The long, warm days of summer in LA call for a short list of cool things to do after work, on weekends. Think of it as a summer staycation or if you’re from somewhere else, add these to you vacay agenda.
Here are our top 5 picks of places to see and be seen in and around LA from power hikes to pool parties.
Watch a movie among Hollywood’s departed.
It isn’t summer in L.A. until the first cemetery screening brings movie-lovers to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, toting folding chairs, picnic blankets, snacks and lots of booze. Watch classic cult favorites at the hallowed resting place of Hollywood greats like Rudolph Valentino and Bugsy Siegel. It’s an L.A. rite of passage, a quintessential summer experience and one of the best outdoor film venues in the city. Movies play through August 24.
Picnic at the Hollywood Bowl.
Take in live music at this gorgeous outdoor amphitheatre. In the summer, it’s home to the L.A. Phil, but this summer, you can hear everyone from Tchaikovsky to Death Cab for Cutie, Lionel Richie and Chaka Khan to Michael McDonald. Best of all? You can bring wine to almost every performance. Check HollywoodBowl.com for tickets and info.
Hike to the Hollywood Sign.
Have you really been to LA if you haven’t done this yet? There are three routes ranked from easy to difficult; the Mt. Hollywood Trail, the Brush Canyon Trail and the Cahuenga Peak Trail, all offering stunning views of the Hollywood sign as you trek the rolling hills of the Santa Monica Mountains.
The western frontier of Griffith Park offers hikers the closest encounter with the sign —which, by the way, is off limits to human hands — and is just below the Ridgeline at the 1708 summit of Mt. Lee. On the longest hike, you can ascend above and behind the sign’s 45’ tall aluminum letters and on a clear day, see the blue pacific winking at you. The trails are open the same hours of Griffith Park, 365 days a year from sunrise to sunset.
It’s not the same thing…
Your once glowy skin is suddenly a little dull and tired looking. So what’s the culprit? Dry skin or dehydrated? They are definitely not one and the same.
Dry skin refers to a “type” of skin that lacks oil and needs to be moisturized. Dehydrated refers to a condition where the skin lacks water and needs to be hydrated.
The sudden appearance of exaggerated wrinkles, redness, lots of congestion and inflammation along with darker circles are common signs of dehydration while dry skin tends to be uncomfortable, rough, flaky and even itchy.
While there’s no “cure” for dry skin, there are things you can do to help. Exfoliation helps moisturizer sink in more effectively and using a richer night cream is a good idea.
You can fix dehydration fairly quickly with some lifestyle changes. Water is essential to making it look more plump and bouncy so drink up. In addition, eat a water-rich diet of fruits, veggies, and good fats and use a humidifier.
Remember, skin is the last organ to receive the nutrients we consume which means the last to get the water you drink. 8 glasses is just a start. Cheers!
EAT LESS MEAT.
The single most effective action you can take to combat climate change is to stop eating meat, or at least, eat less of it. Red meat is the real culprit, producing 5 times more emissions than poultry counterparts.
You don’t have to become a vegetarian, but eating meat less frequently will significantly help the environment. Make it fun by declaring Meatless Mondays and Veggie Wednesdays. Every meatless meal helps reduce your footprint.
We don’t just mean put your tech away — we mean unplug the chargers too. ALL electronics suck energy when they’re plugged in, EVEN IF they’re powered down. It’s called “vampire power.” Anytime a cord is plugged into a socket, it’s drawing energy – so although your device isn’t charging, you’re still contributing to your carbon footprint. Leave your electronics unplugged at all times, unless you’re actually using them.
Choose leg power over horsepower. Public transport over individual rides. Any time you choose to walk, bike, or take the bus – you’ll be making an easy decision with immediate benefits on the environment. Not to mention, leaner, stronger legs are an added bonus. If you can’t avoid driving, make sure you make lists and group outings so you’re being more efficient on the road — and in life.
PLANT A GARDEN.
