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You want to take care of yourself and unwind without having to do, well, anything more than turn the tap on and strike a match. Enter Simper Goods, the will-make-you-feel-amazing-without-really-having-to-think-about-it line of self-care products started by Jen Pezzolla.

Imagine, if you will, the most stressful day of your life. Nothing went the way it was supposed to, everything was late, it was probably pouring rain and of course you didn’t have an umbrella — whatever your version of “it’s been a DAY!” has been. Now think about what your ideal evening routine would be to undo some of the anxiety that day caused. I’m betting it involves as little thinking as possible: no need to make more decisions or choices…things are easy. In other words, simple.

You want to take care of yourself and unwind without having to do, well, anything more than turn the tap on and strike a match. Enter Simper Goods, the will-make-you-feel-amazing-without-really-having-to-think-about-it line of self-care products started by Jen Pezzolla.

The way Jen sees it, “not enough people take time for self-care rituals,” whatever the reason. But it’s precisely those self-care rituals that can take a not-so-great day or week (or month) and turn things around. True, bath salts can’t fix all your problems. But when the products you use while caring for yourself — and only yourself — for a few minutes every day smells as good and are made with the meticulously curated and clean ingredients Simper Goods uses, it’s basically impossible not to feel at least a little bit better.

Between nourishing baths and handcrafting soaps, Jen chatted with Free People about the inspiration behind the line, her favorite product (though it’s hard to choose just one!), and her pick for the next self-care ingredient superstar you should start using before everyone else picks up on it.

How did Simper Goods get started? What inspired you down this path?

My background is in makeup, so initially I had the idea to do a color line — lipsticks/gloss, blushes, etc. But I really wanted to make something by hand, so first the idea of a candle line emerged. When I was developing the candles, I played around with different ingredients for bath salts and the rest just fell into place.

My inspiration is simple pleasures: lighting a yummy-smelling candle, nourishing your skin with good-for-you oils and relaxing your mind and body with stress-relieving salts. Not enough people take the time for self-care rituals, which is why I made Simper Goods products simple and easy to use, yet effective.

Why did you choose self-care products as your medium of choice?

Baths are for sure my thing. I soak with a good book and a candle burning almost every day. It helps me relax and refocus [so] it felt natural to go in this direction.

Your products are handmade; what’s it like to physically participate in the making of your products every day?

For me, it’s completely cathartic. I love using my hands to create something. My mind quiets down and I find a good rhythm.

How do you practice self-care while running a business?

Sometimes it’s hard to take time for yourself, especially when balancing work/home/social life — I have a busy schedule with two young children. I feel better mentally and physically when I work out, drink a ton of water, stretch each morning and go for massages. I try my best to eat a healthy organic/plant-based diet and to take my vitamins and collagen daily.

I’m sure it’s hard to pick a favorite, but what Simper Goods product do you find yourself reaching for over and over again?

Everyday Elixir Body Oil. I use this the second I get out of the shower in the morning and then again before bed.

I know you said one, but the Soap Gems make me smile because they smell SO good. Right now, I am using the Sugar & Citrus gem. I have one in the shower, one by my bathtub, one by my bathroom sink and my kitchen sink.

What is your favorite ingredient to work with? Use?

Anything coconut. I am obsessed with cocoa and vanilla too.

What do you think the next big self-care ingredient is?

Turmeric. It’s a skin lifesaver. I know it’s already around, I just don’t think it has received the attention it deserves. I have also been researching the healing properties of Marshmallow Root…

What’s your favorite self-care ritual?

Right before bed, I like to pour myself a glass of water with lemon, light a candle and get into a hot bath using Sunday Soak Bath Salts with my book. (Side note: I am a historical fiction nerd!)

What does “wellness” mean to you? What does “beauty” mean to you?

Being happy with yourself and feeling confident in your own skin. [And] beauty is wellness.

Spring may only recently be in the air (and for some of us, it’s still just a dream), but really, is it ever too early to start thinking about summer? I say no, and as such, that also means it’s never too early to think about summer skin prep.

