Desert Essence Gentle Nourishing Organic Cleanser Review

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Finding a skincare routine that works for your individual skin concerns can be daunting. When I was using chemical filled products, I had finally found the perfect regimen. Since I knew what worked well for me, I sought out natural products that might be similar to my former routine. I was using Clinique's Liquid Facial Soap so in looking for something similar, I stumbled upon Desert Essence Gentle Nourishing Organic Cleanser.

Desert Essence Gentle Nourishing Organic Cleanser

I found Desert Essence on drugstore.com for $14. The reviews were pretty good plus, I liked the ingredient list and that it was organic. EWG rates this as a 0 (low hazard), which is pretty darn good in my book. Here is a little more on what the label has to say:

Desert Essence Gentle Nourishing Organic Cleanser

This cleanser is particularly for dry and sensitive skin. I picked it up because I need something that was gentle on my skin but could remove makeup at the end of the day. I was using it in my routine every evening with my Clarisonic

Desert Essence Gentle Nourishing Organic Cleanser

I first noticed the light citrus smell. It wasn't overwhelming at all. It also lathered extremely well. After I rinsed it off I noticed it did an incredible job removing my makeup. This has probably been the best cleanser I have ever used for breaking down and removing makeup.

I also found it to be as gentle as it claims. I did not experience breakouts or other adverse side effects from using it. It was comparable to the Clinique I had been using.

Unfortunately, my cystic acne has not been responding well to natural products. I switched to a new line and have since stopped using Desert Essence. It wasn't their fault, as this isn't a product that's claiming to help with acne. Having said that, I think this is an excellent basic cleanser.

If you are someone who wants great makeup removal or just wants something simple and clean to wash with, I think you will enjoy this cleanser.


  • best product I have used for removing makeup
  • very gentle
  • clean product in terms of ingredients and how it rates
  • price is on point


  • doesn't help with cystic acne but the product doesn't claim to do so

xo, arielle

Affiliate links are in this post. If you click on an affiliate link and/or make a purchase I receive monetary compensation. For my full disclosure, click here.


Does this Pin Actually Work: Apple Cider Vinegar for Acne

Welcome to another Does this Pin Actually Work, where I put popular pins to the test.

This one is all about the Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) toner for acne. When I switched to natural products I was afraid of what it might do to my cystic acne. Unfortunately, it has been a bit of a roller coaster ride. After some trial and error (and a major flare up), I looked up DIY toners and found hundreds of pins for the ACV toner.

apple cider vinegar for acne

I read many accounts of it "curing" acne. I learned that ACV works by balancing the pH in your skin. Most people recommended to start out slowly with this by only using it once per day. I also heard of people going through a purging period after they started the ACV toner.

Most of the posts said to do a 1:2 ratio of raw unfiltered ACV to distilled or filtered water. From what I read, the type of ACV is important for this. You need to buy the raw unfiltered type with "the mother" in it for your toner. I found this one from Bragg at Target for $2-3.

I bought a small container and made my 1:2 ratio mix. Depending on your sensitivity level, you will want to modify this ratio. I had no problems with the 1:2. I applied the mixture to a cotton ball and swiped across my face every evening after cleansing.

My first reaction (as well as my husband's) was holy hell this smells awful. Due to this, I never became brave enough to use it in the morning. I was too afraid of smelling like it for hours.

In the first week, I noticed little pimples beginning to clear up. As for the cystic stuff, it didn't do a darn thing. I kept giving it a shot but it never really helped. I didn't go through a purging period or have any difficulties but it also never helped what I needed it to. I also noticed my skin was a bit dryer than I like, it wasn't terrible but I didn't care for it.

I have since stopped using this toner because I did not get the improvements I was hoping for. I can see how this may help someone who gets a few pimples here and there. I think it's worth trying for that type of skin but not for cystic acne.

As a side note, I did find that this mix was very useful for pH balancing armpits when you're switching to natural deodorants. I highly recommend it for this purpose.

Have your tried ACV toner? Did it work for you?

xo, arielle


Caribbean Cruise 2014

Last week, I took a 7 day cruise with my friend on the MSC Divina. We travelled to Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Mexico and the Bahamas.

MSC cruise lines was new to me but it was a very budget friendly option at booking. This was my 6th cruise, so it was hard not to compare them to other lines I have travelled with. I did not know this, but MSC is an Italian cruise line that caters mostly to Europeans. The cruise was far more laid back and a slowed down pace compared to Carnival or Royal. Their shows were top notch. This was by far the newest (first sailing in 2012) and nicest ship I have been on. I would certainly cruise with them again.

