Dr. G Brightening Peeling Gel: the BEST Exfoliating Mask Ever

Dr. G Brightening Peeling Gel is the MUST-HAVE exfoliator for every skin type / www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

I am a face mask junkie. My skin has a myriad of problems, including acne, dry patches, hyper-pigmentation, and the tendency to look just dull and icky. Show me an exfoliating mask that is safe for my acne and I am SOLD. And that is exactly what the Dr. G Brightening Peeling Gel is. Y’all. It’s good.

Once again, the U.S. (meaning probably just me) is late to the game. If you’re unfamiliar with Korean skincare, all you need to know is they are miiiiiiiiles ahead of the rest of the world. K-Beauty, as it is affectionately called, is finally starting to get popular in the United States, and for good reason.

Supposedly this mask is a cult favorite in Korea, which I can totally see why. It is the most gentle, yet effective exfoliant that I have ever used. The exfoliating power comes mainly from cellulose, which is listed as the second ingredient. The cellulose helps lift flaky, dead skin from your face and does this completely pain free. It’s a gel, so there is no grains that you have to scrub against your face like other typical exfoliants. In fact, this would be amazing for even the most sensitive-skinned little snowflakes.

In addition to the exfoliating power, it also has Vitamin C and E, both of which are powerhouse ingredients for skin brightening, and a few other skincare goodies to help promote moisturizing your skin.

To use, simply wet your skin, apply about a quarter-size dollop of gel to wet fingertips and massage gently. I would recommend making sure to work it on your jawline, nose, the contours where your nose meets your cheeks, and your temples. Those are areas where you don’t necessarily think to spend time on when you wash your face, so I can almost guarantee there will be a build up there.

Dr. G Brightening Peeling Gel is the MUST-HAVE exfoliator for every skin type / www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

I mean, LOOK AT IT. Those white balls are my skin. It’s so gross and I can’t get enough.

And, for my favorite part. Bam.

Dr. G Brightening Peeling Gel is the MUST-HAVE exfoliator for every skin type / www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

That’s just one use. My skin is so much brighter and has a real glow in the “After” picture. I am a bit red, but my face gets red easily if I touch it, so I doubt that is from the product. The dullness of the first picture has disappeared.

So it’s safe to say the Dr. G Brightening Peeling Gel has worked it’s way into my regular routine. If you want to know where I’m at on Sundays around 7pm, chances are I am leaning over my skin giggling like a mad woman while this gel eats away my face*.

Have you ever used the Dr. G Brightening Peeling Gel? Do you like it? Are there any other products I should try? Let me know in the comments!

*Just kidding. It doesn’t eat anything. Have you not paid attention to this post at all? This sh*t is gentle as hell.

Dr. G Brightening and Exfoliating Gel is the MUST-HAVE exfoliator for every skin type / www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

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8 On-The-Spot Ways to Get Calm

Feeling overwhelmed is awful, especially when you're in a stressful situation. Sometimes you can't always escape, but you can use techniques to help you get calm in the moment... // CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

I’ve talked a lot about anxiety lately– including Things That Happen When You See a Therapist as well as How to Find A Therapist.  To see all of my anxiety posts, you can scroll through my “Mental Health” posts under the “Health” tab at the top. With all this focus on anxiety, we still haven’t really talked too much about how to combat anxiety and get calm.

So when NewLifeOutlook emailed me asking if they could write about some techniques to help you get calm, obviously I agreed. Eric provided some helpful tips on how to calm down when you’re feeling anxious, some of which I utilize myself when I’m feeling stressed. Hopefully these tips help you if you’re in need.

Got any tips of your own, or agree with anything listed below? Leave them at the end in the comments! And without further ado, I’ll kick it over to Eric to talk about how to get calm.

8 On-The-Spot Ways to Get Calm

The ability to relax and calm yourself during a stressful situation is an ability that seems to come naturally to some. They always seem to have a plan and never let worry get the best of them, while you feverishly work to find anything that works for you.

