Getting Dressed, Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Now What?!

IMG_4860Once you have finished taking your shower, it is crucial that you take the time to “pamper” your skin and hair. the better and healthier both your skin and your hair will be.

Since a post-shower routine is so important in maintaining the health of your hair and skin, let’s talk about the things that you should take the time to do right after your shower…

 

 1.  Hair…It is important to take care of your hair while it is wet because this is when your hair is most likely to fall out.

The heat of the hair dryer can be a great enemy to the health of your hair. So let your hair air dry naturally if possible, at least partially…(more on this later)…

Comb a nourishing leave-in conditioner or detangler gently through your hair, using a wide-toothed comb…(never a brush)…

 

2.  Moisturizers…Warm water may be relaxing, but hot water and steam also leave your skin super dry after showering. For this reason, it is important to always apply a good moisturizer once you get out of the shower.

 

3.  Serums and Oils….Hot showers leave the pores of your skin open, so this is the best time to apply of these skincare products and solutions to allow them to be more completely absorbed.

Getting Dressed, Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Wrap Up Your Really, Really Relaxing Shower with a Really, Really Regal Bathrobe

IMG_4702-0Another important “me-time” luxury that you will want to have close at hand once you step out of the shower is a bathrobe that you could definitely live in…or do actually wish that you could live in…

So why not reward yourself with a bathrobe that will feel like a true indulgence and smart investment every single time you put it on.

Here are a few luxury bathrobes worth checking out..

1. Del Rossa Hooded Bathrobe

  • Colors Available…purple, black, chocolate brown, navy blue, steel gray, burgundy
  • Fabric…100% authentic Turkish cotton terry cloth
  • Price…$75

2.  L.L. Bean Terry Cloth Robe

  1. Colors Available…dark raspberry, dawn, pebble gray, white
  2. Fabric…Turkish terry cloth
  3. Price…$79

  
3.  Parachute Classic Bathrobe

  • Colors Available…white, stone
  • Fabric…100% long-staple Turkish cotton
  • Price…$99

  

    4.  Pottery Barn Faux Fur Bathrobe

    • Colors Available…Caramel Ombre
    • Fabric…100% plush polyester
    • Price…$129 (currently on sale for $103)

      

    5.  Restoration Hardware Sayon Silk Bathrobe

    • Colors Available…natural, gray, wine
    • Fabric…100% mulberry silk
    • Price…$165
    Feathering the Nest

    Towels

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    Now that you’ve finished your shower, the first thing you will probably grab for will be a towel…

    But don’t just settle for any old towel.

     

     

    Instead take the t;ime to find the best towels, or the best towels for you personally…and be willing, if able, to actually spent money on towels instead of grabbing the cheapest ones that you can find.

     

    Towel shopping should not simply be a matter of how good the towel may feel on the display shelf or how much it might cost.

    In fact there are several factors to take into consideration when shopping for high-quality towels—absorbency, durability, softness, cost, size, and launderability…(not sure if that’s a real word or not).

     

     

     

    Absorbency…Towels made of .100% cotton, especially Egyptian or Pima cotton, are typically the most absorbent. Such towels, those made with Pima or Egyptian cotton, are usually the softest also.

     

     

     

     

    Structure…(Loops and Twists)…Every towel has loops. These loops help the towel feel soft and absorb water. You should not be able to see the base of the towel beneath these loops.

    The “twists” of the towel refers to how much the loop’s yarn is twisted. Towels with either a low or zero twist are more absorbent than towels with a denser twist.

     

     

    Touch…Touch can be deceiving. Don’t rely on how soft the towel feels at first glance, or in this case, first touch. Most manufacturers add a softened “finish” so that the towels feel nice and velvety in the store. But that finish washes off after the first few runs through the laundry…leaving you with a much rougher towel than you had thought you had bought.

     

     

     

     

    Weight…/Thicker, heavier towels are most likely to be absorbent than thinner, lighter towels., and truly high-quality towels will feel heavier than they look.

    Towel weight is measured in grams per square meter (GSM). Generally, the higher the weight, the denser the towel and the more absorbent and plush it will be. 300-400 GSM is considered lightweight, 400-600 GSM is medium weight, and 600-900 GSM is the heaviest.  Thicker towels with high GSM, or grams per square meter, feel more luxurious.

