How To Exfoliate Your Skin

Shedding Light on Shedding Cells

enzyme face mask. how to get glowing skin, how you should exfoliate your face. www.awellspringoflife.com

Our body is constantly producing new skin cells while simultaneously getting rid of the old stuff. But how often does this happen? And do we need to help the body do what it’s already designed to do?

To put it plainly- we need our body to produce new cells to have youthful, glowing, healthy skin. When our body holds onto the old cells, it literally builds up and you end up with an old, dull, dry, flaky surface that enhances wrinkles. And nobody wants that.

However, you must be wary of how often you exfoliate your skin; too often can leave the skin red, irritated, and more prone to problems such as rashes, breakouts, sun damage, etc.how you should exfoliate your face and body for glowing, youthful skin. www.awellspringoflife.com

Exfoliating the Face: 

Ideally, you should exfoliate every 3-4 days, so about 1-2 times per week. It mainly depends on your skin; how sensitive is it, your age, and what your skin likes to be honest.

I have become so in-tune with my skin that I can tell the day when I need to exfoliate- my skin looks dull, I begin to see some congestion in my pores, and as soon as I exfoliate- BOOM.glowing glory. 

Make sure, however, that you are using good exfoliating products. Don’t use any sort of physical exfoliation on your face– it’s too harsh and can cause microscopic tears which can lead to a whole host of problems. Stick to enzymes which break down and dissolve all of the old skin cells, and bring circulation to the face- encouraging healing. Check out my DIY Enzyme Mask here. This is the only exfoliation I use on my face!

Exfoliating the Body: 

Now the body has much thicker skin than the face, so you can exfoliate much more often- every day really. Because it is thicker it can handle physical exfoliation such as dry brushing and sugar and salt scrubs. The great thing about sugar scrubs is that they simultaneously moisturize while getting rid of the dead stuff. So not only will your skin be soft, it will also be highly nourished and moisturized. Dry Brushing is also a great way to gently exfoliate the body! Dry  brush before the shower then moisturize with a nice body oil afterwards for ultimate glowing skin. Click Here to read more about Dry Brushing and why it’s so amazing !

how you should exfoliate your face and body for glowing, youthful skin. www.awellspringoflife.com

Exfoliation is key for youthful, healthy skin.

Shed the Cells, Dude. 

xxJoannaxx

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Why I’m No longer Afraid Of Food

My Unpopular View Of Diets

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(If you’d like to watch the video I made about this topic, check it out here!)

I’ll be honest, this has been quite a revelation for me and I know it will be for you too. Food has been an obsession since the first fast weight-loss diet. The idea that we could lose weight at rapid speed simply by radically changing the food (or “food”) we ingest and how often we eat. But with that comes unhealthy obsession, eating foods that don’t actually sustain us, relying solely on food instead of treating the lifestyle changes, yo-yoing between one weight and the next, etc. Diets only last for so long, they’re not sustainable, and it is such an unhealthy way to try an obtain an “ideal body.”

However, with that comes the complete opposite end of the spectrum- Obsession with HEALTHY FOOD. This is much healthier and far more beneficial for your body, but as with all things, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. I’m not referring to healthy, vibrant, whole foods because you can literally eat as much of those as your body needs and you will become the most lively, lovely, vibrant person. I am referring to the obsession with healthy food. You can go too overboard. There is even something people can be diagnosed with called Orthorexia, which is “a medical condition in which the sufferer systematically avoids specific foods in the belief that they are harmful.” source

This causes STRESS. The nasty six letter word that is the underlying cause for so many diseases and conditions.

You can literally look up any problem you have, might have in the future, your friend has, your dog has, and you will always find that there is some food group that you should remove from your diet to help heal your body and/or as prevention.  This isn’t a bad thing- it is quite miraculous! The fact that our body is literally made up of the food we eat is nothing short of incredible. We have the ability to change our weight, our skin, our ailments, even our genes just by choosing what foods we put into our mouths. Can I get an Amen because I think this definitely deserves an AMEN!

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But as I have learned through my time at the Institute Of Integrative Nutrition and from personal experience, you must must must have balance.. with everythingI do have a type A personality so I do have the tendency to go to the extreme with things. I am a research lover and really enjoy learning as much as I can and becoming the best I can be.

