Best of Body: What I Love

Yes, this looks like a lot of stuff and yes I use almost all of them daily because I am obsessed with pampering myself because if I don’t who will? Little luxuries like these don’t have to be expensive, but the time you dedicate to keeping your skin and body happy and healthy is priceless.

giphy7Body Lotion – Your skin is your largest organ, and it does a lot to keep the good stuff in and the bad stuff out. It takes a lot of stress from the sun, heat, cold and wind all while keeping you safe and alive. Find a great body lotion to pay it back for all that hard work. If anti-aging is a concern for you, as it should be at any age, then the St Ives Renewing Body Lotion with Collagen Elastin is your new best friend. It smells like cucumber melon and can be found at any drugstore for a super reasonable price. It absorbs nicely and leaves your skin nice and hydrated. Another favorite of mine solely based on scent is the Hempz Original body lotion, I am a sucker for that floral banana smell!

Body Oil – I use a body oil on certain parts that need a little extra TLC. For me, that is the back of my upper arms and the back of my thighs and butt. I have a little bit of that pesky keratosis pilaris that manifests as little red, flaky bumps, so a good body scrub in the shower followed by Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Skin Therapy Oil keep it all in check and help fade any scarring that can happen.

Bust Cream – I am by no means a big busted girl, but since the bust can show a lot of signs of aging, it’s not a bad idea to have a cream dedicated to tightening and firming that delicate skin. Again, Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Bust Cream makes it easy to get familiar with your breasts and perform self-breast exams.

giphy6Self Tanner – Everyone needs a little boost in the cold, winter months. I only use self-tanner when my tan starts to fade in the late fall and when I need to start showing my legs again in the spring, and the Alba Botanica Sunless Golden Tanning Lotion is the perfect product to give you a chemical-free glow with a pleasant scent and no orange tone.

giphy8Body SPF – I was at a BBQ one summer and ambushed a girl to find out what she was using that smelled so good, turned out to be this Alba Botanica Hawaiian Coconut Dry Oil Sunscreen SPF 15 and I’ve been using it ever since. I love that it is in an oil form so I look great at the beach, and my skin feels and is very moisturized.

Hand Lotion – For a super moisturizing, non-sticky hand lotion without any icky ingredients AND supports a good cause, look no further than Out of Africa Shea Butter Hand Lotion. It comes in a variety of scents, but the Vanilla, Almond and Lavender are my favorites. With every Out of Africa purchase, you help provide education and medical care to children and women in West Africa.

Body WashDr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap in Tea Tree is by far my favorite body wash. The tea tree scent gives me that spa experience every time I shower, plus its antibacterial properties help with body acne. I got a pump for the bottle so it’s easy to dispense.

IMB_WaFhdz.gifBody Scrub – I like my super simple DIY Coffee Coconut Scrub, which is really just ground coffee, coconut oil and maybe some sugar if you’d like some more grit. You can totally customize the amount of oil to scrub to your liking! The caffeine works wonders on cellulite while the oil helps to moisturize while you exfoliate. You can add some essential oils if you’d like but the coffee and coconut combination is heavenly.

Body SprayRose Water is the best full body spray you will find. You can use it head to toe without worrying about any greasy feeling or getting oil all over your bathroom. It is very refreshing, hydrating and soothing for all skin types.

Deodorant – Native makes hands down the best all-natural, aluminum-free, effective deodorant on the planet. They come in great scents and they actually work.

Eczema CreamAvalon Organics Eczema Relief Body Cream helped me when I needed it the most late this winter when the skin on my arms and back decided to freak out and get all red and flaky. The colloidal oatmeal is soothing and made my skin feel like silk, I was tempted to use it all over!

Cellulite Cream – I am obsessed with the scent of this Sol de Janiero Bum Bum Cream. Not only does it smell good but it has some good things coming for your rear. Moisture is your booty’s best friend.

Foot Cream – Yes I use a foot cream nightly, I hate it when dry foot skin scratches against the sheets when I’m trying to sleep. Our feet do so much for us so we should repay them with a mini foot massage regularly. There are a few I’ve tried, and as long as they are pepperminty they’re all the same to me. Burt’s Bees Peppermint Foot Cream, J.R. Watkins Peppermint Rejuvenating Foot Cream and Out of Africa Peppermint Menthol & Tea Tree Foot Cream are all great options, the J.R. Watkins one may be the biggest bang for your buck though.

