Does drinking water improve your complexion?


I die a little inside every time I hear someone say to me…

“I’ve started drinking more water to help clear my skin.”

Does drinking water improve your complexion?

Biting my tongue, I keep my thoughts to myself because I know that I wouldn’t have the time to fully explain why drinking water is not going to clear their skin.

In fact, a 2010 article published in the scholarly journal Nutrition Reviews confirms the absurdity of this claim by stating:

“One of the more pervasive myths regarding water intake is the improvement of the skin or complexion. Numerous lay sources such as beauty and health magazines as well as the Internet suggest that drinking 8–10 glasses of water a day will ‘flush toxins from the skin’ and ‘give a glowing complexion’ despite a general lack of evidence to support these proposals.”

Now, don’t get me wrong, I understand that drinking water is important for our overall health and I’m certainly not writing this post to discourage you from drinking water.

In fact, during my research I even found a few small studies that demonstrated improvements in skin hydration. Adequate skin hydration, however, is not sufficient to clear acne or to prevent wrinkles and other concerns related to skin complexion.(1)

So if you are forcing yourself to drink gallons of water a day in the hopes of improving your complexion, I hope you’ll take the time to read the facts, evidence, and reputable sources that back this article. My goal is to put an end to the belief that drinking water can improve your complexion!

The science of drinking water

The reason why there is a lack of evidence supporting the claim that drinking water can improve skin’s complexion can be explained by science.

Let’s think about it from an anatomical perspective:

When you drink water, it begins its decent through the digestive tract. The majority of fluids in the diet are absorbed in the duodenum (the proximal small intestine) and the rate at which these fluids are absorbed is dictated by the rate of gastric emptying to the small intestine.(1)  Clear fluids, such as water, are emptied from the stomach rapidly (T1/2  30 minutes).(2)


Image from WebMD


No matter how much water is consumed, the rate of water absorption is still dependent upon gastric emptying rate and is limited by the absorption capacity of the intestines. Even if there is an increased absorption of water through the intestines, it’s not like this excess water is going to be delivered straight to your skin cells. As if your body knows that you want to minimize the appearance of wrinkles on your face.

California dermatologist Dr. Katie Rodan gives the perfect analogy to explain this concept.

“Humans aren’t like plants. Our skin doesn’t perk up when we consume water. Water doesn’t go straight to the skin, it goes through the intestines, gets absorbed into your bloodstream, and is filtered by the kidneys. Then it hydrates cells.” (3)

Human Aren't Like Plants

The relationship between water and your skin

However, an important relationship does exist between water and our skin: the skin maintains water levels in the body by preventing the loss of water into the environment. This is accomplished due to the overlapping cellular structure of the stratum corneum and lipid content of the skin, which serves as “waterproofing” for the body. (1)

The cause of skin dryness has been associated with many factors, including exposure to dry air, prolonged contact with hot water, scrubbing with soap, various diseases, and some medications.

Of note, severe levels of dehydration can manifest in reduced skin turgor (the skin’s ability to change shape and return to normal) with tenting of the skin as a flag for dehydration. (1)

Studies and expert opinions

Everyday Health featured an article titled “10 Myths and Facts About Water” in which one of the myths included “drinking water can help keep your skin moist.” To confirm, Amy Hess-Fischl, RD, CDE, explains:

“Unless the individual is severely dehydrated, drinking large quantities of water will not prevent dry skin. Basically, the moisture level of skin is not determined by internal factors. Instead, external factors such as skin cleansing, the environment, the number of oil glands, and the functioning of these oil-producing glands determine how dry the skin is or will become. The water that is consumed internally will not reach the epidermis [the top layer of the skin].” (4)

Another expert that has debunked the myth that water will improve complexion is Dr. Mehmet Oz, cardiothoracic surgeon and TV personality. This myth was tested by researchers along with 40 other experiments in the five-part television series called The Truth About Food, hosted by Dr. Oz.

In a survey for The Truth About Food, 85 percent of those surveyed reported that they believed a person should drink at least a half-gallon of water each day to keep their skin looking young. To put this myth to the test, Dr. Oz conducted a very small experiment with twins Susie and Alice. Both women admitted to drinking a lot of water (up to a liter and a half per day) because they believed it made a difference in their skin.

To determine whether water really does make a difference, researchers first measured the moisture, elasticity and oiliness of each girl’s skin. Over the next week, the twins ate the same diet-except Alice drank plenty of water, and Suzie drank no water. (5)

Dr. Oz says whether the twins drank water or not made no difference to their skin. Why? Dr. Oz explains that the main reason for this we get enough water from the foods we eat every day and the effects of drinking extra water are negligible.

My last expert opinion comes from Paula Begun, the author of 20+ best-selling books on cosmetics, busts this beauty myth by saying:

“If all it took to get rid of dry skin was to drink more water, then no one would have dry skin and moisturizers would stop being sold. Ironically, dry skin is not as simple as just a lack of water. So, drinking more water won’t make dry skin look or feel better (but you will be visiting the bathroom more frequently!).”

So what can you do to improve your complexion?

Fortunately, you control 80% of your skin’s destiny. Your complexion can be improved by following these 3 main principles:

  1. Eat the right kinds of foods
  2. Be cautious of what you expose your skin to
  3. Use an appropriate moisturizer


What are the right kinds of foods?

Dr. Leslie Baumann, a professor of dermatology at the University of Miami Florida suggest to incorporate foods in your diet that are high in essential fatty acids to help skin cells stay hydrated. Examples of foods rich in EFAs include walnuts, flaxseed, salmon, and olive oil. (3)



What should I avoid exposing my skin to?

The following factors will strip oil from your skin, leaving it dry and more prone to breakouts and signs of aging:

  • Prolonged exposure to hot water
  • Dry air
  • Extreme weather conditions
  • Harsh soaps and astringents


How can I choose an appropriate moisturizer?

Moisturizers are intended to coat the skin to prevent it from losing water as well as provide protection and healing.

