Protecting & Nourishing Your Skin Barrier

As a skincare enthusiast (among other things!), I love learning from other skincare experts on social media. The truth is, the key to great skin isn't a 20 step skincare routine. Seriously, it's not that complicated! The key is protecting and nourishing your skin barrier. And that is actually pretty simple, as long as you know what ingredients to incorporate. That's what today's blog post is all about.

The skin barrier protects our skin from pollution, toxins, chemicals, etc. while holding in moisture to keep the skin hydrated. When the skin barrier is strong, it gives us soft, firm skin.  

When it's damaged, the skin barrier allows irritants to enter the skin and cause dehydration.  

Think of the skin barrier as a fence -- it keeps bad things out and protects what's inside.  A damaged skin barrier can't protect as well.  

+ Over-washing & over-exfoliating are two of the BIG ones that cause damage!  

+ Stress - hello 2020!  

+ Bad/dry air quality - forced heat keeps us warm, but can be hard on our skin. 

+ Genetics/age

*Try this homemade mask recipe: 2 tbsp plain yogurt, 1 tbsp manuka honey - provides gentle exfoliation through natural lactic acid and nourishes skin.

You may experience redness, inflammation, dehydration, sensitivity, and/or scaly skin.  

It's really pretty simple, thankfully!

1. SPF: EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  Make Zinc Oxide your BFF  Beautycounter's new Daily Sheer Defense provides incredible lightweight protection that glides on like a moisturizer and feels great under makeup. 

2. Antioxidants (like Vitamin C and Bakuchiol): By reducing inflammation, antioxidants allow skin to repair itself and correct visible damage.

+ Vitamin C is one of the most studied antioxidants available on the market. Other than being a free radical scavenger, vitamin C has other skin benefits, like boosting collagen production and fading dark spots. Beautycounter's C Serum blends two forms of Vitamin C. And did you know studies have shown that using sunscreen with Vitamin C protects the skin from further photo damage caused by ultra-violet rays?!  

+ Bakuchiol is a natural antioxidant that performs like retinol without the harsh side effects, and it's found in Beautycounter's Countertime skincare line.  

Vitamin C and Sunscreen are BFFs!  

But incorporating antioxidants into your skincare regimen can be as simple as masking and/or cleansing with manuka honey, which  provides antioxidant, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory benefits!

* Try this homemade mask/cleanser recipe: 1 tsp manuka honey, 1/4 tsp turmeric, 1/4 tsp lemon juice.

3. Hyaluronic Acid: Already naturally-occurring in skin, hyaluronic acid is a humectant that attracts and holds moisture in skin cells. Hyaluronic Acid fortifies the skin barrier to help lock moisture in for an even more dramatic hydrating effect. Over time, this can help to slow down the deterioration of the lipid barrier and help protect and fortify it. When the lipid barrier is further enhanced and protected by hyaluronic acid, the skin is better able to defend itself against environmental age-factors and pollutants. When it’s not fighting these toxins, the skin remains less wrinkled, brighter, and more bouncier longer.  

And you guessed it, Beautycounter includes hyaluronic acid in quite a few of their products from facial serums to even their Skin Twin Foundation, which is why it feels and looks so good on skin! The creamy concealer also has it in there.

 Having a strong skin barrier is the key to healthy skin and thankfully, if it becomes damaged, it is reversible!

It's never too late to start nourishing and protecting your skin barrier. Like I always say, remember that small changes add up over time!

Zinc Oxide, Vitamin C, Bakuchiol and Hyaluronic Acid are 4 ingredients that are beneficial for protecting and repairing your skin's barrier. And while I personally love Beautycounter's offerings with these ingredients, you can find these clean ingredients in the products of many different brands. 

If you're struggling with dehydrated, peeling, inflamed or sensitive skin, email me at or you can take my free skincare consult where I'll send you personalized suggestions!


I also wanted to show you a quick peek at a couple fun fall gift sets (they make great holiday gifts!)  I'm so excited for you to see them all here! These are not only fun because there's lots of new products and shades, but they're also very affordable. If you've been wanting to try a couple things from Beautycounter, our gift sets are a great way to do that at a really good price.

Beautycounter doesn't regularly sell makeup palettes that contain both eyeshadow and blush, so this Golden Hour All-In-One Palette ($65) is one you should definitely grab if you've been wanting to make the switch to clean makeup. This palette is made up of limited edition shades and comes with a pull-out mirror making it a really fun gift as well! As always, Beautycounter batch tests all of their color cosmetics for heavy metals. This highlighter is GORGEOUS and I love that the mirror is a hidden little surprise for convenience.

