6 Ingredients You Need for a Perfect Beauty Sleep

There are literally not enough hours in the day to get everything done on your tidy task list. Because of this, sometimes our skin care routines can be pushed to the bottom of the list and sometimes forgotten altogether. Our neglected skin can become dry, dull and clogged with yesterday’s makeup if we don’t take a few minutes out of our day to practice good skin care.

Take back your skin care routine by investing in products with ingredients that do all the work for you while you sleep. The below six ingredients are proven to help you get a perfect beauty sleep and wake up flawless!

Aloe Vera

Every day our skin has to fight against harmful environmental factors including the damaging UVA & UVB rays, wind, makeup, pollution and much more.  To help counteract these damaging factors,  you should invest in nighttime skin care products with an Aloe Vera base. Aloe is naturally age-defying, moisturizing and can help the skin fight against harmful free radicals. Aloe Vera also acts as a cosmetically active carrier enhancing the performance of other cosmetic ingredients making your skin care products more effective in treating your skin concerns.

Learn more about how amazing Aloe is on our blog post “5 Ways to Use Aloe Vera.”

Hyaluronic Acid

As we get older, our skin starts to lose the ability to retain moisture resulting in less firm and plump skin. Hyaluronic acid is the perfect skin care ingredient to fight this phenomenon. Hyaluronic acid is a humectant, something that retains moisture like a sponge. When used in skin care, Hyaluronic acid draws moisture from the air allowing it to be absorbed by the skin. Once absorbed, the skin may regain elasticity and look and feel softer. When shopping for a nighttime product with hyaluronic acid, look for a rich cream that can give you a maximum moisture boost.

Try Key West Aloe’s Optimal Results

Retinol

Retinol, more commonly known as vitamin A, is an antioxidant that diminished the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by encouraging healthy cell growth and exfoliation to help skin appear younger. It also enhances collagen production, helping erase the fine lines and wrinkles we all get from aging. This ingredient is best used at night because the sun can break the product down.

Try First Aid Beauty Skin Lab Retinol Serum

Cucumbers

If you’re like us, you’ve tried ever beauty trick in the book including the cucumber over the eyes trick. While this does work wonders for your eyes, sleeping with cucumbers on your eyes is harder than it looks. Luckily, there are products out there with cucumber as the main ingredient that can give you the same results. Cucumbers are rich in vitamin C and folic acid. The vitamin C will stimulate new cell growth while the folic acid will protect your skin from environmental toxins that can make eyes appear tired. Popping on a skin care product will cucumber at night will make it look like you got the full 8-hours of sleep you intended to get instead of the 4 your actually got.

Try Key West Aloe Cucumber Under-Eye Gel

Squalane

Plant-based squalane is an amazing moisturizing ingredient to use at night. Our bodies naturally produce a form of squalane and know exactly how to handle this ingredient so instead of looking like a greasy mess we can have better skin elasticity by increasing the skins moisture retention and nutrients.

Try Glossier’s Moisturizing Moon Mask

Alpha Hydroxy Acid & Beta Hydroxy Acid

AHAs & BHAs are a nonabrasive group of naturally occurring acids found in various foods that are good for exfoliation. AHAs, great for thickened, sun-damaged skin, will dissolve the surface of the skin uncovering a smoother complexion. On the other hand, BHAs can penetrate into pores, exfoliating the dead skin cells that are built up inside the pore helping reduce the occurrence of blackheads and whiteheads.

Try Key West Aloe’s Solution

Are you using any of these products already? 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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Face Masks 101

Photo by Isabell Winter on Unsplash

If you have a new skin concern or are just looking for an additional boost consider adding a face mask to your skin care routine. Face masks are a quick, affordable and easy to use. With such a wide variety of face mask to choose from, there is a mask that will fit your specific needs.

Not sure where to start? Check out our guide below to become a mask-a-holic.

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Types of Mask

There are 4 types of facial masks: clay masks, cream masks, sheet masks, and gel masks. Each mask works for a certain type of skin and addresses specific skin concerns.

