10 Natural Ways To Pamper Your Skin + a Free Gift Offer.

Hey everyone! I hope you all had an amazing holiday break this past weekend, I know I sure did! We didn't do anything too exciting this year, just my husband and I and the kitties at home by our twinkling tree and cozy hot cocoa in hand. We went on a few walks, opened a humble amount of gifts and just really enjoyed the peace and quiet away from the hum and buzz of work and life.

I am trying to take this whole wee off, but I just had to chime in to bring you a special offer and chat a bit about a topic very passionate to me: skin health! I have struggled with acne prone skin and very sensitive and fair skin my entire life, so I am constantly trying to pick up tricks and tips for making my own skin happy and healthy. So today I share some with you.

Holiday breaks are a great time to pamper yourself, and you can start with you skin. Our skin is the organ that protects us, holds our entire body in place and is our protective shell as we brave our way through life.

Today I share my 10 Natural Ways To Pamper Your Skin. Plus a free gift offer from Beautycounter for those of you who are interested.

Enjoy and happy holidays to you and your family!...

Some skin fun facts to get us inspired..

- "The average person has about 300 million skin cells." - forefrontdermatology
- "Your skin sheds its dead skin cells on a daily basis, creating a new layer of skin every 28 days.” - everyday health
- "Your skin constantly sheds dead cells, about 30,000 to 40,000 cells every minute!"
- "Changes in your skin can sometimes signal changes in your overall health."

Here are a few of my fave ways to love the skin you are in. And scroll down to the bottom for all the details about the free gift offer from one of my favorite safe skincare brands, Beautycounter.

10 Natural Ways To Pamper Your Skin

1. Exfoliate
Exfoliating your skin leaves it soft and dewy and removes dead skin cells. It can also improve circulation to the skin, depending on how you exfoliate. It also allows your skin products to penetrate more easily into your skin. Some of my favorite ways to exfoliate:

- Dry Brushing - I try to dry brush before my shower at least a few times a week. Face and body. I use a small face brush and a larger body brush.
- Clairsonic or similar electric brush
- Making a sea salt or sugar scrub, DIY style
- Beautycounter's Norishing Cream Exfoliator or Kate Somerville's Exfolikate

2. Sunscreen
A must! Find a sunscreen you love and that is safe for your skin and stick with it.

I love Beautycounter's unique safe sunscreens:
- Protect All Over SPF 30
- Protect Stick Sunscreen (Face)
- Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer

I also like:
- Alba Hawaiian Sunscreen
- Coola Cucumber Face Sunscreen (also body sunscreen)

3. Hydrating From Within, aka Drink More Water
Drink. More. Water. I tell myself this every day. It really does do wonders for your skin. If I am not in the mood for plain water I add fresh mint and lemon juice or I will drink hot herbal tea. I love rooibos or TAZO tea's Passion tea.

4. Oil and Lotion
I moisturize my skin after every bath and shower I have. I never skip that step. My favorite moisturizer is a high quality body oil, used sparingly, then I follow up with a body lotion. I always choose natural, safe brands -- and I make sure my lotion is free of fragrance. I only allow natural essential oils in my lotions and oils.

Two of my faves from Beautycounter..

- Citrus Rosemary Body Oil
- Citrus Mimosa Body Lotion (or body butter for something richer)

If you love face oils, check out this one from Beautycounter, it is awesome! (And on sale for a limited time)

5. Stress Management

"Stress causes a chemical response in your body that makes skin more sensitive and reactive. It can also make it harder for skin problems to heal." - WebMD

Stress is not good for your body, and your skin! Stress can manifest on your skin in all sorts of ways from wrinkle lines to acne breakouts to allergic rashes and even dry skin and premature aging. But we all have stress in our lives, right? So the trick is to learn how to manage your stress the best you can. My favorite ways..

- Play. Working play time into my day by doing things I love. And making special days off devoted to happy things like movies and girlfriends and beach strolls or even a trip to Disneyland a few times a year.
- Yoga. I am such a huge fan of gentle yoga. Sure you can get an incredible workout from the intense flow yoga styles, but I personally usually do Yin Yoga or something more restorative. Anything that gives me some quiet time to stretch and breathe and relax.
- Acupuncture. When life has been especially hard on my body I turn to acupuncture. It usually works very well for me in calming down my entire nervous system and healing from within. The trick is to find an acupuncturist who is effective and meshes well with you.
- Talk Therapy. Talking is one of the best ways to get things OUT. Those things you ruminate over or worry about inside your head all day. Talk and tell them to someone. A friend. Therapist. Your mom. Sister. Brother. Spouse. Heck, even your pet if you get desperate!
- Art. I love art therapy! Color, draw, cook, do your makeup or hair, knit, sculpt, photograph, whatever!