Since you do not have the innate ability to get calm quickly, you must work to build coping skills that break the pattern of stress and tension in order to let in feelings of peacefulness and control.

Here are the eight best on-the-spot relaxation skills to leave you calm.

Deep Breathing

Before you cringe or bemoan the fact that this list includes deep breathing, understand that this is just one of the natural ways to relieve anxiety that works wonders for many people.

When you hear “deep breathing,” you may think about people who have tried to convince you of its powers before, or how you already tried it with no success. The truth is that deep breathing is highly effective, but most people perform it incorrectly.

To begin your mastery, work to take a deep breath in while leaving your shoulders still. Let your stomach protrude as you suck in the air. After a brief pause, let the air escape slowly for a long exhale.

Exercise

Exercise works wonders for many physical and mental health complaints, and as it turns out, it is even effective in calming your body and mind.

You do not even need to lace up your sneakers or go to the gym. If you are feeling tense or restless, try some dynamic stretches to burn off some energy.

Touch your toes or roll your arms forward to reduce some tightness in your chest. Doing jumping jacks or pushups shouldn’t be out of the question either — sure, you may look odd exercising in your work clothes, but it is better than feeling anxious.

Experiment with different types of exercise in different situations to find what works best for you.

Change Your Thinking

All day every day, thoughts are swirling through your head, making you anxious. Take control of your thoughts by inserting some positivity, or challenging whatever messages are contributing to your stress.

Some people develop mantras to improve their thought patterns. Mantras are simple phrases or sentences that you can repeat out loud or to yourself when their influence is needed.

Saying “I feel relaxed, calm, and in control” can work to modify your thoughts and change the resulting behaviors. Whichever version you choose, be sure to say it often to get the desired impact.

Listen to Music

A four-minute song can completely change your point of view, even when you’re stressed or anxious. Keep a positive playlist on your phone so the songs will be there whenever you need them.

Perhaps heavy metal is just what you need to find calm, or maybe you peace in a concerto. The important thing is you find music that reverses — rather than reinforces — your tension.

Again, experimentation will be necessary here. Some tunes will work better in certain situations than others.

Play a Game

Since your phone is already out after listening to music, you might as well open up your favorite app and play a few games.

People generally spend too much time on their phones, which equates to too much wasted time and distraction. In this case, a small amount of escape is acceptable.

Diving into the game will consume all of your attention and provide your brain with a needed break. During this time, you can find enough separation from your stressor to have a new, fresh approach.

Be sure to limit your time, though. There is a thin line between short-term escape and long-term avoidance.

Call a Friend

Your phone can play music and can help you play games as well. Another thing your phone can do is actually make a phone call!

So many people are just a call away, and even though they might not be able to erase your stress, they can be a friendly voice on the other end of the line. Start with people you trust and respect, and feel free to guide the conversation in any direction.

Talking about your anxiety isn’t a must since you can find calm by discussing last night’s game or the show on this evening. Once you hang up, you might find yourself with a new level of relaxation.

Avoid texting; the lack of immediacy can trigger increased anxiety as you wait for a response.

Physical Contact

When you were a child, there was nothing more calming or soothing than being held by your mother. It seems unlikely that your mother can still pick you up and rock you to sleep, but physical contact will assist in your goal of relaxation.

Find a loved one to hug. If no one is available, give yourself a squeeze to replicate the experience. Otherwise, you can find a comforting piece of clothing or a pillow to hug or rub against your face. This physical contact can add feelings of calm and safety no matter where you are.

Have a Taste

Stimulating your senses is a great way to help you get calm. Music and hugs soothe your hearing and touch, while eating or drinking can target your taste and smell.

Having a glass of ice water can be calming. A piece of dark chocolate or your favorite fruit can accomplish the goal with a bit more flavor.

