May 2018 Favorites: Travel Essentials

Having traveled over the past couple months for long weekend getaways to celebrate loved one's weddings + birthdays, I think I've finally perfected how to pack like a pro!  I've had a couple people ask me how I travel with my skin care essentials so that I don't abandon my normal at-home routine, how to fit everything in my bag, and still follow TSA regulations... because we all know, carry-on is the way to go! 

Before I get to my travel tips about skin care, let me just say my AWAY suitcase is life changing.  I have The Bigger Carry-On in navy.  As AWAY describes it, it's "the perfect carry-on, sized up.  Unbreakable, thoughtfully designed, and guaranteed for life.  Made to fit the sizers of major US airlines, ideal for those flying on big planes or with extra outfits."  Truth.  My clothing, shoes, and toiletries fit seamlessly into both sides/compartments.  Pro-tip: I always roll my outfits to save space, and I find that this method also reduces wrinkles!  I love AWAY's hard, yet bendable outside shell... no annoying bulges popping out of this suitcase!  It comes with an ejectable battery that is compliant with all airline policies and is TSA-approved... YES!  I used the battery to charge my phone as well as my Bose noise-cancelling headphones (can't fly without these, seriously).  And although I don't always check my bag, when I do, I can lock it.  The combination lock is so well designed by utilizing the two zippers that close your case.  Genius!

Okay, now on to skin care.  I'm going to link my essentials below along with my tried + true tips!  Happy travels!  

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In my February Favorites: Shower Edition blog post, I talked about my favorite shampoo + conditioner and body wash.  These products are not offered in bottles that are carry-on/travel size approved (3.4 ounce or less), but that doesn't mean I won't travel without them!  I found these awesome silicone travel bottles by Kitdine on Amazon.  They have not leaked on me yet!  Made of 100% BPA free food grade silicone (although they do have a plastic cap), they are an eco-friendly and long-lasting alternative to plastic.  They are hold 3 ounces of liquid (you could even put salad dressing in these guys!), and come in a set of three colors: pink, blue, and white.  This might sound weird, but I always remember what is in each by the order of what I use in the shower and thinking: "ladies (pink) first!"  First: pink = shampoo.  Second: blue = conditioner.  Third: White = body wash!

Ease and travel are two words that you should never compromise on, and Beautycounter's one-step makeup remover wipes make that possible!  These super soft facial wipes (or body... who's judging?!) wash away makeup and impurities without the need to rinse!  Enough said. 

How do I prevent dry skin and breakouts when I fly?  Answer: No. 3 Balancing Facial Oil.  I actually pack this oil in my handbag and pat it onto my skin once I'm in my seat on the plane.  This oil hydrates and brings balance to my skin.  Among the seven natural oils in this formula, my favorite is chamomile, since it's known for its anti-inflammatory properties that help calm and soothe skin.  If you really want to step-up your oil game, you can gently pat this oil on your face (3 drops is all you need!), and then use a jade gua sha tool.  The cool jade feels SO good on my skin.  I use this every morning to promote blood circulation and reduce inflammation.  There are lots of YouTube tutorials to help you learn how to use it! 

Beautycounter's Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion has quickly become a favorite of mine, and luckily, its 1.7 oz. slim bottle is travel-friendly!  This lotion has a lightweight feel and consistency, which actually provides more moisture than you'd think.  It's formulated to adjust to your skin’s hydration needs that change throughout the day, which is extra necessary when you're traveling since your body is surrounded by unfamiliar environments, thus, and as Beautycounter puts it, "the ever-changing aggressors of modern life."

Don't forget about your eye area!  If you follow me on Instagram you know I rave about Countermatch Eye Rescue Cream.  Just like our face, keeping our eye area hydrated helps to replenish skin tissue and increase its elasticity, which in turn helps to delay signs of aging. Countermatch uses an ingredient called squalane to keep the delicate skin area around the eye hydrated. Squalane also helps protect against free radicals.  I love the pump on this one too!

Peppermint Lip Conditioner is in my handbag always... and I mean, 365 always.  No fluffy explanation here.  It simply soothes, smoothes, and softens my lips.  

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I am new to essential oils.  I've only ever used lavender oil in my diffuser before I go to sleep to help relax my mind.  But recently I tried this homemade blend from Kinfolk Optimal Living, a local vitalistic chiropractic practice.  Keiko + Sera are not only amazing (and gentle) chiropractors, but they also create their own essential oil blends!  I'm a fan of their NERVE CALM, which is a blend of frankincense, cypress, peppermint, wild orange, and fractionated coconut oil, created to help you "feel at peace and at ease in mind body spirit."  I love the roller ball applicator, and I will even roll this over my tummy area when I'm having discomfort since cypress is the oil of motion + flow.  This is not sold online yet, but if you're interested, please comment or email me, and I'll hook you up!