One of the most crucial aspects of getting your face ready for heat, sweat, humidity and extra SPF is the all-important exfoliation. Not only will regular exfoliation help shed the dead skin cells I’m sure have piled throughout the winter, revealing an undoubtedly glorious layer of fresh skin underneath, it also helps prep and prime skin to receive whatever products you apply after a good sloughing. And with summer approaching and a skincare overhaul likely on your horizon, now is as good a time as ever to pick that scrub habit back up.

But! Do proceed with caution. Not all exfoliators or exfoliant tools are created equally, particularly when it comes to the type of skin you’ve been blessed with. There’s so much misinformation floating around about how to exfoliate your face, and the last thing I want is for you to use the wrong stuff, have a bad experience, and never do it again. What a tragedy! So, to set the record straight, here’s how you should be exfoliating based on your skin type. Adios, dead skin cells!

If you have oily skin…don’t overdo it!

So many people with oily skin feel that they need to dry it out in order to balance it, but that couldn’t be further from the truth, particularly when it comes to exfoliation. To keep yourself from overdoing it, opt for a chemical exfoliant over a physical one. Alpha hydroxy (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) work to break down the bonds that hold dull, dead cells on the skin’s surface. Those gently broken bonds then let dead skin shed naturally to reveal smoother, brighter skin underneath.

If you have sensitive skin…gommage is your friend.

Most standard exfoliators — even acid- and enzyme-based ones — will be too harsh for reactive skin. To make sure you’re using the gentlest stuff possible on your face, you’ll want to use rice bran or oatmeal powders that you add water to, forming a paste. It may not feel as satisfying as a traditional scrub, but trust me when I say your skin will thank you for not irritating or scratching the crap out of it.

If you have dry skin…stick with enzymes.

Scrubs can be incredibly harsh for dry, thirsty skin, so skip ‘em. To effectively and safely exfoliate your dry skin, you’ll want to consider fruit enzymes that eat away at the dead skin instead of physically sloughing them off with grains, beads or sugar crystals. Exfoliating, fruit enzyme-based masks are also great for dry skin since the fruit extracts are also moisturizing, so they hydrate while they exfoliate.

One thing to keep in mind: How frequently you should exfoliate is unique to you and your skin, not necessarily based on what type of skin you have. Consider all the other products and tools you’re using that may already do some light exfoliating — serums that contain acids, retinol, a washcloth to double cleanse — and start slow. Try exfoliating just once a week at first. If your skin reacts well, or, more precisely, doesn’t react badly, try it every few days.

Similarly to skincare, there’s a right order and a “wrong” order to apply these nifty new additions to your bathroom…

So you’ve gone through the trouble of stocking up on an arsenal of hair care and styling products…great! But similarly to skincare, there’s a right order and a “wrong” order to applying these nifty new additions. I put “wrong” in quotes because you can’t actually do this kind of stuff wrong but you can do it better, particularly when you take your natural hair texture into account.

If your hair is curly…

you’re probably the target of a lot of straight-haired jealousy. But you also have a bit of a harder time with styling products since no two curly heads are the same, which means there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to curly products. That said, a good rule of thumb is to start with a leave-in conditioner or hydrating serum to moisturize and soften your curls before running a gel or curl cream through your strands to help your natural texture take shape and stay defined.

If your hair is straight…

you’re probably the target of a lot of curly-haired jealousy. (Guilty! We always want the hair we don’t have.) But while straight hair is typically easy enough to handle, it’s also more susceptible than other textures to falling flat. (And being the victim of static, but that’s a story for another post.) To combat flat, lanky-looking hair, start your styling routine with a volumizing spray or dry shampoo like Rahua’s Voluminous Dry Shampoo. Spritz liberally on the roots, close to the scalp, then comb it gently through to the ends. For a little extra oomph up top, work a mousse into your roots. (Yarok’s Feed Your Roots Mousse is a great option here as it’s lightweight and creates gorgeous texture without being sticky.)

If your hair is wavy…

the world is your oyster when it comes to styling! But to really embrace your natural texture — and fight the frizz that can easily pop up for wavy-haired gals — you want to start with a small amount of styling cream followed by a generous helping of salt spray. A cream like Yarok’s Defining Crème will keep frizz under control thanks to nourishing ingredients like palm oil, orange oil, aloe, argan oil, jojoba oil, evening primrose and rosemary. Then hit your hydrated hair with a salt spray like the Enchanted Sea Salt Spray from Rahua to bring out your texture.