My having something to taste and smell, you begin to focus more on these and less on your tension. Of course, you must be careful to keep this under control — a large milkshake may reduce some stress in the moment but lead to other problems later.

Avoid caffeine and alcohol as well. Three espressos may seem like a good idea, but that much caffeine will only trigger more anxiety.

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Eric Patterson, LPC is a professional counselor in western Pennsylvania working for the last 10 years to help children, teens and adults achieve their goals and live happier lives. You can find more of his writing on NewLifeOutlook.

Feeling overwhelmed is awful, especially when you're in a stressful situation. Sometimes you can't always escape, but you can use techniques to help you get calm in the moment... // CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

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Acne Skincare: LUSH Mask of Magnaminty

Acne Skincare: LUSH Mask of Magnaminty Review

It was never my intention to fall in love with LUSH products.  In fact, I started making my own bath bombs last year in hopes that I could never have to spend money at LUSH, mostly because I’m cheap. But acne is no joke. And neither is your acne skincare routine.

However, desperate times can make a gal do desperate things– like spring for a face mask in a fit of super low self-esteem to help her f!*#ing acne.  I didn’t want to love it.  I didn’t want to fall victim to the glory of LUSH products, and start handing them all my money.  But unfortunately, the face wants what the face wants.

Which is how I ended up with LUSH’s Mask of Magnaminty as an irreplaceable part of my skincare routine.

Mask of Magnaminty (Mag-na-mint-y) is a face and body mask. It is “packed full of peppermint, kaolin, and scrubby aduki beans for deeply cleansed skin”. It also contains bentonite gel, honey, evening primrose seeds, and african marigold oil, and a few other ingredients.

Let me break it down for you:

Peppermint oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A & C, iron, potassium, and magnesium. Vitamin C is great for the skin, as we all know.  And peppermint oil has antiseptic, and regenerative properties that are good for restoring your skin. The menthol that makes peppermint cooling and soothing is also good for the skin.

Kaolin is a soft clay. It helps exfoliate and cleanse skin.

Aduki beans are used as an exfoliant to cleanse and polish the skin.  Ground aduki beans also help absorb excess oil.

Honey is moisturizing and antiseptic.

Bentonite gel is soothing, absorbs dirt and oil, and promotes smoothing of the skin. It is used mainly for the base of a lot of LUSH products for it’s texture.

Evening Primrose Seeds are another exfoliating ingredient, with anti-inflammatory properties.

African Marigold Oil is antiseptic, anti-fungal, and has antioxidant properties that is good for soothing blemishes and inflammation.

Basically this mask is chalk full of skin soothing and cleansing goodies to help problem skin.  The exfoliants remove dead skin while the other ingredients pull dirt and oils, cleanse the skin to remove any dirt and bacteria that is causing breakouts, and then moisturize, sooth and reduce inflammation.

And let me tell you, it works.

Though I can’t get the change I can see in my skin to appear on camera with a before/after, I can assure you that my skin just glows and looks so much healthier after using this mask.  My skin tone is much more even, the redness from my blemishes and scars has softened, I don’t look as textured, and my skin just feels better. I use this about once per week in the evening, and love the results.

Also, a little bit goes a long way, so it is definitely worth the price for something that is not only a natural skincare product, but also effective. I got the smaller version, 4.4 oz, for around $14.00(ish)at the LUSH in Water Tower Place in Chicago. I have had it for a few months, have probably used it 10ish times, and still have maybe 3-5 more uses out of it. Not bad if I do say so myself.

Bonus: LUSH runs a recycling program. If you bring back 5 empty/clean LUSH pots with their little recycling logo on them, you get a free Fresh Face mask. How cool is that?

(Also, this is not a sponsored post what so ever, but hey LUSH, I’d definitely be open to it.  Make me a believer, huh? What other acne products do you have for me?!)

If you have acne prone skin, or have been feeling like your skin is just off lately, I would recommend trying out this mask.

What are your favorite LUSH products? Let me know!

