Tag Archives: dry skin

Benefits of Neem Oil for Skin

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Nubian Heritage. I was compensated and received a product to try. I fully stand behind this product, and the opinions are 100% my own.

Learn the amazing benefits of neem oil for skin, and how you can incorporate it into your routine with safe and natural products!

I first heard of neem being used in toothpastes, because it’s effective in reducing bacteria that cause cavities and decreasing plaque in the process. It’s only recently that I’ve heard of it being used in skin care products for a variety of benefits, and I was fascinated when I learned more about it and how amazing it is for so many skin issues!

What is Neem Oil?

Neem is an herb that’s been used for thousands of years in India for traditional remedies. Neem oil is extracted from the seeds of the neem tree, and has been used in medicine, skin care, hair care, and even pest control.

It’s contains powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal components, such as azadirachtin (natural insecticide), vitamins C and E,  carotenoids, linoleic acid, oleic acid, and nimbidin, which is known to have potent antihistamine and antiseptic properties.

Neem Oil for Skin Care

Benefits of Neem Oil for Skin

I was so amazed to find all the benefits that neem oil has on our skin health! It’s basically the unicorn of skincare, and is very popular in India in many of their products for this reason.

  1. Great for dry skin. Because neem oil contains vitamin E and also rich in healthy fatty acids, it’s great for healing cracked dry skin by penetrating into the skin. It also locks in moisture to smooth out the skin texture.
  2. Clears out acne. Neem oil is naturally anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial, so it’s great for removing bacteria from your skin and combatting acne. It also soothes redness and known to reduce acne scars as well! I also love that it won’t dry out the skin like other products that target acne
  3. Combats wrinkles. Did you know that neem also promotes collagen production, which is amazing for anti-aging? It’s also rich in vitamin E, which reduces free radicals in the skin to reverse damages and keep your skin supple. Don’t mind me while I bathe myself in neem oil.
  4. Evens out skin tone. As someone who struggles with uneven skin pigmentation, I love this one! Hyperpigmentation of the skin can happen with the overproduction of melanin, and neem oil balances out the melanin secretion to lighten up dark spots. It’s especially great for spot treatment!
  5. Reduce inflammation for eczema. Neem has been known to reduce redness and inflammation for eczema and relieve dry itchy skin. It’s an effective emollient, which prevents loss of moisture and helps build a protective layer over the skin.
  6. Nature’s insecticide. One of the ingredients in neem is azadirachtin, a powerful and natural pest and insect repellant. I usually like to avoid any kind of commercial bug repellants because they are so full of harmful chemicals, so I’m excited to add a neem based product the next time I’m hiking or camping!

Nubian Heritage Skin Care

Neem Oil for Skin Care

After learning about all the benefits of neem oil, one of the safe and toxin free skin care products I found that contained it was Nubian Heritage‘s Indian Hemp Haitian Vetiver line. It’s a new-to-me brand that uses ingredients and methods inspired by ancient rituals passed through communal wisdom. How cool is that? And best of all, they focus on culturally authentic ingredients which are ethically sourced and safe for the skin.

So far, I’ve been using the body wash, body lotion, and deodorant, and I’ve been loving them! They smell amazing from a combination of essential oils and no harsh fragrances, and they’ve been really gentle on the skin.

I especially love the body wash, because it lathers easily but leaves my skin really hydrated, and using the lotion afterwards really gives my skin an extra layer of moisture all day. The aluminum-free deodorant kept me smelling fresh for 12 hours straight on a hot summer day, and a little goes a long way without staining any of my clothes! I’ve been using these products for 2 weeks now with no complaints.

Along with neem oil, Indian Hemp Haitian Vetiver line uses hemp oil, which is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids for that added anti-inflammatory benefit. I just love how soothing these products are, and more importantly, they contain clean and safe ingredients that are organic and fair trade!

Neem Oil for Skin Care

You can order these products through Nubian Heritage’s website, but I’ve also found them at my local natural grocers like Sprouts and Whole Foods. If you are looking to clean up your skincare routine of all the toxic goop found in conventional products, I highly recommend you try them out!

