My Wellness Essentials: Face, Teeth and Body
This is the time year when many of us give considerable effort towards our physical, mental and spiritual wellness routine. We're stepping away from an old year and starting fresh to find and restore balance, and ultimately feel radiant and energized in our own bodies. And if you're anything like me and live in an area where winter is cold and dry, it is soooo important to give our bodies and skin (our largest organ) extra TLC during the colder months. Here are some of my favorite products that I actually use on a daily basis that may also help your beauty and wellness routine!
What I Look For in Beauty Products
When it comes to my body, clean nutrients are my everything. I try to eat organic when possible and I try to use beauty products with a short ingredient list, particularly one that I can pronounce and understand.
And many of our modern beauty products are simply commodified versions of what our ancestors used. I often like to go back to the roots of a product or treatment, and use time tested products that really work.They're usually less expensive than the stuff with 25 ingredients and fancy packaging.
For your Face
I have combination skin and I still deal with minor acne in my 30's. So my beauty products change with the seasons - I use a face oil in the winter and a lotion in the summer.
In the winter, I use Mad Hippy Antioxidant Face Oil. It's light orange blossom scent is so lovely and the oil isn't too heavy or light.. for me it's perfect in the winter. The antioxidants help my skin regenerate and maintain a youthful brightness.
Lush's Imperialis is my go to summer-time lotion. It's light, easily absorbs and incredibly smells like tiger lilies! I do have to add a sun protectant when I go outside, but I haven;t found one yet that I would recommend. (If you're reading this and have a great sun protectant, please comment below!!)
Facials and masks
For a quick mini peel in the winter, use a piece of fresh pineapple! Seriously. The active ingredients in a facial peel are simply acids from fruits, so this is literally going to the source! Pineapple has a lot of vitamin C as well, so you're dissolving dead skin off your face while adding major brightness. To do this, its best to use a fresh pineapple since a canned one may have reduced active acids and enzymes. Take a small piece (about 2" or so) and rub it on your face. I do circles first, then upward strokes and when I covered my whole face with juice, I let it dry. You'll feel your skin tighten under the drying sweet, sticky nectar. After 5-10 minutes I rinse with warm water and moisturize. The most important part to remember is that your skin will be really sensitive after this, so try to avoid major sun exposure afterwards. I do this only in the winter and use sunscreen for a few days after.
My favorite product ever is Aztec Secret bentonite clay mask. You can purchase bentonite clay in bulk cheaper, but I just go with the packaged one I find at my local Whole Foods. It's a two ingredient face mask that tightens my pores, evens my skin tone and reduces fine lines. Just add equal portions of clay and apple cider vinegar, mix in a non-metal dish and apply to face.You will feel it physically pulse and tighten - for me it's the most intense tightening experienced from an over the counter product! Once you wash it off, give your skin an hour or two for the redness to go away - you definitely don't want to do this right before a date! But when I am able to commit to a routine of 2-3 times a week, my skin looks 5 years younger!!
The growing trend of Gua Sha facial massage makes me so happy.. because now it's ok to rub crystals all over your face and I'm totally into it. Lol. But seriously, the second the cold stone hits my face, I start to melt. Massaging your face muscles stimulates micro-circulation of the soft tissue, which increases blood flow to promote healing and rejuvenation, decrease inflammation and move stagnant chi (energy).
For my teeth
My teeth have always been pretty straight and pretty white, the object of many of my friends' envy. But there is never a bigger proof to me that 'appearances are deceiving' than my teeth. Genetically, I have soft teeth and am prone to cavities, which lead to root canals, which lead to implants... in summation, I have had more dental work than anyone I know.
Besides regular cleanings, I now floss every day thanks to the genius invention of the floss pick. And to go further - floss picks with dual floss strands tend to really get into all the hide-y holes. I started with "Flossing Fridays"at a time when I commuted 50 minutes to work each way. Laugh if you want, but this silly word association was critical!! I would get in my car in the morning and my brain would do something like this... "Ok, it's Friday... What do I have to do this morning asap... What do I want to eat for lunch... and Oh Shit... it's Flossing Friday!!" It helped me not only build a routine, but made it fun and I still associate flossing with a pleasurable activity.
Recently, I started using Hello Toothpaste. It's coconut based with active charcoal for whitening. It foams up really nicely. The only down side is looking like a horror movie villain for 3 minutes a day and cleaning your sink more often. I'll take it!
For the body
I try to stay pretty low maintenance, but also like to indulge in nutrients. I use Nutiva Coconut Oil from neck to toes every morning after my shower, a practice I've been doing for years now. I spend a little extra for the organic cold pressed type (maybe that's overkill, but it makes me feel good about what i put on my body
If you haven't switched to a non-aluminum deodorant yet, or maybe you're still in the trial phase, I would highly recommend my favorite - Native Deodorant. My bestie, Erin (hi Erin!) turned me on to it a few years ago. We both really enjoy the men’s scents more than the lady scents, and the product quality is excellent!
When I have aches and pains surface from old injuries and or new stress, I reach for two things - one of them is Olbas Oil. It's one of those delicious medicinal herbally concoctions that smells like a hug from grandma. When my nostrils are clogged, I smell it or rub some under my nose. And for achy muscles, I use it as a massage oil. It tingles, warming my muscles and melting away the stresses of the day.
Are you always “trying to find the time” for self care, but never seem to be able to prioritize it?? Welcome to the club! You and I both know what magical wonders a hot Mineral Salt Bath can do for your body + mind + spirit, and we just need to STOP making excuses for that ultimate pamper. My favorite bath is with 2 cups of Epson Salt, 1 cup of Pink Himalayan Salt and ½ cup of Dead Sea Salt. Finish off with some juicy essential oils and violà!... Total. Zen. Zone. I’ve also started experimenting with CBD in my bath and it’s so very extra, that I’ve decided to create a Bath Ritual CBD + Salt Blend. Stay tuned.. It’s pure heaven!!
I'm always looking for new recommendations and would love to hear what your favorite products are! Leave your suggestions in the comments below!