We went to Austin for wellness… and it was crazy wonderful.
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Goodbye harsh chemicals, skin irritants, and synthetic fragrances. Hello clean—the green way! There are many benefits of switching to all-natural cleaning products and avoiding using harsh chemicals and toxins in your home. Not only does using natural cleaners make your space safer for your family (especially kids and pets), it also makes cleaning much more pleasant for everyone involved. Plus, you’ll be supporting environmentally responsible companies that are committed to naturally-derived ingredients, recycled packaging, and more sustainable production practices.
When you’re ready to make the swap, rather than throwing everything away and starting over, use up your existing products and slowly replace items with natural alternatives as you run out. This prevents additional waste and is easier on your wallet. Natural cleaning products are now comparably priced to leading traditional brands, and they are available at most big-box retailers—like Target and Amazon. With so many great options out there, it’s easy to find budget-friendly brands without compromising your values.
Here are a few of my battle-tested, major mess approved brands and tips for green cleaning your home!
From countertops to cooking disasters (and even mopping!), Seventh Generation’s All-Purpose Natural Cleaner is my must-have for pretty much everything. When it comes to hand soap, dish soap, and other all-purpose cleaners, Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap and Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day are always great staples—and they offer refillable packaging options to cut down on waste.
For a deep-clean in the bathroom, I’m a fan of Seventh Generation’s Toilet Bowl Cleaner and Method’s Bathroom Cleaner. Method’s plant-based formula has a refreshing eucalyptus and mint scent and works serious wonders on tile and showers.
The Honest Company’s Laundry Packs are more concentrated than liquid detergents—minimizing water usage in production and making them lighter to ship or even carry home from the store. Seventh Generation’s Chlorine-Free Bleach gets your whites super bright, without the harsh bleach smell. And when it’s time to dry your clothes, ditch the dryer sheets. Instead, prevent static and soften fabrics with reusable wool dryer balls, like these from Molly Sud’s.
It’s easier than ever to get your dishes squeaky clean without the chemicals. Method—the dishwasher detergent I always have on hand—is packed with a whole lot of powerful natural cleaning solution to fight grime, grease, and it comes in an earth-friendly pouch!
Another small switch that can make a big difference in your home is minimizing paper towel waste with super-absorbent bamboo towels. Towels from brands like Econuts and Bambooee are super versatile and are washable for up to 100 uses!
I find that the simplest home remedies are the best cleaners—and easily concocted from ingredients you’re already using in the kitchen. DIY cleaning products can often be the quickest and cheapest options to reach for.
A good, old-fashioned baking soda and white vinegar mixture is the magic solution for almost everything.
KITCHEN: Sprinkle baking soda all over the surface you want to clean. Let sit for a minute before spraying the vinegar and wiping down with a wet cloth. The baking soda acts as an abrasive to scrub pots and pans, and deep cleans the sink and stove top. To sanitize the dishwasher, run it empty with a cupful of white vinegar on the top rack.
LAUNDRY: This same natural combination is a great substitute for bleach in the washing machine.
AROUND THE HOUSE: Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle for glass, mirrors, and windows. You can add a few drops of essential oil to make your own scented cleaning spray.
Lemons are another easy cleaning hack. After cooking or making tea, I’ll save used lemon wedges to rub over the sink (especially around the drain) to remove odors and to clean pots and pans.
To get rid of lingering smells in the kitchen, save your used coffee grounds. Place grounds in a bowl near the stovetop, in the fridge, or sprinkle some in the trash can or sink garbage disposal to eliminate odors naturally. Like salt and baking soda, the grounds also make a great abrasive for tackling those dirty dishes.
Now that you have your guide to tidying up, it’s time to transform your routine for the better. Happy green cleaning!
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.