A good moisturizer should also be hypoallergenic, non-sensitizing, and non-comedogenic. (6)

There are three types of moisturizers:

1. Occlusive – physically prevent against water loss by forming a thin film over the surface of the skin and can be very helpful for severe dryness. However, they can be messy and not very cosmetically appealing (these mostly consist of oils)

2. Humectant – absorb water from the atmosphere and also from the lower layers of the skin, making the upper skin that is touchable, more moisturized. (7) One negative about humectants is their potential to draw water from surrounding cells that can actually dry the skin further. (6)

3. Reparative – combine the properties of both occlusive and humectant moisturizers.


Is your goal to improve your skin’s hydration?

In May, dermatologists Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields released a product that can raise the skin’s hydration level by 200%! It’s called Active Hydration Serum, and if you haven’t tried it yet, you need to! Read my full review on Active Hydration Serum here.

Rodan and Fields Active Hydration Serum Review

So does drinking water improve your complexion?

Using the research and expert opinions that I outlined in this article along with my own personal experience I have concluded that no, drinking water does not improve your complexion.

Yes, that is right I, too, fell for this myth a while back. Mostly due to desperation because for some reason I started getting horrible acne. Like painful cystic acne. Nothing I put on my face helped it. Not even prescription products!

While this is embarrassing to admit, I started to try to drink a gallon of water every day after watching a YouTube video by some guy who said it had cleared his acne. Well, the only thing this habit did was make me have to pee about 1294948 times a day.

What did work for me was when I started to clean up my diet, investing in my skin with the Unblemish regimen, and committing to taking care of my face better.





  1. Nutr Rev. 2010 Aug; 68(8): 439–458.
Skincare benefits of purslane


In this post I’m giving you the details on the skincare benefits of purslane.


Wait, wait. Back it up. What the heck is purslane?!


Okay, I’ll admit that I didn’t know what purslane was until last week when I had to do some research on it for work.


As a skincare blogger, though, I was really excited when I found out all of the skincare benefits of purslane! Keep reading to learn exactly what purslane is and how it can benefit your skin.

Skincare benefits of purslane

Portulaca oleracea, otherwise known as purslane, is an annual succulent that has a variety of different uses all over the world. In the United States, purslane is commonly mistaken for a weed. In Europe, this plant is eaten as a leafy vegetable in salads and soups. And in traditional Chinese medicine purslane is used for insect or snake bites on the skin. The long history of dermatologic uses of purslane in traditional Chinese medicine were almost forgotten until recent research discovered that this natural substance is highly effective in the field of anti-aging.


Get this: Purslane contains more omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid in particular) than any other leafy vegetable plant. (. 2014) Additionally, a publication in BioMed Research International shares how purslane also contains high levels of vitamins E, C, and beta carotene. All 3 of these ingredients are powerful antioxidants that can help to brighten your complexion and even prevent future signs of aging by reducing UV-induced damage. 


I bet you are wondering where you can find products that contain this natural yet effective ingredient, right? Well, it turns out that purslane is quite rare in the skincare and beauty industry despite all of its benefits. So far I have only found two brands that contain this ingredient: the Dr. Barbara Sturm Anti-Aging Primer and the the Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream. I have not tried either of these two products yet, so I cannot give my specific recommendations. But knowing that they contain purslane is a definite plus!

I hope that further research will be done on the skincare benefits of purslane so that more brands will begin using this powerful ingredient.

Do you know of any skincare products that contain purslane? If so, please leave me a comment so I can update the post accordingly!




About 3 months ago, I made an impulse buy at the Vitamin Shoppe and bought a powder form of the dietary supplement collagen. And now I’m hooked!


Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.


I’m usually not one to make impulse decisions when shopping, but oh well, at least this is better than buying another pair of shoes, right?

I decided to start taking collagen after reading an article published in the journal Clinical Interventions in Aging which described how a 12-week study found that collagen could counteract signs of natural aging of the skin.

It has also been shown to support the growth of healthy hair and nails as well as support the joints.

So is collagen the secret to healthy skin, hair, and joints?

As always, I’ve done the research to find out and I want to share it with you!



What is collagen?

I bet you’re wondering what exactly collagen is, how it prevents wrinkles and other signs of aging, and whether or not it’s safe to take.

Let’s start with the basics.

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, found in connective tissues such as bones, cartilage, tendons, teeth, digestive system, muscles, skin, etc. You could think of collagen as the building block protein that keeps our skin, hair, nails, and other body parts durable and strong.

To date, 29 types of collagen have been identified, however, over 90% of collagen throughout the body is of type 1 through 5, with type 1 being the most abundant. Below are the tissues and organs where collagen types 1 through 5 can be found.

  • Collagen type I: skin, tendon, vascular, ligature, organs, bone
  • Collagen type II: cartilage
  • Collagen type III: reticulate fibers
  • Collagen type IV: forms bases of cell basement membrane

However, our body’s natural production of collagen slows down as we age. Therefore, supplementing with this protein daily can increase the amount of collagen in our bodies and lead to the following benefits. 


Skin is the largest organ in the human body. It makes sense, then, that type I collagen is the most abundant out of all 29 types that have been identified. When it comes to the skin, collagen provides the skin with strength and elasticity, and also helps to replace dead skin cells.

A 2014 double-blind, placebo-controlled trial studied the effects of oral administration of collagen to women ages 35 to 55. The women were randomized to either receive the treatment (2.5 to 5 grams of collagen hydrolysate once daily) or placebo for 8 weeks.  At the end of the study, skin elasticity in the treatment group showed statistically significant improvement in comparison to the placebo group. (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology)


Image via Healthy Habits

However, it’s important to note that while oral intake of collagen supplements can be beneficial to the skin, putting collagen in a topical skincare product is worthless. Applying collagen topically has never been shown to stimulate collagen synthesis or growth. This is because collagens have a molecular weight of 15000 to 50000, making them too large to penetrate the top layer of skin. Typically only molecules of size 5000 Daltons or less can effectively permeate the skin.


