Pretty Zen: Fresh and Pure Beauty Recipes with Jules Aron

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Tired of wondering exactly what went into her beauty products, holistic health and wellness coach Jules Aron decided to make her own. Whipping up a luxurious face mask using little more than honey, apricots, and coconut oil, and an acne-fighting toner with cooling cucumber and antioxidant-rich green tea, she knew without a doubt that no preservatives or toxic chemicals were used.  In Fresh & Pure: Organically Crafted Beauty Balms & Cleansers, Aron explains how to use fruit, flowers, herbs, and minerals to craft healthy beauty products that promote radiant skin, strong nails, and shiny hair. With this helpful guide, readers will be able to pamper themselves from head to toe with aromatic, forward-thinking potions. The companion book, Nourish & Glow: Naturally Beautifying Foods & Elixirs, focuses on how what we eat directly affects the appearance of our complexion and determines how we age.

Jules aron | author | wellness coach | Holistic Practitioner 
We know you best for your food recipes. When did you turn from clean eating to clean beauty?

I’ve always believed that what you put on your body should be held to the same standards as what you put in it.

When I was writing Zen and Tonic, my book on healthy-ish cocktails, I used to say, if you’re going to eat healthy, nutritious foods, your alcohol and mixers should be pure, high-quality products as well. No drink can ever rise above the quality of its ingredients, and no beauty product can either.

Why do you think people embrace clean food ingredients, but have been slower to move to natural beauty products? 

I think there’s a misconception out there that the personal care and beauty industry is highly-regulated. It can be hard to come to terms with the fact that the pricey night cream you’ve been using for years could be laden with toxic chemicals. And yet, commercial beauty brands in the US still use the hormone disrupting, cancer causing chemicals that the EU banned from cosmetics in 2003. To make things worse, companies freely use marketing terms such as “natural,” “pure,” “organic” and “healthy” on labels without recourse, making it more confusing than ever to make health-centric choices.

You have a background in Ayurvedic sciences and Chinese medicine. How have these practices influenced your beauty philosophy?

I’m deeply inspired by natural healing modalities, Eastern philosophies, integrative nutrition, and an overall holistic approach to wellbeing. Our plant world has bestowed on us an incredible array of fruits, herbs, seeds and flowers that have been used for generations for improved authentic beauty and well being. Whole foods and botanicals are nourishing, pampering, cleansing and balancing.

Living in a modern world, that promises youth and beauty with every jar, it’s easy to see how we’ve moved so far away from simple holistic practices. But it’s also easy to see, that we feel better when we rely on real food, spend lots of time outdoors and bring elements of nature into our daily life.

Part philosophy, part lifestyle, the Pretty Zen books, Nourish and Glow & Fresh and Pure are deeply rooted in finding, balancing and maintaining wholesome beauty in a modern world. My hope is that they inspire us to seek out better habits, refresh our outlook and reconnect with nature and our true beautiful selves.

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What is your day and night beauty routine like? 

Morning / I wake up every morning to 16 ounces of warm water with a large lemon squeezed into it. Sometimes I’ll add fresh ginger, fresh turmeric or cayenne pepper to the mix. This helps me flush out all the toxins and start fresh every morning.

Next I put one tablespoon of coconut oil mixed with a drop of peppermint essential oil in my mouth and swish and pull it through my teeth. You can start with a few minutes and build up to the recommended 15 – 20 minutes a day. The antibacterial properties of the oil clears bacteria, alleviates inflammation and helps strengthen teeth and gums.

While I’m oil pulling, I dry brush for several minutes using a natural bristle brush, working in gentle circular strokes, beginning at my feet moving upwards towards the heart. This helps exfoliate dead skin cells, improve circulation and stimulate lymphatic flow. I spit out the oil, take a cool shower and towel up for my face ritual.

Most commercial cleansers tend to strip the skin’s natural protective barrier, leaving my face feeling dry and tight. So I prefer to wash my face using a face oil instead. One of my absolute favorite oil infusions is a DIY made with hibiscus and rose hip oil. Rich in alpha-hydroxy acids and vitamin C (recipe in my book: Fresh and Pure), this potent, synergistic blend speeds up cell rejuvenation and stimulates collagen production while keeping my skin clean and nourished.

I heat up my oil-based cleanser in the palm of my hand before massaging into the skin and down my neck then take 2-3 minutes to massage the oil into my skin to stimulate circulation.  Next I mist with a botanical hydrosol.

Most days I don’t wear much makeup and will use a mineral sun protection as my moisturizer or a raspberry seed oil or carrot oil that have a natural SPF of 30 to 40 and add a few dabs of concealer wherever needed, a volumizing mascara on my eyes, and my own DIY rosy lip and cheek stain made with coconut oil, shea butter and beet powder.

