Kale-Super Skin Food

Kale is good for you. Duh. I am pretty sure this is not breaking news.  This happens to be one of the most nutrient dense foods out there. Kale has been studied and linked to cancer prevention, detoxification due to the sulfur content, and used as a tool for inflammation in the body.

As a bonus, it is also amazing for skin health. It is loaded in iron, vitamins (such as vitamins A, C, K), minerals and antioxidants. Due to the high amounts of vitamin C, kale helps promote collagen production in the skin, making the skins surface appear smoother. Vitamin A assists with skin repair and maintenance. Because of the carotenoids found in kale and other colorful vegetables, another positive side effect of is glowing skin.

There are several varieties of kale, but the typical two you see in the market are curly kale and Lacinato kale. I am really love Lacinato kale, it tastes almost sweet. I use it in my kale salads, smoothies, and juice. I love the curly Kale for kale chips, to throw in soups and sauteed kale. I love kale fritattas, yum! Due to the stalk being so tough I peel the leaves off and then save the stalks for the juicer. It is edible but I find it bitter when consumed raw.

One of my favorite things about kale is that it is sturdy. I make a salad in a big batch, even put the dressing on and it still does not wilt or turn. When I hear that people don’t like kale, they usually say it is too tough and bitter. Massaging the kale, I find, is the perfect solution to this. By doing so you break down the structure a little, changing the texture and even the taste of this green. You can see the color change as well, almost like you have gently cooked it. It is actually worth the 1-5 minutes it takes for the outcome of a beautiful green salad. Massaging your food? How spa!

If you are looking for kale recipes, check out one of my favorite blogs, For The Love of Food Blog. There are some great recipes and beautiful photos that accompany them.

So how do you eat your kale?

Mom’s in Charge-guest blogger

I recently wrote an article for the Moms in Charge (MIC) non-profit organization. You can read it here on the Moms in Charge website ! 

I talk about how to seasonally clean and organize your cosmetic bag with great helpful hints. Check it out!

The mission of this organization is to empower moms to raise healthy vibrant kids and I am a proud member. If you want to learn more about MIC please go to their website and also this past blog post where I interview the president and founder Dotty Hagmier: MIC Post

 

Anniversary and Giveaway!! Three for Three!

I ♥ Skin Care turns three years old this month! To celebrate and to thank my readers for following my blog, I am offering a giveaway with my brand Simply Jess. The prize is three Natural Lip Balms – Coco Mint flavor. You can read about the contest and enter to win below (SUPER easy!). Good Luck and thank you for reading I ♥ Skin Care!

P.S. There will be another fabulous giveaway coming soon with an amazing brand I am loving right now. Details to come soon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kimberly Parry Organics-Hydrate Neroli and Fig

Hydrate - Neroli & Fig

I just got back from a mini-break over the weekend with my family in Carlsbad, what a great getaway for us Orange County peeps! We stayed at the Sheraton Carlsbad and La Costa Resort. Both properties are extremely family friendly and each have a spa (YES!).

I love the boutique style of The Ocean Pearl Spa at the Sheraton Carlsbad,  it has a “beachy” feel with a great selection of products and treatments. Although I did not have time to receive a treatment I did sneak into the spa boutique while my boys were swimming at the pool where I discovered a new product line, Kimberly Parry Organics.

Kimberly Parry

I bought the Hydrate- Neroli and Fig and I love it. It can be used as a moisturizer because of the hydrating properties, depending on your skin type. For my dry skin I like to apply after I cleanse my face by spritzing all over and then apply my facial oil or cream moisturizer. Fig is used to refine the skin, making it a great age management ingredient while the Neroli is nourishing and has an amazing aroma. I took this back to the pool with me and to spritz when I needed a little refresher. It can go over make-up so this is a great product for the beach bag!

Kimberly Parry Organics is USDA certified organic with pure and high quality ingredients including powerful essential oils and extracts. The type of products you can feel good about putting on your skin. They also have products for baby skin which I am excited to check out as well.

You can find Kimberly Parry Organics here or the Ocean Pearl Spa at the Sheraton Carlsbad.

Josie Maran Argan Infinity Cream

I was exited to hear about Josie Maran’s new product, Infinity Cream.  I was completely sold after I watched ‘A Day in the Life of Josie Maran Infinity Cream’ on YouTube (watch video Here). I was secretly hoping to look just as effortlessly beautiful as Josie when using this creamy oil and pictured myself strolling through a farmers market whilst dabbing the product on my elbows. Although that didn’t quite happen, I was still happy with my results and the variety of ways in which this product can be used.

