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The Ritual of Coffee

I love my morning coffee.  That rich deep warm feeling and smell reminds me of those exploratory days in my twenties when I used to meet up with a group of friends every weekend morning. We would brunch all day, dance a little, laugh a lot, and then wander off to work or play with the plan to meet up again that evening. Every morning, I look forward to the smell of our freshly made coffee, the pouring of dark liquid gold, the swirl of white frothy milk into the dark pool, and that warm smell when i hold the cup up for the first sip, and then the warm rich taste of my coffee. Each sensation of even that simple ritual is one I cherish.

For the love of Coffee

There’s more to love about my morning coffee ritual than you would think. More and more research supports that coffee is neutral or beneficial, not detrimental as believed in the past, for your health, or at least chemopreventive (another way of saying decreases the chance of cancer happening) for several different types of cancer, including breast, prostate, colorectal, liver, and cutaneous melanoma. (1, 2) I guess the bad news is that the amount of coffee you have to drink would need to be 3-4 cups a day (3)….but in today’s “grande” world…is that hard?

Routine away the Stress

And there are benefits to having a routine, too. Rituals have been shown to decrease anxiety or stress and increase well being. (1) In this modern, unpredictable world, the benefit of routine is that it is an anchor of predictability.  That predictability frees up brain space for one to be creative and productive. Was that weekend coffee with friends indeed more beneficial than I realized? And I wonder if the coffee ritual of self care I practice at night helps me in more ways than topically. The Invigorating Coffee Scrub in my evening shower helps to bring my morning full circle. I visualize that carefree time of youth as I wash away the dry skin patches, feel the smooth skin below, and protect with the earthy hydrating Kartini Oil or luxurious Candlenut Body Creme.

Now I am realizing I have two Rituals of Coffee, and I plan to make the most of both. One moment of mental breath plus one moment of phytochemical protection. Equals a day of delight and health. One more cup, please!

 

Top 5 Misconceptions About Washing Your Face

I remember when I was a child with oily skin

and the doctor said “just wash it with bar soap, It is strong enough to take the oil off.” If I could have only smacked him, I would have. But I didn’t know better – and back then, it’s possible he nor the beauty industry knew either. Here are the top 5 comments or questions I get about scrub-a-dub-dubbing as a skincare company owner…

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Let’s Play A Game: Do or Don’t

1. My skin is so oily, I don’t need a moisturizer after I wash it.

DON’T: Let’s be clear, we need both water AND oil on our skin for a healthy balance. When you wash your face with a cleanser, you risk overstripping and overdrying the skin – which can trigger it to produce more oil to compensate. So combat that with pre-emptive re-hydration. Use a light moisturizer or an oil-free one, or if you’re really oily – a hydrating serum.

2.  I use a scrub everyday.

DON’T: Your skin takes about 28 days to turn over. In other words, when you exfoliate, the process that skin goes from being newly exposed to old and in need of exfoliation takes a while – so you could be rubbing your newly exposed skin raw if you scrub everyday. I suggest 2-3 times a week, giving your skin a break – but still getting the benefits of clear pores and oft skin from scrubbing properly.

3. Why shouldn’t I use regular bar soap to wash my face?

DON’T: True, bar soaps and facial soaps all clean – that’s for sure. But how aggressively they do it, and how they make the skin feel after drastically differs; that matters too. Bar soap may have stronger surfactants to clean and there is a huge emphasis on fragrance.  Both may irritate your skin, but most importantly – bar soap can be harsher and overstrip/overdry your skin – which is a bit like giving your skin a beating. If you’re in a pinch and must, then just don’t lather for too long, and rinse off. Definitely follow with a moisturizer.

4. I only wash my face with water.

DO…ish: Believe it or not, there are people in this category. Surprisingly, there are experiments run on people who stop using soap altogether, my brother being one of them who tried. The body has an interesting way of balancing itself, so in a way, this isn’t the most terrible thing to do – and has benefits in that you’re au naturale – with fewer chemicals to mess with your skin. Honestly, if this works for you, and you’re not a heavy makeup user, go for it. But what you’re missing out on are some benefits gentle products can do – like exfoliate and hydrate to keep your skin extra smooth.

5. How many times should I wash my face per day?

DO… wait that doesn’t really work here since this is a question. Before you go to bed – definitely. In the morning when you get up is a good one too – though since technically you just slept, rinsing with water may be sufficient – and preserve your skin’s natural balance. If you are exercising or in heavily polluted areas in the day – you can wash it again in the middle – but try not to wash too often. The risk is overstripping your natural oils – and throwing your skin off balance – being too oily or dry can come with its own issues.

Got more questions? Let me know!

X.O.

JUARA Girl Metta