Summer Beauty Dos and Don’ts

Photo by Artem Bali from Pexels

The first day of summer is June 21st. The countdown to the best season of the year is finally complete and we couldn’t be happier!

There are so many reasons we love summer. Endless beach days, delicious fruits and vegetables are in season and of course, we have a beautiful sun-kissed glow all season. What more could you ask for?

Now, before we go crazy with our summer obsession, we need to talk about our beauty regimen. Like any season change, our skin care habits should change too. We’ve rounded up a list of Summer Beauty Dos and Don’ts so you can make a seamless transition into the best season of the year!

Key West Aloe’s Summer Beauty Dos and Don’ts

   Do be smart about your SPF

Everyone knows that you should wear a sunscreen in the summer but that doesn’t mean they are using their SPF correctly. Make sure your sunscreen is at least an SPF 15 or higher and protect against both UVA and UVB rays (that’s called Broad Spectrum). Look for a sunscreen that’s water resistant and don’t forget to reapply. For more sunscreen tips, check out our SunSmart blog post.

Pro tip: Apply your sunscreen at least 20 minutes before going outside to get the maximum benefits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

✘   Don’t forget your scalp

You protect your body with sunscreen (see above) but what about your scalp? We assume because our scalp is covered in hair that it’s not affected by the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays, that’s a wrong assumption. Like your skin, your scalp can get sunburned. Protect it with a hat or scarf when you’re outside for long periods of time or invest in some SPF made specifically for your hair.

Pro tip: If you don’t like hats, try a protective hairstyle like a slicked back ponytail or a bun to avoid unnecessary damage.

   Do swap your fragrances

Did you know that sweet or floral scents can attract bugs? That’s why we suggest skipping the sweet and floral fragrances in the summer and instead opt for something a little lighter or in a musk family. Bugs are one of the only things we dislike about summer, do everything you can to avoid them.

Pro tip: prep your skin with a lotion or oil before applying your fragrance to make it last longer.

   Don’t skip exfoliation

We show a little more skin in the summer. Make sure you’re showing off smooth and radiant skin by exfoliating a few times a week. When you exfoliate, you are scrubbing off the dead layer of skin making what every product you put on top more effective.

Pro tip: do not exfoliate if you are sunburned… you’ll regret it later.

Photo by Philipp Cordts on Unsplash

   Do pay extra attention to your hair

Summer heat can put a toll on your hair leaving it dry and brittle. Refresh your luscious locks with a pH-balancing, moisturizing shampoo and keratin enhanced strengthening conditioner. Our Aloe Vera enriched shampoos and conditioners will instantly hydrate the hair leaving it shiny and manageable.

Pro tip: try a hydrating hair mask to help keep your hair in tip-top shape.

Photo: Pixabay.com

   Don’t overlook hydration

Higher temps mean our bodies will get dehydrated faster. Proactively fight this by drinking water every day. A dehydrated body can make it hard to participate in fun activities like beach volleyball and can make you a little cranky which may upset your friends. In addition to water, make sure to keep your skin hydrated after long exposure to the sun. Our Aftersun products are perfect for this — the aloe in our products will moisturize your skin while helping ease any discomfort you may experience due to sunburn.

Pro tip: set an alarm on your phone to remind yourself throughout the day to drink water.

Did we miss an essential summer beauty tip? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Instagram! Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to get more tips and tricks.

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Father’s Day Gift Guide

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Father’s Day is June 17th, have you got your gift yet? This year, give dad a gift he will actually love. and brag about when he hangs out with his friends. Our Father’s Day Gift Guide has a gift from every type of dad.

Grooming

Key West Aloe Men Products
Key West Aloe Men Products, Photo: Key West Aloe

Have you ever noticed that your dad has been using the same shaving cream and bath & body product for the last five years? Cause we have. Dad’s are pretty set in their ways when it comes to grooming. Pick up some Key West Aloe Men’s products and treat your dad to high-performing products specially formulated for men.

If you’re on a budget, enter our Dad’s Day Key West Aloe Giveaway to win over $100 worth of Key West Aloe goodies. We even threw in a gift card that you can give to your dad or treat yourself to some aloe vera based skin care products.

Master Griller

Cook Out With Dad – Photo by Kaboompics .com from Pexels

What dad doesn’t like to man the grill. We think cooking by an open flame reminds them of their cavemen days. Bring them back to the 21st century with a deluxe grill set from Cuisinart or a compact charcoal smoker. Best part about this type of gift, you can get some free food!

Sports, Go Sports!

Sports, Go Sports! – Photo by Fancycrave from Pexels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If your dad is more of a sports guy, consider getting him a cooling towel. This gift is perfect because he can use this towel with whatever sports activity he likes and can also be used to cool off when he’s doing yard work or manning the smoker with his grill set.

Movie Buff

Designed by Freepik

We don’t know about you, but our father doesn’t like to go to the movies. Instead, he would rather watch the movie in the comfort of his own home. Take movie nights to the next level with a mini-movie projector. Just hook this baby up to your favorite DVD player and grab the popcorn and let the fun begin.

Cards That Pop

Poplove cards

Go the extra mile and get your dad a card that really pops! Lovepop Cards has a huge selection of Father’s Day cards that will help you express your love for dad with more than just words. If none of the above ideas work, a gift card and one of the Lovepop Cards will go a long way in the gift department.

 

These are just a few of our gift ideas. If you have any suggestions, leave a comment below or join the conversation on Facebook or Instagram. And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to get more tips and tricks.

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7 Reasons Florida is the Best

Like 20 million people, we are very lucky to call Florida home. And while Florida can be the punchline of many jokes (hello #Floridaman), we can’t help but be grateful to live in such wonderful place. Key West is our home city and Florida is our home state. All of our products are made not just in the USA, but in Florida, and not many people can say that. We’re proud of our home state and wanted to share with you 7 reason why Florida is the best!

  1. Every day is a beach day – We have some of the best weather in Florida. It’s always sunny and the temperature rarely drops below 70 degrees. Yes, sometimes the weathers can be a little hot but we wouldn’t trade it for anything
  2. You will never be bored – There are so many great things to do in Florida. It doesn’t matter where you are in the state, you can find something that will interest you. Do you like theme parks? Than Orlando is your city. Into beaches? We have 1,197 miles of coastline and, according to TripAdvisor seven of the top 10  beaches are located in Florida. Prefer less traveled swimming holes? There are many natural springs across the state you can dive into. No money, no problem – Florida offers tons of free events for you to enjoy outside.
  3. Publix – To a non-Floridan Publix looks like someone misspelled public. To a Floridian, Publix is the holy grail of grocery stores. The best cakes come from Publix, the best lemonade comes from Publix and don’t even get us started on Pub Subs.
  4. Delicious Food – Speaking of Pub Subs, Florida has the best food. Many fruits and vegetables are grown in Florida and the seafood is as fresh as it could be. Fun fact, Florida provides about 70% of the US’s oranges. In Florida, you can find fresh strawberries February – April, blueberries in April & May and tomatoes almost all year long.
  5. Rich History – If you’re looking for more historical substance then St. Augustine is where you’ll find it. As a child, our schools would bus us to the oldest city in the states to learn how the settlers lived and if we were lucky, we also got a glimpse of the Fountain of Youth. As an adult, there is still something magical about going back to this historical site.
  6. Sports Go Sports! – You can view almost any major sporting event in Florida. We have football, baseball, basketball, golf, soccer, NASCAR and even hockey. Nothing beats tailgating at one of your favorite sports and in Florida, you can actually do this – all year long.
  7. Key West – If none of the above reason convinced you of how awesome Florida is, then this last reason should. Key West is a unique island with a little something for everyone. Our home is rich in history stretching back to pre-colonial times. We have amazing festivals like Fantasy Fest and Brewfest,  shared our island with famous writers and presidents, have some of the best bars and food. If you could only visit one city in Florida, we would always recommend Key West.

We could write you a whole book about how Florida is the Best, but we didn’t want to take up your entire day. Did we miss your favorite reason Florida rocks? If so, leave a comment below or on Facebook or Instagram telling us why Florida in your favorite state.

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Skin Cancer Awareness Month

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month.
The sun is beautiful but it can also cause skin cancer.
The sun is beautiful but it can also cause skin cancer. Source: Sebastian Voortman

Let’s talk about something that affects everyone but is hardly discussed — Skin Cancer. One of the most diagnosed cancers, skin cancer is non-discriminative. It doesn’t matter your age, race or location if you expose yourself to UV rays you have a chance of getting skin cancer. Don’t take our word for it, the Skin Cancer Foundation has all of the facts to back us up, check out their website if you want specifics.

Now that you heard the bad news, let’s talk about the good news. Skin cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer. With a few precautions, you can significantly decrease your chance of getting skin cancer.

Prevention is Key

Apply a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher everyday!
Apply a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher everyday! Source: Pixabay.com

While it’s pretty hard to avoid the sun (especially if you live in the sunshine state), there are a few steps you can take to reduce your risk of exposure to harmful UV sun rays.

  • Always wear a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher. If you’re outdoors for an extended period of time, research suggests you wear a broad spectrum SPF 30 or higher that is water-resistant.
  • Apply your sunscreen correctly. You need at least 1 ounce of sunscreen for your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. We suggest creams because sprays can apply unevenly.
  • Don’t forget to reapply. Every two hours or immediately after getting wet you must put on more sunscreen.
  • When outside, seek the shade especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. This is when the sun can do the most damage to your skin.
  • Don’t forget your lips, ears, and hands. These areas are exposed to the sun too and should get proper sunscreen coverage.
  • Examine your body head-to-toe at least once a month and get checked out by your doctor every year.

If You Can Spot It, You Can Stop It

Examine your body, head-to-toe every month
Examine your body, head-to-toe every month Designed by Freepik

The only way to 100% guarantee you do not get skin cancer is to lock yourself in a windowless room and never come out. Sometimes, even when you go above and beyond with prevention techniques, you still get skin cancer. The key to a successful treatment is early detection.

The best way to identify possible cancer is to look for it. By that, we mean practicing monthly head-to-toe self-exams. The Skin Cancer Foundation has a wealth of information on self-exams like warning signs of skin cancer, what to look for and even a step by step self-exam. If detected early, almost all skin cancer is curable.

If you’re more of a visual or auditory learner, we’ve got you covered. At Key West Aloe, we believe this topic is so important that we wanted to make sure everyone knows how to prevent and detect skin cancer.

Here’s a great video that explains everything in this blog post.

Here is a print-friendly infographic you can download and share with your friends, family and office.

Get SunSmart with Key West Aloe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Together, we can help spread awareness and help save lives.

How are you going to show support for Skin Cancer Awareness Month? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on Facebook and Instagram. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more skin care tips & tricks.

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Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Mom upside down is wow. We’d like to think this was by design because mother’s wow us every day, they’re truly amazing.

Your mom taught you everything you needed to be a responsible adult, from how to tie your shoes to how to how to make and stick to a budget. Mom’s are amazing and should be celebrated every day, especially on Mother’s Day. Now, she may say your love and company is the only gift she needs but we all know she deserves so much more.

Here are a few Mother’s Day gift ideas that will make your mom say “wow!”

