5 Tips to Get Glowing Summer Time Skin!

I get it, this year you want to glow, shine, and glisten your way into your best summer ever. I am here for it.

Summer is around the corner and you can’t remember the last time you shaved… Girl, I am right there with you, let’s figure out how to get the perfect summer time skin together!

1. Exfoliate: Exfoliation is key to remove the dead skin cells that accumulate on the body, try to exfoliate about twice a week. FYI loofah’s do not exfoliate well and are a breeding ground for bacteria, an alternative is a micro-exfoliation towel. If you’re looking for some extra oomph, try a body scrub. I’ve listed a few DIY body scrubs that can be made from ingredients that are right in your kitchen.

  • Option #1: You will need oatmeal, brown sugar, and olive oil. Mix 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, and 1/2 cup of ground oatmeal. Once all the ingredients are combined you are ready to exfoliate. Begin by wetting your skin and applying in circular motions, then rinse.
  • Option #2: You will need a banana and some brown sugar, that’s it! Mix 1 ripe banana and 1 tbsp of brown sugar till you have a paste like mixture. Begin by wetting your skin and applying the mixture and waiting for about a minute and then massage in circular motions.
  • Option #3: You will need brown sugar, honey, olive oil, and vanilla. Mix 2 1/4 cups of brown sugar, 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1/4 cup of honey, and a tsp of vanilla. Combine all the ingredients until fully mixed. Now get your exfoliation on!

2. Moisturize: I completely understand that moisturizing is a pain in the butt but done right, it can leave your skin glowing. Make you sure you moisturize before bed that way your skin rejuvenates to the max while you’re sleeping. I’ve listed a few highly rated body products if you’d like your skin to glow, and let’s be real, who doesn’t?!

  • If you’re looking for an all in one face and body product that hydrates dry skin then First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream is for you. This product can be used with any skin type and provides instant relief for dryness. Let’s not forget to mention it has a 4.5/5 rating by 5,000+ reviewers.
  • If your skin is dull and has an uneven texture then maybe Kiehl’s Creme de Corps is perfect for you. Plus, this hydrating moisturizer provides a non-greasy feel, loved by 3,000+ reviewers with a 4.5/5 rating.

3. Shave: If you choose to shave, I am here to help. A good razor is crucial to a good shave. I’ve always heard men’s razors allow for a “closer shave” but in the mean time I cut myself a lot in the process. If you’re up for something new, try the Gillette Venus Swirl Razor. The razor itself moves with the curves of your body and gives you the best shave possible. Check out this article for more information on the best razors for women.

4. Sleep: I know its summer time and you want to “live your best life” but that includes getting adequate sleep. Here are some reasons why you should hit the hay at a reasonable hour, lack of sleep can cause increased acne breakouts, increased skin sensitivity, reduced production of collagen (which makes the skin look tired and dull), dark circles, bags underneath your eyes, and more visible wrinkles. Shall I go on?

5. Hydrate: I am almost positive this is not the first time you’ve heard this, but I’m going to tell you again, DRINK WATER! By drinking water, you are maintaining your skins moisture and delivering essential nutrients to the skin cells. Hydrating your skin also improves skin elasticity which delay the signs of aging like wrinkles and fine lines.

I get it, this year you want to glow, shine, and glisten your way into your best summer ever. I am here for it. Comment any of your personal tips and tricks on how to get that glow!

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How To: Prevent Pesky UTI’s

So, you are either a) currently suffering from a urinary tract infection or b) been there, done that, and don’t wanna go back.

So, you are either a) currently suffering from a urinary tract infection or b) been there, done that, and don’t wanna go back. First things first, I’m gonna tell you the ugly truth about those Victoria Secret panties, they are not doing you any favors. If you’d rather not wince every time you pee, I suggest you keep on reading.

Let me clarify what causes a urinary tract infection, either outside bacteria enters the urinary tract or the bacteria in your bladder multiplies to unhealthy levels.

1. Do not hold your pee. If you hold your pee for a long time you are making your body more susceptible to harmful bacteria which can cause a UTI.

2. Drink plenty of water AND pee often. By drinking a lot of water you are flushing out your system (literally) and decreasing the possibility of any bacteria lingering for long.