If your hair is coarse…

you want to moisturize it as much as possible post-shower. First, hit that mane with a leave-in conditioner. Then harness the power of a hair oil full of vitamins and plant oils — like Flora Remedia’s Lavender Hair Oil — to really saturate your dry strands with moisture. (Don’t worry, it’s not going to end up being too greasy…your hair will drink it up.) Then finish it all off with a thick hair cream to lock in all that moisture. 

You pay attention to every inch of your body when it comes to self-care, but what about the humble armpit? Other than the occasional shave and swipe of deodorant, what have you done for them lately?

You have a six-step morning skincare routine and a 14-step nighttime version. You dry brush your whole body before coating it in oil and moisturizer after every shower. You have two different lip scrubs and four body scrub options. Hair masks? Three versions. Face masks? Eight versions. Foot masks? One.

You pay attention to every inch of your body when it comes to self-care, but what about the humble armpit? Other than the occasional shave and swipe of deodorant, what have you done for your armpits lately?

Summer is fast approaching, which means short sleeves and tank tops and sundresses, meaning your pits will be on full display. It also means now is the perfect time to make the switch to natural, better-for-you deodorant. Luckily, the two go hand in hand, and all you need to prep your pits for a summer of natural deodorant and show them a little love is a simple mask.

Masking weekly can help soften skin and clear up rashes that can arise from hair removal or natural deodorant. What’s more, a mask can work some seriously detoxifying wonders, something that’s particularly important if you plan to make the switch to natural deodorant. When you adopt a new deodorant routine, your pits might need time to adjust to the natural stuff, and may even go through a “detox” of sorts to purge themselves of the chemicals in the conventional stuff you’ve been using for years. By regularly masking with a detoxifying substance like charcoal or bentonite clay — both of which attract toxins and chemicals before latching onto them to draw them out of the skin — you speed that process way up.

You can go the DIY route if you have bentonite clay laying around — mix the clay powder with a few teaspoons of water — or just repurpose one of your detoxifying face masks. You’ll want to use on with clay like Biodara’s Creme De Clay Purifying Mask or charcoal like the Raw Charcoal Mask from BajaZen. Simply apply the paste/mask to your pits as soon as you get in the shower, do your normal thing, and simply wash it off after a few minutes. Don’t worry about keeping your arms lifted the whole time — the mask will do its job either way.

After the shower, take it a step further and apply a light moisturizer to your underarms. Proceed about your day as usual and feel free to high-five, wave and reach for things on high shelves with abandon.

When it comes to makeup, bronzer can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Used correctly, it can add a lovely, natural-looking glow to your already gorgeous face and fake a sun-kissed look without the risk of sunburn. Used incorrectly? Have you ever seen an episode of “Jersey Shore”? (A show for the ages, yes, but not when it comes to properly applying makeup.)

To prevent the possibility of making yourself look like a Cheeto, make sure you’re choosing the right shade and formula of bronzer, and that you’re applying it correctly. Here’s how to end up more sun-kissed than just-rolled-around-in-a-big-vat-of-cheese-dust.

Test a little on your wrist to make sure it “warms” your skin tone without making it look fake. If you have fair skin, look for a honey-colored bronzer. For a medium complexion, choose a rose-bronze or gold flecked bronzer. Dark skin is best enhanced with a tawny or amber bronzer.

Choose the right shade.

The whole point of bronzer is to add subtle warmth to your complexion — not color. You want to find a shade that’s only one to two shades deeper than your natural skin tone to avoid it looking obvious and fake.

Many lines have light, medium and dark options, simplifying the shade-finding mission a bit. If you’re very fair, go for light and apply with a soft hand. If you’d consider yourself medium-toned…you get it. No harm will come from a shade that’s too light for your skin — just layer it a bit. If you’re not sure, opt for a product that has multiple shades in one, like the Bronzed BeautyBronzer from Lilah B.

