My Dry Skin Saviors

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   Every year, about this time, I need to start adding skin care products to my usual regimen that cater to dry skin.  Midwestern winters certainly don’t help, leaving my skin and hair in need of extra attention.  I thought I’d compile a list of a few of my current favorite products that help to keep my dry skin and hair at bay.

Overall:  I try to keep myself hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.  As a mom, I find this very hard to keep up on, but my trusty Lifefactory water bottle helps me stay focused on hydrating myself.   It is super portable and available with several different caps and size options, making it easy to keep with you throughout the day.  If you don’t believe me when I say that water makes a huge difference in your skin’s appearance, check out this picture.

Hands:  My hands have been particularly dry this winter and I recently found myself combing the aisles at Target looking for something that was reasonably priced and met my criteria for natural ingredients.  I ended up with Burt’s Bees Ultimate Care Hand Cream and LOVE the stuff!  I typically find that oils do the best job of hydrating your skin, but don’t soak in well unless your skin is damp.  So, for that reason, I typically prefer a cream formula for my hands.  This hand cream does the job of intense hydration thanks to ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter and baobab oil, yet still absorbs quickly into your skin.  The scent is very mild (a huge plus for me!) and fresh.  I am so glad I found this hand cream and carry it in my purse wherever I go.

Lips: Burt’s Bees wins again here with their Tinted Lip Balm.  It’s not waxy at all and I find that it soothes and smoothes my lips while adding the most beautiful natural tint and sheenff;||ddl’gl.  You really can’t go wrong with your color selection, but my current go to is the Pink Blossom shade.  It is a wearable everyday pink that gives you the “my lips, but better” look.

Face:  I recently discovered Pai Skincare and love the list of natural and quality ingredients that they use in their products.  I picked up the Rosehip Collection: Intensive Nourishing Facial Set on sale and have really enjoyed it.  It utilizes the regenerative and hydrating power of Rosehip to improve the skin’s glow and texture.  Pai’s website describes the kit as,

     “Harnessing the power of nature’s most powerful multi-tasker, this at-home Facial treatment transforms lacklustre skin in 3 simple steps.  Renowned for its regenerative and revitalizing properties, Rosehip’s high concentration of essential Omegas restores even the most sensitive of skin to its natural radiance.  Rich in replenishing nutrients, our Rosehip BioRegenerate Face Mask deeply hydrates and conditions the skin to leave it beautifully soft and supple.  Our cult classic Rosehip BioRegenerate oil locks in moisture and promotes a clear, bright and even skin tone.”

  I use the mask once or twice a week and then alternate the oil with another oil blend I made earlier this fall.  I highly recommend!

Body: You really cannot beat the power of oils in keeping your skin hydrated and soft. My favorite is a blend I make myself and you can find the recipe here.  When I don’t have this available or I’m too lazy to make it, straight coconut oil does the trick too.

Hair:  I mentioned in a recent post how much I love Argan Oil, and I continue to be amazed at what it does for my hair.  Just a couple of drops makes it noticeably softer and more manageable.  You can also use the tiniest amount rubbed in between your hands to tame those flyaways that the dry winter air brings out.

And there you have it!  What works for your dry skin?

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Happy Labor Day Week + A Giveaway!

Although I know that fall doesn’t officially start until September 20th, I always feel like it starts as soon as Labor Day is over.  It’s as if we are holding out for that last summer fling before we have to start diving back into our hectic schedules with serious conviction.  To help make this transition easier for my dear readers, I thought I’d share one of my new favorite things with you!

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I have long been a user of the Lifefactory glass water bottles.   The only problem is that I was never really satisfied with the lid.  They started out with just a screw cap, which was cumbersome. Later, they released a cap with a nozzle, which was certainly an improvement, but the cap comes off easily, making it a bit hazardous to tote around in your bag.  Recently, I was perusing the aisles of Whole Foods when I discovered that Lifefactory had released a brand new straw cap!  Finally! A cap that is not difficult to use and its easily transportable.  This is the perfect bottle to tote around to all your activities. Whether you are headed back to school, toting your kids all over creation or jetting off to a million meetings, this is a must have to keep you hydrated, healthily.   You can buy both a 16oz and 22oz version of the bottle right off the Lifefactory website.  Or, you can try to win one off my site this week!   I will be giving away a 22oz straw cap bottle in carbon gray to one of my wonderful readers.  To enter, simply subscribe to my blog and leave a comment below.  You can also post an additional comment if you repost this giveaway on any of your social media accounts .  I will draw and announce a winner next Wednesday.  As always, thanks for stopping by!