Clay Masks

Clay masks are facial masks that contain skin-purifying clay and other great ingredients that can help minimize blemishes and unclog pores. While clay masks can be used on all skin types, people with normal to oily skin will benefit most from a clay mask. Clay masks can help detoxify the skin, tighten pores, boost circulation, reduce inflammation and evens skin tone. Popular clays used in these masks include kaolin clay, bentonite clay, fuller’s earth clay, french green clay, and rassoul clay.

Cream Masks

If you’re feeling a little dry and dehydrated, this is the mask for you. Cream masks are made with replenishing oils and moisturizers to help normal to dry skin bounce back.

Sheet Masks

Sheet Masks are amazing for all skin types and are fun to use. Depending on the formula you pick up, your mask can help bring back life to dry skin or can help fight the battle against wrinkles. The best part about sheet masks, no rinsing required. In fact, to get the most out of your mask, we suggest rubbing the leftover mask directly onto your skin.

Gel Masks

Like the cream mask, the gel mask is formulated to hydrate and nourish the skin. The coolness of the gel is perfect for sensitive skin types but works on normal to dry skin types as well.

 

Target Your Main Concern

For When You’re Feeling Greasy

… try a mask with kaolin clay as the main ingredient. The clay will naturally absorb the excesses oil and sebum on the skin and within the pores. Compliment the kaolin clay with a moisturizing ingredient like Aloe Vera to help balance the drying effects clay can have on the skin.

Try: Key West Aloe’s Marine Mud Mask

 

For When You’re Feeling Dry

… try a mask with hyaluronic acid as a key ingredient. Hyaluronic acid is a humectant that draws moisture from the air. It can be absorbed by the skin and once absorbed the skin may regain elasticity and look softer. 

Try: Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost Hydrating Overnight Gel Mask

 

For When You’re Feeling Clogged

… try a mask with bentonite clay as the main ingredient. Like kaolin clay, bentonite clay is super absorbent and acts as a magnet drawing out impurities in your pores. It’s also can help reduce swelling and soothe inflammation.

Try: Aztec Healing Clay

 

For When You’re Feeling Dull

… try a mask with enzymes as a key ingredient. Fruit enzymes from papaya and pineapples offer gentle exfoliation that can remove dead skin cells revealing bright, radiant skin.

Try: Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask

 

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Add a Face Mask Your Routine

If you already have an established skin care routine, adding a face mask will be an easy addition.  Once you’ve selected what type of mask and which ingredients to use, everything else will fall into place.

  1. Start with a cleanser
  2. Following the directions on your particular mask, apply the face mask smoothing in on in an upward motion.
  3. Wait the required amount of time.
  4. Rinse (unless you are using a sheet mask). Use lukewarm water and do not scrub, gently pat the mask away.
  5. Moisturize and seal in all of the mask goodness.

Now you know almost everything there is about face masks. What mask should you use based on your skin type? 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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Top 5 Museums in Key West

 

Key West is a small island with a lot of history. Our residents have found gold and wrote inspiring stories. Key West played an important role during the Cuban Missle Crisis and hosted a few presidents, we even succeeded from the US for a little while. For only 4.2 square miles, Key West is full of history and culture.

If you’re looking to learn more about Key West and the rich history behind us Conchs, read on. We made a list of the must-visit museums in Key West. These museums showcase the best of our island and everything we have to offer.

Key West Museum of Art & History

 

It’s hard to miss the beautiful brick facade of the Old Post Office and Customs House building. Located on Front Street, this historical building now serves as the Key West Museum of Art & History.  When you visit, you can experience two floors of exhibitions that brings together art, history, people and events. If you don’t have a lot of time to explore inside the museum, you can take a quick stroll outside and see the realistic statues that are scattered on the museum grounds.

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

Ernest Hemingway Museum

Ernest Hemingway once called Key West Home, now we call Ernest Hemingway’s house a museum. As soon as you enter the grounds you are met by a 6-toed cat and lush plants.  On a guided tour you’ll be able to get a glimpse into the way one of the best author’s of the century lived. Hemingway’s house has a lot of historical features. The house (now a museum) was one of the first houses to have indoor plumbing, running water upstairs and a pool!

