Winter skincare tips & top picks

Remember my Summer Skincare Tips post? I thought I’d do another for winter. I know it isn’t officially winter yet, but since we saw our first snow fall earlier this week, I’m thinking it’s close enough. Truthfully, many of the tips I shared in my summer post are relevant for winter skincare, but given how dry the air is, it’s even more important to stay hydrated and moisturized. Here are my favorite ways to do so…

winter-skincare-faves-poorandpretty

1. Drink lots of water or coconut water. Some people aren’t big on the taste of coconut water, but if you can get past that, it really is an amazing hydrator — some say it hydrates even better than water because it’s choc full of electrolytes. It’s also rich in potassium. Try adding it to smoothies if you don’t like the taste.

2. We’re all tempted to take hot baths or showers in the winter to stay warm, but this can actually dry out your skin. So if you do take a bath, try to keep it warm rather than hot and add some milk and honey to your bathwater. As celebrity esthetician Catherine Ianelli says in her milk and honey bath soak recipe, “milk makes the skin soft, is rich in AHA’s (alpha hyroxy acids), which promote exfoliation, and gives the skin a glowing complexion.”

3. Just as it’s important to exfoliate your face, it’s crucial to exfoliate your body, too, especially in the winter. My homemade vanilla coconut sugar scrub is my go-to body scrub. The sugar gets rid of dry, flaky skin and the coconut oil swoops in to moisturize. I’m also partial to my Jar of Frosting, a whipped soap body scrub made with jojoba beads to cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize.

4. My Coco Body Balm packs a super-moisturizing punch because it’s made from cocoa butter, shea butter, coconut oil, and jojoba oil. Liquid lotions tend to contain chemical preservatives, whereas my Coco Body Balm is entirely natural, and therefore entirely good to your skin. I use it on particularly dry patches of skin like my elbows, knees, heels, and slather it on my hands before I go to bed.

5. Whether or not you’re prone to dry skin, it’s better to use a natural bar soap for your face in the winter. Not just any bar soap, of course, you’ll want one specifically formulated for the sensitive skin on our face. Why? Because natural facial bar soaps are made with skin-loving oils that provide your skin with more moisture rather than removing it. Most liquid face washes contain surfactants (also in household cleaning products!) which strip your skin of its natural oils, leaving your face too dry. I like this oatmeal & lavender facial cleansing bar from Blissoma.

6. Hopefully, if you’ve followed all of the above steps, your skin will be well-moisturized, but if you need a little extra help, you’ll want to keep a face serum handy. Facial serums can be pricey, but they are packed with rejuvenating oils, so you only need a few drops for your whole face. The best serums — like this Organic Face Serum from Antho — contain Rosehip and Argan oils, loaded with powerful antioxidants and natural essential vitamins.

What do you do to keep your skin soft in the winter?

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Summer skincare tips & top picks

A few of my friends have asked me for tips on getting rid of acne or basic skincare maintenance. Skin is either too oily or too dry; there’s almost never a happy medium. We all have this problem (even me!), and of course it varies with the seasons. I thought I’d share my summer skincare routine with you, along with some of my go-to products.

summer skincare tips and top picks - poor and pretty

1. I notice my skin is the clearest when I wash my face at night. Right now, I’m using a cream cleanser I’m developing myself, but my favorite retail cleanser is the Burt’s Bees Soap Bark and Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream. It’s made entirely from natural ingredients and doesn’t include harsh chemical detergents that cause your skin to dry out.

2. I always, always, always follow up with my homemade rosewater and witch hazel astringent. I used to be terrible at using astringents, but now that it’s a part of my routine, my skin stays much cleaner. It’s super easy to make — you can find most of the ingredients at your local health food store, or online. After using your cleanser, put a few drops of the astringent on a cotton ball and swipe over your face (avoiding your eye area, of course). I sometimes use the astringent throughout the day to freshen up.

3. Exfoliate at least twice a week. Admittedly, I’m still working on this one. When I do remember to exfoliate twice a week, I get less acne. My favorite exfoliating masks are both homemade: DIY strawberry mask (strawberries contain salicylic acid, which fights off acne-causing bacteria) and DIY oat & cornmeal exfoliating facial scrub & mask (this one’s easier to keep on hand).

4. Traveling is no excuse not to take care of your skin! If you need a good on-the-go cleanser, try the Yes to Cucumbers Hypoallergenic Facial Towelettes. Infused with aloe vera, cucumbers, and green tea, these babies remove makeup, soothe, and clean your skin. Plus, they smell great, too!

5. Now that you’ve got the cleaning part down, don’t forget to moisturize, even if your skin is typically oily. One of the biggest reasons why skin becomes oily is because we wash it with all of these harsh cleansers, strip its natural oils, then we don’t bother replacing any of those oils. This makes our skin work extra hard to compensate for those missing oils, pumping them out and resulting in shiny, slick, yucky skin. Gross, right? So always replenish those oils — just like you would drink water after sweating. My favorite moisturizers are both from DressGreen: Purifying and Blemish Controlling Face Serum (best for drier skin) and Calming and Clarifying Face Cream (better for oilier skin). Like most people, I have combination skin, so I use these interchangeably. They’re both 100% natural and free of toxic chemicals.

