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For as long as I can remember, keeping my skin clear, clean, and blemish-free took minimal effort. I slept with makeup on one too many times (eek!) and used whatever drugstore product fit my budget. Then, I got my first big job post-college and proceeded to buy every glamorous skincare product at Sephora known to woman.
Now, with a cabinet full of trendy once-used products and that oh-so-random adult acne my mother warned me about, it took a few too many inopportune post-thirty breakouts for me to realize my questionable skincare “routine” really sucked. I grew up, but my skincare didn’t—and that became obvious (thanks to that zit in the middle of my face at a company-wide presentation).
After taking a deeper look at the products I was using, I did some research (thanks to Reddit’s SkincareAddiction) and decided to bring it back to basics, reinventing my skincare routine from start to finish. Serums, face masks and exfoliants aside, here’s my battle-tested baseline for simplified skincare—plus a few go-to products that are helping me save face, every day.
It’s not a revolutionary concept: washing your face removes dirt, grime, and excess oil, while minimizing shine and keeping your pores clog-free. But are you cleansing your face in the morning and at night? I wasn’t. I thought going to bed with a fresh face meant waking up with one. Remember to start your day with a clean canvas because your skin can accumulate a disturbing amount of bacteria while you sleep.
My Pick: Stratia Velvet Cleansing Milk
This Indie cult-favorite brand is rocking the mainstream skincare world, and I am obsessed with their gentle cleanser. It keeps my sensitive skin soft and smooth, without stripping my face of moisture like many foaming cleansers.
I am a full face makeup kind of gal. While I love experimenting with new products (especially eyeshadow), not all makeup removes the same, and not every cleanser can get that liquid cat-eye off. Instead of opting for wipes, I’ve gone the micellar water and cotton ball route. My skin has never been so happy.
My Pick: L'Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water
Just call this liquid magic. My waterproof mascara has nothing on this cleansing water. With moisturizing properties you don’t have to wash off, your skin will always be extra hydrated and 100% makeup-free.
The hunt for the *perfect* face moisturizer is a never-ending quest. But after trying almost every product on the beauty store shelf, I’ve finally found two that are helping me fight wrinkles while hydrating my skin without a sign of greasy residue.
My Picks: Stratia Liquid Gold
Yes, I have already pledged allegiance to one of their other products, but what can I say? I’m all about Stratia. I mean this brand sold out in three hours for good reason. Just a pump of this lightweight moisturizer, and my skin feels instantly extra luminous, even under my foundation.
L'Oréal Paris Collagen Moisture Filler Day/Night Cream
Ok, now that I’ve accepted I’m in the over 30 club, I am doing everything “natural” to fight wrinkles and reverse the sun damage done in my teenage years. This cream is rich in natural collagen and, after a few weeks, I already started to feel a healing difference. Though it’s for day and night, I prefer this cream before bed.
With work (and life) comes stress. With the strain of a busy schedule, my skin tends to get dehydrated and tight throughout the day. Since I can’t go home when the going gets tough and slap on a watermelon face mask, thanks to my friend and coworker, Keana, I’ve adopted a new habit—carrying a little skin refreshing spray with me, no matter where I go.
My Pick: Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe Herbs and Rosewater
Made with herbal extracts and rosewater, misting your face with this spray is just like an insta-spa. Giving you a dewy luminosity that makeup artists swear by, one spritz will hydrate and illuminate your skin.
Since 1992, April has been recognized as Stress Awareness Month. It was established to help shed light on the issues behind stress, teach us how to fight it, and create methods to overcome it. While this initiative has existed just shy of three decades, this year it seems particularly important.
With a year under our belts in pandemic mode—a lot of us had to get creative when it came to keeping our cool. On top of that, everyday stresses didn’t just magically disappear during this time either. Just think about it—have you ever been in a situation that was overwhelming? Maybe you’ve had a looming deadline or a to-do list that seems, well...totally un-doable? If you’ve ever felt you were in over your head, please know you’re not alone—you never are. At one time or another, we’ve all been affected by stress—although each person may manifest it differently. Me? I'm definitely a frequent rider on the "hot mess stress express."
There are many ways to help combat stress—some of us seek out support from friends and family, while others find solace in taking up meditation or unwinding with a relaxing yoga class. Whatever helps you find peace, just keep doing you. But also know we have some resources to help you overcome stress whenever the need arises.