The stiff, achy, swollen joints that come with older age are caused by decreased production of collagen. It has been proven, however, that supplementation with oral collagen can be beneficial for those suffering from joint pain! We are taught in pharmacy school that the best OTC treatment for osteoarthritis is acetaminophen (Tylenol). Since reading that osteoarthritis patients can find relief from their symptoms by supplementing with collagen, I am now going to recommend collagen supplements to my patients. Not only is it a natural remedy, but it also does not have the risk of liver toxicity like with acetaminophen.



If collagen is the secret to healthy skin, hair, and joints, how can it help with weight loss, too? It turns out that 2 scoops of collagen packs in about 20 grams of protein! Adding those 2 scoops to your morning coffee or juice can help you to feel fuller for longer! According to Authority Nutrition, protein can even out hunger levels, reduce late night junk food cravings, and even boost metabolism.


My experience with collagen

I purchased the NeoCell Super Powder Collagen. This brand has a known reputation for producing high quality collagen supplements over the past two decades.

Since this supplement is formulated as a tasteless powder, I will either add it on top of my morning oatmeal or blend it into a smoothie.

Over the 3 months that I have been taking collagen as a dietary supplement, I have noticed a difference in the rate at which my hair grows and a reduced likelihood of breakage!

Collagen the secret to healthy skin hair and joints


So is collagen the secret to healthy skin, hair, and joints?

In my opinion, there’s not just one “secret” to maintaining health and well-being, but I do believe supplementing with collagen can replace the collagen that is lost over time. Plus, a 30-day supply is only $10.85! And it’s easy to add to a smoothie, oatmeal, or even just mixed with water since it has no taste.



So would you give collagen a try for healthy skin, hair, and joints? Leave me a comment with your thoughts below!





Nothing makes me more excited than trying out a new subscription box.

From Stitch Fix to Birchbox, I get the same feeling as I do opening presents on Christmas morning while I’m opening a new subscription box!

So when I was given the opportunity to try a Shtrands personalized hair care regimen, I was all for it. If your goal is to achieve healthy, beautiful hair while saving yourself time and money, keep scrolling to read my full review on how Shtrands can do just that! 

(Hint: If you’re a blonde, you have to read how the purple shampoo in my Shtrands box saved my blonde hair!)


Disclosure: This box was received for review purposes.

Shtrands Personalized Hair Care Regimens

What is a Shtrands Personalized Hair Care Regimen?

If you haven’t heard of Shtrands yet, here’s a quick summary: 

Shtrands is an online platform that recommends and delivers truly personalized high-quality hair care regimens, based on a subscription model. Every regimen consists of a combination of 4 full sized products among them, cleansing, conditioning treatment and styling products.

Essentially, Shtrands provides you with the formula for hair care success:

Expert recommendations + high-quality products + convenient delivery

  • Expert recommendations: A team of certified hairstylists and cosmetics chemists recommend personalized hair care regimens that are unique to each customer’s needs.
  • High-quality products: Shtrands works with a broad variety of brands, from salon indie brands to emerging and established professional hair care brands. Before they bring a new brand on board they test and carry trials with each product to ensure they a high-quality, which I thought was very impressive.
  • Convenient delivery to your front door: All hair care regimens are delivered to your doorstep (with free shipping!) so that you can achieve salon results at home.


To get started, you’ll first choose from one of the following three subscription plans:

  • Most popular: $59 for one regimen delivered every other month
  • Try it: $59 for one regimen delivered every 3 months
  • Best value: 6-month plan, pay $149 upfront for one regimen delivered every other month (15% savings)

The best part is that all of the subscriptions come with free shipping to the continental US!

Shtrands Personalized Hair Care Regimens Subscription Plans


All subscription plans have the same structure for the hair care regimen: a combination of 4 full size products among cleansing, conditioning, treatment, and styling products.

The products are handpicked by the experts based on your specific hair care needs. In order to match you with the best products, you’ll be directed to fill out a questionnaire after you have chosen the subscription plan that works best for you.

Shtrands Profile Quiz

I was very impressed with the questionnaire, which on the website is referred to as a “Profile Quiz.” It asked detailed questions so that the Shtrands team could have a complete understanding of my hair type, my current hair care practices, and my main hair concerns.

To give you an example, here is a screenshot from my Profile Quiz:


I filled out the profile quiz as thoroughly as I could, with an emphasis on two major hair concerns:

  1. The tendency for my blonde color to get yellow/brassy very quickly
  2. DAMAGE (split ends, frizz, breakage, etc.)

I have these hair concerns because well, I’m obsessed with being a blonde.


While my hair is naturally a dirty blonde, I’ve been highlighting it since I was in middle school. And it has come a long way since those middle school days of streaky yellow highlights that now make me cringe when I see yearbook pictures.

Now, I prefer my hair to be as light and cool as possible without looking bleached out. Besides getting it heavily toned when I’m at the salon, I have used a variety of purple shampoos/conditioners over the years to prevent it from turning yellow. Before Shtrands, my favorite was the Joico Purple Shampoo.



While I love the look of my blonde hair, I hate how damaging it can be! And trust me, my hair has seen its fair share of damage. I’m talking split ends and frizz so bad that I’ve taken scissors to them myself because I couldn’t stand it anymore.

It hasn’t been that bad in a while, but I still wanted to convey to the Shtrands team my desire for products that would combat damage as much as possible. After I completed the Profile Quiz, that was it! The Shtrands team used the information that I provided to choose the best products to fit my hair care needs.


The Shtrands Subscription Box

My Shtrands box was delivered right to my doorstep via USPS after just two days. Upon opening the box, I found a handwritten note along with a canvas tote that held the products.


I thought the handwritten note added a personal touch, something that you don’t see too often nowadays. The note described which products were included in my hair care regimen as well as how to use each of them.