But I now know for sure that I went overboard.

There was a time, quite recently actually, where I felt like I literally couldn’t eat anything. If you read health articles or books, or listen to podcasts, or watch documentaries, you can always find someone bashing each and every food group. And not only sugar and gluten because those have been “evil” for awhile (and for good reason.) But there are some that say you shouldn’t eat meat. Or beans. or fruit. or fats. or anything with seeds. or grains. The list goes on and on and contains all types of food no matter how raw or pure it may be.

While I was searching for my one ticket to save me from my breakouts and heal my gut, I was listening to anyone and everyone. I was trying all of the recommendations, cutting out all of the food groups, taking all the vitamins, I was like a derailed train that just kept going and gaining more speed. But you know what? Nothing seemed to be that one perfect answer that solved all of my problems. Yes, there are definitely things I do that keep my skin more under control and my stomach more manageable, but there wasn’t anything that seemed like my holy grail.

And I had become afraid of food. 

I never felt like I could go out with friends, eat the same dinner as my husband, go to family functions because I knew either A. There would be nothing for me to eat and I would be really hungry. or B. If I did indulge and break my insanely strict diet I would break out horribly and my stomach would swell up to a 6 month old pregnant woman. And you know what this caused? STRESS. Big fat stress all day every day. Even when I wasn’t dealing with the crossroads of deciding if I should or shouldn’t go to an event, it would be there all day. I would have mini battles in my head of “Oh I really want this. But can I? I have already had so many fruits today. But will this red apple be too much sugar for my system? Will I have a reaction? Is it worth it? Am I seeing anyone soon? Will I look okay when I take my makeup off? Oh but I really want that juicy apple. But nah, I guess I shouldn’t. Let me just have a little more water.”

For real you guys. This was my life. And looking back at it now I realize how crazy it was, how much low level stress I was dealing with every day.

But then we decided to go to France for vacation. And I told myself that I will give myself complete leeway to eat whatever I wanted. Breakouts be damned, I wanted to treat myself! It’s not everyday you go to a beautiful country, and why go and not have the complete culinary experience?!? It’s near blasphemy.

So we went and for the first day I was subconsciously keeping track of how much bread I ate, how many veggies I had, and I had to break that habit. So I don’t know how many vegetables I ate during our trip, but I definitely know it wasn’t the allotted 3 cups a day. And those baguettes and pastries? Yeah. Your girl ate them. A lot of them. I also had delicious cheeses and alcohol.

Are you ready?

I FELT INCREDIBLE. not only that, but I also looked absolutely great.

My body was bangin’, my skin was glowy, but most importantly I felt so joyful and more at peace than I have in a very, very long time.

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I could not believe the results. All this time I thought that “unhealthy” food was the root of all evil, when that wasn’t it at all. The stress over being healthy and not allowing myself to ever let go, and then the guilt when I did indulge was doing damage to my mental state which was totally affecting my body and it’s symptoms.

And then it hit me- No food is inherently evil. It’s the manipulation and modification of foods that can make it unhealthy. Eating foods that are made in a lab or that are heavily with pesticides and chemicals, food that has been so processed and pumped with artificial sugars, THAT is what is unhealthy.

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But bread that was handmade by the baker early that morning, cheese that came straight from the farmer’s farm, meat that came from the hands of the butcher, these are not the things that put our body out of balance. They are the things that sustain us. Not only from a physical point of view, but also our mental and emotional state. If you constantly eat foods that you find gross or unappetizing, your body isn’t going to receive it as well as a beautiful balanced meal that satisfies every taste bud in your mouth.

However, we must remember that everyone’s body is different. You must always listen to your body to see how it reacts to foods, what works for your friend may not work for you. And you shouldn’t always eat super heavy, extravagant meals, your body will feel sluggish and probably run down over time. But hey, your girlfriends wanna go out to eat and chow down on some delicious food thats full of dairy and gluten and sugar and split a bottle of wine? GIRL, DO IT.

The medicine you will receive in the form of laughter and community is far more beneficial than staying home alone and eating the same food you’ve been eating all week. 

