Weekends are made for masking.  With a little more free time on hour hands, we have the opportunity to get more creative.

You've already grown accustomed to all the clay masks in your collection, it's time to try something different.  Seasons are changing and the air is getting drier by the day.  Those clay masks aren't as relevant as they used to be.

Try this mask instead.
If you've ever attempted to purchase sheet masks, you've probably seen several have the word "collagen" on the label as a selling point.  The idea is that these collagen sheet masks can help plump your skin.  But, one has to wonder, how much collagen is in those things anyway?

I have this drawer that houses all of the sheet masks I've collected along the way.  One in particular, from Masqueology, is a Collagen Hydro Gel mask.  When I flipped the packet over to read the ingredients, I discovered that it contained hydrolized collagen along with other high-end ingredients like caviar and pearl powder. There's also some super-ingredient that allegedly activates the production of vitamin D levels in the skin.  Sounds fancy. Maybe that's why this mask retails for over $30.00!

That's quite a chunk of change. And maybe it's worth it? I dunno but I wondered if there was a way to incorporate hydrolized collagen into my beauty routine without breaking the bank.
Hydrolyzed collagen is special because the particles are small enough to penetrate. Does this mean that applying collagen topically will magically make your skin appear younger & firmer?  Who knows.  But, according to multiple reviews of collagen-based products I looked into....probably.   Many reviewers are claiming to experience toned, lifted skin from using collagen infused masks.

I have a tub of collagen peptides that I like to add to my beverages.  This stuff easily disappears into any liquid at room temperature (or warmer). Once dissolved, it leaves no traces of grittiness or taste behind. That's a testament to how tiny the particles are. Taking collagen internally has served me well, but I felt it was time to see if there were any benefits possible from using collagen topically.

The first phase of this project involved adding a scoop of collagen peptides to my Kanechom conditioner.  Unfortunately for me, temperatures recently dropped, cooling down my products so the powder didn't dissolve as it normally would. *Mental note, warm up the conditioner slightly next time to see if that makes a difference.*  After a bit of stirring with my Sprush, everything eventually blended together.

As expected, there was no grittiness or any other physical changes to the conditioner.  I applied as normal and waited until the entire process was completed to assess the results.  I didn't know what to expect other than to experience a slight improvement in the "health" of my hair.  If the collagen did its job, it would penetrate the strand and strengthen it from within.  It's been over 24 hours and I love the way my hair looks and feels.  The only thing I did differently was adding collagen to my conditioner and it made a noticeable difference. This is will be a permanent part of my routine.

Next, I'm envisioning ways to build collagen peptides into my skin routine.  One of the most obvious ways is to dissolve a little into my daily moisturizer.  I'm already mixing it with chlorella powder, what's one more ingredient?

Since collagen peptides are in powder form, it'll be easy to blend with any DIY clay mask mixture.  This will help your mask to lift and firm while it clears out your pores.  Collagen easily dissolves in liquids too so I might add a little bit of it into a homemade facial mist.  My first experiment will probably be a rosewater/collagen blend.

Lastly, I'm  thinking on how to make my own collagen sheet mask.  A brand called Huwala has these plain sheet masks that are perfect for DIY projects.  Sometimes, I'll look at an ingredient in a mask and wonder how much of the key ingredients are really in there.  With these plain masks, you whip up your own concoction for a fraction of the price.  You get 60 masks for one low investment.  When I get these, I'm making a brightening mask with enough of the active ingredient to make a real difference.

I'm daydreaming of making a green tea sheet mask soaked in 100% green tea!  Or maybe an aloe vera collagen mask. The possibilities are endless and I'm getting excited just thinking about it.

I also love this DIY video of how to make your own GEL SHEET MASK at home.  Getting some spring roll rice paper today to make a bunch of gel patches for my under eye and smile lines that I can use every day. Check it out.