Another thing to consider when it comes to shade is the bronzer’s undertone. The standard three are pink, peach and yellow, so you’ll want to pick the one that matches your skin’s undertone to ensure it blends and doesn’t look too one-dimensional. Fair? Go for a peach or pink shade. Medium or olive-toned? Copper and honey are your best bet. Dark? Look for a rich brown or amber with a touch of shimmer to highlight your face.

Pro tip #1: Test shades on the inside of your wrist to make sure warms your skin without looking fake.

Pro tip #2: If you’re on the bronzer train year-round, invest in at least two different shades. The one you wear during the summer to highlight your already sun-kissed skin will (and should) be different than what you wear in the dead of winter to perk up your face a bit.

Pick the right formula.

After you’ve figured out what shade will look best and most natural on your skin, consider formula. Most of you are probably used to powder bronzer and that’s totally fine. They’re the easiest to apply and blend, and are great if you have oily skin as they don’t add extra moisture. If you’re new to bronzer, consider starting out with powder to a get a feel for the stuff.

Cream and gel-based bronzers are another option, particularly if your skin is a bit drier. They’re incredibly easy to blend and build since you’re applying with your fingers. The creamy consistency means there’s a sheen to these formulas, so be prepared for seriously glowy, dewy skin. What’s more, since they’re sheer, you can really see your skin’s natural texture underneath, something you have to be careful about with powder if you apply with too heavy a hand.

Arm yourself with the right tools.

Going the powder route? Grab the largest, softest brush you have. If your brush is too dense, the powder will be too concentrated and obvious. A fluffy brush ensures you’re not depositing too much color in any one spot on your face.

More of a cream or gel gal? Go ahead and use your fingers to warm the product and then apply before blending well with a damp makeup sponge or foundation brush.

Apply!

You’ve made it this far — don’t quit now! (And don’t apply bronzer to your whole face.) For the most natural-looking application, you want to make sure you’re only hitting the parts of your face the sun would naturally hit during a couple of hours walking around in the sun: cheekbones, forehead, chin, the bridge of your nose. (This isn’t contouring, people! You’re not adding depth here, just sunny warmth.)

Think about depositing color in the shape of a 3 on each side of your face: starting in the middle of your forehead, sweep the brush or place the cream/gel along your hairline, down to the temple, in toward your nose along the top of the cheekbone, back out toward the ear and down the jaw to your chin. Repeat on the other side. Hit the bridge of your nose before using anything left on the brush/sponge to add a bit of color to your neck.

For powder, you’ll want to swirl the fluffy brush in the bronzer and gently tap off the excess. When applying, hold the brush at a bit of an angle to your face so the entire brush head isn’t resting on your skin. For cream/gel, dab the bronzer on with your fingertips in that 3 pattern before blending outward with your sponge or foundation brush.

Regardless of formula, the key here is to blend. Nothing is worse than harsh lines or obvious deposits of color — nothing sun-kissed about that!

Aside from making any product it’s added to an absolutely gorgeous shade of aquamarine, blue tansy oil is also a serious skincare ingredient that seems to be popping up everywhere these days. Before your next product re-up, learn a bit about why you should consider adding this magical flower to your routine.

What is blue tansy?

Blue tansy is a flowering plant — also known as “Moroccan chamomile” — native to northern Africa. True to its name, the oil is naturally a lovely shade of cerulean and not the result of synthetics: while the plants’ flowers are yellow, their high content of azulene result in blue oil after steam distillation.

It’s important to note that blue tansy is different from another flower called, simply, tansy. The way you’ll know it’s blue tansy? Check an ingredient label for its botanical/Latin name: Tanacetum annuum. 

Why should I use blue tansy?

Because you’ve got skin, that’s why. It may seem like an oversimplification, but nearly all skin types and woes can benefit from a lil’ blue tansy magic.

Blue tansy is supremely high in antioxidants, magic words for anyone in the market for radiant, healthy skin. And if you were paying attention earlier and caught the mention of blue tansy being known as Moroccan chamomile, you won’t be surprised to learn it also has serious calming skills; its anti-inflammatory properties mean it calms skin, relieves redness, and even brings heat down if you’re dealing with sun overexposure. (People dealing with eczema and dermatitis, take note!) It’s even used in some hair care products to help itchy, dry scalps.

