Better Skin – How to Get Better Skin and Keep it

better skin acne free

It’s only taken me about 40 years to figure out the secret to getting better looking skin. From breakouts, to minor acne, to eczema to dry skin and dark spots, my skin has not been easy. But I have learned a lot, and hopefully my hindsight can be your foresight so you can benefit now, and not have to cake on the makeup or feel self conscious like I did for years wondering how others had such beautiful skin. So here are my tips on how to get better skin fast!

Top 4 ways to get better skin fast

1. Stop washing it so often! I know when I heard of this a few years back I rolled my eyes, but bear with me a moment. Unless you’re sweating or getting pretty dirty overnight, you really don’t need to wash your face every morning. Let those natural oils stay on your face from overnight into the following day. If you have breakouts, just apply a thin layer of the product of your choice before applying sunblock, foundation, etc. As you’ll see in number two, I swear by Clearasil Ultra Rapid Action Vanishing Acne Treatment Cream.

better skin

2. Find your breakout solution and stick to it. I’m a big fan of benzoyl peroxide. The Clearasil Ultra Rapid Action Vanishing Acne Treatment Cream goes on clear and really works wonders. If my skin is even starting to appear like it’s going to start giving me trouble, I apply it under makeup and/or before bed as needed. It doesn’t dry my skin out as other products (especially if you follow the washing advice in #1 above), and really does work fast.

3. Find a great exfoliation tool. I mean one of those that says only to use it up to 3 times a week max. You can use one of the weaker ones as your daily face wash,great skin but I’m talking about a good strong one to renew your skin. I recently found Rodan & Fields’ Micro-Dermabrasion Paste and I’m obsessed with it. My skin has never looked better and I’m psyched! I use it every three days or so in the morning after showering and before drying my face (my skin can be sensitive so I use a limited amount and gently rub it into my skin while it’s still wet). If you’re not up for trying this one, I used to use the Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System 0.68 Fl Oz, 1-Count and St. Ives Fresh Skin Invigorating Apricot Scrub, 10 Ounce, and they work pretty well together (until you try the Micro-Dermabrasion paste and compare!).

4. Use a good sunblock or light foundation with sunblock. I like a light foundation or tinted moisturizer. My current favorite for better skin is Smashbox CC as it has dark spot correcting added right in, as well as sunblock. If you’re not sure on your coloring, stop by an Ulta or Sephora if you have one nearby and the people there will help you pick. I use the color fair and love it. It includes an spf, which is great for everyday use. I use it all through the winter – don’t forget the sun is out then too, even when there’s snow on the ground! Then in the summer stock up on other sunblocks to make sure you’re protected all over (review of best aerosol sunblocks). If you’re a sun worshipper (I am myself), or even if you’re not, don’t forget to moisturize!

Now that your face is fabulous, did you read about the best dry shampoo on the market?

Best Sunblock Aerosol Sprays

Let me start by saying I absolutely love the aerosol sunblock sprays. I don’t know how anyone cannot love them. They are the best sunblocks – easy to use, easy to reapply, and they work great! Yes, you have to make sure you spray all over and don’t miss a spot, but you have to do that with sunblocks that get rubbed on too, and this way the sunblock is not all over your hands too! Below are the Best Sunblock Aerosol Sprays on the market.

Coppertone kids best sunblock for kids -

Coppertone Kids – the best sunblock for kids.

Coppertone Sport - best sunblock for active fun in the sun.

Coppertone Sport – best sunblock for active fun in the sun.

Best Sunblock for the Kids

Coppertone Sunblock. Period. First, there is Coppertone Water Babies, which is fantastic – great coverage, works great even on sensitive skin, and I think you can start using it when your baby is only six months old. It has been a lifesafer for me and my kids. I have two pretty pale kids, and one has blond hair and blue eyes, so I’m extremely diligent about sun protection. I swear by the Coppertone brand. Now that the kids are a little older, they don’t want to be seen with me applying the water babies sunblock, so I changed to the Coppertone Kids a few years ago.

I spray it on once a day and they’re covered. If we’re in warmer climates (Carribean) or in stronger sun zones, I reapply it after lunch. Even with swimming, tubing, beach fun, toweling off and more swimming, I’ve never had an issue with either kids getting a sunburn. If I can’t find the Coppertone Kids, I grab the Coppertone Sport, which also works great. None of these rub off onto your swimsuit or towel like some other brands do. I even spray them right onto my kids faces (they are old enough to squeeze their eyes shut, pull in their lips and exhale as I spray). The spray doesn’t get into their eyes and works great.

Best (non) Sunblock for you? 🙂

Bain de Soleil Tanning Spray. For those who want to expose their skin to a bit more of the sun, and get that golden glow despite the known risks, the Bain de Soleil Spf 4 works great. I can’t help but worship the sun on those winter getaways to warmer climates, and the Bain de Soleil kept me from burning, but still allowed me to get a nice golden tan.

I’ve tried the Banana Boat, Neutrogena, No Ad, and generic Target aerosol sunblock sprays, and still find the above to be the best sunblock aerosol sprays.