3. WASH UP BEFORE AND AFTER SEX. Please do yourself the favor of cleansing yourself relatively shortly after any sexual activities. Make sure you pee after sex (before you shower), that way you flush out any bacteria that may have entered the urinary tract.

4. Do not douche. Douching sends water and or antiseptics into your vagina to wash out bad vaginal bacteria BUT it also removes the good bacteria.

5. Incorporate supplements in your diet. Whether it’s cranberry juice or orange juice, both reduce risk of developing an infection.

6. If it ain’t cotton, don’t wear it. Polyester underwear traps moisture and bacteria against the body. Cotton is a more breathable fabric which allows air to circulate.

If you take away anything from this, please let it be to wash yourself after sex. I know far too many people who don’t think its a big deal, it is. I hope your bladder health flourishes!

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How I Wake Up Early & Work Out @ 8 AM

The end of February is approaching and your new years resolution of working out more is holding on by a thread.

The end of February is approaching and your new years resolution of working out more is holding on by a thread. Just like you, I have my mornings where I roll over, hit snooze, and head back to bed. And guess what? Skipping a workout is completely normal and OK. If you’re looking for some inspiration on how to get back on track or how to start, here are some personal tips I’ve learned through trial and error.

1. Plan the night before. Remember when you were in 3rd grade and your mom planned your outfits for you? Planning for the morning before its here is a perfect way to ensure a great start to your day. I noticed that if I pack my gym bag the night before I have less to do in my sleepy state which makes me more inclined to hop out of bed and rush out the door. In my gym bag I include headphones, a lock, a water bottle, and lip  balm.

2. Place the alarm as far away as possible. This tip is for those people who hit snooze more often than they hit the gym. If you place your phone across the room then in the morning you are required to get off your lazy butt and turn it off. Challenge yourself to not press snooze when your alarm goes off, given it is much easier said than done. According to Lifehacker, hitting snooze on your alarm is likely to make you more tired because your body starts its sleep cycle all over again.

3. Turn on the lights! Letting some natural (or artificial) light in can make all the difference.

4. Try to workout with a friend. If you have to cancel on someone in the morning you’re more inclined to go through with it. My morning workout routines are almost always with a friend. Gym buddies are great motivation and companions.

5. Try to look forward to something in the morning. For some people this means a pre-workout shake, listening to their favorite music playlist, or listening to an audible book. I enjoy listening to an audible book as I get ready for the gym. I also listen to audible during my ride to the gym.

The most essential tip is will power. Let’s be real, you can follow my tips but what it comes down to is you. Aside from the health benefits, exercise also increases productivity. I like morning work outs because once 9:30 am rolls around I have already had a productive start to the day. Productive people wake up earlier. If you want to accomplish anything this year start by waking up earlier, even better if you incorporate a morning workout.

An alternative to a gym membership is at home workouts. A Youtuber that has inspired my healthier and happier life journey is Sam Ozkural. Sam has a variety of at home workouts inspired by famous celebrities like Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez. Sam also does “eating like (insert celeb name) for a day.” Becoming happier and healthier doesn’t have to be a chore. If you think working out and eating healthy sucks, well then guess what, it’s gonna suck.

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”- Zig Ziglar

 

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5 Birth Control Myths Debunked

Let’s not forget Mean Girls reminding us of our impending doom after losing our virginities.

If you’re like many young women who’ve grown up with a shady sex education system you’ve probably believed in a birth control myth or two at some point. Let’s not forget Mean Girls reminding us of our impending doom after losing our virginities.

1. “Birth control can cause infertility.” Once you stop taking birth control your body returns to its original fertility baseline. However, keep in mind that if you were on birth control for an extended period of time then you’d be much older than when you started. Fertility issues may arise because of age, unrelated to the birth control itself. Many women often misattributed post birth control fertility issues due to their lack of knowledge about their body prior to birth control usage.

2. “The pill makes you gain weight.” Any weight gain is usually caused by water retention, not fat. The side effect of weight gain normally subsides within the first two to three months.

3. “It’s unhealthy to use birth control to skip your period.” Chances are if your doctor prescribed you birth control pills it’s probably okay to use them to delay your period. One drawback of delaying your period may be breakthrough bleeding (spotting between periods.) Please keep in mind that should you get pregnant, you may have more difficulty noticing pregnancy symptoms.