Rules:

1) a max of two entries per person, please

2) sorry, but no international shipping is available at this time

3) I will announce the winner on Wednesday, September 11th, but if I can’t reach the winner by Monday, September 16th, an alternate winner will be chosen.

UPDATE!!!! The contest is now closed.  Thank you all for participating.  A winner was chosen via random.org.  Congratulations to makingmondays!  Please contact me with you mailing information and I will ship your prize ASAP!

Summer Sunscreen Edition

The weather (at least in the Midwest) is finally getting warm, which means the girls and I are outside as much as possible so we can get our Vitamin D fix before the never ending Midwest winter sets in.  Being the fair skinned gals that we are, sunscreen is a must.  The problem is that many of the commercial sunscreens on the market are full of chemicals and preservatives that are terrible for your body and some of them have even been linked to cancer (ahhh the irony).   Luckily, there are some options out there that are safe for both you and your kiddos and also provide fabulous sun protection!

I have a couple of favorites that we’ll look at below, but first I thought we should look at the ingredients I avoid when looking for the right sunscreen for me and my kids.  If you want more info take a look at the EWG Sunscreen Database.

  • Parabens: This is a nasty little preservative that has been linked to cancer and hormonal disruption.
  • Oxybenzone and Octinoxate:   These are the main active ingredients in many commercial sunscreens.  They are appealing because they go on without leaving any white film and also work well in the popular spray sunscreens on the market.   However, they are linked to hormone disruption, endometriosis, and reproductive abnormalities.  A safer alternative is titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.

There are plenty of sunscreens on the market that are healthy alternatives, but here are a couple that I use on myself and/or my kids.

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  • Aubrey Organics Natural Sun Unscented Sunscreen –  I love this sunscreen because it leaves almost no white residue that is common with zinc oxide sunscreens.  It has a fairly runny consistency so it rubs in easily and is great for both kids and adults.  It’s also water resistant for up to 80 minutes, which is a bonus for all you pool goers.
  • Badger All Season Face Stick-  There are just a few ingredients in this face stick and most of them are organic so I feel good about using this on my kids.  I’ll admit that it does leave a slight white film, but it’s perfect for my fair skinned little peanut.
  • Alba Botanica Very Emollient Facial Sunscreen:  This is my go to facial sunscreen because it is non-oily and rubs in easily.
  • All Terrain KidSport Spray:  This is probably my favorite brand for my kids.  They have several formulations, but this spray version is awesome because it is super easy to apply and is very water/sweat resistant .

You can buy all of these sunscreens at Vitacost and I’ve also seen several at Whole Foods.  These are all just suggestions so be sure to explore and find the ones you like best for yourself!

Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm Review

Burt’s Bees recently came out with some tinted lip balms and I’d heard good things so I decided to try it for myself.   I grabbed the Tiger Lily color, which is a beautiful orangey peach color.  I’ve been using it for several weeks now and it has made it’s way into my regular rotation of lip products.

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The lip balm comes in a range of shades including caramel daisy, sweet violet, rose, petunia, blush orchid, hibiscus, honeysuckle, tiger lily, pink blossom and red dahlia.  The coverage is extremely sheer (at least with the tiger lily color), to the point where I tried to swatch it on my arm for you all and it was hardly visible.  It does, however, give my lips a beautiful sheen with just the slightest hint of color.  I wonder if the darker shades would be a bit more pigmented?

I also love how hydrating these lip balms are.  The ingredient list is pretty clean and my lips feel soft and smooth after each use.  I would definitely purchase again in some of their other shades. This would be a great product for the summer months for and easy yet polished lip.

You can buy Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm from most drugstores or from Ulta for $6.99.

Ingredients: cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, olus (vegetable oil, huile vegetale), cera alba (beeswax, cire d’abeille), olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, candelilla cera (euphorbia cerifera wax, cire de candelilla), helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, aroma (flavor)*, lanolin, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter, ricinus communis (castor) seed oil, cananga odorata flower wax, jasminum officinale (jasmine) flower wax, ammonium glycyrrhizinate, tocopherol, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, glycine soja (soybean) oil, canola oil (huile de colza). May contain: alumina, CI 77891 (titanium dioxide), CI 75470 (carmine), CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 (iron oxides). *natural flavor