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Being back home, I now approach my diet with a much softer and relaxed hand. If I want that cheese on pasta? I’ll add it. If I’m way too exhausted to make dinner, I have no problem going out and picking up something to eat, even if it’s not the healthiest thing. Balance is key. You can be healthy eating tons of whole foods while also eating some gluten here and there, or dairy, or whatever. Try to get good quality foods because that is what counts. You should really try and avoid that processed junk that filled with preservatives and colored dyes, but again, if you’re at some barbecue that only happens a couple times a year and you see your favorite chips, girl- eat those chips.

Stop restricting yourself to the point of stress. Let loose and be wise.

I hope you now feel a little less suffocated and constricted. Your body is a wonderful, magical thing and it can handle a little indulgence every now and again.

Be kind to your body and your mind.

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I hope this helps you further along your journey of Becoming A WellSpring Of Life.

All my love.

Joanna

Why You Need to Start Double Cleansing Your Face

If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again! 

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Yeah I know, washing your face late at night can be a real pain. And doing a double cleanse can seem even more brutal…..

But hey, before you roll your eyes in disbelief and close the screen, listen to why you actually should have been doing this all along.

You may have noticed that after cleansing, you wipe a cotton round across your face and still see all sorts of residue. .. right?

Well that doesn’t make any sense now does it? After cleansing one’s face should be clean, right?

Well. stop. hold up. 

That’s where double cleansing comes into play! This was originally founded as a korean skin care step; starting with an oil cleanser and then following up with a foaming cleanser. But of course we know better than using those ultra-drying foaming face washes that literally strip everything off your face. So instead of foaming, we can just double up on the oiling (or cream cleanser or even HONEY)!

Double Cleansing Broken Down:

1st Cleanse– Targets and removes the sunscreen and makeup

2nd Cleanse– Cleanses all the grime, dirt and pollution that accumulates on the skin throughout the day

This is my current face washing routine:

  1. Take a dime size amount of Hemp Seed oil and massage it into my skin in little circular movements for a few minutes. You will begin to notice that little balls of dead skin, dirt, and clogged pores coming loose.
  2. Get a clean washcloth super hot, squeeze out the water, steam face until the wash cloth is no longer hot.
  3. Apply Raw Honey to still damp face! You can also combine the honey with essential oils, clay, cinnamon, activated charcoal– literally almost anything.
  4. Leave on for 5-35 minutes, depending on how much time you have. My favorite is to apply the mask before my bath and let my open pores absorb all of the goodness. I can’t tell you how good my skin looks after this- super bright, dewy, tight pores– it’s magic.

Pretty simple, and yet totally revolutionary. I have noticed a difference since starting this, and there’s no way I’m gonna stop now. My skin is softer and cleaner, and it shows.

As always, follow up with a toner and maybe some serums or just a moisturizer. Enjoy that pretty skin, babes.

xxjoannaxx

DIY Clay Detox Mask

Scare Your Husband One More Time

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetAlright my beauties, I’ve got another clutch mask for you that is a total skin care NEED. Our skin gets filled with nasties; dirt, oil, sebum, makeup, toxins, etc. If you don’t cleanse properly and detox frequently, your pores become clogged. This can cause breakouts, wrinkles, dull skin, uneven skin tone, inflammation– the works. We can both agree these things are best avoided at all cost. And when the actual cost of the mask is low?             OH HECK YEAH.

 

Detox the Heck Outta Your Face Mask

Ingredients

1 TBS Bentonite Clay   (this is a really awesome deal, and it will literally last you forever)

2 TSP Alcohol Free Witch Hazel

1 Drop Essential Oil (Melalueca, Lavender, Sandalwood, Juniper Berry are all good choices)

Directions

Mix, add more clay or water depending on your preferred consistency. Do not use any metal while making this mask, it will ruin the clay’s ability to draw out impurities.

Apply to freshly cleansed and toned skin

Set timer for 10 minutes

Wash off, Tone, Moisturize! Done!

Apply once a week for ultimate effectiveness.

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right before I rinse it all off!