Mel Fisher Maritime Museum

 

Located in downtown Key West at the corner of Greene St. and Whitehead is the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum. This nautically themed museum features collections of artifacts from a 17th-century shipwreck that was excavated in by Mel Fisher and his team of Treasure Salvors. They started their quest in 1969 and spent years following an elusive trail. It wasn’t until 1973 when they found three silver bars, did they know they were on the right path. Sixteen years later they unearthed a treasure that can now be seen at the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum.

Lighthouse Tower & Keeper Quarters

 

One of our favorite spots in Key West is the Key West Lighthouse & Keeper Quarters. Climbing the 88 steps to the tops of the lighthouse and seeing our wonderful island from a bird’s eye view is a breathtaking experience. We also love getting a glimpse of the belongings, photographs, and words of the Lighthouse Keepers and their families.

Fort East Martello

 

Fort East Martello was first built during the Civil War to protect the Union-controlled island from the Confederacy. After the war ended, there was no use for this military structure. The fort and tower remained empty until 1950 when the Key West Art & Historical Society opened the islands first museum in the abandoned fort. With the help of committed volunteers and community support, the fort was restored to the original design. Today, the museum showcases a collection of relics from the civil war, information about wrecking and cigar manufacturing and the haunted Robert the Doll.

Did your favorite museum make our list? If no, 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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Our Favorite Instagrammers – July 2018

We’ve been having so much fun on Instagram and wanted to share the accounts we loved the most this month. If you see someone you like, hop on to their account and smash that follow button. Tell them Key West Aloe sent you. And if you aren’t already following us, what are you waiting for. Hit that follow button on Instagram to get a glimpse of that Key West Aloe Life.

@onlykeywestJoelle at @onlykeywest is showcasing some of the best parts of Key West! We can’t get enough of her bike portraits. She’s got a great eye for color too!

@willsmith: The Fresh Prince of Bell Air’s account has been giving us life. We love the mixture of his inspirational, family post combined with his entertaining post. And really, how can we resist when he’s trending all over the place.

@colormecourtney: One quick glance at her feed says it all. We cannot double tap on her colorful photos.

@levitate.beauty: Like Courtney, Becca’s @levitate.beauty feed is full of colorful layouts. We love how each and every post has so much detail too! If you are looking for a specific skincare product, @levitate.beauty is the account to look at.

@florida_greatshots: Florida is the best state out there and @florida_greatshots Instagram account is all the proof you need!

Cuteness in every aspect of my self-care routine! Something slightly different today featuring the @goby electric toothbrush. Goby was kind enough to send me one and I've been using it for the last 2 weeks, and I love the concept. Ever since I was a kid I've been super susceptible to cavities, so I decided as a teenager to develop really good dental hygiene habits. I've been using an electric toothbrush for years, but let's be honest, most of the typical models aren't the prettiest to look at. I'm glad that brands like Goby are bringing dental care into the 21st century and the Instagram age! Not only is the Goby brush cute on my vanity, it offers a subscription model where you can get the affordable $6 brush heads sent to you (free shipping) whenever you need a refill (2-3 months for me). This solves my problem of always running out of brush heads and using a less-than-optimal worn out brush for way too long. The base unit retails for $60 when bundled with the brush head replacement subscription, which is mid-range and pretty affordable. I think it compares well to electric brushes in a similar price range. I've used everything from the low-end single-use electric brushes (which I don't recommend, as the battery runs out fast and the brushing action gets slow) to the high end units (which are great if you can afford to spend $200 on a toothbrush). This is a great quality option for a reasonable price. It comes with a USB charging cable so you can charge it easily on the go wherever you are in the world, though the charge lasts two weeks so you might not need to charge it while traveling at all. Honestly, if a cute pink toothbrush is what gets you to take care of your teeth, it's totally worth it. I got the base unit for free to review, but I'll be subscribing to the refills myself and I'll be happily brushing away for months to come! #goby #gobygram #dentalhygiene #beautycommunity #skincarecommunity #rasianbeauty #abcommunity #skincareobsessed #skincareroutine #selfcare #skincarejunkie #skincareaddict #kbeauty #kbeautyaddict #herbivorebotanicals #skinrxlab #oneoseven #electrictoothbrush

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@gracefulfaceblog: We just can’t get over the style of these photos. We’re so obsessed with skincare that our feed is full of accounts like this. Camilla has such an eye for great photos.

