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Habits & Routines

7 Habits To Bring Into Your Routine to Look and Feel Your Best

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Habits To Bring Into Your Routine to Look & Feel Your Best

We live our entire lives according to a strict routine, whether we realize it or not.

Most of our actions and choices are dictated by this routine, whether directly or indirectly, which is why it’s vital that you build yourself the right routine.

In the lines below, we’ll look at some of the best habits to have in your daily routine, both for your appearance, and your peace of mind.

Ready? Let’s get you feeling and looking your best!

Also read: 8 Ways to Make You Believe that Positivity Always Attracts Positivity

1. Take 10 Minutes of Technology-Free Meditation

Habits To Bring Into Your Routine to Look and Feel Your Best

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you cross your legs and sit in that world-famous Buddha pose.

It just means that you should take a few minutes to assess where you are at that moment, both emotionally and mentally.

It’s like saying hello to yourself before you open the shutters and say hello to the rest of the world.

More and more people are recommending that you avoid technology in the morning, for the simple reason that smartphone use puts us in a reactive position.

We react to the news (mostly bad) that we find in our feed, and this sets us up in a passive position for the rest of the day.

This impacts both our mood and our overall appearance because it often makes us look dejected.

Also read: 7 Unhealthy Habits That Will Ruin Your Sex Life

2. Work Out Every Morning

A lot of people have trouble motivating themselves to exercise at all, and particularly in the morning when it means missing an extra half hour of sleep.

But working out in the morning is the best thing you can do because your body is at its most energized then, and also because it’s healthier to work out on an empty stomach.

The exercise routine you opt for will depend on your personal needs and preferences, but in the end, 20 minutes of physical exercise each morning will leave you feeling more energized and positive for the day ahead (not to mention looking fit).

If you like the idea of staying active and healthy you might want to check out the Fit2B Studio.

3. Take Breaks from the Computer

If you are someone who spends most of their working hours in front of a computer, as is the case for most of us in this day and age, make sure you get frequent breaks.

Experts recommend a break every 20 minutes or so to protect your eye health, but failing that, a break every hour will do.

During this short break, avoid technology so that you can rest your eyes, and take a short walk, to get the blood flowing.

Prolonged periods of computer-use promote bad posture, so try to straighten your back and do some light back-strengthening back and neck stretches while on break!

4. Take Some Time for Yourself

7 Habits To Bring Into Your Routine to Look and Feel Your Best

Even if it’s just a brief 20 minutes, leave this time each day for your own personal enjoyment.

It may be playing some Tetris or pampering yourself with a detox face mask. Or it may be doing your nails or having an essential oil relaxing massage.

Whatever it is that you enjoy doing, but that usually gets skipped over because it’s considered non-essential, do it.

Your body will thank you for it (particularly if it’s a ‘beauty’ thing), but most importantly, so will your mind.

This small dose of me-time promotes satisfaction and relaxation and prevents the day’s other tasks and chores from getting you burned out.

Check out HopeBox by CrateJoy Review – Like a Neatly-Package Hug for Your Soul!

And we do recommend taking the time to prepare yourself a face or hair mask at least once a week, to keep your skin looking and feeling healthy!

5. Assess the Day’s Accomplishments

It may be a good idea to take some time at the end of each day, in order to assess the day’s events.

This can mean making a mental list of all the accomplishments you’ve welcomed during the day, and perhaps it’s something huge, like landing a big account at work.

Or maybe it’s something small, like your hair looking great or not breaking down when you had every reason to.

This will get you in the right mindset to carry on and thrive.

You might also like: 4 Powerful Techniques to Shift Your Money Mindset

6. Take a Detox Bath

Okay, you don’t have to do this one each day, as it can get to be too much, but try to take a detox bath using this eucalyptus dead sea bath salts , or failing that, baking soda, to detox your body.

The salts will help your body work up a sweat and thus eliminate all the toxins that are weighing you, your skin, and your hair down!

Related:

7. Get Enough Sleep!

The Sleep Foundation advises that a healthy adult should get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep every night for optimal health, and we recommend that you try and follow that.