How My Skin Changed Dramatically with Beautycounter’s Overnight Resurfacing Peel

Learn all about Beautycounter’s Overnight Resurfacing Peel and the amazing results I gained from using it for a month (includes before and after photos)!

Holy moly, guys. I don’t usually write reviews on a single product but I’m honestly floored by the results I got from Beautycounter’s new Overnight Resurfacing Peel. It’s a gentle and safe peel that’s made with 15 botanically-derived acids (from plants!) to smooth the texture and reduce the appearance of pores and dark spots.

My Skin Type

I have dark and chronic dry skin that easily scars with acne and too much sun, and I’ve always had uneven skin tone that would worsen with stress or lack of sleep. My past teenage years and early 20s of sunbathing without sunscreen and frequenting tanning beds definitely have taken a toll on my skin.

Additionally, I have really dark and big pores, especially around my nose (with frequent blackheads) that I always hated and try to cover up with a concealer. Truthfully, I never really felt comfortable without some kind of makeup to cover up my blemishes and dark spots.

I’ve tried a bunch of methods to improve my skin texture in the past, from facials to chemical peels, and they would work for a little while then my skin would go back to how it was before: dry, uneven in color, and dead looking without the dewy glow that I was striving for.

My Initial Doubts

So when I first heard about the Overnight Resurfacing Peel, I was a bit skeptical, especially coming from a company that only uses safer ingredients. How powerful can this product be? I’m always a bit slow to try out new products, especially when there’s a huge hype about it, thinking that it’s just a fad that’ll pass.

However, I kept hearing and seeing rave reviews with almost a cult-like following from social media and my fellow bloggers, and I decided to give it a full month to try it out.

How I Use the Peel

Overnight Resurfacing Peel

After reading the directions for the Overnight Resurfacing Peel, I decided to use it for 3 nights a week: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

  1. I began by using the Cleansing Balm to remove my face of all makeup and give it a deep clean.
  2. Then, I would apply the peel in a thin layer (only 1-2 pumps) and wait 5 minutes for it to absorb.
  3. Lastly, I followed each time with Countermatch Recovery Sleeping Cream, which gave my skin plenty of hydration and recovery while it “healed” after the peel each night.

The Results

The good part! I actually saw my skin glow the morning after the first time I used it which made me so excited. However, I know it’s difficult to see changes over a long period of time so I decided to take a before and after photo to see if there will really be a dramatic difference.

And guys? I almost cried happy tears after seeing these photos:

Beautycounter's Overnight Resurfacing Peel

These photos were taken only a month apart with ZERO MAKEUP, except for my lash extensions. And I promise, there’s NO FILTER or any kind of editing done. The lighting may slightly affect the appearance (I moved to a new house between these 2 photos so I couldn’t photograph at the same exact spot), but you can visibly see how much my skin has improved in just a month.

Some huge differences to note:

  • My skin tone is so much more even in the second photo.
  • You can see how much my pores have reduced and are less visible, especially on and around my nose area.
  • The acne scars on my chin are dramatically reduced.
  • Can you tell how much the texture of my skin improved? SO MUCH SMOOTHER.

There’s no doubt I will continuously use this product for further improvements. And the best part? I haven’t felt this great in my skin in a while. I’ve even been going makeup free recently because I feel so confident about my skin, which hasn’t been true for a very long time.


As with anything that promises this great of a result, I know I’ll get several questions about this product so I’m going to answer several of them here. If you have any more that I didn’t answer below, leave me a comment below!

What is in the Overnight Resurfacing Peel?

There are 15 acids derived from plants, including resurfacing acids, which gently remove the top layer of your skin. This layer is typically the most damaged with dead cells (making our skin look gray with more pigmentation and finer lines), and are the most stubborn to come off.  There are also soothing and hydrating acids in the peel so your skin doesn’t dry out while using the peel, which is necessary for someone with dry skin like me.