One of my favorite parts of this subscription box was the canvas tote that held the products. I was not aware that the subscription came with this tote, so it was definitely a pleasant surprise!

Plus, the tote is high quality: it feels very durable and has a zipper closure along with a loop handle on the side. It is large enough to hold all four products plus has room for either one more product or a brush – perfect for use during travel.


First impression with my Shtrands personalized hair care regimen? I thought the whole process was simple and the presentation was very high quality, surpassing my expectations. Now, onto the products!

My experience with the products

I am happy to say that the Shtrands team listened to my concerns and provided products that would best fit my needs.

Each item in my Shtrands personalized hair care regimen was from the company Abril et Nature, a brand out of Barcelona. I had not previously heard of this brand, but I am always open to trying something new!


After doing some research, I discovered that Abril et Nature has been in business since 1998 and has 9 different lines of hair care products which are only available for purchase by salons and certified hair care professionals.

Below are the products that I received as part of my Shtrands personalized hair care regimen along with a brief description of each:


Rehydration Shampoo & Instant Mask


Both the shampoo and instant mask (which I was instructed to use as a regular conditioner) that I received were from the Abril et Nature Rehydration Treatment Line.

This line contains all kinds of healthy hair ingredients, such as amino acids that serve to hydrate the hair fiber from the inside and lipids that closely mimic those that are normally found on the scalp, which provides protection and shine.

But what I was most excited about from this line was the UV-filter in these products. Did you know that excessive sun exposure can damage the structural integrity of the hair strand? Signs of sun-damaged hair include discoloration, dry and brittle strands, thinning, frizziness, and broken or split ends. Knowing that these products had a UV-filter built in to protect my hair against damages from the sun made me feel at ease because I’m always outside in the summer!


Silk treatment 


The Silk Treatment Instant Mask is part of Abril et Nature’s Keratin Line, which is specially designed to regenerate hair damaged by coloring or bleaching. The keratin seals and coats the color, adding plenty of moisture, shine, and softness.


Silver shampoo


The use of either a silver or purple shampoo for blondes and women with grey/platinum hair is an absolute must to keep brassy tones at bay.

The Abril et Nature silver shampoo contains a micro-suspension of emollient oils that increases color intensity and shine. Plus, this line also contains UV filters to avoid damage from sun exposure.

Keep reading to hear about my amazing results with this silver shampoo!




All products sent in a Shtrands personalized hair care regimen (not just by Abril et nature) are valued between $20 and $25. So the total cost of these products outside of Shtrands would be between $80 and $100. I’d say that’s a really great value considering the regimens are $59!


My Results

I am writing this review after using my Shtrands personalized hair care regimen for almost two weeks. This may not seem like enough time to see results, but I noticed a difference in my hair after just one wash!

I have to start with my favorite product: the Silver Shampoo! After the first time washing my hair with the silver shampoo, I could not believe how well this product worked. I had finished drying my hair, looked at my reflection in the mirror, and all I could say was WOW! It was the perfect shade of blonde. No exaggeration here. SHTRANDS PERSONALIZED HAIR CARE REGIMEN RESULTS


Aside from my infatuation with the Silver Shampoo, I was also thoroughly impressed with the other Abril et Nature products. Using the Rehydration Shampoo, the first thing that I noticed was that my hair was actually soft and not tangled after rinsing the shampoo. Normally, my hair would be tangled and screaming for conditioner after using any other shampoo!

The Rehydration Instant Mask amplified the softness of my hair. I left it on for several minutes, rinsed, and upon getting out of the shower get this: I could actually run a comb through my hair! Normally, I have to apply a leave-in conditioner, such as the Framesi Color Lover Primer 11. It’s safe to say that I will be able to eliminate the need to have to purchase/use this product because my hair is tangle-free after using the Abril et Nature products!

Lastly, the Shtrands team instructed me to use the Silk Treatment just once a week, so I’ve only used it twice now, but I’ve already noticed some major differences in my hair:

  • There’s a reason it’s called the silk treatment… I couldn’t get over the smooth, silky feel of my hair after rinsing this product out!
  • I no longer have flyaways!! I have been styling my hair with the same practices (blow-drying, curling iron, straightener) but now I don’t have flyaways creeping up on the top of my head
  • My damaged areas are less frizzy

Clearly, I loved all 4 of my products in my Shtrands personalized hair care regimen. But the neat thing about Shtrands is if I wanted a different product for my next subscription, all I have to do is let them know. Or I could receive a whole new regimen if that is what I wanted – so the regimens are truly personalized!

Final thoughts

Overall, my Shtrands personalized hair care regimen surpassed my expectations.

I thought the process of filling out a Profile Quiz was extremely well-thought out as well as user-friendly. The presentation of the Shtrands subscription box (handwritten card + canvas tote + products) was very high quality and personal. The hair care products have given me amazing results so far, I still cannot believe what a difference they have made in such a short period of time.

I think what impressed me the most was the ingenuity of this unique service. Shtrands goes beyond broad classifications and customizes hair care regimens specifically for you and your hair type. This service can eliminate the guesswork that comes with trying new products and can also give you peace of mind knowing your regimen has been selected specifically for you!

So would you like to try a Shtrands personalized hair care regimen?

All of my readers can get 15% off any subscription by entering the coupon code HAIRLOVE.


I’d love to hear your thoughts on Shtrands! Leave me a comment below 🙂


Skin Care Products


Taking care of my skin is extremely important to me. Not only does taking care of my skin help me to look my best, it also helps me to feel my best. A clear, healthy, glowing complexion is one important aspect of having self-confidence. It’s the first thing people see, after all!

My goal is, of course, to always be confident in my own skin and not have to rely on heavy foundation/concealer/cover-up/whatever to hide my face. That’s just not what I’m about! So in this post I’m sharing 7 skin care products you need to add to your daily routine. These are my favorite products that I use on a daily basis to help me to achieve that dewy, sun-kissed glow – in a natural way!

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links.

