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beauty

Currently Obsessing Over: Rose Stem Cell Cream

I’ve been using this face cream for a few months now and it’s safe to say I’m completely obsessed. If you read about my experience with eczema, then you can understand my excitement when I found a legit skincare product that does what it says without irritating my sensitive skin (I’m a fragile flower I tell ya!). It claims to:

  • repair, regenerate, and rejuvenate skin (i.e. promotes skin cell turnover, allowing newer, less-damaged and therefore “prettier – looking” skin to come through)
  • moisturize, smooth, and nourish skin (i.e. helps with dry, flaky skin and acts as an anti-ager in the sense that more moisturized = less wrinkles)
  • brighten and tone (if you have hyperpigmentation you know how important this feature is in a product!)
  • plump, firm, and illuminate complexion (i.e. that fresh-faced, dewy look that’s all of the rage right now)
  • improve fine-lines, wrinkles, and dullness (i.e. promotes healthier- and younger-looking skin)

Not convinced it could possibly do all of this? I’ve had two facials since using the moisturizer and both aestheticians commented on my “flawless” skin and stated I “really didn’t need to get facials”. Me, the girl who has a history of red, sensitive, dry and oily, flaky and eczema-ridden skin?! Since this is the only new product I’ve added to my skincare rotation, I have to give all of the credit to the rose stem cell cream. It’s my last step in my evening skincare routine and when I wake up in the morning my skin really does feel soft, supple, and still moisturized (like, I don’t even want to wash my face again because it feels so clean and hydrated already). I also use it in the morning after my toner and before spf. (Tip: Allow for a minute or two between each product you’re using in your routine to fully absorb and penetrate your skin before adding the next one on.)

Okay, but let’s talk about the elephant in the room here. This stuff is made from freaking roses. Literally a bouquet of them. Every girl should be swooning right now. Just me? Fine, but still how cool/romantic/innovative is that?! And you can smell the roses as soon as you open the jar. And it’s freaking pink! Not going to lie, it just kind of adds a fun, special, luxurious feel to an otherwise boring, do-I-really-have-to-do-all-of-this routine. Plus, a little goes a long way. I use one little finger swipe for my entire face, neck, and chest (DON’T FORGET YOUR CHEST DURING YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE!).

So, there you have it. My newest, must-have beauty product. And no, this definitely isn’t sponsored (not that cool, yet 😉 ) and no, I don’t even know who the heck Peter Thomas Roth is. I just honestly love this face cream! And if you do try it out, please let me know how you like it!

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beauty, outfits, WELLNESS

Eczema: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

sweater: here & here // fedora: here // gold disc necklace: similar here & on sale!

You may be wondering how there is any good associated with eczema, and we’ll get to that, but first, the bad and the ugly. The bad is an insatiable itchiness, an aggravating tingly-ness, and feeling like I’m covered in needles with an overwhelming urge to crawl out of my skin. Fun, right? And the ugly is an awful, angry pink, red, and purple (sounds pretty, but I can assure you it’s not), rash that likes to appear all over my eyelids and down my nose, around my wrists and inside of my elbows, and smack dab in the middle of my thighs. Oh, and also all over my stomach. Pretty awesome, huh? And to make matters worse, it’s not just a bright, juicy rash, but a super dry and obviously flakey one. I do have photographic evidence of this, but it might traumatize you so much that you won’t dare come back to my blog, so I’ll spare you. Ha.

Now you’re probably really wondering where the good is in all of this grossness, and I promise we’ll get to that, but let’s talk about what eczema is. You’ve probably heard of it before – Kim Kardashian oddly seems to be an ambassador for it?, but maybe you’re not exactly sure what it is. Well it’s pretty simple actually and also frustratingly broad. Eczema is group of medical conditions that result in a skin rash. Yep, that’s it. A skin rash. Pretty frustrating when you consider how widespread the triggers and treatments for rashes really are. And bonus, it’s common to also have asthma and other allergies if you have eczema. And yes, I am one of the lucky ones to have all of the above. If you’d like to go further down the eczema rabbit hole, The National Eczma Association has a ton of interesting (and boring) information on their site.

And now, the good. Since being diagnosed with eczema after years of thinking I was maybe experiencing random bouts of heat rashes, but really having no idea what the f*ck was going on, I do know what’s going on now and it forces me to take damn good care of my skin. And here’s how I do just that:

1. INVEST IN GOOD PRODUCTS

Unfortunately, gone are the days of buying sickeningly sweet body lotions, cheap body sprays, and whatever-is-on-sale-at-the-drugstore face washes. Now, I’m forced to do a little more research into the products I’m buying to see how clean and natural the ingredients really are, if they’re fragrant-free and designed for sensitive skin, and if they are good quality. Interestingly enough, I have had horrible reactions with a Neutrogena face wash branded for sensitive skin, but have had great luck with higher quality products from Sephora and Nordstrom (go figure!). However, this doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank. Organic, cold-pressed oils like jojoba and rosehip have worked really well with my skin, are super affordable, and full of antioxidants, vitamins, and essential fatty acids.


2. TRY OUT SAMPLES

Now before I blow half of my paycheck on fancy skincare and beauty products (shh, don’t tell my husband), I always try samples first. This is a good tip for anyone to ensure you like what you’re about to buy, but essential for someone who suffers from eczema or even just sensitive skin. Nordstrom and Sephora are great about giving you free samples of really any of their products, magazines are chock full of foundation and fragrance swatches, and most department stores will send you free, mini-products of your choice with a beauty purchase. When I go to my dermatologist, I grab two handfuls out of the sample skincare bowl. #noshame

3. COMMIT TO A SKINCARE REGIME

Aside from crappy products waging war on my skin, wearing makeup for too long and not properly washing and moisturizing is a recipe for an eczema outbreak. Therefore, developing and actually following through on an AM and PM skincare routine is essential. For me, this involves a designated makeup remover, balancing face wash, hydrating toner, anti-aging eye cream, and all-in-one face moisturizer. Oh, and of course, sunscreen, because no one likes rashy and sunburnt skin.

4. LET SKIN BREATH

If I sense an outbreak developing on my face, I have to forego makeup unless I want a full-fledged, weeks-long disaster on my hands. Knowing that I have to regularly go without makeup is great motivation for staying committed to my skincare routine and in turn, helps my makeup sit much better on my skin when I do wear it.

5. STAY HYDRATED & MOISTURIZED

Although there really is no known cause for eczema, there is a connection with dehydrated and dry skin. So, I make sure I’m keeping dry skin away in two ways: chugging tons of water literally all day everyday and slathering lotion all over my body as soon as I get out of the shower every morning (tip: applying lotion while your skin is still wet helps really lock in the moisture).

6. EXERCISE & EAT CLEAN

We all know good health starts from within and skincare really is a practice in it. After all, our skin is our body’s largest organ (kinda weird to think about?), so it’s important to take extra good care of it. For me, this looks like daily walks with my dog, weekly yoga and occasional strength-training classes, as well as eating tons of veggies, lean proteins (I don’t touch red meat.), and healthy fats (avocados, coconut oil, nut butters, etc.). I do really notice a difference in my skin when I’m eating super healthy and conversely, notice almost immediate irritation and itchiness after eating a lot of junk (especially cheese, for some sad, sad reason).

Obviously, what works for me may not work for you and vice versa, because eczema, allergies, and skin sensitivities affect everyone differently, but I’m hoping my tips can be tailored to fit your needs. I’d also LOVE to hear how you take care of your skin and any experience with eczema you might have!

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