Those calming properties also play well together with blue tansy’s antibacterial characteristics, making it a terrific ingredient for blemish-prone skin.

And it smells lovely, so there’s an aromatherapeutic benefit to blue tansy, too. The aroma — sweet, warm and herbaceous — works to relax the nervous system, thereby helping to regulate the endocrine system. A calm, smoothly functioning endocrine system equals stabilized hormones which equal unstressed bodies which equal non-inflamed organs and skin. It’s a win-win-win-win.

How should I use blue tansy?

One of the most popular ways to harness the power of blue tansy is via mask. Look for one with a beautiful blue hue and check the ingredient label to make sure it lists Tanacetum annuum no more than halfway down. Since it’s an essential oil, it’s highly concentrated and a little goes a long way, especially when skin is involved. So while it’s important that you see it in an ingredient deck, don’t be too concerned if it’s not one of the things on there.

One thing to note: If you have hay fever or an allergy to ragweed or chamomile, make sure to do a test patch with products that contain blue tansy — there’s a bit of overlap.

While it’s true that self-care is about you and how you choose to treat yourself right, it doesn’t hurt if the products you’re using are a force for good in this world. Something that not only makes you feel good and healthy, but also makes a serious impact on the lives of those involved — it’s a no-brainer.

Luckily, Thistle Farms makes it easy to just do: their line of products is produced by women who have survived trafficking, prostitution, and addiction, and their ingredients are sourced from female survivors around the world. It’s an effective assortment of self-care products with a gorgeous mission to empower those who too often disappear into the margins of society, who are not given the chance to change their circumstances, and who need an outlet of hope and healing.

Founded in 1997 by Becca Stevens, what began as a group of five women has grown to employ more than 1,800 women worldwide and include 40 sister communities. Today, Thistle Farms welcomes survivors into their Nashville-based residential program, providing free housing, medical care, therapy, education and job training. Graduates are then employed within the organization to work with the company’s global network of women producers, earn wages and make choices in their lives. It is social enterprise of the highest order — a force for advocacy and good and hope and change.

With a mission like this, it would be easy to let the quality of their products take a backseat to everything else. But not Thistle Farms. Let’s take a closer look at some of their standout products, shall we?

Natural Bug Spray

Though it’s likely not a product you use every day, bug spray is one of those things it’s easy to forget about. That is, until you’re being eaten alive by bugs as you sit outside on a warm summer night.

And even if you do remember to spritz before you head out the door, conventional bug spray is no one’s favorite smell. Sure, the scent of citronella might immediately transport you to memories of singing “Kumbaya” around a campfire, but it could also put you right back to that time you got lost in the woods and fell into a stagnant puddle, got your shoe stuck in the mud, suffered a gnarly sunburn, lost your canteen and served as breakfast, lunch and dinner for at least one million winged things.

Why chance it? Go a (literally) safer and more pleasant route. Thistle Hill’s unique combination of rose geranium oil (which has long been regarded as a great natural mosquito repellent), spearmint oil, lemongrass oil and peppermint oil is not only totally safe and DEET-free (DEET is a synthetic chemical that makes it hard for bugs to land on you, but can also be dangerous if the percentage is too high), it’s absolutely effective while also being skin-friendly. What’s more, the rose geranium oil used in the blend is sourced from Ikirezi in Rwanda, a co-operative of women survivors of genocide.

Healing Oils

If love is the ultimate healer, consider Thistle Farms’ oils the next best thing. By tapping into the powerful properties of essential oils, these plant blends deliver profound healing. Morning, noon or night, apply one (or two!) to your pulse points, breathe deeply, and let them get to work.

Calm: Soft and earthy, Calm is meditation in a bottle. When the day gets crazy and you need a peaceful respite or a moment to yourself, let the combination of sweet orange and vanilla get to work with their natural sedative properties, while patchouli and cedarwood atlas release feel-good hormones to make your brain happy.

Immunity: Between mainlining vitamin C and constantly sanitizing your hands, a little Immunity can go a long way. A blend of antimicrobial, antiviral and pain-relieving oils like eucalyptus, spearmint, lemon and clove — not to mention a naturally antibacterial coconut oil base — immunity kicks serious cold and flu butt. The herbal scent is soothing and protective…a warm cup of tea for your senses.