     1.  1888 Mills Made Here Bath Towel

    • Availability…Walmart
    • Colors Available…blue, brown, cream, grey, red, and tan
    • Fabric…100% USA grown cotton with pima rich loops
    • Price…$2

    2.  Abyss Super Line Bath Towel

    • Availability….Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s
    • Colors Available…30 available
    • Fabric…Egyptian cotton
    • Price…$74
    • Size…28″x54″

    3. AmazonBasics Fade-Resistant 3-Piece Towel Set

    • Availability….Amazon
    • Fabric…100% cotton
    • Price…$13
    • Set includes…2 bath towels, 2 hand towels, 2 washcloths
    • Size…54″ x 30″…(26″x16″ for hand towel, 12″x12″ for washcloth)

    4.  Fina Ultra Absorbent Waffle Weave Microfiber Bath Towel

    • Availability….Amazon
    • Colors Available…white, linen, sage, and coffee
    • Fabric…Microfiber
    • Price…$15
    • Size..29″x55″

    5.  Pinzon Heavyweight Luxury 820-Gram Bath Towel

    • Availability….Amazon
    • Colors Available…blue, gray, sage, green, ivory, and white
    • Fabric…100% cotton
    • Price…$21
    • Size…30″x56″
    • Weight…nearly 2 pounds each

    6.  Superior 900 GSM Egyptian Cotton Bath Towel Set

    • Availability….Amazon, overstock.com, Walmart
    • Colors Available…18 colors available
    • Fabric..long-staple combed cotton
    • Price…$62 for set of six (2 bath towels, 2 hand towels, 2 washcloths)
    • Sizes…30″x55″…(20″x30″ hand towel, 13″x13″ washcloth)

    7.  Utopia Luxury Bath Sheet Towel

    • Availability….Amazon, Sears, and BB&B
    • Colors Available…black, white, navy, champagne, plum, gray, brown, and sage
    • Fabric…100% ring spun cotton
    • Price…$16
    • Size…35″x70″

     

     

    How should I use my new towels? Drying off after your shower can be as important as the shower itself. Pat yourself dry. Rubbing your skin too vigorously with a towel can cause irritation, leave you itchy, and make dry skin get even worse. This will also leave some water on the skin, which can be sealed in with moisturizer.

     

     

    How do I take care of my brand new towels?

    Take time to actually read the tag on your new, luxurious towels tag before you simplty stick in your washing machine. Machine wash on the hottest temperature-setting recommended, with similar colors.

    Never use bleach, dryer sheets, or liquid fabric softener on your towels. This will  eventually weaken the fibers make the towels less absorbent.

    Getting Dressed

    Vegan Shaving Creams

     

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    There are a number of excellent shaving creams that will meet the needs of even the choosiest vegan…great alternatives to the typical commercial brands that almost always contain many animal byproducts.

    Even though almost none of these vegan shaving creams can be found in the ordinary pressurized cans, there are several premium vegan shaving gels that work every bit as well as conventional creams.

    When shopping for a vegan shaving cream, there are many factors to consider. These include ingredients, scent, texture, and volume.

    1.  Ingredients…Choosing natural and organic ingredients is always a good idea because these products have no harsh chemicals, pesticides, or synthetic ingredients that might be absorbed into your skin.

    2.  Scent…The scent that you choose is simply a matter of personal preference,  but if you are going to use a scented shaving cream, you’re typically better off choosing a lighter, less noticeable fragrance…a shaving cream that contains essential oils, not whatever the heck the word “fragrance” might mean on the package.

    3.  Texture…If you are truly committed to doing your part to create and maintain a safer, cleaner planet, you will want to avoid typical foamy shaving creams. The chemicals, hydrocarbons, and compressed gases that are released when creating that foam have been shown to be unhealthy for our environment.

    4.  Volume…The amount of shaving cream that  you want to purchase at one time and the size of the shaving cream containers depends on many factors—travel regulations, desire to sample a new product without having to buy a large container you are never going to use, how often you take showers and shave, how many people will be using the product, and any savings that can be enjoyed by purchasing in bulk.

