Dealing With Dry Winter Skin

moisturizers and water bottle

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It feels like it's been forever since I was dealing with any cold weather. But if spending two weeks out of the humidity and in below 40 degree weather taught me anything it was how to ––

1. Fix dry skin.
2. Moisturize properly to avoid a repeat situation.

I thought I'd dealt with plenty of dry skin issues before. (If I don't have a bottle of hand cream in my bag it's probably going to be a rough day). But nope! That has nothing on consistently chapped lips and nose. **Note to self, don't go running in the cold without a healthy layer of face cream and maybe a scarf to cover your face…

Needless to say, it looked and felt like I had spent WAY too long in the dessert without water. My oily skin was the driest it's ever been (which was simultaneously the best and worst thing). 

Not cool. 

So first off, here's how to FIX dry skin:

Exfoliate. Seriously. 
There's 0 point in trying to overcompensate with moisturizing skin that has already reached the point of no return. It's not going to help! You're just going to waste product that you probably spent too much money on (and I know you don't want to do that). 

Use a good exfoliating scrub or give dry brushing a try. If we’re talking about your face, a chemical peel would also be a good option. Some of my favorite exfoliating body scrubs are Soap and Glory's The Scrub of Your Life*, LUSH's Cup O' Coffee*, and Fresh's Brown Sugar Body Polish. And if you want to try a peel I suggest Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Micro Milk Peel* . (If you're looking for something really good, grab a sample of Sunday Riley's Good Genes* from Sephora. It's pretty pricy but a sample will last you long enough to solve any dry skin issues). Extra tip for feet! Check out LUSH Volcano Foot Mask*.

Now, let's keep everything healthy: 

Use a good, heavy moisturizer. 
Now is not the time for those light moisturizers. I'm not a fan of thick lotions that make your skin feel tacky, but sometimes it's necessary. 

I swear by Keihl's Creme De Corps* (which is really good for sensitive skin) and Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion*. I also like using LUSH Pink Peppermint on my feet, it's super moisturizing and refreshing after having your feet crammed in boots or running shoes. 

For your face, my two recommendations for oily skin are Korres Pomegranate Balancing Cream-Gel Moisturizer and First Aid Beauty Daily Face Cream*. And the ONLY products I've tried so far that effectively help my chapped lips (which is unfortunately not just a winter issue for me, so I'm extremely familiar with combating it) are Bobby Brown's Lip Balm* and Bite Beauty's Agave Lip Mask*. 

Hydrate. Hydrate. HYDRATE. 
Right now, as you're reading this, go download Plant Nanny from the App Store. Only log your water intake if you've actually drank the water. And drink water! Because you don't want your cute plant to die. Okay? Cool. Seriously, try to aim for consistently drinking 60-80oz a day depending on how active you are. Drink even more if you're drinking a lot of caffeine. It really does make a difference in how your skin looks and feels. (It also makes a difference in how you feel, because being dehydrated does not feel good).

++ you can get the really cute water bottle here*. It keeps things cold for 24 hours and hot for 12.

There's A Type of Tea for Every Problem

tea cup in hands

While someone would have to physically pry me away from a good cup of coffee and the only thing keeping me out of coffee shops are "closed" signs, I can admit that maybe its not appropriate for all occasions.

Say...if you're sick, have a stomach ache, or can't sleep. (Coffee definitely won't help you with that last one).

Sure, coffee wakes you up. It tastes sooo good. It even has some health benefits of its own. BUT, multiple cups and all the added crap isn't always the best opton for your body. You'll end up feeling dehydrated, sluggish, and crash. Oh, and don't forget the jitters. I'm still recovering from the time I thought I was going to have a heart attack from one extreeemly caffeinated cup of cold brew. FYI, if someone who brews coffee for a living tells you it's strong, they are not exaggerating.

