I'm trying to learn to love winter. It's not necessarily working, but I try. I like the holidays. I just don't like the and how everything feels a little dreary and slow moving. I'm sure winter has something to teach me. It might be that slow moving thing. Maybe I could do more of that. I guess there are some things that are good about colder weather, like citrus. It's nice that something sprout that feels so bright in time that feels anything but.
So, I've done one of these posts before about reviewing my favorite products. It felt a little lackluster when I did it the first time. Maybe some people enjoyed reading it, but I don't think I knew exactly why I was writing it, but now I get that people like new stuff and recommendations and what have you, and maybe this stuff can bring a little much needed aromatic cheer through these shadowier months. So, I'll run down a few things that have made me a bit more joyful between bouts of gratitude, friendship, over-eating, and a little bit of self-pity about the lack of sunshine.
1. Dry Skin Brushing
This is easily the thing I forget to do the most, which is regrettable because it makes a huge difference. Not only does it exfoliate by removing dry skin, but it can reduce cellulite, improve circulation, and help with lymphatic drainage. That last one is especially good in winter when colds and flus can cause inflammation in these areas. It's really simple and only takes a few minutes. All you do is get a brush with natural bristles, I use a this loofah, and brush your skin towards your heart, starting at the feet. Fun fact: Loofah is actually a subtropical vegetable related to cucumbers and this girl once bought one at a farmer's market. It was pretty satisfying.
I love the smell of grapefruit and I've made many a' beauty products from them too, like this one and this one. Oh, and this one. So these face wipes are a welcomed addition to my routine. They're a lot less work than the DIY method and a lifesaver on lazy days or while traveling, or just while in the car for too long getting gross and germy. Plus it's an all around reliable brand that is widely available. So if you're stuck in San Diego sometime with no face wash and only a CVS around, you can still get something to make you feel better. Although being stranded in San Diego isn't the worst thing that's ever happened to me.
3. Prairie Rose Good Soap
If I'm being totally honest I bought this soap strictly because it had no packaging. No packaging, no waste. This made me pretty happy, plus there just seemed to be something special about this soap. I was just unreasonably excited about buying this soap. Turns out the company that makes them, Alaffia, is based in Togo using strictly traditional methods to make the soap. It's actually pretty amazing to watch. If you're into amazing stuff, watch this video, it's pretty inspiring, and changing lives and all of that. I picked the rose scent, because I'm a mood shopper (I'm a mood everything-er) and the smell of rose is pretty uplifting.
I've been using this brand for about a year now. I usually opt for the Eucalyptus Volumizing one, but this time I chose one for repair because it's winter and dryness and all of that. I was going to say for the price point this is one of the cleanest products, but even without factoring in price this is one of the cleanest hair care products I've seen. It does happen to be quite a bit less expensive than other natural brands. It smells great. It's not heavy and definitely improves the overall quality of my hair.
I actually dilute this oil a little bit with some apricot oil, but rose oil is amazing for skin. I've even read that the smell of rose is the highest vibration smell. I don't fully know what that means, but it sounds like a good thing. I do know that it's high in vitamins A & C, which is good for your skin, plus it's a fine oil that is really easy for skin to absorb. This is especially important when it's dry out. This is the time of year I look for oils that are the most absorbent without being greasy or sitting on top of skin, because that's just an irritating mess when you're trying to get some relief. This one blends in really, really easily. About as easily as I've seen. It's also meant to be really good for any hormonal skin issues, specifically for women.
6. Redmond Clay
This stuff is actually edible and I guess makes for a pretty good mini detox. It's super high in minerals which is amazing inside and outside. Check out the nutrition facts because a teaspoon has quite a bit of the stuff you need to be healthy and whathaveyou. Mostly I use this on my face, it's great for drawing dirt our of pores and extra good for those with blackheads. And while I think of this as being kind of drying, its high content of minerals—including electrolytes—can actually be hydrating. Your skin needs a certain electrolyte balance to stay properly hydrated (your whole body needs electrolytes to stay hydrated) and this mask and maybe some bananas can help you restore. I drop a little of this stuff in the bath from time to time, and am planning to make a dry face wash out of it, sort of like this one which I love.