Rituals for Radiant Skin: My Personal Cheatsheet

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It’s a tough job, staying gorgeous. On top of working, cooking, side jobs and general upkeep in our busy lives, we are also expected to look irresistible to the opposite gender. This goes for both men and women!

As I’ve found in my own hectic life, there are a few rituals that keep me grounded when it comes to the health of my skin. It’s really not just about what you put on the outside (although that is very important as well!), beautiful skin comes from the inside.

Here is a compact, no-BS list to keeping your skin in bouncy, luminous shape, without breaking the bank, breaking the mirror and breaking out 😂

1) Get plenty of sleep

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Yup, we all know the feeling.

This is pretty much a no-brainer: rest gives your body the ability to heal from life stresses, reconfigure, and recover from everyday wear-and-tear. People who have trouble falling asleep: fear not. Some of my favorite things to do when shut-eye doesn’t come easily:

  • Drink water with honey. Tea, although soothing to brew and sip slowly, contains caffeine and will likely keep you up even longer! If you have fresh/dried lavender on hand, throw it into a tea soak in a pinch, since everyone knows lavender has soothing, calming properties. Heck, I’d go so far as to buy a lavender plant. They are hardy, undemanding plants that grow well in tight spaces (ie: little pots). Perfect for real-estate, closet-sized NYC/urban apartments.
  • Take a bubble bath. I love bubble baths, though bubble-bath solution is important here, since traditional formulations can easily dry your skin out. As a rule, I like to buy ones marketed as “natural/organic” and for babies… because if it’s good enough for babies, it must be amazing for adults, no? Plus who doesn’t want baby-soft skin? Some of my top bubble bath choices:
    • Alaffia EveryDay Shea – Moisturizing Shea Butter Bubble Bath for Babies, Lemon-Lavender (13.99): absolutely adore Alaffia products (sales go to empower and support women in Togo, West Africa, love that!), which smell amazing and are gentle on skin. You can find their lovely products at Whole Foods and natural markets.
    • Deep Steep – This brand has the prettiest packaging and a delicious medley of scents (honeydew spearmint, lemograss jasmine, tangerine melon), I want to try them all! It’s kind of pricey at 12 bucks for half the size of the Alaffia bottle, but according to reviews, a little goes a long way.
    • DIY Route – It’s pretty easy to create your own bubble bath as long as you’re sourcing good-for-you ingredients. Many natural markets have castile soap (and now even CVS and Duane Reade… Dr. Bronner’s!), and you can adjust the amount of veggie glycerin to your liking depending on how hydrated you want to be. Check out this awesomely easy recipe by DIYNatural, an adorable husband and wife team, that will leave you sudsy-clean and relaxed.
  • Massage yourself/get someone to massage you. Obviously, this might be a luxury for you single people out there, but it’s well worth it. There are plenty of cheapie masseuse services out there that will leave you feeling lithe and ready to be blithe (that rhyme was a stretch but I had to do it).
    • Lifebooker – my usual go-to for anything from hair appointments to waxing; LB makes booking cheap salon and personal care appointments easy. However, they don’t have a vetting system for their businesses, and I once got a pretty unsavory waxing experience that scarred me for life (well, not really, I’m a survivor). Horror tales aside, just be mindful of that when booking appointments, and always do your research beforehand.
    • Zeel – I caught wind of this service through a promo they did about a year ago. Haven’t gone in for the deal, but it looks like a solid place to get quality massage services, right to your doorstep. No more difficult than ordering tacos on seamless!
    • Listen to music. This is free to do and works wonders. I love doing yoga and stretches while listening to calming music: classical, Buddha chants, anything by Enya. Heavenly, no? 2) Moisturize in a timely manner The key times to slather on the liquid gold are right after you wet your skin: that means after a shower, when your skin is warm and ready to absorb the most out of that 100% natural & organic product you bought with my help ;) You might feel like just hitting the pillow after a long, hot shower, but skin repairs itself at night, so please suck it up and take advantage of your body’s natural processes! Myself, I like to moisturize lying down in my bed, so it doesn’t seem like a chore, more like a soothing ritual. It’s all about tricking your mind into doing the right thing!

3) Always wash your face before bed.

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Wash that face-ty to look tasty!

This seems like a no-brainer move, but a lot of my friends report that they often go to bed without bothering to wash the scum off their face at the end of the day. First of all: [ew meme] Second of all, how do you fall asleep knowing that your face is dirty? I’ve been guilty of falling asleep while cuddling with my bf, but I always, always get myself up when I realize I didn’t wash. Which I rarely, if ever, let happen.

4) Drink plenty of water.

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Water makes everything better. Unless you’re the Wicked Witch of the West…

When we’re busy with work, we often forget to drink, eat, use the bathroom, heck, we forget we’re hoomans with needs. Get up and take a little walk around the office, get a drink of water, go pee. Your body will thank you. In fact, I’m going to go do that right this second!

5) Think positive. I’m sure there are some studies confirming that being optimistic has a direct advantageous effect on your health. Stress less and don’t worry about the small things. It’s tough, trust me, I know. But just reaffirm the important things in life: health, family, friends and time for appreciating the beautiful things, be it a particularly delicious apple or lazing on the couch with your sister. Take it all in perspective!

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Juan always reminds me to appreciate everything, big or small <3

Sound it out!

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