The Thing I've Had More Time For Since Physically Distancing
The Corona Virus (also known as COVID-19) which has swept the world within a matter of months has changed the lives of everyone. For some, it has been actual physical illness. For others, it has been the loss of a loved one, a friend, a neighbor. For more people around the world, they are staying inside, isolated, and away from society as much as possible. This is not only in the effort of self-preservation but also to keep others in society healthy and to limit the spread of the virus wreaking havoc on our world.
For many people, simply working from home and leading as normal of a life as possible is what they are trying to do. This is us. We are home, physically distancing, and attempting to lead as normal lives as possible. The extra time I've had not shuffling kids to and from school has been spent preparing to homeschool two of my kids this Fall. I have tried out some new homeschool curriculum and found which one I plan to use along with had the girls try it as well (We all loved it-by the way!). I have also used this time to allow my bigger kids to learn a subject not taught in public school: Apologetics.
Aside from all our school and teaching adventures, I have taken the time to destress and pamper myself a bit more than normal. The products I am using are not new to me. I have simply been using my favorite items more often and on a more consistent basis. My husband and I have taken the time to enjoy long walks, vitamins have been taken regularly, I have taken nightly baths, makeup has been applied only if I desire, and facial masks and creams have been massaged into my skin consistently. It has been a time of rest and rejuvenation for our family. As I thought back to the new routine I have been adopting, I wanted to take a moment to show you some of my favorite products I have been enjoying after years of searching and testing. I am in no way commercializing these products; however, I thought an inside look into my routine would jumpstart your search for some products which would fit your needs, allowing you the opportunity to relax and take care of yourself.
1. Body Lotion
Body lotion is so important to keep your skin moist. The skin is the largest organ of your body and is the first barrier you have against infection and disease. When this barrier is broken, it leaves us vulnerable to I use it each evening after a bath while my skin is still warm and wet. The extra moisture and temperature of the skin helps the lotion to soak into the pores better. I currently use Renpure's Coconut Milk and Vitamin E Lotion. I like this lotion because it is not so thick that it sits on top of your skin. It also has zero sulfates, parabens, dyes, phthalates, and propylene glycol. There are so many types of lotions out there. My girls, personally, use Vanicream for their eczema because it does not break them out. I do not have eczema and prefer the Renpure brand because of their natural scents which do not overpower your senses. There are several different types to choose from including the Coconut Milk and Vitamin E, Lavender and Honey, Shea Butter and Vanilla, and Tea Tree Mint. I can find this at my most of my local Wal-Mart and Amazon.
This does not seem like it would be an item to pamper yourself with but once you use the type of deodorant I use, it feels like you have been to a spa. I will admit, I have an odor problem. It has been an issue which plagued me from the onset of puberty and into my adult years. It was terribly embarrassing to attend an event as a grown adult and be aware that I could not raise my arms; furthermore, the only thing I found to work had high levels of aluminum and would burn when I put it on before bed at night. I would end up with sensitive irritated rashes which would prevent me from wearing sleeveless blouses and the irritation would be magnified if I put my regular deodorant on the next morning. The directions for this odor preventing deodorant would also require that I not shave before putting it on; therefore, I would sometimes end up with hairy, irritated, sensitive, rashy skin that burned upon the application of deodorant or any perspiration I might have. Does it sound like a nightmare? Yes, that is because it was. Trying a natural deodorant was like trying to find a needle in a haystack but after one particularly difficult week where my regular deodorant didn't work for me, I was forced to put on the prescription strength kind, and a particular article was warning of the all the dangers of aluminum, I put my foot down and decided to research and try some natural deodorants until I found the one.
My poor pits endured countless greasy, yellowing, scratchy, stinging, smelly, waxy, and odor releasing natural deodorants until I found "the one" which had many saying it was "the only one" which would stop the smell. I tried it and I fell in love! Meet Native!
Native deodorant was my needle in the haystack, my golden goose, my "Waldo." Let me reiterate that I am in no way getting paid to write about this deodorant; however, I cannot write enough about how this makes me feel when I put it on. I don't have an odor! I am not wearing aluminum! And, I don't have a rash to accomplish this! This is definitely something to celebrate!