Lack of sleep affects our overall mood, our alertness, and our capability to deal with stressful situations.

It also affects the way we look, leaving our skin and appearance looking exhausted and disheveled.

So in other words, sleep on it. And the Mind Place it might help!

Also check: 5 Things Happen in the Brain When You Lose Sleep

Self Care

5 Skin Benefits of Using These Beauty Devices in Your Skincare Routine – Julie’s Lindh Beauty Wands

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Beauty Devices in Your Skincare Routine – Julie’s Lindh Beauty Wands

Beauty is, as they say, in the eye of the beholder.

All women are beautiful, yet it’s natural that, as we age, we begin to perceive ourselves as such less and less.

Every morning, we look in the mirror and become despondent at the sight of wrinkles, fine lines, dark circles, and saggy skin. But rather than losing hope, what we ought to do in such moments is figure out a solution.

Nowadays, there are numerous excellent skincare and beauty devices that can perk up the skin, and get you looking your best.

So why not try one?

In this article, we’ll be looking through the Julie Lindh Ageless System Beauty collection of skincare devices, and how they might be incorporated into your skincare routine.

The collection involves three different devices: the Skin Magic Pen with Sonic and LED lights and the two Beauty Wands.

Rather than addressing each product, we’ll be looking at their benefits as a whole, and hopefully helping you decide which one’s ideal for you.

1. Rebuilding collagen

Collagen is something that our body naturally produces on its own, and it is responsible (together with elastin) for keeping our skin bouncy and tight.

It is one of the main proteins inside our body, and also a large component of skin and hair.

However, its production rate naturally decreases as we age, causing our skin to sag and wrinkles to form. This is why, past a certain age, you want to boost the production of collagen by using such devices as the SkinMagic Pen.

Targeting the lip and eye areas, in particular, the Pen accelerates collagen production, thus minimizing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines (1).

As you probably know by now, it’s common to get more wrinkles around these areas, since the skin is thinner, and the muscles more heavily used than in other areas of the face.

Julie's Lindh Beauty Wands

2. Stimulating the blood flow

Nobody wants poor circulation, since that is associated with lots of health problems, in general. But did you know that poor blood flow also accounts for skin ailments, such as excessive dryness and dull, saggy skin?

The way that works is poor blood flow forces the production of new, “glowing”, healthy skin cells to slow down.

It also prevents a healthy skin cell turnover, which causes the skin to appear dull and lackluster (since it’s clogged by dead skin cells). This also leads to dryness of the skin, since the dead cells are not able to absorb moisture properly.

This is what Julie’s Lindh Beauty Wands aim to avoid.

The Beauty Wand 1.0 uses four little rollers that gently massage the skin of the face, thus discreetly stimulating blood flow (2).

Julie's Lindh Beauty Wands

The Beauty Wand 2.0 goes one step further. While still incorporating four massaging rollers, these are also dotted by tiny spikes, thus also mimicking a micro-needling effect.

Microneedling is the practice of using tiny needles to puncture the skin and give your body the impression of an active wound.

In order to repair said wound, the body will flow more blood to the area, and flood it with collagen, to recreate the skin that’s been damaged.

This is a popular beauty practice, as it can improve the appearance of wrinkles, acne, and scarring (3).

Julie's Lindh Beauty Wands

3. Helps product absorption

It’s all good and well to use the right skincare products, and often, these can indeed make an impressive difference in the appearance of your skin.

However, you first need to ensure that the product is being absorbed into your skin, and not just sitting on top of it.

What can cause it to not get absorbed properly? Dead skin cells, usually.

This is where the LED light from the Skin Magic Pen can really help a lot.

The red LED light targets the outermost layer of skin, also known as the epidermis, and practically forces the pores to open, in order to absorb the light itself.

This also creates a smoother channel for skincare products to penetrate the skin and work their magic as they should.

4. Stimulates lymphatic drainage

The lymphatic drainage is a big component of your immune system, and as with any other part of your body, you want it to be in proper working order, to enjoy a healthy existence.

