Friday, July 31, 2015

Poppin' Bottles

As stated in Happy Hour, my hour in the shower is, in my opinion, the most relaxing point of the day. However, as a participant in bikram yoga, an involved shower routine is not always feasible. Doing an hour and a half of yoga in a 104 degree room, for me, makes showering a must directly after class which brings up a specific dilemma: while my "beauty routine" has become more reliant on natural ingredients and devices to carry them, my limited shower time and room in my gym bag make it nearly impossible to transport and use such ingredients in another location.

In Oil My Goodness, I spoke about my penchant for glass bottles over plastic. I tend to use old Kikkoman soy sauce bottles to hold vinegar and old spice bottles to hold baking soda (they allow for an easy pour and keep contents protected from water). However, while these glass bottles look nice on my shower rack, I get nervous at the thought of placing them in my gym bag and feel bad about lining them up and using them in a small, quick shower. While some might suggest a quick rinse post yoga and a longer shower at home, the truth of the matter is: I hate getting my hair wet and only like to do it once in a day. Recently, however, Into the Gloss featured and interview with Cindy Crawford where she detailed "shortcuts" in her beauty routine, some of them pre-gym. In the interview, Crawford claimed to put a mask in her hair, claiming that, "since I know I'll be washing my hair right after I exercise, I put a pre-wash conditioner in my hair... A greasy ponytail during a workout never hurt anyone." While hair-treatment in a 104 degree room might be a hazard to your eyes since sweat seems to go everywhere during yoga, there are a few things I do before and after yoga to help streamline my routine... just like Cindy Crawford.

Dry Brush: Running a dry brush over my body in motions up towards my heart is a great way to exfoliate before yoga when I might not be able to in the shower, afterwards. It also stimulates blood flow which, in my opinion, gives you a jump-start on something your workout is going to do anyway. I got mine at Whole Foods but Aromatherapy Associates sells a good one as well.

Masking at home saves you from looking like an Oompah-Loompah at the gym.

Honey and Turmeric Mask: In the yoga "locker room" there are two small showers and one large sign asking patrons to keep their showers to three minutes...maximum. As such, I basically use my prescription strength dandruff shampoo to wash my hair and body post-haste. Therefore, while I don't always believe the hype that we need to treat our face oh, so differently from our bodies, I sometimes want to give my face and extra cleanse post yoga. Recently, I came across a recipe for a honey-turmeric mask used to reduce inflammation in the skin. Several nights a week, I like to slap a mask on my face to draw out any more impurities not targeted in my quick yoga-shower.

Note: As referenced in Humor Me, inflammation tends to rank high on my list of skin-related issues. This being said, try to use a mask which complements your skin and its needs best. Recipes for hydrating masks and/or calming masks abound. Additionally, I've read that standing on your head a little each day can increase blood flow to the area, thus aiding your complexion. If you ever want to try bikram yoga, this action can be done on the daily...

Hair Mask: Although I can't often use baking soda as an exfoliant post-yoga, I don't regret that my skin is not super dry following my shower. While I love baking soda as an exfoliant, I've noticed it does dry one's skin and the last thing I want to do after yoga is stand around the locker room moisturizing, moisturizing and moisturizing. Oftentimes, I just want to get a drink... iced coffee, usually. Likewise, while my anti-dandruff shampoo works well as an all-purpose cleanser, I find it does dry my hair. Therefore, making a homemade hair mask (at home) allows me the time I need to get some much needed moisture in. The conundrum of the hair mask, however, is that it requires a shampoo the next morning. Usually, I put a mask on when I know I'm not doing yoga the next day, meaning I use the "masking method" roughly two days a week. On all other nights, I try to brush my hair (I recently read that the bend in curly hair does not allow for a good distribution of oil which leads to frizz) and add a spot of oil to give it some extra sheen. This has not only lead to glossier locks but an excuse to try new beauty products. Enjoy!

If all else fails, bottles from Whole Foods are great "transport vehilces" for your beauty products.


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