Skin Care Products You Need to Add to Your Daily Routine

Jojoba Oil 100% Natural Makeup Remover

1. Makeup remover: Jojoba oil 100% natural makeup remover

Let me just preface with this: mascara is my thing! If I were stranded on an island and could only bring one makeup product with me, I’d bring my mascara. Long lashes are powerful, ladies. That being said, I greatly dislike the process of removing my mascara. Until I found jojoba oil, however.

At first I was afraid of putting straight oil on my face since my skin is naturally on the oily side and has a tendency to break out. However, I learned that jojoba oil is non-comedogenic because of how closely it mimics human sebum (natural oil produced by skin). It actually helps to control acne by signaling to the sebaceous glands to stop overproducing sebum, thus decreasing the chances of the pores getting clogged with excess oil. 

Besides help to remove makeup and control acne, jojoba oil also helps to keep the skin hydrated by forming a protective barrier on the top layer of skin thereby trapping in moisture. 

Using jojoba oil as a makeup remover effectively removed all traces of makeup and leaves my face feeling soft. I’ll never use another makeup remover again!

2. Cleanser: Rodan + Fields REDEFINE Daily Cleansing Mask  Kaolin based DAILY CLEANSING MASK

To this day I am still in awe of how soft this product leaves my face feeling. The secret behind how this mask softens the skin so well is the kaolin. Kaolin is a soft, earthy white clay mineral that is environmentally safe to use in cosmetics and skincare products. The REDEFINE Daily Cleansing Mask will draw any and all impurities from your pores without robbing your skin of essential moisture. I use it both morning and night!



3. Toner: Burt’s Bees Rosewater Toner  Burt's Bees Rosewater Toner

The Burt’s Bees Rosewater Toner is light, refreshing, and the scent is like a garden of roses – literally. While there are many other toners that I have used and loved, this one made the cut because it is perfect for any skin type and does not dry out the skin at all.




4. Antioxidant serum: FutureDerm CE Caffeic Silk Serum 16 + 2  FutureDerm CE Caffeic Serum

Two words come to mind every time I apply this serum: smooth and silky! Not only does the FutureDerm CE Caffeic Silk Serum feel great, it can give you real results. The unprecedented 16% vitamin C, 2% vitamin E, and caffeic acid are all excellent antioxidants that help scavenge UV-induced free radicals as well as stimulate collagen production in the skin. I apply this serum every morning underneath of my moisturizer to have bright, smooth skin all day long.


5. Daytime moisturizer: Neutrogena oil-free moisture SPF 15  Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture SPF 15

I have two main priorities when choosing a moisturizer to use during the day: one, of course, is to protect against sun damage, and the second is to moisturize without clogging my pores. Neutrogena’s oil-free moisture accomplishes both of these tasks, which is why it is one of my favorite daytime moisturizers.

According to Dr. Joshua Zeichner, M.D., assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, SPF 15 block 94% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays, which is why I use this moisturizer for every day use when I’m out and about. However, if I’m planning to hit the beach for the day I’ll bump up to a moisturizer with SPF 30, which blocks 97% of the sun’s UV  rays.


6. Night cream: FutureDerm Time Release Retinol 0.5 FutureDerm Time-Release Retinol

After months of dealing with red, irritated, peeling skin from my prescription strength retinoid (tretinoin 0.05%) I had pretty much dismissed all retinoid products, despite their reputation as being the gold standard of anti-aging skincare. But after my success with the FutureDerm CE Caffeic Silk Serum, I was excited to try the FutureDerm Time Release Retinol 0.5. I’m happy to say that I’ve had success with this retinol product! It is gentle and does not irritate my skin. While I’m lucky enough to not have to deal with wrinkles yet, I am using this product nightly to help delay the development of wrinkles and other signs of aging.

7. Eye cream: Rodan + Fields multifunction eye cream Rodan + Fields Multi-function eye cream

I cannot even begin to describe how much time (and money!) I’ve spent trying to find an adequate eye cream. Although I am only in my twenties, I wanted to start using an eye cream to prevent signs of aging and minimize the crow’s feet that were already starting to creep up around my eyes.

After my first use of the R+F multifunction eye cream, I knew my search was over. It was the first eye cream that did not leave the skin surrounding my eyes irritated, red, and dry. Rather, it was very smooth, moisturizing, and soothing. Within about a month of nightly use the lines around my eyes were less noticeable. It has even helped to reduce puffiness and dark circles that I tend to get after a few too many nights with not enough sleep!


All from my own personal use and experience, those are the 7 skin care products that I recommend to add to your daily routine. Do you have any go-to products in your daily skin care routine? Leave me a comment below! 🙂



Free Radicals and Antioxidants


The topic of free radicals and antioxidants can be complex, so that’s why I’m going to break it down for you! This post will cover exactly what free radicals and antioxidants are, and why they are important in both your diet and your skin care routine.

Free Radicals and Antioxidants

So what is an antioxidant?

Let’s break it down: As we know “anti” means opposed to, therefore we know that antioxidants are substances that are opposed to oxidants.

…but what are oxidants?

Oxidants, also called free radicals, are substances that have the ability to oxidize other substances (cause them to lose electrons). They have an unpaired electron in their atomic orbital, but are still able to exist independently. An atomic orbital is capable of holding two electrons, but free radicals only have one unpaired electron, which makes the free radical unstable and highly reactive.

When free radicals contain oxygen, they are called reactive oxygen species (ROS). Under normal conditions, oxygen molecules are stable and nonreactive because they have an even number of electrons. Once again, however, when reactions occur that leave the oxygen molecule with an odd number of electrons, the molecule becomes unstable and highly reactive.

Why are free radicals bad?

Due to the high reactivity of free radicals, they will attempt to either donate that single electron to another molecule or accept an electron from another molecule so that they can become stabilized. This can lead to a chain of events that starts ripping electrons off surrounding molecules. 