Here are some blog posts that are always available to you when you feel a little stressed out:
When in doubt, breathwork expert and sound healer, Shanila Sattar, always has tips to help ground yourself—especially in times of need. In this blog post, she gives you the recipe for incorporating self-love into your daily routine by encouraging us to ask ourselves these questions: How do we treat ourselves? How do we talk to ourselves? What foods are we putting into our bodies? How are we thinking about our overall well-being when practicing self-love? As we all know, self-love defines and redefines itself for everyone over the years, here are a few foundational tips to think about when easing into your self-love journey.
Yoga Nidra, or “yogic sleep,” is a practice that has been around for thousands of years and it aims to restore the mind, body, and soul through deep, guided meditation. The way it works is like the way a power nap helps one feel refreshed during a particularly exhausting day, except you aren’t technically sleeping. I describe it as a long-form of savasana—anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour. (Real talk: savasana is one of the best parts of practicing yoga, am I right?)
TLDR: I learned that I could conquer stress in a matter of minutes with Yoga Nidra.
Are we safe in saying this last year brought up a ton of emotions the likes of which we did not plan for? The good, the bad, the “unprecedented”—our hearts and minds have been taken on a wild rollercoaster ride, and for many of us, our mental health is suffering. With our minds running in thousands of directions, it’s hard to notice our own needs. Yes, our attention to the goings-on of last year is vital but caring for ourselves is as important as ever. Here are some tips from our favorite yoga instructor, Dani Schenone.
Have you been feeling it? The big emotion floating around the last year is the Big Anxiety. Coupled with the stress of what the COVID-19 pandemic has bought for millions of people, disturbed wellness routines, and worry, we have a recipe to create massive damage to ourselves. Adjusting to the new normal, with social distancing practices in place and adapting to precautions and routines, may be the root of even more anxiousness for many as we’re navigating uncharted territories.
If you've got those familiar feelings of stress and anxiety coursing through your body right now, you're definitely not alone. We get it. Times are uncertain, our mental health is taxed, we're doing what we can to reduce stress and anxiety in general, and relaxation has taken a back seat. It’s no secret that stress is proven to weaken our immunity, so now more than ever, it's important to relax, deal with what's happening, and find the coping mechanisms to help you reclaim your mental health and reduce your involvement in stressed moments. Let's deal with stress and anxiety together and see what we can do to reduce them.
Meditation will change your life if you let it. The pace of our modern life is at least ten times what it was just 10 years ago. Technology improved our lives but also created a more frenetic and stressful pace. If we decided to stop, breathe, and become more mindful, we would reduce stress and experience much more enjoyment in each moment of our everyday lives.
There’s always something to worry about. Whether it’s our career, relationships, dating, or trauma, we go through moments that bombard us with negative thoughts that can make us feel anxious and stressed. Our worries may often define our choices, our view of the world, or ourselves. This doesn’t mean they are faults, flaws, or downfalls—we just need to practice managing them in a healthy way, placing deserved value on self-care. Yoga is only one connection. Check out these seven yoga poses that can help your mind and body when you’re experiencing anxiety, depression, or overall stress.
We’re all guilty of our routines and habits running our lives at one point or another. We’re all guilty of being attached to our schedules and our to-do list. We’re all guilty of running on a loop every now and then. As the energies of 2021 continue to shift, we get to ask ourselves the intentions of why and how we are participating in the places we are participating in, the thoughts we are thinking, the habits we are cultivating, and the communities that we are a part of. This intention and mindfulness process can not only shift our own experiences but of those around us as well.
If you have found meditation to be useful in trying times, right now is an incredible time to also try virtual sound baths to receive the deep sound healing benefits. As many of us are processing a variety of emotions as a collective—stress, worry, fear, anxiety, uncertainty—we can start to cause long-term damage to our bodies, especially to our immune and nervous systems. Giving ourselves self-care in a way that is easy, non-intrusive, and simple, can be the perfect way to help your body restore.
These resources aren’t the only thing we have to help you deal with stress—they’re just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, there are tons of classes available to you on the Mindbody app and through Mindbody Flex to help you reignite your calm whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed. And always remember, at the end of the day, your best is always good enough.