My best kept beauty secrets

Wet hair & #nomakeup game strong

There’s no magical vial that leads to the fountain of youth, however, the secret to having beautiful skin is easier and more obtainable than you think. Here are my 10 best kept beauty secrets that I’ve implemented into my lifestyle.

  1. Protect with SPF 30 sunscreen // The best anti-aging tip I’ve been advocating is sunscreen! I don’t just write and review about it, I actually wear a broad spectrum UVA/UVB of at least SPF 30 sunscreen every day. Read my sunscreen post, here.
  2. Wear a hat // Growing up I used to make fun of my mom looking like a beekeeper on sunny summer days. If you are to see my mom now, she has beautiful, smooth skin and does not look her age. At all. Now, you’d often find me in a lightweight long-sleeve and a hat, hoping I age as gracefully.
  3. Drink enough water // To be honest, this is a daily struggle for me. It’s easy if I’m at my desk sipping out of my rainbow sippy cup. When I’m out and about I take my water bottle and drink to stay hydrated. Find a water bottle that works for your lifestyle and make sure you take it everywhere with you.
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Easy healthy granola recipe

Easy, healthy granola recipe - itsjoulife.com

This is such an easy granola recipe that’s not only delicious and healthy, but you’ll never want to waste your hard earned money on store bought granola again. Did I mention it’s also vegan, dairy-free, and egg-free? It’s made with whole grain oats, unrefined coconut oil, and naturally sweetened with maple syrup. Oh yea, and it’s entirely guilt-free.

I usually top granola over plain greek yogurt, eat it by the handful, or package it in mason jars and gift to friends and family during the holidays. Continue reading

DIY / lifestyle blog got a makeover!

It’s Jou Life | a DIY / lifestyle blog—musing about natural, healthy, artisanal living, and everything in between.

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Friends of Ours.

Hello, and welcome to It’s Jou Life! We’re Wayne and Jennifer, a (relatively) newly wed couple who found love in the most unexpecting place. This is our DIY / lifestyle blog—musing about natural, healthy, artisanal living, and everything in between.

We started this blog because our family and friends always ask us how we grow our own organic vegetables, what is Wayne woodworking on now, to send over our miso black cod recipe, what snacks stock our pantry, a tutorial on that cute zippered pouch, tips for marathon running, where do we worship, what to bring for a camping trip, what’s Jennifer’s skincare regimen… you get the idea. This is our way to share life’s loves.

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Growing trends of the natural and organic products industry // Natural Products Expo West 2016

IMG_6632The US-market of natural and organic products is a $153 billion industry and showing no signs of a slow down. Mainly driven by the consistent growth of consumers demanding natural, healthy and eco-conscious products, it’s no surprise that this mega industry has a plethora of new companies emerging every year.

Last month I had the delightful opportunity to attend the 36th annual Natural Products Expo West, the the world’s largest natural, organic and healthy products event. It was like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory. As a healthy lifestyle enthusiast, I grasped all the natural product consumer trends, channeled my inner Augustus Gloop meets Michelle Phan–indulging in food samples while swatching beauty products. It was a weekend filled with tastings, education and meeting wonderful brands. I was among 77,000 attendees perusing more than 3,000 exhibitors at the Anaheim Convention Center. I didn’t have my Fitbit on me, but I’m sure I logged some serious miles that weekend.

NewHope

Photo courtesy of NewHope.com

Below is an overview of some consumer trends surrounding the healthy lifestyle products industry.

Back to Our Roots: Quinoa, chia, acai, Kombucha, raw, sprouted, coconut oil–superfood ingredients and preparation techniques that date back to the days of pre-industrialized foods. Brands are focusing on natural, whole and nutrient-dense ingredients. The skincare industry mirrors this trend with using pure ingredients like argan and coconut oil. I met a brand, Cocokind, an organic skincare line centered around using virgin coconut oil and superfoods. Consumers are conscientious with ingredients they eat and use on their body. They are staying away from genetically modified foods, artificial colors, preservatives, parabens and products tested on animals.