The problem arises when the free radicals react with our important cellular components, such as DNA, proteins, carbohydrates, or the cell membrane. When this happens, the cells become dysfunctional or undergo apoptosis (cell death). Collectively, the damage to cells in our body is referred to as oxidative stress. Many environmental factors can lead to oxidative stress, such as pollution, cigarette smoke, UV radiation, chemicals, etc. 

Free radicals and antioxidants

Fortunately, the body has a defense mechanism against free radicals: antioxidants. Antioxidants work through many different mechanisms, with the main objective being to interfere with oxidative processes that produce harmful free radicals and ROS. For example, they may act by scavenging free radicals and breaking the chain of reactions, by binding metal ions, or by removing oxidatively damaged biomolecules. (Karger, 2001) 

In order for the body to defend against free radicals, it must be supported with antioxidants. Some antioxidants are produced by our bodies and others we must obtain from our diet. There are hundreds and hundreds of antioxidants that come from different foods such as fruits and vegetables, but here are some of the more common antioxidants:

  • Alpha tocopherol (vitamin E)
  • Ascorbic acid (vitamin C)
  • Beta carotene
  • Lycopene
  • Resveratrol
  • Selenium

Under ideal circumstances, the body can balance the level of antioxidants with the number of free radicals it’s exposed to in order to prevent them from damaging cells. However, this balance can be disrupted by factors like poor nutrition and toxin exposure, which causes the level of antioxidants in the body to be lower than that of free radicals. When this happens, oxidative processes can wreak havoc in the body, manifesting as accelerated aging, damaged or mutated cells, an overloaded immune system, and the activation of harmful genes within DNA. (Dr. Axe)


So how do we prevent free radical damage?

Of course, the first and most important way to prevent free radical damage is to intake enough antioxidants through our diet. If you eat a diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables, you are probably getting the right amount of antioxidants. However, if you want to up your antioxidant game, check out this top 10 list of foods containing the highest amount of antioxidants.



  1. Rice bran (24,287)
  2. Dark chocolate (20,816)
  3. Black raspberries (19,220)
  4. Semi-sweet chocolate  (18,053)
  5. Pecans (17,940)
  6. Ginger root, raw (14,840)
  7. Elderberries (14.697)
  8. Golden raisins (10,450)
  9. Black chia seeds (9,800)
  10. Blueberries (9,621)

I created this top 10 list of foods based on the 2017 data developed by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). (

The foods are in descending order based on their ORAC scores with rice bran being the highest 24,287 ORAC score and blueberries coming in at a 9,621 ORAC score.

(psst…if you are like I was and are wondering what ORAC score means I’ll fill you in: ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity and it is a lab test that determines the amount of antioxidant activity the food has in the body.)

Of note, there are many herbs and spices (such as oregano, cinnamon, and turmeric) that have higher ORAC values than the foods I listed, but I did not add these because I wanted to mainly focus on antioxidants in foods.

I cannot even begin to describe the excitement I felt when I saw that dark chocolate is one of the foods that contains a high amount of antioxidants! I love dark chocolate.

Free Radicals and AntioxidantsAlso, while it does not make the top 10 list, coffee has also been shown to have antioxidant properties! Win for all of us coffee-addicts!

No need to worry my tea-lovers: the polyphenols found in green tea can help prevent against depletion of antioxidant enzymes. (FutureDerm)



  • Bright, glowing, healthy skin
  • Slows down the aging process as it relates to skin, eyes, brain, joints, etc.
  • Protection against cardiovascular disease
  • Decreases risk for developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Less risk of vision disorders (i.e. cataracts)
  • And more!!

Click here to try my Antioxidant Smoothie Recipe & learn how you can start incorporating antioxidants into your diet TODAY!


As mentioned above, eating a diet rich in antioxidants can help keep your skin looking youthful. But what about all of the skincare products that are marketed to contain antioxidants?

Using an antioxidant skincare product is one of the best ways to keep your complexion bright and glowing. When applied topically, antioxidants can help to prevent free radical accumulation from common stressors (UV radiation, chemicals, other toxins) that can destroy our skin’s collagen, thus causing wrinkles and other signs of aging.Free radicals and antioxidants

During my research, I found that certain antioxidants are especially potent when applied topically, including


  • Vitamins C and E
  • Ferulic acid
  • Caffeic acid
  • Phloretin
  • Resveratrol
  • Green tea
  • Grapeseed extract
  • Coenzyme Q10


So are all antioxidant skincare products created equal? Well, not exactly. Below are my top 3 picks for the most effective antioxidant serums on the market:


1.FutureDerm vitamin CE caffeic silk serum 16+2 This product has a smooth and silky application and it can give you real results. The unprecedented 16% vitamin C, 2% vitamin E, and caffeic acid are all excellent antioxidants that help scavenge UV-induced free radicals as well as stimulate collagen production in the skin.


2. Rodan and Fields REVERSE Dual Active Brightening Complex – This product contains vitamin C to effectively brighten the skin along with retinol to diminish signs of wrinkles and fine lines. Plus, this R+F combo is formulated with Kojic Acid and Licorice to improve the appearance of uneven skin tone over time.


3. Skinceuticals CE Ferulic – This product combines L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C), alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E), and ferulic acid (a polyphenol) to maximize antioxidant performance. It made the top 3 list because of its proven efficacy: in 2003, an independent study by Lin et. al. found that the solution of 15% L-ascorbic acid and 1% alpha-tocopherol increases photoprotection against damaging UV rays and free radical formation.


Keep in mind that the best way to reap all of the benefits of antioxidants is to incorporate them into your skincare routine and your diet. This is because some topical products cannot reach the deepest layers of the skin and antioxidants in foods and supplements may not make it to the top layers, according to Dr. Leslie Baumann, M.D., dermatologist in Miami, Florida.