Pamper Her Key West Aloe

Mom’s are always busy and sometimes skip self-care in an effort to take care of everyone around her. Remind her that she matters by treating her to a Key West Aloe gift baskets full of Aloe Vera based skin care product that can be used head to toe. A few of our favorites include All About Key Lime & Aloethera For You.

 

Brighten up her day with Flowers

Flowers are gorgeous and smell really nice. The only downside is they can be expensive and don’t always last very long (our mother’s lack a green thumb). Instead, you should make some paper flowers in her favorite color. These flowers are beautiful and last a lifetime. You can find some great DIY articles on Pinterest or you can purchase some kits from Paper Source.

 

Feed Her Guilty Pleasure

Like we’ve already said, Mother’s make a few sacrifices for the well-being of their family. Getting her a monthly subscription box of her guilty pleasure will surely put a smile on her face. Plus, it’s literally the gift that keeps on giving. If she likes wine, there’s a subscription box for that. Like clothes but is too busy to shop, theirs a box for that too. Liz from My Subscription Addiction has a list of 22 boxes perfect for moms.

 

Make Her Smile with a Personalize Canvas Print

I don’t know about your mom, but our mother’s love taking and displaying photos. She has albums and albums of us kids in a closet at the house. For mother’s day, we’re gifting her a canvas with a collage of her favorite photos. You should consider doing something like this for your mom. Shutterfly and Minted have some great options.

 

You Can Never Go Wrong with a Gift Card

If you’re still out of ideas, maybe you’ve already got her everything you could think of, consider getting her a gift card to her favorite store (if it’s Key West Aloe, we’ve got you covered). Some people consider this impersonal, we like to think of it as a two for one gift. The first gift is the gift card, the second gift if the promise of a joint shopping spree at her favorite store. What more could she ask for!

These are just a few of our gift ideas. If you have any suggestions, leave a comment below or join the conversation on Facebook or Instagram. And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to get more tips and tricks.

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The Conch Republic

Photo Credit: The Conch Republic Facebook

Conch (kongk): any variety of large, spiral-shaped mollusks; the shell of which is used especially in cameos. When capitalized, Conch: a native or resident of the Florida Keys.

Drive past the Last Chance Saloon on US 1 in Florida City, and you’ve just entered a new country. Well, sort of. That country is the Northernmost Territories of The Conch Republic. Don’t worry. You don’t have to show your passport, but that wasn’t always the case.

For some strange reason, back in 1982, the U.S. federal government border patrol had deemed it altogether fitting and proper to establish a border-type roadblock 100 miles within U.S. territory to check for illegal immigrants, drug smuggling, and heaven knows what else. Nearly every car was stopped and searched, resulting in a 17-mile-long traffic jam on the only road connecting the Keys to mainland Florida. Getting to and from the Keys became one giant hassle, and tourism to the area plummeted. Not to mention residents of the Keys were made to feel like outcasts or criminals, having to show passports to travel within their own state.

Key West Mayor Dennis Wardlow headed a three-man delegation to federal court in Miami, asking for an end to the blockade. After thoughtful deliberation to consider all the legalities, the court told Mayor Wardlow, “No.” Faced with a government not willing to give equal rights to all, Wardlow announced to the growing number of television and newspaper media gathering outside the courtroom, “Tomorrow at noon the Florida Keys will secede from the Union.”

Rob O’Neal/Florida Keys News Bureau/AP photo

At noon the following day, in a one-page proclamation of secession read at Mallory Square, he spoke simply for all his fellow Conchs, stating, “That’s our flag. It has a conch on it. We secede from the United States.” And, with that, the new Prime Minister of the Conch Republic declared war on the United States, demonstrated by breaking stale Cuban bread over a man dressed in a Naval uniform. After one full minute of “war, “Prime Minister Wardlow surrendered to the U.S. Forces (to the same guy in the Naval uniform, actually) and demanded millions of dollars in postwar foreign aid. While the government immediately took down the roadblock, Conchs are still waiting for the aid.

And thus, the quirky Conch Republic was born, April 23, 1982. Wardlow was quoted in a statement to a member of the Foreign Ministry as saying, “It is our function as the Conch Republic to be the Joker in the deck. You may not always want to play with us, but we must be there, otherwise, you’re not playing with a full deck.” For over 36 years, this Conch micronation has governed with humor, warmth, and respect in a world in sore need of all three.

Every year since then, we Conchs have come together for an annual celebration of our independence. This year, the 10-day celebration will take place from Friday, April 20th to Monday, April 30th and shine a light on everything that makes Key West fun and unique.

Where were you on April 23, 1982? If any of you were lucky enough to be in Key West to witness the unfolding of this historic event that would travel around the world at warp speed in a pre-internet age, we would love to hear your story! Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Instagram! Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to get more tips and tricks.

Happy Birthday to us!

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Key West Happenings: April 2018

April is right around the corner, how’s your social calendar looking? Fill it up with these fun events happening in Key West next month.

Conch Tour Train. Photo: Key West Aloe

Conch Tour Train: Locals Ride For Free; All Month

All Monroe County residents can experience the magic of Old Town Key West on the Old Town Trolley Tour — For Free! Get all of the important details here. 

Mote’s 8th Annual Ocean Fest: A Community Celebration; April 14th

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium is hosting the 8th annual Ocean Fest at NOAA’s Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center. The Ocean Fest is a place for the underwater enthusiast, eco-travelers, and families to celebrate the marine environment. This family-friendly event will include art activities, a children’s fishing clinic, live music and a silent auction. Visit Mote’s website for full details. 

23rd Annual Taste of Key West; April 16

Food tastes better in Key West. If you don’t believe us, come to the Taste of Key West on April 16th to experience the best food the island has to offer. The open-air event will have everything you can think of from Caribbean flavors to European delicacies. General admission is free and advance ticket packages can be purchased online

36th Annual Conch Republic Independence Celebration; April 20th – 29th

On April 23rd, 1982, Key West seceded from the US to protect a Border Patrol Blockade. 36 years later, we hold a 10-day long birthday party to celebrate our independent and eccentric spirit. Check out the full schedule on the Conch Republic website.

First Day of National Park Week: Free Admission to Dry Tortugas National Park’ April 21st

Don’t pass up this chance to see the Dry Tortugas National Park for Free. Make sure to plan your visit. The remote location and limited transportation options can make getting to the park a little tricky. 

Key West Paddle Classic; April 28th

Do you have the stamina and skills to complete a 12-mile race? If so, the Key West Paddle Classic hosted by Lazy Dog Key West is the event for you. If you’re not ready to compete, you can still stop by and enjoy the fun.

You can find more events on the Monroe County Tourist Development Council Event Calendar.

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Spring Clean Your Skincare Routine

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Spring is here are we couldn’t be happier. While Florida experiences sunshine year-long (they don’t call us the Sunshine State for nothing), spring happens to be our favorite season because the days are long and the weather is just right for beach days. We’re ditching our winter clothes and pulling out our spring dresses and new swimsuits. While we’re at it, we’re also transitioning our skincare routine.

During the winter months, our skin is exposed to cold, dry weather resulting in dull, flaky skin. Spring is the perfect time to revamp your beauty routine to reveal smooth, radiant skin that’s been hidden by heavy moisturizers and scarfs all winter.

Don’t forget to pick up a new sunscreen. Photo: Key West Aloe

Here are 5 changes to make to your beauty routine this spring:

  1. Toss out Moisturizers/ Makeup with SPF that you bought last spring – SPF begins to become less effective after one year, so it’s important to update your skincare regime with new sun protection. Make sure you get a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or above to have the best protection.
  2. Purchase oil-free moisturizers – Heavier skincare products are great for the cold, winter months but during the warmer weather, you want oil-free products that won’t clog pores or just sweat off your face. Try our Day Moist Fragrance-Free for a daytime moisturizer that can also be used as a primer.
  3. Exfoliate all over – Remove dead skin cells built up from dry skin with a nice exfoliation. Use our Key Lime Salt Scrub for the body to give your skin a fresh, healthy glow. For the face, we suggest a chemical exfoliate that will gently remove dead skin cells to reveal smooth skin.
  4. Try out new products – Spring is a great time to have a fresh start! Focus on your skincare regime and try out new products that make you look and feel refreshed and cleansed. Try doing a weekly pamper night with a face mask to freshen up your skin or try our anti-aging hydrating mist Too Cool
  5. Hydrate – During the harsh, winter months, hot coffee and tea can be the only thing getting you through the day, but beware, caffeinated drinks can dry out your skin. Swap your hot drinks for a cool cup of water to keep your skin moisturized inside and out.

Looking for more skincare tips? Check out our Pinterest to see the latest skincare tricks and subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest on Key West Aloe. 

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Beach Bag Essentials

Photo by Salvador Martin Yeste on Unsplash

What’s the best part of living in Florida? Random Beach Days! Whenever we feel the need for some extra vitamin D, we grab our bag full of beach essentials and head down to our local spot. While our bag is always packed are ready to go by the door, we know it can be easy to forget the essentials, especially when you’re here on vacation.

We’ve put together our beach bag essentials list to make your vacation stress and sunburn free! 

The perfect beach bag.

Beach Bag – It all starts with the perfect beach bag. Your bag needs to be big enough to fit all of your essentials, but not too big that it becomes too heavy to carry. Your bag should also be water, sand, and sun resistant too. Look for a durable material like nylon or canvas because those will withstand any situation. If you can, we also suggesting getting a bag with an attached coin purse. That little zipper pocket is a great place to store your id, cell phone and keys. 

Sunscreen  – While sunscreen is something you should be applying every day, when you go to the beach you have to take extra care to protect your skin. Make sure your sunscreen is broad spectrum, has an SPF of 15 or above (we suggest SPF 30), and is water-resistant. Don’t forget an SPF in your lip balm either? You won’t like sunburned lips. Pro tip: We set a timer on our phone to remind us to reapply, every 80 minutes if we’re swimming and every two hours if we’re not.

Hat, Sunglasses, Umbrella – Sunscreen isn’t enough to protect your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. We always keep a floppy hat and sunglasses in our bag. These two items will give your face the extra protection it needs. A beach umbrella is also a must. While we love basking in the sun like the next person, every now and then we crave a break from the powerful sun. An umbrella will give you a cool place to rest.

Reading Material – There are so many things to do at the beach. You can swim, play beach volleyball, and build sand castles. But just in case you get bored, we suggest bringing some reading material. Whether it’s your favorite book or your favorite glossy, having something to read is a beach bag must! 

Photo by Oleg Magni from Pexels

Water & Snacks – We don’t know why, but a day at the beach takes a lot of energy. Even if you’re just sunbathing, a few hours in the sun can suck the energy right out of you. To fix this, we always keep a few water bottles and snacks in our bag. Our snacks of choice are Publix Subs, trail mix, and protein bars. If you have extra space if your car, we suggest putting your water and snacks in a cooler.

Towel & Baby Powder – We keep two towels in our bag. One for laying out on, the other to dry off with. We also keep baby power in our bag because it makes being sand free easy. When you’re almost ready to leave, sprinkle some baby powder on your skin. The powder will soak up any extra moisture left on your skin. After a few moments, wipe it away and viola! You’re not power and sand free!

After Sun Products – Saltwater and the sun can really dry out your skin so it’s important to use an after sun product to refresh your skin. Our Save A Tan is the perfect solution. Not only will it restore moisture to your skin, it will also prevent peeling and preserve your tan.

