August 28, 2018

Basswood Naturals - Handmade with Love - 100% organic and 100% natural skincare

The secret to happy skin? Inner Joy!

In my recent search for "Clean Beauty," I've discovered a new place to be inspired by natural skin care and cosmetics - the Etsy community! Similar to engaging with the hard working farmer who grows the vegetables that we eat by visiting a local farmer's market, supporting small businesses and local artisans on Etsy and getting to know the person behind my skin care routine has enriched my experience and joy of clean beauty.

I've been working together with Madalyn McArthur, the owner and artisan of Basswood Naturals to take care of my skin these past few months. At her Etsy store you'll find herbal infused skin care products using high quality, all-organic ingredients to gently cleanse, nourish, and hydrate the skin with no questionable ingredients like artificial fragrance and parabens in sight. A young mother with a love for natural skin care, Madelyn carefully hand crafts each small, made-to-order batch and works with every customer to customize for your skin's needs!

Luminescent Clay - Facial Cleansing Grains

A wonderful companion for your bi-weekly pampering session, the Luminescent Clay is an organic and natural exfoliator to gently remove the top layer of dead skin on your epidermis and to unlodge pesky dirt and environmental impurities from your pores. [Sounds romantic right? hehe] Manual exfoliants can help in preventing oil blockage, lessening the outbreak of pimples, and prepping the face thoroughly for a more effective hydrating treatment afterwards. A critical step - not to be missed - in your skin care routine.

My favorite way to use this jar of "cleansing grains" has been as a mask. The herbal ingredients (chamomile, lavender, calendula) work together to soothe and calm my skin and also as an antiseptic to gently disinfect and tone without the use of harsh chemicals or alcohol.

I mix an equal part of the grains with honey to form a paste - about 3 teaspoons each - and spread it all over my face, avoiding the eye area. I'll usually leave this mask on for 15-20min while cozying down to read a book while sipping on herbal tea. When it's time to wash the mask off, I'll add water to sections of my face at a time [right cheek - left cheek - chin - then forehead], lightly rubbing the grains in a circular motion into the skin for a gentle exfoliation.

Ingredients: kaolin clay, poppy seeds, oatmeal, lavender, chamomile, calendula, and almond meal

Like with any granular cleanser, please use a tender touch as you exfoliate. Less is definitely more in this case. The first time I used these cleansing grains - I got a little scrub happy around my nose area and ended up with a red, irritated one. Oops!

Also, Madalyn, the wonderful artist that she is, has layered all the ingredients in such a pretty gradient of textures and colors. Which means, that before you can use these grains as a mask and.or a cleanser, the layers have to be mixed together. I didn't realize this at first and ended up masking with only the top layer, ground oatmeal, on my first night - wondering all-the-while why it was so sticky [Haha] With the cleansing grains generously packed to the brim, I found that the easiest way to mix them was to dump the whole jar into a larger bowl, mix it together with a spoon and then to use a DIY paper funnel to put it all back in. Thanks for the tip Madelyn!

Morning Dew - Healing Facial Moisturizer

The Morning Dew Healing Facial Moisturizer is one of Basswood Natural's best seller and I can see why! The combination of mango butter, shea butter and beeswax makes for a very luxurious lotion and is a great choice for aging skin, naturally dry skin, and for those living in dry and/or cold climates. It's not a very lightweight formula and I'm finding that the lotion tends to sit on top of the skin instead of being absorbed into the pores. And I recommend applying a water based serum before wearing this moisturizer as this creamy formula is perfect for sealing in the hydrating effects of a serum. I paired this lotion with the Countermatch Moisture Serum by Beautycounter. 

I would be cautious to try this if you tend to lean towards the oilier side. If you have combination to oily skin, Basswood Naturals also carries Earthen Glow, a mattifying facial moisturizer and Radiant Thyme, an ultra light facial moisturizer which might be a better fit for you. The Morning Dew smells mildly sweet of honey from the beeswax and the formula has been infused with lavender and calendula, both herbs known for their healing and anti-aging properties. It's a wonderfully rich face lotion - keeping my face moist, dewy and youthful without clogging any pores. I've also been applying this lotion all over my neck and on the back of my hands for extra hydration to prep for the dry winter months ahead! 

Ingredients: organic mango butter, organic shea butter, local beeswax, organic sunflower oil, organic lavender, organic calendula, organic grapeseed oil, organic hazelnut oil, distilled water

Unicorn Potion - Rose Infused Glitter Lotion Bar (sample size)

I really wished I could have photographed the full size of the Unicorn Potion Lotion Bar [say "Unicorn Potion Lotion Bar" three times as fast as you can! haha] because it looks so darn cute in her store! Take a look and let me know if you agree! This is the perfect gift for every little [and grown up] gal who loves all things unicorn. This bar is hand made with all natural and organic ingredients and it's just the tool you might have been looking for to encourage your little ones to apply lotion like a grownup - all by themselves. Also, if you're planning ahead for Christmas, this bar would be a perfect stocking stuffer - a beautiful, magical and useful gift from... [wink] Santa.

This lotion bar arrived in the mail just at the crucial moment because I was running nervously low on my trusty tube of Attitude Living's Natural Nourishing Cream. This unique and hydrating blend of natural oils melt onto my skin like butter and keeps it moist and glowing for hours. The shimmer is especially flattering to wear around the shoulder and neck area to highlight the beauty bone.

Ingredients: organic coconut oil, organic sunflower oil, organic mango butter, mica, titanium dioxide, organic chamomile, vitamin e, local beeswax

Rosehip Balm

I've been picky about the products I choose to use around my eye area. Highly comedogenic oils and most synthetic heavy creams can actually leave permanent cysts called milia around the eyes that have to be surgically removed by a professional! Thankfully the Rosehip Balm has been formulated with ingredients with low comedogenic levels that "were picked to enhance the tender eye area with moisture and healing."

This Balm has been, by far, the best product that I've found to remove my eye make-up without any stinging or worry about pesky oil buildup. It also doubles as a deeply nourishing evening mask! After moisturizer, I spread this balm all over my face - avoiding my eye area in this instance - and sleep with it on at least once every week. Doing this helps seal in the hydrating treatments from the serum and moisturizer - making my skin extra glowing and rejuvenated in the morning.

Ingredients: organic grapeseed oil, organic rosehip seed oil, lavender infused oil, organic hazelnut oil, organic avocado butter, local beeswax, calendula infused oil, and distilled water

I've been thinking of different facets of holistic beauty - the most obvious one being that of choosing products with non-toxic/safe ingredients - but also considering things below the surface like how my beauty choices effect the world we live in economically and environmentally. I've most enjoying using beauty products and tools from brands - such as Basswood Naturals, Alima Pure, EcoTools, and Respekt Co. - that are both mindful of their eco-footprint and how they're using their profits for the betterment of society by donating to non-profits.

If you haven't already, check out Basswood Naturals and the other local businesses on Etsy dedicated to natural beauty!

Wishing you all a BEAUTY-FULL day!
*These products were kindly gifted by Basswood Naturals for an honest review.

All images © 2018 Grace Song Photography


  1. This looks all good! I totally agree with the fact that ut is super important to shop locally and support local small businesses! The mask looks great! Thank you, xx

    1. Hello! How delightful to hear from you! Yes, I think it's been eye opening to think of economic sustainability as well as environmentally! xoxo Grace


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