Skin & Hair Nourishment to Beat Winter Dryness

I don't know about you but winter is tough on my skin and hair! At least in the summer, regardless of the heat, the air is just more full of moisture where I live. Some people hate the humidity but honestly, it's perfect to keep skin supple and dewy.

Now, don't get me wrong, I absolutely love winter. And all of my favorite things about the winter are also the same things that are brutal on my hair and skin: a warm cozy fire (makes my skin feel like Magda from Something About Mary), outdoor winter activities (glare from the winter sun, squinty eyes and crows feet, dry cold air and brutal wind... ouch!!!), and finally,  going back inside from the crisp outdoors (heat!! dry heat, heated blankets, space heaters, you name it, heat heat heat means dry dry dry!!!)

TIP 1: Stay hydrated from the inside out with water. As soon as I wake up in the morning, I drink water. I pour some water in my F'il stainless steel water bottle and cap it up the night before and leave it on my nightstand. As soon as I open my eyes, I drink. I can't even tell you how much this helps wake me up and how good it feels. Our bodies become so dehydrated over night and it's important to replenish that immediately. Trust me, you want to drink water first thing in the morning. You don't want coffee going into your system as the very first thing for a few reasons: coffee is a diuretic, and although it will not disturb electrolyte levels (1), it may be tougher to grab water once you start with coffee, and the longer you go without water the greater chances of becoming dehydrated. I say it may be tougher to grab a water after you start with coffee, but I have no data backing that up other than personal experience!


TIP 2: Shower with warm water instead of hot water. I know how good it feels to take a steamy hot shower or bath, especially on a freezing cold day, but an extra long, hot shower can actually dry out the skin but removing the skin's natural oils that help keep skin supple. On top of that, certain soaps and cleansers can act particularly drying depending on the ingredients. Don't be afraid to lather up your skin with an oil before popping into the water as a pre-wash body conditioner, to help lock in mositure throughout the shower. Pre-wash, you can actually use either a petroleum based mineral oil, like baby oil, or something more absorbent like coconut oil for example. Pre-shower, the barrier will help lock in moisture (1). Post shower, you’ll want to choose a plant based oil that will actually get absorbed into the skin. The problem with petroleum oils or mineral oils is that they sit on top of the skin and never get absorbed. So, they are fine for locking in natural oils but don’t help with rehydration. I love using a nice nourishing oil after the shower or bath, that my skin can absorb. I switch between sweet almond oil, jojoba, grapeseed and even coconut oil. I have to make sure it’s organic, virgin and cold-pressed oil, especially coconut, because anything else is terribly drying on my skin!


TIP 3:  Eat your water. Yea, you heard me right! Since hydration starts from the inside out, make sure you not only drink your water, but also eat water rich fruits and veggies. Think wet, nourishing fruits and veggies like cucumber,  melon, citrus... here's a short list of water rich fruits & veggies (1)(2):

Cucumber: 95% water

Lettuce: 96% water

Celery: 95% water

Zucchini: 94% water

Tomatoes: 94% water

Watermelon: 92% water

Strawberries: 91% water

Cantaloupe: 90% water

Peaches: 89% water

Oranges: 88% water

TIP 4:  Rehydrate with coconut water. Coconut water is 95% water and packed full of natural electrolytes (1), including potassium, sodium and chloride (2). In my opinion, it should be used in place of Gatorade or any other sports drink loaded with added sugars, dyes, chemicals, among other mystery ingredients. When I feel particularly parched, this is actually the first thing I grab because I know it’ll hydrate me faster than water on it’s own!

I will hook you up!! This  stuff  has been a life changer for me.

I will hook you up!! This stuff has been a life changer for me.