Did we miss one of your beach bag essentials? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter! Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to get more tips and tricks.

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Goodbye Dry Hair, Hello Leave-In Conditioner

Say goodbye to dry hair and hello to Aloe Leave-In Conditioner. Photo by Philipp Cordts on Unsplash

You’ve been asking for it and we’ve delivered, our Aloe Leave-In Conditioner is back and it’s better than ever.

We first introduced this product in the early 2000s. It went away for awhile but it wasn’t forgotten. Many of it’s loyal fans emailed, called and came into the store asking “Where is the leave in conditioner?” We got so many request, we knew we had to bring it back. So we did. But this time, we made a few tweaks that makes our NEW Aloe Leave-In Conditioner the best leave-in conditioner ever!

The Ultimate Solution

Daily styling can damage your hair. Use our Aloe Leave-In Conditioner to protect your strands. Photo by Gratisography from Pexels

You may be asking yourself, “Why do I need a leave-in conditioner? I already condition my hair after shampooing.” The answer is simple. Shampooing, styling, and just day to day activities can be very drying and damaging to your hair. Adding a leave-in conditioner to your hair care routine can help counteract all of the damaging activities resulting in super healthy hair.

Our Aloe Leave-In Conditioner acts as a barrier strengthening and protecting your hair from the environment and daily styling. The moisturizing aloe vera base is super-charged with a mix of proteins and conditioning vitamin E leaving you with smooth, shiny and soft hair.   Who doesn’t want smooth, shiny and soft hair?

Ingredient Spotlight

Our leave-in conditioner starts with our Lab Certified Aloe Vera base. Photo by Cari Corbet-Owen on Unsplash

Below are a few of the key ingredients that makes our Aloe Leave-In Conditioner a must-have hair care product.

Aloe

Our Aloe Leave-In Conditioner starts with a Lab Certified Aloe Vera base. Aloe can help calm an itchy scalp, promote hair growth, restore moisture to even the driest hair, and strengthen and repair hair strands,

Keratin

Keratin is a protein that’s naturally found in your hair. When added to your hair care regimen, this miracle ingredient can promote healthy hair growth, reduce frizz and condition hair for a shiny look.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is one of our favorite vitamins. It can stimulate hair growth, condition the hair for a healthier look and help reduce split ends and frizz.  Vitamin E is also a free-radical fighting antioxidant that can protect your hair from harmful UV rays. It’s kind of like sunscreen for your hair.

Coconut Scented

One of the best parts about our new and improved formula is the scent. The Aloe Leave-In Conditioner smells like a tropical coconut oasis. Your bathroom will feel like an island paradise when you use this product. The coconut scent pairs well with our Coconut Shampoo and our Coconut Conditioner.

How to use

Pay special attention to the ends of your hair. They need the extra boost of moisture. Photo by Alex Holyoake on Unsplash

After shampooing, towel dry your hair, then work our Aloe Leave-In Conditioner into your hair, paying attention to each and every strand for superior results.  Pay even more attention to your dry areas like the ends of your hair as they need the extra moisture boost. Then let your hair dry naturally in a style of your choice, and watch the bounce, shine, and health return.

We can’t wait for you to try our new and improved Aloe Leave-In Conditioner. Let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook or Instagram. Sign up for our newsletter to get more tips and tricks.

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Inspiring Women of Key West

March is Women’s History Month. It’s a month where we come together and highlight the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society. What started out as a single day in March has evolved into a month long celebration where the accomplishments of women are recognized and praised nationwide.

If we give you a second, we bet you could think of a few women who have had a positive impact on America as a whole. If we give you a few more seconds, we bet you can make an even longer list of women who have had a positive impact in your personal life.

Check out a few of names that made our Inspiring Women of Key West list. These are some amazing people that are either from Key West or have lived on the island and have made a positive contribution to America.

 

Photo: Source

Wilhelmina Celeste Goehring Harvey

Wilhelmina Celeste Goehring Harvey was the first female mayor of Monroe County, Florida. The public face of the “Conch Republic” Harvey held many influential roles in Key West. She was the first female mayor, the first female commissioner and the first be elected Mayor Emeritus. Besides those accomplishments, Harvey served as the Conch Republic’s ambassador meeting with several presidents and foreign leaders. She even host The Queen of England at Dry Tortugas National Park. Read more about Wilhelmina Celeste Goehring Harvey at The Florida Women’s Hall of Fame.

 

Photo: Source

Judy Blume

We couldn’t create a list of inspiring women from Key West without including Judy Blume. Although she technically isn’t from our tropical island, she has called Key West Home for many years. Blume is an author best known for writing children’s and your adult fiction. Her books helped young girls during their transition from childhood to adolescence and on. Not only does she write inspiring books, she is involved in many advocate organizations like the National Coalition Against Censorship, The Key West Literary Seminar and is a co-founder of Books & Books @ The Studios of Key West.

 

Photo: Source

Suzie dePoo

While you may not recognize the name, you will certainly recognize her work. Suize dePoo was an eclectic artist known for her romantic style and unique use of materials. She was also the lead designer at Key West Hand Print Fabrics and worked closely with Lilly Pulitzer. Her colorful, island inspired prints were commissioned by Pulitzer and helped set the vibe for the Lilly Pulitzer brand we know and love today. Her work can be viewed at The Gallery on Greene and you can pick up a custom print designed exclusively for Key West Aloe on our website.

 

Photo: Source

Diana Nyad

While she’s not from Key West, her epic swim from Havana to Key West did bring national attention to the island. In 2013, this 64 year old swimmer broke records and fulfilled her lifelong dream of swimming, without a shark cage, 111 miles across the Florida Straits. She had already failed twice but was determined to finish the last swim strong. Nyad reminds us that we should never give up and that we are never too old to achieve our dreams. Check out this video from her historic 111-mile swim! 

These are just a few of the women from Key West that inspire us every day. Who inspires you? Let us know in the comments or join the conversation on  Facebook and Instagram. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more skin care tips & tricks.

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Best Places for Key Lime Pie in Key West

Key Lime Pie, Photo: Ralph Daily, Flickr

No trip to Key West is complete without at least one slice of key lime pie. It doesn’t matter how you like it, whether it’s a classic slice, topped with fluffy meringue or dipped in sweet chocolate and served on a stick, you won’t find a better slice of key lime pie anywhere else.

[breif history of key limes and pie]

Lucky for us, there are many great places to satisfy your craving for this sweet & tart dessert on the island. We took an informal poll on our Facebook and rounded up what we consider the best places for key lime pie in Key West.

Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe

Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe. Photo: Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe

“Kermit’s for the win!” – Nadine

A fan-favorite, Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe sells almost everything you could think of that has key lime in it. Cookies, salsa, chutney, taffy, jelly beans, tea, olive oil, spices and so much more. But the piece de resistance is their Key Lime Pie.

Key West Key Lime Pie Company

Key West Key Lime Pie Co. Photo: Key West Key Lime Pie Co., Facebook

“I like the sweetness of the Key Lime Pie Company’s pie.” – Ashley

The Key Lime Pie company has been around since 2006, hand-making a 100-year-old recipe using real key lime juice and a fresh graham cracker crust. At their location, they sell pie in a few different styles, candy from Sweet Pete’s Candy and even host classes!

Blue Heaven

Key Lime Pie at Blue Heaven, Photo: Blue Heaven, Facebook

“Blue Heaven! Love the meringue topping! ” – Faith

Blue Heaven is a sit-down restaurant where you can eat some good food, listen to great live music and even take a quick shower. What sets the Blue Heaven’s pie apart from the above locations is the sweet meringue on top of each slice.

If you still can’t take our word or the word of our fans’ at face value, come down for yourself and try the pie at The Key Lime Festival this summer. We promise you won’t be disappointed.

Did your favorite spot make the list? If not, tell us in the comments below or join the conversation on Facebook and Instagram. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more skin care tips & tricks.

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A Roadmap to Your Best Skin + Giveaway!!

Photo by Bruce Mars from Pexels

We don’t know about you, but one of our 2018 New Year’s Resolutions is to work on our skin care routines. Like most people, we make a goal at the beginning of the year and slowly but surely we forget about our pledge.

This year will be different. This year, we are going to follow through and achieve our best skin yet!

Identify your skin type

If you’ve been using the same products forever and you’ve noticed they stopped working, you may be using the wrong products for your skin type. Like the rest of our body, our skin type will change over time. In fact, most people’s skin tends to switch from oily to dry as they age. This is due to many factors including the environment. Check out our post on skin types to determine if you have oily, combination, or dry skin.

Figure out the products that work best for your skin.

Once you’ve identified your skin type, the next step is to select the best products for your skin. If you have oily skin you may want to swap out your cream moisturizer for a gel one and if you have dry skin you may want to try products with Hyaluronic Acid. Of course, these are only guidelines. You must try out

Enter our Better Skin Giveaway to win a Daily Aloe Facial Essentials (value $90.50)

Create a realistic skin care routine you can stick to.

Below is a general roadmap we put together to help you figure out what products you should be using and when. Creating a realistic skin care routine will involve trial and error. It can take up to 3-8 weeks to seen proper results, do give your new routine sometime before switching it up.

Reach Your #SkinGoals with Key West Aloe's roadmap to your best skin.
Reach Your #SkinGoals with Key West Aloe’s roadmap to your best skin.

We hope you’ll join us on our skin care journey.

Share your 2018 skin resolutions in the comments below or on Facebook or Instagram. Sign up for our newsletter to get more tips and tricks and don’t forget to enter our giveaway to win $90 in KWA Product!

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Key West Happenings: January 2018

The fun never stops in Key West. From eating your weight in seafood to running it all off a day later there is an event for every type. Don’t miss these popular festivities in Key West this January.

36th Annual Key West Literary Seminar; January 11th – 14th, 2018

Key West Literary Seminar. Photos: Unsplash

Join the Key West Literary Seminar as they examine important works of literature that have emerged from the island nations of the Caribbean. Speakers include Naomi Jackson, Jamaica Kincaid and Robert Antoni.

13th Annual Florida Keys Seafood Festival; January 13th – 14th, 2018

Photo: 13th Annual Florida Keys Seafood Festival

Come experience some of the best seafood you’ll ever eat at the 13th Annual Florida Keys Seafood Festival. Along with a Key West inspired menu, there will be celebrity chef demonstrations, hands-on eco activities, a boat show and live entertainment.

Key West Half Marathon & 5k Run; January 14th, 2018

Key West Half Marathon & 5k Run. Photo: Unsplash

After you’ve had your fill of seafood, wake up bright and early and join thousands of people as they run a Half Marathon & 5k. The course will take you through the island’s Victorian architecture, historic landmarks and harborfront business. We think this is one of the best ways to get a tour of Key West.

Key West Food & Wine Festival; January 24th – 28th, 2018

Photo: Key West Food & Wine Festival

If wine is more of your style, stick around for the Key West Food & Wine Festival. This five-day festival is full of wine and food-themed events showcasing a diverse range of wines and inventive cuisine.

You can find more events on the Monroe County Tourist Development Council Event Calendar.

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Key West Trivia

Welcome To Key West
Photo: Flickr – Cayobo

Today is National Trivia Day. In celebration of this great day, we’ve compiled a list of fun Key West facts that will make you fall even more in love with the Conch Republic!

