Love yourself a little more this new year with real-life tips from our resident copywriter.
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Bringing the outdoors inside is trending. From fresh farmers market bouquets to succulents galore, Pinterest-worthy plants are all the rage. But, it’s not just about beautifying your space– there are some unbe-leaf-able benefits for your well-being when you go green. Fresher air. Fewer toxins. Good vibes—it’s a win-win.
If you’re looking to create a mini-urban jungle but are afraid your busy schedule, non-existent green thumb, or notorious plant killing history has you doomed, don’t fret! We’ve got four low maintenance, indoor plants + care tips to spruce up your place. Earth Day will be every day in your home with this effortless greenery (no prior plant experience required).
There are more than 650 types of air plants (Tillandsia). Yep, you read that right. 650 varieties that can grow (and successfully live) without soil—perfect for all of us who are can’t keep plants alive (*raises hand*). With air plants coming in all shapes and sizes, it’s easy to find one in-store or online to fit your color scheme and personality! And with hundreds of fresh ways to decorate with air plants, it’s easier than ever to spruce up even the smallest space. Consider air plants your little fun (and funky!) friend.
Care Tips: No perfect lighting needed. Air plants don’t ask for much, which works for even the busiest schedule. Besides gently misting your air plant with water every few days, it is essential your Tillandsia gets a “bath” every two weeks. That means submerging your air plant(s) in water and letting the plant sit there for about 1 to 3 hours, depending on how dry your air is. Too much dampness can kill an air plant, so after soaking shake off the access water and let the air plant dry in a bright spot for at least 4 hours.
Prickly, resilient and perfect for the most inexperienced green thumb, cacti are an easy and efficient way to add plant life to your home. Not to be mistaken with succulents, cacti are your healthiest relationship! Not only will they tolerate you, but they will also stay alive by your side for years to come. Consider your cacti a make-your-home-better investment.
Care Tips: No surprise here—cacti need direct sunlight and sandy-type soil that drains well. While watering routines depend on the type of cacti you choose, a little (occasional) water goes a long way. Think desert. Personal favorite cacti? Gymnocalycium. Not only does it have a deep green color with quintessential spines (yep, for this New York girl, cacti must have spikes), you get a bright flower bloom!
A relative to the sturdy cacti, succulents are the perfect first plant. Easy to maintain in most home environments, succulents come in all fun shapes and are totally hip thanks to social media. They also make a great desk ornament at work. With funky pots (animal head planters, anyone?), succulents will step up your decorating game and thrive if you give them a little love—just not too much light because they can get sunburned.
Care Tips: If planting at home, you’ll get a leg up on the competition by using succulent potting soil. On the hunt for a hanging basket succulent? String of Pearls is the way to go. This succer is a stunner and will grow fast. Another favorite? Zebra Haworthia. Great for any tabletop (or desk) and non-toxic to dog and cats, this little green wonder has such a cool texture.
There’s a good chance you remember this plant from your mom or grandma’s house. With an impossible-to-kill reputation, spider plants are back with a vengeance—as long as you don’t overwater them. A flowering perennial, spider plants will make any space feel like a jungle oasis. Oh, and they propagate like crazy and are perfect for that macrame hanging planter you’ve been eyeing at Urban Outfitters.
Care Tips: Spider plants thrive in indirect sunlight. They also love humidity. If your spider plant ends start to brown, that might mean they need more water (or a little fertilizer). Also, once a spider plant flowers, it will produce “babies” (called “spiderettes”). If you’ve got a friend eyeing your spider plant, clip off a spiderette and have them place it in water. Once roots grow, they will have a spider plant of their own!
Summer is officially here, and with that, there are so many fun activities that will motivate you to get outside to stay in shape and strive for those post-quarantine fitness goals. But before you decide to get outside to enjoy some walking, yoga, swimming, or hiking, remember these best practice skincare habits to protect your skin from common skin concerns, such as, sunburns, chafing, and excessive dryness.
Here, board-certified Dermatologist, Dr. Bottiglione, shares some advice to help your skin stay healthy as you embark into the great outdoors.
When going outside, the sun is going to be your biggest culprit for damaging your skin. While the sun boosts benefits like vitamin D production, take notice when your skin is overexposed to the sun’s harmful rays as it becomes dangerous. When overexposed to direct sunlight, the skin is irritated, causing sunburns, dryness, and sensitivity that can increase the chances for wrinkles and skin cancer as we age.
Luckily, staying inside when it’s so pleasant outside is not the only skincare alternative to avoid the sun’s damaging rays. Here are a few simple tips to prep your skin before stepping outside.