Now that I've been distracted, let's get on with talking about tea. Tea (in general) seriously has so many health benefits. Its full of antioxidants, it's been found to reduce cardiovascular risk factors, boost the metabolissm, and some of it naturally has no caffeine in it. Honestly, the list goes on. There are tons of other benefits you can find other online; however, research has its limitations, so remember to take anything with a grain of salt. (Especially if it promises things like drastic weight loss). Just try it and see what works for you.

It gets even better, though, because all teas aren't the same. They all have different benefits and uses. Like, green tea is usually my go-to option, but I'll reach for chamomile if I'm not feeling well. Almost every time my body is upset with me, there's a tea that will help the situation.

Black or green tea. Both of them are caffeinated and can give your body a kick start. But with tea, you won't experience a crash after. (Win, win). Green tea also boosts your metabolism so sometimes I like to drink it first thing in the morning before working out!

Stomach Ache?
Peppermint or chamomile. They both help settle the stomach by calming the muscles and also aid digestion. Peppermint has a refreshing effect, while chamomile is more soothing.

Cold? Sore Throat?
Chamomile or ginger. Chamomile has been shown to help the immune system and soothes a sore throat or cough. Add some raw honey for extra help! (Side note: it's also good for cramps). Ginger has a warming effect on your body that helps with chills. (Psst – it's cold season so remember this).

Skullcap or ginger. Both are anti-inflammatory and will help reduce pressure by relaxing your blood vessels. Any kind with caffeine may also help.

Can't sleep?
Valerian root, chamomile, or lavender. Valerian root acts as a mild sedative, chamomile and lavender both offer a relaxing effect that can make you more calm.

There are so many types of herbal teas with so many different uses! I'm pretty sure each kind of tea actually just needs a whole post of its own.

What's your favorite type? I'm definitely a green tea or peppermint person. Do you try drinking tea to solve any of these issues? Do you have other home remedies? Let me know!


Sweet + Healthy Vanilla Smoothie

vanilla smoothie in jar
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✘ Just a heads up! The protein powder links are affiliate links, which means I'll earn a small commission if you buy through them.

I don't know about you, but while I was in college smoothies pretty much became a staple in my diet. Mainly because I was lazy about cooking and they're crazy convenient. I would even attach the blender blade straight to a mason jar so I would have one less thing to wash.

Ridiculous? Yes. Smart? Also yes.

I made so many smoothies that I got to the point where I never even measured anything. I just tossed in some fruit, ice, almond milk, maybe some greens and chia seeds if I was trying to turn a smoothie into a quick "meal."

This vanilla smoothie would be something I'd make post-run or if I was craving a smoothie but didn't want anything that was heavy or extra fruity.

Here's the recipe (and I actually measured things for once so I could write this as accurately as possible):

1 cup cashew/almond/coconut milk (I normally use cashew or coconut now)
1 frozen banana
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 pitted medjool dates (I hate dates so I promise you don't taste them)
handful of ice
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (optional!)

It's possibly the most simple smoothie recipe ever and it tastes so good. I'm not going to tell you it's like a vanilla milkshake, because that's a lie. But it's a pretty close healthy alternative. It's also really nice and refreshing after running outside in the Florida sun.

The only time I usually add protein powder to this is if I'm having a larger serving of it in place of eating a snack or if I'm having it as a post-workout smoothie.

If you want to do that, here are some of my favorite protein powders that mix in with it really well:
*Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard, Vanilla Ice Cream
*PEScience Select Protein Premium Blend, Gourmet Vanilla

And for all my people who are vegan or sensitive to dairy, here are my favorite vegan protein powders (trust me on these – I promise they actually taste good and aren't gross like most plant protein powders):
*Sunwarrior - Warrior Blend, Raw, Plant-Based Protein, Vanilla
*Garden of Life Organic Vegan Protein Powder with Vitamins and Probiotics - Raw Protein Shake, Sugar Free, Vanilla

+ for more juice and smoothie recipes go here, here, and here.