  1. Duval Street is 1.1 miles long.
  2. Cayo Hueso is the original Spanish name for Key West. It means Bone Island and refers to the many bones found on the island.
  3. Key West is closer to Havana Cuba then it is to Miami.
  4. Many famous people called Key West Home (at least temporarily) including Judy Blume, Jimmy Buffett, Ernest Hemingway, President Harry S. Truman, Tennessee Willams and Calvin Klein.
  5. There are 42 bridges that connect Key West to mainland Florida.
  6. The 7-Mile Bridge is actually 6.79 miles long.
  7. Key West is home to one of the best Halloween Celebrations in the World! – Fantasy Fest (we may be a little bias).
  8. Key West seceded from the US in 1982. Long live the Conch Republic!
  9. Many Key West residents refer to themselves as Conchs.
  10. Pan American World Airways, aka Pan Am, was founded in Key West in 1927.
  11. The Southernmost Buoy is the most photographed attraction in Key West.
  12. The third largest coral reef in the world is off the coast of Key West.
  13. US Highway 1 starts and ends in Key West.
  14. There are more bars per capita in Key West than anywhere else in the US.
  15. Also, there are more churches per capita in Key West than anywhere else in the US.
  16. There are three Civil War forts located on Key West.
  17. Key West was sold to a businessman John Simonton for $2,000.
  18. Most of the sand on Key West’s beaches had to be brought over from the Caribbean.
  19. Cuba is actually 94 miles away from Key West, not 90.
  20. Key West Aloe was started in Key West in 1971.

Did we miss one of your favorite facts? If so, let us know in the comments join the conversation on Facebook and Instagram. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more skin care tips & tricks.

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18 Healthy Habits to Start This New Year

It’s the beginning of the year and that can only mean one thing– it’s time to make your New Year’s Resolutions. We’ve compiled a list of 18 healthy habits for you to consider adding to your New Year’s Resolutions in 2018.

  1. Wash your face every day and never go to bed with makeup on.
  2. Commit to getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night.
  3. Never leave home without applying sunscreen. An SPF will help protect your skin (head to toe) from harmful UV rays.
  4. Start every morning with a tall glass of water and a lemon to rehydrate your body and jumpstart your metabolism.
  5. Speaking of metabolism, start working out regularly.
  6. Put your phone down and lose yourself in a book.
  7. Eat more fruits and vegetables and never skip breakfast.
  8. Sign up for an online class or learn a new skill.
  9. Take time for self-care.
  10. Stop picking at your skin.
  11. Cut out excess sugar and sweets from your diet.
  12. Use the right skin care products for your skin type.
  13. Try Meatless Mondays.
  14. Switch to satin sheets to help maintain skin & hair’s natural moisture level.
  15. Trim your hair every 4-6 weeks.
  16. Swap out coffee for green tea.
  17. Visit a dermatologist.
  18. Track your new healthy habit progress by keeping a journal!

These 18 habits may seem minor in the grand scheme of life, but when added together can result in a healthier YOU.

Tell us what your New Year’s Resolutions are for 2018 in the comments.

Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter and follow Key West Aloe and join the conversation on Facebook and Instagram.

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New Year’s Eve in Key West

Happy New Year from Key West Aloe
Greetings from Key West Florida
Greetings from Key West Florida Mural at The Cuban Coffee Queen. Photo: Cayobo via flickr

On a regular day, Key West is a fun place to be to visit — we have easy access to the ocean, fun bars for everyone and an interesting history. But on special occasions like Halloween and New Year’s Eve, Key West goes all out.

You already know about Fantasy Fest, continue reading to see how us Conchs ring in the New Year!

Key West Dachshund Walk: Enter the “Wiener Wonderland” this New Year’s Eve when 200+ dachshunds take to the streets and march through Key West’s Downtown. The 3 block parade is kept short to for the puppy’s short legs.

Final Sunset Celebration of The Year: Two hours before the sun sets, the party begins at Mallory Square. Performers and artist will wow you with their fun-filled acts, all set to one of the best sunsets in the world.

Sunset Cruise: If you want to get a little more personal with the Key West Sunset, consider booking a sunset cruise. Fury Key West has a few packages available from a romantic cruise with live music and food to a glass bottom boat cruise where the views are amazing wherever you look.

Sunset Celebration - Key West. Photo: Key West Aloe
Sunset Celebration – Key West. Photo: Key West Aloe

3 Ball Drops

Instead of just one glittery ball dropping as the clock strikes midnight, Key West take it up a few notches with THREE large items dropping.

Schooner Wharf Lowering of the Pirate Wench: Evalena Worthington, co-owner of the bar and Key West’s favorite’s pirate wench will descend from a large mast of America 2.0 accompanied by cannon fire and noisemakers. The party starts at 11:30 a.m. and doesn’t end until 4 a.m. in 2018!

Conch Shell Drop at Sloppy Joe’s: Stand outside this historic bar and see the symbol ou Key West drop at the stroke of midnight. This is the original New Year’s Eve attraction in Key West so you won’t want to miss this! Everyone starts heading to Sloppy Joe’s around 10 p.m. and wait for the Conch to lower and confetti, streamers and lights to fill the sky.

Bourbon St. Pub New Year’s Eve Shoe Drop: Have you ever seen a drag queen named Sushi lowered from the rooftop in a bright red shoe? If not, you have no idea what you’re missing out on. Head down to the Bourbon St. Pub to witness one of the most unique ball droppings of the season.

Those are some of the fun things we think you shouldn’t miss this New Year’s Eve. What are your holiday plans?

Sign up for our newsletter to learn more about Key West Aloe  and our favorite island. Also, follow Key West Aloe and join the conversation on Facebook and Instagram.

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Happy Birthday To Us – 46th Anniversary Giveaway

Designed by Freepik

On November 13th, 1971, Frank Romano and Joe Liszka opened the Key West Fragrance & Cosmetic Factory. The first day receipts totaled $36. The Key West Fragrance & Cosmetic Factory, now called Key West Aloe, was the first company in the nation to manufacture its own skin care products using pure aloe vera gel. Today, we offer more than 160 different Aloe Vera based skin care products to address any skin concern you may experience.

It’s been a long 46 years and we couldn’t be happier. We want to take this time to reflect on where we came from and show our appreciation to our biggest supporters — You, Our Customers.

Photo: Key West Aloe

It All Started With A Sunburn

Every successful business owner had an “ah-ha” moment that motivated them to start a new company. For Frank and Joe, our founders, that “ah-ha” moment was a sunburn.

The native New Yorkers were vacationing in sunny Key West and made the timeless mistake of not using protection. Luckily, a local friend was growing Aloe Vera in their yard. The friend broke off a piece of this tropical plant and smeared the gel on Frank’s burn. The pain stopped immediately. The next day, Frank was so impressed that the sunburn practically disappeared he decided to dig a little deeper into this wonderful plant.

Frank, a chemist and a cosmetic researcher, saw the magical properties of Aloe and started to wonder, “If Aloe was that effective on damaged skin, what could it do for healthy skin?” Two years of research, $21,000, and a move to Key West, the nation’s first cosmetic company to make Aloe Vera based skin care products opened their doors in 1971.

Photo: Key West Aloe

Look to The Future

46 years later, our mission remains the same. We want to create a wide range of luxurious skin care products with nature’s best ingredient as our primary ingredient. To celebrate 45 years of business, we released our Anniversary Travel Bags in January 2017! These colorful travel bags will take you back to the 70’s when Key West Aloe used to be named Key West Fragrance & Cosmetic Factory. Back then, you could watch Frank or Joe make the products in the window of our Front Street location and shipping was only $1.50.

A Picture Is Worth A 1,000 Words. 

Thanks to the Monroe County Library, we are able to trace historic moments in our history through newspapers clippings. For instance, did you know that in April of 1980, the Key West Fragrance & Cosmetic Factory caught on fire or that in June of 1982 one of our male models became a CBS movie star!

Check out more historic moments from our history in our Key West Aloe Timeline.

Photo: Key West Aloe

Enter Our Giveaway

This anniversary is a big moment for the entire KWA Family (that includes you too). To say “Thank You” for being such a loyal member of our family, we are giving away one of our best selling gift baskets — All About Key Lime. Enter our giveaway for a chance to win this free gift from us.

Sign up for our newsletter to learn more about Key West Aloe and our history. Also, follow Key West Aloe and join the conversation on Facebook and Instagram.

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Holiday Gift Guide

Is it too early to start Christmas shopping? We don’t think so. In fact, we suggest you start crossing people off your list now so you’ll feel less stressed later this season.

We took care of the list making for you and created some fun and useful gift guides. Check them out!

Gift For The Skincare Obsessed Friend

We all have that one friend that’s always trying new skincare products. If you’re reading this blog, you may actually be that friend. Help them find skincare routine peace by gifting a few items from our gift guide for the Skincare Obsessed Friend. Tip: If your friend is worried about wrinkles, make sure to get them our Skin Matrix and a satin pillowcase. Together, they will work to fight the signs of aging.

1. Key West Aloe, Gentle Aloe Facial Cleanser
2. Sephora, Foreo Luna Mini
3. Key West Aloe, Skin Matrix
4. MAC, Makeup Bag
5. Key West Aloe, Too Cool
6. Savvy Sleepers, Satin Pillowcase
7. Key West Aloe, Cucumber Undereye Gel
8. Key West Aloe, Environmental Defense SPF 15
9. Amazon, Jade Roller

Gifts For The Beach Bums

The best gift for a beach bum is something they can use when the weather warms up. Grab one of the gifts from our Key West Aloe certified list. Trust us, any beach bum will love to unwrap one of these gifts.

1. Key West Aloe, Sunsorb Lip Balm
2. Macy’s, Beach Bag
3. Warby Parker, Sunglasses
4. Key West Aloe, Save A Tan
5. Roxy, Beach Hat
6. Bed, Bath & Beyond, Beach Umbrella
7. Key West Aloe, Sunsrob SPF 50+
8. Target, Beach Chair
9. Key West Aloe, Aloe Max 100

Gifts For The Hostess

The holiday season is just a fun way to say dinner party season. Don’t show up to your friend’s house without an appropriate gift. Our below gift guide is a great place to start when shopping for your hospitable hostess. Stock up on a few, universally appealing gifts so you’re never caught off guard. (Tip: if they have a puppy, they’ll love you if you bring a gift for their fur-baby.)

1. Ikea, Vase
2. Target, Marble & Wood Cutting Board
3. Key West Aloe, All About Coconut
4. Amazon, Cookbook
5. Key West Aloe, Pampered Pup
6. Wayfair, Throw Blanket
7. Key West Aloe, All-Natural Soy Candle
8. Key West Aloe, Aloethera Shower Essentials
9. The Meadow, Salt Set

Gifts For The Workout Friend

Whether they currently workout or are planning on a lifestyle trend at the start of 2018, any of these items will delight your friend who likes to go to the gym. The gym bag and water bottle will let your friend stay stylish as they enter the gym and the skincare products will keep they stylish as they leave.

