Winter Skin Care Routine for Acne and Inflammation

As beautiful as winter is, it can be pretty brutal on our skin. Pair that with some seasonal allergies and you could wind up with a dry, flaky, and inflamed face. Fortunately, there are several skincare products that can help quench your skin’s thirst and eliminate inflammation.

Use a cleansing oil

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During the dry months, try replacing your typical face wash with a cleansing oil. Many face washes contain alcohol which can strip your skin of it’s natural moisture when removing dirt, oil, and makeup.

Cleansing oils will still remove makeup and impurities. However, it will not strip your skin of it’s natural moisture.

Kopari’s Coconut Cleansing Oil is a great option because its key ingredients are coconut oil (which hydrates), green tea oil (which soothes skin), rice bran oil (which deep cleans and hydrates), and camellia seed oil (which moisturizes, softens and protects skin from harmful exposures).

Tone it up!

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For those who are more prone to acne, I recommend using a toner after you’ve oil cleansed. Even though added oil is a very good thing in the dry season, it can be a breeding ground for acne causing bacteria. Toners can help balance that issue and remove any remaining dirt from your pores.img_4607

I use Mary Kay’s Clearproof Blemish Control Toner with a cotton pad rather than a cotton ball. I put a dime size amount of toner on the pad and work it around my face in a circular motion. Cotton balls are great for applying toner but the pads picks up the remaining dirt on your skin.

Moisturizer

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After you’ve toned your skin, it’s important to bring some hydration to it. If you started your routine with a cleansing oil, you won’t need much moisturizer to get the job done.

Kopari’s Coconut Face Cream is my current go-to due to the fact that it helps with not only hydration, but inflammation. You can use this morning, day, night, or all three. This particular cream has antioxidants and fatty acids in it to help strengthen skin while giving it a more youthful appearance. It also helps promote collagen production – which declines as we get older.

A good eye balm

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For those that deal with face inflammation due to allergies, a good eye balm can help decrease the puffiness you see under your eyes and around your cheekbones. Eye balm is a step we overlook until we really need it. The good news is, that’s when we see the most results from it.

Kopari’s Starry Eye Balm delivers a dose of caffeine to help de-puff, illuminate, and refresh tired eyes. So how does caffeine help with inflammation? As we get older, we tend to increase production of an inflammatory molecule called adenosine. A new study found that caffeine helps block adenosine production resulting in less inflammation.

Treat yourself to a detox mask

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If you can spare to give yourself 10-15 minutes, I promise it can be worth it for your skin. If you find yourself saying, “I really don’t have time to do a face mask,” block out 15 minutes on your calendar to do so. You and your skin are worth that.

Knowing I’m investing specific time into myself, I want to make sure the product I’m using is worth while. That is why I go for safe, chemical free masks. The new detox mask by Kopari has no silicones, sulfates, parabens or GMOS.

A little bit of this mask goes a long way and it leaves your skin tingling in the best way possible. It also has two detoxifying clays in it which help pull impurities out of pores. It also contains plant based probiotics that calm inflammation and super foods that give essential nutrients back to the skin.

I planned on only using this mask once a week, but that quickly changed to at least 3 times a week due to the results I saw and felt. I put this as the second step of my skincare routine – right before I moisturize.

 

Get To Know The Author: 

Courtney is a news anchor turned social media coordinator & content creator.
She loves educating her followers on social trends, skincare, wellness, and home improvement.  

 

What More Water Can Do for Your Skin and Mental Health

We’re always told, “drink more water”. However, many of us won’t jump on that bandwagon until we conceptualize what benefits it can bring to us in the immediate.

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First day of our water challenge

I did a 30 day water challenge with a friend from work where we aimed to drink more water each day (I ended up taking in about 100 oz. a day). However, before you pull out your jug and start chugging… here are some things to know first:

  • Drinking too much water can be very dangerous. 
    Water intoxication can happen if someone drinks too much water too quickly. In rare cases, it can be deadly so never drink more than medically recommended for you.
  • Your stomach may not be able to physically hold a larger intake of water at the start.
    I wanted to get in close to a gallon of water on the first day of the challenge. In reality, it took me a week to reach a gallon per day. My stomach wasn’t used to holding that much liquid. Plus, I realized I personally didn’t need a gallon to see results.
    These pictures were taken only two weeks apart. As you can see, my face slimmed out because I wasn’t retaining as much water. Also, my skin looked and felt so much more hydrated.

Now, let’s hit on the positives that drinking more water brings to our mental health:

Brain Power

braintwoOur brain is made up of about 75 percent water and when we are nurturing it properly, the benefits can be game changing. We can focus better, think faster and have better clarity and creativity.

Feel like your hormones are off? Try drinking more water because it’s a key source for the brain to manufacture hormones and neurotransmitters.

Depression and Dehydration

Being dehydrated can cause serotonin levels to decrease. Serotonin is one of the most important neurotransmitters in our mental health and it impacts brain cells linked to our mood, sleep and social behavior.

So when we are not getting enough water, we are doing our brain a disservice by not allowing it to produce the chemicals it needs for optimal mental wellness.

Stop Stressin’stress

Studies have been shown that dehydration can dramatically increase our cortisol levels. Most of us know cortisol as the “stress” hormone because it’s released as part of our internal “fight-or-flight”. While that serves us well if a black bear shows up by our camping tent, it does not serve us well when things arise that do not merit constant fear or stress.

Higher cortisol levels can also increase our risk for other mental illnesses, like depression. So, keep the water intake high and the cortisol levels low.

Tips for drinking more H2O

When drinking water isn’t a part of your daily routine – finding that routine can take as much effort as drinking water itself.