I've experienced it time and time again.  After a long day of trying to get everything done, I finally get a chance to sit down and scarf my dinner.  Next thing I know, it's time for bed.  My belly's full, I'm happy and ready to drift off into dreamland.

Over the next several months, the days will grow shorter which means most of us will consume our dinners close to bedtime.  This isn't ideal. We've all heard the advice of not eating our last meal too late. But how many of us really abide by those rules?

If you knew the full impact of late night eating, I'm sure you'd think twice.

Eating is my favorite thing to do.  It feels good to eat a satisfying meal after a long day.  But timing is everything.  You've been told to avoiding eating after six to help with weight management.  I tried eating early but found it very hard to do.  If you work a 9-5, you're probably still stuck in traffic by the time the clock hits 6:00 pm.

When my career progressed, my days grew longer and I found myself often grabbing something quick to eat after 9:00 pm.  Whenever I ate a meal after "normal dinner hours," I noticed something peculiar.  I woke up the next day feeling sleep deprived.  All of those days of sleeping full added up. During the last few years of employment with my former employer, I aged quite a bit.

Friends who hadn't seen me a long time would always be like....."wow, uh, you look.....tired."  I knew exactly what that meant.  It meant that my eyes were starting to sink in and that I always looked unrested.  I chocked it up to the long hours and endless travel.  But, I neglected to realize the impact that late night eating was having on my body.

Here's the thing, sleeping is one of the most rejuvenating things you can do.  As we sleep, our body goes into full-on repair mode.  Did you know that around 90 minutes after you fall asleep, your body starts to produce human growth hormones (HGH)?  HGH plays a major role in protein preservation. HGH is referred to as the "ultimate antiaging hormone" because it's heavily involved cell growth, pair, and regeneration.  Children have the highest levels of HGH while the elderly are deficient.

The other major benefit of having high levels of HGH is rapid fat burning.  Not only does HGH keep you looking younger looking, it helps you stay slim & toned.  Some pay big bucks for prescription HGH just to experience the benefits of youth once again. But we don't need purchase synthetic shots because we can easily make our own.

We produce human growth hormone in multiple ways.  One of the most powerful is by sleeping.  It's something we do every day.  Within the first couple of hours of sleep, your body generates high levels of the youth hormone.  But, when you sleep with a full stomach (or shortly after eating) your body is primarily focused on digestion (which requires lots of energy).

Basically, when we eat 1-2 hours before bed, we're robbing ourselves of our HGH producing potential.  Instead of creating ample amounts of the amazing youth hormone, it's busy trying to break down that big 'ol burger you just devoured.

If you're a  late-night eater, I invite you to eat dinner a litter earlier.  Or, if it isn't possible, try incorporating some light activity after eating to stimulate digestion and lower your blood sugar levels before bed.

Going to bed with high insulin levels (which happens when we eat) will rob you of the potential to burn fat while you sleep.  Once insulin is released into the bloodstream, any and all fat burning activity stops! Try this experiment.  Eat your last meal about 3-4 hours before bed and notice how much leaner you are when you wake up the next morning.  It's an amazing feeling to stand in the mirror and gaze at your non-bloated morning belly.  I know that we can't always schedule early evening dinners but, I beg you, please don't make a habit of eating late night, right before bed.

Timing is everything.
In the summer, dewy skin just sorta happens.  Once winter rolls around, we may need a little help.  So now, more than ever, I'm starting to reach for my skin mists once again.  I've amassed quite a collection but I always keep my eyes peeled for potential new additions.

It seems that I may have found the next product on my hit list. My intention was to find a facial mist that does  more than just hydrate.  Don't get me wrong, instant hydration is a good thing, but I want my facial mist to provide even more value.  I want it to leave me looking flushed and glowing.

These new facial mists, I was introduced to, might be exactly what I'm looking for.
Social media influencer, Christina Caradona, shared an Instagram where she revealed a couple of  facial mists that the described as "the best skin mists, I've ever used."

Take a look.
  (click on box on bottom right corner of the video to watch in full screen).