my #1 tip for amazing skin
there’s a lot of information out there about how to get glowing skin… the quickest way to get rid of blemishes… the best products to use for oily/dry/combination skin… the easiest way to prevent wrinkles…and it seems like everyone has a different answer for what solutions are the best, which makes sense… because everyone’s skin is different and will react differently to different treatments and products.
while i can’t tell you what the best this or that is [i’m still trying to figure this out for myself], what i can tell you is that there is one tip for amazing skin that works for just about everyone. it doesn’t cost a fortune, it doesn’t come from the depths of the some remote village in southeast asia, and it’s not some complicated system that takes work to integrate into your routine. in fact, it’s quite the opposite of all of these things…
keep. it. simple.
yep. it’s really as easy as that. why? i’m so glad you asked!
our skin is one of our largest organs, and it has a few pretty important jobs, including protection [from UV damage, bacteria, dehydration, physical injury] and regulation [of temperature, the immune system, excretion of waste] of the whooooollllle body. so, we wanna take care of it. like, really, really good care of it.
keeping it simple is important when it comes to taking care of our skin because, just like with anything else, when we bombard our skin with sh*tloads of products [cough*chemicals*cough] it doesn’t know what to do.
i know so many people who swear by skincare products that not only break the bank, but are loaded with harmful chemicals. they have skincare regimens that are so complicated i don’t even think they even fully understand what they’re doing or how it’s working. they just see results, see the amazing skin they’re looking for, and stop asking questions. which is fine in some situations, but this isn’t one of them.
the good news is, it can be so much easier and so much better for you than that! and i’ve got a few tips where to get started [because i know it can seem like a daunting task].
1. narrow it down. great news, guys. you don’t need 20 different products for great skin. in fact, this is one of those situations where less is definitely more. i like to keep my daily skincare regimen to a facial cleanser, toner, and moisturizer [typically an oil of some kind… right now i’m using avocado oil and i love it] in the morning and before bed. i’m also a big fan of masks 2-3 times a week. [i love pretty much all of lush’s masks, and these collagen eye pads are my latest obsession].
2. clean it up. ditch the products that are full of chemicals. anything with sulfates, parabens, and PEGs. these synthetic ingredients have been linked to cancer, among other things. yea, cancer. this sh*t is not a joke. fellow blogger kate of living pretty naturally breaks this down even further for you here. [this goes for skincare products and makeup.]
3. eat [and drink] for beautiful skin. it sounds cheesy, but it’s true… beauty comes form the inside out. berries, pomegranates, kidney beans, walnuts, and green tea are just a few of the foods recommended for glowing skin, and one thing i’ve recently added to my daily routine is marine collagen powder. collagen promotes elasticity, cohesion and regeneration of the skin, hair and nails, and it’s kinda poppin’ up everywhere in the wellness world these days. i mix it into a cold glass of water first thing in the morning… couldn’t be easier!
what are your favorite easy, natural skincare tips for amazing skin?! any favorite products? would love for you to share the wealth in the comments below!
i went without make-up for 1 week + this is what happened
make-up. one of the things i love to hate and hate to love. i’ve never been one of those girls who cakes on the foundation, chisels out her cheekbones a la kim kardashian, or even knows how to create a smokey eye [but if you are, more power to you], and i’ve always taken a pretty simple approach to my make-up routine. i try to stick to as few natural products as possible… bb creme with spf, a little cheek stain, mascara… done. maybe a little more than this for a night out… but you get the idea.
part of the reason i don’t have a very extensive make-up routine is because i’ve been blessed with pretty clear skin. i never experienced acne the way some people do, but i’m human, after all, and still get the occasional breakout. also, it’s safe to say that i’m not always [re: never] good about taking my make-up off before working out, or before going to bed after a late night… not exactly the best approach to skincare.