Opt to protect your skin with a clinical-grade sunblocking lotion of 15 SPF or higher.
“Anytime you go outside, you need to apply sunscreen to your skin,” advises Dr. B. “Ensure you apply sunscreen to the full body and reapply often. In the morning, after cleansing your face, is the best time to apply.” He recommends a spray for oily skin, or the Dermatologist’s Choice Sunscreen Enhanced Moisturizer for dry to combination skin types that needs a little extra hydration.
The key is the more intentional you are about proactively protecting your summer skin, the healthier it will be. It may sound simple, but your skin will be happier when you take a preventive approach rather than a reactive approach—for example, applying the sunscreen moisturizer before a walk to help to avoid the treatment of a sunburn after. When prepping your bag for the fun day ahead, make sure to add sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water.
Now the real excitement begins! However you decide to get your fitness outdoors, we have the skincare routine you need or a carefree and healthy day.
Deep breath. Like our favorite flow, these skincare tips will keep our mind—and our skin—at ease. If you take your yoga practice outdoors, wear an SPF shirt, and lay your mat under a nicely shaded tree to help shield you from excessive sun exposure.
“Avoiding direct sunlight and wearing protective clothing is smart to protect your skin from sun damage. Even if you are going for a relaxing walk or doing just a few sun salutations. Staying out of the direct sunlight will reduce your risk of sun damage and wrinkles.” - Dr. B
Swimming is one of the best cardio and strength training workouts, while also an enjoyable activity during the summer. Whether you are swimming in open water or laps in the pool, the excess amount of water with exposure to pool chemicals and environmental pollutants can cause skin irritation and dryness. To keep your skin hydrated and protected, Dr. B. recommends applying the Dermatologist’s Choice Pre-Bath Oil to your skin before entering the water. This will seal your skin’s protective barrier to avoid skin irritation from chemicals and debris. He adds, “The Pre-Bath Oil is what I give to all my patients with eczema or dry skin. It is the only thing that will protect and also deeply hydrate the skin.” Just apply this serum before you put on your sunscreen, and you're good to go!
With warm temperatures during the summer months, it’s the perfect time for hiking and exploring the mountainous outdoors. It is essential to take the necessary steps to avoid your skin becoming sunburnt, irritated, or breaking out. “Wearing a hat with a large brim that will shade your face and neck is key. A baseball cap is just not enough for the sun protection you need. After your hike, it is important to clean your face and pores of sweat, dirt, and toxins with Dermatologist’s Choice Glycolic Peel Cleansing Pads to avoid breakouts from occurring,” Dr. B. warns. Keep them in your bag for easy cleansing after a hike.
One of the biggest skin concerns cyclists or runners usually bring to dermatologists is chafing. Even if you’re just cruising along the seaside or taking a cycling class, those tight clothes and friction can cause some intense irritation and redness. “When you have an issue with chafing, you need to protect your skin. You need armor over the skin. Beeswax, for example, is thick to coat the skin and protect it. Another effective option is the hydrating Dermatologist’s Choice Pre-Bath Oil. For best results, moisturize your skin, and then add a piece of clothing to cover it (that is actually like armor),” Dr. B. shares. Are you a runner? Feel free to use this tip too before your next mile or 30.
At the end of your activity, the real results of that skin preparation set in. But sometimes, you need a little extra support afterwards. After any good workout, cleansing off the sweat, dirt, toxins, and irritant is paramount. Dermatologist Choice pH Balanced Cleanser helps to gently but effectively remove sweat, oil, and restore the skin’s natural pH levels.
Did you end up getting a sunburn, or is your skin dry from the elements? Soothe with the Pre-Bath Oil with natural oils like sunflower and jojoba oil for deep hydration and healing.
“Sun damage can manifest in multiple ways. Most often, you will notice a sunburn first, which can then lead to irritated skin—and over time, sun damage increases the appearance of wrinkles.” For safe measure, at night regenerate sun-damaged skin with Dermatologist's Choice Ultra Anti-Aging Cream with 15% non-neutralized glycolic acid to your skin. This powerful dermatology treatment rebuilds the collagen and exfoliates fine lines, sunspots, and acne on the skin. “Do not apply the Ultra Anti-Aging Cream on a sunburn or irritated skin,” Dr. B. shares. These are long-term habits to aid in maintaining your best skin health.
Capture your best skin with everything you need this summer with the Dermatologist’s Choice Skin Kit, and get 20% off your order with code MB20 at www.dermchoice.com.