Priority: You!

MTFY

Schedules.

Deadlines.

Life in general.

On any given day, we probably find one more stressful situation/event to add to our already hectic, fast-paced agendas.  We tend to give all of our attention and effort to meet these demands but how much of that energy is geared towards dedicating an equal amount on ourselves?

Not much or I don’t have time is typically the answer.   The concept of “me time” boils down to a selfish act or deemed as unimportant to the average individual, and in a sense, who can disagree?  Raising a family while having to work and tend to household chores doesn’t  offer much flexibility and can leave you feeling exhausted.  Since I love helping others, I often put their needs ahead of my own, so yeah, I am guilty as charged.  However, taking time for yourself has proven to be productive rather than its counterpart.

When you slow down your mind and thoughts, your mind and body have time to relax and replenish themselves, helping you gain fresh perspectives from whatever circumstances you’re currently facing.   Squeezing in some “me time” also allows you to better serve others.  After all, how can you take care of others if you can’t take care of yourself first? Taking time to make sure you are healthy and well cared for optimizes your ability to help others.  It’s also beneficial in reducing stress because doing something you love allows you to focus on the better aspects of life.

Working out, joining a sport/club, getting a massage or facial (my personal faves) and meditating are all great options you can explore but it can even be smaller things.  Setting aside a moment to read a chapter of a new book before going to bed, drinking a cup of tea, catching up on an episode of your favorite show, writing in a journal, even spending time on your skincare routine can work wonders.  It’s all about finding what speaks to you.

Priority Quote

How do you find time to take care of yourself?

Hello Sunshine!

sunshine

Spring is here and with the weather warming up, we’re bound to spend more time outside enjoying the sun.  Our exposure to sunlight creates vitamin D also known as the sunshine vitamin.

Vitamin D is important for enabling the body to properly absorb and use calcium, which is needed for proper bone development and maintenance; it’s also essential for cell growth, wound healing, proper barrier function and recently, research has suggested it may protect against cancer. Deficiencies in vitamin D can cause rickets leading to bowed legs in children; osteomalacia in adults, which is the gradual softening and bending of the bones; and nervous system irritability.

Although sunlight is our natural source for vitamin D production, we must also be mindful that the skin is severely damaged by sun exposure.  So, how can we balance the beneficial effects against the detrimental consequences?

Minimal amounts of sunshine are all that is necessary for vitamin D synthesis and wearing SPF is still absolutely crucial in maintaining skin health.  Other sources of vitamin D include dairy(e.g. fortified milk), fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines in oil and mackerel, and mushrooms exposed to UV.  Supplements are a third option, however always consult your physician first to determine if this is an appropriate choice for you.

*Note: Be wary of tanning salons who claim tanning beds can produce vitamin D.  UVB produces vitamin D and tanning beds use UVA.  Excessive and unprotected exposure to UV rays can lead to skin cancer!

Complete avoidance of the sun is not really possible nor desirable.  After harsh cold weather, sunny days provide a perfect opportunity to get outside and enjoy life.  So relish watching flowers bloom, take a relaxing yoga class at the beach-just make sure you stay protected and practice better judgement!

What’s your favorite spring time activity?

Disclaimer: The contents on this website, and any related links, are provided for general informational purposes and should NOT be considered medical advice. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read here. Please consult a healthcare provider if you have any questions about a particular health condition.

A Day at IDI!

IDI 1

During my free time, I love learning more about the skincare industry, whether it’s through reading articles or attending advanced education classes.  Yesterday, I spent my day at the International Dermal Institute (IDI) which serves as a post-graduate education center for licensed estheticians to expand their knowledge in this constant evolving industry.  IDI is also where the ingredient research and product development of the Dermalogica skin care line happens.

I absolutely love spending time here! The staff and instructors are very helpful and knowledgeable, and highly respected industry professionals like Dr. Diana Howard and Annet King can be seen giving speeches or sitting in on some classes.  This time I took Skin Analysis 101 which covered what comprises an effective skin analysis, the importance of consultation cards (imperative whenever you get treatments!), a brief overview on understanding how the skin works, skin types vs skin conditions and skin disorders.  After the theory portion concluded came the fun part: hands on!