Foot Care – I have seen first hand how important it is to take care of your feet. You literally walk all over them every day all day and all they get in return is to be crammed in pointy high heels and exposure to athlete’s foot. There are a lot of preventative steps you can take to ensure that your feet are happy and healthy for a long time. YogaToes Gems are one of my favorite nighttime rituals, wear them for 10-15 minutes per day to give your feet a nice stretch and realign some common issues. Bunions, hammer toes and plantar fasciitis are all remedied with a little TLC.

tumblr_owkhsvp8qx1veenguo3_540FitnessClassPass needs no introduction as I am always talking about it. So many people get expensive gym memberships and then never go. This is beyond me, what a waste of money! Plus you aren’t going because you don’t want to go, so why pay for it in the first place? This is why ClassPass is genius, sign up for classes you want to go to, only pay for classes you actually go to and nothing in between. I have found my perfect balance of realistic and enjoyable types of classes at studios that I love to meet my fitness goals. Personally, that is ballet, hot yoga, dance, barre, row, kickboxing, rock climbing and booty boot camps.

What is your perfect class combo? Do you have any body care products that you swear by? Let me know!

Header Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

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The Order of Things

giphy5The Koreans have a 10-step beauty regimen that has become more of a lifestyle. Their obsession with perfect skin and the latest products has made the K-Beauty scene very popular, but how early are you willing to wake up to accommodate a sheet mask every morning? Below is a more realistic plan that can maximize the best products that are available to give you your best skin day every day.

Morning

1. Exfoliate

Exfoliate with a scrub to prep your skin for makeup, it is super important to exfoliate in some form every day. Just ask Beyonce’s dermatologist, I’ve been meaning to read his book!

2. Tone

Tone your face with a cotton round and alcohol-free witch hazel. This step makes it feel like my face is really truly clean.

3. Face Mist

Spray with DIY glycerin face mist, let dry. In the Korean 10-step routine, it is also imperative to never let your face dry, the mist is a good way to prevent that.

4. Eye Cream

Apply your favorite eye cream, I sing the gospel of Juice Beauty Smoothing Eye Concentrate, I also put whatever is leftover on my fingers on my laugh lines and forehead lines. They have honestly gotten smoother since I started using this eye serum.

5. Serum

Depending on your skin concerns, find a serum that works for you. I need one for acne, discoloration, hyperpigmentation and scarring like this one by Evologie Intensive Blemish Serum. I’ve been trying a lot of serums out lately from Birchbox and Petit Vour, I am a big advocate of trying as many samples as you can for a fair period of time in order to find what really works for you. There is something for every skin type!

6. Chemical Sunscreen

This only goes before your facial oil if you use a chemical sunscreen. It needs to be able to soak into your skin to be fully effective.

7. Face Oil

Oils seal in everything you layered on to your face and is why this is the last step (unless you use a mineral sunscreen). For day I like to use a face oil that has a natural SPF in it because, why not? Carrot Seed Oil and Red Raspberry Seed Oils both have naturally high SPF factors. This is also a good time to get in a little facial massage while applying and distributing your face oil!

8. Mineral Sunscreen

If you use a mineral sunscreen with zinc oxide for example, this needs to go on last. I would let the face oil absorb for a few minutes before applying. Mineral sunscreens work by physically blocking out the suns rays so it needs to sit on top! I have probably mentioned before, but the Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47 with Sunboost ATB is by far my favorite.

Night

1. Double Wash

The double wash is very important if you have makeup and/or sunscreen on. This shouldn’t be an exfoliant since they can push the grime and makeup from the day further into your pores. Take a nice sulfate-free face wash and do one thorough wash, rinse, then wash again! If you have acne concerns find one with salicylic acid, using the acid in a wash is better than in a cream since that can be very drying. This way the salicylic acid has a chance to get into your pores for a brief moment. The Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser With Salicylic Acid is so gentle and removes makeup while clearing out pores.