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Last, but not least, I'm happy to say I've finally found the best safer deodorant that works for me!  Schmidt's Lavender + Sage Deodorant Stick (and it comes in many other lovely scents!) protects against odor protection -AND- wetness.  What's more, it's free of aluminum, phthalates, parabens, and propylene-glycol. To note: it does have a white finish at first, so I press or firmly blot the stick onto my underarm instead of rubbing or gliding it on.  This helps it to absorb more quickly.

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Being away from my kitchen while traveling doesn't mean I have to abandon my collagen too!  I never travel without my Further Food Collagen Peptide Travel Packs. Why do I love collagen so much?  Skin health, gut health, hair health, joint health... to name a few.  These travel packs make it super easy to add collagen to my coffee when I'm on the go.  It dissolves right in and is tasteless.  Want to try?  The link above will get you 10% off your Further Food purchase! 

February Favorites: Shower Edition

I've touched on safer beauty/skin care products on my Instagram posts and stories, but I haven't yet shared them on my blog like I have my recipes, aka "The Yums."  That is, until now! Filed under "The Skin," I will share my beauty and self-care routines, my longtime favorite products, as well as new skin care finds within the safer and non-toxic space. For my first post, I'm talking about my current shower product faves, starting from head to toe:

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Beautycounter Daily Shampoo + Conditioner.  I try not to wash my hair everyday, but there are consecutive days that I do depending on how sweaty my workouts are (lol) and whatnot. Either way, my go-to rinse + repeat routine are with these two sulfate-free and paraben-free formulas. A little background on my hair: brunette, straight, I go on and off letting it air dry and blowdrying it, and I've had balayage done twice in the past (no color in my hair currently). What I like about this pair is that I don't need to use a lot of the product - only about a nickel size dollop, if that. As with all Beautycounter products, a little truly goes a long way. The bottles are quite large (10 oz.) too, and they last me several months. Both have a subtle, fresh scent, and I do not find them drying at all; my strands always feel soft.  

Beautycounter Body Wash is definitely an everyday bottle I reach for! The wash itself feels so silky and creamy and in turn, makes my skin feel the same. Like the shampoo + conditioner, the scent is light and clean... the name, citrus mimosa, says it all! The ingredients include a number of luxurious oils with marula and mongongo (try saying those three times fast!) being most prominient. Marula is a leafy fruit tree and mongongo is a nut tree, both found in South Africa. I did a little reading up on these oils and learned that they have been a beauty secret in Africa for quite some time. 

Beautycounter Charcoal Cleansing Bar is no ordinary bar of soap. Beautycounter describes it best on their website: "absorbs impurities in your skin without drying it out." I lather this bar (it gets so sudsy!) on my back, arms, legs, and bum :-) after I take a spin class - when my workout clothes are drenched in sweat and sitting on top of my skin. I want to combat any chance of clogged pores and breakouts on my body. 

Ursa Major Fantastic Face Wash is fantastic! It is for my skin type, at least. I keep this giant (8 oz!) bottle in my shower. I describe my skin as normal, sometimes dry in areas, and can be prone to breakouts, which is what drew me to this in the first place. Ursa Major says this foaming cleanser is a good match for "temperamental or acne-prone skin." I find that this sulfate-free wash calms my skin and doesn't dry it out. The first ingredient listed is aloe, which soothes and hydrates. It also has white tea, which is full of antioxidants; sugarcane to brighten and clarify skin; and lemon, which also brightens as well as exfoliates. 

Franklin & Whitman East Falls Body Serum makes me feel like a spa princess. I pump this serum onto my body when my skin is still damp from the shower. It smells insanely heavenly. A combination of lemongrass, bergamot, and clary sage creates an aroma to not only make your skin feel refreshed, but also your mind. Essential oils are truly magical that way. Bonus: locks in moisture without leaving a greasy residue!

Beautycounter Body Oil is another post shower pump I keep in arm's reach. No greasy residue either, even with 13 botanical oils! I've spiced up my body skin care routine by adding a couple pumps into my lotion. Never a bad thing to alternate products, especially with body oils, serum, lotions, and creams. Our skin is forever changing, so it's good to test out products and switch between ones you love according to season, for instance. My only requirement: please use SAFE products, ones without harmful chemicals.