skin care

Confessions Of An Ex-Tanner

 It is nearly that time again. That time when we are tempted to slather on some Hawaiian Tropic Tanning Oil [extra dark], grab our favorite book, and plant ourselves on a beach towel.

A couple months back, I met up with a friend at the mall [where else?]. We were perusing as all ladies do, and we strolled past the swim suits. I made a remark about how I wanted to start tanning but wasn’t going to.

“Have you repented?”, she asks.

In my teens and early 20s, I was crazy about having that summer, bronze glow. I’d always refuse to wear sunscreen, always opted for the tanning oil, and always caught some rays every chance I got. I reached the age of 23 and realized I needed to calm down. I didn’t have a skin cancer scare or get the sunburn of a lifetime that scared me out of tanning. [Praise the Lord to both]. You see, nutrition is a secret love of mine. I have a heightened fascination for learning about what happens to our bodies when we consume certain foods, the quality of our food, reading past the marketing of foods, and how to overall maintain a true, healthy lifestyle, etc. In that research, I learned what tanning does to us and how vital sunscreen really is to our bodies.

I’m not going to get all ‘this is what tanning does to you’ on you, because if you tan you’ve more than likely heard the spiel a million times. What I will tell you is to go buy some sunscreen. And what I will ask you is to please don’t refuse to wear it. Love your face and take the plunge. At the very least, buy a moisturizer that has sunscreen in it [most do, these days].

I’m not proposing we all wear turtlenecks on the beach; I live in Southern California and love the sun just as much as anyone else. And as summer approaches, I’ll be going to the beach and getting some sun. The difference is I’ll have some SPF in my bag instead of oil. I’m incredibly thankful I had a friend looking out for me, and I’m incredibly thankful I came to this realization before it was too late.

8 Reasons You Should Be Using Witch Hazel

Witch Hazel is magical. Ancient sources say it was used by witches to heal all sorts of remedies; hence, the name. Native Americans used it as a staple healing item, and your ancestors probably wouldn’t have looked nearly as good without it.

Modern science is determined to undermine my belief in Witch Hazel’s magic by labeling it as an “astringent.” It tightens skin tissue, which allows it to heal faster.

You can find this little solution in almost any drugstore for under $5 a bottle. Once you have it, here are eight ways you can use it.

1. Clear Up Acne

This is the number one reason I use Witch Hazel. The moment I see a spot pop up on my face, I get out a cotton swab and Witch Hazel and dab that sucker. The Witch Hazel not only heals the pimple faster, it also keeps it from itching so you’re less likely to scratch at it and make it bleed.
You can also use it as a preventative measure. By soaking a cloth in Witch Hazel and wiping your face twice a day, most breakouts can be prevented.

2. Make Your Eyes Shine!

If you have the tendency to wake up with bags under your eyes, just soak a cloth in Witch Hazel and water and press it under your eyes for 10-15 minutes. This works great in reducing puffiness after crying too!

3. Heal Bruises

If you’re clumsy like me, you’ve probably got more than a few unsightly bruises on your arms and legs. Just dab a bit of Witch Hazel on the spot with a cotton ball or soak it with a cloth dipped in Witch Hazel a few times a day, and the bruise will be gone in no time.

4. Stop Bleeding from Nicks and Cuts

Honestly, I use Witch Hazel for this all the time. I’m always hurting myself in little ways. Seriously, I got a severe paper cut from putting away files the other day. For this, I dip a cotton swab in Witch Hazel and press it over the bleeding area until it stops, then dab up any extra moisture with the other side of the swab. It’s the quickest, easiest, most sanitary way to deal with annoying little cuts.

5. Smooth Bumps

You know those little bumps you get on your legs after shaving or waxing? Yeah, Witch Hazel can fix that too. Soak a cloth in Witch Hazel and water and place it on the affected area. Even if the bumps don’t completely disappear, the Witch Hazel will at least soothe them and make you feel better.

6. Prevent and Reduce Razor Burn

Before going in the shower, rub some Witch Hazel on your legs and it should prevent that rash you get from shaving. If not, just put a cloth soaked in Witch Hazel and water on your legs afterwards, and the rash should disappear completely.

