‘Tis the season for grilling out, a bevy of fresh produce at the farmers market, and painted toenails. Unfortunately, it’s also the season for allergies. Pollen is swirling in the air, dust balls and mold have been collecting all winter, and your sinuses and skin might be paying the price. My skin has been irritated lately, which inspired me to research natural remedies for itchy skin. Allergies are especially tricky because it’s difficult to isolate what is causing the discomfort. It could be a combination of foods and environmental exposures, such as pollen or animal dander. If your skin feels like it needs to be cooled down, I would recommend a regimen that includes aloe, oatmeal, tea tree oil, and Vitamin E, which all work to soothe your skin. I’ve highlighted a few of my favorite products here: 1. Nature’s Gate Aloe Vera body wash ($7.49 at drugstore.com) is a cooling gel body wash with a slightly bubble gum scent that leaves your skin feeling clean and cool. Turn down the water temperature and watch the redness of your skin start to fade. 2. St. Ive’s Oatmeal & Shea Butter body moisturizer ($5.89 at CVS) nourishes and restores hydration to your dry skin. It’s light in texture and smell and is perfect for dry patches of skin around your elbows. 3. derma e Tea Tree and E Oil ($12.50 at skinbotanic.com) is perfect for soothing itchy hives or bug bites. Tea tree has a strong smell similar to eucalyptus and can be a bit overpowering, but is tempered by the soothing Vitamin E Oil. Use a cotton ball to dab it onto affected areas before bed and feel the tingly, cooling feeling settle into your skin as you drift into sleep.
Have you found any natural remedies to work for your allergies?
Images courtesy of drugstore.com, stives.com, and skinbotanica.com
Happy Passover and Easter week! Our apartment was filled with delicious aromas last night as my roommate prepared kugel and charosas for a Seder, and I am looking forward to Easter brunch this Sunday at Birch & Barley. I have been dying to brunch there ever since I read about their Grand Marnier french toast on one of my favorite DC blogs, Bitches Who Brunch. Mmmm! Speaking of delicious…I don’t think there is any other word to describe Philosophy skin care products. Whenever I make a trip to Sephora, I can be found lingering in the Philosophy section, smelling the melon daquiri body wash or coconut frosting scrub. It is amazing how true-to-life these scents are, and every bottle reflects the creative, playful spirit of the company by offering a fun recipe or words of wisdom. If you’re thinking of putting together a Passover present or Easter basket for one of the lovely ladies in your life, you might want to brighten it up some mouthwatering Philosophy products such as the orange jelly bean, sugar chick, and chocolate bunny shower gel trio, peppermint lip glosses (with SPF 20), or dark chocolate three-in-one shampoo, shower gel, and bubble bath. Can you imagine anything better than soaking in hot chocolate? Shop online and sign up for emails to receive a free gift with your first purchase over $25! Now that is sweet.
Images courtesy of philosophy.com
I still haven’t quite figured out whether I prefer working out in the morning before work or in the evening. When I can resist the snooze button and actually get myself on the bike or treadmill while it’s still dark out, I tend to have a very productive morning but then crash around 2:30. If only I didn’t work in an open cubicle, a 20-minute power nap would be the obvious solution…but a tall mug of black tea and making plans for my suddenly free evening is exciting enough to wake me up. What will I do with that extra hour (extra hour and half including travel time and shower)? Pour myself a glass of wine and catch up on Glee? Paint my nails? Call a girlfriend who I’ve been meaning to catch up with? However, I also love the feeling of burning off the long day at the gym and then letting that good-sore feeling sink into my body as I climb into bed. I have always been really active, so it was a bit of a shock adjusting to a job where I sit for most of the day. When I actually have an office someday I am serious about wanting to bring in an exercise ball to sit on, but until that day, it’s just me, my rolly chair, and my sore lower back. While my brain is usually drained by 5 o’clock, the rest of my body is cramped and begging to move. I also find myself more relaxed and focused on my workout when it’s at the end of the day, since I’m not thinking about everything I have to get done before my afternoon meeting.
But my absolute favorite part of working out at night is taking a short but relaxing shower afterward. It’s so therapeutic to make the water extra hot and lather my facewash into a mask, letting it work with the steam for a minute or two. My favorite post-workout body wash is Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap. In a shower where products are changing faster than Anne Hathaway at the Oscars, Dr. Bronner’s is my one constant. I do like to change the fragrances though. While Peppermint is my favorite, I am currently loving Rose ($9.99 for a 16 oz bottle, available at http://www.drbronner.com). It is so incredibly fresh-smelling, and leaves you feeling clean and refreshed without drying out your skin. You can feel good about what you are putting on your body because all the oils in the soap are organic, and you can also feel good about buying Dr. Bronner’s products because they are certified fair-trade. All their employees, including the farmers who produce the ingredients that go into their products, are paid fairly. A word of warning though: although their bottles are awesome because they are made from recycled materials, you will get dizzy trying to read all the small print that covers them!
What is the one product you always have in your shower?
Images courtsey of drbronner.com and monstermarketplace.com