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The Easiest Way to Eat Healthier

Let’s talk about healthy eating.

One of my 2016 Resolutions was to eat healthier. I’m one of those and I’m not ashamed of it. (Okay, maybe a little ashamed). And I’m also the kind of person who likes to take the easy way out.  So you can bet the first thing I do is search for some healthy eating hacks that don’t break the bank.

Easy Way to Eat Healthy

 

To do so, I vowed to do more at-home cooking and experiment with healthier recipes.  Which brought back an old best friend into my life:

The Veggetti Spiral Vegetable Slicer

Easy Way to Eat Healthier
Affiliate link!

And no, that is not the name of some new sexually transmitted disease.  It is the name of my favorite kitchen apparatus. And what will be your favorite very, very soon.

This hand-held little wonder will turn vegetables into pasta for just $10 dollars, and five minutes of cranking. And I know that sounded dirty, but that’s not how I meant it so I’m going to pretend I don’t see it even though I called it out. Moving on.

My easiest and go-to meal is sweet potato spaghetti and meatballs.  After work, I can toss some delicious Trader Joe’s Turkey Meatballs and Trader Joe’s pasta sauce (not sponsored, but totally open to the idea, Joe!) into the microwave to heat up. While doing so, I grab a sweet potato and start twisting it through the Vaggetti, creating sweet vegetable noodles.  If I have them on hand, I’ll crank a carrot or two through there as well.

It takes about 5-7 minutes on medium heat over a skillet with some garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil to soften the noodles, and voila, you’ve got yourself a guilt-free but totally satisfying dinner. Toss some parmesan on there too, who cares. You’re eating NOODLES made of VEGETABLES. A little cheese is just your reward for filling up on the good stuff, man. Enjoy that beta-carotene with a size of delicious cheese.

And this is all done in with very little preparation in about 15 minutes– which includes eating time as well. That is, if you’re me and inhale your food before it’s even cool enough to touch.

The possibilities are endless. Prefer something other than a sweet bowl of noodles? Make some zucchini noodles instead and get your greens. Though I haven’t tried it yet, I’ve also seen other suggested noodles include parsnips, squash, eggplant, and turnips.  And spaghetti squash is another personal favorite of mine, so I really don’t think you can go wrong with some Squoodles. Plus, you get to say Squoodles!

Once you have a spiralized slicer, just do a quick Pinterest search and marvel at the dinner ideas. It’s almost absurdly easy to get your vegetables when you have one of these bad boys. Invest in one and you won’t regret it. Plus, you’ll get to add “oodles” pretty much anything, which is always fun.

To get you started, here are some awesome recipes to test out:

BRB while I wipe the drool off my computer keyboard.

Do you have a favorite kitchen appliance that encourages you to eat better, or another healthy eating hack that you swear by? Tell me what it is. I love gadgets!

 

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Fall Skincare Empties: Serums, Pore Strips, and Micellar Water

Reviews of Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment, Bioré Pore Strips, Simple Cleansing Micellar Water, L'Oreal Age Perfect Cell Renewal Serum, and DERMAdoctor Ain't Misbehavin' Medicated Acne Control Serum

Y’all know I love skincare posts.  Maybe it’s because I have acne, or what, but I can’t get enough skincare posts. Tell me your good, your bad, and your ugly about the products you try.  I will eat it up with a spoon.That being said, I have been trying a lot of new things the past year, and especially have been trying to test them out the past few months to track some change.  And now that I feel I have a good range of things to show off, allow me to share my thoughts with you:

Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment

This was a trend I jumped on last year.  Totally crazy price-tag be damned, I ordered one as soon as I heard some major gurus spitting it’s praises. Immediately, I wasn’t a major fan, but I wanted to give it time.  I even did a full review of it last year after buying a second bottle. But instead of returning the second bottle, I decided to use it and see if I was wrong.