I have personally used Infinity Cream in the following ways:

  • On my bone dry hands and cuticles
  • Fly away hairs
  • Spot treat on the dry areas of my face
  • Eye Shadow – works amazing!
  • Lip moisture

This is extremely concentrated and a little goes a long way. The package fits nice in a purse, since there are so many uses it is a great idea to take it with you! Here are some MORE uses, yes there’s more, from the JM Website:

-Deeply moisturize dry areas of the face.
-Soothe irritated skin caused by rosacea, wind, or sunburn.
-Soften elbows, heels, and other rough patches.
-Keep stray eyebrows in place.
-Smooth flyaways.
-Moisturize at night.
-Prevent razor burn and irritation.
-Prevent skin dehydration during airline travel.
-Apply as a lip conditioner before lipstick.
-Apply over lip stain for a silky finish.
-Lightly dab on eyelids before applying eye shadow.
-Apply before or after using cheek stain to improve blendability.
-Transform powder eye shadow or pigment into a cream by mixing with Infinity Cream.
-Mix with a powder luminizer to create a light, shimmery lip balm.
-Use as a subtle face highlighter to illuminate cheekbones, lips, and brow bones.
-Mix with a powder blush to create a silky cream blush or colored lip balm.
-Hydrate and plump dry, swollen undereyes.
-Apply to fingertips and toes to hydrate and soften cuticles.
-Quench skin post-sunburn.

 

Learn more about this and other products at the Josie Maran Website, so far everything I have tried I love. Read about the first product I fell in love with, Argan Oil, here.

Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Recovery Masque

multivitamin power recovery masque

Nothing says relaxation to me like taking a hot bath. To make this experience even better I love to add a few special touches while I sit and relax in the tub. For one, I always like to add something to the water (bath salts, oils etc) and I love a good mask for my face. I know not a lot of people take the time for the so-called extras like facial masks but they can really make a difference in improving the skins appearance.

I recently used the Multivitamin Recovery Masque by Dermalogica which is one of my all time favorites. The MV Recovery Masque is filled with vitamins, antioxidants and rich algae to name a few, that instantly repair and replenish the skin.  It is ideal for people with aging concerns (hellooooo!) and stressed skin. This would be the perfect mask after getting over a flu or a cold (Read here for more on skin and sickness), after getting too much sun, or when you just have that “dull” look going on. This mask is also my go to when I have an event or a hot date night and want my skin to glow. It has an instant hydrating effect!

You can check out some of the other masks by Dermalogica sorted by different skin types and which concern you want to target. Add a mask to your weekly regimen and you will see a difference, enjoy!

Related posts below:

Benefits of bath

Turkish Bath

Broccoli Mask

 

Skin and Sickness

Q1 Epidemic: flu in the office

I have been getting sick a lot lately. Scratch lately, more like my entire life. It seems I pick up every bug going around.  I hear people say things to me like, “You’re sick again!? You’re always sick.” Or if you are my mom you simply just tell me what a hot mess I am. True that mother, true that. But to be fair she also makes me homemade chicken soup, lucky me!

After my last cold which lasted about 4 days I looked into the mirror and noticed how crappy I looked. My skin was dull and flaky, not exactly the picture of healthy skin I talk about here. I know that not looking fabulous is not the worst side effect of having the flu or a cold but it’s definitely not a good one either.

Here are a few steps I take to get my skin back to glowing after a bout with a sickness.

Exfoliate!

This is key after being sick. A common skin concern is dry flaky skin, especially if you haven’t been drinking enough fluids. Peeling back that dead layer of skin will help you get the glow back and also help with product absorption. I would choose a gentle non-abrasive exfoliator in case your skin has been sensitized during your illness.

Mask

I like to apply a deeply hydrating mask to my skin after a cold. Especially if you have been taking over the counter meds or antibiotics because they can wreak havoc with the skins hydration level. If you do not have a “fancy” mask at home you can even use a few tablespoons of Pure Aloe Gel (maybe we a few drops of Lavender essential oil) and apply directly to the skin. Preferably while relaxing in a hot bath, ahhhh.

Spot Treat

Due to toxins being released breaking out is common during times of illness. It is best to apply these types of products at night while the skin is regenerating (let it dry before your head hits the pillow). Clays, Tea tree and Lavender essential oils are all great natural ways to heal an acne breakout.

In future posts I will also be sharing what information I have been seeking to strengthen my immunity. Hopefully I will stop getting sick all of the time and keep my skin looking its best. I have learned so much and continue to learn what steps to take, foods to eat and medicines to avoid. I will share what has worked for me and please share with me if you have any immunity boosters that have worked for you! More to come!