I would like to note that this brand uses baking soda within its ingredient list. The amount they use does not affect the creaminess of the mixture nor does it scratch me like other samples I used; however, if you have a baking soda sensitivity, this may not be the right brand for you.
When I started to test this brand, I ordered the travel box they offered. This box came with approximately 6 small sized different scents and I was able to try each one. Even though most of these scents are still offered, Native also offers seasonal deodorant scents, men's deodorant, soap, toothpaste, and body wash as well. My favorite deodorant scents are the Classic Coconut and Vanilla, Charcoal, Eucalyptus and Mint, and the Sensitive Cotton and Lily. I am signed up for the subscribe and save option which saves me two dollars each time I order; however, I have also found that my local Wal-mart sells it as well (though it costs more).
3. Armpit Detox and Cracked Heel and Hand Relief
When I began my deodorant search, I was not under the impression that any deodorant would be perfect. I sweat- A LOT- so taking 6 mile hikes when it is 101 degrees outside will surely produce sweaty results. When this happens, I like to pamper my pits with my newest Etsy find: Lily and Sage's Armpit Detox. This all-natural clay-based detox uses 1 tsp of the mix with 3 tsp of vinegar to give your armpits the cleaning they need to remove odor and toxins from the area. I leave it on for 5-15 minutes and wipe it away with a warm cloth to find my underarms super soft and ready to have deodorant applied. While Lily and Sage offer their own all-natural deodorant, I have never tried their brand since my long time search had already led me to Native and I have been quite happy with Native's results; therefore, I can neither confirm or deny its ability to produce products. I can; however, attest for the deodorant being all-natural and the owners being very open, kind, and honest about their products as I had the pleasure of meeting them at a convention.
Since I am already writing about Lily and Sage's Armpit Detox, I thought I'd skip over to write about their Cracked Heel and Hand Relief. This salve is made up of organic avocado oil, organic beeswax, organic coconut oil, organic Shea Butter, Organic Arrowroot Powder, Lavender, Frankincense, Melaleuca, Siberian Fir, and Vitamin E. Although this salve is amazing on my hands and feet, soaks in with the use of the avocado oil, and smells amazing, I believe I will have even more uses for it. Some customers even say it is amazing on eczema. Overall, I think this will become a staple in my arsenal of products.
I absolutely love soap; in fact, I may have a soap fetish. I love so many different types of soap I can't keep up with how many I've tried. One of my newest favorites, made with goat milk as the base, is made by Forage Farmstead. They are found in a few stores located here in the South and have launched their website just this week. I encourage you to check them out as they are my all-time favorite! One of my other favorites is sold on Etsy by Lily and Sage and use goatmilk base as well; however, sometimes I just need a good soap that is easily accessible. For an easily accessible soap, I turn to the natural section of Wal-Mart and purchase Bela Goat's Milk Soap. Bela soaps are French Milled, does not use Sodium Laurel Sulphate, nor uses any animal by-products, is vegan, and only uses sustainable Palm Oil. The scents they offer are amazing but my favorites are the Goat Milk and Sea Salt scents.
5. Facial Mask
I absolutely relish putting on a fresh face mask during or after a bath. I feel the sense of a true spa night when I have finished with a mask. My skin is soft, rejuvenated, and I have completed my evening accomplished. Over the years, I have tried several different types of masks including but not limited to drug-store bought, homemade, consultant bought, peel off, wipe off, sheet, warm, and cold ones. One of my current favorites is made by Found and can be purchased at your local Wal-Mart.
Found is Wal-Mart's newest natural line of products and features both skin-care and makeup products to choose from. Most of the items I have tried have been keepers while others have been tossers; however, I have thoroughly enjoyed three of the four masks the found company produces. The three I use on a consistent basis is the Firming Blackberry Face Mask, The Poor Care Volcanic Ash Poor Exfoliator, and the Clarifying Kaolin Clay Face Mask. My ultimate go-to; however, is definitely the Blackberry Face Mask. My skin definitely feels firmer, lifted, and rejuvenated. I follow up with my hydrating gel and I am good to go!
