Tag Archives: cold weather

Winter Skin Care on a Budget

It’s no secret that winter weather can be hard on your skin. One of the reasons is that we often forget to change up our routines to accommodate the change in temperatures. Harsh chemicals used to reduce natural oils in the summer can cause more damage in the winter. Our diets can also greatly impact our skin. With many of the winter holidays behind us, it is time to refocus on what we are putting into and on our bodies, and how those things are adding up to create the perfect storm. Here are a few of our favorite products for correcting and preventing dry skin damage:

Coconut Oil
Cold weather can be very hard on your hair, specifically on your scalp. Sometimes over-the-counter dandruff shampoos don’t help with dandruff, and occasionally they can even make it worse. Dr. Axe (www.draxe.com) says that adding five drops of essential oils like lavender, wintergreen, thyme, or tea tree to two teaspoons of coconut oil and massaging it into your scalp after washing your hair can be a great intensive dandruff treatment! Do this 2-3 times per week to keep your scalp moisturized and your hair feeling soft!
You can also apply coconut oil to your skin at night before going to bed. Be aware, however, that the oil may transfer to your sheets. So you may want to cover the affected area before calling it a night.

Eat Right
By now, you probably know that staying hydrated in the winter is important. You know that you should be drinking water like it’s your second job, and maybe even that a humidifier in your bedroom can help keep your skin hydrated. But did you know that what you eat matters too? That New Years resolution to eat right (and maybe add a few juices into your diet) can help in more ways than one. Fruits like watermelon and apples and vegetables like cucumbers and carrots contain a lot of water. Let them help you get the moisture your body needs to be healthy and comfortable.

Don’t Forget Sunscreen
Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean that your skin can’t be damaged by UVA and UVB rays. Even if the sun doesn’t seem as bright, rays penetrating the clouds can reach your skin. Obagi Medical Skin care products are a great way to protect your skin against the harmful effects of sun exposure. We especially love their Tinted Sun Shield SPF 50 line, available in cool and warm shades for different skin tones. For harsh winter weather, you may also enjoy their HydraFactor Broad Spectrum SPF 30. This sunscreen is a dual-function moisturizer with soothing ingredients. Regardless of which sunscreen you choose, make sure to reapply it every two hours of exposure throughout the day. Check out Obagi’s website (www.obagi.com) for more information on where to find their impressive line of skin care products locally.

Choose Wisely
Some face cleansers have ingredients that strip your skin of moisture. Read the labels, and make sure that what you are putting on your skin (aka the largest organ in your body) will not damage it even further. Look for all natural products and those with soothing ingredients, like oatmeal. We love Briar Mountain Farms (www.briarmtnfarm.com). Their goat’s milk soap is great for sensitive skin (and they are local!). Their soap contains high amounts of proteins, vitamins, and minerals. With plenty of scents to choose from, you can’t go wrong!

Treat Yourself!
Schedule a facial with a skin care professional. If you can’t do that, treat yourself to a facial mask twice a week at home. Our editor uses Innisfree It’s Real Squeeze mask sheets (found on Amazon) and loves them! Choose from trouble care, moisturizing, brightening, and nutritious options. Infused with a blend of herb complex water and ingredients from nature, this real mask adds vitality and energy to your skin.

Bella Loves: Plum Deluxe Tea Blends!

During the winter days filled with blistering winds and icy chills, a hot drink can go a long way! Treat yourself to quality and delicious choices from Plum Deluxe. Their tea is organic and GMO-free, with no sulfites or artificial chemicals! They also list all of their ingredients online and on the packaging, so you know exactly what you’re putting into your body.
chocolate-hazelnut-477x477Plum Deluxe emphasizes the importance of “making moments that matter,” and sells around 14 different blends that help achieve that including Mindful Morning (Earl Grey), Chocolate Hazelnut, and a Self­ Care Tea Blend (elderberry & apricot). Currently, their most popular blend is the Reading Nook Blend, a combination of black tea, lavender, rose, and chamomile. With Valentine’s Day arriving soon, the company is even selling Raspberry Cocoa Truffle Tea for the month of February!
Although you can buy a signature blend of your choice, Plum Deluxe also offers ­ for $10 a month ­ a membership with the Organic Tea of the Month club. Each month you would receive an ounce (around 15 to 20 cups) of the monthly tea, along with a sample of another artisan tea, an invitation to their private tea lover’s community online, and free shipping. If you’re not sure you want to commit, try the Tea Tasting Flight for $4, in which you receive two to three samples of blends of your choosing!
In addition, Plum Deluxe runs a blog called The Blend, ­and sells various tea accessories including Orange Blossom Honey Sticks to put in your tea, a Heart & Soul Tea Infuser, and even a Herbal Bath Sachet for relaxation!

Written by Madison Correiro

Tips for Natural Hair Care This Winter

Harsh winter weather can be detrimental to all different types of hair, but the cold, dry air is especially brutal to Black hair and other types of textured hair. Natural hair, and newly transitioned natural hair, risk undergoing extreme breakage and damage when exposed to the winter elements. Need some help on how to upkeep the quality of your natural hair? Avoid damage this winter with these must have items and habits to introduce to your hair.

natural hair3

  • An Efficient Protective Hairstyle

Protective styling, such as twists, braids, or locs, helps to retain length by stretching out your hair and encouraging growth. With minimal manipulation, you natural hair will be allowed to grow freely, eliminating the constant threat of tangling and breakage. Because your hair will already be in a style, all you have to worry about is maintenance–which allows more time to focus on moisturizing your scalp and roots! But be sure to only keep protective styles in for their maximum time limits–let your hair breathe! Keep box braids in for no longer than three months at the max, for example!

