A Natural Beauty Expert Shares 2 Must-Have Skin Care Recipes

Written by Jana Blankenship

Image by Julianna Blizzard / Contributor

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Jana Blankenship is the founder of Captain Blankenship. Created in 2009, Captain Blankenship is an organic beauty company based in New York's Hudson River Valley that makes face, body, and hair care products and scents with organic and wild-harvested ingredients. Since childhood, Jana has had her nose wafting in the trees and flowers, and now she brings that botanical expertise to her book Wild Beauty: Wisdom & Recipes for Natural Self-Care. Here, an excerpt with three of her recipes.

When I started my company, I was working full-time but had been making products on the side for myself, family, and friends. Playing alchemist in my kitchen was where you would find me those days, or, for inspiration, hiking in the Berkeley hills, full of fragrant eucalyptus groves.

I began to study and understand the beautiful raw ingredients that came from plants and their many uses in self-care. It was exhilarating to be able to count the ingredients I put in my products on my hands and know exactly what they were, why they were there, and where they came from. I believe that these oils, butters, and extracts from plants and minerals can help make our skin, hair, body, and spirit healthier and more vibrant.

Image by Images copyright © by Julianna Blizzard / Images copyright © by Julianna Blizzard

Sea Salt & Sunshine Body Scrub

A good salt scrub is a necessity, in my opinion. Mineral-rich sea salt helps exfoliate skin, slough off dead skin cells, helps with cell regeneration, reduces inflammation, and improves circulation. Dry, flaky skin becomes soft and glowing. Coconut oil adds moisture and is delightful combined with sweet orange essential oil. This is great to use before shaving for a much smoother shave. I also love this for exfoliating lips when they are dry and chapped.

Makes 8 ounces


  • 1 cup fine sea salt, or mix of fine- and medium-grain
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, or more as desired
  • ½ teaspoon vitamin E
  • 20 drops sweet orange essential oil
  • 10 drops lemongrass essential oil
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon shea butter
  • 8-ounce glass jar with lid


Mix ingredients together in a bowl with a spoon. (If the coconut oil is hard, you can melt it quickly and add to mixture once cool. If you want to add shea butter for even more nourishment, do the same thing.) Once mixed, with spoon, scoop scrub into jar with lid.

Use once or twice weekly, or as desired, by rubbing salt with dry, clean fingers in circular motion all over body and feet. Rinse well. If stored out of direct sunlight, will keep for up to a year (if water is kept out of jar).

Image by Images copyright © by Julianna Blizzard / Images copyright © by Julianna Blizzard

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Smell-the-Roses Face Toner & Body Mist

This refreshing mist helps hydrate and clarify skin and smells like a rose bush. It is perfect to put on skin to prime it for face oil. It is best kept in the fridge for freshness and is best enjoyed cold. It is also a great hair perfume and mist. Nothing is more invigorating than a spritz of cool rosy mist on your face, body, and hair on a hot summer day!

Makes 8 ounces


  • ¾ cup witch hazel
  • ¼ cup rose hydrosol
  • 2 tablespoons aloe vera gel or juice
  • 8-ounce glass bottle, or two 4-ounce glass bottles, with fine-mist sprayer(s)
  • Optional: 8 to 10 drops rose essential oil (Add this for an even rosier scent if you are a rose fanatic like me.)


Combine all ingredients in large spouted measuring cup and stir well with spoon. Pour into bottle and attach sprayer.

Use morning and night on skin before moisturizer or during the day for a refreshing pick-me-up. Will keep at room temperature for up to 3 months; store in fridge for up to a year.

Based on an excerpt from Wild Beauty by Jana Blankenship, copyright © 2019. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. 

Images copyright © by Julianna Blizzard.

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