The Purely Primal Skincare Blog

{Fix your skin. Naturally!}

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In one of my favorite books of all time, Little Women, there is a quote:

“…love is a great beautifier.”

And how true that is! (I love love.)

Yet I can’t help but think that if Louisa May Alcott knew what I know, she would have said something different. Something more like:

…things that smell like dead fish in an old gym sock are great beautifiers.” 

Seriously. I’ve got three products to prove it.

All right, I’m exaggerating a bit. These products don’t really smell like the fitness center on a fishing boat. But they DO reflect the whole, natural, skin-loving, living ingredients they’re derived from. And sometimes natural ingredients smell…natural.

And not everything in nature smells like rosebuds. Here’s the deal: our skin is a living, breathing thing. The more alive, robust, and natural our skin care is, the better our skin responds to it. I learned this the hard way: in my fight against acne, eczema and dry skin, I relied on synthetics, “fragranced” drugstore junk, and other products that were, for all intents and purposes, dead. Not surprisingly, they didn’t work. What my skin truly craved was something ALIVE. (I devote a large chunk of my Purely Primal Skincare Guide to this topic.)

I found that, while natural, holistic remedies that smell good are perfectly helpful, some MAJOR power lies in natural products with a MAJOR nose.

And these remedies definitely pack a wallop. I absolutely LOVE them. I’ve even grown to like their signature smells.

Stinky Skin Care Product 1: Green Pasture Beauty Balm with Fermented Cod Liver Oil.

Fermented Cod Liver Oil may smell funky, but it’s the absolute BEST nutritional tool when it comes to healing the skin from the inside-out (another topic I tackle in my guide). It’s no surprise, then, that it’s also a topical powerhouse. Unrefined Cod Liver Oil was traditionally used in the treatment of burns, but argh! That smell!

Green Pasture has combined their FCLO (the ONLY FCLO I recommend) with shea butter, butter oil (yes, butter oil – it’s amazing for your face), coconut oil, and cranberry essential oil to make an only slightly off-smelling skin care work of absolute genius. My friends Hayley and Diane are absolutely obsessed with the stuff – as am I.

Smells like…A clean, buttery fish tank…in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner. (*joke)
Feels like…A smooth, intensive moisturizing treatment.
Helps with…I’ve heard reports of this balm helping with eczema, rosacea, dry skin, skin tone and redness.



Stinky Skin Care Product 2: Vintage Tradition Tallow Balm

Tallow is one of the oldest, most traditional natural skin care products out there. (We talk about eating “nose to tail” – but what we get from our properly-raised animals doesn’t stop at food!) Components of Tallow match components of the human skin – the skin recognizes this in a way that surprised even me. This balm doesn’t REALLY stink, but the smell is certainly unique.

The catch: your tallow must be from grass-fed/pastured/naturally raised cows. Vintage Tradition has made an amazing tallow balm that also includes organic Olive oil – another one of my go-to skin care oils.

Smells like…A slightly musty picnic in a barn.
Feels like…A smooth, intensive moisturizing treatment.
Helps with…I’ve heard reports of this balm helping with diaper rash, eczema, and dry skin.



Stinky Skin Care Product 3: 100 Percent Pure Purifying Seaweed Facial Masque

While this masque has a few extra ingredients – dermatology darlings like a Vitamin C component and Alpha-lipoic Acid – it’s based around some majorly nutrient-dense skin-nutrition: kelp, bladderwrack, and french green clay. Masques are an absolute skin care favorite of mine, as is the amazing nutrition (for body AND skin) that we find in the sea.

Despite the fact that I’m as unfamiliar with seafood as a Kansas girl SHOULD be,  I try to incorporate seafood and sea vegetables into my diet – and my skincare routine – as much as possible. The peppermint in this masque adds a nice touch, but it’s still got that anosmatic twinge.

Smells like…An algae bloom (which isn’t as lovely as it sounds).
Feels like…A tight and intense skin treatment.
Helps with…Skin “detox” (a fancy term for “pore cleansing”), skin texture and tone. Masques like this also give nutrients to the skin.
Does not help with…my jar-opening skills.



I generally blend up most masques with Apple Cider Vinegar (for tightening and toning) or Calendula hydrosol (for a more soothing treatment). While I wait for it to dry, I enjoy a cup of my favorite skin-care tea!



Thanks for stopping by!