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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Long Hair – Because We Care

Photo by Element5 Digital from Pexels
Have you heard the saying “Long Hair, Don’t Care.” According to a source (ehm… Urban Dictionary), this saying can be traced back to the late 60s early 70s when people grew their hair in support of the hippie movement.

We want to put a 2018 spin on this and change the phrase to “Long Hair, Because We Care” because long, healthy hair doesn’t happen by accident. It takes time and attention to develop luscious hair like your favorite celebrity. With these 7 Tips, we can help you get Instagram worthy hair.

Start with the scalp

A clean, healthy scalp makes for healthy hair. When washing your hair, make sure to focus the cleansing shampoo on your scalp then let the shampoo wash over the rest of your hair. We also like to spend some extra time massaging the scalp with our fingertips. This massage is a great stress reliever and will encourage hair growth.

Try conditioner first

Pick up a shampoo bottle and read the instructions, we can almost guarantee it says “Shampoo then conditioner.” Today, we say forget those instructions, including ours, and condition your hair before shampooing. Even the most moisturizing shampoos can strip your hair of necessary oils, by using conditioner first you give your hair an extra boost of moisture so when you’re shampooing you are still left with some softness.

Finish with a shot of cold

Warm showers are nice. The heat can relax your muscles and make your skin feel soft. It can also be doing more harm to your hair than good. Warm water opens up the hair cuticle making it easier for moisture to escape resulting in dry, brittle hair. So if you can, avoid hot water when washing your hair. Does this mean you always have to take cold showers when washing your hair? No, when you’re one with your entire routine, spend a few minutes under a cool steam. This will close your cuticles, making it easier for your hair to maintain moisture while reducing the chance of split ends.

Don’t be afraid of a few snips

One thing we’ve noticed is people who are trying to grow their hair always brag about how long it’s been since their last cut. But why? A regular trim is the best way to grow your hair. Getting rid of and preventing split ends will mean your hair can grow longer, faster.

Not all products are created equal

Like your skin, there are different types of hair. Some people have fine straight hair and others have thick curly hair. The most important thing you can do on your healthy hair journey is figuring out what type of hair you have and what products and ingredients work best for your hair. On a basic level, Aloe Vera is perfect for almost every hair type because it’s super nourishing and help strengthen your hair but it may not be enough. Maybe you need a product with extra protein or maybe you need a different textured product. You won’t know until you try so we suggest experimenting with your hair products.

Pro Tip: We like to do a mud mask treatment on our hair to help draw out impurities and moisturize the hair. Believe it or not, we use our Marine Mud Mask for this treatment.

Photo by ian dooley on Unsplash
Drop the heat

We’re sure we don’t have to tell you how damaging heat can be for your hair. The high temperatures make your hair look good after styling but underneath you’re just hurting your hair. Do yourself a favor and ditch the hot tools. If, for whatever reason, you can’t, make sure to use a heat protectant and a leave-in conditioner to help add moisture back into your abused hair shaft.

Start inside

It doesn’t matter how much work you put into your hair on the outside if you’re not taking care of your hair from the inside. Make sure to eat the right food and stay hydrated to promote healthy hair growth. Snacks like eggs, sweet potatoes, avocados, and almonds can put you on the right path to healthy hair. A multi-purpose vitamin couldn’t hurt either.

It’s time to say goodbye to dry, brittle hair and say hello to healthy locks. Start with these tips and create a healthy hair routine that fits your needs. Then, share with us in the comments below your #1 hair tip – we’re always happy to learn new tricks.

Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to get more tips and tricks and follow us on  Facebook or Instagram!

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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

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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.

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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 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 suggest getting a bag with an attached coin purse. The 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 — 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, but 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 magazine, 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 voila! You’re now powder 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.

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?

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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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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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