Nope.  I was right.  This was a total let down for my skin.  I actually finished it up a few months ago, but kept it purposely for this post.  Now I am going to throw it away and enjoy every single moment of it.

L’Oreal Paris Age Perfect Cell Renewal (Golden Serum)

Along the same lines, I saw this little ditty in a tiny tester size at Target a few months ago.  I wanted a chemical exfoliator serum (it has LHAs in it, similar to AHAs, check my review of Good Genes I linked above above if you want to know what I’m talking about!), so I thought I’d try it.

I enjoyed using it in the morning, as it definitely gives my skin a glow after application, but I used it daily for about 8 weeks, and didn’t see too much of difference in my actual skin.  I had purchased it in hopes that it would help fade my hyper-pigmentation from my acne, but if it did, I still haven’t noticed.  For people who don’t have bad scarring or red marks and are just looking for an exfoliator or something to help them sparkle underneath their make-up, I’d recommend trying it out.  Though it is really scented, so those with sensitive skin, beware.

DERMAdoctor Ain’t Misbehavin’ Medicated Acne Control Serum

I can’t remember if this was recommended to me or if I just grabbed it online, but it became my holy grail acne treatment.  It really calmed my breakouts for awhile, and I just actually purchased a new tube after I squeezed the life out of this one– as you can tell.  It was my ride-or-die, so when I just orderd my second tube after running out for a few weeks, I was super stoked.

Unfortunately, I’m becoming disenchanted with it now that I’m on this second tube.  I apply it after my toner, let it dry while I brush my teeth and change my clothes, and then apply moisturizer.  This has been my routine for as long as I can remember with this product.  With this new bottle, however, it has started balling up on my skin when I apply moisturizer.  Literal tiny white balls, like my moisturizer is rolling the layer up off my skin when I apply it.  Which means two things to me: 1) It’s not soaking in, even though I’m giving it a good 5-10 minutes to do so, and 2) It’s not treating my skin anymore because it can’t soak in.I tweeted DERMAdoctor about it this morning (because I’m that kind of person!) and they responded with “….Generally that means you need to use less. 2 pumps at most and let dry before moisturizer.”

…Mmmkay.

Even though I already only use 1 – 1 1/2 pumps, I am going to try using even less and seeing if it works.  If not, I am going to return the bottle.  I have no time for bad products when it comes to my acne. Especially with it’s higher price tag.

EDITED LATER: I tried using only one pump, and making sure to spread it over my entire face, and not just the lower half of my face like I had been doing.  And what do you know, it stopped balling up on me. Who knew that if you just followed the instructions, products could work?

Bioré Ultra Deep Cleansing Pore Strips

Tried these for the very first time.  I got a box of 6, was not happy with the price in the first place, and now I don’t think I’ll be repurchasing.  I can very clearly see gunky pores on my nose, and onto the tops of my cheeks (TMI, but totally true).  I tried these –and I’ve used all 6 of them, so I feel like I’ve given it a good try– and I am not impressed.

A few times I tried pulling them off and they left a white layer on my skin, like the strip separated or something, and I had to wash the white layer off. Or, if that didn’t happen, then literally nothing came out of my pores, and I got back a blank strip with no gross but satisfying little gunk lines on it.  I followed the directions, tried making them more wet, less wet, leaving it on for longer, for shorter, etc, but these did just work for me.  If anyone has any other ideas, or has a trick for them, let me know, please!

Simple Cleansing Micellar Water

Overall, not impressed, but didn’t hate it. I like having it around for just taking off my make-up because it does a good job of doing so without leaving a film on my face.  But other than that, it didn’t WOW me.  I may repurchase, but I recently switched to oil cleansing my face, which also takes my make-up off amazingly, so I’m not sure if I really even have need for it anymore.

And that’s it.  I’m now testing a new cleanser, which I am loving so far, so I’ll give an update on that at the end of the month.  But that’s it for my finished up products for this fall.Got any skincare favorites you think I should try? Please let me know!

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