Heather’s Morning Skin And Hair Routine… Exposed!

Meet Heather, a working mom with two daughters (and sensitive skin), she still manages to make some DIY products. We love it! We’ve included her inception story below—thanks for sharing it, Heather!
I have been enjoying your series on morning routines and I wanted to throw mine into the mix.  My skin and haircare rituals have changed in the past couple of years, mainly because of your book!  I can’t even remember how I came across it, but I started reading No More Dirty Looks, on a Friday in 2011 and by Sunday evening I had looked up all my products on the EWG’s database, Skin Deep.  Horrified with what I found, I ended up tossing about 90% of them and decided to start over.  Shortly thereafter, I had a skin consultation with holistic esthetician and herbalist, Emma Graves, which totally rocked my world (insofar as a facial can be world altering).  My skin is sensitive and prone to rosacea, and she suggested I dispense with soap and moisturizer altogether.  Her company, Between You and The Moon, makes an organic grain facial cleanser, Sow Your Wild Oats  and a moisturizing oil called Nourish and Replenish that I love.  Soon, I started experimenting with making some of my own products and found it was easier than I thought (and fun, too!).   My youngest daughter also has very sensitive skin and we needed to find a lotion for her that was free of any chemical preservatives, so I found a simple recipe and now the whole family uses my Honey/Lemon Body Lotion.  I also make my own oat-almond cleanser and deodorant, too, and have documented my various experiments in kitchen cosmetics on my blog, Domaphile.

As a working mother with daughters aged 6 and 9, my morning routine is not very relaxing and is usually punctuated by packing lunches and trying to get them out the door to school.  On the weekends, I try to take a little more time and like to mix up face and hair treatments in the kitchen.  Sometimes my kids get into the act, too, but mostly they just think I’m weird for “putting all that gunk on my face!”

Name:  Heather

Age:  41

Hometown: New York City

Profession: Art Librarian and blogger at Domaphile.com

Weather: Snowmaggedon!

Skin: Fair and Sensitive. I have a bit of rosacea, which I control with diet and by using really mild products on my skin. Now that I am in my 40s, I am noticing some changes in my skin and am really glad I have discovered non-chemical ways to deal with them. I also think my daily smoothie habit has done wonders for my skin – you are what you eat, after all!

Hair: Dark, medium length. Straight and fine with very little body (sigh).

Star: Audrey Hepburn

In the shower…

Weekday mornings are a little crazy around here, trying to get everyone out the door, so I often do everything in a rush.  I only wash and dry my hair every three days or so and it totally throws a wrench into my morning, so I have to make sure the hair washing falls on a day when I don’t have to take my kids to school.   I’ve been experimenting with homemade shampoos, but I haven’t made anything I like as much as the John Master’s Zinc & Sage Shampoo with Conditioner, and I usually follow it up with the Rosemary & Peppermint Detangler, also by John Masters.  For the body, I use the Dr. Bronner’s bar soap – usually Baby Mild or Peppermint –  for both washing and shaving.

Outside the shower…

Once out of the shower, I wash my face. When I am out of Sow Your Wild Oats, I make my own basic face cleanser out of oat flour, almond meal and milk powder.  During the week, I mix it into a paste with a little water (or rosewater) and on the weekends, I make a simple mask with raw honey and plain yogurt.  I moisturize with a few drops of Nourish & Replenish oil mixed with a bit of water and I try to take a few extra moments to really massage the oil into my face.  I then move on to the deodorant and body lotion which I make myself.  Right now I am using a winter body cream that is a combination of coconut oil, almond oil and shea butter.  I’ve gotten a lot of inspiration and recipes from Crunchy Betty – she has a great e-book for making products for acne-prone and sensitive skin.

On the days I wash my hair, I towel dry it as much as possible and add a few drops of argan oil.  The thing I hate most is drying and styling my hair, but if I don’t I end up looking like Janice from the Electric Mayhem, which motivates me to pick up the hair dryer. My tresses are straight and fine, so I need to use some kind of product to give it a bit of extra body.  I have experimented with making my own hair gel using flax seeds, but it is a messy business that involves straining them through a nylon sock, so I have given up on that and use the Giovanni Volumizing Styling Gel instead. I generally use Tom’s to brush my teeth, but have lately been experimenting with making my own toothpaste using baking soda, coconut oil and peppermint stevia. Still working on that one.

Finishing touches…

I don’t wear a lot of makeup, but I love RMS “un-cover up” (thanks to your book), and I like Annette’s practice of mixing her tinted cover-up with John Master’s SPF 30, so I’m going to try that.  For my eyes, I use a tiny bit Josie Maran’s liquid liner and Dr. Hauschka’s mascara. I don’t wear shadow unless I am going out at night, and then use a basic palate from Josie Maran.  For lips, I just use the Burt’s Bees tinted gloss – my favorite color right now is Fig.  My entire makeup application routine takes less than five minutes.

I try to take off my makeup as soon as I get home from work in the evening.  I use olive oil or almond oil to remove my eye make up, wash my face with the oat powder or just some plain, raw honey. To moisturize, I use about 6 drops of BYATM oil mixed with a little water. If I have the time, I will try to wash and dry my hair at night so I don’t have to deal with it in the morning.

