Goodbye Winter Skin, Hello Glowing Youthfulness~ If there is one product you should try this winter I recommend DHC Astaxanthin Collagen All-in-One Gel made with algae. It is excellent because there is a fair amount of product and a little goes a long way. Most importantly, it has immediate results.
It smooths out skin texture and adds plumpness back into your skin. I like using it morning and night. The product is thick enough that I do not feel the need to use a moisturizer with it.
The texture is custard-like and it easily melts into your skin. There is no noticeable smell. It is formulated to tone, hydrate, and brighten. Astaxanthin is found in freshwater algae and it can help reduce premature aging. From what I’ve read, this is because Astaxanthin is an antioxidant created by algae under stress. Astaxanthin production allows the algae to survive in extreme conditions and it turns green algae red.
DHC’s website also explains that the formulation includes “hyaluronic acid to protect skin’s natural moisture, royal jelly to hydrate and revitalize, and hydrolyzed collagen to impart softness and suppleness.”
Hey all, I’m happy I will finally have the time to venture on solo travel this Spring. Any other young women solo travelers here? I’ve signed up for a Japan tour package. Any suggestions for what to do are welcome!! I will explore skincare, religious structures, and street food. I will visit Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka, & I’ll review the tour company and my trip in detail when I return. ❤
For Love & Lemons Green Mini Dress ~ I wore this look on NYE and loved it! The quality of the sequins is fantastic and the dress sparkles perfectly in pictures. I saw that this dress is available for rent as well on Rent the Runway.
I’ve also purchased YesStyle accessories to get me into a wintery mood:
I think hearts and faux pearl fashion jewelry suits winter with Valentine’s Day in February. I also love the faux pearl hair accessories in the winter as well because they can dress up simple jean outfits. Accessories can help refresh boring turtleneck looks. There are limited options for what to wear in cold weather but a wide variety of accessories that can spice up everyday clothes. I recommend checking out YesStyle for inexpensive fashion jewelry.
Are you familiar with Dermstore? If you love skincare you should be, they sell premium skincare, body care, hair and skin vitamins, plus more. I’ve created a Dermstore profile page with favorite products saved. One body care product, in particular, is extraordinary, the REN Clean Skincare body serum. Wow, I don’t know what life was before this serum. It has transformed and evened out my skin tremendously.
This coupled with the Glow vitamin I wrote about in my last post has finally taken my body care to a new level. The skin on my body has cleared up. I no longer get back acne or body acne in general, and small breakouts are more infrequent.
The key ingredients are lactic acid, xylitol, and probiotics, to strengthen the skin barrier, improve texture, and increase hydration. I’m delighted and hope to keep up this routine for years to come. ❤
About two months ago I purchased the Korean Bath Mitts that I’ve blogged about being on my wishlist in the past from Amazon. I like using it in the shower with a hydrating body wash. I’ve been enjoying the Soap & Glory line from Walgreens.
Soap & Glory products can also be purchased at Ulta and Target. I have the Oat, Sugar, and Shea Butter Scrub and Magnificoco Clean-A-Colada Body Wash made with coconut and green tea extract. What I love about this scrub is that it doesn’t leave my skin with an oily film and it doesn’t get watery with regular use. There is the perfect amount of scrub that it feels effective yet not abrasive. The body wash works perfectly with the Korean Bath Mitt and leaves my skin hydrated. ❤
I have a natural afro that grows out, not down. I started trying to grow my hair out late 2018 – early 2019 but I had a major set back because of hair breakage. I’ve cut my hair short again and I’m starting over. Now I can see if the hair growth hacks I’ve learned about like MSM, rosemary, and castor oil create luscious locks in a short amount of time as widely attested.
I learned about MSM from Youtube. It is a sulfur-containing compound supplement used for hair and skin. It is sold typically in a crystal powdered form and dissolved in hot water or as a pill. In crystal powdered form it is recommended that you add vitamin C powder to prevent headaches and improve the taste. Honestly, the taste is horrible no matter what. I tried different combinations suggested online like drinking it with orange juice and that mixture made it taste worse!
I also tried drinking it with a little Ginger Ale and this made it taste better in my opinion. Now I’m just drinking it twice a day as a shot. I dissolve one teaspoon and 1/2 of it in hot water with one teaspoon of vitamin C powder. I’ve read that it’s best to find a pure crystal version of MSM because some companies sell it with additives to give you less product in pill form.
The MSM I purchased is from Amazon – “Gold Standard Organic Sulfur Crystals 2lb – 99.9% Pure MSM Crystals – Largest Granular Flakes Available.”
My mom taught me that most women use rosemary in their hair in Panama for quicker hair growth. I also know my naturally dry hair responds well to castor oil and regular deep treatments. Knowing this, I created a new weekly routine, every week I deep condition with castor oil and then I set my hair with rollers using rosemary water ( rosemary boiled in water and cooled) with Aveda Damage Remedy.
The Plague of Cheap Shampoos and Conditioners, Rice Water, & Products that Work
My hair does not respond well to cheap products. I’ve tried to cut corners when I was natural and now with relaxed hair as well but to no avail. I love the brand Aveda because my hair responds well to it.