We spent the week relaxing by the infinity pool or by the beach. We also booked the dolphin excursion. It was something I had always wanted to do!

Ship's room

Ship's room

Ship's infinity pool

Montego Bay, Jamaica

Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman

Dolphinaris, Cozumel, Mexico

Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas

Have you cruised before? Who is your favorite line?

xo, arielle


Easy & Affordable Ways to Bring Nature into Your Beauty Routine

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Hello my fellow beauty enthusiasts! So nice to be able to join you guys on Arielle's blog today. My name is Carter and while I don't have a blog, I do have a brand spankin' new YouTube channel  where I make inner & outer beauty videos. I am highly intrigued and inspired by Arielle's switch to an all natural beauty routine which is why I decided to post about several "clean" products we can use for our beautification. 

Don't have time for the video? Here's a breakdown of everything mentioned:

1. Organic Apple Cider Vinegar: Make sure to get one with "the mother" (aka the weird, floating brown substance at the bottom of the bottle). The acidic nature makes it great for use as a toner, just make sure you dilute it an appropriate amount for your skin type. You can also use it as conditioner, to help with sunburn, as an odor neutralizer (potentially deo for the b.o? The vinegar-y smell is supposed to dissipate once dry). You can find more info about ACV right here.

2. Purified Water: Need I say more? Help hydrate your skin, rid your body of impurities, and FEEL better by getting plenty every day, especially while it's warm out. Another tip: warmer water opens the pores and cooler water closes them. Take advantage of that by starting with warm water when you cleanse and finishing with cool.

3. Lemons: They're refreshing, they're cleansing, super affordable, and good for you from the inside out. I don't know what more we could ask for! I mentioned in the video using organic sugar to create a scrub for the lips and face--incredibly easy, quick, and lets be honest, tasty! You can also drink lemon water--find more about the benefits of doing so here.

4. Coconut Oil: Again, another product that's great for you from the inside out! This is a healthy fat to cook with and it also has a multitude of beauty benefits: a moisturizer, makeup remover, hair treatment, and a plethora of other useful things (like making scrubs).

5. Aloe Vera: Since this is a plant, it is the gift that keeps giving...IF you can keep it alive. After doing all this research, I'm most excited about aloe. I MUST have some immediately. This is known to reduce inflammation and soothe; it's great for skin that's just been treated to a waxing or a shave. Aloe can also be used as a moisturizer and an acne treatment. It has salicylic acid which helps with cell turnover (move out dead cells!).

I forgot to mention number 6 in the video, but it's cornstarch! If you are highly committed to going 100% natural, make sure you get the one labeled "non-GMO". It's a pretty decent dry shampoo (I even manage to get a little volume). I like to toss it through my hair before bed so it absorbs excess oil throughout the night and some of the white tint fades, too. If you have darker hair, check out this really smart tip from Arielle for avoiding looking gray.

As promised, here's is a list of more natural items for creating your own beauty concoctions: 

And here is a link to my Organic Skin Care Recipes board on Pinterest, so you can start making your completely safe, healthy & clean beauty products today. HAVE FUN, beauty alchemists! And definitely post crazy-mask-face-selfies on Instagram!



Softlips Cube 5-in-1 Lip Care

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I’m obsessed with lip balm!  So when I first came across this Softlips Cube 5-in-1 Lip Care, I knew I had to have it!  This beauty is not only stylishly housed in a sleek, patent pending glass-like cube, but it is super functional.  It is uniquely formulated with lip perfecting technology to blend 5 lip loving benefits in one tiny cube! A few swipes of this lip balm and your lips will feel soft and hydrated as it’s formulated with shea butter.  They will be replenished with antioxidants and vitamins A, C & E to soothe and repair damaged skin.  Your lips will also be protected against the sun’s harmful rays as this beauty contains SPF 15.  Lastly, this little balm will add light-weight shine for a radiant finish! What more could you possibly ask for?!  Seriously, at under $3.50 a pop, you’ve got yourself a new BFF (best balm forever)!

Softlips Cube 5-in-1 Lip Care

Softlips Cube 5-in-1 Lip Care

Thank you Arielle for having me guest post today.  I love your blog and I’m honored to be here sharing one of my current favorite balms with your gorgeous readers!

This post was written by Carla of Fashion Maven Mommy. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Disclosure: Affiliate links are in this post. If you click on an affiliate link and/or make a purchase I receive monetary compensation. For my full disclosure, click here.

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