6. Hydrating Facial Gel
Speaking of face gel, we definitely need to talk about my hydrating face gel. This amazing product was introduced to me by my foreign exchange student. I had never seen this particular gel in the stores and was so thankful she allowed me to use her product one evening before purchasing. It was amazing!
As a mom, you wouldn't think I would still struggle with breakouts but I do. Typically, they are product or hormone related. I have been very frustrated to purchase a hypoallergenic sensitive skin all-natural product and find that my face breaks out terribly. Coconut oil is definitely one of those ingredients which will do this.
Another thing I struggle with is the combination of oily/dry skin. To find a product which will put moisture in my skin while not giving me that wet oily look is difficult.
Biotherm Aquasource Gel is perfect for my normal to combination skin and provides instant moisture which soaks into my poor while allowing my skin the ability to breathe and stay matte looking. Not only is the product's consistency perfect, the scent amazing, and the container appealing; but, the ingredients in which the product is made are skin restoring. As stated on Biotherm's website:
"New aquasource gel moisturizer is now infused with a legendary ingredient discovered in the french pyrenees source: aura leaf, a medicinal plant with miraculous properties.
Day after day, it replenishes skin’s natural moisture reserves, gorging skin with moisture to restore its natural ability to glow.
Visibly glowing skin and 48h of intense regenerating hydration in one application. Even the most dehydrated skin and dullest complexions are visibly transformed."
This is probably one of my favorite products and I cannot recommend it enough. I typically purchase my moisturizer from Amazon; however, if you purchase from Biotherm there is a free 30-day return policy which I am not sure Amazon has. Make sure to check with Amazon if you plan to return if you are unsatisfied; however, with great reviews on Amazon and Biotherm's website, I am sure you will be pleased.
7. Eye Cream
Everyone knows that eye cream is a must when you age and I am definitely no exception. One thing I regret is not starting sooner!
I have tried several eye creams starting in my 30s and there was the start of my problem. I should have started finding an eye cream in my 20s. I had always heard and heeded the warning: what you do or don't do for your skin now will show up in 10 years. Well, by my 30s I was definitely seeing the LACK of labor I put into my eye care. I began my hunt and being as natural as I can, I started with all-natural products. Unfortunately, I found the products I used simply made my eyes greasy and did not help the slow formation of wrinkles, lines, and dry skin. My search expanded further to include other products (within a reasonable budget) and I found this dandy eye cream with rave online reviews.
RoC is a French-made beauty product created with retinol to address several key signs of aging including but not limited to puffiness, dark circles, and wrinkles. I wish I had taken a before and after photo, because my eyes look visibly younger after using this for a month and continue to look younger and stay hydrated today.
I simply use a dot less than the size of a pea to lightly tap along the bottom, top, and edges of my eyes both morning and night. In fact, I add this dot of eye cream to my concealer in the morning so that I can both conceal and rejuvenate my eyes.
If you do not currently have an eye cream, I encourage you to find one. There are many different products for different needs out there. Finding the right one for you will be key and this can take months of searching so don't start too late. Take an inventory of your eye needs: are they dry, greasy, wrinkled, puffy, dark, aged? After accessing your eye needs, begin to look into products that will address these needs. For me and many others, the RoC brand has produced a great line of products. I purchased mine from Wal-Mart; however, you can also find this product on Amazon, at Target, and probably several of your local drug stores.
We may be physically distanced; however, we do not have to be socially distant. We do not need to alienate and isolate. We can still be the hands and feet of Christ through social media, phone calls, text messages, and face time chats. Additionally, this is a time for us to meditate, pray, and focus on our health. If you are at home with a bit of extra time on your hands, I encourage you to take some time to pamper yourself. We have been given a gift of time: time for our families, time for prayer, time for projects, and time for ourselves. Take this time to relax, rejuvenate, and to try a few products you never knew you needed!
Additionally, I would love to hear the top things you have tried and found to be successful in your skincare regimen. Simply login as a member to comment and subscribe here to get the latest updates and messages from yours truly! I look forward to reading your top tips!