While the evidence for its aesthetic benefits is somewhat lacking, some studies have found (4) that lymphatic drainage can lead to a smoother appearance.

How does that happen?

Whenever the lymphatic fluid begins to accumulate in one part of the body, you begin to experience swelling and puffiness, including in the facial area.

While the study targeted the thighs, it brought forth evidence that stimulating the lymphatic system can reduce swelling, which also applies to the face.

Both the SkinMagic Pen and the BeautyWand 2.0 boast an ability to stimulate the lymphatic system which may, in time, give you tighter skin and reduce puffiness in the neck and face area.

5. Tightens the muscles

Just like any other part of the body, the facial muscles begin to loosen up and sag the more they remain “dormant”.

This promotes sagginess and fat accumulation which, of course, isn’t something anyone wishes for. So you need to come at the problem as you would any other muscle – you need to start stimulating it.

And while we also recommend incorporating some facial exercises and stretches to help with that, facial massage can also be a great way to get there.

  • The SkinMagic Pen uses blue LED light to give your muscles a relaxing, yet stimulating massage. As in the earlier point, this stimulates the blood flow and helps keep the muscles (and implicitly the skin) taut.
  • The Beauty Wand 1.0 also stimulates the facial muscles through a similar technique, so really, the difference in this case between the two devices is that one targets the eye/lip areas, whereas the other is more general.
  • Lastly, the Beauty Wand 2.0 uses a micro-current that vibrates into the muscles and has a powerful toning effect, thus leading to tighter, more lifted cheeks and jawline.

Take outs

The benefits of these beauty skincare devices go on and on and on.

Which one you choose depends heavily on what precise effects you’re looking for. But if you want our advice, investing in an at-home beauty device, such as these ones from Julie Lindh, while pricy at first, will turn out to be a hugely smart investment in the long run!

 

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Clean Skincare

Pregnancy Skincare Routine – What’s Safe And What to Avoid

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Pregnancy Skincare Routine

It’s all too easy to begin neglecting your regular routines as you struggle to make way for a baby in your life. But the truth is, now more than ever, you should hold on to your skincare routine.

During pregnancy, numerous changes occur in the body, and your skin doesn’t get a free pass.

From hormonal breakouts to melasma (the appearance of colored patches on your skin), even to stretch marks, your skin is constantly bearing the marks of this new phase in your life.

This is why it’s important to maintain a healthy and rigorous beauty routine, so as to maintain your skin in tip-top shape.

Why Is Product Safety Particularly Important During Pregnancy?

We’re all aware that some skin care products contain chemicals that may be less than healthy for our bodies, and these get even more dangerous while you’re expecting.

The beauty products we smear unto our bodies naturally get absorbed through the skin, at least to a certain extent.

During pregnancy, these chemicals can make their way to your baby. And while their negative effects might be easier to withstand from the viewpoint of a fully-grown adult, they’re much more dangerous for an infant.

Certain skin care chemicals can lead to permanent damage and can even prove fatal to your baby, so we can’t stress this enough – only use products deemed safe for pregnancy.

Related: 6 Skincare Essential Oils Safe During Pregnancy

 

What Should You Avoid?

 

Retinoids

Retinoids are derived from the natural and healthy vitamin A and may seem hugely appealing at first.

These anti-aging ingredients help rejuvenate the skin by encouraging the formation of collagen and elastin, which tend to become depleted as we grow older, making the skin sag.

They efficiently diminish wrinkles, acne, bring out smooth skin.

But when talking about pregnancy skincare things change.

Studies have found that infants exposed to retinoids while in the womb had a 35% risk of developing congenital defects (1).

So, avoid both topical retinoid creams and prescription retinoids for the duration of your pregnancy.

Formaldehyde

Most people know to steer clear of formaldehyde since it’s been marked as a carcinogen (2).

However, a small percentage of skincare brands still use the stuff as a preservative.

Repeated exposure to formaldehyde increases the chance of miscarriage (3), and may even lead to infertility. 

Tetracycline

Tetracycline is commonly used as an antibiotic that combats hormonal acne rather successfully, which may sound compelling at first.