    Now for a few of the vegan shaving creams available…

     

    1.  100% Pure Seaweed Vegan Shaving Cream  

    • Fragrances Available…Pink Grapefruit
    • Ingredients…all-natural ingredients such as citrus essential oil
    • Price…$21  
    • Product Review…

    2.  Avalon Organics Cream Shave

    • Availability…Kroger, Sprouts, Whole Foods
    • Fragrances Available…Aloe, Peppermint, Lavender
    • Ingredients…vegan and cruelty free product that contains mostly organic ingredients such as organic peppermint essential oil
    • Price…$8
    • Product Review…

    3. Dr. Bronner’s Organic Shaving Soap

    • Availability…Walgreen’s, Target
    • Fragrances Available…Lavender, Lemongrass Lime, Peppermint, Tea Tree, Unscented
    • Ingredients…Dr. Bronner’s well-known pure-castile liquid soap base, and organic shikakai, the seed pods of the Acadia plant
    • Price…$9
    • Product Review…

    4. Kiss My Face Moisture Shave

    • Availability…just about every store across the US
    • Fragrances Available…Peaceful Patchouli, Pomegranate Grapefruit, Cool Mint, Key Lime, Lavender Shea, Green Tea & Bamboo, and Fragrance Free
    • Ingredients…antiseptic goldenseal and peppermint, arnica, orange flower, sage, soapwaort, lemon grass, vitamins A & E, and emollients olive oil, coconut oil, and aloe vera
    • Price…$8
    • Product Review
    • Product Review…
    Getting Dressed

    Splish Splash…I Was Taking a Shower

      
    Taking a shower has the ability to clear your head and relax your muscles as you start your day ahead….and should be both refreshing and relaxing.

    Although there’s really no wrong way to take a shower, there are several things to know in order to make the most of this time.

    The following tips will help take your everyday shower from ordinary to indulgent.

    Temperature

    Although a steaming hot shower can be a great way to warm up on cold mornings or unwind after a stressful workday, hot water can actually be bad for our bodies. Hot water strips the skin of its natural oils, can make common problems like eczema even worse, and damage the skin faster.

    Instead stick to a lukewarm, or cooler, shower.



      Time…

      Taking too long of a shower can actually remove much-needed moisture from the skin. This will leave your skin feeling dry and itchy.

      The shorter the shower, the better. Keep your shower time down to no more than five to ten minutes.


      Frequency…

      There is no hard-and-fast rule as to how often you should shower…but most of us can cut back to a few times a week. Just don’t cut back so much that you smell or risk having skin infections.

      Shampoo

      Washing your hair no more than two times a week should help maintain the natural oil production, while achieving moisture balance.

      Washing your hair too often can be drying, especially for anyone with gray hair or colored hair…Washing your hair too seldom can cause a buildup of oils that lead to flaking and redness.

      Always brush your hair before you get in the shower to work through any tangles. This will also help prevent clogged drains. After you shower, brush your hair again. Plastic vent brushes are best because they have multiple bristles.

      Put a quarter size amount of shampoo in your hands. Distribute theshampoo evenly throughout the hair, instead of simply pouring it on top of your head. Avoid using too much shampoo on your ends because they’re prone to dryness and brittleness.

      Make sure to get the nape of the neck, scalp, and roots because this is where dirt and oils usually collect. Scrub for a complete minute before rinsing.

      Conditioner

      Instead of using a regular conditioner, apply a deep conditioner once or twice a week. The heat and steam of the shower will help the deep conditioner penetrate hair strands.

      Apply the deep conditioner, oil-based serum, or simply olive oil to your hair immediately after rinsing the shampoo out. Leave this on while you wash the rest of your body. 

      Applying conditioner above your crown line will lead to grease and unnecessary oil production. Instead, focus on your roots first because this is the area that requires the most moisture and attention.

      Finally, wrapping your hair tightly in a towel can cause severe damage to your hair. Instead, gently squeeze out excess moisture with a cotton t-shirt or a dry towel. Pat hair dry, rubbing your hair too roughly can cause knots and frizz.


      Soap

      Soap contains surfactants, chemicals that attract both oil and water and that are able to bond with and remove the natural oils in your skin…leaving your skin feeling tight, dry, and itchy. 

      Use a creamy soap-free, water-based body wash or cleansing oil instead of drying soaps. These will moisturize with natural oils, without stripping your skin of its own. 

      Look for products labeled as “cleanser” instead of “soap.”