… and over the past couple of months, i started seeing exactly the type of things you would expect when you’re working out and sleeping with your make-up on… breakouts… dullness… weird discoloration… and for the life of me i couldn’t find a way to “fix” any of it.
all of this obviously frustrated me… a lot. i started thinking about going back to using face wash and lotions that are full of harmful chemical ingredients… something i’m totally against… but, at least those types of products tend to work… right?
because using these types of products go against just about everything i stand for, i decided to do a little experiment first. what would happen if for a week… just one whole week… i stopped wearing make-up completely, and allowed my skin to breathe… all day every day?
sound scary? it was. make-up has become a crutch for so many of us. i always joke that i can’t go anywhere, including my own kitchen, without having at the very least bb creme and mascara on… and i have friends that are notorious for showing up to go hiking… yes, hiking… in full make-up. i wish i was kidding. i really do.
so, i went for it. no make-up. one week. here’s what happened:
day 1: fully uncomfortable. i felt like i had to give just about everyone i came in contact with a disclaimer that i was purposely going make-up free for a week because i was aware of how bad my skin was, and ask them to not judge me. in retrospect, this is pretty sad… but kind of where we are as a society, right?
day 3: okay, wow, i definitely feel like my skin looks terrible, but this is exactly why i’m doing this. my skin needs a chance to breathe and heal itself. but still, this effing sucks.
day 5: oh, sh*t! all of these blemishes are starting to clear up, aren’t they?! great, this is working.
day 7: damn. my skin hasn’t looked this clear in months. and not only am i noticing the difference, my friends have noticed, too! that must mean things have seriously improved. the blemishes are just about gone, i can actually describe my skin as “glowing” rather than “dull”, and you know what else…
… i feel more confident. weird, right?
after i went without make-up for a week, i realized that it literally doesn’t effing matter. it just doesn’t. my friends didn’t give af when i told them i wasn’t wearing make-up, they didn’t judge me [and they wouldn’t have judged me even if i hadn’t asked them not to]…
… and if they had judged me… then that would have been an entirely different conversation.
this post has turned out to be waaaaayyyyyyy longer than i expected it to be, so, here’s the moral of the story. make-up is great. i’m not giving up make-up. i’m not alicia keys, and this isn’t a new way of life for me. i enjoy using make-up and always will, but i do plan to use less make-up, especially on a day-to-day basis. my daily routine is going to consistent of the bare minimum: bb creme with spf, cheek stain, mascara, maybe a little colored lip or highlighter. easy peasy. nights out? events? i’ll go all out when i feel like it.
this little experiment has taught me that wearing a full face of make-up every single day is just not necessary… unless i want it to be. going forward, i’ll be much more comfortable not only wearing less make-up, but wearing no make-up on the days where i wake up a little late, or my skin needs a break… or when i just don’t effing feel like it.
and never forget: it’s not about whatcha look like, it’s about the kind of person you are. anyone can make themselves look pretty, but if they’re a sh*tty person… that’s way harder to change. and no one likes a sh*tty person.
want to try going make-up free? do it! and then tell me about it! i’d love to hear how it goes… so email me! firstname.lastname@example.org.
5 tips for glowing skin all year round
well, summer is almost officially here and one thing [of the many, many things] i love about summer is how easy my skincare and makeup routines become because… let’s face it… everyone looks better with some color! don’t you wish you could carry around that summer glow all year round?
well, i have good news! you can! here are my tips for glowing skin, even after summer is gone.
1. slather on the sunscreen. okay, this is a no-brainer. i don’t think i really need to elaborate. it’s summer. if you’re going to be outside for an extended period of time, just wear you’re effing sunscreen. please and thank you.
2. go natural with your skincare regimen. when it comes to taking care of your skin, less is more. not only in the number of products you use, but in the ingredients that are in the products you use, as well. i recommend finding an all-natural, toxin-free cleanser, making your own toner from a few simple ingredients and moisturizing with coconut oil. that’s all you need! if you do find yourself needing a spot treatment for those pesky breakouts, tea tree oil works wonders.
3. wear less makeup. makeup… while it does make us look good [in most cases, not all] and many of us can’t imagine going without it, it’s pretty terrible for our skin. foundations and concealers can clog up our pores and make it hard for our skin to breathe and people with sensitive skin will sometimes break out because they are using too much makeup. the summer is a good time to start experimenting with wearing less makeup because, like i said, everyone looks better with a tan! use the next few months to start feeling comfortable leaving the house without being plastered with makeup and if you are going to wear it, invest in high quality, toxin-free products. i personally love just about everything from both tarte and josie maran.
4. start skin brushing. i’ve talked about the benefits of skin brushing before, but there is no better time to start doing this than in the summer, when more of our skin is exposed to the elements than usual. check out this post for the full scoop!
