// Nourish + Nurture 1of3
October 7th of this year, I turned 32. Every birthday, I take the evening before or even the week before to reflect. I think about the last year and everything that happened. I think about my heart, my head, my skin, and everything in between. I also think about what the theme in my life currently is. This year, all I could think about was Nourish + Nurture.
Entering this period of life, my thoughts and concerns have been about nourishing my skin and my body from the outside and the inside. It has also been about nurturing my best self and best life. This idea extends past the body, and I am only allowing things into my life that feed my soul, while eliminating those that deplete me.
Think supple living, in every aspect.
I’ve broken these blogs down into 3 categories. Read more below, as I describe what I do, why I do it, and how important oils and hydration really are to me and why Nourish + Nurture should be your life theme, too, no matter what age.
1// OUTSIDES (skin + hair + nails, too)
It’s no surprise I’m starting with the outside of our bodies. I’m a huge fan of natural skincare and preventative care. Aging is real. Aging is beautiful. Supporting the most healthy hair, skin, and nails you can into the years you can… even better. As skin ages, the wrinkles go up due to a decrease in natural oils and the skin dries out. Acne and clogged pores can also increase when there is a lack of proper moisturizing (and fatty acids, but we will cover that in part deux, the inside of the body.)
Using oils on the skin can not only help to strengthen and maintain the lipid barrier but is ultimately protecting your skin. Oils help you look younger, more supple (the keyword of #nourishandnurture2017) and are great for sensitive or easily irritated skin.
I’ve written about my skincare before, and it’s pretty much a combination of a simple process, where less is always more. I prefer oil cleansers, as they do the best job of removing makeup and dirt. I exfoliate, and I use almost exclusively oils on my face. For day, I prefer a serum that protects from the city pollutants, such as Lumene Urban Intense Hydrating Serum, and then a good lotion or facial oil such as MUN argan oil or RODIN face oil. Also a big fan of Biossance oils or Way of Will (which you can get in sample sizes, perfect for travel!)
I often mix face oils with lotion. Prior to my natural skincare days, the only lotion I’ve used on my face for years was a cold cream. It’s the only non-natural product I kept using, but here is a natural one you can try from Weleda. A cold cream is an oil suspended in water with a wax or other barrier type item in the mix. The problem is, most cold creams us mineral oil...not quite what is best for the skin as it clogs pores, can contain toxins, and really doesn’t add anything beneficial.
For night, let your skin repair and heal with my fav Moonlit oil, or the Full of Grace bar from LUSH, a bar made of oils. I probably used 45 bars of before getting started on Moonlit. Both are great. Moonlit you get the added benefit of lavender. With the bar, you will go to bed looking like an oil slick, but it’s worth it.
Skin is not only your face. Let’s talk about the skin on your entire body! It’s not about haphazardly slapping on some thin watery lotion every once in a while. For me, to oil up or use body butter on my entire body after every shower while skin is moist and warm is a ritual. Self-care at it’s most luxurious if you will. This process even more important during colder months or if you live in a dry climate as skin will be looking for moisture. Also be mindful to not take super hot showers or baths as they are drying to skin.
For body, I use thick oil based creams and body butters. Sometimes I use MUN argan oil all over my body. Other times I use cocoa butter. I might even use organic coconut oil, pure shea butter, or a body oil blend (such as Mother’s Special Blend.) I with it up with Shea Moisture Body Butter (this one is my fav and smells amazing.) You can find body butters from many small brands, or even make your own! Should I toss a recipe in here for y'all? Lemme know!
When picking out oils for your body (or face) it is best to think about which ones will be readily absorbed, not create a slippery skin effect, or get on clothes. Some of the best natural products for moisturizing skin are honey, buttermilk, and oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, shea butter, and castor oil.) Honey and coconut oil are antibacterial and anti-fungal as well.
And last but not least, how could I talk about the outside of your body being supple without mentioning hair, nails, and (for me) eyes? When it comes to hair, it is as much an inside job (see part deux) as it is an outside one. I list my hair care routine here, but the same sentiment holds true. Avoid or limit heat, increase oils (such as argan oil) or hair masks (such as nelsonj or you can make a mask at home) and never underestimate the power of deep conditioning.
In terms of nails, I found the most benefit from what I will talk about in part deux, but I carry a hand creme, such as Karite (so amazing, and a female-owned business that benefits women in Ghana) in all my bags, and a nail oil, such as Kiss’s Rejuvenate Oil on my desk (you can also rub olive oil into cuticles.) Pro tip: Make sure whatever you have on your nails if they are not bare will allow oils to penetrate it. Some soft gels will allow this, many gels and hard gels, along with acrylics will not. Your cuticles might see a difference but your nails will still be struggling under there. As a long time hard gel wearer, I cannot tell you how amazing it is to have bare nails that are strong but it was not without this process, parts 1 and 2, that I could have such nails.
Eyes, as I spoke about here, need just as much love as other body parts. My optometrist said, you moisture your face every day, why not care for your eyes the same? Invest in a good eye drop or gel drops, listed in the eye health blog, and apply morning and night to keep eye supple and comfortable.
Bonus tips for supple skin?
1/ Sleep with a humidifier. Not only will your skin thank you for the added moisture, you might also help your sinuses and eyes if you have problems with those.
3/ Limit drying sources of heat, or super hot showers.
3/ Increase fatty acids in your diet…see part deux for more on this!