6. Of course it’s Summer, so we can’t forget the sunscreen. Dermatologists suggest wearing sunscreen on your face daily because our facial skin is most susceptible to sun damage. My natural sunscreen of choice is Naked Bee’s Face & Body Moisturizing SPF 30 Sunscreen, which contains 70% organic content and is enriched with Vitamin C. It smells lovely and has no Parabens, Propylene Glycol, Laurel/Laureth Sulfates, or alcohol.

Be safe, don’t forget to drink lots of water and share your Summer skincare tips in the comments!

Bonus: want naturally beachy hair without going to the beach? Try making my DIY sea salt hair spray!

This post is a part of Independent Fashion Bloggers Project #104 Summer Essentials.

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Friday Faves 1.18.13

Friday Faves 1-18-13

1. N.Y.L.A. boots in brown. I just bought these from Ideeli as a post-holiday indulgence. Plus, my favorite red boots are starting to detach from the sole. They’re my first pair of knee-high boots, which took a bit of getting used to, but they certainly keep my legs toasty!

2. Hot Cocoa! Nothing beats away the winter blues like a cup of hot cocoa. I’m drinking one as I type this! I particularly enjoy this recipe from A Beautiful Mess.

3. Link perler figurine, made by Stan. He has a goal of recreating a scene from one of the original Pokemon GameBoy games with perler beads and peg boards, which he got for Yule. The first thing he made was my favorite video game character {Link, the Legend of Zelda hero}. Yes, we’re perfectly nerdy together. ♥

4. Calming and Clarifying Facial Cream by Dress Green. I had previously written about Dress Green’s Pure Hydration Facial Cream. It’s excellent for days when my skin is really dry, but too heavy for everyday use, so I tried out their Calming and Clarifying cream and it’s perfect. It’s light but still provides great moisture, and it’s made with all-natural ingredients and free of nasty chemicals.

5. Sexy Hair Organics Volumizing Mousse. This is an all-around excellent mousse. It contains no sulfates, petrochemicals, parabens, or dyes, and is made with 83% organic ingredients. Plus, it doesn’t make my hair crunchy.

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Tomorrow & Sunday: BUST Magazine Craftacular at the World Maker Faire

It’s here! Stan and I just checked into our {slightly sketchy} hotel, and we are excited about tomorrow! Even more awesome: BUST Magazine wrote a sweet spotlight on Poor & Pretty earlier this week.

Boy, is the Maker Faire HUGE! We stopped by to check in and find the Poor & Pretty booth and there were just all sorts of amazing things being set up — 3D printing, fire arts {yeah, my Dad will love that one}, robotics exhibits & demos, and lots of delicious food. Oh yeah, it’s more than just a craft fair. I highly recommend downloading the  Maker Faire app if you have an iPhone/iPad or Android.

Okay, okay, you’re wondering about the new products I’m introducing at the Craftacular, right? Well, here you go:

Red Velvet Cupcake Soap:

Mmm. It smells just like a red velvet cupcake, too, only with a buttercream frosting ;)

Coco Body Balm:

Coco Body Balm is a solid, twist-up lotion bar that packs a mighty powerful moisturizing punch. It shares many of its ingredients with Coco Balm — candelilla wax, certified organic cocoa butter, coconut oil, and jojoba oil — but it also contains highly emollient shea butter for an ultra skin-smoothing experience. Use it on your elbows, hands, feet, and other dry patches of skin. It also makes a great cuticle softener and can double as a lip balm if you don’t have your Coco Balm handy.

I brought a limited supply with me to the Craftacular, but they will be in stock in my Etsy shop by Columbus Day {October 8th}.

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Friday Faves 8.26.11

1. Yes to Carrots Nourishing Shampoo — the last time I dyed my hair, I really did a number to it because I stripped color and then added red over it. My hair was very angry at me, which is why I’m letting my roots grow out. I’ve been using paraben-, SLS-, and petroleum-free Yes to Carrots Nourishing Shampoo and loving it for hydrating my hair and keeping the frizz at a minimum.

2.Dress Green Pure Hydration Facial Cream — my quest for the perfect, affordable facial cream seemed like an endless one. Because my face alternates between really dry and oily, I’ve had a hard time finding something that hydrates, but doesn’t make my skin oily. Solution: Dress Green’s Pure Hydration Facial Cream. Besides hydrating without being oily, the Pure Hydration Facial Cream is vegan, made with nutrient-rich Avocado Oil, Cocoa Butter, Rose Hip Oil, and other natural ingredients, plus it’s free of parabens and petroleum. I think I’m in love.

3. Earth Science Aloe Vera Complexion Toner & Freshener — While my homemade green tea toner is great for freshening up my face, it doesn’t remove makeup very well, and it’s hard to tell how well it removes dirt from my skin {because it appears yellow on a cotton ball}. Earth Science’s alcohol-free and non-drying Aloe Vera Complexion Toner & Freshener visibly removes makeup and dirt, plus the Aloe Vera, Hyaluronic Acid, and Sea Kelp ingredients moisturize the skin.

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