5. eat right. believe it or not, what you put into your body is just as important as what you put on your body when it comes to taking care of your skin. experts recommend eating lots of berries [the antioxidants make our skin look younger], tomatoes [loaded with lycopene, which fights hormones that cause breakouts] and kale [loaded with both a + c vitamins, known for helping to firm the skin up] to fight dryness, redness and breakouts.
5 winter skincare tips you need to try immediately
the winter months can do serious damage to our bodies. the constant fluctuation of temperatures, the bone chilling winds, the dry air… not only is being cold literally the worst, the winter can also impact our mood, our weight, our appetite and finally, our skin.
i’m pretty lucky in the sense that my skin tends to run on the normal side. i don’t have to do too much to keep it clear and since i’ve switched over to an all-natural skincare regimen, my skin has looked [and felt] better than ever… that is, until the temperatures dropped. over the past few weeks, between the cold, dry air outside and the hot, dry air in my apartment, my skin is freaking out in a way it normally doesn’t. i’m not surprised, as this tends to happen every year, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating.
sound familiar? if so, here are five things that i recommend you do every day to protect your skin from the elements and keep it looking fresh throughout the harsh winter months.
1. exfoliate. i cannot stress enough how important this is. exfoliating the skin will get rid of dead skin cells, help to remove dirt/makeup from your pores and reduce the size of your pores in general, helping to maintain a glowing complexion all year round. for my face, i swear by my clarisonic brush and highly recommend this to everyone. for the rest of your body, use a dry skin brush right before hopping in the shower!
2. cleanse with a cream cleanser. cream cleansers are a total game changer in the winter, as they help to add more moisture to the skin, while many standard cleansers just dry us out even more. a cream cleanser is also a great option for sensitive skin any time of the year. i recommend an all-natural cleanser, like this one from acure, that contains cocoa butter and argan oil.
3. moisturize. a sh*t ton. this may seem obvious, but you really can’t go overboard with this in the winter months. i slather coconut oil all over my body, including my face, every single morning and right before i go to bed. i know it sounds pretty counter intuitive to put oil directly onto your skin, as we’ve always been told that having oily skin is bad, but trust me, it needs it. if we strip our skin of natural oils, it will start to overproduce them and, trust me, you don’t want this to happen.
4. invest in a humidifier. as if battling the cold air wasn’t already enough, we also have to deal with the warm, dry air when indoors. one great way to do this is to invest in a humidifier. humidifiers add moisture to the air, which not only can help our skin, but can also help alleviate that dried out feeling we tend to get in our sinuses. i keep one on my desk that i run during the day and one on the floor next to my bed that i run while i sleep.
5. wear spf. even on those overcast winter days, our skin can still be damaged when exposed to the sun and using a daily moisturizer with spf is highly recommended [i’m sure this isn’t the first time you’ve heard this]. like i mentioned before, i use coconut oil, which just so happens to be a natural spf, to moisturize daily, so you can kill two birds with one stone here.
bonus tip: sometimes, even if we do everything imaginable to take care of our skin, we can’t avoid a breakout. when this happens, i suggest using organic tea tree oil as a spot treatment. it’s a natural antiseptic, so it works quickly to zap out the bacteria and reduce the appearance of blemishes. just put a few drops on your finger and apply directly to the breakout after you’ve gone through your regular skincare routine!
do you have any other trusted methods/products for combatting the cold weather?
diy all-natural facial toner
one of my favorite things to experiment with these days is all-natural beauty products. conventional beauty products, even high-end ones, are full of harmful chemicals that can cause a variety of health problems, so over the past six months, i have slowly been transitioning my self-care and beauty products to all-natural options and along the way i’ve started dabbling in making my own.