Major key ingredients and their benefits:

  • Glycolic acid: improves skin texture, resurfaces, exfoliates
  • Lactic acid: stimulates cell renewal promoting smoother, brighter, younger-looking skin
  • Malic acid: decreases the appearance of fine lines
  • Citric Acid: evens skin tone and reduces the appearance of dark spots
  • Hyaluronic acid: hydrates skin and helps it retain moisture
  • Fatty acids: including omegas 3 & 6, maintain skin’s barrier to prevent moisture loss, smooth skin, and provide antioxidant benefits

Most peel products only have one or just a few acids in them, but with 15 in the Overnight Resurfacing Peel that work together to deliver the best results, you’ll be amazed at how quickly your skin sees improvement!

How do I use it?

You’ll want to use this peel at night 3 times a week after you cleansed your face of makeup and oil. You then add 1-2 pumps to your hand and gently apply a thin layer to your face and neck, then wait 4-5 minutes for it to absorb into your skin. You then follow up with a nourishing and hydrating cream moisturizer, such as the Rejuvenating Night Cream or the Countermatch Recovery Sleeping Cream (my personal favorite!).

This isn’t a product you have to wash off until the next morning. Make sure to use it at night because it works best while you are sleeping. You also don’t want the acids to react with UV rays, which can damage the skin.

Does it burn?

No, this is not a typical chemical peel. It’s very gentle on the skin while being extremely effective. It may tingle slightly when you put it on, but this shouldn’t last long.

For me, it tingled the very first time I used it, but I haven’t felt that ever since.

How long is the recovery time?

There’s no recovery time! This is a no-peel peel. The acids gently exfoliate the skin to slough off the top layer of skin without being visible.

I remember being on a house arrest for a week after getting a chemical peel done and I’m so happy I don’t have to deal with that again. It works even better than the harsh peels that I used to do without the pain which makes me so dang excited and happy.

Will it dry out my skin?

I have chronic dry skin and I haven’t found that it does for me. It contains hydrating acids to combat the dryness, and the nourishing creams you use afterwards also helps your skin lock in the moisture. I think it may dry out your skin if you use it more than 3 times aweek, and if you don’t moisturize afterwards.

In the long run, you’ll find that your skin is much more dewy and hydrated after using the peel for a while because moisturizers will penetrate better into the skin and you’ll have better cell turnover. My skin has seriously changed after using this and I don’t think I can even say that I have dry skin anymore.

Do I need to use sunscreen while using it?

Yes, I highly recommend you do. The peel makes your skin more sensitive to UV rays so I use a sunscreen everyday. I love the Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Stick because it’s safe and so easy to use daily.

What skin issues is it good for?

Almost everyone can benefit from this peel, but it’s especially great for:

  • acne scars
  • dark spots
  • uneven pigmentation
  • large pores and blackheads
  • fine lines and wrinkes

Can you use it with rosacea or eczema?

Yes! Because it’s so gentle, people with these skin issues actually found improvements in their skin after using it. The peel contains raspberry oil which is extremely soothing and great for reducing inflammation.

I do recommend you use a hydrating night cream afterwards if you suffer from rosacea or eczema, like the Rejuvenating Night Cream or the Countermatch Recovery Sleeping Cream.

Is it safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women?

Yes, but I would talk to your ob-gyn to see how they feel about it. All Beautycounter products have been thoroughly tested and ensure safety, but it’s always better to double check with a professional during more sensitive times.

I would also do a spot test before putting it on your skin. Just put a little bit behind the ears then sleep with it on. A little bit of pink and tingling is fine, but if you begin to see some swelling, I would stay away from using it for the time being.

Who shouldn’t use the Overnight Resurfacing Peel?

  • Anyone with a super sensitive skin. I would first do a spot test that I mentioned in the answer to the previous question. However, many people who do have sensitive skin have reported that they are able to use the peel with no issues.
  • Anyone with sunburns or cuts
  • Anyone who’s done a professional chemical peel recently. I would wait full 60 days before using this peel.
  • Anyone currently using exfoliating or harsher products that are prescribed by a dermatologist. Talk to your dermatologist first before using it.

Is it vegan?

Sure is.

How long does a bottle last?

Depending how often you use it and how much (some people also use it on their hands and their shoulders to reduce dark spots), it should last about 3-6 months.

Overnight Resurfacing Peel

How much is it?

$58 per bottle, which is AN AMAZING DEAL compared to what you would spend on professional peels. I used to spend hundreds of dollars on glycolic acid peels and I can tell you the Overnight Resurfacing Peel works way better without me having to hide my face for a week every time I do it!

