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4 Natural Alternatives to Antibacterial Ointment (And Why You Need Them)

natural alternatives to antibiotic ointmentWhen you’re a parent, there’s always something to worry about or lose sleep over. Always. And when you have a little daredevil like I do, it’s sometimes hard to know where the legit concerns end (no running with a fork in your hand, Kid) and helicopter parenting begins (“Wait, don’t climb up the ladder on the playground until I am behind you to break your fall!”).

But even if you put your best helicopter parenting skills to the test, at some point you’re probably going to need (or want) some kind of ointment or balm to soothe your babe’s boo-boos. But before you reach for the triple-antibiotic ointment — you know the one I mean, right?! — take a look at that ingredients list. Then put the box back on the shelf and back away slowly. But don’t worry. I worry enough for both of us (I promise!), and I’m here to help.

Here are three great reasons to trash that little tube of unnecessary ointment, and four natural alternatives to reach for instead.

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Beauty Obsession: Alki Organix


I’ve written extensively about the skin benefits of honey, here and elsewhere, and I’m a sucker for products with honey in them. In particular, I especially love facial products with honey, since the antiseptic and antibacterial qualities in honey are particularly effective against cystic acne. (Which I decidedly do not love.)

So I was excited to try a few of Shirley Makela’s products, created for her new company, Alki Organix. Shirley is a holistic health and nutritional coach, and like so many creators of natural and organic cosmetics, created her line out of a desire to find products that would soothe and nurture her sensitive skin.

The result is a product line with supremely natural ingredients, using really soothing ingredients like certified organic sunflower and virgin unrefined coconut oils, certified organic witch hazel, grape seed oil, mango butter, meadowfoam seed oil, and honey as a base. (And no water. Just pure, potent ingredients.) Read on for the scoop about her Manuka Honey Facial treatment (and a small bonus write-up on my favorites of her skin balms that I tried). —Aleigh

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Bee Lovely: A DIY Honey Facial Mask

I interviewed Julia Compton, the lead esthetician at the Ritz-Carlton Charlotte, for the latest issue of Charlotte Wedding. She shared her favorite at-home treatment for stressed-out skin: a DIY honey facial mask that’s especially good for combating breakouts.

I don’t know about you, but when I’m stressed, my skin definitely shows it. (And planning a wedding? Can definitely be a stress-fest at times.)

Luckily, Julia’s mask is super easy—all you need is a jar of fresh (preferably local) honey, warm water, a couple of bowls, and a towel. Get the details here.

Do you have a favorite DIY facial treatment? Please share! I’d love to try it. —Aleigh

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DIY Roundup: Honey Month

All month long we’ve been talking about liquid gold. Throughout September (national honey month) I’ve shared a few quick tips on how you can incorporate honey into your regular beauty routine, but I wanted to collect them all in one place so they’re easy to find when you’re in need of a little pampering.

One note: I recommend using pure, local honey in all of these recipes. Many times when you buy honey off the shelf in a grocery store, it’s been diluted (with corn syrup or something similar) or preservatives have been added. Neither of those things are good for your skin!

Banana-honey facial. Bananas are beneficial for oily or combination complexions, smoothing and nourishing your skin while purifying with antioxidants. To make: mash half of a small, ripe banana, mix with two tablespoons of pure honey and the juice of half a lemon. Apply to your face (avoiding eyes and nose) and leave for 15 minutes, rinse.

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Honey Month Spotlight: Melvita

It’s Honey Month for a few more days (I can hardly believe it’s nearly October!), and I wanted to introduce you to one of my favorite bee-lovely beauty brands: Melvita. Named for the words “honey” (mel) and “life” (vita) in Latin, Melvita is all about products made with ingredients that come from the hive, blended with other organic ingredients from nature.

Behind the brand: Founder Bernard Cheviliat is a beekeeper and biologist—which means he brings a scientific background to the products Melvita creates. Founded in 183, the company was one of the first companies in the world to earn the ECOCERT certificate for organic products.

The products: From Moisturizing Day Cream (formulated with royal jelly, chestnut and rosehip oil) to the Hydrastim Moisturizing Gel, which appears to be sold out at the moment, but combines aloe vera and the extract of an Amazon river plant called mourera fluviatilis with hyaluronic acid and other organic ingredients that keep your skin at its ideal moisturization level. Melvita’s products are made with ingredients that are responsibly harvested, packaged in recyclable materials and promote ethical, humane and fair-trade partnerships. The next product I’d like to try is their new Alum Spray Deodorant, made with alum crystal, rosehip oil, mint, orange and lemon. (Have you tried it? I need details!)

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