However, studies have found evidence (4) that tetracycline can permeate the placenta, and lead to infant tooth discoloration and stunt bone development.

Salicylic acid

Salicylic acid is a potent BHA, most commonly used to chemically exfoliate the skin, and keep acne breakouts at bay.

In pregnancy, it can seem like a life-saver, particularly if you’re struggling with pregnancy acne, but the truth is actually much darker.

Salicylic acid has been linked (5) with late-term bleeding, which can cause serious problems in the pregnancy and even premature delivery.

Parabens

Although more research is needed to ascertain parabens are dangerous chemicals, studies point to this ingredient as a potential risk factor in pregnancy skincare.

Identifying a link between skincare parabens and weight intake, studies suggest (6) that mothers-to-be would do well to avoid parabens in their skincare.

Related: 5 Things Women Should Focus on Getting Pregnant. 

Sodium lauryl/Laureth sulfate (SLS)

SLSs are the subject of some heated debate in the skincare world, with evidence being both and against their safety.

To break it down, the main issue with SLS, a common and inexpensive detergent, is that it may contain traces of a known carcinogen, 1,4-dioxane (7).

Now, there is no definite evidence that this is the case, but really, this doesn’t sound like a risk you should be taking while pregnant.

Hydroquinone

Hydroquinone is a bleaching agent often used in skincare products that treat skin pigmentation.

In the case of pregnancy, it may be recommended to you as an adequate treatment for melasma, though we urge you to think twice before using it.

 

Though more research is needed to draw a definite conclusion, hydroquinone has been shown to damage DNA (8), and may even have a link to serious malformation.

Phthalates

Phthalates are quite common in skincare products, in spite of the evidence against them. Exposure to phthalates has been linked with endocrine disruption (9) and even infertility.

Thus, they can both endanger your current pregnancy, as well as your future children.

 

That Being Said, What Ingredients Should You Be Using in Your Pregnancy Skincare Routine?

 

We’ve talked plenty about what ingredients you’ll want to avoid while you’re expecting, now let’s look at some healthy and useful ingredients to include in your pregnancy skincare routine.

Glycolic acid

Glycolic Acid is another type of chemical exfoliant, this time an AHA, and much like salicylic acid, it’s used to diminish signs of aging and acne.

However, it is milder than salicylic acid, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has deemed it safe (10) for treating acne while pregnant.

     Vitamin C

Popular lore claims that high intakes of vitamin C can lead to miscarriage early on in your pregnancy.

However, the truth of this claim is questionable, and even if it is true, you would need very high doses of vitamin C for such an effect.

Largely, vitamin C is not only safe for use while pregnant (11) (both as a topical ointment, and as a supplement), but actually beneficial.

A potent antioxidant, vitamin C can help combat the damage of free radicals to your skin.

     Coconut oil

Since a lot of pregnant women struggle with dry skin (which leads to stretch marks), we thought it wise to end on a hydrating note.

Coconut oil is a natural alternative that will keep your skin well-moisturized and soft.

It is safe as a topical skincare ingredient and has even been linked (12) to reduced perinatal mortality.

So it’s not just good for your skin, it’s also really good for the baby.

 

Pregnancy Skincare Safe Brands

 

How About Some Maternity & Pregnancy Subscription Boxes?

We love Crate Joy for their fantastic subscription boxes and so we believe that you might love them too. Have a look at those maternity and pregnancy monthly subscriptions and treat yourself and your little one.

They are a perfect gift as well so don’t miss it!

All in all, there are many safe and unsafe ingredients out there. In this article, we’ve covered the most common ones, but when in doubt, we urge you to conduct your own research before investing in any skincare product!

Try This Safe Pregnancy Skincare Routine Daily

This is a basic skincare routine that you should follow every day. No matter how tired you feel, you should never go to bed with make-up on.