4. “Your body needs a break from birth control.” Let’s start off by saying your body won’t build up immunity to birth control thus reducing its effectiveness. If you are a regular birth control user and haven’t experienced negative side effects then you’re in the clear.

5. “The pill is 100% effective immediately after taking it.” If you are taking a combination pill (containing both estrogen and progestin) and start within five days of your period you are protected immediately. If you are taking a progestin only pill you are protected after the first 48 hours.

Whether you’re just curious or contemplating using birth control I hope you learned something new. Thank you for reading!

Sincerely,

Your friend

Cristina Fig.

 

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Birth Control 101- Most Common Forms

I completely understand the awkwardness of asking your mom, or even a doctor.

Hey girl, if you are anything like me, then you know little to nothing about birth control. I completely understand the awkwardness of asking your mom or even a doctor. I am here to tell you everything I have compiled from the web. Let’s start off by defining birth control, according to Planned Parenthood, “birth control is preventing pregnancy before it begins.”

3 Most Common Forms of Birth Control

The Pill can either be a combination pill or progestin-only pills. What does this mean? Combination pills contain estrogen and progestin. Combination pills prevent your ovaries from releasing an egg. It also thickens the mucus on the cervix making it more difficult for sperm to swim to an egg. Keep in mind that after starting combination pills you are not “fully” protected until 7 full days of regular use. Because no one is perfect the actual effectiveness of both pills is 91%.

The progestin-only pill (POP) as it states, only contains progestin. POP also thickens the cervical mucus and thins the lining of the uterus (in layman terms the sperm is prevented from reaching the egg.) POP must be taken every day at the same time in order to maximize effectiveness. Keep in mind that after starting progestin-only pills you are not “fully” protected until 2 full days of regular use.

Pro’s:

  • may reduce or help prevent acne
  • may reduce or help prevent cysts in breasts or ovaries
  • may reduce or help prevent anemia
  • may reduce or help prevent PMS

Con’s:

  • may experience sore breasts
  • may experience nausea
  • may experience spotting or bleeding in between periods
  • does not protect against STD’s

 

The patch is quite similar to the pill, it contains the hormones estrogen and progestin and involves the same process of spermicide. You wear the patch on certain parts of your body and your skin absorbs the hormones. Again, if the patch is used perfectly then it is 99% effective but like everyone else you may forget from time to time so let’s go with 91%.

Pro’s:

  • may reduce or help prevent acne
  • may reduce or help prevent cysts in breasts or ovaries
  • may reduce or help prevent bone thinning
  • may reduce or help prevent anemia.

Cons:

  • must change the patch in a timely fashion
  • must be aware of the patch condition
  • may experience sore breasts
  • may experience headaches
  • does not protect against STD’s

 

The implant is a tiny, thin rod inserted into your arm, regarding pain, don’t worry about feeling anything more than a pinch. The hormones in the implant thicken the mucus on your cervix and inhibits eggs from leaving your ovaries. The implant is 99% effective. Depending on the time of your cycle when the implant is inserted you are protected between zero and 7 days after insertion.

Pros:

  • improve protection and prevention
  • improve cramps
  • improve life style (throw out your monthly pack and let loose!)

Cons:

  • may experience irregular bleeding (spotting)
  • may experience longer and heavier periods
  • may experience weight gain
  • may experience an infection where the implant was inserted
  • does not protect against STD’s

I am going to be honest and tell you majority of this information is news to me. If you are considering going on birth control or are currently on birth control I recommend reading up on it. I had no idea that depending on the type of pill you take it may or may not matter the timing of the pill. We may not be experts but I definitely learned something new, I hope you did too.

Thank you for reading and good luck with your journey on learning about your body!

 

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Reduced Meat Intake: Causes & Effects

You must be asking yourself “Why the hell would anyone give up meat?” Instead of saying “Why the hell?” I said “What the hell?”

You must be asking yourself “Why the hell would anyone give up meat?” Some people become vegetarians because of health reasons or maybe from watching What the Health on Netflix. I didn’t need to watch the stomach churning film, I’m sure like a lot of you, you know eating meat takes a toll on your health.  Instead of saying “Why the hell?” I said “What the hell?” and I reduced my meat intake from everyday (and almost every meal) to only once a day 3x a week.

Why?

