than 10 minutes.
  • An easy-to-spot snowflake icon on all recipes suitable for freezing, so you can make baby’s meals at your convenience, or in batches, to save time and money.
  • A complete nutritional analysis, so you can be sure you’re giving your child the best possible start.

Make your own super-delicious, super-nutritious homemade baby food today—it’s guaranteed to be the best thing that’s ever crossed the high chair!

Warm Up This Fall with a Creamy Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

Did you know that the best time to enjoy fresh winter squash, including butternut, is during its peak season from October through December?

Did you know that pepitas is another word for hulled pumpkin seeds?

Did you know that it is possible to feed your family, healthy, creative meals without driving yourself crazy in the process?

And that there’s a book that will help you do just that?

OK, OK, OK, those are a lot of questions. We didn’t mean to hit you with them all at once. But we are excited because a.) it is fall—prime apple and squash seasons b.) we love this new book from Michelle Dudash and c.) we have a chance to share this delicious recipe with you.

The following recipe comes from the book “Clean Living for Busy Families,” which is dietician Michelle Dudash’s guide to making creative, great tasting and healthy dishes for the whole family without spending every minute of the day on food.



This pretty soup has vibrant color and sweet creaminess and is sure to be a hit with your family. I’ve fed it to the pickiest children and they loved it. You can buy a single can of coconut milk or a carton if you can use it or want to freeze some.

  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) extra virgin olive oil1 carrot, thinly sliced (about 1 cup, or 130 g)
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup or 160 g)
  • 1 gala apple, peeled, thinly sliced (about 1 cup or 110 g)
  • 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced (about 2/3 cup or 67 g)
  • 1 small butternut squash, halved lengthwise, seeds scooped, peeled, cubed (about 5 cups or 700 g)
  • 3 1/2 cups (820 ml) organic or reduced sodium vegetable borth
  • 4 parsley stems
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper (or 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper)
  • 1 cup (235 ml) light coconut milk, not fat free, low fat OK
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) sherry vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
  • 1/4 cup (35g) roasted pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)

Heat a large pot over medium high heat and add oil. Add carrot, onion, apple and celery. Cook gently until tender, gradually reducing heat as needed to prevent browning, about 14 minutes. Add butternut squash, broth, parsley, bay leaf, salt and pepper, and cover and simmer for 30 minutes until squash is fork-tender. Add milk and vinegar and simmer an additional 5 minutes to reheat.

Remove soup from heat and discard bay leaf and parsley stems. Ladle half of the soup into the blender, cover, and gradually turn up to high speed for 30 seconds until smooth. Add more broth from the pot if mixture is too thick. Pour soup into another container and puree remaining soup (or pulse for a chunky consistency). Combine pureed soups in the pot and reheat if needed. Pour into serving bowls and garnish with pepitas. Chill leftovers up to five days.

TIP: To make peeling winter squash easier, prick thick skins a few times with a sharp fork and microwave 2 to 3 minutes.


Per Serving:

144 Calories
7 Grams Total Fat, 4 Grams Saturated Fat
4 Grams Protein
17 Grams Carbohydrate
3 Grams Dietary Fiber
0 mg Cholesterol

Clean Eating For Busy FamiliesAll moms know what a struggle it can be to get dinner on the table night after night—you want to prepare healthy meals for your family, but picky eaters, busy schedules, and way-too-long cooking times always seem to stand in your way.

Clean Eating for Busy Families takes the challenge out of putting delicious food on the family table on a nightly basis by providing you with a clear plan for dinner success. With streamlined weekly grocery lists, simple-yet-delicious recipes, and practical tips for healthy family eating, you’ll find it a cinch to trade in that uninspired takeout for wholesome meals that don’t just put your tummy to ease, but your mind too.

It’s Quick: From easy sautés and casseroles, to slow cooker meals, to pan-less grilling, all the recipes you’ll find inside list both mode and length of cooking time, so there’s no time wasted trying to figure out a time plan or what works best for your schedule. Plus, most recipes can be prepared in thirty minutes or less!

It’s Clean: The ever-growing “clean food” movement, which focuses on a healthy, whole foods-based approach to eating, lies at the foundation of this book, so you can be sure you’re feeding your family the very best. From wholesome ingredient lists to nutritional analysis on every recipe, you can feel confident that every meal you prepare is both nutrient-rich and calorie-conscious.

It’s Green: Featuring eco-friendly tips, along with information on how to go green while shopping and cooking, you’ll find it a cinch to keep your family and the planet happy. You’ll also find the peak season noted on every recipe, as well as substitutions for ingredients that are out of season, so you can adapt according to what works best for you.

And most importantly…it’s delicious! From Orange Peel Chicken & Broccoli Stir-fry with Brown Rice to Baja Fish Tacos with Pico de Gallo and Summer Berry Slump with Vanilla Greek Yogurt, you’ll enjoy night after night of delicious home cooking—without any of the hassle. Get started creating new and exciting dishes for your family today!