There are so many great ways to manage stress. I list a few more here.

6. Sleep! Zzzzzz's
This is a basic skin care must, but yes, sleeping helps you pamper your skin probably more than anything else on this list! "While you're sleeping, the body's hydration rebalances. Skin is able to recover moisture, while excess water in general in the body is processed for removal. Not getting enough sleep results in poor water balance, leading to puffy bags under your eyes and under-eye circles, as well as dryness and more visible wrinkles." - everyday health

Some tricks to help get a good night's sleep:

- Love your bed with a supportive pillow and soft, hypoallergenic bedding. I love my Essentia mattress and pillow.
- Use a soft eye mask if your room isn't dark.
- Try to keep pets out of the bedroom, when possible.
- Use lavender or other soothing essential oils before bed.
- Drink chamomile tea before bed.
- Try to limit phone use in bed. This is one I am still working on, but it really has helped!
- Try not to eat too close to bedtime, especially if you have acid reflux or GERD problems.
- Jaw clencher or tooth grinder? Treating your TMD can help you sleep more soundly. (I am working on this too!!)
- Sometimes a bit of fresh air from an open window can help me sleep too. Or at least keeping the air temp a bit on the cooler side.
- Try wearing socks! (I know some people who swear by this trick because it keeps them from waking up from getting too cold.)

7. Kitchen Sink Beauty
I love to play in my kitchen to create nourishing face masks and cleansers. I love avocado mash masks, coconut oil makeup remover and salt and sugar scrubs. If you are not vegan or use honey products, honey also makes an excellent 1-ingredient skin mask.

One of my fave skin masks uses raw cacao for an antioxidant-rich chocolate mask! You can simply combine either melted chocolate or pure powdered cacao with some melted coconut oil.

Other great DIY beauty ingredients include oats, banana, aloe vera juice, sea salt, apple cider vinegar and more. Here are a few face masks from Self.

8. Eat Well
Just a few skin-healthy vegan foods: dark chocolate, walnuts, flaxseed, basically any fruit or veggie - especially citrus, melon, avocado, berries and leafy greens. Anything rich in vitamin C or E is great. Almond butter. And even foods rich in fiber to keep your digestive system healthy are helpful.

I love smoothies for packing a bunch of healthy foods and superfoods into one tasty glass. I also love adding my friend Sophie's Philosophie Berry Bliss protein powder into my smoothies.

My book 365 Vegan Smoothies is filled with skin-happy smoothies and even has a full chapter dedicated to beauty smoothies!

And when it comes to food, always try to listen to your body. And try not to limit foods you love just because you are "supposed to." Everything can be in moderation if that is what feels good for you.

9. Hot Water + Steam + Ice
This may sound like another simple one but when cleansing my skin I find that these three things make a world of difference:

- Steam: I will use hot shower steam or even a pot of boiling water on the stove to steam up my face and open my pores before cleansing and applying a mask.
- Hot Water: I like to wet an entire washcloth with HOT water, squeeze it out then drape it on my face for a minute to open my pores and wipe away anything on my skin.
- Ice: I use ice when I have a breakout or a picked at blemish. It helps control inflammation. I also use ice if I have tired eyes or have been crying or have allergies.

10. Feel Good Safe Skin Care Products
So this one can easily be made natural when you choose the right products! I love the brands, Beautycounter, Eminence, Soley (Iceland) and a few others. But today, check out the FREE GIFT offer I am able to bring you from Beautycounter!

FREE GIFT: Spend $55 or more online and you will receive a free travel Shampoo and Conditioner set. These are awesome and way better (and safer) than anything you will find in most hotel room bathrooms.

(You can also choose a charcoal bar if you'd prefer)

*photo credit: Arsy Vartanian

So here is what you do:

- Spend $55 or more now through Jan 1st 2017, forward your receipt to me kathy @ lunchboxbunch dot com, in the email let me know if you want the shampoo and conditioner or a charcoal bar. (Your choice)

- In the next few weeks we will ship you the free gift (separate from your BC order)

Thank you Beautycounter for allowing me to bring you guys this exclusive free gift offer.

And right now, Beautycounter is having a wonderful winter sale with some of my favorite BC products on sale like the face oils and charcoal mask. Check out the amazing winter sale and treat yourself for a fresh and fabulous 2017!

*This post contains affiliate links and I am a Beautycounter consultant and fan
*These tips work for me, but always talk to your dermatologist for your own personal skin care advice!
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