  • A Satin-Lined Beanie

Want to cover up your hair and keep your ears warm in style this winter? Invest in a satin-lined hat or beanie to keep your ends protected and to retain moisture on the go! You can find many of these online on Etsy or you could make one yourself with this easy online tutorial video!

  • Incorporate Heavy Products

Add heavier sealants and oils into your normal routine like shea butter to guarantee maximum moisture retention in the cold weather. You can find heavy shea butter at your local health food store.

  • Wash Your Hair Less

Unlike less textured hair, natural hair requires less frequent washing as it removes essential moisture from already dry hair. At least limit hair washing to every ten days or two weeks to limit drying out your hair even more.  Use fewer products to encourage healthy growth.

natural hair

  • Condition, Condition, Condition!

Ditch the shampoo and co-wash regularly! Carol’s Daughter has a lot of products in stock to cleanse and condition your hair all at once! If you don’t already do so, incorporate frequent deep conditioning treatments to your lifestyle. You can buy products to deep condition with in your local beauty store or stick to hot oil treatments with Extra Virgin Coconut or Olive Oil (and any other essential oils if you’d like!) Apply warmed oil to your hair and scalp and leave on for about an hour. Then, simply rinse and co-wash!

Look Cute and Stay Warm!

To be cute or not to be cute?

That is the question that’s definitely been on most of our minds during this frigid winter. Freezing blasts of cold air have put a damper on daily ensembles around the nation. So who is this invisible enemy, daring us to tuck away sexy heels and lightweight jackets in favor of fur lidded puffer coats and ski masks?

Thanks to the Polar Vortex, a low pressure system of circulating cold air descending south from the North Pole, many of us have put fashion on the backburner in order not to freeze to death when having to deal with weather as low as 1° Fahrenheit in some areas. You shouldn’t have to choose between wanting to look cute and hypothermia, so here are some tips on how to survive the winter weather and still look fly:

  • LAYERS!  The number one way to make it through these frosty days is to pack on lots of layers. This is especially good for constantly moving from outdoors to an indoor setting. You can wear a nice coat, a scarf, a nice blazer, and a comfy cardigan underneath. For the main outfit, try a slip underneath your dress or layering t-shirts. Leggings can go under jeans or trousers or for a more whimsical look, try knee highs over tights!


  • OUTERWEAR: Puffer coats aren’t always the answer. (And if they are, try a less bulky one with a high collar or tailored waist!) This winter, don a double breasted wool pea coat instead, like a Jason Kole product, available at Macy’s for only 79.99!  www.macys.com                                                  
  • Keep your fingers warm and your hands adorable with quirky gloves and fingerless mittens! The Etsy shop, Yastikizi, specializes in handmade hand warmers and other winter fashion necessities to combat the cold weather in style! www.etsy.comwebsitecoldweather
  • Funky tights can add flavor to any drab winter ensemble! Retailers like SockDreams or Romwe have large collections of inexpensive one-of-a-kind legwear sure to make a scene.  www.sockdreams.com or www.romwe.com


Home winterizing checklist

Fall means colorful leaves, apple cider and cooler temperatures. It also means winter’s on its way, so now is the time to winterize your home.

Improve your home’s comfort and energy efficiency with a home energy audit. Making energy efficiency upgrades identified in a home energy audit can save 5 to 30 percent on your monthly energy bill, according to Energy.gov.

If you would rather perform your own walk-through, this checklist can help you prepare your home for colder weather:

Exterior home maintenance tips

* Clean those gutters. Remove leaves and debris, then flush your gutters with water. This will help prevent clogged drains and reduce the potential formation of ice dams, which can cause excess water to get backed up and seep back into the house.

* Clean your window and patio door screens and put them into storage.

* Install storm doors. Storm doors help insulate your home against drafts and strong winds.

* Clean the tracks of patio doors and windows. Use a dry paintbrush to loosen dirt and debris and then vacuum to remove.

* Wash windows.

* Touch up exterior paint where needed.


Indoor home maintenance tips

* Schedule a furnace check-up by a professional to prepare it for the season. Also check to see if the filter needs changing.

* Add insulation. The amount of money you’ll end up saving in heating costs is likely well worth the investment of adding additional insulation to the attic.

* Check with your utility company to see if they offer rebates for energy-efficient home improvements including replacing windows or adding insulation.

* Clean and repair air ducts.

* Wrap pipes. Freezing temperatures can cause pipes to freeze and burst. To help prevent this, insulate pipes with a pre-molded, foam rubber sleeve, available at most local home improvement or hardware stores.

* Reverse fans. Adjust your ceiling fan to rotate clockwise to push rising warm air down.

* Check for leaks and drafts. Stand next to window and door openings to feel if cool air is blowing through. Leaky windows or drafty doors may need to be replaced. If you find a small leak around a window, seal it from the outside with weather-resistant caulk. Also apply weather stripping to exterior doors as needed.

Replace energy-inefficient windows

For a more long-term fix, replace old, drafty windows with a more energy-efficient option. Upgrading from single-pane to double-pane windows can also reduce energy costs, according to Energy Star.