Step 1:

  • Wash your hands and your face properly using plain lukewarm water. 
  • Squeeze a small amount of cleanser into your palm and rub your hands together to create a lather;
  • Use your fingers to apply the cleanser in small circular motions;
  • Start on your upper chest, below your collarbone, and work your way upwards, making sure you cover your throat, chin, cheeks, nose, and forehead;
  • Try to work from chest to forehead to avoid dragging the skin downwards.
  • Use a damp muslin cloth to remove all the cleanser from your skin.

Step 2:

Remove any eye make-up: 

  • Gently massage some cleanser around the eye area using the tip of your fingers working in tiny circles;
  • Then nice and gentle using cotton pads, remove the cleanser from around the eye area.

Shop safe pregnancy cleanser here:

Step 3:

  • Apply some toner to a damp cotton pad;
  • Starting from your upper chest, apply the toner in upward movements to refresh your skin and close the pores.

Shop these safe pregnancy toners online:

If you’re dealing with dark spots, blemishes, or dry areas, check out this hydrating serum that you can apply to your skin just before moving to the next step of moisturizing

Step 4:

Apply an eye cream:

  • With the tip of your ring finger (from both hands), starting at the outside edge of the cheekbone under your eye, gently tap a small amount of eye-cream on to your skin;
  • Work along the bone under your eyes, towards the nose, and then up and under the brow bone;
  • Use tiny little patting movements and try not to drag the skin.

Try this Vitamin K organic eye cream that targets dark circles and brightens up your entire look after a long no sleep night. 

Try this Aloe Eye gel to smooth out fine lines.

Step 5: 

Moisturize 

  • Take a small amount of moisturizer into your palm and rub your hands together;
  • Starting at your upper chest and working upwards, gently massage the moisturizer into your skin;
  • Work up your neck, across your chin and over your cheeks and nose – making sure you avoid the eye area – and up to your forehead;
  • Finally, moisturize the back of your neck.

Shop these clean pregnancy-safe moisturizers here: 

Body Care / Stretch Marks

Unfortunately, during pregnancy, a common skin issue is the appearance of stretch marks.

Use these products to prevent stretch marks on your hips, tight and of course on your belly:

To ease pregnancy-related leg cramps and stomach pain run yourself a relaxing bath with this aromatherapy blend.

Takeaway

The gift of pregnancy is a blessing and is the most amazing feeling woman can experience but is also a time when we should care more about ourselves and pay better attention to our lifestyle.

What we used before in our skincare routine it might not be the best choice for your baby-to-be.

Make sure you read the labels to avoid products that can harm yourself and/or the baby.

If you have any concerns, talk to your GP or dermatologist for the best advice in choosing products that suit your needs based on your skin type and condition.

Also check: 6 Skincare Essential Oils Safe During Pregnancy

Perfect Gift for Mum-To-Be

Pregnancy skincare

Enjoy a bath-time bliss with this relaxation gift from Castle Baths – Price: $59.20

Energize her day with this perfect at-home spa gift – Price: $51.00

Not Pregnant Yet? 

See: 5 Things Women Should Focus on Getting Pregnant

 

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Habits & Routines

5 Ways Your Skincare Routine Impacts Your Mental Health

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Skincare Routine Impacts Your Mental Health

At first, you may not spot any obvious connection between skincare and mental welfare. After all, what’s an acne spot treatment got to do with your mood?

Surprisingly, more than you might think!

Before we go into the details, we just want to take a moment to address what a skincare routine is.

Practically, this routine that we talk about in this article can mean whatever you want it to mean. For some women (or indeed, some men, since it impacts them just as much), a proper skincare routine involves getting fancy salon treatments and facials every week.

For others, it just means taking a few minutes to cleanse and moisturize. It can be tempting to let all the fancy skincare treatments out there daunt you, but we’re here to tell you it shouldn’t.

Your skincare routine should be a reflection of you, not of what other people say is important.

So in reading this article, try to apply it to whatever makes sense to you!

That being said, let’s talk a bit about how a skincare routine impacts your mental health.

Also read: 6 Benefits to Using Natural Essential Oils for Mental Health

1. Skincare Routines Are Just That – Routines

We tend to think of routines in generally negative terms.