On my hair, I’ll do a touch of Split End Healing Serum and a spritz of Hair Frizz Tamer Spray both from Fresh and Pure.

Then, I prepare a warm, nourishing elixir consisting of a variation of raw cacao, an adaptogenic mushroom powder, a homemade nut milk and coconut oil and I’m set for the day.

Evening / Even with minimal make-up, the skin picks up a lot of grime throughout the day, so in the evenings, I always double up on my oil cleanser.

Then, at least one hour before bedtime, I shut everything down, light some candles and incense and spend at least 20 minutes soaking in the tub with herbal salts.

I also make myself an evening elixir made with a homemade plant milk, coconut butter and the adaptogen, ashwagandha. This puts me in a peaceful, meditative state that helps me transition to bedtime.

Finally, just before sleep, I apply my Rose Oil Elixir. A potent antibacterial, its anti-inflammatory and tissue regenerating agents, make it the perfect night time restorative oil.

I also take the time to exfoliate and use a face mask 1-2 times a week. Exfoliation gives my skin a well-needed slough and is the easiest way to revitalize my complexion.

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Let’s talk staples. What are your top ingredients for someone who is building their beauty pantry? 

Here are my top 10 beauty pantry staples to get you started:

Aloe Vera / Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, moisturizing, and soothing. Reach for aloe vera gel’s cooling effects when you have a sunburn, or an itchy scalp.

Apple Cider Vinegar / Antimicrobial, antibacterial, anticeptic and pH balancing. The natural alpha hydroxy acids in apple cider vinegar work together to give your face a glow, enriching it with its enzymes, proteins, and good bacteria.

Avocado / The avocado’s omega 3 and omega 9 fatty acids hydrate and moisturize the skin while the plant nutrients, minerals and vitamins work to repair existing damage.

Base Oils / Vegetable oils made from the seed, nuts, or kernels of plants, filled with essential fatty acids, easily penetrate into the skin, facilitating the absorption of essential oils and herbal extracts through the skin when mixed into it.

Castile Soap / Plant derived, mild, biodegradable soap used as a base in shampoos, body washes and household cleaners.

Clay / Rich in minerals, clays are known for their ability to draw out oils, toxins and impurities. Used in masks and scrubs, they also tighten and tone skin.

Cocoa Butter / With an enchanting chocolate scent, and rich vitamin E content, cocoa butter improves skin elasticity and stimulates collagen production

Essential Oils / essentials oils are the concentrated vital essences of aromatic plants. These botanical distillations with healing properties penetrate pores deeply to nurture skin from the inside out.  More on essentials oils on p (xxx)

Lemon / Astringent, disinfecting and stimulating, lemon juice works to purge waste from your cells.

Vegetable Wax / Healing, moisturizing and skin protecting. Wax is a natural preservative and emulsifier used to thicken balms and salves to add a protective barrier that seals nourishing moisture in.

What is your favorite recipe for glowing skin? 

Vitamin C Love Serum (recipe below!) It helps boost your complexion and fight the signs of stress by increasing your skin’s circulation with this powerful serum. Using the Vitamin C rich lemon juice and the Amazonian wonder fruit, camu camu at its base, as well as the addition of aloe vera and glycerin makes this a powerful solution for radiant and refreshed skin.

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Vitamin C Love Serum

Makes 2 ½ ounces

INGREDIENTS

1 teaspoon camu-camu powder
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon warm distilled water
2 tablespoons aloe vera gel
1 tablespoon vegetable glycerin

DIRECTIONS

Mix the warm water and lemon juice in a small bowl and add the camu powder, allowing the powder to dissolve completely. Then, using a funnel, pour the mixture into a small glass bottle, adding the aloe vera gel and glycerin. Replace the lid and shake to combine the ingredients.

To use, smooth a small amount over your face, neck and chest. Allow to absorb into your skin. Store sealed in the refrigerator. Use within 1week for maximum freshness and potency.

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Finally, What do you love most about your body as it is right now? 

My legs, my intuition and my heart– all strong, supple and flexible.

Thank you, Jules! We can’t wait to build our beauty pantry and start trying your recipes.

Read our previous features with Jules: Vegan Cheese, Please and her Vegan Nacho Dip recipe. For more interviews, check out our Spotlight Interview Series


Jules Aron is also the author of  the bestselling Zen and Tonic: Savory and Fresh Cocktails for the Enlightened Drinker and Vegan Cheese, Simple, Delicious, Plant-Based Cheese Recipes. She is a highly sought out wellness expert, certified yoga, qigong & traditional Chinese medicine practitioner, and a certified holistic nutrition coach that has been featured in The NY Post, The Today Show, NBC NEWS, Thrive Magazine, Well + Good NYC, Mind Body Green and is a regular contributor to Woman’s World Magazine among other national media outlets. Connect with her here: website, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest

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