Have any more questions? Leave me a comment below.

If you are ready to try it out yourself, click on the link below. And if the peel doesn’t perform the way you hoped it would, Beautycounter has an amazing return policy: Even if you opened the packaging, you can return the unused portion within 60 days from the ship date!

Click here to buy the
Overnight Resurfacing Peel

Also, if you want to save on Beautycounter product purchases, you can join the Band of Beauty membership which is $29/year, and you’ll get awesome perks like:

  • Free ground shipping on all orders over $100
  • 15% BACK IN PRODUCT CREDIT on all orders for a year. For example, a product order of $100 will earn you $15 to spend on your next order (and gets you free shipping)!
  • Exclusive members-only offers delivered directly to your inbox throughout the year
  • A welcome gift when you spend $50+

Many times, the welcome gift is worth more than the $29 membership fee itself, so it’s totally worth joining because you end up getting your money back with the free gift! JOIN HERE.

Want More Safer Skincare?

Make sure to join my Safer Skincare Facebook group, for deals, discounts, video tutorials, and more education around why I choose safer skincare. I also send out free samples occasionally so COME JOIN IN ON THE FUN!

Lastly, I’m also sending a free gift to my Safer Skincare mailing list subscribers the first time they shop Beatycounter with me so make sure to sign up. I send out occasional emails about updates and news worth sharing, so don’t miss out! SIGN UP FOR THE SAFER SKINCARE NEWSLETTER.

6 Ways to Avoid Dry Winter Skin

6 Ways To Avoid Dry Winter Skin

Cooler, drier weather is in full swing! While the San Francisco Bay Area gets more humid during the winter seasons, I know the opposite is true for the rest of the country. I grew up with sensitive, dry skin that would flake every Fall and Winter (I was so self-conscious!), so I know how annoying and frustrating it can be. It’s especially bad when you have dark skin like me.

Over the years, I made changes in my nutrition and my skin care routine, and both of these have contributed greatly in improving my skin tone an getting rid of flaky dry skin. It was actually a happy coincidence from these positive changes that I noticed this result and it amazed me how much my health can affect the integrity of my skin. Makes sense though! Our skin is an organ (our largest one!) so when we improve our health, of course our entire system will improve their function as well.

Here are 6 ways you can avoid dry skin during this winter season:

1. Load up on healthy fats.

While the humidity and the weather definitely affects your skin, your internal factors play a huge role as well. Dry skin is a classic sign that your body is deficient in fats. This could be due to two factors: 1) You aren’t eating enough healthy fats, or 2) your body isn’t able to properly digest the fats that you are consuming.

Omega-3 fatty acids are one of the main contributors that keep your skin supple and moisturized from inside out. It keeps the skin from drying out and it’s also anti-inflammatory, assisting in the healing process of irritated skin.

So what should you eat? Load up on wild-caught, deep-sea fish like salmon, sardines, cod, anchovies, and sea bass. Grass fed meats have a good ratio of Omega-3 fats as well, and nuts and avocados also have loads of healthy fats that benefit your skin. When cooking, use healthy nourishing fats like coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, butter, ghee, and animal fats.

If you are having trouble digesting fats, beets and bitters stimulate bile formation, which help us break down the fat in our food. If you would rather supplement, this ox bile can be a great addition to your meals that also helps you feel less bloated.

2. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables rich with nutrients

Carotenoids give fresh produce their deep, bold-colors, and these nutrients, combined with the active form of vitamin A found in these foods, keep our skin young and supple. Carotenoids keep the skin from aging, forming wrinkles, and drying out. Converted vitamin A is especially beneficial for preventing loss of skin’s moisture and it acts as a powerful antioxidant that replenishes nutrients in skin and promotes collagen production. Not only that, fresh produce hold a lot of water, helping to hydrate us internally.

Ideally, choose fruits and veggies that are locally grown and organic, and try to consume a wide variety. I especially love to concentrate on and try out different types of dark leafy greens every time I’m at the farmers market.

