Camping Guide 101!

Fisherman camping at a wilderness lake

School is out, summer is here and if you’re like my family, camping trips may soon make their way into your schedule.  The outdoors can provide beautiful imagery, new perspectives, fresh air but also has some not so nice perks.  Bugs attacking you from every angle or inadvertently providing a feast for neighboring critters is something I can do without.  So whether you’re out on the road in an RV or truck/car, here are some suggestions on what to pack and some tips I learned along the way.

What To Pack

first aid kit

Mini First Aid Kit

Always a great item to have.  You can pick up a few at your local dollar store for, well a dollar.  Can’t beat that!

sunscreen3

SPF Products

You’ll definitely want to take your broad spectrum sunscreen (make sure the cap is sealed tight- I learned this the hard way!), an eye cream with SPF (if you have one), and lip balm with SPF.  Sunburn looks good on no one.

travelbottles

Travel Sized Bottles

You can take your cleanser, toner, moisturizer, shampoo, conditioner and bodywash in tiny bottles so you don’t have to lug huge bottles around, and in case they accidentally get left behind, no major loss there.

towel

Unscented Towelettes/Unscented Baby Wipes

In case you don’t have access to a sink to wash your face, you can use these.  A trick I used:  I spritzed toner into a towelette and used it to remove the sunscreen, dirt and oil that accumulated throughout the day.  Plus, they come in handy to wipe down surfaces, sticky/dirty hands, etc.

purell

Mini Antibacterial Soap

Another good product to have when soap might not be readily available.

medications

Medications

Make certain to pack your medication if you take any; there are little tiny plastic containers you can purchase to store them in.  You might want to also keep Benadryl on hand in case of allergies and aspirin or ibuprofen.  Some camping sites have small stores that provide these items but they tend to hike up the prices a bit.

bug repell

Bug Repellent

My ‘perfume’ for the trip and a total life saver!  There are also ones you can hang outside your tent- sorry bugs, you’ll need to find your victims elsewhere.

temperature

Warm Clothes

Regardless if the weather is super hot during the day, keep at least a jacket, an extra pair of socks, and pants to keep warm in case the temperatures decide to drop at night.

Tips

animals

Do be sure to pack away any edible items lest you want to attract unwanted strangers.  Trust me, animals can and will find a way to open bags and boxes.  Store items in coolers or plastic containers and make sure to secure them.

fishing hats

Activities like hiking or fishing mean long periods of time out in the sun, so make sure to take along your sunscreen to reapply and prevent sunburn.  Hats and sunglasses are great to take along too.

waterbottle

 

Keep hydrated to help control your heart rate and blood pressure as well as regulate your body temperature.

grill

Nothing beats coming back from a day-long activity and firing up the grill to cook a delicious meal.  One caveat?  If you did get sunburned, the heat generated from the grill can further aggravate an already irritated complexion.  Keep some aloe vera gel (and maybe some ibuprofen) handy if this is the case. 

Camping or any other outdoor activity is always an adventure from making smores to setting up tents.  Enjoy it, stay sun protected and safe, and embrace the experience- you’ll be home in no time. 

What do you pack for your outdoor excursions? 

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SPF Lip Product Guide!

While we may protect ourselves with sunscreen from face to toe, what about our lips?  Many of us forget about protecting our lips from the sun’s damaging rays, so I created a list of  great lip products with SPF.  From things you can find at your local drugstore or nearest Target to Sephora, perhaps you will see your favorites featured here or discover a new favorite one!

EOS

target.com; $2.99

EOS Lemon Drop SPF 15    $2.99 target.com

Summer definitely conjures up images of pitchers filled with ice cold lemonade, making this a fitting product for summer.  Housed in a spherical container, this lip balm contains vitamin E, shea butter and jojoba oil to help keep lips smooth with a hint of lemon.

FSCoral

sephora.com, $22.50

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 (Coral)  $22.50

I am a fan of Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment because of its hydrating, long-lasting nature that also provides a hint of tint.  Coral is my choice for a fun summer color but there are other shades to suit your likes ranging from nudes, pinks, reds and plums.  The one deterrent is the price so for me, it’s definitely a splurge item.

