The Four Skincare Product Must Haves

Deciding what skincare products to use can be overwhelming. Period. Do you use a retinol cream? What about serums? There are so many variations, where should you even start? About a year ago I decided to get really serious about my skin (this happens to be right around the time I found my first grey hair and experienced the worst breakouts). I won't lie, I always thought I had a lot more time before I had to worry about anti-aging creams, retinol creams etc. I mean, I definitely thought I had until at least 35. Nope, I was completely wrong. The earlier you start a good skincare regime, the better your skin will be. Especially living in California, where your skin is exposed to strong sun almost year round.

I did a post on my skincare regime here, and to be honest, not much has changed. As a blogger I'm lucky that I get to try a lot of products, but I always go back to a certain few. If I'm totally obsessed with a product, then I'll incorporate it into my every day routine. But this is a pretty high standard. When I posted my skincare routine I got a lot of DMs asking if people could only buy one product, which one should it be. It's really hard to narrow it down to one, but I thought I would highlight four products I think you should definitely own. They all serve different purposes, so if you are only looking to buy one right now, I suggest deciding on what your top priorities are. 

1. A good facial cleanser

This step is absolutely key. I usually use the IS Clinical Complex Cleanser, Cetaphil or SkinMedica Foam cleanser. Cetaphil is very gentle on the skin, so I use it when my skin is feeling more sensitive. SkinMedica is good when you are breaking out, as it has Salicylic Acid. I was recently introduced to the Facile cleanser and I love it. For one, the smell is amazing. Further, it has the perfect amount of foam to make your face feel clean without being too harsh. Lastly, it has helped keep my skin pretty clear over the past few weeks.

2. IS Clinical Active Serum

This Active Serum is pure magic. I was introduced to it (and most of the products I use) by Shani Darden. When you apply it you get a slight tingling sensation that dissipates after a few seconds. It is said to decrease fine line and wrinkles and even out skin tone. What I think it is used best for is reducing and eliminating acne. It truly works. I apply it after my cleanser and before moisturizer. I alternate every other night with my retinol cream below.

3. Shani Darden's Retinol Reform

I can't say enough good things about this product. I was so scared to use a retinol cream as I had heard that they can be really harsh on the skin and lead to tons of peeling. This product is the opposite. While you are supposed to gradually build up using the product, I think it is gentle enough to use every other night. It helps to even out skin tone and give this incredible glow to your skin. It's expensive but you just need a tiny amount. Just like the active serum, I apply it after I cleanse my skin and before a moisturizer.

4. Dr. Dennis Gross Peel Pads

If you are like me and wear a decent amount of makeup every day, you need these peel pads. It exfoliates the skin in a gentle way, eliminating all the dirt that lives on the surface of your skin. It keeps your pores clean and helps to reduce acne. You apply step 1 (it's like a cotton pad soaked in the product) and leave it on for a couple of minutes. Then you apply step 2 (which feels like step 1). Normally my skin is a bit red after so I will apply a cooling serum (like the IS Clinical hydracool serum) and then a light moisturizer. I use it once a week.

The summer that never ends

I thought this would be my last summer fashion post for a few months but now I'm not so sure (especially because I have a pool day lined up for this weekend). I swear it is hotter than ever in LA. When I first wake up and go for an early morning run the air feels crisp and cool. By the time lunch rolls around it feels like the peak of summer where all you want to wear is loose tops and jean shorts. Anyway it feels totally appropriate to post this beautiful maxi dress.

Photography by Felicia Lasala

Maxi Dresses in Fall

I know that a lot of you are already deep into fall season, with all of your summer clothes put away and your knits and scarves ready to wear. I won't lie, I get jealous at the sight of those cozy sweaters and cute beanies on Instagram. It'll happen in LA soon enough. Until then it still feels like summer here. Last night Ray, Luca and I went for a two hour walk and it truly felt like a summer night. Anyway, if it's too cold to wear a maxi dress like this then hopefully it serves as inspo for an upcoming vacation. 

On our walk last night we passed by the newly renovated Westfield Century City Mall. WOW. It's so beautiful and has so many good new stores. We also picked up a Pressed Freeze. If you haven't tried it yet, it's a must. 

Photography by Felicia Lasala

Why I Started Drinking Turmeric Ginger Lemon Tea

When I got back from Napa I realized I needed to take a step back and focus my attention on my mind and body. For one, I had trouble sleeping in Napa. While I was on such a wonderful trip, I couldn't help but feel really anxious. I would wake up at 6:00 am with this dooming feeling, like something was going to happen or I forgot to do something important. But there was nothing. If you've been following me then you know that I have generalized anxiety. But I rarely feel this type of anxiety without something (even if it's something small) at the root of it. Moreover my skin was a mess! This lead to me feeling discouraged and exhausted. So for the past week I have taken steps to help both my mind and body. I started going back to hot yoga and hot yoga barre. I started eating primarily vegetables and protein (limiting sugar and carbs- aka no more chocolate in the house). I started drinking tons of water (infused with lemon, ginger and mint). I started taking probiotics again (Bio K is my favorite). And I started drinking turmeric ginger lemon tea at night. 

Turmeric Ginger Lemon Tea has so many health benefits. Here are a few:

  • It's a powerful anti-inflammatory (which consequently helps with joint pain, stomach aches, bloating and skin inflammation, to name a few) 
  • It's a powerful antioxidant
  • Helps reduce nausea
  • Helps with digestion
  • Reduces muscle pain and soreness
  • Helps reduce menstrual pain
  • Good for your immune system
  • Good source of potassium
  • Helps with digestion
  • Antioxidants help clear your skin  
  • Reduces inflammation
Are you sold yet? If you're like me and have a sensitive stomach, this drink is amazing to have after dinner. And it's so easy to make. There are several variations on how to make it. You could use fresh ginger and turmeric or powder.  Here is my recipe:

Makes 2 cups since 1 isn't usually enough :)
  1. Boil 2 cups of water with 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder and 1 tsp of fresh ginger (cut into pieces)
  2. Once it reaches a boil, turn off heat and cover for 5 minutes (I sometimes stir in some cinnamon at this point)
  3. Drain the liquid 
  4. Add 1/2 tsp of honey and 1-2 thin slices of lemon
  5. Enjoy!