DIY Natural Moisturizers for Oily & Dry Skin

Ecuador is one of the biggest exporters of roses and coconuts so it’s no surprise that I learned about the magic of rose water and the power of coconut oil as natural moisturizers for oily and dry skin while I was there.


For oily skin, rose/glycerin lotion is a great moisturizer because it soothes irritated skin and is great for acne. The rose water will help dry the acne while the glycerin will help lock in moisture without clogging pores. You can find rose water almost everywhere in Ecuador, however you have to make sure you don’t use anything with fragrance. You can also make your own lotion by boiling ½ cup of rose petals, draining and mixing it with ¼ glycerin.


For dry skin, try coconut oil. It’s been an ancient practice in many parts of the world including Asia and South America. It is full of vitamins, antioxidants and the list goes on. It’s just amazing for the skin.


Look for extra virgin coconut oil that has not been bleached, refined or deodorized and always go for organic.

Use it by applying a dime sized amount on to your fingers and apply like a regular moisturizer. A little goes a long way. Let it soak into the skin before applying makeup and you’re ready to go. A spoonful is enough for your whole body so keep that in mind when applying.


By Stephanie Flor



Achiote: the Lipstick Tree

The achiote tree produces inedible fruit that looks a bit like a pomegranate cut in half: it is an open pod filled with red seeds that look as if they are bursting with flavor. But since they can’t be ingested, they are instead used for making dyes.


The Incas used achiote as face paint to ask the gods within the mountains for protection, and the tree is still used to today among the Quechua people.

IMG_5015 To apply achiote: Open the fruit and mix the pulp with water in a small bowl to create the paint. The wet paint will become an orange-red extract as you mix, but turns orange when it dries. It’s used as body paint as well as paint for fabric.


The plant can be found in the Amazon basin. In this photo, we are painting one another as a symbol of unity within the tribe of Quechua.


I had the tribe members apply it as a lipstick as well for a natural flush. I have a feeling this was one of the first original lipsticks of ancient times.

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Extra cool fact: For ritual and religious purposes, the Aztecs added achiote (also known as annatto) to turn chocolate into a blood-red liquid for a “blood” offering to the Gods. I got to experiment with Achiote on my trek to Machu Picchu and in the Amazon Rain Forest in Ecuador.


Mercado Central

A must see in Costa Rica is el Mercado Central (Central Market). This isnt your regular tourist attraction, this is as authentic as you get. There are countless vendors selling everything from home goods to hair ornaments as well as authentic restaurants where you can taste real Costa Rican food.


Its such a great experience and a must for anyone looking  to experience a day in a locals life.

Its also home to Costa Ricas 1st ice cream shop. A tasty dessert anytime of the day. Its called La Sorbeteria de Lolo Mora and its been around for 111 years.



Of course Im always on a hunt for beauty. Below are some of my favorite finds.

Recipe for Hair Loss


Shampoo Made of Plant Extract (Pure)


Paste a natural body scrubber that removes dead skin. Comes from the loofah plant so its 100% natural. 

IMG_9929Herbs, honey, shampoo, and natural products for everything beauty at this stand

Linaza a popular weight loss remedy. Mix with water and drink 3x a day to see fast results.


Found my authentic Tica Skirt, make sure you bargain you can get it down to 17 colones which is less than 40 bucks.