Energy: Need a little midday pick-me-up? Try sniffing your wrists…after applying Energy, an impressive blend of citrus and cinnamon designed to increase circulation, lift your mood, improve energy and give you a mental jolt.

Balance: This oil boasts a unique blend of powerful oils like lavender, vanilla, and lemon  that may boost energy, cleanse toxins, and calm the nervous system.

Sure, the official first day of spring may have just happened, but as far as we’re concerned, it’s never too early to start thinking (and dreaming) about summer.

Get your hair healthy.

The healthier your hair is going in to summer, the less sun, chlorine and sea salt damage will affect it. Make a habit of deep conditioning your locks once a week, whether with a handful of coconut oil or a mask.

Start exfoliating now.

Get into the habit early and often. Scrubbing your whole body may seem tedious in the shower, but it genuinely makes a big difference not only in the overall health of your skin, but also in its ability to absorb moisturizing products. And not for nothing, but shaving your legs will be a whole lot more pleasant if you slough off those winter layers of dead skin first.

Clean out your medicine cabinet.

Seriously. Check expiration dates on your green products. Make sure everything smells like it’s supposed to. A winter living in your steamy, artificial-heat riddled bathroom may have compromised your skincare products. And if there’s anything you haven’t used since last summer that you were hoping to save for this summer…be wary.

Re-evaluate your skincare routine.

Summer skin is a different thing than winter skin. If you’ve been using heavy oils and creams all winter to fight dry skin, kudos to you. But you’ll want to consider something lighter come summer, and possibly with an upped SPF in anticipation of more hours spent outside.

Test out lighter makeup.

Summer is hot; you don’t want to walking around with a face full of the same makeup you wear when it’s cold. Not only will it likely run when you sweat, but it can also lead to clogged pores. Let your skin take advantage of the warmth and humidity that comes with summer and get comfortable with different products now so the switch will be seamless when temperatures rise. If you’re used to full-coverage foundation, consider a sheer CC cream. Instead of a dark matte lip, play around with a berry-hued tint.

Stock up on sunscreen.

Like I said earlier, the green products you relied on last summer are likely expired (or will be by the time you need them again this year). Before the rush to buy sunscreen starts, consider buying a new one for your body and another for your face. That way, when the first really nice day rolls around unexpectedly, you’ll be ready to head outside without fear of sunburn or expired SPF.

Switch up your deodorant.

If you’ve been waiting to make the change to all-natural deodorant, do it soon rather than later. Your body will need time to purge itself of any residual chemicals left over by your conventional stick, so your body’s natural odor may change (i.e. get stronger) for that transitional period. Plus, natural deodorants work better with time so if you get started now, your pits will be in great shape for the dog days of summer when the deodorant really gets to work.

Stop ignoring your feet.

When sandal weather finally graces us with its presence, don’t let the feet and toenails you ignored all winter long stop you from sporting an open-toe. Yes, they’ve been bundled in thick socks and snow boots for months now, but be proactive with your foot care. Use a sugar- or coffee-based scrub weekly to soften up those calluses. Slather on a heavy-duty moisturizing salve at night to smooth cracked heels. (Pro tip: Put socks on right after to make sure the moisturizer stays put and really soaks in.) Give your nails and cuticles some love with an oil designed especially for them. And for the love of all that is holy, take off whatever chips of last summer’s nail polish are still lingering—it’s time for something new.

Detox.

Feeling a little sluggish after months of hibernating? While you wait for the bounty of in-season summer produce that awaits, consider detoxing a bit now with whatever fresh produce you can get your hands on. Whether it’s adding a scoop of greens to your morning smoothie, upping the healthy bacteria in your gut to fight winter bloat or experimenting with some vegan dishes, baby steps now will mean you have the energy to get out and actually be a person when the weather calls for it.

Do you ever think to yourself, “Gosh, I would have so much more time in my day if I could just master the art of air-drying my hair instead of spending all that time coaxing it into a style I’m ok with wearing out in public?”