JBLip

sephora.com, $7.50

Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25

Although this product is targeted for men, either gender can use and benefit from this lip balm.  It’s moisturizing without feeling overly heavy and absorbs fairly quickly, leaving lips soft without much shine.

soft lips

target.com, $1.99

Soft Lips Raspberry 

I used to carry these with me all the time and forgot how much I loved them.  True to the name, they keep your lips soft, and with a delicious raspberry scent and green tea extract, not to mention the great price point, you can keep them both or gift one to someone else.  Unlike other lip balms, these are encased in a slender tube, making them less bulky and space efficient.

baby lips

target.com, $2.99

 

Maybelline Baby Lips Moisturizing Lip Balm SPF 20

Although these are not my absolute favorites, I do like them.  They do soften lips (albeit they don’t last long on me) and although the color range isn’t as expansive as the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments, the price definitely allows for multiple purchases.

What’s your favorite sun protecting lippie?

Are You Cleansing Properly?

Cleansers

When you think about your cleansing routine, is it more like mere seconds of splashing water on your face to get over with or do you try removing every last trace of dirt, scrubbing away until your skin is left feeling raw?

While you may not give a second thought about cleansing, it actually involves a delicate balance that sets the tone for everything that follows after.  Cleanse with something harsh that disrupts the skin’s natural pH and you can end up with a dry, tight skin that looks aged.  Using a cleanser that’s too rich for your skin can result in clogged pores and breakouts.

Thoroughly cleansing with the appropriate cleanser helps keep pores clean, prepare the skin for other products, may contain ingredients to counteract various skin problems and can help certain skin conditions such as dehydration and sensitivity.  Read below for a guide on cleansers and tips!

Types Of Cleansers

Oil-based/Creams

Cleansers that are oil-based can be good for all skin types and also aid in breaking down sunscreen and makeup.  Actors and performers who wear heavy stage makeup can benefit from these types of cleansers as well.

Cream cleansers that are rich are best suited for mature skin that is dry; the emollients can soften dry skin and not dry it out.

Cleansing Gels/Foaming Cleansers

These cleansers are are designed to whisk away oil and deep cleanse. These are appropriate for those with normal, combination, or oily skin.

Cleansing Lotions

Cleansing lotions (also referred to as milky cleansers) are like that of a cream, just with a lighter consistency.  They can be used for normal, dry or combination skin.

Tips

  • Different seasons can call for different types of cleansers.  Combination, normal and dry skin types may benefit from a cleansing lotion/cream in the fall and winter, but prefer an cleansing gel in the spring and summer when oil production is higher.
  • Tread cautiously if you are acne-prone and try an oil-based cleanser.  Certain ones can make you break out
  • Use gentle, circular motions and avoid aggressive tugging or pressure.
  • If you use a spinning brush like the Clarisonic in conjunction with your cleanser,  use it no more than three times per week to avoid irritation and wash well after each use.
  • Cleanse your face in the morning once and twice in the evening.

You don’t have to spend a large amount of time on cleansing- just enough to remove the accumulation of sunscreen, pollution, dirt, debris and oil.  Trust me, your skin will thank you. 

 

Father’s Day Skincare Gift Ideas!

Men’s skincare is too often overlooked but can make a world of a difference-and a great Father’s Day present!  So weather you’re still looking for gift options or you’re a guy who wants to step up his skin health, take a glance at some of the options below!

 

JackBlack

$52; sephora.com; getjackblack.com

Jack Black Core Collection

I’ve purchased and gifted this set several times and it always seems to be a crowd-pleaser.  This trio includes a facial cleanser, shaving lotion and face moisturizer with broad spectrum SPF 20.  It’s fragrance and alcohol free and perfect for men who want a simplified routine.

dermalogica

$38, ulta.com

Dermalogica Shave System

This shaving kit includes two shaving creams (Pre-Shave Guard and Soothing Shave Cream) which can be used alone or together to help soften the beard. Other items included in this kit are Daily Clean Scrub, an exfoliating cleanser which helps minimize ingrown hairs;  Post-Shave Balm, which helps control oil and reduces redness that can occur after shaving; and Daily Defense Block SPF 15 is a matte sunscreen.

PCA Skin

$22, dermstore.com/ PCA Skin Representative

PCA Skin Total Face Wash Face & Body Cleanser

A 2-in-1 product for men on the go!  This gentle foaming cleanser is formulated with lactic acid to exfoliate, moisturize, and help prevent ingrown hairs and also doubles as a body wash in one easy step.  Antioxidant vitamin E improves the barrier function of the skin; soothing aloe, allantoin, and  bisabolol help to calm skin; and tea tree oil provides antiseptic properties.