 

Ch ch ch Chia! Super Skin Food

I used to eat Ground Flax Seed  every day, nowadays I eat Chia Seeds. There are so many health benefits and it is amazing for the skin. Chia seeds are rich in omega Fatty Acids, in fact the richest in any plant based food. These omega-3 fatty acids help keep the skin cells plump and healthy.  Along with the omegas it also contains antioxidants and hydrating effects which are essential for healthy looking skin. Some of the other health benefits include:

High in fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Great plant based protein source.

When compared to Flax Seed they are favorable because they do not have to be ground up and also have a much longer shelf life.

Have been known to cut sugar cravings and are really helpful with elimination issues (this should be a staple if you are trying to lose weight, it helps you feel full).

A few ways to incorporate Chia into your diet:

  • Throw them in your smoothie (I know, I know that is my answer to everything)
  • Soak the seeds in water for 10 minutes. The consistency turns into a gel and you can add it to your beverage of choice for something different. (tons of recipes out there)
  • Add to breads, meatloaf or cookies to add some high quality nutrition. (You can buy this in powder form as well)

Moms, this is a great food to give to your kids, especially when they go on food strikes and will NOT eat anything you cook. Plenty of ways to sneak this into foods they WILL eat (not that this is happening to me…sigh). This is truly an amazing Super Skin Food, your skin and body will thank you for adding this to your diet!

Do you eat Chia? How do you enjoy it?

 

 

 

 

Cleaning your brushes!

 

When was the last time you cleaned your cosmetic brushes? If it took you a while to answer this question it is probably time. It is easy to ignore this process but it is really important to clean the brushes on a regular basis.

Not only are you removing the old make-up when you clean them, but also oils from your skin and bacteria build-up. If you are having problems with breakouts/acne and are not regularly washing your brushes this could be contributing to your problem.

How do you clean your brushes? There are great videos on you tube showing different techniques for this process. Personally I clean them by my sink, adding my sons natual body wash to my hand and swirl my brushes gently in the soap. I rinse them out in warm water, careful not to get the brush handle wet (you don’t want to loosen the glue holding the hairs together). I lay the brushes down on a towel and let them dry overnight. Again if you need to see an example check out you tube.

As far as how often to clean your brushes, I have heard anywhere from 1-3 weeks. If I clean mine every week I think I am doing pretty good. If you wear many different shades and pigments you might want to clean them more frequently.

Brushes are expensive and if you care for them properly they have an extremely long lifespan. Hope that helps, happy washing!

 

Mom’s In Charge!

I am super excited to share with you my latest interview with Dotty Hagmier- President and Founder of Mom’s in Charge. It is such a privilege to share this information with you and introduce this organization if you haven’t already heard of it. I have been writing about how lifestyle can affect our skin for a while and Dotty educates us beautifully here:

I ♥ SC– Tell us a little about your story and how Moms In Charge began.

DOTTY– I have always been wellness-conscious and as an RN, I thought I knew the answers to keep myself healthy. I worked out and ate what most would consider “healthy” foods.

However, as I had my children, my health as well as theirs began to decline. We were on what I call “the sick cycle”. Someone was almost always sick in my home. I became very ill and it became very clear that my standard American diet and way of life was not working.

With the help of a homeopath friend, she shared new insights that set me on a new course. From my sick bed, I began school to learn more about how to heal myself and teach others. I began Moms in Charge as a project in my school that evolved in taking the idea to moms around me.
On my own personal health journey, I felt alone and isolated without a place to turn to get answers on how to incorporate new ways to prepare food and live a less toxic lifestyle with my kids. I began reaching out to my friends and inviting them to learn with me.
The result was forming Moms In Charge to have community of like-minded moms to learn and have resources to make healthier choices with their kids.
I believe this is a journey and ONE step at a time, the health of my family has greatly improved and I’m excited to hear how steps others are making are positively changing their lives, too.

I ♥ SC-  In your opinion, how important is using quality ingredients on our skin?

DOTTY– Putting quality, non-toxic ingredients on our skin is much more important than most people realize.

Our skin is the largest organ of our body. It’s very well known in the medical community that our skin absorbs what is put onto it, as many medications come in the form of a “patch” and are very effective.

I ♥ SC– Adversely, do you believe there is a consequence for using harmful chemicals on our skin?

DOTTY–  The truth that is not widely known is that the FDA does not regulate most of the ingredients that goes into our skin care products.