a quick, easy to make all-natural facial toner has become a staple in my morning and evening skincare routine. toner is used to soothe the skin, remove oils and tighten pores and since i’ve stopped using my store-bought toner and making my own, i have noticed a major difference in how my skin looks and feels. there are only three ingredients, all of which are 100% natural and safe, and a small amount goes a long way, making your skin feel clean, refreshed and just all-around amazing [you know, it gives you that healthy, effortless glow]. you will need:
- 1/4 c. organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 c. filtered water
- 10-20 drops therapeutic grade tea tree essential oil
all you have to do is mix these three ingredients together and store the toner in some kind of an airtight container. that’s it. i put just a little bit of this on a cotton pad and gently swipe it over my face and neck after i wash my face and before i apply moisturizer each morning and before bed. the apple cider vinegar helps to even out your complexion and unclog pores, while the tea tree oil acts as an anti-bacterial and and anti-inflammatory, zapping away acne that might be hangin’ around. oh, and don’t worry about the smell! i promise that within a few minutes you won’t be able to tell that you just wiped vinegar all over your face.
i want to share more of these beauty recipes with you guys in addition to all of the other recipes i post, so you can expect to start seeing more posts like this one going forward! what are your all-natural beauty go-tos? what products would you like to see me experiment with and post recipes for? as always, i would love to hear from you!
relax with a detox bath
well, it’s finally friday. after a particularly brutal week, when the clock hits 5, i plan on heading straight home and just relaxing. i know we all have those weeks where friday night = sweats, couch, seamless, netflix. i’ll be honest, this is how most of my friday evenings are spent these days. friday night is the perfect time to unwind, put the week behind you and head into the weekend on the right foot. if your friday night relaxation routine could use a little something extra, a detox bath might be just the thing you need.
a detox bath is a great way to cleanse your system, reduce the physical and mental manifestations of stress and stimulate the metabolic process by draining toxins from your system, replenishing important minerals and re-balancing your pH. ready to [literally] jump in?! you will need:
- 1 c. epsom salt
- 1/4 c. sea salt or natural, organic bath salts [i use this one]
- 1/4 c. baking soda
- 1/3 c. raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar
- 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil [i love lavender or lemongrass]
draw a bath as hot as you can stand so that you can sweat all the toxins out [i like mine super hot] and pour all of the ingredients into the tub. swirl the water around with your foot a few times to make sure that everything is evenly distributed. light a few candles, put on some relaxing music, [optional: pour yourself a glass of wine] and soak for 30-45 minutes. i like to rinse off in a cool shower after i soak, but this isn’t necessary. also, make sure you drink plenty of water before and after to avoid dehydration.
photo courtesy of green chi cafe
my 10 favorite uses for coconut oil
coconut oil is an anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbal and an anti-viral all rolled into one, so right away you know that it’s not messing around. when consumed regularly, coconut oil is known to support thyroid function, reduce muscle and joint inflammation, aid digestion and sooth stomach ailments, speed up the metabolism, improve cholesterol and overall heart health and kill bacteria and yeast in the body. sounds pretty good, right? here are five easy ways to incorporate it into your diet and start reaping the benefits:
- use it in place of pam or other oils when frying or sautéing food. unlike other oils, coconut oil will retain its nutrients even when heated to high temperatures.
- when cooking and baking, use it to replace vegetable oil and shortening.
- add a tablespoon or two to smoothies to boost your energy and aid digestion.
- layer it onto a slice of toast along with your favorite jam in place of butter for a sweet, healthy breakfast.
- use as an alternative to creamer and a natural sweetener in your coffee or tea.
additionally, adding coconut oil to your beauty regimen is an easy way to cut down on the amount of harmful chemicals entering your body. it will also help free up space in your medicine cabinet because it can take the place of so many other products. here are five ways you can easily incorporate coconut oil into your every day routine:
- use as a face moisturizer and body lotion. i personally moisturize with coconut oil every morning!
- put a small amount on a cotton ball and use as a make-up remover. bonus: it will help reduce the appearance of wrinkles around the eyes and is way cheaper than botox!
- massage into your dry hair one-hour before showering, then shampoo and condition as usual for an all-natural hair mask. you will love how silky and smooth it leaves your hair, i promise.
- place on cuts, burns, blisters or a bad sunburn to speed up the healing process.
- carry it with you in a small container to use as a lip balm.
finally, probably the best thing about coconut oil, aside from all of the health benefits, is that it’s super affordable. you can get a 14 oz. jar from spectrum for around $11, which is a small price to pay for something that can improve your health in so many ways. i always have at least one jar stocked in my kitchen and another in my medicine cabinet. what are some of the ways you have incorporated coconut oil into your every day life?
image courtesy of made of muscle
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