Hear this: Plants absorb carbon dioxide. Planting trees or a garden will clean your air, give you shade and nourish your body. Whether you live in a house or an apartment, planting some greens will absolutely reduce your carbon footprint. So get your hands dirty — whether it’s by planing some bee-friendly flowers, a few trees, or a vegetable garden. Mother Earth will love you for it.
Whenever possible, try to eat local, in-season produce. Sticking to foods that are grown locally, in your own city or surrounding area, helps to reduce the carbon footprint created by shipping foods from elsewhere. The closer it’s grown to you, the better. Shop local farmer’s markets or look for “locally grown” signs at your grocery store. The less that you food has to travel, the smaller your carbon footprint.
Benefits of using a daily scrub in summer.
Your skin goes through a lot in summer — from too much sun exposure to sweating through the warm summer days. Using a gentle and nourishing skin scrub to exfoliate at least once a week will help you break out of your dry and dull skin rut and leave you fresh, revived, nourished and glowing.
If you’re using a daily scrub, make sure the one you choose is gentle and contains pure, essential ingredients that will help, not harm summer sensitive skin.
Daily Scrub Benefits:
- Gets rid of dead and dry skin cells, revealing smoother softer skin
- Increases blood circulation and reduces toxins in the lymphatic system which helps skin renew and maintain glow
- Helps relieve clogged pores
- Reduces ingrown hair potential
Eating organically can make you look and feel better. GMO’s and pesticides have built themselves quite a home in our food supply, and chronic illnesses have seen an increase in the years since. Going organic allows you make sure what you’re putting in is exactly what nature intended. Not to mention, most people think organic tastes better too.
So which fruits and veggies should you focus on when buying organic? The Environmental Working Group has a guide to the “Dirty Dozen” and the “Clean 15” which lists the fruits and vegetables most — and least impacted by chemicals.
For the biggest nutritional impact, cook your organic fruits and veggies less or better yet, eat them raw. The nutritional boost with leave you glowing from the inside out.
Try the two easy summer recipes below that require no cooking to beat the summer heat and get you glowing, organically.
The Dirty Dozen
The Clean 15
Frozen Sweet Peas
Summer Watermelon and Feta Salad with Cucumber and Mint: Serves 2
1/4 watermelon diced into bite-sized chunks
1/2 organic cucumber, diced into bite-sized chunks
2 ounces organic feta, crumbled
1 Tbsp. Organic extra virgin olive oil
4-5 fresh organic mint leaves, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
Toss the watermelon and cucumber together in a large bowl. Sprinkle the cheese on top. Whisk olive oil, lime juice and black pepper, drizzle on top. Sprinkle the chopped mint leaves over the salad as a garnish.
Acai Morning Breakfast Bowl:
1 packet of frozen organic acai berry
2 heaping handfuls of organic spinach
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup coconut milk, unsweetened
dash of cinnamon
ice as needed to thicken
Simply add all ingredients into your Vitamix or high-speed blender until thick and creamy. The texture should be very thick, if too thick then add more almond or coconut milk.
If you stick a spoon into the mixture the mixture should be able to be thick enough to stay on the spoon, if not add ice or more frozen bananas. Eat right after making!
“Stop being so sensitive!”
Tips to keep sensitive skin refreshed this summer.
If your skin is angry, thirsty, irritated or just plain sensitive, there are things you can do to help it stay calm and cool this summer.
First, treat the products that go on your skin like food. Look for nourishing, replenishing and soothing ingredients like raw Coconut, Avocado, Banana oil and plant based Almond milk that will feed your skin with naturally restorative ingredients.
Be gentle. Pat don’t rub. Go easy on exfoliation and look for products without harsh chemicals. Gentle exfoliation using natural ingredients can help remove dead skin cells and freshen up your natural glow. Intense treatments containing glycolic or salicylic acids will likely exacerbate dry, flaky skin and cause even more irritation.
Cool or lukewarm water means happier skin. Hot water strips the skin of natural oils, can leave your skin feeling even dryer and may lead to acne flares and skin irritation. No thank you.