Have you checked out our Best Yoga Mat recommendations?

Here’s a sneak peek at one of our recommended best yoga mats:

Disney Cruise Packing List – Obvious and Not so Obvious Items

Disney Cruise - a packing checklist

Before our recent Disney Cruise, I searched thrDisney Cruise tipsough multiple blogs and checklists to determine what to bring. Here’s my list of what to put and not put on your Disney cruise packing checklist. I’ve included links to samples online to help you see what I’m talking about – just in case! 🙂

Disney Cruise packing checklist – the Obvious & Not-so-Obvious stuff to bring

Disney Cruise packing checklist:

  1. Sunblock! One checklist item that may seem very obvious is sunblock. But many people ran out on the cruise – for a 4-night cruise in the Bahamas we went through 3 large aerosol cans of sunblock! It’s hot, and reapplication is a must. And of course it’s not cheap to buy more on board!
  2. Another Disney Cruise packing checklist item that is pretty obvious is bathing suits. But I definitely recommend bringing more than one per person (we brought 3 each). Don’t forget the goggles for the pool and ocean! (If you haven’t tried the full mask snorkel yet, it’s very cool!)
  3. Don’t bring just one pair of flip flops and/or Crocs  – my son got a blister from the flip flops after just two days, and wearing sneakers around the pool isn’t the easiest. Now when we travel I bring the kids a pair of flip flops and Crocs, slip-on shoes or other water shoes.
  4. Another checklist item I was really glad I brought was polarized sunglasses, but in hindsight, I really should have had them for the kids, too. The glare off of the ocean and pools is pretty strong. So put sunglasses on the Disney Cruise packing checklist – for you and the kids.
  5. Keeping with the sun protection, hats are a must. Despite our Disney Cruise - a packing checklist Hatefforts, my son did get a little too much sun on his face, so we insisted on sunblock and a hat from then on! We brought baseball style hats for the kids, big floppy ones for me, and a Tilley for my hubbie). If you can get your kids to wear the better coverage sun hats, go for those! Maybe make it fun with a cowgirl hat!

ADD these not-so-obvious items to your Disney Cruise packing checklist:

  1. 1. Lanyard with an enclosed area to hold your “key to the world” pass – the pass is like a hotel room key and is needed to purchase items (including alcohol) Disney Cruise - a packing checklist Lanyardon the boat, enter your room, go off the ship, and pick up and drop off the kids at the kids care areas (Oceaneer Lab, Oceaneer Club, etc). I bought one on board for about $10 but I ended up putting a hair band around it to hold the cards in by the end of the trip because they kept falling out.
  2. Clothes pins – Disney Cruises have great state room space, and two clothes lines in the bathroom, but you can definitely fit more bathing suits on them if you bring the clothespins, and they’re pretty cheap and pack easily, so well worth it. Disney Cruise - a packing checklist Clothes Pins
  3. Thermos or enclosed cup or reusable water bottle. Disney allows you to bring your own alcohol, and fill up your own drink bottles with soda, fruit juices, water, etc. We bought nips at the Orlando airport, and filled up our bottles with the yummy passion fruit juice on board. (The drinks on board are pretty weak, although the drink-of-the-day was very reasonably priced at about $5.) My husband was the only one to think to bring a reusable drink bottle, and it would have been great to each have one.
  4. Pirate stuff! If you’re on one of the Disney cruises that features aDisney Cruise - a packing checklist Pirate Attire pirate party, there will be opportunities for the kids (you!) to buy light up swords, drinks with a light up Tinkerbell on them and more. Plan ahead to join the fun and not break the bank! We brought pirate attire for mom, dad, boy and girl and had great fun wearing them to dinner and to the early party. We also brought light up swords in the light stick package and tattoos, although we never ended up opening the tattoos. Most people wear some kind of pirate attire. It’s fun!
  5. Another great item to have on the Disney Cruise packing checklist is sneakers or other shoes. We wore our sneakers on the plane, and brought them when we went to Castaway Cay. When we rented bikes, it was great to have sneakers for riding (although not required). Flip flops were great, but I wish I had brought Crocs or something similar too.
  6. Alcohol. I did mention this above in C, but just so it has its own spot on the list, nips are a great addition to your Disney Cruise packing checklist if you want an extra drink or two on board with less cost. We purchased nips at the Orlando airport, which worked out great. We also brought a 6-pack of beer on board. We’re not big drinkers, but it was great to have a beer out on the veranda each night after the kids went to sleep, and a fruity drink or two during the day while the kids were in the pool.
  7. A big dirty laundry bag or something similar for dirty laundry, plus a large Ziploc bag for bathing suits that don’t dry all the way before the end of the trip. Or better yet, get one of the waterproof bags to use down by the pool and at the beach, and then use for your wet swim suits on the way home. We did end up using the laundry facilities on board (pretty cheap), but inevitably we still had some dirty laundry at the end of the trip. And wet bathing suits.
  8. A beach bag for Castaway Cay – great for carrying extra sunblock, etc. Ideally with a water-tight compartment or bag too for your phone if you’re using it as a camera.
  9. If you’re likely to catch a chill in the evenings, you may want to add a sweater or sweatshirt to your Disney Cruise packing checklist. The evenings can get a bit cool. We went on the Aquaduck waterside each night after the main seating (5:45) dining as there were virtually no lines.
  10. Magnets – the state room doors on the Disney Cruise are magnetic, so we brought these word magnets and the kids had fun putting together sentences while we were unpacking, and later we had them take them all down while we were repacking (great way for them to keep busy!). Some people get really into the Disney magnets, so if you’re into Disney or the kids are, it’s a great out-of-the-sun activity!