I can always tell such a difference when I use this mask, and I can always tell when my skin needs it. For the price and level of easiness, this is definitely a mask you should add into your routine!

xxJoannaxx

*some of the links used are affiliate links. These come at no extra cost to you, they just help me out a little!*

Common Causes of Acne

Power to the Pimple

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image via www.drterry.com

Now this is one heck of a topic. The majority of people, men and women alike, have struggled with acne. If you’re one of those people who have miraculously avoided the common curse, well forgive me as I silently praise but also become increasingly jealous of you.

Our skin is an organ, just like your liver, spleen, and lungs. It is the mighty organ because it is exposed, first hand, to all of the external attacks- i.e. toxic fumes, sun rays, bacteria, etc. It can handle a lot, but it’s not a saint. Any sort of issue on your skin is a sign that your body is out of balance. There is something going on that isn’t right, and your body is telling you that through- you heard it- the dreaded, cursed, loathed, pimple.

External Causes

Dirty Phone

Dirty Pillowcase

Your incessant touching and picking of your skin

Incorrect Cleansing

Stress

Clogging Makeup

 

Internal Causes

Hormone Imbalance

Poor Diet

Food Sensitivity

Digestive Issues

Genes

Toxic Buildup

 

Yeah.. so pretty much anything can cause a skin flare-up. It can be a quick fix for some, or a long, long journey for others. My number one tip is to don’t stress out over it, that will only cause more skin problems.

 

Your skin does not define you. 

You can and will conquer it. 

Be patient. 

Love your skin. 

xxJoannaxx

What Exactly Is a Toner, Anyway?

And Why Is It So Important?

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Toner is a term becoming more widely used in the skin care world. But there are many people that don’t understand what a toner actually is. Let alone why it is an important step for anyone’s skin care routine.

skin toner or simply toner refers to a lotion or wash designed to cleanse the skin and shrink the appearance of pores, usually used on the face.”  wikipedia

Benefits of using a Toner

Shrinks Pores– Because toners wipe up every last bit of makeup, dirt, water, oil on your face, your pores naturally shrink because they are completely clean

Moisturizes Skin– Toners are humectants – fancy word for they bind to water molecules, which moisturizes your face

Enhances Effect of Serums/Moisturizer– If you haven’t properly cleansed, whatever you layer on your skin won’t penetrate it as effectively. As stated before, a toner gets up every last bit of dirt, so you can be sure that you’re face is clean and ready to absorb those nutrient rich serums.

Balances PH of skin– Our skin has a natural PH balance between 5 and 6, but cleansers and water disrupt that PH balance. A toner brings that skin back to it’s natural PH state.

How To Use

  1. After cleansing, simply spray onto a cotton round and wipe your face. Then follow up with a serum or moisturizer!
  2. You can also spray it on whenever you feel your face needs a little ‘pick-me-up.’ It instantly adds a nice glow.

Reminder–  As always, you should make sure you are buying a good quality toner. Most conventional toners are full of alcohol and chemicals that dry out your skin, which is the opposite of what a toner should do. Find a toner that has a base of rose water or alcohol-free witch hazel as these are natural astringents and moisturizers.

So now you know and are hopefully convinced why a toner is essential to any beauty routine!

xxJoannaxx

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Putting Mud on Your Face

Benefits of Clay for Skin

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Via NaturalLivingIdeas

So I think it’s pretty well-known how beneficial detoxing is. We’re in constant contact with toxins, regardless of how healthy we aim to be. So detoxing is a must. Clay does an incredible job at doing this- it literally absorbs all the toxins and dirt and impurities and all the other bad stuff.

Clay has been around for centuries. I mean, obviously, it’s from the earth. But it has also beenused for centuries- people have been using it for it’s healing and detoxification properties. Clays draw out the impurities and then bind to it using electrical charges. So when you wash off the clay, you are removing all of those toxins as well! It’s so cool. 

There are various types of clays but the main ones are:

Bentonite Clay: This is the most popular and well-known clay, used not only for the skin but for the whole body. Bentonite is quite absorbent, and with the most detoxifying powers. This is a gray clay.

French Clay: Also called sea clay, this one is extremely absorbent making it especially beneficial for those with oily skin. People with dry skin should be wary as it would heighten the dryness and may cause more harm than good. French clay is green.

