I never could have imagined that 2020 would be such an eventful year. The world shut down as a microscopic intruder invaded the lungs of millions and killed hundreds of thousands. Doesn’t that sound like something from a horror book? I am happy to say that my family and loved ones are healthy and thriving (and I hope yours is too). And in my increased downtime, I’ve found creative ways to spend my energy. I added new skincare habits to my new normal. The interesting thing is, that I would not have found the time to dedicate to these techniques if it weren’t for the quarantine. *This blog post is a sponsored partnership with SOCO Botanicals. 

Simplified Skincare 

 

My new slower lifestyle has given me the opportunity to evaluate my skincare habits. I’ve been using fewer products and I’ve even partnered with a clean skincare brand based out of my home town, SOCO Botanicals. You’ve seen me mention SOCO Botanicals on social media a few times. SOCO Botanicals’ products feature potent yet gentle anti-aging ingredients like CoQ10, sea buckthorn, and charcoal to help increase moisture, slow the signs of aging, and to remove dead skin cells and impurities. The founder of the company Scarlett Olson was inspired to create this skincare collection because she was tired of poor quality and harmful ingredients in mainstream skincare products. She truly believes that less is more when dealing with skin. And if you’ve met her, you can see that she knows what shes talking about.

There are three core products that you need to see improved skin;  those products are the  Citrus Gem Facial Cleanser, the Black Lava Scrub, and the Symphony Anti-aging Elixir. One thing I love about this line is its versatility; both the cleanser and facial scrub double as a face mask. So instead of needing to purchase a separate face mask, I can just leave the product on my skin for an extra detoxifying and exfoliation benefit. The symphony oil is a wonderful everyday moisture retainer. And I have been using it in place of my normal grape seed oil when practicing my next skincare habit.

 Gua Sha and Facial Massage

 

During quarantine, I purchased my first jade roller and Gua Sha tools. Gua Sha is a massage technique that involves rubbing specially carved jade stones on different points on the skin. These stones can be used all over the body to relieve tension and to help move lymphatic fluid. When done correctly, Gua Sha can be performed on the face to help decrease puffiness and create a more chiseled look. The jade roller works similarly to help massage and drain excess fluid from certain areas of the face.

Facial massage is another technique that is used to decreases puffiness due to a build-up of fluid. Facial massage goes one step further and actually works the muscles of the face. The continuous use of these muscles can create a more chiseled face and plump areas prone to indention such as the nasolabial folds and forehead. Both techniques require you to set aside 15 – 20 minutes of your day to focus on repetitive exercises. Over time, you can increase collagen production, give yourself a natural surgery-free face-lift, and minimize the appearance of wrinkles. One of my favorite YouTube channels to watch is Abigail James. She teaches facial massage techniques in short 5 – 10-minute videos.

I’ve been consistently performing facial massage and Gua Sha on my face twice a week for about two months. I’ve noticed decreased tension in areas and decreased puffiness under my eyes when I perform the exercises. Plus, I really enjoy the way that it feels. Its truly amazing what a little massage work can do to improve the appearance of your skin.

Tip: Create your own YouTube playlist of Gua Sha and facial massage videos to refer to when performing the massages yourself. 

  Dry Brushing

 

Last summer, I developed rashy patches on my legs and arms after using a lotion I purchased at Trader Joes. The lotion was unscented but I believe the thick creamy formula clogged my pores and led to the breakout. After that incident, I noticed that my skin would become irritated any time I used a thick cream or lotion, including 100% natural shea butter. That’s when I decided to only use oils to moisturize my skin. My rashes have since gone away, but I was left with dry, dark patches on my legs. I’ve tried numerous products to get rid of the patches and recently decided to try dry brushing

Dry brushing is a ayurvedic practice that helps to exfoliate dead skin cells and increase blood circulation to your skin. You take a non-abrasive bristle brush like this one, and you brush your skin in upward strokes towards your heart starting at your feet. Once you get to your stomach, you brush in circular motions. For your arms, you begin at your wrists and brush up towards your heart. This routine is best done before showering as it opens up your pores and flakes off dead skin cells. Afterwards, a vitamin-rich moisturizer like the one from SOCO Botanicals should be applied to seal in moisture.

With consistent practice, I am hoping the dry patches will eventually disappear along with the dark discoloration.

 In the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing my favorite facial exercise techniques that help slim your jaw line, decrease puffiness, and give your face a natural lift and glow. These exercises are gentle on your skin and can be performed in as little as fifteen minutes a day. Stay tuned for that. 

It is never too late to change up your routine. Interested in cleaning up your skincare routine? Use my code MYBROWSPARKLEZ15 for 15% off Soco Botanicals