What not to put on your Disney Cruise packing checklist:
1. Day clothes for each day. We wore our bathing suits (me with a cover up) for breakfast, lunch and throughout the day. The only outfit you really need is something to wear for dinner. Some people do dress up, but the vast majority wear shorts and t-shirts. I wore a simple summer dress on the optional dress up night, and we all wore pirate costumes for pirate night (to dinner and after).

A lot of people dress up for pirate night, so we felt very comfortable having a bit of fun. We had a lot of clothes packed that we didn’t end up wearing! So if you have lots of outfits on your Disney Cruise packing checklist – cross off about 1/2 of them! P.S. This is a beautiful cover up if you want to splurge (& protect yourself from the sun!). Here’s the zipper cover up version.

Disney Cruise - a packing checklist No Towels Needed
2. Towels. Disney does an excellent job providing towels -both on the boat, at the pools (endless supply!), and one for each person for Castaway Cay. So no towels on the Disney Cruise packing checklist!

3. Shampoo, conditioner, soap or lotion. Unless you’re picky about your products and like to take a shower everyday no matter what, you likely won’t need these items. We were on board for 4 nights, and each only took a shower twice, and the Disney products were fine.

4. Food. There’s so much to choose from at the various eating establishments. Even trying not to go too crazy eating, we definitely were worried about the scale by the end of the trip! They feed you as soon as you get on the boat, have 24-hour room service, and feed you again right before you get off the boat! Also, as a side note, Disney is great about helping out with allergies and offering options that meet dietary needs.

5. Many books or magazines. I’m an avid reader, but there’s a huge movie screen by the pools playing a number of DisneDisney Cruise - a packing checklist No Shampoo neededy movies, so I only read in the stateroom. I didn’t even try to read out by the pools.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy top 20 items packing list for what to bring on the Disney Cruise, you can find the list here.

We hope you found this Disney Cruise packing checklist cheatsheet helpful!

Did you see our article about the best sunblocks?

Links to buy recommended sunblock from Amazon:

Top 20 Things to Bring on your next Disney Cruise – packing list

Disney Cruise Packing

Here’s a complete list of the things to bring on your next Disney Cruise!

Top 20 things to bring on your next Disney Cruise – Packing Checklist
1. Sunblock (one large aerosol can of sunblock for each day in the sun for a family of four)
2. Bathing suits (3 per person ideal)
3. Flip flops and one extra pair of Crocs or water shoes (my son got a blister from the flip flops he wore fine all summer after only 2 days!)
4. Sunglasses
5. Hats (sunblock only helps so much, especially when on the islands – we bring baseball style hats and big floppy ones for me, and a Tilley for my hubbie)
6. Shorts (1 pair for every 2 days)
7. T-shirts (1 pair for each day)
8. Dress or Hawaiian/simple style short sleeve dress shirt)
9. Underwear – these are the best ever!  (1 pair for each day for each person). Bra(s).
10. Socks (1 pair for bike riding, and 1 pair for ride home unless plan to wear sneakers more often)
11. Sneakers (if like them for running, bike riding or have only one pair of flip flops or sandals)
12. Lanyard (ideally with an enclosed area to hold card – see why here)
13. Clothes pins to help hang up bathing suits
14. Reusable water bottle or thermos
15. Alcohol – nips and a 6-pack of your favorite beer (or a bottle of wine!)
16. Sweater or sweatshirt for cooler nights
17. Big trash bag for dirty laundry as well as a bag for the beach day!
18. Large Ziploc bag or similar for wet bathing suits at the end of the trip
19. Pirate stuff! If there’s a pirate party, it’s great fun to bring light up swords, a hat or other fun attire.
20. Any medications you require, and tooth brushes, tooth paste, deodorant, Chapstick, and any other personal items you need.

Don’t bother bringing:
1. Towels – Disney Cruise line supplies a ton on the pool deck!
2. Too many clothes – you’re in a bathing suit most of the day!
3. Food – there’s a ton to eat, even for those with dietary restrictions.
4. Shampoo, conditioner, soap or lotion. Unless you’re picky about your products.
5. Too many books or magazines. There’s a huge movie screen by the pools on day and night

Have a great time on your Disney cruise! We hope this packing list was helpful. The Disney Cruise line has a list of forbidden items, so be sure to check their site directly as well!

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