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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Say Cheese! Best Spots to Take Photos in Key West

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

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

Mile Marker 0

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

Key West Lighthouse

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

Southernmost Point Buoy

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

Cuban Coffee Queen

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

Sunset Pier

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

Smathers Beach

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

Hemmingway Museum 

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

Mallory Square

Welcome to Mallory Square
Photo: Flickr – Sam Howzit

Blue Haven

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

Key West Aloe (we couldn’t resist)

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

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

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Aloe Vera – Not Just For Sunburns

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

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

Photo: Key West Aloe

Where Does Aloe Vera Come From

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

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

Photo: Key West Aloe

Aloe Vera Provides Optimal Fall & Winter  Relief

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

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

Photo: Key West Aloe

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

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

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

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What’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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Top 5 Hotels in Key West

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

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

Outside view of The Marker Resort
Photo: The Marker Resort

The Marker Waterfront Resort

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

Photo: The Artist House

The Artist House

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

Photo: The Gates Hotel

The Gates Hotel

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

Photo: Ibis Bay Beach Resort

Ibis Bay Beach Resort

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

Photo: Sunset Key Cottages

Sunset Key Cottages

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

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

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

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