7. Soothe Bug Bites

Good for mosquito bites, spider bites, and other nasties, just dab a cotton ball dipped in Witch Hazel on it a few times a day to to reduce itchiness and swelling. Personally, I live in a place where there are no bitey bugs, but let me know if this one works for you! I’ve read it’s one of the most effective uses.

8. Moisturize Skin

Witch Hazel locks in moisture, so if you apply it right after showering, it will keep your skin soft and smooth all day long. You can even use it on your face, since it’s all-natural and not oily, it will make you glow but not shine.

Do you have any other uses for witch hazel? Stories? Magical fairytales? Comment below!

How to get stunning skin

There is certainly something to be said for genetics when it comes to having stunning skin. Some ladies have great skin naturally, while others can eat an entire bag of Dove chocolates without gaining an ounce. As my Mother always says, “We are all born with our gifts and our gaps.” Maybe she’s born with it? I think those Maybelline people were on to something.

But the good news is that genes are only the starting point! Beautiful skin also comes from good skin care habits and eating all that bright colored stuff your elders told ya to.

How to get stunning skin?

1. SUNSCREEN! – I’m serious. Trust me, I know it’s not “cool” to be “that girl” who lathers up in spf seventy instead of  tanning oil. (See An Aside About Sunscreen) Sure, it looks great to be the tan one in a summer dress… when you’re twenty-two. But who’s going to be laughing when you’re sixty-five with skin that looks like beat leather? Exactly. That’s what I’m banking on anyway. Who’s with me?

2. Keep it simple – Okay. Raise your hand if you woke up one morning, had the worst break out of your life, then proceeded straight to your local CVS to buy every acne treatment known to man. You’ve got to nuke these things. No spot treatment would go unpurchased!

Preach! I’ve been there. More times than I’d like to count, actually. It turns out that bombarding your face with a plethora of breakout remedies isn’t the best idea. You’re just irritating your already ****ed off pores and those products can sometimes cancel each other out.  The best regimen I’ve found  for stunning skin is simple. A good cleanser, moisturizer and sunscreen. That’s it! Plus, I don’t know about you but the simpler it is, the easier it is to stick with it.

3. Let It Be – Back to the breakout from hell. I am not the most patient person. If I buy an acne spot treatment, I’m gonna need that zit to go back from whence it came as soon as those crazy chemicals hit my skin. Apparently that’s not how it works. You have to give these things time to work. A rule I try to stick by is to use the entire tube before I write something off as ineffective. But if it makes your skin itchy, red, or inflamed drop it like it’s hot.

4. Balance, Baby – I’d like to believe there is a healthy medium between spinach smoothies and Cinnabon for breakfast. Eat good stuff. I try to have one or two fruits and/ or veggies with each meal. Doesn’t happen everytime but if I try and stick to that I usually feel better and am less prone to sporadic zit colonies on my face. Also, try sleeping. Many of my breakouts come from sleep deprivation and stress.  A recipe for stunning skin must consist of sleep.  I try to hold myself to seven hours per night. My boo also appreciates when I’m well rested. No one likes a ****y date.

5. Change That Case – If you are having a breakout, change your pillowcase and wash cloths. Rid your face of those germs!

If you are interested, here is what I use:
Cleanser: Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control Power Gel Cleanser
Moisturizer: Neutrogena Oil Free Moisture – Sensitive Skin
Sunscreen: Lappert Replenishing Sunblock – SPF 36 (Cucumber based. Smells delicious. Not all gross and greasy)
Spot Treatment: Lappert Acne Spot Treatment

Here’s is a DIY acne spot treatment that works wonders if you want to get rid of redness and swelling with those painful buggers.
You’ll Need:
One uncoated aspirin
A few drops of water
Mash up the wet aspirin and apply to the problem areas.

A note about those last two products – You’re probably thinking. “Wow what a jerk! Shamelessly promoting her Dad’s products! Gross.” Totally understand your thinking. I’d be right there with you. BUT, with that said, I’ve already been put through college so if you buy it, none of the proceeds would be benefitting yours truly in any way. Just sharing what I use. But it really is the best.