1. Key West Aloe, Gentle Aloe Facial Cleanser
2. Target, Wireless Earbuds
3. Target, S’well Water Bottle
4. Fabletics, The Shift Bag II
5. Key West Aloe, Mango Bath & Shower Gel
6. Target, Yoga Mat
7. Key West Aloe, Marine Mud Mask
8. Key West Aloe, Mango Shampoo & Conditioner
9. Key West Aloe, Aloethera Intensive Body Moisturizer

Gifts For The Manly Man

Searching for a gift for the men in your life is not an easy task. We created a list of items any man would enjoy getting. Tip: Gifting your guy hot sauce could be a great way to get him to cook for you.

1. Key West Aloe, Quench Anti-Aging Moisturizing Gel
2. Straightrazors.com, Straight Razor
3. Modcloth, Socks
4. Whisky Stones, Whisky Stones
5. Key West Aloe, Zele Aftershave Gel
6. Thoughtfully, Hot Sauce
7. Key West Aloe, Sensitive Skin Shave Gel
8. The Two Guys Bow Tie, Wooden Bow Tie
9. Key West Aloe, Key West For Men
10. Macy’s, Leather Wallet

Need more gifting options? Check out all of our Aloe Vera based skincare gifts on our website. Also, consider signing up for our newsletter to get the best deals on your favorites.

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Exfoliation 101: The Best & Worst Times to Exfoliate

There are certain parts of our skin-care regimen that come pretty easy. We know when to cleanse and moisturize to focus on the intensive stuff at night before bed and focus on SPF during the day. But where does exfoliation fit? Should you exfoliate in the morning to start your day or at night before bed?  Many people want the specifics on the best time to use an exfoliant, so here’s our take on this matter.

The best and worst time to exfoliate is really dependent on you (sorry, we know, not much help!) But, if you wear makeup every day, exfoliating at night would help remove makeup particles from your skin and open up your pores to more of a cleansing. Yet, if your face is duller or if you have oilier skin, exfoliating in the morning would be best to provide your skin with a fresh glow to start your day.

So, there’s no better or worse time to exfoliate, it really just depends on your skin type and preference. You should concentrate on exfoliating once or twice a week on average. You can up the frequency,  just make sure you pay attention to how your skin reacts to the exfoliation so you do not irritate your skin.

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With face scrubs, you get more control on the exfoliation because you can vary the pressure you apply when applying the product. The best way to utilize a facial scrub is to make circular movements all over your face when you scrub.  Some days you might want to do harder pressure with less frequency of those little circular movements while other days you might want to focus on lighter pressure with more frequency.

If a physical exfoliation is too harsh for your skin, consider swapping it out for a chemical exfoliating product like our KWA Solution. Don’t let the chemical part intimidate you, a chemical exfoliate will gently remove dead skin cells with harmless chemicals like alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids (AHAs and BHAs). In fact, in most cases, chemical exfoliators are considered better for you skin especially if you are sensitive or acne-prone. If you do go the chemical route, you should only use that product at night and limit your exposure to UV rays by wearing an SPF during the day.

Whether you chose to exfoliate in the morning or night, with a physical or chemical exfoliant, it’s important to remember to always moisturize your face and utilize SPF during the day!

Need more fall advice? Sign up for our newsletter to get more tips and tricks. Follow Key West Aloe and join the conversation on Facebook and Instagram.

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Get Ready for No-Shave November with our Beard Grooming Tips

No-Shave November Logo
No-Shave November – A unique way to grow cancer awareness. Photo: No-Shave.org

Have you ever noticed that when fall comes around more and more men are sporting beards? There are a ton of reasons why men decide to grow their facial hair but the main reason men grow their beards in November is for No-Shave November. What’s that you ask.

No-Shave November is a month-long journey where participants stop shaving and grooming in order to start a conversation and raise awareness about cancer prevention.  The goal of No-Shave November is to grow awareness by letting your hair grow wild and free (something cancer patients don’t always get to do during treatment). Instead of spending your money on shaving supplies, you could take that money and donate it to a charity that will help educate the public about cancer prevention and help save lives. 

This campaign was started in 2009 by a Chicagoland Hill family when they decide to raise money for charity. The family lost their father to colon cancer in November 2007 and were very passionate about bringing more awareness to cancer. Since 2009, the organization has raised over $2 million dollars and hopes to one day eradicate cancer.

Young Man grooming his beard by barber
Designed by Freepik

Two Ways to Participate

There are two ways for you and your family to get involved with No-Shave November.

  1. Stop shaving and officially register on their website. You will get a personal fundraising page that can be shared on social media, via email or through your family and friends. Women can participate too – they may not grow beards but they can stop shaving their legs. It will certainly start a conversation.
  2. If you’re not ready to put the razor down, consider donating to a friend who is.

Beard Grooming Tips

Key West Aloe Men Products
Key West Aloe Men Products, Photo: Key West Aloe

For all of the men taking option 1, we’ve created a list filled with our top 5 beard grooming tips needed to stylishly make it through November.

Tip #1: Keep it Clean
Like the hair on your head, you need to regularly wash your beard. We suggest using a mild shampoo to gently cleanse away the dirt and grime you collect during the day. Our Aloethera Moisturizing Shampoo is perfect because the aloe softens the hair follicle but does not have an overpowering scent. Follow up with a conditioner to help strengthen your beard.

Tip #2: Don’t neglect your face
Growing a beard is not an excuse to forgo your daily skincare routine. Make sure to still cleanse your entire face and consider still using your regular aftershave. Our Zele Aftershave Gel is perfect for the neck area because it will keep your neckline moisturized and since it’s an anti-bacterial and an anti-fungal, it will keep the area clean.

If you’re not into aftershave, try a moisturizer made specifically men. This year, we released a product called Quench Anti-Aging Moisturizing Gel. It’s made for the manly man who is also worried about showing his age. The Lab Certified Aloe Vera combined with the Hyaluronate Acid work together to fight the signs of aging.

Key West Aloe Men Products
Key West Aloe Men Products, Photo: Key West Aloe

Tip #3: Exfoliate during the growing stages
Ingrown hairs are a thing. You may not experience them a lot on your face because you regularly shave but when you stop shaving ingrown hairs may start popping up. How do you combat ingrown hairs? By exfoliating of course. Quench EX Face & Body Scrub is the perfect facial scrub to help stop ingrown hairs. Our 5 in 1 Aloe Foundation will leave your skin hydrated while the apricot seeds will gently remove dead skin cells that are great at blocking the hair follicle creating ingrown hair.

Tip #4: Keep it in check with a trim
The whole point of No Shave November is to bring increase cancer awareness not to grow a castaway beard like Tom Hanks. Keep it in check with a regular trim. Birchbox has a great article on their blog on how to trim your beard. Check them out if your beard needs some extra love.

Tip #5: Be patient & prepared
Beards do not grow overnight. Like puberty, you may have a few days of really awkward facial hair. Don’t let that discourage you. If you follow the above tips and keep at it, by the end of the month you can have an impressive beard. No-Shave November may turn into “Still Not Shaving December” and “I guess I’m a bearded guy January.”

Need more grooming tips? Sign up for our newsletter to get more tips and tricks. Follow Key West Aloe and join the conversation on Facebook and Instagram.

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Our Favorite Instagrammers – October 2017

Instagram

We have a confession to make. We LOVE Instagram. There are so many talented people on the platform who share amazing photos. We are inspired every day by the content posted on our feed, so much so that we had to create a monthly blog post featuring our favorite Instagrammers from the past month.

Check out our favorite accounts from October – We hope you love them as much as we do.

@PoppybassetWe first discovered Poppy’s Instagram account in September when her mom tagged us in an Instagram story. We fell in love with her adorable puppy face and amazing talent. Luckily, we were able to partner up and provided Poppy with items for a giveaway. Poppy post regularly on both Insta Stories and her feed. Don’t miss one photo – follow her on Instagram now!

 

A Key West tradition… #keywest #funinkeywest #sloppyjoeskeywest #keywestlife #keywesttradition #daydrinking

A post shared by Insider Tips on Key West (@funinkeywest) on

@Funinkeywest: The Fun In Key West Instagram account is run by Kevin and Michele O’Connor from Fun In Key West. They provide free travel services including advice, help with booking rooms and tips on the best spots in Key West. Their account is also full of Key West photos. If you can’t make it to our lovely island, the Fun In Key West account is the perfect substitute.

 

Did you catch this look on DressedforTime.com? I’ve partnered with a handful of other fashionable ladies to share their take on being bold and wearing red for fall! I love how everyone’s interpretation is a bit different. I went casual chic with distressed jeans, leopard flats and a classic little black bag, paired with this longer-length bell-sleeve top from @shopthemint. Don’t forget to sign up for their newsletter to take $10 off your first order! #shopthemint #ad . . . . . . . . . #redtop#skinnyjeans#distressedjeans#rippedjeans#bluejeans#bellsleeves#fallfashion#falltrends#falltrends2017#boutiqueshopping#boutiquefashion#linkup#sunnies#leopardflats#studdedflats#plusmodelmag#psstyle#bloggerstyle#rocksbox#rocksboxitgirl

A post shared by Kristin Taylor 💋 (@dressedfortime) on

@dressedfortime: Kristin from Dressed for Time is one of our favorite fashion bloggers. She always looks classy and recommends items anyone can afford and wear. Definitely check out Kristin on @dressedfortime  or her blog for outfit inspo.

 

@hemleva: As a plant-based skincare company, we can’t help but feel inspired every time @hemleva’s post pop up on our feed. Samantha’s profile is full of handmade enamel pins and air plants. If you see something you like, you can purchase it on her website too.

 

@inspiredtotaste: These are cookies. Need we say more? Not only do Liz Joy’s cookies look delicious, they are practically works of art. Which make sense because Liz is an art director turned baker.

 

What are your favorite Instagram accounts? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on our Instagram or Facebook accounts. Don’t forget to join our family by signing up for our newsletter. We share special offers, tips, tricks, and news.

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Say Cheese! Best Spots to Take Photos in Key West

Photos in Key West on white background with sunglasses, an iphone and a camera.
Aerial View of Key West
Aerial View of Key West. Photo: commons.wikimedia

For such a small island, there are so many great photo opportunities. Check out all the snap-worthy spots below!

Mile Marker 0

Mile Marker 0 in Key West located on the corner of Fleming Street and Whitehead Street. Photo: Key West

Key West Lighthouse

Key West Lighthouse located at 938 Whitehead St.
Key West Lighthouse located at 938 Whitehead St. Photo: Key West Aloe

Southernmost Point Buoy

Southernmost Point Buoy located at Whitehead St & South St.
Southernmost Point Buoy located at Whitehead St & South St. Photo: Key West Aloe

Cuban Coffee Queen

Cuban Coffee Queen located at 284 Margaret St.
Cuban Coffee Queen located at 284 Margaret St. Photo: Key West Aloe

Sunset Pier

Sunset Pier located at 0 Duval St.
Sunset Pier located at 0 Duval St. Photo: Key West Aloe

Smathers Beach

Smathers Beach located at 2601 S Roosevelt Blvd. Photo: Ulla Moilanen

Hemmingway Museum 

Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum located at 907 Whitehead St. Photo: Ulla Moilanen

Mallory Square

Welcome to Mallory Square
Photo: Flickr – Sam Howzit

Blue Haven

Blue Haven located at 729 Thomas St.
Blue Haven located at 729 Thomas St. Photo: Key West Aloe

Key West Aloe (we couldn’t resist)

Georgene and Kendra love our Sunsorb SPF 30
Georgene and Kendra love our Sunsorb SPF 30. Photo: Key West Aloe

Did your favorite spot make the list? If not, tell us in the comments below or join the conversation on Facebook and Instagram. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more skin care tips & tricks.

