For those that know me well- you know that I am obsessed with hydration. Staying hydrated is one of the most important aspects of "getting the glow". If you are not well hydrated your body doesn't have enough water to function properly. We loose water all the time through sweating, going to the bathroom, breathing etc. Staying hydrated helps control your appetite, energy levels, and increases immunity. So... I try to remedy by that drinking a large glass of lemon water in the morning, plenty of water throughout the day, and eating a diet full of water rich fruits, vegetables and juices. I could go on about the inside stuff, but Juli and Christine covered it.
I would be lying if I didn't admit that external hydration wasn't what really turns me on. It is. I fear the dry patch and the wrinkle and am on a lifelong mission to fight it!
My skin is naturally on the dryer side, and I live in a cold climate so for me moisturizing goes beyond slapping some lotion on when I get out of the shower. It is a ritual. I moisturize first thing in the morning, and last thing at night, every single day- in addition to my out of shower moisturizing application. Crazy? Not really. For me it is therapeutic. I use the 5 minutes to relax and focus on the day ahead, or chill out before I go to sleep. The full body self message is an ancient technique for maintaining wellness. I completely subscribe.
I try to make 90% of my products as natural as possible. Fortunately the natural brands are starting to get on the science bandwagon and creating things that really work.
What are the products that make this happen? And what is the schedule?
Coconut Oil or Sesame Oil (if I am working out or going to the gym)
ShiKai Borage Oil Lotion (If I have to get dressed in real clothes) - I LOVE this product. It absorbs well and has little to no scent.
Aesop Rejuvenate Aromatique Body Balm Tube (If I am feeling like spoiling myself)
3 Step After Shower
1- Coconut Oil
2- Environ Derma- Lac Lotion - (This isn't the most natural product, but it is completely AMAZING) It exfoliates, and hydrates like no other.
3- Shikai-Borage Oil- You have to follow the derma-lac with a lotion or oil for it to really work.
Note *Always put the coconut oil on before your skin is completely dry. This helps lock in the moisture. If you have extremely dry skin- taking long hot showers sucks the life out! I know it sucks not to take LONG, HOT showers, but it really doesn't do you any good!
Coconut Oil or Sesame Oil (This application is really just for fun) + Lavender Essential Oil
My face products always fluctuate.The one face "tool" that I can't live without is the Clairsonic Mia. It exfoliates, cleanses and tones your skin allowing all the product to get in. It is an amazing investment.
Exfoliation + Moisturizer = HYDRATION (You really can't do one without the other!)
Some of my face moisturizers on rotation are (love them ALL) :
Tata Harper Rebuilding Moisturizer
Mario Badescu AHA and Ceramide Moisturizer
Ren Ultra Moisturizing Day Cream
Aubrey Organics Sea Buckthorn and Cucumber
On hand ALWAYS. I can not travel, live or breath without face mist! I love Aubrey Organics Sparkling Mineral Water Herbal Complexion Mist. It works wonders!
Ok. Ok. Ok. I can't stop yet. When hydration and detoxification is REALLY necessary is after travel. After a red eye flight a few days ago, and social obligations that didn't give me any jet lag time, I came up with my own version of the overall castor oil body pack. I am now completely obsessed!
After Travel Hydrating Detox Mask
As a life long health food store "goer" and obvious skin hydration product hoard, the fact that I seemed to miss the boat on the powers of Castor Oil came as a shock to me. It wasn't until I started writing my book last year that I became enlightened. Castor Oil is pretty much the miracle moisturizer. It is a little too thick and greasy to use socially, so I use it as an all over body hydration mask.
Castor oil is a super high density vegetable oil with a very mild odor and color. Because of its molecular density castor oil absorbs very well into the skin, making it an extremely effective moisturizer. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal so it is beneficial for various ailments, including ab cramps, headaches, muscle pains, inflammatory conditions, skin eruptions, lesions, and skin irritations. A castor oil pack is made by soaking a piece of flannel in castor oil, then putting it on the area of complaint and placing a heat source, such as a hot water bottle, on top of the area. The powers of castor oil work from the outside in! It can even induce LABOR.
- Get the bathroom steamy hot with a little shower steam and a space heater. (not super green, but I don't have a sauna)
- Set up a little palate in your bathroom and bring some magazines.
- Massage your whole body in castor oil (head included) *A little goes a long way
- Hang out naked for at least 30 minutes (or meditate).
- Follow with a warm shower or Epsom salt bath.
- Moisturize like normal
With no food, sleep, or down time- I literally felt like a new person after this. I can't wait to do it again!
Last note... taking care of yourself is the point of ALL of this- whatever that means for you. I am a firm believer that skincare is a HEALTHY obsession!! So... ENJOY- LOVE yourself and your BODY.
#1 Tata Harper #2 Castor Oil #3 Mario Badescu AHA #4 Aubrey Spray #5 Clarisonic #6 Aesop Body Balm #7 Environ #8 Shi Kai Borage #9 Coconut Oil #10 Ren Moisture
Loved the post! Thank you so much, I'll get on that. I want more... I need help with hair and scalp. I will be trying the castor oil as mentioned above for head but need ideas for daily use. Hope there is more on that this week.
Jo, there will be another post tomorrow. About my week so far. I'm excited to share it with you! Thanks for commenting.
Wow, as a natural skin care and beauty junkie myself i really enjoyed reading this post. Great tips and never thought of doing the caster oil body mask. I've got to try this out during the winter here when even if i'm doing well with my facial hydration routine my body ends up looking like an ashy, flaky, dehydrated mess. Thank you!
I benefit reading this article. I demand to learn more on this topic
This was a great post! I love Meredith and have been a fan of hers from her involvement in Matthew Kenney's cookbooks. So excited to see more of her! I do have a question-can you please suggest a really great facial cleanser? Dont see one listed abouv...maybe I missed it? TY!!
Dina, let me ask Meredith for you. I have a few cleansers here at home. I love a lot of them. I do know though that Meredith and I both use http://www.aubrey-organics.com/ProductInfo/763.aspx and/or http://www.aubrey-organics.com/ProductInfo/036.aspx it's really clean and feels wonderful.
Just found out about castor oil myself! How is it not a widely known treatment??
Awesome post. Would love a follow up to hear some recommendations on exfoliating!
Avoid bar soaps as they tend to dry out the skin. According to Rona Berg, in her book, "Beauty," a French cosmetics executive once told her, "Soap should only ever touch your skin from the neck down."
Hydrate is a term used in inorganic chemistry and organic chemistry to indicate that a substance contains water. The chemical state of the water varies widely between hydrates, some of which were so labeled before their chemical structure was understood.
still one of my fav posts ever. still reading - still being inspired!! thanks meredith & juli!!!
thanks again, Linda! you're the best.
Castor oils are proven effective for the skin. Getting the glow is very important to us girls since it makes us feel more refreshed and beautiful. Giving us more self confidence.