Clean, Minimal



We're blobs

If you look at its chemistry, the human body is on the edge of spontaneous combustion at any given moment. Mammals, in general, are a complicated mass of near toxic goo and it is skin that holds us all together. Skin protects our insides from being poisoned by random deadly pathogens. Skin regulates the body's temperature, ensuring that we don't overheat and combust. Skin is key in human behavior and senses everything from danger to sex. It makes the unseen, seen by communicating how our immune and digestive systems are functioning.

Skin is always working to keep us alive and yet we just expect it to be pretty.

This blog is an exploration into clean beauty with directions on how to make the minimal ingredient balms, hydrosols, and carrier oil blends that treat skin with the respect that it deserves.

At the heart of Persephone's Ball is a diary of questions and the answers that incorporates both scientific research and an my obsessive observations of the natural world.

Formula v. Recipe

Traditional skincare products follow a specific formula. It's a science and an art that you won't find here. Persephone's Ball posts skincare recipes. I'm unapologetic about it.

From everything that I've read, skin isn't the same beast from morning to night, much less from day to day. It's hormones and chemistry is ever-changing based on the time of day, the light, the weather, and what the body is digesting.

I create recipes to suit the moment and given that my skin is always changing, the ingredient ratios change as well.


Preservatives V. No

Preservatives are vital for all water-based skincare products. Full stop.

Unfortunately, preservatives and reactive skin aren't immediate friends. Many people turn away from preservatives and toward essential and carrier oils to moisturize their skin.

There isn't any moisture in oil, though and the consequence is greasy but dry skin. I've worked around all that to create a preservative free, hydrating skin care routine that uses natural ingredients.

Going preservative free isn't a solution for everyone, but for those of us whose skin goes into a snit if we walk through dust, it's a nonnegotiable.


Persephone's Ball explores botanicals and minimally processed organic ingredients to create skincare that heals and nourishes.

In 2018, my skin went into a reactionary tantrum that lasted for months. Anything I bought would only feed the fire. Out of curiosity and skepticism, I began distilling botanicals and creating my own balms. There were some abject failures and some sustainable successes.

This blog is a journal of my research into skincare and the solutions I have created.

Adrianne Dow Young


When I was 11 years old, my mother started taking me to the Clinique Counter for their famed face wash, toner, and moisturizer. For years, I washed my face morning and night with Clinique. My skin, I was told, was problematic. Over sensitive, it was prone to drying and explosive reactions. I would often have dry patches in my t-zone, and red bumps around my nose

When my post pregnancy skin went into a crisis previously unseen. I turned to the internets and read research papers about the skin's biome, helpful lipids, and the influence of hormones.

I began experimenting, first with shea butter, then with mango and finally with cupuacu. As my face began to heal, I learned how intricate, vast, and complicated skin is. It's the human body's largest organ and yet we treat it like it doesn't know how to do its job.

I'm always experimenting and have found some good solutions for people whose skin never seems to settle down. I've come to understand that because hormones fluctuate, skin care needs fluctuate too. Also, I've learned that what one does in their follicular cycle strongly affects what the skin does in the menstrual cycle. Most importantly, I learned that if I wanted to take care of my skin, I should listen to it.