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Aloe Vera – Not Just For Sunburns

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While most people use Aloe Vera to treat sunburns, many are unaware of the powerful moisturizing benefits this plant can have on dry skin or the amazing benefits it can have on healthy skin. The substance found within the spiny leaves of Aloe has long been referred to as “Nature’s Gift” for burns and wound care and is ready to make its debut into the world of fall and winter skincare.

Much more than a simple “burn plant,” Aloe Vera can play a significant role in the protection and maintenance of healthy skin. That’s why Aloe Vera is the foundation of all of  Key West Aloe products.

Photo: Key West Aloe

Where Does Aloe Vera Come From

Originally from Africa, the Aloe species now grows in Australia, Aruba, Barbados, Belize, Nigeria, Paraguay and the United States. As Aloe is a succulent plant that is very effective in retaining water, it is able to thrive in very dry areas.

The Aloe species contains over 400 different varieties, with Aloe Vera being the most commonly used for topical skin applications. Aloe Vera is about 95% water and contains more than 200 phytonutrients including vitamins, minerals, amino acids and most importantly polysaccharides. Polysaccharides are long chains of sugar molecules that contribute to many biological processes and are both anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. This is why Aloe Vera is very effective in wound healing. It has also been shown to stimulate collagen production, reduce oxidative stress and stimulate the immune system. What more could you ask for in a skin care ingredient! 

Photo: Key West Aloe

Aloe Vera Provides Optimal Fall & Winter  Relief

During the harsh winter months, the cold weather can take a toll on the skin leaving it dry, chapped and irritated. Most people will slatter on oil and creams to help retain the moisture, completely forgetting about their favorite sunburn relief ingredient – Aloe! That’s a huge mistake.

Oils and butters do a great job at sealing in the moisture content of the skin and should be used during the colder months. What people mistakenly do is add the oil or butter onto their skin before adding any additional moisture first. These ingredients do not soak into the skin, instead, it sits on top resulting in a sticky, yet still dry skin. Aloe Vera does the exact opposite. Instead of sitting on top of the skin, Aloe works its magic by deeply penetrating the skin and helping it absorb four times the moisture of water alone. It helps pores open and receives hydration without clogging them.

Photo: Key West Aloe

To relieve dry skin we suggest first replenishing the skin’s moisture level with Aloe Vera and then sealing that moisture in with an oil or a butter. Our Aloethera Intensive Body Moisturizer is the perfect product for this. Not only will this lotion hydrate your skin, it will also seal in all of the moisturizing benefits you get from the Aloe. Aloethera Intensive Body Moisturizer is made with 30% Lab Certified Aloe Vera plus sunflower oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, mango butter, shea butter and cocoa butter. Together, these ingredients work together to protect and restore dry winter skin.

Check out the entire Aloethera line for your fall and winter skincare needs.

Do you use Aloe Vera for something else besides sunburns? If so, let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on Facebook and Instagram. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more skin care tips & tricks.

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What is Fantasy Fest?

Source: Fantasy Fest

Our founders, Frank Romano and Joe Liszka, were real pillars of the Key West community. Not only did they come up with the idea of Key West Aloe, they also donated their time and money to multiple organizations, were both voted Humanitarian of The Year and are part founders of Key West’s own Fantasy Fest.

So what is Fantasy Fest?

It’s kind of hard to describe but Fantasy Fest is a 10-day street festival that invites grown-ups to come out and play while still celebrating the Florida Keys culture. It’s essentially one big party where everyone can come and have a good time. On top of that, many of the events raise money for local non-profits. Who doesn’t love a party that gives back?

Source: Fantasy Fest

So how did it get started?

Back in the day, October in Key West was a pretty slow time. The tourists that flocked to the island during their summer vacation were now back at work or school and were not due back until later in the year closer to Christmas. It was so slow that many businesses closed their doors for a few months deciding it was better to relocate than attempt to stay open during the “slow season.”

One October day in the late 70s Joe Liszka brought Frank Romano down to Duval Street and pitched him a grand idea – To host a huge celebration in October that will drive tourist to Key West and help boost the economy during the slow period. We imagine Joe painted a very exciting event because not only did he get his partner to agree to help plan this party, he also looped in two other local businessmen to help execute the first Fantasy Fest.

It took the foursome an entire year to plan the first parade. Over 5,000 people showed up to enjoy the festival and thanks to a few outspoken people, the event gained more and more attention having up to 75,000 people from all over the country flock to take part in the fun events.

Source: Fantasy Fest – Facebook

Fun & Fundraising 

The 10-day extravaganza is jam-packed full of adult-themed fun. There are costume parties, family fun bike rides and Halloween themed 5Ks, cultural and art events and of course parades!

While Fantasy Fest is all about enjoying yourself, the festival also has some altruistic moments. The 2017 Royal Coronation Ball is a fundraising event that raises money for AIDS Help. The King and Queen of Fantasy Fest are the candidates who raise the most money for AIDS Help. Last year, the candidates raised over $173,00 for the health organization.

Are you going to Fantasy Fest? Check out the full schedule on the Official Fantasy Fest Website. Also, sign up for our newsletter to get more tips and tricks. Follow Key West Aloe and join the conversation on Facebook and Instagram.

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6 Tips to Transition Your Skin Care Routine into Fall & Winter

Created by Benzoix – Freepik.com

The first day of Fall has come and gone… have you changed your skin care routine yet? Like the seasons, your skin changes throughout the year and your routine should adjust with the changes. We put together a list of tips everyone needs to make the transition from Summer to Fall

Get your skin right this fall with these beauty tips!

Tip 1: Scrub away the summer.

Photo: Key West Aloe

After a summer full of sun and outdoor activities, skin can appear dull and rough. Use our Coconut Salt Scrub all over your body to not only reveal smooth skin, but also improve the absorption of other skin care products. For the face, we recommend a gentler product like our KWA Solution. The alpha and beta hydroxy acid in the product will gently exfoliate your skin while you sleep while adding an extra boost of much need hydration. Follow up both products with your favorite Key West Aloe Moisturizer!

 

Tip 2: Turn the water temperature  down.

Photo: Key West Aloe

As the weather cools, it can be tempting to end the day with a hot shower. Don’t. Fight the urge and turn the temperature down to a comfortable warm setting. Hot water showers can strip your skin of its natural oils leading to dry skin. Make sure to use a hydrating body wash in the shower to help replenish your skin’s natural moisture level and seal it all in with your favorite body lotion.

 

Tip 3: Get luscious locks.

Photo: stock.tookapic.com

Summer heat can put a toll on your hair leaving it dry and brittle. Refresh for fall with a pH-balancing, moisturizing shampoo and keratin enhanced strengthening conditioner. Our Aloe Vera enriched shampoos and conditioners will instantly hydrate the hair leaving it shiny and manageable. Similar to tip number 2, be aware of your water temperature. Start washing your hair with warm water to open the pores of the hair shaft and but instead of ending with a hot rinse, which can cause you hair to end up dry and brittle, end with a cold rinse to close up the pores and smooth the hair shaft.

 

Tip 4: Protection is key.

Photo: Key West Aloe

Just because summer is over doesn’t mean you can skimp on your SPF. It’s important to always protect your skin from damaging sun rays. There are two types of damaging rays – UVA and UVB. Unprotected exposure can lead to premature aging and sunburns. Even indoors, you are exposed to UV rays. Decrease sun damage by using a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 15 and above. Our Sunsorb SPF 50+ is great for both protection and moisturization.

 

Tip 5: Hydrate Inside & Out

Photo: Pixabay.com

As it cools down, you sweat less and always seem less thirsty then the summer months. Don’t be fooled, during fall you need to keep up with your hydration, both inside and out. Start every morning with a tall glass of cold water (with a lemon if your fancy) instead of coffee or tea. This first sip of H2O will provide must need hydration and can even jumpstart your digestion and metabolism. Also, consider switching to a heavier moisturizer for both your face and body during the fall. The thicker lotion will moisturize the skin and protect you from the cooler temperatures.

 

Tip 6: Don’t Forget Your Lips

Photo: Key West Aloe

Fall is known for a lot of things. Pumpkin Spice Lattes, beautiful fall colors (not in Florida), cooler weather, and chapped lips. People don’t like to talk about it but when the season changes, many of us experience chapped lips! We have the perfect remedy. First, exfoliate your lips. You can buy a pre-made mix or you can make your own. We love these DIY recipes from Brit & Co. Then top it off with an SPF lip balm.

Every season we change what we eat and what we wear, it’s time to start updating our skin care routine too! Share your fall beauty tips below and maybe we can all learn something.

Need more fall skin care advice? Sign up for our newsletter to get more tips and tricks. Follow Key West Aloe and join the conversation on Facebook and Instagram.

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How Can You Help The Florida Keys

Photo: Key West Aloe

On September 10th, 2017, Hurricane Irma made landfall in The Florida Keys as a Category 4 hurricane. Irma left The Florida Keys with flooded streets, damaged buildings and roadways, neighborhoods without power and general debris.

The news always tells you how to prepare for an incoming hurricane but cannot always offer insights on how to recover from the storm. Right now, Key West is in recovery mode. There is a lot of clean up and repair that needs to be done to return our beloved islands to their original condition but our passion and love for the area will fuel us to work hard to restore our home.

As you hear more and more about the Florida Keys condition after Irma you may wonder how can you help. We’ve outlined a few ways that you can make a positive impact on the Keys Community.

Photo: Key West Aloe

Donate Supplies

When a natural disaster strikes, our first instinct is to donate food and goods to those in need. If you have any extra water or hurricane supplies at your home, considering donating to the relief effort. Also, think about little items that are easy to forget like toiletries, diapers, pet food, bug spray, fans and sunscreen.

Once you’ve collected your items, next you must locate your nearest relief organization. We recommend reaching out and confirming there is a need for those good. After confirming, pack and labels your goods and drop them off at your organization of choice. If you have some time, also consider staying and lending a hand.

Photo: Key West Aloe

Donate Money

While donating supplies is a great way to help the recovery efforts, Monroe County stated they preferred cash donations. Their Facebook post on September 18th, excerpt below, explains why.

“While residents of the Florida Keys are grateful for the outpouring of donations of clothing, food and other items from across the U.S., the hurricane relief response team is having to dedicate scarce resources to processing and storing these goods. At this time, they are requesting that those wanting to assist with the relief effort make cash donations to established relief organizations. These donations will help agencies purchase precisely what the community needs. Cash donations also reduce the logistical requirements that come with donated goods.”

With that in mind, Key West Aloe is collecting donations for Hurricane Irma Relief. All proceeds will be donated to United Way of The Florida Keys’ Irma Relief Fund. 100% of the donations raised will be distributed to smaller nonprofits throughout Monroe County who may not have the capacity to generate their own funds. Visit our website to learn more and to donate. 