The Brightside Duo is the set I think will sell out first. It's $75, which is a great value! The All Bright C Serum is $79 on its own, so to get this serum and the Overnight Resurfacing Peel (another game-changing skincare product) together for $75 is such an amazing deal! I've been referring to this set as the AM/PM set because the C serum is a daytime product and the peel renews your skin while you sleep. 

If you haven't yet tried Beautycounter's new lipgloss formula, this Beyond Gloss Trio ($45) is a great way to get three universally flattering shades. These are limited edition colors, and they're so pretty!  You get 3 full size glosses in this set, and one gloss is regularly priced $29, so it's a great deal.  Treat yourself with this one! Or keep one or two, and gift the third ;) 

The Jellies were so popular last year that they brought them back and also created them with shimmer!  This set is $39 and makes for such a great gift for a tween or teen.  These lip jellies are limited edition; and once they're sold out, they'll likely be gone until next year.  The formula is super moisturizing and not overly tacky. The colors are light and sheer. I love these shimmery shades!

Let me know if you have any questions! I hope this was helpful.

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If you love learning about safe, effective ingredients and want more information on how to clean up your beauty routine, sign up for my monthly Safer Beauty Tribe newsletter! These newsletters are a monthly guide to help you navigate the cosmetics aisle with confidence. They’re meant to help you make safe, effective selections no matter what brands you choose to use and let you know about any sales or favorite products (not just Beautycounter). As you know, I am a Beautycounter consultant and will earn commission for any sales.

Our 2020 Fall Porch

I'm not sure about you, but decorating for holidays or seasons is something that brings me joy, even in the midst of hard times or in this case, a very hard year. Someone recently told me I find joy in decorating because I share it with everyone so the joy comes from the encouraging comments. She said she didn't feel the need or desire to decorate since no one can come in her house this year (Covid) and that since I have a place to share my home (this blog!) it's different for me. I'm here to say that's simply not true. Don't get me wrong, I do love sharing our home with you here! But that's not the reason I decorate, nor should it be the reason any of us do it. The reason we decorate (an extension of celebrating!) should start from a desire within ourselves. Maybe it's because switching up decor makes you happy or seeing pumpkins reminds you of a new favorite season,  or maybe it's simply because you like tinkering around with different vignettes and styling items around your home. 

I think of my grandma, who is also an interior designer, who still loves to decorate. They used to live in a huge lodge-like home that she'd decorate to the nines for each and every holiday. It was so grand and special! Since they've moved into a smaller, more manageable home for them, I've really admired this about her: she still decorates it the same. Not for anyone but her! Truthfully, my grandpa could care less ;) and sure, maybe a few friends see it, but other than that, she decorates because she loves it and has fun with it. I hope I'm always like that, no matter how big or small my home is. I hope this always brings me joy!

All of that to say, I decorated our little stoop (porch?) for fall a couple weeks ago and thankfully I took some photos, because if you've seen on Instagram, the squirrels have since demolished a couple of my pumpkins- ha!  I love driving up to the house and seeing a little bit of fall here. It's super simple and though I have dreams of a grand porch covered in pumpkins and mums one day like this, this is just fine for now. My husband also might kill me if I spend $150 on pumpkins ;)

I did a little DIY project on these Terracotta pots before planting the mums. I just used the interior paint color on our walls to paint the pots and used a wirey paint brush to create some texture. Then I sanded the pots after the paint dried. I didn't want them to look brand new. 

You know Lincoln had to get in on the action! He got a new fall/winter scarf from this adorable etsy shop, so I had to try it out on him before our family pictures. I think it's just so cute! And you know my dog, very shy in front of the camera. It's like his personality just vanishes! 

He couldn't be more thrilled ;)

I think I spent about $50 on the whole porch including the mums, pots, and pumpkins! I call it a festive win. Have you decorated for fall yet?


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Friday Finds: Fall Favorites

Hey friends! Hope you had a great week! I went into the Loft and Madewell yesterday and I'm here to share some favorite finds with you! I'm loving all these cozy looks.

Ribbed Turtleneck: this is a nice thin basic, comes in a couple colors!
Drapey Cardigan: this one was a perfect fit right over the ribbed turtleneck. It's not a really thick cardigan, but it's a great layering piece! This is the deep olive color.