AL

$48, sephora.com; $56 ulta.com

Anthony Logistics For Men The Essential Traveler Kit

This kit features an array of products that are perfect for those who travel or for those who want to get a feel for the products.  The Glycolic Facial Cleanser exfoliates and loosens dead skin cells to achieve a closer shave; the Shave Cream calms the skin and includes anti-inflammatory and antiseptic effects; All Purpose Facial Moisturizer contains antioxidants vitamin C to brighten skin and vitamin E to help nourish skin; Invigorating Rush Hair + Body Wash incorporates Pro Vitamin B5 which promotes tissue healing in skin and helps to retain moisture ; Advanced Formula Lip Balm SPF 25 Mint and White Tea soothes, protects and conditions lips.

 

AOS Block

$20, sephora.com; theartofshaving.com

The Art Of Shaving Alum Block- Unscented

If you’re prone to nicks and cuts, this may be a product to check out.  The alum block helps stop bleeding from minor cuts and delivers antiseptic properties.

Have you tried any of these products?  What did you think of them? 

I am always looking for and researching new lines so if you have a skincare line you use and love, do share!  

Smile!

laughter

What’s a quick, easy, and free way to improve your appearance?

Smiling!

You can spend thousands of dollars on skincare items and makeup but if you can’t also master the simple technique of smiling, then you’re missing the bigger picture.  Don’t get me wrong. I love makeup and skincare more than the average person-it’s why I choose to study it!  But at the same time, what good does it do you to have all those products if you have a grumpy demeanor and outlook?

Case and point: Have you ever seen someone who was good-looking but had a scowl that would intimidate Disney villains?  Their vibe yells out unapproachable and can repel others from wanting to converse or be next to them.

Smiling can change our mood and alter a negative viewpoint into a positive one.  It can also help alleviate stress, boost your immune system, lower blood pressure, make you look younger, seem more attractive,  and best of all, it’s contagious.  A smile will draw and bring happiness to you and those around you.

So, smile and laugh because it’s your birthday.  Because you’re alive.  Because you’ve overcome obstacles.  Because you helped someone out.  Because it’s a new day to start over. Because you found time to relax.  Because you have a purpose.  Because you’re unique.

What is your reason to smile?

 

 

 

What’s Aging You?

aging

69 year-old truck driver whose left side of the face was exposed to the sun for 28 years.

 

By at least our 30’s, if not sooner, many of us start reaching for products that can help delay the aging effect.  While aging is a natural part of life, if you’re seeing signs of premature wrinkles, take a look at this fact.  85% of skin aging is caused by how you live (i.e. sun exposure, pollution, unhealthy lifestyle). 

Aging can be classified into two types: intrinsic and extrinsic.  Intrinsic aging reflects genetic background and the passage of time; in other words, elements that are beyond our control.  Extrinsic aging (considered to be preventable) is brought about by environmental or external factors, including smoking, alcohol consumption, poor nutrition, and UV exposure.

Do you know which factor is responsible for expediting the aging process?

If you guessed the sun, you are correct (and have been reading my posts)!

By now you know the danger of excessive and unprotected UV exposure (skin cancer), but it also leads to photo-aging– a term used to describe the characteristic changes of  sun induced skin.

photo-age

Extrinsic, left; Intrinsic , right.

The image above depicts photo-aged skin (left) and chronological aged skin (right).  See the dramatic difference?

Let’s take a look at how structurally these two pictures differ.

Protected From UV Damage and Extrinsic Elements

When age is caused by intrinsic forces, the skin has a thinned, smooth, clear, almost transparent apperance.  There is also fine wrinkling, inelastic, saggy skin, increased dryness, slight flakiness, loss of underlying fat resulting in hollow cheeks and eye socket and a slowing of collagen and elastin production

Exposed To UV Damage and Other Extrinsic Elements 

Aging caused by this will culminate in a thickened epidermis resulting in rough, leathery skin, telangiectasia (dilated blood vessels), yellow, sallow coloration and age spots.  There is an increased risk of skin cancer and a degradation of collagen and elastin.

As you can see, how you will age is contingent on several factors, most of which are preventable.  Sunscreen is and will continue to be one of the most powerful products in your skin care arsenal.  The best news, it’s also the most cost effective!