We all got to analyze each other’s skin using a magnifying lamp, a Woods lamp, and a skin scanner.

The magnifying lamp magnifies the face to help the esthetician treat and analyze the skin.

Mag Lamp

The Wood’s lamp is a hand-held device that uses filtered black light to illuminate skin problems, fungi, bacterial disorders and pigmentation issues.

Wood's Lamp

The skin scanner is like a Wood’s lamp in that it utilizes advanced black-light technology to help identify various skin conditions in vivid florescent colors; however, this machine is a lot bigger and both the esthetician and the client can see how their skin appears under the black light.  There’s something pretty cool (and scary!) about seeing your skin in an up close way that is not ordinarily visible to the naked eye.

Skin Scanner

Once we finished analyzing each other’s skin, we did a quick recap of what we learned and were given our certificates of completion.  I earned 6 class hours for today’s class, giving me an overall total of 33 hours at IDI!  I am 67 hours away from completing 100 hours and earning an IDI Certificate of Achievement.

IDI 2

What’s your favorite thing to do when you have free time?

Sunscreen 101!

Sunscreen 2

Different seasons bring a host of new trends in the beauty industry- think pastel washes of color, orange lipstick, the coveted au naturale look- but what’s one trend we should implement and follow all year-round?

Sunscreen!

Whether you are male or female, have a skincare regimen in place or not, sunscreen should be a staple product in your arsenal.  The immense danger of exposure to UV radiation is skin cancer, however skin cancer is almost entirely preventable if you choose the right sunscreen and apply with slavish devotion.  The sun is also a main culprit in the causes of wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and saggy skin-even going out for a quick walk or running an errand in your car exposes you to the sun’s damaging rays!

While there is a plethora of sunscreens to choose from, you don’t have to spend a fortune to protect yourself.  Here is a brief insight into sunscreen.

Broad-spectrum

Make sure that your sunscreen offers broad-spectrum coverage, which will protect you from UVA and UVB rays.  UVA rays cause premature aging and UVB rays are known as the tanning and burning rays; both cause cancer.

Sun Protection Factor

The term “SPF” is the abbreviation for a product’s Sun Protection Factor.  The level of protection is not proportionate with SPF rating, meaning a higher SPF doesn’t mean more protection.  In fact, an SPF of 15 provides protection from 93% of the sun’s rays, SPF 30 protects from 97% of the sun’s rays and an SPF 60 protects 98%.  No sunscreen can block 100% of the sun’s rays and it is important to reapply every 2 hours during outdoor activities, sweating or swimming.

Types: Physical and Chemical

Physical sunscreens sit on the surface of the skin and reflect or scatter UV radiation before it can reach the epidermis. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide compose this category.

Zinc oxide is a great option for those who have sensitive skin or rosacea.

Chemical sunscreens have a strong ability to effectively absorb UVB radiation before they can damage the skin. Look for:  Octisalate, Oxybenzone, Homosalate, Octyldimethly PABA (Padimate O), Octocrylene, Octinoxate, Avobenzone (Parasol 1789), and/or Ecamsule (Mexoryl).

Bonus: Antioxidants

Sunscreens formulated with antioxidants can further protect against harmful UV rays and damaging free radicals.

Caffeine, silymarin (from milk thistle), genistein ( a soy isoflavone), epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), resveratrol, and vitamin C (ascorbic acid)  are examples of common added antioxidants.

Application

According to the FDA, the correct amount of product to use is a teaspoon for the face and a shot glass for the body. Apply 30 minutes before sun exposure.  Remember, constant reapplication is key, even with sweat and water resistant sunscreens!  Also, avoiding prime sun hours (10 a.m.-4 p.m.) if you can, and covering up with shades and a hat helps.

Overall

Physical sunscreens are typically a good option for sensitive skin types and offer UVA and UVB protection.  Chemical sunscreens offer adequate protection from UVB rays but frequently don’t offer favorable protection against UVA rays. Blended sunscreens (physical and chemical) with the addition of antioxidants are ideal, however the type of sunscreen that will work best depends on your skin and how it reacts. Sometimes, it takes a couple of trial and error sessions to figure out what the best formulation is for you.