I’m sure you’ve already heard about how meat is bad for you blah blah blah. But, let me reiterate what you think you know.

  1. Life expectancy: Vegetarian men live an average of 9.5 years longer than their meat-eating counterparts and vegetarian women an average of 6.1 years longer.
  2. Sex life: Eating plants can have a positive impact on your disposition and libido.

  1. Sex life: If a man avoids red meats, it improves the sex appeal of his body odor.
  2. Diet: Average American eats approximately 222 pounds of meat per year.
  3. Diet: The American Dietetic Association (ADA) concludes that a vegetarian or vegan diet is healthier than one that includes meat.
  4. Animal cruelty: The number of animals killed for meat every hour in the U.S. is 500,000.

How?

Obviously going cold turkey can be nothing short of difficult but enforcing self-control is key. If the pros outweigh the cons, in this case missing out on a juicy and tasty burger, it will be worth it. It also taught me portion control. You definitely want to stock up on greens and drink plenty of water. One thing I enjoyed the most was demonstrating self-control when it comes to food. It can be so easy to give into eating meat, desserts, or soda for that matter but the proud feeling afterward is just as great (we can at least pretend it is.) Snacks will also help keep you on track. I like to snack on veggie chips and animal crackers. I’d also like to mention tracking your food is a great idea if you want to keep yourself accountable.

What?

Was it worth it? The most obvious effect of eating less meat was feeling more energized. I no longer felt sluggish waking up in the morning, with that said I also felt more awake. If one of your 2018 goals was to be more productive then eating less meat could be an odd but efficient method. Other effects include: losing weight, reduced risk of heart disease, reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and the list goes on. If you aren’t one for the gym then consuming less meat is an easy alternative.

When?

Will I return to eating meat everyday for every meal? The answer is no. I was skeptical about the change in my energy and overall health before I took the plunge. But now that I have reaped the benefits I am going to limit my meat intake, and who knows maybe one day I’ll be vegetarian.

 

From one mindless meat eater to another, what’s the harm in trying this for a week? or even a month? I hope you learned something, and maybe have at least a peaked interest in considering becoming a vegetarian.

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Embrace Positivity

Positivity doesn’t have to be obnoxiously smiling every moment of the day and acting as if the world is sugar, spice, and everything nice.

Do you want to wake up in the morning excited and motivated to start the day? Or do you want to wake up dreading the start of your day? Trust me, we’ve all been in your shoes. I too can wake up cringing at the thought of leaving the comfort of my bed but I don’t have to feel this way, and neither do you.

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Positivity doesn’t have to be obnoxiously smiling every moment of the day and acting as if the world is sugar, spice, and everything nice. According to Google, the word positivity means “the practice of being or tendency to be positive or optimistic in attitude.” The definition literally uses the word “tendency” which means occasionally you will have negative thoughts or feelings.

First off let’s consider what counts as “being negative.” The reason I used quotation marks is because I’m sure you like a lot of people may not necessarily think you’re negative. Would you refer to yourself as  happy person? Would someone else refer to you as a happy person? Negative habits are engrained in our every day lives. Negativity is mumbling swear words to other drivers on your way to work. Negativity is complaining about situations that aren’t all that bad. Negativity is thinking you aren’t skinny enough, pretty enough, or smart enough. (This just got deep didn’t it?) Now imagine if the world  wasn’t pitted against you?! I know it almost sounds too good to be true.

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Positivity starts with a grateful attitude. While you’re cursing up a storm on your way to work, couldn’t you be grateful you have a car to drive to work? You could be grateful for the job you have. You could be grateful for another day of life. If you develop an attitude of gratefulness and focus on what you do have instead of what you don’t you’d be much happier.

If you make positivity a lifestyle you’ll find yourself happier, it’s almost impossible not to be. You can implement positivity into any aspect of your life. I am sure other women can agree, it is hard to feel beautiful in this day and age. When photo shop obliterates any trace of a flaw and all you’re left with is an unachievable perfection it can be difficult to feel beautiful. I know how cheesy this will sound but being positive starts with you, if you can’t be positive and kind towards yourself then you might as well save your time and energy.

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If you think its time to make a change in your life then I recommend reading The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. The Secret will explain positivity and optimism better than I ever can. I hope you join me on this journey.

Sincerely,

Your friend

Cristina Fig.

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