Here are some tips straight from the CDC which I love:

  • “Carry a water bottle for easy access when you are at work or running errands.
  • Freeze some freezer safe water bottles. Take one with you for ice-cold water all day long.
  • Choose water when eating out. Generally, you will save money and reduce calories.
  • Add a wedge of lime or lemon to your water. This can help improve the taste and help you drink more water than you usually do.”

Screen Shot 2018-05-10 at 5.46.56 PMFor me, tracking and drinking more water was much more enjoyable because I used a bottle from Mossy Oak. If you’re wanting a Yeti but aren’t willing to spend $70 to $100 on it, this is a great solution!

This brand does an incredible job keeping water cold, for 24 HOURS. No joke. You can find these two, 17 oz bottles on Amazon for $24.99. I would suggest two because when you are drinking more water, you will have to wash your bottle more frequently.

Personal Insight Blog Disclosure: I am not a doctor or licensed health professional. This blog is for entertainment purposes and readers should use these tips at their discretion. Information included is strictly from my personal experienes other than what is sourced.

8 Beauty Products To Get If You’re On A Budget

We all have something that is constantly in stock at our home. When the toilet paper is running low, there’s no “I can get by without it” mindset. That’s how I feel about 8 beauty products which were used to help create the look in the picture above. The best part is, you can find half of these items at the drug store.

1. Clear Proof Blemish Control Toner – Mary Kayimg_4828-1

I’ve been using this product twice a day, everyday for several years. My, oh my, does it work! If your skin is oily and prone to acne, I recommend trying it.

I experimented with so many acne products since high school and nothing was strong enough. With this toner, I noticed it picked up dirt that was left after washing my face. If you use it how I do, it lasts for at least two months and is $15 on Mary Kay.

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Cotton rounds should have some exfoliating element – like a firmer side. Soft, flimsy ones won’t work.

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Makeup left on my face after washing that Clear Proof Blemish Toner got up.

Look how much makeup was left on my face after washing and drying! The toner was able to pick up dirt that washing and drying couldn’t. I do, however, think these cotton rounds are just as essential in getting up the dirt as the toner is.

Usage: Put a nickel size amount of toner on the cotton rounds. Rub cotton rounds in circular motion across entire face and neck. I use it every morning and night before applying coconut oil.

2. Better Body Foods Organic Coconut Oil

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I use it as a moisturizer day and night – primarily on my face, eyelids, neck and lips. I also will occasionally use it on my cuticles and as an eye makeup remover.

Coconut oil can help with the appearance of wrinkles and it encourages the production of collagen. It also has been found to have anti-inflammatory effects on the skin.

I like Better Body Foods Organic Coconut Oil because it doesn’t have that overwhelming coconut smell. That gets old real fast. It’s $7.56 at Walmart.

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3. L’Oréal Paris Brow Stylist Definer Pencil

First off, you do not need a $20 brow pencil to get the job done. I use the ultra-fine tip shaping pencil in “Brunette” and it works perfectly. Get the ultra-fine tip so you can really control the strokes. It’s $6.63 on Amazon or a similar price at your drug store.

4. Kiss Ever EZ Lashes 11

Being on television, I’ve tried many lashes to help give my eyes an extra pop. This brand and style is by far the best if you’re on a budget.

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The thing I love most about them is how natural they look. They have a thin base so they blend into your real lashes well. They are extremely light and don’t weigh down your eyelid and usually won’t peal off.

I can easily use the same pair for up to a week. Make sure to get #11 which you can find for $7.82 at Walmart.

I use the same brand for lash glue and it works pretty well.

5. Hello Flawless Powder Foundation – Benefit Cosmetics

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An image consultant told meimg_4778 about this and I now use it everyday I wear foundation.

It gives your face an even, matted and truthfully… flawless look. The key is to use it as a second foundation and skip powder cover up all together. Apply your foundation like normal then use a rounded foundation brush (which I recommend below) to apply Hello Flawless. Apply evenly in a circular motion across entire face. Do not use the brush that comes with it. It simply won’t work as well.

I use the shade “What I Crave” Toasted Beige, which you can find for $34 at Ulta.

6. Classic Multitasker Brush #45 – Sephora Collection

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This was another image consultant recommendation. It’s a rounded foundation brush so you can use it for multiple purposes.

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The tip comes fully white.

However, I only use it for applying Hello Flawless.

But unlike a lot of foundation brushes, it is as soft as a cloud.  You can get this brush for $24 dollars at Sephora.

7. Well-Rested Eye Brightener – bareMinerals

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I have used this concealer since high school and for good reason!

Applying under the eyes gives you a, wait for it…. well rested look ;). I apply this product on top of my eye lids and under the eyes until I reach the top of the cheek bone.

It also has SPF 20 and you can get it for $20 at Ulta.

8. Hair scrunchie…

img_4786I kid you not. I use a hair scrunchie every day/night because that is how I get my ends “curled”. NO CURLING IRONS!

I do not use a curling iron anymore and the only hot tools I use are a blow dryer and a straightener, occasionally. I do a blow out then straighten the roots at the front of my face when needed. The rest of my roots, I just let the curls be. It’s less heat and gives my hair body.

img_4879How does a scrunchie curl my ends? Originally, I did it by accident…

I put my hair in a messy bun at the top of my head -making sure the ends of my hair reach the tip of the scrunchie in the first pull through. I sleep on it then put my hair down, straightened the front roots, put some oil on the ends, brush it and then do minimal teasing.

Note: You may have a lovely cowlick at the top of your head but just tease that baby into shape! You can get a pack of 8 scrunchies at Walmart for $4.88.

You can get all these items for $119.89 plus tax!

Voilà