So what are your thoughts on antioxidants? Do you have any favorite products? Share in the comments below 🙂

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Rodan and Fields Active Hydration Serum


Rodan and Fields Active Hydration SerumEven though the product has just been released to customers this May, I’m sure you’ve heard (or at least seen a Facebook post) from a friend or family member all about it: Rodan and Fields Active Hydration Serum. And there’s a reason for all the hype: this stuff works! 


Drs. Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields have created a product that is truly for ALL skin, regardless of type. Because everyone could benefit from more hydration, right? Well, if moisture and hydration are what you’re looking for, this product will do the job. In fact, a clinical study proved that Active Hydration Serum can raise the skin’s hydration level by 200% from the very first use. 

And guess what? I’m going to tell you exactly HOW it works and WHY you need it!

Rodan and Fields 3D3P MATRIX

What’s in Rodan and Fields Active Hydration Serum?

This serum combines some of the very best hydrating skin care ingredients to create a moisture-loving super serum. Most notable is the proprietary 3D3P Molecular Matrix technology that combines an unprecedented 30% glycerin and hyaluronic acid. Okay, I know that sounds complicated, but I’m going to break it down for you.

Most moisturizers and hydrating serums on the market today are between 1 to 3% glycerin. The reason why no other product has even come close to the 30% glycerin found in Rodan and Fields Active Hydration Serum is because typically glycerin can begin to feel very sticky at high levels. Not exactly a desired characteristic for a facial serum.

So how did Rodan + Fields do it? The doctors developed their 3D3P molecular matrix. The molecular matrix contains 3 different polymers. Polymers are made up of many molecules all strung together to form really long chains. (PSLC) Each polymer has a specific function:

  • One polymer enables the serum to bind to the stratum corneum (the top layer of your skin)
  • The middle polymer functions as a sponge to absorb the moisture from the surrounding air
  • The top polymer prevents the serum from evaporating from your skin

So what’s the big deal with glycerin?

Propane-1,2,3-triol, aka glycerin (also called glycerol), is a colorless, odorless, viscous liquid. (1) It is non-toxic and is used in many cosmetic products and pharmaceutical formulations as a humectant. A humectant is a substance that is able to attract moisture from the air and retain it on or under a surface. Understanding the properties of glycerin help us to understand why Rodan and Fields Active Hydration Serum is able to draw moisture in from the air around us and keep our skin moisturized all day long.

Rodan and Fields Active Hydration Serum

Let’s not forget about the hyaluronic acid..

Hyaluronic acid can be naturally found in the human body. It is an anionic, non-sulfated glycosaminoglycan that plays an important role in our epidermis, among numerous other tissue groups. In the epidermis, hyaluronic acid is responsible for scavenging for free radicals and increasing keratinocyte proliferation. The best part about hyaluronic acid? When hyaluronic acid comes in contact with your skin, it absorbs 1,000 times its own weight in water!

There’s more?!

Yes, there are more awesome ingredients in the new Rodan and Fields Active Hydration! Like all of the ceramides (good fats) that naturally make up the stratum corneum of your epidermis and the PCAs (pyrrolidone carboxylic acid) that aid in replenishing the skin with moisture. And here’s a twist: one ingredient in the Rodan and Fields Active Hydration Serum is sea salt. The benefits of sea salt seem endless: it is full of minerals, softens and hydrates skin, increases circulation, exfoliates, and more! (Livestrong)


Why you need Rodan and Fields Active Hydration Serum

Rodan and Fields Active Hydration SerumEveryone needs this product. Why? Well, everyone has skin, right? Um, this is a no brainer!

See, you need to have hydrated skin for all of the products you already use to work! Ingredients are absorbed better if your skin is well-hydrated and moist.

Increase the efficacy of the products you are already use and love while maintaining adequate skin hydration by using the new Rodan and Fields Active Hydration Serum. 

Click here to purchase a two month supply for $97.

Antioxidant Smoothie


If you’re up for learning something new that can give you bright and glowing skin, fight off diseases, and even prevent cancer head over to my post on all of the benefits of antioxidants. But if you’re just here for the antioxidant smoothie recipe, keep on scrolling! 🙂

Antioxidant Smoothie Recipe

So what makes this an antioxidant smoothie?

Blueberries: The main source of antioxidants in this smoothie, blueberries are actually one of the top 10 antioxidant rich foods you can eat!

Pomegranate: Not as high in antioxidants as blueberries, but still a great source to combat free radicals that are causing wrinkles and signs of aging!

Black Chia Seeds: These tiny seeds actually possess more antioxidant activity than blueberries! Not sure if you like chia seeds? Try mixing them into the smoothie as opposed to using them as a topping. You won’t even be able to taste them!

Mango: This fruit falls low on the antioxidant scale, but I included it because it is one of my favorite fruits! It also gives the smoothie natural sweetness. If you aren’t a mango fanatic like I am, try substituting it with a banana or peach!

Antioxidant Smoothie Recipe

Antioxidant Smoothie Recipe


1 cup blueberries

1/2 cup frozen mango chunks

1/2 cup pomegranate

1/2 cup milk (I use coconut milk because it is dairy free, low in calories, and makes my smoothie taste like a tropical drink!)

1/4 cup chia seeds (optional)


Wash your fresh fruit with an all natural fruit and veggie wash. I use Green Melody All Mineral Fruit & Veggie Wash.

Next, measure out your ingredients and add them all into your blender. If you want to use chia seeds, they can either be added in and blended or used as a topping.

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Add fresh fruit or seeds as toppings.

I hope you enjoy this antioxidant smoothie recipe!




Confidence is a skill that anyone can build. It doesn’t have to be hard, but it does take work.

I’ve been putting in the work to build my self-confidence since 2016. Before then, I was shy and extremely insecure about myself. I suffered from anxiety and depression due to my lack of self-confidence. One major factor contributing to my lack of confidence was the toxic environment that I worked in. It was affecting my emotional as well as physical well being. However, I was too afraid to leave because I didn’t believe in my ability to succeed. When I was at my lowest point, I somehow found the courage to leave this job. I can’t point to one thing in particular that convinced me I could do it, but I am thankful every day for making that decision. After leaving that job, I made it a goal to continually strive for self-improvement. I believed in myself, but I knew I was going to have to change my lifestyle if I wanted to live a confident, healthy, and happy life.