I hope you found this post helpful.

Feel free to comment or ask a question!

Product Review! Renee Rouleau Luxe Mint Cleansing Gel!

Luxe Mint

Ah, Wednesday. With the spring forward time change, I’ve been having some trouble adjusting.  In times like these, I turn to a great “pick me up” product.

Renee Rouleau’s Luxe Mint Cleansing Gel is a morning caffeine fix, but for your skin!  The invigorating blend of peppermint, rosemary leaf, and spearmint leaf oils instantly wake up your senses and complexion- perfect for days when you need a refreshing boost to start your day.  This light-foaming gel, geared towards oily/combination skin types, glides easily onto wet skin and rinses clean, without leaving skin feeling tight or over-stripped.

Pros   

Deep cleans

Gel formula gets rid of oil without being harsh

Perks up the complexion

Comes in an 8 oz bottle- $35.50

For those concerned about these ingredients, it’s formulated without parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, synthetic dyes, gluten or sulfates

Cons

Peppermint can irritate some individuals

Not recommended for those severe redness or rosacea

Sold only online or in Renee Rouleau’s Spas located in Dallas and Plano, Texas

Not suitable to remove eye/waterproof makeup

Overall: I think it’s a great cleanser for those mornings I need an extra pick me up, need to feel energized before a morning gym session or for a refreshing, cool feeling on a hot day

What’s your favorite “pick me up” product?

To Shea!

shea butter

Suffering from eczema, psoriasis or dry skin?

Here is one topical ingredient that can improve and relieve symptoms associated with these skin conditions.

Who: Butyrospermum Parkii, or shea butter

What skin types/conditions it can help: Dry, aging, eczema and psoriasis               

Where it comes from: The nut of the karite tree which grows in Africa

Why it’s important: Rich in vitamins A and E (antioxidants) and vitamin F (an Essential Fatty Acid known as linoleic acid), shea butter protects the skin from free radicals, helps minimize the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and is a great emollient.  It also has soothing and nourishing properties

How it helps with dry, aging, eczema and psoriasis: Emollients maintain soft, smooth, pliable skin; remain on skin surface to act as a lubricant; reduce flaking; and improve appearance.  The soothing and nourishing aspects help repair the skin barrier.  Linoleic acid in skin care helps provide anti-inflammatory, moisturizing and healing support.

Vintage Sister Lip Balm Review!

Browsing online for lip balms one day, I happened to stumble upon Vintage Sister and I am so glad I did. These lip balms are super moisturizing, non-sticky, and don’t have a waxy feel like other lip balms I have tried.  Bonus: the packaging is super cute, they have fun flavors inspired by seasons, cocktails, and chocolate to name a few, and they are very affordable!

The lip balms are packaged in two forms: tins or tubes.  I purchased both.

Vintage Sister 2

Pros of lip balms in tins:

Very hydrating with ingredients like shea butter and vitamin E

Non-sticky

A unique array of flavors

About $3.95 each

Aromatic without being overwhelming

Cons of lip balms in tins:

Not travel friendly- the lid can slide open easily in bags, pockets, or travel gear and they liquefy quickly when exposed to heat

Unless you use a clean finger or disposable applicator, cross contaminating can occur

Vintage Sister 1

Pros of lip balms in tubes:

Formulated with great moisturizing ingredients such as shea butter and apricot kern oil

Travel friendly

Hygienic

Between $3.50-$4.00 each

Cons of lip balms in tubes:

Limited flavor selection

Although they provide great moisture than most other lip balms, these feel slightly less hydrating than the ones in tins

Overall: I really do love these.  I carry the tube lip balms in my purse and leave the tin lip balms on my bedside table to use at night.  They make adorable gifts, are a fun and inexpensive indulgence, and wear well under lipstick/lipgloss.

A definite repurchase!

Where to buy:  http://www.vintagesister.com

What’s your favorite lip balm product?

Happy Thursday!