The Fast Fix! (Skin Care Edition)

About 10 years ago everyone at my work was dieting with the lemonade diet and losing weight. I wanted to lose five pounds so I was in! By day two I was getting dizzy and my dogs food smelled really good. I decided to stop, gained the two pounds of water weight back plus more and permanently slowed my metabolism. What a win!

I recently was thinking of this story because it can be the same with our skin, we want the fast fix without first trying the basic things we should be doing. Instead of fasting with lemon salt water I should have started with a healthy diet and exercise. I have a lot of people asking me about expensive and sometimes invasive procedures to help their skins appearance. So today I am going back to the basics with three easy steps to get your skin game going strong. Even if you decide to go forward with more advanced procedures you will see even better results if you are doing these things first. Or you may find you see such an improvement you stick with these tips and save yourself some $$$ and recovery time!

Exfoliate!

This is the most effective way to help shed those dead skin cells sitting on the surface of the skin making it hard to get your products to penetrate in. Fine lines and wrinkles look more defined when you are not regularly exfoliating and skin has less of a glow. I say start here and be consistent! I keep one in the shower so I can remember to regularly exfoliate. I can see a difference when I do. And most products only take a few minutes so it won’t be a challenge to fit this step in.

Hydrate!

Hydration in the skin is the best way to plump out fine lines and give your skin a beautiful glow. But many people I talk to are not using a serum or a hydrator under their moisturizer (or even using an effective moisturizer). After I use my Simply Jess toner I apply my serum and then my moisturizer. This helps to ensure I have the hydration I need. And of course hydrate internally not just topically. Drinking enough water makes a huge difference in the skin. Especially if you are consuming dehydrating drinks such as coffee or alcohol, (Me? Never!).  Add something like lemon, electrolytes or fruit to jazz up your water so that it doesn’t feel so boring to drink.

Sleep

I know how easy it is to dismiss this one. I can certainly tell a difference in my skin when I have actually had a good nights sleep. It seems like the norm to be sleep deprived and I have finally started to take this seriously. During the night our skin is rejuvenating (along with our brain and everything else in the body), so it is crucial to try to get some solid sleep. After my camping trip when I slept a good 30 minutes one night, my skin definitely was not looking its best. I know for the moms who are reading this it can seem difficult to get all the sleep we need but its so important to help us feel and look better. They don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing!

Are you exfoliating, hydrating and sleeping enough?

Top Three Tips for Kick Butt Skin

 

My top three tips for healthier looking skin are pretty much the same for any skin type. If you have been neglecting your skin and it shows, try these simple steps and see if it helps!

1. Exfoliate– So are you exfoliating at home on a regular basis? I think this is an important step so many clients I talk to are missing! Whether your concern is dehydrated/ dull skin or congestion and oiliness, exfoliating will help. Getting rid of the top layer of skin will help bring healthy cells to the skins surface. Don’t get crazy and over exfoliate to make up for lost time, that will do more damage than good. Click here to see a few of my favorites if you need to purchase one (hint one of my favorites is from Dermalogica): Exfoliate

2. Hydrate- A few days of not drinking enough water, having too much caffeine or alcohol or not using hydrating skin care can show up instantly in the skin. When the skin is dehydrated every fine line is amplified and looks more aged. That is why people with oilier skin types tend to have less fine lines than us ‘dry as the desert’ skin types. Along with internal hydration I love using a topical serum to help hydrate and plump up the skin, makes a beautiful difference under make-up too.

3. Sleep- Sleep is crucial for absolutely everything, it is when we recharge our brains, when human growth hormone is released and when are cells are regenerating. I cringe as I type this one, it has not been a good year of sleep for me. I am more clumsy, I am constantly dropping things and my memory has not been good. It totally shows in my skin as well, you can tell I just look tired. A good nights sleep makes a world of difference in our skin and the way we feel so if you can, get more sleep. I know it is hard, trust me, but it helps tremendously.

If you are feeling like your skin needs a boost, try these three tips and then let me know if you see any results! What are your go to skin remedies? Share in the comments below!

How Floating in a Tank Can Improve Your Health

I have been hearing all of the hype surrounding ‘floating’ in sensory deprivation tanks recently so I decided to see what it was all about for myself.  Initially I became a little anxious about floating in a closed pod full of water and Epsom salts, so I did some research first. The health benefit claims were impressive; improvement in sleep quality, pain relief, decreased anxiety and more. I even read one hour in the tank can equal up to four hours of sleep, that was all I needed to hear after a year of poor sleep being a new mom.

My sister and I went to Float Therapy Spa in Huntington Beach a brand new facility offering state of the art float tanks. And here is a little about the process:

  • Watch a brief video that gives you a great explanation about the experience.
  • Take a shower and get ready to begin your float
  • Float! We did a 60 minute float but they have longer sessions available as well.
  • Take another shower to rinse off the salt

There are options, you don’t have to be in the dark with no sound and just sit there. I closed the pod door (but you don’t have to) and chose to keep the light on and listen to music. You can customize your experience so it is comfortable allowing for you relax and feel at peace.

It was such an interesting experience. At the end of my float I felt as though I had had a massage. I was extremely relaxed and felt less back pain than I had before. The benefits increase as you continue to float and people report increased creativity, focus and mind altering thoughts (along with many other benefits). While speaking to people who regualry float, one thing that is common is they do go regularly and each time improves what you get out of it.  I will definitely go back.

References:

  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25344737
  • Float Therapy Spa-Huntington Beach

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!

 

 

Touche Éclat-YSL

 

Not sleeping takes a toll on everyone, it’s no secret. I haven’t been getting tons of rest lately and quite frankly it shows. Underneath my eyes I see an increased amount of puffiness and also dark circles that all of the iced cucumber in the world couldn’t fix. I decided I needed to step it up a notch in the under eye concealer department.

I have been using Neutrogena Skin Brightening Eye Protector but felt like I wanted more coverage. I called my friend Courtney to ask what her favorite product is and she told me about Touche Éclat from Yves Saint Laurent. I ran over to Nordstroms STAT to try it out.

To use this product you apply as your last step, it is used to highlight. To achieve a heavier coverage you can layer, just apply, wait for it to dry and re-apply. You can even throw it in your purse and apply thorough out the day. I love the creamy texture and the wand can be directly applied to the eye area without sticking your finger in a pot.

Thanks for the great tip Court!