The big issue is that many of these ingredients are known carcinogens and hormone disruptors. Most claim that there are just “small amounts” of these toxic ingredients, and therefore should be safe.

However, in the light of how many different products we use every day, it is a huge issue to address. Counting the products we use just from the time we wake up until we leave the house is an interesting challenge to give yourself. The average is about 15 products. Add in the ones at night and realize this is a daily occurrence, and it’s much more than a “nominal” amount.
The cumulative effect of these toxic substances, I strongly believe from the research I have done, are contributing to increasing incidences of cancer as well as immune and hormonal disruptions.

Putting these on our children is even worse due to their developing bodies and immature immune systems.

I ♥ SC– Aside from the topical skin care products we use on our skin, what other factors do you believe have impact on the health of our skin?

DOTTY– Our skin is the “tattle tale” what we are feeding and how we are treating our bodies. To have healthy skin, a diet rich in antioxidants, phytonutrients and pure water is essential. This includes, fresh organic fruit and vegetable juices, less cooked foods to maintain more if the nutrients and critical enzymes needed for proper digestion.

I believe our digestion is one of the most important functions of our body.
Dairy and Gluten, which cause many digestive issues, are best to be eliminated to have the best most vibrant skin.

Decreasing or eliminating caffeine will help the skin to be more hydrated and more supple. Replacing coffee with green tea or other herbal teas like gynostemma tea are better alternatives.

Sleep is crucial for the skin to look its best. A good rule of thumb, although easier said than done for many of us, is to get to sleep by 10pm and no screen time one hour before bed. The time between 10pm and midnight is “double restorative” and so you essentially are getting more positive results by getting to bed a little earlier.
This will show up in your skin, but decreasing those bags and dark circles under your eyes.

I ♥ SC–  Although MIC focuses on raising healthy vibrant kids, I have also learned from you how important it is for Moms to take care of themselves. Why do you feel this is so crucial?

DOTTY -My motto is ” If mama ain’t healthy, ain’t nobody healthy”

As moms, we expend a massive amount of time and energy to care for our family and home. The research is very clear that the profile of a caregiving mom who is overwhelmed by life and is not herself nurtured, is at high risk for health issues including cancer, depression and auto immune problems.
I believe we get caught up in the supermom mentality and  believe a lie that by being everything to everyone makes us a better mom and woman. The reality is, we were not designed to do it all. It literally does and should take a village.Reaching out to other moms and asking for help, belonging to a community of like-minded moms, and taking time for yourself to nourish your sprit soul and body are critical to being a healthy mom and woman.

Prioritizing our own nutrition, exercise and wellness along with our kids’ will serve them more than being a frazzled sick mess and then becoming the martyr to top it off.

It’s a challenge to “get it all together” and then keep it that way, but I believe that small steps toward healthy goals will make our collective journey more joyful and enjoyable.
After all, it should be about the journey and not a guilty frenzy to some non-existent utopia-like “finish line”.

I ♥ SC– MIC has been a huge force for moms desperate to learn healthy tools and its only been a short while since it began. What is the vision for MIC in the future?

DOTTY– My ultimate goal is to have Moms in Charge chapters around the country, and have our web community as a strong force to create a movement to “change the shape of our future”. Our Non-Profit, Moms In Charge Foundation is working on programs to educate moms, kids and teachers on how to empower our kids to make THEIR OWN healthy choices.

We plan to get our Kids’ Chef Academy into DVD’s and built into a curriculum for parents and schools.

Our goal for the “Clean the Clean” campaign is designed to change the environment in schools to a non-toxic and safe area for our kids.

The “Day for ME” program is to educate moms more about the importance of taking care of themselves and giving them tangible steps and tools and support on their journey.

My goal is that these along with other strategies will change our paradigm where feeding our kids healthy foods and putting safe, non-toxic products on their skin and environment is not only accepted but EXPECTED and our kids become more empowered to be leaders in healthy choices.

I ♥ SC– Where can my readers learn more about MIC?

Picture

DOTTY– Our website is www.momsincharge.org
Our blog is Www.momsincharge.me

You can find us in the group “moms in charge” on FB
And in the fan page ” Moms in Charge Orange County” to keep up with all the MIC happenings.

For local MIC moms, we are also on meet-up, where you can connect with the MIC  moms on fun outings with your kids.

I ♥ SC– Thank you Dotty for taking the time to help us understand the importance of healthy lifestyle and how it goes hand in hand with beautiful skin! You are certainly an inspiration to me and have changed my family’s life for the better. Empowering moms to take charge of their health and the health of their families is priceless, we appreciate you!