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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How to Detox Through Your Skin

They all have one thing in common which is to stimulate the lymphatic system and create blood flow to your skin to move and transport toxins out. This can help with existing and budding acne (even the deep cystic kind), promote healing, anti-aging and create that healthy glow only a good rush of blood can offer. Here are a few ways to detox and flush out your system without a cleanse.

Jade Rolling

Jade Rolling and Gua Sha trending.The Jade Roller is a great tool keep handy in the fridge for those times when you have a headache, hangover or puffy eyes from watching This Is Us. Rolling the cool stone on your skin feels lovely, but I wasn’t able to work it into my routine. Taking the time to roll in front of an open refrigerator door isn’t realistic in the long term, I need one of those refrigerated medicine cabinets! I have not tried Gua Sha yet but it seems to be the 2018 buzzword, this crystal place by my office has it on their chalk sign. It takes the stone part from the jade roller but instead is shaped into dull blades that you can use to give yourself a smooth facial massage. With both of these tools, you start at the center of your face and swipe outward with as much pressure and speed as feels comfortable. Do not wipe them back and forth, you want to drain everything OUT of your face. The good thing about the Jade Roller is that you can also gently roll it over your eyes, and has the smaller end to get into the nooks and crannies around the eye socket.

Honestly, instead of using all these tools, I like to take my last three fingers (middle, ring and pinky) to do a quick facial massage after I apply my facial oil morning and night. This low maintenance, tool-less technique is free and ensures that you actually get the thing done and get that blood flowing! Just make sure that you start at the center of your face and work outward with every stroke. Don’t forget the jaw and neck!

Cupping

I found out about cupping from Farah Dhukai, her Instagram is amazing and she slathers all sorts of weird things all over her face and hair (but beware of Tumeric, it will stain your skin and everything you love). I won’t give a step by step instruction, just the video below. Note: this is not Michael Phelps cupping, if you google it you will see scary bruises and blood. This is nice and gentle facial massage that you can do for five minutes a few times a week.

I use chia oil as a lubricant for these, any edible oil is best since you will be applying this on your lips, and make sure it is not too thick like castor oil so that the cups can glide smoothly on your skin without tugging. One note about chia oil is that it can stain a little bit, my cups and the white bag they came in are a little yellow, but it is full of Omega-3s and is very nourishing for your skin. After coating your skin with it and massaging it in, you use the two small face-sized rubber cups to suction and massage the skin in outward motions. Just make sure to avoid thin-skinned areas like under the eyes and eyelids. Keep the cups moving, don’t let them sit on your face as you will give yourself a hickie!  This is best done before bed since you will get flushed, but it shouldn’t persist. BONUS: Steaming your face before cupping is a nice way to open up the pores and stimulate the skin even more.

You can also cup your body! Get yourself a cup set that includes all size cups for different areas of the body. The large cups can be used on your thighs and butt to help remedy cellulite and spider veins. The face cupping doesn’t hurt at all (or at least it shouldn’t if you are doing it right) but the thigh cupping can pinch a little bit. Videos online will show them moving the cups in circles, but I think it’s best to push stuff towards the heart so that it can get pumped out. I haven’t noticed a difference in my spider veins behind my knees but maybe I’m not doing it frequently enough. Again you apply an oil like chia oil and suction the cups to your skin and sweep them around to bring toxins to the surface and hopefully out.

Dry Brushing

IMB_7INTZv.GIFLast but not least, dry brushing can be done all over your body aside from the face. You take a natural bristle brush and starting with your limbs brush your skin in circular motions towards your heart, circling around it once you get to your abdomen. This is best done before hopping in the shower since you will be exfoliating a bit and might want to rinse off the dead skin cells. As much as I like the sensation of this, I NEVER REMEMBER TO DO IT when I’m standing naked outside the shower. I get in and curse myself for forgetting yet again even though the brush is in a basket next to the tub. The one time I do remember is before I take my weekly detox bath since that whole process is a little more deliberate. It’s such a quick easy thing to add to your routine that can really have great health benefits.

giphyIf you want to pay someone to do all this for you there are plenty of people willing to do it! You can find jade rolling and gua sha facial massages, body cupping and good ‘ol massages that will get those toxins flowing right out of you. And while it must feel hella nice to have someone else rub stones on your face, unless you’re Gwenyth Paltrow you are probably going to have you maintain it on your own with whatever tools you choose. Look at this cow, she knows dry brushing is good for her.

Have you tried any of these techniques? Any magical results? Any other recommendations? Let me know!