If you answered “yes,” I feel you. I, too, once stood in my bathroom for at least 45 minutes every morning brushing and drying and applying and curling and waiting and futzing and touching and tweaking my hair until I determined it was worthy. (And if it was deemed unworthy even after all that, it was banished to a rage bun — you know that style you throw your hair into out of spite and frustration after realizing it’s never going to look like what you want and you might as well just give up and chop it all off…or, less dramatically, put it up.) Even when I did choose to air-dry my hair, I wasn’t ever 100% happy with the results. Sure, I had nearly an hour of extra time in my day but it often ended up looking puffy or frizzy, or half of it curled in one direction while the other half lay limp against my skull.

But here’s the thing about air-drying your hair that no one wants to talk about: it still takes some effort — it’s the hair equivalent of “no-makeup makeup.” If you want to do it well (i.e. smooth, shiny and frizz-free), here’s what you need to know.

In the shower…

Perfectly air-dried hair starts while it’s still wet. For smooth, frizz-free hair, you want to make sure you’re moisturizing your hair well with conditioner after washing it. When hair gets frizzy, it’s because the outermost layer of each strand — the cuticle — is open. To keep it closed and smooth, you need a conditioner that will lock in moisture without weighing hair down. Without that extra layer of conditioning, you leave your cuticles open to attack by brush, towel or hands that can further rough up the cuticle and lead to serious frizz.

Speaking of cuticles…once you’ve fully rinsed the conditioner out of your hair, give it a quick shot of cold water. Not only will the cool water wake you up so you can better admire your flawlessly air-dried hair later in the day, but it also helps to further seal the hair cuticle, causing it to lay flat. And after you’re hair is nice and cool (and not frizzy), brush it out. Controversial, I know, but your hair is at its strongest when it’s really wet; if you need or like brushing your hair before it dries (skip this step if you’re a curly-headed gal), keep a wide-tooth comb or brush specifically made for wet hair in the shower. As you’re brushing, be sure to establish where you want your part to be when hair dries — middle, side, deep side, etc. You don’t have to be precious about it, but do pick a spot so your hair knows where it’s supposed to fall.

Immediately post-shower…

If frizz is a real problem for you, consider applying a leave-in conditioner to your strands just after you shower. Not only will a product like this ensure extra-moisturized locks, it’ll also keep those aforementioned cuticles in check as the air starts to do its job. Also consider a smoothing or shine-enhancing serum at this stage. Much like skin, hair absorbs oil-based products better when it’s wet so don’t feel like you have to wait until hair is dry to run serum through it.

As far as towels go… don’t. If you absolutely can’t stand the feeling of sopping hair down your back (I get it) and have to help it dry a little, use something that is 100% cotton, like a t-shirt or microfiber towel made specifically for drying hair. I know this may sound insane — towels are meant to dry things! — but wrapping your hair in terrycloth can lead to drying, breakage and tangles, all of which are no bueno for gorgeously air-dried hair.

As it starts to dry…

KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF OF YOUR HAIR! Sorry for yelling, but seriously, no touching; nothing spoils an air dry like well-meaning-but-ill-informed fingers. Damp hair is super fragile and prone to breakage, so the more you touch it, the more likely it is you’ll lose strands and open up that carefully-closed cuticle we talked about earlier, leading to frizz city. A hands-off approach is also particularly important if you’ve got a natural wave or curl to your hair: the more you brush, touch or tug on it once you’re out of the shower, the more you’ll break up that shape which means you’ll be reaching for the heat-styling tools in a couple of hours — exactly what you wanted to avoid.

If you don’t trust yourself not to touch (and you want a little added texture), consider a loose braid or bun. After lightly spritzing damp strands with salt spray, gently gather them into a loose, low braid or pinned bun and let them dry. This will likely mean it takes a bit longer for hair to dry since it’s less exposed to air, but it is a better way to ensure less frizz and knotting.

