Monday, October 14, 2013

Beauty Rituals That Do Good AND Feel Good

How many times do you find yourself torn between what feels good and what does good for your body?  Well luckily, there are a few skin care rituals that do both:

1.  Take a warm bath.
Not only will the warmth and aromatherapy relax your mind, but your skin will thank you too.  All you have to do is soak in a lukewarm water...make sure it isn't too hot because hot water can strip your skin of good oils.  Warm water will help lock in moisture while opening your pores.  Don't forget to pour in some some bath salts like the Ahava Honey Herbal Bath Salt ($22 at Ulta).  Bath salts can help detoxify by ridding your skin of impurities.  I especially like the Ahava one because it is formulated with honey, herbs, and minerals from the dead sea to help condition and nourish the skin.  You can also add some essential oils like the Dr. Hauschka Moor Lavender Bath Essence ($30 at Whole Body) to further boost hydration.  In addition to the fact that is smells great, the Dr. Hauschka lavender oil has great calming and protective properties.  Simply allow your skin to marinate in the bath for 15-20 minutes to get that long lasting fresh scent.  Like a body wrap that you would get in a spa, a bath will leave your skin will feel soft, soothed, and purified...and not to mention that it helps soothe sore muscles...for barely a fraction of the cost.  Just grab a good book or continue a round of Candy Crush for perfect ending to a stressful day!

2.  Exfoliate.
Brighten up your complexion by shedding those dead skin cells.  Use a gentle facial brush (move it in a circular motion) with your face cleanser or a gentle facial scrub to mechanically slough off residue as well as dead cells.  Women of every age should exfoliate regularly.  For young women, it will help tame acne by preventing particles on your face from clogging pores.  For older women, it will polish your skin and leave you with a more youthful glow.  Exfoliating also helps scars and dark spots fade more quickly.  When you're done, you'll be left with fresh skin that feels super soft.  You'll see the results as your makeup goes on more smoothly and your skincare absorbs more efficiently.  The best part?  The gentle scratching of the exfoliating beads or brush feels great too!  Try the Caudalie Deep Cleansing Exfoliator ($35 at Sephora) for your face.  It not only exfoliates and cleanses but it's also hydrating and packed with powerful grape-derived antioxidants.  And don't forget about your body!  The Pacifica Kona Coffee & Sugar Detox Whole Body Scrub ($28 at Ulta) is healthy, smoothing, and smells delicious.

3.  Give your face a nice massage. 
Each morning, give your skin a little one-minute wake-up massage.  After sleeping, your face is tense, so it's a great way to loosen up the muscles in your face.  Gently pat your face and tap your fingertips all over.  Apply a little bit of pressure by pressing down on pressure points such as your temples and the sides of the bottom of your nose.  You can also slide your fingers in upward motions (downward motions promote sagging) away from the center of your face along your bones.  Do it when you're washing or moisturizing your face (when your face is lubricated) and avoid kneading or pulling to prevent wrinkles.  Martha Stewart Living gives a great DIY face massage with visuals.  By removing dead skin cells and stimulating circulation, your face will appear more radiant and feel energized.

4.  Steam on a cold day... or spritz on a hot one.
We all know how good a facial steam feels...especially on a cold day.  All you have to do is
microwave or boil some water so that it is steaming.  Afterwards, hover over the steam and allow it to open your pores (a good opportunity to follow up with cleansing or extracting impurities) and add moisture to your skin.  Alternatively, in the summers, I love to keep some Avene Thermal Spring Water Spray ($18 on in my purse.  It's a refreshing spray that helps calm and soften skin.  Plus, it will cool you off on a hot day with a few spritzes.  The nice thing about water sprays is that you can even use them over makeup.  

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