The Busy Individual: The always on-the-go individual lacks time, but craves smart and nutritious fuel in-between meals. Think hand-held snacks and drinks that are convenient, delicious and healthy. I like to kick-off my morning with drinking my greens with a Suja Juice cold-pressed juice. On a side note: I’m thinking of doing a juice cleanse to reset my body. Any advice or recommendations for which juice brand to try? A new product I’ve discovered are meat and veggie bars from Wild Zora and Wilde Snacks. It’s healthier than conventional jerkies because they are free from nitrites, nitrates, MSG, not too salty, contain vegetables, use grass-fed, free-range and hormone-free meats. I’m a big snacker and sometimes crave a meaty snack high in protein and low in sodium. Read my favorite snack discovery last year here.

The Socially Conscious Shopper: The today consumers have conscious living woven into the fabric of their lives and making informed decisions by keeping the environment and mission-backed products in mind. They choose purposeful brands with ethical practices and sustainable packaging over its conventional counterparts. I met a brand, This Bar Saves Lives, that donates a life-saving food packet with every snack bar purchased. It’s the “buy one, give one” philosophy, fair trade practices and donating proceeds to non-profits that allow consumers to make an impact with each purchase.

Over the next several weeks I’ll be sharing with you my tried and true favorite products from the expo.

What I’m currently snacking on…

Snacks

I’m a snacker. It’s no secret once you open the doors of my pantry closet. I’m obsessed with discovering and trying new healthy, natural snacks.

Nature’s Bakery // Fig Bar

Last year I made the magical discovery of Nature’s Bakery Fig Bar. I’ve been in love ever since and buying it in bulk and sharing it with friends have been a favorite past time of mine. I got many hooked. My BFF describes it “as good as eating cake.” This is basically a glorified and healthy fig bar that made of stone ground whole wheat, non-GMO, no artificial flavors or colorings, vegan and Kosher Certified. Each pack comes with two bars and sometimes I have one pre and post workout. I always have a pack in my purse, office and work for when I’m hungry and on the go. The company, Nature’s Bakery, supports healthy conscious living and active lifestyles. They also make gluten-free bars. My favorite flavor is Apple Cinnamon.

Tip: You can buy Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars on Amazon (click on the link or the small thumbnail above) or buy it in bulk at Costco. It’s also sold at natural grocery markets like Whole Foods. With 110 calories per bar, this isn’t a low-calorie food. 

SnacksFig

SnacksFigBars

winter day skincare regimen // organic beauty

day_skincare

With the winter season of cold winds and dry weather, my skin has been more patchy and sensitive than normal. I revamped my skincare regimen to include natural and nutrient-densed products and it has made a world of difference. Who knew my skin can be properly moistured, supple and radiant? Basically, back to basics.

With the rise of natural products it can be difficult to navigate what brands and products work best. My favorite brands of the moment are: Acure Organics, Josie Maran and Honest. I’m passionate on using natural and organic products that are free from animal testing, parabens, sulfates, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, harmful preservatives and artificial colors. Most of the products I use are certified organic ingredients that meet my high standards of efficacy and purity.

This is my current winter daytime skincare regimen and the order of products that I typically use.

Acure Organics // Facial Cleansing Creme

This extra-gentle, creamy facial cleanser features the moisturizing benefits of Fair Trade Certied organic olive oil, Moroccan argan oil and cocoa butter, the antioxidant power of blackberry and rosehips and the mild cleansing of mint. It quickly removes makeup, dirt and impurities without stripping the skin’s natural moisture. Great for even the most sensitive skin. Tip: During winter I cleanse in the evening before bed. In the morning I just splash my face with water because my face doesn’t get that greasy at night and I don’t want to strip essential moisture in the morning. In the evening, I use this product after a warm shower because my pores are open and I can get a deep cleaning. I still use a separate makeup remover for the eyes. 

Acure Organics // Argan Stem Cell + Chlorella Growth Factor Brightening Facial Scrub

This is my secret weapon for smooth and glowing skin. The natural exfoliation of organic sea kelp gently exfoliates while French green clay and organic lemon peel remove impurities from my pores. Organic chlorella growth factor and argan stem cells help stimulate new cell growth while providing a deep cleansing, brightening experience. I think of the deep green color as a green smoothie for my face! Tip: After a warm shower when my pores are open, I squeeze a nickel-size amount in my hand, emulsify the product in my palm and lightly massage onto my skin with my fingertips. Use 2x a week.

Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil

Moroccan argan oil, extracted from the nut of the argan tree, is loaded with Vitamin E and essential fatty acids. This is a holy grail product that has multiple uses in my regimen. It can heal, condition and repair skin, hair, feet and nails. Tip: After drying my cleansed face, I place a few drops on my palm and press onto my skin. I also massage a couple drips into my nail cuticles.

Acure Organics // Day Cream

Deep moisture + fights the signs of aging. I normally have combination skin, but during the winter the cheek area gets dry and patchy. That is why I switch to a day cream during this dry season. I’m picky when it comes to cream, but this day cream is easily absorbed into my skin with no greasy residue. Great powerhouse combo: the gotu kola stem cells firm and help my skin fight environmental damage and free radicals + 1% chlorella growth factor supports collagen and elastic fibers. Bonus: 10 cents for every Day Cream and Night Cream sold supports United For HER’s efforts.

Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47 with Sunboost ATB

I’m a sunscreen fiend and truly believe preventative care is a key to anti-aging and preventing wrinkles. I’m selective when it comes to SPF, especially natural-based products since some can be greasy. I look for lightweight, non-greasy and chemical-free sunscreen that moisturizes and protects the skin. This is it! The pure argan oil, jojoba oil, green tea, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, and SunBoost ATB is packed with antioxidants and hydrators to protect my skin from the sun and nourish my skin at the same time. Tip: I warm a nickel-size amount between my fingertips and smooth over my face, gently pressing and working the formula into my skin until it totally disappears. This fast-absorbing sunscreen sinks into the skin while creating a smoother finish. If wearing foundation, this should be worn first as a multi-tasking primer.

Honest Organic Body Oil

This is a soothing blend of certified organic jojoba, tamanu, olive, avocado and sunflower oils that leaves my skin silky and nourished. I love that this non-toxic product is hypoallergnic, vegan, botanically-derived and pH balance. Tip: In the morning I like to provide extra moisture for my elbows, knees and arms. In the evening, I use this immediately after my shower, but is also great for baby massage and mom’s belly. Sometimes I also mix a few drops with my current body lotion for intense moisture.

 

Day 7 // Easy DIY Honey Egg White Yogurt Cucumber Face Mask

Day 7 is my own home recipe // Honey Egg-White Yogurt Cucumber Face Mask. It’s a change from the scheduled Wine-Infused Face Mask, but I didn’t have red wine and wanted to work in a moisturizing and soothing face mask instead. Growing up my mom taught me how to take care and pamper my skin with DIY natural ingredients found in the kitchen pantry. My favorite is the Honey Egg White Yogurt Cucumber Face Mask.

This DIY mask recipe has major benefits that will aid parched skin and fight against the environmental harm that inevitably affects the skin.

  • Honey can aid in the relief of irritated skin because of its mild antiseptic and antibacterial properties.
  • Egg whites contains many proteins, high in collagen, maintain the elasticity of skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines. (Remember to mix the egg white well enough to obtain a foamy egg white look).
  • Yogurt can help moisturize and contains lactic acid that will smooth and gently exfoliate your skin while reducing fine lines and wrinkles by tightening the pores.
  • Cucumbers aid and sooth sunburn, hydrate the eye area and cleanse the skin.

Ingredients

1 egg white

1 tsp honey

1 tsp fresh plain organic yogurt

8  thinly-sliced cucumbers *optional

Directions

  1. Beat the egg white with a fork until it turns a little frothy. Tip: Coolest way to separate the yolk from the egg whites.
  2. In a bowl thoroughly combine the egg white, honey and yogurt.
  3. Apply the mask on your cleansed face and leave it for 15 minutes until you feel it dry.
  4. Gently rinse it off with warm water.

Click here if you prefer to try the Birchbox Challenge Wine-Infused Face Mask instead.

About the Birchbox Challenge

Birchbox teamed up with a panel of all-star experts to bring a 31-day challenge to make 2015 your healthiest, happiest, most gorgeous year ever. I’m joining Birchbox on this month-long challenge and will share my success with #BirchboxChallenge. Make sure to also enter for their daily prize giveaways. Let’s do this together!