      Avoid shower gels and body washes with excessive lather. The more bubbles or lather a cleanser has, the more it strips your skin of its natural oils.

      Both Dove and Olay make excellent body wash products that strip fewer lipids and proteins from the skin, leav ing the skin better hydrated than most other body washes.

      Be sure to rinse the soap completely off of your body. Not properly rinsing soap off can cause skin irritation and dryness. Harsh cleansers can be irritating if left on the skin, because of the chemicals and fragrance these soaps contain.


      Face


      Doing a mask in the shower is great because the steam from the shower opens your pores and allows the nutrients and vitamins to actually be absorbed into your skin much more easily.

      A gel-based mask is better than a creamy version. Although the mask is still emollient, it will not  slide off your wet skin

      Masks should only be applied before washing your face, not after. Washing your face both before and after a mask may be too drying for many skin types.

      Anything applied after a shower will be more rapidly absorbed and may cause breakouts. Instead, apply a moisturizer after your shower to add back and seal in moisture.

      Exfoliating

      The biggest mistake people make is responding to dry, flaking skin with harsh exfoliation. Actually exfoliating more than twice a week can actually irritate your skin.
      There are three different levels of exfoliation…

      The first level involves simply adding a bit of raw sugar or iodized sea salt to your loofah along with your normal body wash.

      The second option is to buy a sugar scrub or make your own.

      For example, try this homemade coffee sugar scrub. This scrub has so many benefits. The coffee beans reduce inflammation and redness of the skin. The cinnamon acts as a drying agent, can help clear your acne, and helps bring blood and nutrients to the skin’s surface. The coconut oil acts a moisturizer, and helps slow down the process of your skin aging.

          

        Homemade Coffee Cinnamon Scrub
        1/2C ground coffee
        1/2C used coffee grounds
        1C sugar
        1/2C coconut oil
        tsp cinnamon

        A third option is dry brushing. Dry brushing involves stroking from your feet upward with a natural-bristle brush for three to five minutes before stepping into the shower. 

        This improves circulation, stimulates skin cells, flushes toxins surrounding these cells, and sloughs off dull, dead skin cells. 

                  Feet

                   Giving your feet a good scrub while you are in the shower will help you avoid foot fungus or bacteria.Be sure to (Actually you should take the time every day to thoroughly wash your feet with mild soap and thoroughly dry them every day.)

                  Rub any conditioner that is left on your hands after you condition your hair onto the heels of your feet and into your toenails.

                  Shaving

                  Shave at the end of your shower so that the hairs are already damp and soft and that the pores are already opened. This will allow you to get the closest shav and reduce your chances of getting an ingrown hair.

                  Consider swapping traditional shaving cream for a hydrating shaving oil.

                  Make sure the water is warm, not scalding hot. Scalding hot water will cause your follicles to swell and your hairs to be more likely to break before they can be removed.

                  Drying Off

                  How you dry off is just as important as how you shower.
                  Rubbing your skin vigorously with a towel can cause irritation, leave you itchy, and make dry skin get even worse. 

                  Instead pat yourself dry. This leaves some water on the skin, which can be sealed in with moisturizer after each shower.
                  Be sure to dry certain areas-any skin folds, between your toes, in the groin area, and under your arms-in order to prevent rashes and infections.

                  Moisturizer

                   if you don’t moisturize your skin right after your shower, you can be doing your skin a great disservice. Applying moisturizer to freshly-showered skin maximizes its absorption.

                  Applying a thick all-over layer of moisturizer right after lightly patting skin dry, even when you’re still damp, will lock the water into the skin and protect the epidermal barrier. Moisturizing while the shower door is still closed will help your skin absorb the product 

                  People with dry skin should try a cream moisturizer instead of lotion. Look for a cream containing ceramide or alpha-hydroxy acid. 

                  Look for a fragrance-free cream or lotion with humectants, such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid, which actually attract water vapor to the skin’s surface and promote its absorption. 

                  Loofah

                   Always wash the loofah thoroughly and wring it out. Store it in a dry place, not in your shower.

                  When you use a loofah, dead skin cells become lodged in the nooks. These dead skin cells become a breeding ground for bacteria, mold, and yeast. Never share your loofah for this reason.Allow your loofah to dry completely between uses. This is the best way to keep your loofah clean. 

                  Replace your loofah frequently, at least once a month.