Once it’s dry…

Let it out of the bun or braid and marvel at your Rapunzel-like waves! But seriously, everyone’s hair is different and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to air-drying. Play around and figure out what works for you. If you find yourself unable to combat some frizz at the end, tame flyaways with a (new!) toothbrush spritzed with hairspray. (Sounds weird, works miracles. Just think of the toothbrush as a very tiny comb.) Or if you’re unhappy with the way a few pieces have dried, fire up a curling iron or straightener, but only hit the parts that really need it or else you’re defeating the whole purpose of air drying!

+ Time to give your hair some love! Learn more beauty tips and tricks here! 

Devoted rollers can’t get enough of the tool and as a convert myself, I can vouch for the jade roller’s effectiveness at decreasing puffiness, minimizing lines and making sure your daily serums are penetrating deeply into skin.

Maybe you’ve seen them on social media or your local holistic beauty store. Maybe you were poking around a friend’s medicine cabinet one day, or came across it in another friend’s refrigerator. Wherever you first encountered the soon-to-be-everywhere jade roller, it’s likely not something you’d forget easily. The handheld tool is having a bit of a moment right now, and for good reason.

The jade roller — which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like — has been around since the 17th century and was originally used by Chinese royalty and high society members. Made from solid jade, rollers have one larger stone for bigger areas of the face (cheeks, jaw, forehead) and a smaller stone for harder to reach places (undereye, mouth).

Ok so why am I telling you to roll a spherical crystal over your face? First of all, jade is a stone that’s long been used in traditional Chinese medicine for its purifying properties and ability to heal and restore skin. Couple that with the lymphatic drainage and facial massage you’ll likely experience with a jade roller, and the tool is basically a knife- and needle-free stand in for plastic surgery.

I know it sounds extreme, but devoted rollers can’t get enough of the tool and as a convert myself, I can vouch for the jade roller’s effectiveness at decreasing puffiness, minimizing lines and making sure your daily serums are penetrating deeply into your skin. By using a jade roller every day (sometimes twice a day if you’re feeling saucy), you’re actually giving yourself a gentle facial massage. That massaging motion not only increases circulation (hello, plump, firm, glowing skin), it also works to break up any stagnation in the lymphatic system that may be causing puffiness or blemishes and gives your neglected facial muscles some much-needed TLC. (Tense muscles = wrinkles, FYI.)

Convinced? Here’s how to use your jade roller.

Cleanse + treat.

You should only be using your jade roller on clean skin. Like I said earlier, the massaging motion will help any product on your skin sink in deeper and the same is true for old makeup and dirt. So before you even think about picking up the jade roller, wash your face.

If you’re going to roll in the morning to decrease any I-barely-slept-last-night puffiness, consider popping your jade roller in the fridge overnight. The cool jade will lower swelling by shrinking blood vessels. It also just feels really amazing on tired skin.

Rolling at night? Go through your standard cleansing routine to remove all traces of the day and apply any serums and/or oils you like before bed. After giving them a minute to sink in, roll your heart out. The jade roller will help skin drink them up before they have time to evaporate or rub off on your pillow.

Get to rolling.

Now comes the fun part. There’s no right or wrong area of the face to start, but do make sure you’re rolling from the center, out. I also like to visually split my face in half using my nose as the divider and work on one side at a time to make sure I’m not missing anything.

Start at your chest and using gently pressure, perform outward and upward strokes with the jade roller along your skin. Pass over the same patch of skin three to four times, always moving to the outer edge of your face. When you need to return the roller to the starting point, pick it up and place it back at the start (don’t roll backwards).

From your chest, move up: neck, chin/jawline, cheeks (roll from your nose out toward your ear), undereye and eyelid (use the small end of the roller here and very gently move from the inner corner of your eye out to the temple), eyebrow (switch back to the larger side and roll out and down, following the contour of your brow bone), forehead (start in the middle and roll out).

Now do the exact same thing on the other side.

Finish with a soothing upward roll from between your eyebrows, up to the hairline.

The whole process should take two to four minutes, depending on how many passes you’re doing and how many areas of the face you’re hitting. As you’re working the jade roller, you’ll see your skin start to flush — this is a good thing! It means circulation is increasing.

Clean that roller! 

If you want to apply additional serum or moisturizer, go for it. If not, your final step should always always ALWAYS be cleaning the jade roller thoroughly with warm, soapy water. This thing is touching your face every single day: keep it clean.