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I’ve always been intrigued by “outside forces” influencing my everyday vibes. From encapsulating full moon energy to finding out what’s happening in my astrology birth chart (watch out for this Leo with a side of Libra), there’s something magical about embracing another level of intuition.
But to be honest, my intuition—my fiery flame—has been a little off, thanks to the first Mercury retrograde of this new decade. My Leo mane is caught in its crosshairs, as are my emotions. Help! What’s a girl got to do to survive? My horoscope was shedding light into my feelings, but what I really needed was an outside force to help me get back on track. Enter tarot cards.
It’s been a while since I’ve gotten my cards read (but if you’re up for it, I highly recommend), and there were a few things the reader reminded me of prior to our session. Bringing my notebook was key. With an open mind and a pocket full of questions, I got my cards read three (yes, three) times. Here’s what happened and how I learned to use it to better my well-being.
Because my head (and heart) is spinning.
The reading: Clarity Spread
The purpose of this reading was to shed light on a current challenge of mine (think: relationship struggles). See, I told ya retrograde was messing with my energy. A little card shuffling, three knocks, and my four chosen cards later, I laid out just that—some divine clarity. So, what did I get, and what am I going to do now? Keep reading to find out.
Devil – I’m always cautious about this card. My tarot reader quickly reminded me that this demonic creature was in the reverse position, representing freedom from what’s holding me back. As she put it, “it’s time to light shit on fire.” Guess I need to show the devil who’s boss by kicking ass in a F45 class.
Two of Cups – There’s a lot of love with this card. Two full cups illustrate—you guessed it—“fullness” in my current relationship. Sometimes, I’m distracted from that. My tarot reader alluded to the ebb and flow of our union. Maybe I do need to book that couple’s massage this weekend.
Five of Wands – Oh man, the higher beings are really nailing the relationship stuff. Unsure of how to interpret this card, my tarot reader explains it means conflict—and thanks to Mercury retrograde, I am extra feisty with my opinions. Good news though, since the card is inverted, the drama is on its way out. I’m so ready to let it go (and flow) during my next yoga practice.
Three of Wands – Wait, another wands card? My tarot reader noted that this card stands for foresight—and there’s a portal, an opening, for opportunity. So, whatever is off in my relationship realm, there’s light on the horizon. Put those shades on because I’m ready to detox and get my glow on with a facial.
The reading: New Moon Spread
A suggestion for my tarot reader, this reading is perfect when welcoming a new moon—and what you want to bring into this new celestial cycle. I know I want to bring in positivity, but I need to let go of some life stuff I’ve been holding on to. We’ve all got stuff, right?
King of Wands – I can’t escape the wands. Maybe it’s a sign. But this is the wands card I want in this sense, because it taps into my forceful, bold nature. Remember I’m a Leo. According to my tarot reader, the new moon is going to electrify everything I do. Talk about a big energy. But first I have to let some things go. What better way to shake off what’s holding me back and show off my dynamic energy than with a one-two punch in boxing class.
The Tower – This card instantly drew me in with its chaos-like illustration. Part of the tower/tree image was broken, but its base remained rooted in (and to) the ground. My tarot reader let me know that though this card exemplifies distress, it also leaves room for something new and beautiful to flourish. I think it’s time to reset my focus with a mindful meditation practice.
The reading: Past, Present, Future
A tale as old as time, this classic tarot reading is always a go-to when I want a glimpse into how everything I’ve done is influencing my now—and what’s next. When my tarot reader asked if I wanted to close our session with this spread, I wasn’t about to deny a little crystal ball-type action during my afternoon. What I quickly learned is your energy really does travel, through time, that is.
PAST – Daughter of Cups – Representative of renewal, this card was tapping into my creative spirit, but my current life “fears” were blocking my creativity from shining through. Maybe it was my anxiety about buying a house. Or being afraid of losing a loved one. Whatever it is, I knew I needed to find an outlet to express myself. Now I am starting to think aerial yoga might help me clear my head —and defy gravity. What’s more creative than that?
PRESENT – Son of Cups – Two cup cards in a row? As my tarot reader explained what this card meant (balance, sensitivity), it was totally in tune with my current state. By being hard on myself, I wasn’t allowing myself to find balance. And I wasn’t allowing compassion for the way I feel. Yes, us Leos can be selfish, but in this case, I needed to give myself a little love. Nothing says self-love like a deep stretch and deep, belly breaths in Yin Yoga.
FUTURE – Eight of Swords – Now, this is not the card I wanted to get for my future. Trapped. Confined. Restricted. This girl doesn’t want her future to be limited. According to my tarot reader, this card shows how important it is that I let go of what is holding me in back in the past and present. By doing this, I can awaken my intuition and develop a more empowered mindset. I will then be stronger and more confident than I envisioned. Sounds like I need to take that focused energy to a barre class where I can lengthen and strengthen my mind, body, and soul.
Not sure if a tarot card reading is right for you? Our in-house tarot card reader has the inside scoop on what to bring (and be ready for) when it comes to your first tarot experience. And yes, a notebook really is essential.
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.