Photo: Key West Aloe

Donate Time

Sometimes, all that’s needed is a helping hand. We’ve listed multiple ways you can donate your time by volunteering. We will do our best to keep this list current.

Volunteer Florida is a statewide volunteer agency helping organize local volunteers in Monroe County. You can register online or call the county’s Citizen Information Hotline at 800-995-5505.

OneBlood is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) community asset responsible for providing safe, available and affordable blood. Find a Big Red Bus® or a donation center and schedule your appointment today.

The Salvation Army will have various opportunities for you to volunteer your time.

Share

If none of the above options are possible, consider sharing this post or other recover efforts with your friends and family. The more people aware, the more opportunities for help become available.

Carol Shaughnessy from Keys Voices said it best in her recent post, “Irma might have battered the Keys’ landscape, but the storm couldn’t touch the island chain’s greatest asset and greatest strength: the tough, independent, creative, warmhearted spirit of its people.”

Together, we can rebuild The Florida Keys. Thank you in advance for your support!

For more information about the Keys Recovery efforts, please visit keysrecovery.org. 

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Coffee Naps, Do they really work?

Feeling stressed and fatigued by your hectic schedule? Try a caffeine power nap this International Coffee Day!

I love Coffee
Source: stokpic.com

With the hustle and bustle of life, late night parties, (And, in our case, early wake up calls courtesy of the Key West roosters)it is easy to feel a bit run down this time of year.  A simple solution? Coffee + Power Nap= Caffeine Nap.

Yes, we know caffeine is no substitute for 8+ hours of sleep. We also know that daily life doesn’t always give us a full 8 hours for sale. Sometimes we need a quick fix.

While there are many variations to the Caffeine Nap, the basics are quite simple.

Drink a cup of coffee, and immediately take a 20-minute nap.

This phenomenon has picked up steam on the internet in the last few years, but the science behind it dates back more than ten years to research from Loughborough University in the UK. Researchers tried several different treatments on sleepy drivers to determine the best method to stay awake, thus cutting down on fatigue-related accidents. It takes about 15 minutes for caffeine to kick in, or at least to begin to keep one awake, so in theory, should make you feel more alert following the power nap. As with regular power naps, the point of a caffeine nap is not to legitimately fall fast asleep; simply dozing with one’s eyes closed is enough to clear your brain of adenosine, the chemical that makes us feel cloudy and tired. The coffee adds a one-two punch that should have you up and feeling refreshed.

Some tips:

A “cup” of coffee is just that.  A standard cup. Skip the extra tall $7 white chocolate mocha and save it for when you can actually enjoy it. Even if you don’t like regular coffee, trust us. It works the best and doesn’t involve the inevitable sugar crash that comes with fancier beverages.

 Don’t overdo it. Don’t nap longer than 15-20 minutes, or you will wake up feeling groggy and defeat the whole point.

Throw in a pain reliever. If your fatigue is accompanied by a mind-splitting headache, mix a packet of headache powder like Goodies into the coffee. Yes, it will taste nasty, but again, good taste really isn’t the point here. The aspirin will begin to work on the headache while you nap. (Obviously, know the precautions of aspirin and your tolerance to it.)

Best Added Boost? If you STILL need an extra boost, keep a stash of Key West Aloe Cucumber Undereye Gel cold in the fridge, and apply liberally around your eyes before you nap. Not only will it immediately soothe tired and sore eyes, its high concentration of aloe will draw moisture into your skin, and you will wake up looking refreshed, and not like the undead.

Think of it as an emergency wake-up kit. Most of us find ourselves in that situation sooner or later. But seriously, the preventative approach-getting a decent night’s rest on a regular basis-should be our first priority. Now if we could only get the roosters to understand…

Need more fall skincare advice? Sign up for our newsletter to get more tips and tricks. Follow Key West Aloe and join the conversation on Facebook and Instagram.

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Best Places to Shop in Old Town Key West

Welcome To Key West
Photo: Flickr – Cayobo

One of the best things about Key West is its diversity and its support of small businesses. While there are big brands located on the island like Ron Jon Surf Shop and Banana Republic, those big names are outnumbered by locally owned businesses. And like the people of the island, the local shops are unique and cater to the true, Key West lifestyle.

You can find whatever your heart desires in Key West. With so many great stores, it can be hard to decide which ones you must stop at during your visit. We’ve narrowed down the list for you to the top 5 shops in Old Town Key West you can’t miss.

Welcome to Mallory Square
Photo: Flickr – Sam Howzit

Mallory Square

Mallory Square has always been an important part of Key West with its history stretching back to the early 1820’s. Back then, the area was home to the Tift family warehouse where the famous Asa Tift could store his goods found from shipwrecks off the coast of Florida. Now the area is home to over 30 shops and hosts the nightly art festival “Sunset Celebration.” One of our favorite shops located in Mallory Square is the Shell Warehouse. Inside, you can find great souvenirs that like empty conch shells and sand dollars. These shells make great gifts for both friends and family and are a great way to remember your Key West Vacation.

Photo: Books & Books

Books & Books @ The Studios of Key West

So many great writers have called Key West home – Ernest Hemingway, Tennesse Williams and Robert Frost. With all of these iconic writers living on the island, it stands to reason that we would have a great bookstore to share their stories. Books & Books @ The Studios of Key West is that bookstore. Books & Books is a “locally-owned, nonprofit, independently-minded neighborhood bookstore” that is dedicated to curating a selection of books turned to the interest and reading habits of the island. Pop into the former Masonic Temple to browse over 5 thousand titles and see what Conch’s are currently reading!

Kino Sandals 

Floridians live in sandals all year long. Conchs live in Kino Sandals handmade in the Greene Street factory. If you or your loved ones are looking for a comfortable and durable shoe then look no further than Kino Sandal. These sandals are made only in Key West using leather straps and natural rubber seals. Selecting your perfect Kino is like selecting a shoe made just for your feet. Pop by and check it out yourself. We bet you’ll leave it a pair… or two.

Key Lime Pie Factory

A trip to Key West is not complete until you’ve had key lime pie. While there are many places on the island where you can get key lime pie, our favorite spot is the Key Lime Pie Factory. They sell key lime pie by the slice and other goodies that will last longer than the pie. Located on Greene Street, you can grab a slice of pie before heading to Mallory Square for Sunset Celebration.

Photo: Key West Aloe

Key West Aloe

We know we’re a little biased here but Key West Aloe is a must for anyone visiting the Keys. Not only do we sell Aloe Vera based skin care products that will soothe and nourish your sunkissed skin, we also sell anti-aging products that will never tell your age and let you make your own Tropical Salt Scrub! Our Greene Street Store is located in the historic Telegraph Office and just a few steps away from the other shops on this list. Stop in to experience the Key West Aloe Difference.

Did we miss your favorite spot to shop in Old Town Key West? Let us know in the comments below!

Want more Key West Tips? Sign up for our newsletter to get more and follow Key West Aloe and join the conversation on Facebook and Instagram.

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Featured Partner: Boxelder

A beautiful aerial view of Downtown Sanford
Photo: Alive After 5 Facebook

Have you heard of Sanford, Florida? It’s one of the oldest incorporated cities in Central Florida – a cousin, of sorts, to the well-traveled city of Orlando.

The city is beautiful with towering oaks trees and 19th-century Victorian homes lining the brick roads. It’s booming with shoppers browsing the antique shops, restaurants and art galleries in Downtown. Lucky for us, Boxelder, a boutique gift store offering a modern selection of affordable gift items, including Key West Aloe products, is right in the middle of Sanford. We caught up with Boxelder’s owner Kyle Perry and had a chance to learn more about him, his boutique gift shop, and his fun city.

Key West Aloe: When & why did you open Boxelder?
Kyle: My interest in gift shops developed over my retail career with Restoration Hardware and later with Crabtree & Evelyn. I took my interest and experience and opened Boxelder in early 2013. As a Florida native, Key West Aloe was a natural product choice for my gift shop and I have proudly featured the products for almost 4 years!

A inside view of Boxelder
Photo: Boxelder

KWA: Describe your store in one sentence.
K: A boutique gift shop with an assortment of “unique to the local marketplace” merchandise.

KWA: What Key West Aloe products do you carry?
K: Tropical lotions, full Facial Care line, full KWA line, Aloethera line (lotions, shower gel, shampoo, conditioner)

KWA: Besides KWA skin care, what other products do you carry in your store?
K: Body care products, soy candles, handbags, jewelry, kitchen accessories, bar accessories & greeting cards.

KWA: What’s your favorite KWA product?
K: Frangipani Lotion

KWA: Tell us more about your location?
K: We are in the middle of Historic Downtown Sanford which has other great shops, restaurants and a rapidly emerging microbrewery scene with two currently open and four in development.

Bath & body products sold my key west aloe

Thank you, Kyle, for sharing your store with us! We are proud to have you as a member of the Key West Aloe family. If any of our readers are in the Sanford, FL area, stop in Boxelder and say hello!

Check them out on Facebook and visit their store!
Boxelder
278 South Palmetto Avenue
Sanford, FL 32771
407-323-6060
Mon-Sun: 10 am to 5 pm
Like them on Facebook

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What’s My Skin Type?

Created by Benzoix – Freepik.com

Have you walked into the skin care section of a store and just aimlessly stared at all of the different product options. There are 20+ different types of cleansers, exfoliators that also cleanse the skin, moisturizers that are a gel, cream or even a combination of both and advance products that reduce the appearance of pores. It’s very easy to get lost in all of the options.

If you feel a little overwhelmed when it comes to skincare, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Before heading to the skin care aisle, we suggest starting with the basics by figuring out your skin type. Knowledge is power and when it comes to skin care, knowing your skin type gives you the power to choose the right products and routine for you.

Generally, skin can fall under one of four different categories.

Having normal skin means you have a good balance of moisture, have barely visible pores, and have an even and smooth complexion. Most people are lucky enough to have normal skin, but if not maintained, skin can fall into of the other categories listed below.

If normal skin had a great balance of moisture, dry skin does not have enough natural moisture. People with dry skin often have dull and flaky skin. There are many reasons your skin is dry. You could naturally have dry skin, the weather can be drying out your face or you are taking a new medication that creates flaky skin. Whatever the reasoning, using a gentle cleansing face wash and a rich moisturizer can help hydrate the skin.

If you have oily skin, you probably know it. People with oily skin have an excess of oil on the face and if allowed to build up can result in a shiny look. This skin type is most common in youth, especially after puberty hits, but can affect any age. Many people with oily skin notice more oil in their T-zone, also know as the forehead, nose and chin area. Your first instinct may be to avoid moisturizers, but we don’t suggest it. Instead, find an oil-free, noncomedogenic moisturizer to help keep your skin soft with that added greasy feeling.

Combination skin can be a little trickier because it’s a combination of both oily and dry skin. Usually, the T-Zone is oily and the cheek area remains dry. People with combination skin often have to use a variety of products to properly care for their skin. If you have combination skin, it’s important to determine which parts of your face is oily and which parts are dry.

Do you fall under normal, oily, dry or maybe a combination? Use these three steps below to determine your skin type.

  1. Wash your face with a gentle cleanser and pat dry.
  2. Wait a few hours for your skin to return to its natural state.
  3. Examine your face in the mirror paying special attention to the T-Zone — the forehead, nose and chin areas.

What do you see?