TIP 5: Replenish with a good oil. I mentioned this in Tip 2 but here I want to expound on how crucial it is to find a nourishing oil that can act as a multi-use hydration therapy without leaving a sleek oil slick residue (1). This oil I found has just about a million uses. I personally use it as a go-to on my cuticles, face, lips, and as the final touch through my hair when I’m done styling. I literally use like 4 drops on my hair, the tiniest little bit on my lips, 1-2 drops on my face, and 1 drop for my cuticles. I’ve had the same bottle for 2 months so far and I still have more than half the bottle left. A little bit goes a long way.

Here are all the deets on it below:

At-a-glance, it helps to rejuvenate the hair and scalp, provides nourishment, anti-aging benefits, and long-lasting shine that is silicone-free. YES!! Zero silicone means no build up on your hair. Ever. This helps to deliver longer-term age-prevention results on both hair and skin.

Here are some popular uses:

Anti-Frizz Leave-In Finishing Treatment: Apply a small amount to hands and apply to hair after styling, concentrating on the midshaft and ends. This is my favorite!

Facial moisturizer: Apply morning and evening to face, neck and décolleté prior to moisturizer, concentrating on problem areas such as fine lines and wrinkles for instant hydration, protection, and improved texture and tone. This is my second favorite!

Random added moisture: Mix a pea-size amount with conditioner or masque for added nutrition, protection and shine. Great for all areas of the body that are prone to dryness, such as cuticles, nails, elbows, knees and heels. My favorite is cuticles, all day!!

Intensive hydrating treatment: Apply a generous amount to damp hair and scalp. Place a warm, moist towel around the head and leave on for 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly; shampoo and condition.

Pre-shampoo treatment: Apply a generous amount to dry or damp hair and scalp. Leave on for 15 minutes; rinse thoroughly. Shampoo and condition as usual.

More official information:

MONAT's field researchers scoured the world seeking to find the most exquisite oils that would balance, rejuvenate, and benefit the hair and skin. Abyssinian oil was the first ingredient selected for its remarkable rejuvenating properties. Next, a blend of 13+ unique ingredients, including antioxidants, beta-carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids was developed. Thus REJUVENIQE® Oil Intensive was born. Think of it like replenishing your hair and scalp with much needed nourishment that tends to be removed through washing. Because REJUVENIQE® is compatible with the skin, it is easily absorbed without leaving greasiness. A little goes a long way; just a drop is all you need!

WE SAY “NO” TO TOXIC INGREDIENTS. There are ZERO of the following in this and all of Monat’s products. NO: Parabens, SLS/SLES, Cyclic Silicones, BHT, DEA/MEA, Polyethylene Glycol, Phthalates, Phenoxyethanol, Petrolatum, Mineral Oil, Paraffin Wax, Triclosan, Plastic Microbeads, Formaldehyde Releasers, Harmful Colors, Harmful Fragrances

Ingredients: (2) Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Crambe Abyssinica Seed Oil, Camellia Oleifera Seed Oil, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Seed Oil, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Adansonia Digitata Oil, Mauritia Flexuosa Fruit Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Gardenia Tahitensis Flower Extract, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Caryocar Brasiliense Fruit Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil.

Happy nourishing, loves!!

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Non-Toxic Makeup Brush Cleaner


This is my Non-Toxic Makeup Brush cleaning routine with Dr. Bronner’s 18-in-1 Castile Soap… 18 in 1 meaning 18 uses with 1 product, and I’m adding use #19 to the list right now.

Their tagline is “dilute dilute dilute”, and this cleanser can be used about 101 ways, not just 18 but I think that’s just because consumers are getting more creative.

You may be thinking, ok well this is just cleanser and I’m only cleaning my makeup brushes… literally cleaning and rinsing.  So why do I need to worry about if something is toxic or not? It’s only a little bit, for a few seconds, right?

Clean bowl of water, pre-cleanse.  Adding the soap WILL make the water cloudy. You’ll see what I mean in the last pic at the bottom.

Clean bowl of water, pre-cleanse.

Adding the soap WILL make the water cloudy. You’ll see what I mean in the last pic at the bottom.