2. Remove Eye Makeup

I know most will say to try and remove makeup before washing, but I like to get it wet so that it comes off more easily instead of tugging at my skin and delicate eye area with a face wipe. Once you wash and pat dry, then you can go in with a wipe and remove your eye make up thoroughly. I just focus on the eye makeup with the wipes and make sure the skin is clean in the next step.

3. Toner

Just like in the am, tone your face with a cotton round and alcohol-free witch hazel to make sure that your pores are not going to be bogged down by any dirt overnight under your hydrating serums and creams.

4. Face Mist

giphy15Spray with a face mist, I like to make my own DIY glycerin face mist with lavender and tea tree oil. After cleansing and toning it’s a nice step to start layering the humectants and get the skin hydrated. Let dry.

5. Eye Cream

I use the Juice Beauty Smoothing Eye Concentrate day and night. I like to apply it first before any serums since the eye area is so delicate and shouldn’t really have harsh retinols or serums applied.

6. Serum or Retinol

I alternate between my serum and retinol every other day since the retinol can make my skin pretty dry, especially in the dryer winter months.

7. Moisturizer

Find a nice hydrating moisturizer to work it’s magic overnight. I have a ton of samples I’m always trying to get through, but one of my favs is the Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Face Butter.

8. Face Oil

In the evening I opt for a nice thick oil like tamanu or squalane and do an extended face massage that extends down to my neck and chest. This Aura Cacia Organic Tamanu Face Oil Serum with lavender and tea tree oils is so nice to apply before bed. Another wonderfully luxurious option is the Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil.

Shower

I have been plagued by little bumps and pimples on my chest and back and for the longest time and I could not understand why. No amount of tea tree or salicylic acid would help. Turns out the order of things in the shower matters just as much as your routine once you get out.

giphy2If you are like me, you do most of your business in the shower while your conditioner is settling in on your head. This means you are rinsing your head last, and all that comes down from your head then settles on your back, shoulders and face. Conditioners have silicones and panthenol which can clog the pores on your skin. Get ready to have your mind blown.

Wash your face and body last.

Ever since I started doing this the back and chest acne has considerably gotten better. My routine now looks something like this (mind you I shower at night unless it’s after a ClassPass class on the weekend):

1. Wash Face

giphyWash face, shoulders and chest with salicylic acid face wash, I like this one by Neutrogena (the pump is convenient in the shower!). Remember we are double washing since I shower in the evening, second wash comes last. If It’s the weekend I’ll use a face scrub instead like St. Ives Coconut & Coffee Scrub, it’s pretty coarse so it is best used ~ once a week! It does smell like you mashed a slice of tiramisu on your face.

2. Shampoo

Any sulfate-free shampoo for your hair type works! If you are a blonde invest in a good purple or blue shampoo to use every other wash to keep those blonde tones bright.

3. Conditioner

One of my favorite conditioners is S-Factor Smoothing Conditioner, it smells like a green jolly rancher and makes your hair feel amazing.

giphy6Now normally I would have washed my body, washed my face again and fit in any other things like shaving or pumicing my feet, but now I needed to find something else to bide the time while my conditioner did its magic.

4. Body Scrub

I made a glorious DIY Coffee Coconut Body Scrub that I like to use on my thighs and butt, but any body scrub is a good time waster!

5. Miscellaneous

Pumice your feet! I literally do this every day in the shower and my feet look like a newborn’s. It may seem excessive but again it’s just another way to pass the time while your conditioner sits. This is a good time to shave as well (optional, especially in the winter).

7. Rinse Conditioner

Now we can rinse the conditioner and clip up your hair to move on.

8. The Final Wash

Wash your face again and then move on to your body, you want to work top down here to make sure you rinse all residue. Dr. Bronner’s Tea Tree Liquid Castille Soap is my jam, it will make your home smell like a spa and since tea tree is naturally antibacterial it will help with body acne!

9. The Final Rinse

Take hair down and do a full body cold rinse, this is great for the hair and seals your pores.

These all should be pretty self-explanatory but when you really break it down and pay attention it all makes so much more sense. Why spend so much money on all these products if you aren’t going to use them correctly? Any order life-hacks you have to offer? Let me know in the comments!

Header Photo by STIL on Unsplash