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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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

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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.

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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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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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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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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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.

Designed by Freepik

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

Created by Benzoix – Freepik.com

Fall is here… 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 seamlessly.

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 acids in the product will gently exfoliate your skin as 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 your 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

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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 you’re 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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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
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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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What’s My Skin Type?

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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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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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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.

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