3. Avoid sugar and processed foods

High sugar consumption, processed packaged foods, and hydrogenated oils are probably the main source of dehydration in our body and our skin. These foods do the opposite of what fresh fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats do, accelerating the age of our skin and causing wrinkles and acne.

I can definitely tell when I’ve had too much sugar when I wake up with pimples or my skin just looks a bit patchy and grayish. My eyes are even dry after a high sugar meal! When your blood sugar rises above the normal range, the body loses fluid fast and causes poor circulation which can even contribute to itchy skin.

If your gut is also compromised by a high sugar diet and you have yeast overgrowth like candida, this can definitely cause dry skin issues, along with rashes, athletes foot, and itchiness. Always eat a whole food diet, and avoid processed sugars and packaged foods, and you’ll find great improvements in your skin. If you don’t know where to start, my RESTART sugar detox program will guide you on how to start a healthy and nourishing diet.

4. Moisturize with safe, toxin-free products

Using products with less-than-ideal ingredients like toxic chemicals, parabens, and hormone disruptors actually do more harm than good to not only your skin, but to your internal organs as well. Our skin care products contribute greatly to the toxic overload that all of us face in the modern world. Ignore the clever marketing by the skin care companies and check all products you are thinking of using on EWG’s Skin Deep to find out how much toxins they contain.

Olive oil and coconut oil are great, natural sources for moisturizing the skin. My Homemade Body Butter contain both of these ingredients and it’s so moisturizing and hydrating for the skin.

Don’t feel like making your own? These are some of my favorite Beautycounter products that have made a huge difference on my dry skin:

Cleansing Balm

Beautycounter Cleansing Balm

I use this balm to oil cleanse (learn more about oil cleansing HERE) and it hydrates and takes off my make up at the same time. I really love how luxurious and moisturizing it feels on my skin.

Rejuvenating Day Cream

Beautycounter Rejuvenating Day Cream

I use this in the morning after I wash my face. Not only does it smell amazing, it contains omega-rich natural oils and vitamin-rich fruit extracts that hydrates and brightens skin. It also has anti-wrinkle properties and my skin definitely feels more nourished after applying this cream.

Hydrating Face Oil

Beautycounter Hydrating Face Oil

I think this might be my current favorite Beautycounter product. It’s so luxurious and silky on the skin, without feeling greasy. I use about 4 drops each night and it’s plenty to make a huge difference in how my skin feels in the morning. So hydrating!


5. Humidify

And I mean this both internally and externally. As the weather gets drier, it becomes even more important to drink plenty of water. Remember: your skin health reflects your inner health. You need to keep hydrated so your skin can also retain plenty of moisture. How much water is enough? Your daily intake should roughly be: The number that you get when you divide your body weight in lbs in half, that number in ounces is how much you should be drinking each day. For example, a 140-lb person should drink 70 ounces of water daily.

This time of the year is also a great time to invest in a humidifier. Low humidity level not only results in dry skin, but this is also the reason why we get sick so easily in the winter time. It’s great to keep it on throughout the day, but especially important to leave it on at night in the bedroom so your body can heal and detox properly while you sleep.

6. Exfoliate

If your skin is already dry and peeling, exfoliation can be extremely helpful. I love using my homemade coconut coffee body scrub on my body in the shower, because it really helps my skin feel smooth and moist.

However, I don’t recommend physical abrasive exfoliation for everyone on the face where it’s a bit more sensitive. Instead, you can gently exfoliate by using raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar as a toner after you wash your face or use activated charcoal mask. If your skin can handle some more physical exfoliation, Beautycounter’s Nourishing Cream Exfoliator is also a great option.

Dry skin is not just an isolated external issue. You have to heal your body from the inside out with proper nutrition, sleep, and stress management to hydrate and moisturize your skin. Skin care products and other external remedies are supplemental factors that can also help minimize dry, flaky skin in the winter (or any time of the year!). If you have dry skin, you are probably dehydrated or deficient in nutrients. With small changes in your diet and lifestyle, you can make a huge difference on your skin, and soon, you’ll look more beautiful and radiant!

What Great Grandma Ate / Jean Choi is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
Regarding other affiliate links and affiliate relationships: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and understanding.

6 Ways To Avoid Dry Winter Skin