Striped Long sleeve: this is such a great basic tee. I love the neckline with the thicker color block there.

Flecked Sweater: this one came home with me! It's so cozy and I love that it's longer in the back and has the cute high neck. You can easily dress this up or down. 

This sweater looks so much cuter on than online or on the hanger. I loved it so much I bought it! It's a really deep plum color-- it's beautiful. It has 5% wool, which usually bothers/itches me, but this one doesn't at all. It's really soft! I will style it with a front tuck, like this:

I got Madewell jeans last year for my birthday and LOVE THEM, I might never go back to any other brand. This is the style I have and they are perfection. I sized down one because they have a slight give to them and they fit perfect. Here are some fun looks I found while shopping yesterday:

Dotted Puff Sleeve Sweater: I'd probably recommend sizing up one in this. This is my true size, but the sleeves are a little short.

Button Back Top: this one is so cute, I really wanted it! It's a top, not a sweater, but can be layered with a cardigan. The back has chunky buttons all the way down! They didn't have my size, so I tried on a S instead of XS. I'd definitely need the XS though.

Ruffle Hem Midi Dress: such a fun one for family pictures or any occasion in the fall / winter if you live somewhere that you don't need much coverage ;)

Wrap Midi Dress: loved this silky-soft dress! The V is slightly low, but I don't have hardly any chest, so it worked just fine ;)

Plaid Popover Dress: this is such a fun one! Could see it with tall boots and tights in colder weather, even. In the summer it's perfect as is or with a denim jacket.

Ruffle Neck Sweater: this was the winner from Madewell! I'm hoping to go back and get this for my birthday in two weeks. It's just SO CUTE with the ruffles!! Not itchy at all. You could size up one to get that slightly more  slouchy, casual vibe. This is my normal size though, and it's what I would stick to.

Here are some other favorite sweaters for fall!

Have a wonderful weekend! Our only plans are to keep progressing on the basement project and winterize our house and yard (ie put away outdoor furniture, take out screens, etc.)

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Our Anniversary Trip to Northern Michigan & Mackinac Island

I can't believe it, but I've somehow taken a 2 month break from the blog! I wanted to share what we did for our 4th wedding anniversary, even though it was over 3 weeks ago now ;)

On our actual anniversary, we went to my favorite restaurant in Grand Rapids called Nonnas. I wore my rehearsal dinner dress, which I want to do until it doesn't fit anymore, haha!

The next week we headed up North for a two day getaway! We stopped at one of my favorite wineries, Brys Estate. They have this really yummy Froze (frozen rose slushy!(

They have this cute pumpkin patch and gift shop filled with lavender products from their farms!

The hydrangea on this trip were out of control beautiful. I just love them!!

We drove up to Petoskey, MI and stayed at The Inn at Bay Harbor for two nights. It's a beautiful hotel with a great restaurant and a lovely pool area (that we took full advantage of!)

We watched the sunset here at the pool and it was just gorgeous!!

The next day we went to Mackinac Island and unfortunately it was rainy and chilly :( But we still had a nice day looking around the town at some pretty homes along the water and spent lots of time in The Grand Hotel.

The last time I was on the island was when I was 10 months old and learning how to walk! We have home video of me taking steps on the front porch of The Grand...right here! Come to find out, I was actually here exactly 30 years apart as the last trip (when I was a baby) was also taken in September. Isn't that crazy?!

The inside of The Grand is just an explosion of color, pattern and wallpaper! Here's one of my favorites that I found in the dining room:

This light fixture caught my eye!

We got to peek in a guest room and I was shocked to find this massive canopy bed! ;)

My mom's cousin and her husband were at The Grand when we were there and they treated us to this sweet afternoon tea! It was so fun.

We didn't stay on the island, we headed back to the hotel in Petoskey and I'm really glad we did it like that. It was nice not to change hotels! Since it was raining, we didn't get to ride bikes, which I was so bummed about, but it was still a nice day.

The next day was our last day on the trip and we had to stop in Charlevoix, MI on the way home. It's the most charming town right by the marina. My friend Jennifer's floral shop, Bloom, is there and it's just the sweetest. Look at this insane floral installation!! I picked up a couple flowers to bring home.

Look at this crystal blue water!

It was a great little getaway to celebrate! Hope your week is off to a nice start!


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