Of course it seems harmless, but just think about the fact that the skin is the largest organ on the body and how porous it is. It absorbs literally everything we put on it. Not only that, but it only takes about 26 seconds for chemicals to be absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream. So as you squirt a few drops of that brush cleaner, or good ole fashion Johnsons’s (and we have all heard about Johnson & Johnson’s by now), into the palm of your hand, swirl the brush around until it’s nice and clean, rinse and repeat… how many seconds has passed?  Maybe 30? 60? Probably more?

Multiply that by the amount of brushes, and there it is. I’m willing to be the total time was much longer than 26 seconds.

After brushes soaked and swirled. Look at that water!!

After brushes soaked and swirled. Look at that water!!

Ok well, what if you don’t touch it? It can still be inhaled. And the truth is, we inhale, injest, and touch probably close to hundreds of toxins in a day from our seemingly innocent household products.

Products like dish soap, shampoo, body wash, laundry detergent, dryer sheets…  to the food we eat with pesticide residue... to life in the city with bus fumes, car fumes, plane and train emissions… to our fancy hair salon when we get our hair colored, or treated with keratin… And don’t forget about the makeup, lotion, body butters, and all these luxurious yummy products we slather all over… they’re everywhere.

It’s common to think and feel that just a little bit won’t hurt, but anything set on repeat, even with a small amount of toxicity, will due damage that you may not even realize or ever think to link up to something as harmless as a cleanser.

Some people are more sensitive than others and I’m the kind of person who gets a headache and light headed just walking down the aisle with cleaning products at the grocery store.

Last and final soak and swirl. I still can’t believe how effective a soak and swirl is. To be honest, I usually rub the bristles with my fingers and it’s always worked well, but I wanted to see how effective this stuff on it’s own.

Last and final soak and swirl. I still can’t believe how effective a soak and swirl is. To be honest, I usually rub the bristles with my fingers and it’s always worked well, but I wanted to see how effective this stuff on it’s own.

Common side affects with standard cleansers, even the ones that smell pretty (not abrasive like bleach) can include, but aren’t limited to headaches, allergies including skin and respiratory, hormone imbalance, aging, cancer, asthma, birth defects… the list goes on. 

And if you’re looking at this and thinking, no way, these side effects are way too drastic!

Then let me remind you of the time I was thinking about using Accutane, and one of the warnings right on the label, clear as day, said “may cause birth defects” in pregnant women of course. This is why it is SO important to disclose any and all prescriptions and even non-prescriptions to your doctor if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding or thinking about getting pregnant.  

At the time, I couldn’t wrap my brain around the fact that putting a cream on my face, could some how make it’s way down to my uterus, and into my growing fetus. It took me A LONG time to understand that it wasn’t just the products with the warning labels that were harmful… and if I just read between the lines and did a little digging, I would be able to find all the ingredients that were harmful, all I had to do was just open my eyes.

No photo set is complete without a baby hand photo bombing

No photo set is complete without a baby hand photo bombing

So… let’s get back to Dr. Bronner’s and talk about the fact that I’ve been using them for the past 7 years. Back in the day you could only find this brand at specialty stores or online, but now you can find it everywhere!

Now, this soap is highly concentrated and a little goes a long way.  All I did was drip about 5 drops in a bowl full of warm water and I let my brushes soak for about 5 minutes. I swirled them around a bit, but nothing too aggressive. I rinsed under clean water and didn’t squeeze them out with my fingers at all. Instead, I wanted to show you how clean they got, so I repeated the process with another bowl of water and 5 drops of Dr. Bronner’s. There was the tiniest amount of makeup on the inside bristles of my foundation brush (it’s a flat head brush so lots of room to hide) but all the other ones were squeaky clean when I rang the out with my fingers after the second rinse.

I absolutely love this soap and when I say I use it for everything, I mean it.

Let me know if you’ve tried this or if you plan to! I can’t wait to hear what you think!

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