I always feel like the beginning of the year is the perfect time to establish new routines. They say it takes 21 days to form a habit and one of my big goals for 2021 is to do a better job of caring for my body as a whole. This means a lot of small changes that I hope will add up to equal my healthiest year yet! What this looks like for me is:
- making daily movement a priority (not just when it’s convenient, but actually penciling it into my schedule each day)
- listening to my body when it’s telling me that it needs rest (i.e, going to bed at a decent hour rather than binging the latest Netflix show)
- incorporating vegetables into every meal (aiming for at least 50% of my plate to be veggies)
- admitting when I need extra help (for example, I finally got tired of my debilitating joint pain & agreed to try a new medication that should improve it over time)
I’ve also found that since I began caretaking for my Dad, I’ve let a lot of the “caring for myself” get pushed to the back burner. This has included me getting a little lax with my beauty routine and I had started to see the not-so-great side effects of that. So, I thought I would share a little bit with you today about the challenges I’ve faced, the changes I’ve made & the things that have helped me the most.
Last month, I had a hair appointment and my stylist was commenting on how dry & brittle my hair was looking. Part of it is due to a new Lupus medication I started, but part of it (she believes) is due to the products I’ve been using. Because my hair is fairly thin, I always buy volumizing shampoos, mousse & thickening sprays to give it a boost. The problem is that those types of products can be very drying and cause breakage if you’re not balancing them out with regular deep conditioners and/or masks. So, she recommended a few key changes that have helped so much and I’ve noticed a huge improvement in the overall health of my hair since I’ve implemented them. Here are the 3 products currently making the biggest impact for me:
Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3
In addition to switching from my volumizing shampoo/conditioner to this & this, she also recommended I start using this as a conditioning treatment twice a week. Though the bottle says to apply it to damp hair & leave on for 10 minutes, I put it on and wrap my hair up with a clip and leave it in for several hours (I typically do it while I’m working from home). Then, I’ll shower, rinse it out and shampoo/condition as usual. If you want to try out all the products in this line, this set is a great deal!
Olaplex No. 7 Bonding Oil
When this first arrived in the mail, I was a little disheartened by how small the container was, but I quickly discovered that a little goes a long way – this will easily last me for 6-9 months! I rub a few drops into my palms and then work it through sections of my hair when it’s damp (using the “praying hands” method) and then blow dry/style as usual. Not only does it prevent frizz & give your strands incredible shine, but it actually works on a molecular level to repair damaged hair from the inside out. I credit the combination of this with the hair perfector as truly saving & transforming my hair.
Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Heat Styling Spray
Heat is the enemy of healthy hair and I have been one of the worst offenders of overusing it. Because my hair is naturally curly, I always have my blowdryer on the highest setting so I can get it straight and smooth. Then, I go in with a curling wand (which has been causing further damage to my already weak hair). I’ve started trying to let it air dry as much as possible and only use my hot tools once a week. But, when I do need to use them, I’ve begun religiously applying this heat protectant beforehand. I like that it’s an aerosol versus a pump product because I feel like it does a better job of evenly coating my strands & it’s very lightweight and doesn’t weight my hair down in the process.
Now that I’m in my 40’s, my skin is much more finicky than it used to be, so I feel like I’m constantly trying new products in an effort to find that perfect combination to care for my aging skin. My main concerns now are fine lines/wrinkles, dark spots/hyperpigmentation and moisturizing/dewy-ness. These are the products that I’ve incorporated into a new regimen that are really impressing me and producing effective results:
It Cosmetics Hello Results Daily Retinol Cream
This is a new product that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it as soon as it came out…mainly because I love pretty much everything I’ve ever tried from this brand. If you have sensitive skin or have had a hard time with retinols in the past, this is the product for you! I love that it’s gentle enough to use every day + it has a built in moisturizer so it doesn’t feel drying to the skin. It’s only been a few weeks, but I’ve been very pleased with the results so far. I apply it at night after washing my face and then layer my night cream on top of it. I have the full size container (which has a handy one-pump dispenser), but you can order the smaller size to test it out first. I also recently learned that you can return semi-used product to ULTA if you don’t love it or if it doesn’t agree with your skin!
Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Serum
I know I’ve shared about this serum before, but it bears repeating because it has made such a difference in the brightness and overall evenness of my skintone – it truly is a miracle product for me! It also contains hyaluronic acid, which I think is why I like it so much more than other Vitamin C serums I’ve tried. To be honest, I do hate the smell, but that’s the one small con of using a really potent serum like this (and, to be fair, the scent fades fairly quickly once its absorbed). This is one of the more pricey skincare products that I use – if you buy it at Sephora, it’s $98, but I found it for $45 less here so I’m stocking up!
Pixi DetoxifEYE Patches
This is a product I’ve loved for a while, but was only using occasionally. However, as I’m getting older, I’m noticing more & more how pronounced the fine lines around my eyes are becoming. And I’ve discovered that drier my skin is, the worse it is. So, I’ve started using these patches as part of my morning skincare routine. When I get up in the morning, I wash my face, apply my Vitamin C serum and moisturizer and then put these on. I typically leave them on for a couple hours while I drink my coffee, check social media and respond to emails. After I remove them, the skin around my eyes is so much more hydrated, plump & dewy looking. Then, when I go to apply my makeup, I’ve found that my concealer doesn’t settle into those fine lines around my eyes as much…so it’s definitely making a difference! There are 60 patches in this jar, so using it daily will last me for one month (I like to store mine in the fridge for a little extra cooling/depuffing effect).
SheaMoisture Coconut Body Oil
I don’t know about you, but my skin can always use a little extra hydration during the winter months. I had previously been using a body butter for moisturizing, but I felt like it took a while to absorb into my skin (who has the time?!) and I found that I was needing to reapply it throughout the day (less than ideal). So, I picked this up on a whim during a recent Target trip and I have been loving it! If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I’m a big fan of this brand (I also use this body wash) – all their products are made with fair trade & natural ingredients, they don’t test on animals and they are family owned & operated. I keep this bottle in my shower and apply it while my skin is still air drying – it absorbs quickly & it keeps my skin soft and smooth all day long + the scent is just heavenly. Note: it’s 10% off right now when you use Target Circle!