I plan to continue to invest in the Aveda Rosemary Mint and Damage Remedy lines from here on out. I’ve returned to using ORS Hair mayonnaise as a deep treatment and it continues to make my hair extremely soft. I used ORS Hair mayonnaise throughout college and can vouch that it does make natural hair 4C soft and frizz-free. An added perk is that it is also affordable typically costing around $7 to 9 dollars.
I tried rice water in the past but I feel like the fermenting process is too messy, smelly, and time-consuming. Also, too much protein is detrimental to hair growth. My routine to take MSM twice a day, morning and night, and weekly deep treatments ending with a roller set with rosemary water and Damage Remedy is faster and cleaner.
Hair Vitamins, A Fail and A Win
Optimal Solutions Extra Strength Hair Skin and Nails Dietary Supplement Softgels did not work for me. I feel like the supplements made my hair fall out. I’m unsure if it was only the supplements or stress as well but as soon as I started using it my hair came out in clumps. I remember reading one other review from a lady with relaxed hair stating her hair fell out in clumps too, perhaps this supplement does not work well with relaxed hair. Regardless, I will never use it again.
I believe using the wrong supplement for me along with visits to a salon that was not working for my hair created massive breakage. I’ve since switched over to MSM as my supplement of choice. I also started to use Glow Inner Beauty Powder this winter 2019/2020 for my skin but I noticed it helped with overall health. I now have strong hair again. My hair feels thicker and normal, and my skin remains clear.
Hair after first relaxer, before damage from vitamins and salon visits
MSM, Rosemary, Aveda Damage Remedy, Castor Oil
At this point, I will stick to a weekly deep treatment routine and update my blog on MSM progress in two to three months. I will stop using MSM in three months and take a break because the body builds tolerance and stops responding at that time frame. I’m excited to update you on the results! Frankly, I’m just happy my hair feels like me again and I know my regimen will work.
A trip to the sauna is excellent for skin health because it helps flush out toxins and it can rid your skin of bacteria in sweat ducts and the epidermal layer.
I’ve visited a few saunas in the Bay Area. I can confidently recommend two excellent places for private saunas rooms at affordable prices: St. Pierre Massage and Spa and Watercourse Way Bath House Spa.
In Napa Valley, private sauna visits cost $15 per visit in the 5 visits $59 package at St. Pierre Massage and Spa. For two people the cost is $60 to reserve a private sauna room for one hour. Inside the room, there are two separate private sauna booths that share a small common area, where there is a small table with dried mango snacks and water to enjoy during your visit.
What I look for in affordable spa care is cleanliness and standout customer service and this place has both. I like that there is no dust or cobwebs in the corners or on any furniture. The bathrooms are up to par as well. The waiting room has a fireplace and water feature for optimal relaxation. Also, the waiting room is far enough from the reception area that it feels tranquil and quiet away from the hustle of people entering and exiting the spa.
Another excellent spa with affordable luxurious sauna spa packages is Watercourse Way Bath House Spa in Palo Alto, CA. This spa offers private sauna rooms with a hot tub starting at $40 per person, per hour. For the first reservation, they require a $40 reservation fee which is then deducted from your payment at the spa.
The total is $80 for two people in a private hot tub sauna room, $20 more than Napa but there is the bonus of having a hot tub too. They also offer massages and facials inspired by the season. The December package is Sugar Plum Cranberry with a scrub, facial, and massage for one hour and thirty minutes for $143!
I have finally tried Farmacy honey skincare. I purchased a few products with the email sign up sale code.
Honey is beneficial for your skin because it is antibacterial, full of antioxidants, and helps create a natural glow.
Honeymoon Glow saved my face. I had a bad breakout and glow brought my skin back to its regular texture. It also made my skin soft and brighter within two uses. The directions state it can be used about two to three times a week. It is a chemical exfoliant made up of AHA/BHA/Flower Acid Blend 14%, hyaluronic acid, and honey.
Another product I adore is the Green Clay face wash. I love how gentle it is yet it also effectively cleans my skin without stripping it or aggressively physically exfoliating. The texture is like butter but without any greasiness. It is an excellent product that I’d recommend or gift anyone. The soft texture also helps dissuade you from tugging at your skin.
The oils (sunflower and ginger root oils) melt away makeup. I hope to purchase the limited edition cherry face wash as well. I think the green clay, and Honeymoon Glow impressed me the most because they either have very immediate results and or feel different from other popular products. Both items feel like a treat and are effective rather than just overpriced and hyped up.
The honey mask is the sweetest treat! It also brightened my skin and made it look hydrated. I get dryness around my mouth and around my eyebrows and it helped nourish those areas to look normal and moisturized. The honey moisturizer has little soft honey beads in it. It feels lightweight and luxuriating. Lastly, all of the products have magnetic lids! This way the little spatula tool used to obtain product stays put on the lid.
I have a few products on my skincare wish list try out:
I’m From, Ginseng Serum (highly popular and moisturizing)
Eminence pink grapefruit mask, Eminence sour cherry mask (helps increase collagen production, contains honey, and vitamin C)