Routines are dull, uninspiring, and usually make us crave adventure and change. Largely, that’s a natural human response that drives development and change, but it shouldn’t make us overlook the benefits of having a routine.

In truth, routines are helpful because they ground us and help us feel more present. They also inspire a feeling of safety.

As long as you have a routine to depend on, there is some semblance of stability in your life. This is why many people take refuge in regular exercise, yoga practices, journaling, and other more traditional routines – because of the stability they can provide.

A recent study published in The Lancet Psychiatry showed that people who lack consistent daily routines have a heightened risk of depression, anxiety, and general feelings of isolation.

A beauty routine is no different.

No matter how much you’re dreading the day ahead, your beauty routine can help you dread it a little less.

Yes, it might still be terrible, but at least now, you feel readier to take it on. Why? Because you’ve done your routine. You’re grounded, ergo you’re safe.

2. It Gets You High. Literally

As is the case with every routine in your life, you – consciously or unconsciously – will dedicate some energy to anticipating it.

Not outright planning, since the whole beauty of a routine is that it’s the same thing day in, day out, but just knowing it’s coming.

This is true about any routine, no matter how small and simple, but particularly about those extra pampering moments.

Taking time to apply a mask for 15-20 minutes is not only beneficial for the skin itself, but also for your mental state.

We associate this type of at-home self-care with relaxation and an uplifted mood, and this simply association actually tricks our brain into assimilating these effects.

In other words, anticipating those 15 minutes of pampering and relaxation actually can boost your mood and get you feeling more relaxed.

This is why, aside from your everyday beauty routine, we also recommend taking the time to apply one or two beauty masks per week.

Store-bought masks work great, but for added benefits, we recommend making your own with nurturing, organic ingredients like oatmeal (a potent antioxidant that may soothe acne, eczema, and dry skin), honey (great moisturizer and soothing agent), or apple cider vinegar.

Why does this provide added benefit? Because it reinforces the idea that you are preparing something nice for yourself.

Related: Dull, Dry, or Acne-Prone Skin? These Natural Remedies Will Help Repair Your Skin

3. It Encourages Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a daunting word for many, but in truth, it’s not really that complicated, at all. A brief skincare routine is an ideal opportunity to practice mindfulness, even if it’s just taking a moment to acknowledge the lathering of lotion on your skin.

What’s more, studies have shown that this seemingly small act of self-care can actually prevent depressive and anxious tendencies.

By focusing on the sensations encountered during your beauty routine (from the rush of warm water to the rich feel of moisturizer on your skin), you’re actively staying away from a negative thought process.

Once again, a strong skincare routine reinforces the sensation of grounding and stability that is so important to your mental health.

4. It Paves the Way to Self-Love

When you’re suffering from a skin ailment, the last thing you want to do is spend ten minutes each day looking at it or touching it.

The immediate reaction is to hide it away – whether it’s acne, wrinkles, age spots, or melasma discoloration.

As you might expect, that instinct has devastating effects on your mental health. It reinforces the notion that you are ugly or not worth looking at, and that you should hideaway.

Skincare is particularly important in these situations because it effectively counters that erroneous notion.

Taking the time to cleanse, moisturize, treat, and basically love your skin reminds you that you are beautiful and deserve that care and love.

About ten years ago, a Korean study found that middle-aged women with a well-established skincare routine had higher self-confidence and an elevated mood than those without a routine.

And that is just as true for any other “skin problem”.

5. Ultimately, Your Beauty Routine Makes You Look and Feel Your Best

Skincare Routine Impacts Your Mental Health

Last but not least, a skincare routine is important for your mental wellbeing for the simplest, most obvious reason out there.

It improves the appearance of your skin and helps you look your best by supporting healthy, clean, and moisturized skin.

This, in turn, is an immense boost to your self-confidence, and ultimately allows you to act more confidently, and feel happier.

It really is that simple.

Bottom Line

We already know how important it is to set and stick to a skincare routine, from the point of view of your skin cells.

Hopefully now, having read this article, you see what a huge difference a solid skincare routine can make in the way you think and feel, also.

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