Rhassoul Clay: Another clay that’s great for oily skin, but it’s more gentle than the french clay. This is a red clay mined in Morocco.

Kaolin Clay: This is the most gentle clay, used more for softening and brightening rather than detoxifying. Because of how gentle it is it’s perfect for those with more sensitive skin. This is usually a white clay.

Clay is a miraculous, natural way to keeping your skin clear and toxin-free. It is best to use a clay mask once a week- too often may cause irritation. A great way to make a clay mask not too intense is to mix it with honey as honey is naturally moisturizing. Check out my detoxing mask as it is chock full of clays, honey, healing Essential Oils, and more!

xxJoannaxx

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You Need to Throw Out That Cotton Pillowcase- ASAP

Why You Need A Silk/Satin Pillowcase

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image via Youtube

I know, I know, this sounds unnecessarily luxurious and expensive. But it really isn’t- and the benefits far outweigh the small cost.

 

We all know how great sleep is for skin, right? I mean, not just for skin, really the whole body, but you can really tell by the skin how well you’re sleeping. The recommended amount of sleep is 7-9 hours. So how is it that even when we do sleep that much, we still wake up lookin’ rough as all get out?

Of course there can be many causes, but a main culprit is your cotton pillowcase!

Cotton is so rough that it dries out our hair and skin! It causes friction which can also lead to spreading bacteria over your pillowcase. Never woulda thought it, huh?

Well, it’s true. The key is to buy a satin or silk pillowcase.

Both satin and silk are extremely gentle on the skin and hair. It reduces those fine lines and wrinkles caused when sleeping, and it prevents any frizz or breakage on our precious hair.

They’re pretty inexpensive too-

Satin1 and 2 .

Silk1 and 2 .

Sweet Dreams my Lovelies!

 

xxJoannaxx

My Venture into the ‘Au Naturale’ Beauty Side

I’ve never really been one to wear a lot of makeup. Coverup and mascara. boom, out the door. Maybe some eyeliner or eyeshadow if I’m feeling sassy. But never a full face (except for my wedding of course.)

I just never really wanted to have that plastered geisha look. I didn’t want to look like I tried too hard, and I didn’t want people to think I was pretty only when I was disguised in makeup. Covering up a pimple and dark circles made me more confident, but I know if I began to rely on some beauty makeup mask everyday that it would only worsen my self esteem.

I have almost always been interested in skin care though. Battling puberty, finding salvation in ProActiv for years… and then having it turn on me when I needed it the most… a girl needed to do something. I’ve never had perfect skin, maybe a glimpse of it while I was using ProActiv, but after it stopped working I was shifted back in time to my depressed, crying-in-bed 13 year old skin self. I have tried pretty much everything besides medication. Elimination diets, research up the wazoo, various skin care products including pretty expensive ones, vitamins, detoxing, the works. Being raised in a healthy home, I have always eaten well so that wasn’t an issue. I didn’t exercise a ton, but I did exercise enough to stay fit so that wasn’t an issue either. I’m also very good at keeping up with facial hygiene, so check that off of the list as well. SO WHAT ELSE IS A GIRL TO DO?

bring it on back to the naturals, baby. the good ol’ DIY’s.

After learning more about what crap companies put in our makeup and skin care, I was ready to make the switch (slowly of course.)

I am still making the switch, and my skin is beyond perfect. I have my good days but then suddenly out of the blue my skin decides it’s tired of my confidence and turns it back 180 degrees. (like right now as I’m writing this post)

But I do feel a lot better about what I’m putting on my face. Because you know a huge percentage of what you put onto your skin is absorbed and pumped into your bloodstream. yucky.

If you want to see how “clean” or “dirty” your products out, I highly recommend looking it up on EWG’s Skin Deep website. It’s pretty crazy the toxic chemicals America allows it’s people to slather onto their face and body. I could go on about how the modern skin care companies are a scam and the things they say and sell really aren’t helping anything in the long run, and how many ingredients other countries have banned and we’ve banned hardly any. But thats a really long discussion. So maybe another time.

You are beautiful. even on bad days. You were created with love and what can be more beautiful than that.