15 Responses to “Heather’s Morning Skin And Hair Routine… Exposed!”
  1. Tori says:

    BYATM is an awesome company, and Emma is wonderful. I had a facial with her during my first foray into clean beauty and it was lovely. That said, the products were not perfect for my skin. The grain cleanser was too abrasive and caused my sensitive skin to continuously breakout. I kept up with it for far too long, somewhere between 6-9 months hoping for change but no luck. Just goes to show that even beautiful products don’t necessarily work for everyone!

  2. Mercedes says:

    Thanks so much for your routine! I have daydreams of a career as a holistic esthetician/herbalist, and/or non-toxic/clean makeup artist a la Katey Denno over at The Beauty of it Is. So inspiring.

    I’m going to check out the Josie Maran e/s now. Sometimes I feel like her line is relatively greenwashed, but I do suppose it’s better than other mainstream lines. I do like her mascara, and I’m finished up her tinted moisturizer (but don’t think I’ll repurchase because of dimethicones etc).

  3. ingrid says:

    thanks for this great routine~
    i too feel like i am getting the start of rosacea. what are you doing diet wise to keep it at bay ??
    thanks heather !!

  4. Rebecca Bailey says:

    Great post. Love the DIY. I adored JM’s shampoo, but had to let it go when I went gluten free (the smell is amazing!).

  5. Lolly says:

    I’ve been dying to try an Emma Graves facial – the fact that she’s in Brooklyn only makes more appealing. Great to hear the great reviews, maybe it’ll finally make me bite the bullet.

  6. Silvy says:

    I love your blog! Bookmarked and errythang.

  7. Hi Ladies- Thanks for the feedback – and I love that some of you know Emma. She is a true gem and has taught me a lot – everyone should pay her a visit! I agree about Josie Maran’s products, but I do find that the eyeliner works so I’m going with it. As for the JM’s shampoo, I’m curious about the gluten issue. Do the wheat amino acids cause sensitivity?

    With the rosacea, I’ve found that using really mild products and avoiding the sun really helps. They say you should also give up caffeine, alcohol and spicy foods, too, but…. that just seems mean.

  8. Rebecca Bailey says:

    @Heather, people have different levels of reactivity, and some will react badly to wheat in topical products without even realizing what the problem is. Some have an obvious reaction like peeling lips when wearing lipstick that has gluten. Since eating wheat/gluten gives me severe gastrointestinal distress, and I have sensitive skin anyway, I have tried to eliminate all wheat products completely, even from cosmetics. I don’t know if the JM shampoo would cause me a problem, but I prefer to err on the side of caution.

  9. Naomi says:

    @Heather – awesome routine and especially grateful for your intro to Emma and the BYATM company. I don’t often indulge but love facials, and finding a recommendation for a good, clean facialist is awesome!

    @ingrid – I have recently suffered from moderate flare ups of rosacea (moderate according to what I’ve read, but quite severe in my own perspective, both from the pain / sensitivity as well as occasionally having to avoid mirrors altogether because the site of my skin makes me almost nauseus :( ) I use super duper mild products and as few of them as possible, the Evan Healy blue cleanser or the One Love Organics Skin Saviour 9as cleanser) have been wonderful, as well as the Evan Healy Pomegranate Serum and the EH Immortelle hydrosol. Like Heather I struggle to give up alcohol and coffee but the three biggest internal factors are to cut back on alcohol, really up my intake of green teas and juicing – remarkable difference!

    @Mercedes – I have recently looked at the Josie Maran line again and was very disappointed she seems to have become greenwashed – it started out as so natural and simple, now it would appear that the line is being commercialised and subsequently I guess it’s cheaper to add some of the toxins that we all seem to be trying to avoid. (I’ve noticed both Nude and REN seems to be moving in the same direction – seems that a good line becomes popular and then throws away a lot of what makes them such attractive natural lines, sneaking in The Bad Stuff to previously clean products – why does this happen?!?!?)

    @NMDL – loving the morning routines, so glad you are sticking with them as a regular feature! :)

  10. Emma B says:

    @ Ingrid
    I also have rosacea, and from what I’ve read people can have different triggers. Common triggers include sun exposure, hot or cold weather, alcohol, exercise, as well as different foods and skincare products. Cold is the biggest one for me, so I cover my cheeks ‘ninja style’ when I’m out in the bitter cold winter. Very gentle skincare and vitamin E oil are also really helping keep things under control for me. Just like Heather, I’m not willing to give up alcohol and spicy food.
    I think you would have to experiment to see what influences yours. Good luck!

  11. Jacqueline says:

    Great routine, DIY, and blog, Heather! I subscribed and look forward to future posts.

    Will also have to check out BYATM and Emma.

  12. Beth says:

    I love the Muppets.

  13. Cannot wait to discover/visit the BYATM site! Thank you for the wonderful post and introduction to your blog, Heather!

  14. Anna says:


    I struggled with very inflamed, red, broken out skin for about two years until I found DeVita skincare. Their products were miraculous for my skin. I don’t have rosacea, so I haven’t tried this particular product, but they make a serum targeted towards skin with rosacea and broken capillaries. I thought it might be worth a shot for you!


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