I drastically improved my well-being and self-confidence by…

  • Practicing meditation
  • Learning about the power of habits
  • Rewiring my mindset
  • Creating goals, plans, and schedules
  • Developing mantras
  • Eliminating certain foods and drinks from my diet
  • Investing in proper skin care products and committing to a skin care regimen
  • Scheduling time for fitness every day
  • Challenging myself to try new things
  • Finding an accountability group


Now, I successfully run my own business and live each day with confidence, love, and gratitude. I am extremely proud of how much progress I have made and I want to help you do the same!

Based on the research I have done and the lessons I have learned regarding confidence, I have designed my 7 Day Kickstart to Build Confidence course. I believe this course will help anyone to get on the right track to creating a confident life.

7 day confidence kickstart guide


DAY 1: Establish a confident mindset

  • Create your confidence mantra
  • Make your mantra a habit by linking it to your anchor habit (an existing habit that you already do every single day without thinking about it)
  • Find and follow mentors, whether online or in real life, that inspire you to build your confidence


DAY 2: Find your focus, set goals, make a plan

  • Sit in a relaxing environment, free of any distractions
  • Brain dump – get everything out of your mind
  • Find your 30-day focus
  • Define your top 3 goals based on this focus
  • Create deadlines for your goals and mark them on your calendar
  • Turn your brain dump into a realistic to-do list
  • Subdivide to-do list at the start of each week

DAY 3: Disconnect from distracting technology

  • Don’t waste time investing people that don’t invest in you
  • Unfollow social media accounts that cause you to feel negatively
  • Optimize your smart phone for productivity: only place apps that you absolutely need on the first page


DAY 4: De-clutter your environment

  • Clear out your fridge and pantry
  • Make a neat and clean workspace
  • Give your bedroom a refresh


DAY 5: Meal plan + schedule fitness

  • Organize your grocery shopping list & schedule
  • Schedule physical activity every day
  • Choose your skin care regimen and commit to it


DAY 6: Optimize your skin care routine

  • Always follow a skin care regimen: cleanse, tone, correct, moisturize
  • Invest in your skin care products
  • Sunscreen is the number one anti-aging treatment out there


DAY 7: Try something you’ve never done before

  • The quickest way to build confidence is to do what you are afraid to do
  • Get outside your comfort zone; don’t think just do it
  • Find an accountability partner

Habits of a Confident Woman



When you first reflect on the question, “What are the habits of a confident woman?” you may answer with qualities such as outgoing, social, and the life of the party. While these traits may be consistent with many confident women, I’m here to challenge what it really means to be confident.

In my eyes, a confident woman doesn’t necessarily have to be an extrovert or overly outgoing, but rather she believes in herself and her values. To elaborate further, I’ve outlined what I believe are the habits of a confident woman.



She believes in herself, even when no one else does

A confident woman knows that she can accomplish anything she sets her mind to. There will be times when others doubt her or say she is dreaming too big. She listens to their words but doesn’t allow them to distract her from the goals and visions she has for her life. A confident woman is capable of anything and makes a plan to get what she wants.

She uses both her strengths and weaknesses to her advantage

Let’s face it, no one’s perfect. A confident woman knows that about herself and about others. She doesn’t get jealous of another woman’s strengths, but rather she admires them. A confident woman doesn’t brag about her strengths, but she sure as hell knows what they are and uses them to make the most out of every day.


She prioritizes self-care

It is easy to forget the importance of self-care. Society constantly pressures us to do more, to make more money, to go more places, to be a better parent or student or employee. So much to do yet there is still only 24 hours in a day. One part of building confidence is understanding that in those 24 hours we must make time for ourselves.

Habits of a Confident Woman - Prioritize Self-Care


She schedules time for exercise and plans healthy meals

A confident woman doesn’t feel obligated to lose weight or look a certain way, but rather she knows the importance of having a healthy body.


She knows that dessert is not an option, but a necessity

A confident woman doesn’t restrict herself with crazy diets. She finds a balance between healthy eating and indulging in some chocolate cake every once in a while 😉

Enjoy Life & Eat Cake

She knows that a proper skin care routine is far more important than the perfect makeup routine

A confident woman follows a regimen to properly take care of her skin. She knows that wearing a face full of make up is not only unhealthy, but is a sign that she cannot confidently show her true complexion.


She says no when she needs to

A confident woman will say no to things that distract her from her priorities. For example, going out over the weekend with her girlfriends is fun, but it also can get pretty pricey when you add things up (outfit, food, drinks, Uber, cover charge, etc.). So if saving money is her priority, she can confidently say no to a night out and make plans for a more budget friendly girls night.

The Daily Femme says it perfectly: “A confident woman knows that saying ‘no’ to others often means she is saying ‘yes’ to herself.”


She expresses gratitude, even in tough times

 A confident woman knows that a grateful heart is a magnet for miracles. She knows this is especially true when everything seems to be going wrong. Finding the best of these situations and remaining grateful is a sign of having the self-confidence to pull through tough times.

A grateful heart is a magnet for miracles.



She knows that failure is part of the process. 

A confident woman doesn’t get discouraged by failure. Instead, she learns from her mistakes and plans how she can improve.  She always keeps in mind that failure is success in progress.



No one is born with confidence. It is a skill that is built and shaped by the way we are raised along with experiences that occur over the course of our life. Confidence is a skill that anyone can build, yet it seems that so many of us struggle with it.

In fact, self-confidence was an issue for myself not that long ago. When I began focusing on this area of personal development I made it a goal to create healthy habits that would help to build my confidence, which lead me to create this list of Habits of A Confident Woman. 

What habits do you believe a confident woman should possess? Leave me a comment below if you would add anything else to my list 🙂