The Product: Dr. Teal’s Epsom Salt Soaking Solution, $5
Why: As a beauty editor, I try everything — from feather eyelash falsies to the latest tricked-out at-home facial scrubbing brush. But once in a while, I realize I haven’t ever actually tested a tried and true beauty staple. This time, it’s Epsom salt. I still have two more months left of this pregnancy, but the weight of my big belly is a literal pain in my neck — and back, and legs and feet. Over the weekend, my sister-in-law suggested I take a long bath with Epsom salt and lavender oil. I knew she was on to something right away — even though I’ve never done it, this is exactly what I would recommend to you guys. So I happily dumped two heaping cups of Epsom salt and a few drops of oil into her extra-large soaking tub (you can make your own essential oil mix like I did and use plain Epson Salt or buy a pre-infused blend like the Dr. Teal’s above). The sweet scent of the oil immediately relaxed me, and when I got out twenty minutes later, I felt a huge relief in my no-longer-sore bod. I am a total convert. Knowing something so simple can make my treasured baths even better is just awesome. So how, exactly does this magic salt work? Well, first, it’s not actually a salt. It’s named for Epsom, the spa town in England known for its healing mineral springs. Made of the compound magnesium sulfate, which many believe can be absorbed into your body through the skin, Epsom salt is known to regulate the activity of enzymes, reduce inflammation and help muscle and nerve function. I just know that it made my bath super relaxing and I felt less soreness, so I’m sold.
For more cool bath ideas, check out our DIY Bath Tea How-To.
Last week I escaped the Los Angeles area for Truckee, Calif. (basically the Lake Tahoe area). One of my favorite things to do on vacation is to pick up local beauty products. On this trip I stumbled upon Pretty Tahoe Natural Deodorant, $8. Not necessarily a glamorous beauty product to try, but an essential one, for sure. And, as I’ve mentioned in previous deodorant posts, these days I only wear natural deodorants. I’m breastfeeding after all, so I figure it’s safer to stick to the chemical-free stuff.
Unlike some of the other natural deodorants I’ve tried, this one (which is made locally in Truckee, Calif.) is more of a creamy balm deodorant. You scoop out a dime-sized dollop of the stuff and swipe it under your arms. The fragrance I chose is a fantastic, and subtle, lavender mint scent. Fresh and natural-smelling. It definitely doesn’t have the crunchy, hippie vibe you might expect from a totally natural beauty product. That’s due to the fact that the base is made of coconut oil.
I’ve been wearing it for about a week and it’s quickly becoming my new favorite. Scooping the product out of the tin is actually less cumbersome than I thought it might be.
One warning though, it will melt if you leave it in a warm area, so beware.
Kiehl’s is like the grand poobah of high-end gift giving— literally any number of their creams, balms, washes or scents can make someone happy and their skin soft. This year for the holidays, they teamed with artist Kenny Scharf and dreamed up the Kenny Scharf Limited Edition Crème De Corps, $48 (16.9 oz). The playful, cartoonish packaging makes me smile just cause it’s like a more fun, adorable version of the original. And nothing is as effective at soothing your skin in the winter, so it fits the tough balance of practical and decadent at the same time. This year, 100% of net profits will support RxArt, a non-profit national organization, committed to fostering artistic expression and awareness through introducing contemporary art in pediatric hospitals. RxArt is dedicated to placing original fine art in patient, procedure and examination rooms of healthcare facilities, for the engagement and comfort of patients. For more gifts that give back, click here and here.
I first discovered calendula when my son had diaper rash that just wouldn’t. Go. Away. I tried all the bum creams, ointments and pastes I could get my hands on but nothing really worked till some guru-mom suggested California Baby Calendula Cream, $13. Within one day, his diaper rash was cleared. If it ever comes back, just a touch of calendula will take care of it. If it can do that to Ian’s sensitive baby tush, imagine what it can do to your dry skin. With properties that reduce inflammation and soothe irritation, it can calm almost any skin flare up — especially when it’s exposed to harsh winter weather. If this sounds good to you too, here are a few other incredible calendula products to check out:
Weleda Calendula Baby Cream, $12
Jurlique Calendula Cream, $35
Melvita Calendula Oil, $21
Erbe Calendula and Orange Blossom Body Lotion, $69