If your skin shows no signs of flaking or oiliness and feels smooth, you’ve got normal skin. Try a lightweight moisturizer like Day Moist to maintain your smooth complexion.

If your skin looks shiny and feels slick to the touch, you’ve got oily skin. Try a gentle exfoliator like Oatmeal Facial Scrub to remove oil build up.

If your skin feels tight and has flakes in some areas, you’ve got dry skin. Try an intense moisturizer like Night Moist to give your skin an extra boost of hydration.

If all of the above applies, you have an oily T-Zone but everywhere else is normal to dry, you’ve got combination skin. Try a pH-balanced cleanser like Gentle Aloe Facial Cleanser to wash your face without drying out your skin.

Remember, your skin type will change over time so it’s good to revisit this post to make sure the products you’re buying are still working for your skin.

Share your skin type with us in the comments below or on Facebook or Instagram and we can help you build the perfect skincare routine.

Need more fall skincare advice? Sign up for our newsletter to get more tips and tricks.  

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Top 5 Hotels in Key West

Even though Key West is a small island, there is a wide selection of place to stay. Whether you’re looking for an exclusive resort or a historic bed and breakfast, Key West will have a hotel that meets all of your vacation needs.

Before you plan your next trip to Key West, check out our top 5 hotels to stay when you visit:

Outside view of The Marker Resort
Photo: The Marker Resort

The Marker Waterfront Resort

If you’re the type of traveler that likes to be in the middle of everything, we suggest The Marker Waterfront Resort. This hotel is one of the newest built on the island and is just a stone’s throw away from the best attractions in Key West. Nearby activities include waverunner tours, paddle boards, bike rentals, dolphin watching and snorkeling.

Photo: The Artist House

The Artist House

If you’re looking for a more historic stay, check out The Artist House on Eaton Street. You may recognize the building because it’s one of the most photographed houses in Key West. The hotel is actually a restored, Victorian mansion that has stayed true to it’s roots. Smack dab in the middle of Old Key West, guest can experience the local bars, restaurants and attractions. If you decide to stay somewhere else but still want to check out the mansion, you can get a glimpse of the colorful house on one of the many tours that features it.

Photo: The Gates Hotel

The Gates Hotel

Right off of the Overseas Highway is The Gates Hotel. Opened in 2015, this hotel combines contemporary design with a retro Floridian flair. Amenities include the Rum Row Poolside Bar, a cigar lounge, an on-site food truck and free bike rentals. The hotel even offers complimentary shuttle services to Old Key West!

Photo: Ibis Bay Beach Resort

Ibis Bay Beach Resort

If you’re looking for a family-friendly place to stay look no further than Ibis Bay Beach Resort. The hotel has everything you need to have a fun vacation including a colorful hammocks, a private beach and local wildlife to keep things interesting.

Photo: Sunset Key Cottages

Sunset Key Cottages

Lastly, if you don’t mind splurging and want a private island vibe we suggest Sunset Key Cottages. A ferry boat ride away, this exclusive 27-acre island is home to 40 cottages as well as private beaches, a fitness center, and a spa.

What’s the best part about these hotels? They all have Key West Aloe products stocked in every room so you won’t have to miss out on our amazing Aloe Vera based skin care products.

Where do you usually stay when you come to Key West? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook or Instagram!

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Best Product for Dry Hands?

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With so many Aloe Vera products, we are often asked, “which product is best for dry hands?”  The answer is Aloethera Intensive Hand Lotion and this is why.

Although at Key West Aloe have a number of high concentration moisturizers, Aloethera Intensive Hand Lotion is hard to beat for your hands.  In addition to being 52% Lab Certified Aloe Vera, Aloethera Intensive Hand Lotion contains both a healthy serving of Vitamin E.

Why the Vitamin E?  Two reasons.  The first is that Vitamin E has been shown to be an antioxidant that can be absorbed through the skin and be available to the body as a strong defensive agent to the oxidation process.   “Pollution” of all kinds from radiation (the sun) to chemicals to which we are all exposed can lead to oxidation of our cells, and subsequently dangerous cell mutations.  This process often leads to aging and disease.

In addition to being a strong antioxidant, Vitamin E also serves as natural emollient .  This means that when applied to your skin, it helps lock in moisture, preventing rapid evaporation often caused by dry air.  Maintaining skin moisture is essential to keeping it looking and feeling healthy.

Like our other products, you will find that Aloethera Intensive Hand Lotion “feels” different.  Our proprietary Aloe Vera foundation provides that immediate nourishing yet clean feeling.  The other ingredients in this blend then provide a slightly more rich feel as the Vitamin E and other ingredients leave your hands feeling like they have a protective barrier without feeling greasy.  A little goes a long way for sure.

Some of our suggestions for dry hands:

  • Keep Aloethera Intensive Hand Lotion close to where you wash your hands most often.  After towel drying your hands, immediately apply the lotion to lock in the remaining moisture.  Use a small amount, work it in, then apply more as needed.
  • Keep a bottle by the door.  Before you go out, put some on your hands to create a barrier before you even come in contact with the outdoor air and environmental factors.
  • Apply often.  We shed our skin continuously and therefore need to aggressively moisture, seal and protect that top layer which is continuously changing. We have a 1 oz size that’s perfect for you purse.
  • Contact = dry.  Remember that any part of your body that continuously gets rubbed by pants, shirts, armrests, etc. will lose moisture.  Don’t forget to apply to your elbows, knees, feet, and any place else that you find getting dry;
  • Sleep on it.  A great way to recharge those hands and other body parts is to apply a good amount right before bed so that your body can absorb the benefits and deep moisturising of the Aloe Vera and Vitamin E, and be protected from drying while the heat is on.

Have any other tips or suggestions based on how you use Aloethera?  Please let us know!

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5 Ways to Use Aloe Vera

With so many Aloe Vera products, we are often asked, “which product is best for dry hands?”  The answer is Aloethera Intensive Hand Lotion and this is why.

Aloe Vera has been around for a really long time. Cleopatra used this plant in her skincare treatments and Alexander the Great once captured an island to secure supplies of aloe for his wounded soldiers.

While Aloe Vera is about 95% water, it also contains more than 200 nutrients including vitamins, minerals, amino acids and most importantly polysaccharides. Polysaccharides are long chains of sugar molecules that contribute to many biological processes and are both anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. This is why Aloe Vera is very effective in wound healing.

Aloe Vera works its magic by deeply penetrating the skin, helping it absorb four times the moisture of water alone. It helps pores open and receive hydration without clogging them, while its antioxidant properties have been shown to slow the aging process in hundreds of clinical studies.

Aloe Vera also works to form a protective barrier that helps the skin and hair remain soft, smooth and supple.

  1. To treat sunburns – Aloe Vera can help with sunburn through its powerful healing activity at the epithelial level of the skin. It acts as a protective layer when applied to the skin and helps replenish moisture while the nutrients and antioxidants help heal the skin quicker.
  2. As a moisturizer – The properties in Aloe Vera make it perfect for a moisturizer without giving you a “greasy” feel. Aloe can reach three epidermal layers of the skin, so with aloe your skin receives maximum nutrients while locking in that moisture. It is great for both women and men for all skin types.  
  3. To fight aging – The main cause of aging is the loss of elasticity in your skin. Aloe leaves contain many antioxidants including Vitamin C & E and beta-carotene that can help improve skin’s natural firmness, keep skin hydrated and diminish the appearance of fine lines.
  4. To reduce the appearance of stretch marks & scars – Stretch marks are caused by minor tears in the layers of the skin caused by sudden and/or excessive stretching. Aloe Vera can help heal these wounds to lessen stretch marks and help reduce their visibility.
  5. To treats skin care concerns – Aloe vera helps treat acne with its antimicrobial properties that kill bacteria. Anti-inflammatory properties that reduce redness and skin inflammation help not only with acne but also helps with other skin care problems such as rosacea. Due to the naturally hydrating and healing properties aloe vera helps with eczema as well.  

Much more than a simple “burn plant,” Aloe Vera can play a significant role in the protection and maintenance of healthy skin. That’s why Aloe Vera is the foundation of all Key West Aloe products.

Follow our “All About Aloe” board on Pinterest to learn even more ways to use Aloe! 

TL:DR? Check out our infographic below.

5 ways to use Aloe Vera Infographic

45 Years Old & You Can’t Tell

Every successful business owner had an “ah-ha” moment that motivated them to start a new company. For Frank Romano and Joe Liszka, our founders, that “ah-ha” moment was a sunburn.

The native New Yorkers were vacationing in sunny Key West and made the timeless mistake of not using protection. Luckily, a local friend was growing Aloe Vera in their yard. The friend broke off a piece of this tropical plant and smeared the gel on Frank’s burn. The pain stopped immediately. The next day, Frank was so impressed that the sunburn practically disappeared he decided to dig a little deeper into this wonderful plant.

Frank, a chemist and a cosmetic researcher, saw the magical properties of Aloe and started to wonder, “If Aloe was that effective on damaged skin, what could it do for healthy skin?” Two years of research, $21,000, and a move to Key West, the nation’s first cosmetic company to make Aloe Vera based skin care products opened their doors on November 13, 1971. They sold $36 on their first day!

2017 and Beyond

45 years later, our mission remains the same. We want to create a wide range of luxurious skin care products with nature’s best ingredient as our primary ingredient. To celebrate 45 years of business, we released our Anniversary Travel Bags in January 2017! These colorful travel bags will take you back to the 70’s when Key West Aloe used to be named Key West Fragrance & Cosmetic Factory. Back then, you could watch Frank or Joe make the products in the window of our Front Street location and shipping was only $1.50.

The Anniversary Travel Bags features a Key West Hand Print Fabrics design made exclusively for Key West Aloe. While the history behind the print isn’t clear, we believe the print was created by Suzie DePoo, staff designer at Key West Hand Print Fabrics and the creator of many designs that would eventually become Lilly Pulitzer’s trademark. Back in the day, this print was on everything Key West Aloe produced including our bags, catalog and some packaging.

Each travel sets comes with a moisturizing body wash, a hydrating body lotion, a softening shampoo, and a strengthening conditioner. The sets are available in our most popular scents – Key Lime, Mango, Coconut, Aloethera  – and come in two different sizes.

Discover the secret of our Aloe and find the out why we are Florida’s favorite Aloe Vera brand!

Have you been to our original factory in Key West? Share your story with us below!

 

Do You Need Sunscreen In The Fall?

Photo: Key West Aloe

Summer is gone and Fall is here. It’s time to pack your summer bathing suits and sandals and swap it out for sweaters and boots. We’ve already written a post about transitioning your skin care routine into Fall & Winter but you still may be wondering, do you need sunscreen in the Fall & Winter?

If you read our last blog post,  you already know the answer is YES!

Sun protection is not a seasonal thing that you bring out when your outside more. You should always wear sunscreen to protect yourself from harmful UVA and UVB sun rays.

Here are other questions you may still have about sunscreen:

  • Do I need to wear sunscreen if I have an office job? YES
  • I have SPF Makeup, do I need any additional protection? YES
  • I don’t get sunburns, do I still need sunscreen? YES

Continue your education and get Sun Smart with Key West Aloe! Check out the full infographic below and let us know if you learned anything new.

Get SunSmart with Key West Aloe
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