Hydrate from the inside out and the outside in. Drink more fluids in the summer months to compensate for the warmer weather and just after a shower or bath, moisturize with naturally rich body butters and lotions. Remember, your skin is the largest organ of your body and since it is porous, it absorbs whatever you put on it. What you put on your skin should be as pure as what you put in your mouth.
Lastly, love your skin, no matter how sensitive it is. Its yours. Give it grace, be kind and treat it well. <3
Listen to your gut!
7 ways to improve gut health and boost your immune system.
We’ve all heard the term “listen to your gut.” Well, turns out that’s not just about your intuition. Your gut has a strong connection to your brain and is one of the biggest factors in keeping you healthy.
The term “gut health” refers to the balance of microorganisms that live in the digestive tract. Maintaining the right balance is vital because they affect everything from your mood to your immune system.
So what can you do to balance your belly and improve your gut health? To start, there are some top line lifestyle changes you can make that with help alter the diversity and the number of microbes in your gut.
- Get more sleep. So you stayed up binge watching Younger til 2am? Not so good for your gut. Getting enough sleep benefits your gut just as much as it does your brain. Try and go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Your body will love the consistency.
- Avoid Stress. There it is again. The stress factor. Mental, physical and emotional stress lead to an imbalance in your gut bacteria. Cut stress by creating boundaries, making more time for self care and removing toxic relationships from your life.
- Take a probiotic and eat fermented foods. Probiotic supplements can help balance and increase the diversity of your gut flora and reduce gut inflammation. Do your homework to find out which one is best since all supplements are not created equal.
- Avoid taking antibiotics unnecessarily. Antibiotics kill the bad germs but also kill the good bacteria. Avoid it if you can and try to boost your immune system by eating foods that work for your body.
- Go Veg. A vegetarian diet has been shown to improve gut health due to the high levels of prebiotic fiber it contains.
- Eat less sugar. We all now know sugar is the devil. For real. Eating processed sugar causes an imbalance in your gut and has scientifically been linked to inflammation and diseases from cancer to acne and diabetes.
- Avoid exposure to chemical cleaning products. There is evidence that chemical cleaning products can alter the biome in your gut. Remove toxic cleaning products from your house pronto.
Summer is the happiest time of year. The beach trips, the al fresco dining, the mango!
But all that fun has a price… and it usually falls on your hair. The salt water, chlorine, and rays can get our locks looking particularly frazzled during the sun’s reign – and not to mention the effect heated styling tools can have on your hair.
That’s why, sometimes, a simple shampoo-and-conditioner routine isn’t enough. When your hair is under extra stress, it needs extra love – and that’s where a hair mask comes in.
What exactly is the difference between conditioner and a hair mask, you ask?
A hair mask is simply more intense in its moisturizing prowess. Masks have increased levels of conditioning ingredients in them than regular conditioners, so they’re richer in nutrients and hydration.
And why exactly do you need one?
There are many reasons, but here are the most important ones:
Taking a few extra minutes in the shower with a hair mask will work wonders at moisturizing, nourishing and hydrating your strands. Raw Sugar’s Hair Masques are filled with potent natural oils and super ingredients that feed hair minerals and vitamins it needs to be restored back to hydration. Our Masques deeply penetrate, meaning your hair is healthy from the inside out.
Using a hair mask is a powerful way to restore and strengthen your hair. Aside from sun exposure, if you also color and bleach your locks, it might be in need of a little extra TLC. Raw Sugar’s Healing Power Hair Masque features Banana Oil, which is rich in potassium, natural oils, carbohydrates and vitamins – all working to help soften the hair and protect its hair natural elasticity, preventing it from breaking.
Ever wondered why, at a certain point, your hair just seems to stop growing? It’s because for most of us, our hair has an end point – and it simply refuses to grow past it. So what happens when we try to force our hair past its breaking point is that it starts to fall out rather than growing – which doesn’t really give us our desired results. However, the more you work at strengthening your strands, the longer your hair will grow before splitting. So if you’re willing your locks to just grow, our Hair Masques will help get you there. They go straight into the roots for a deep, intense conditioning treatment – meaning your hair will gradually get stronger and grow longer.
Smoothes and Shines
Sick of dull-looking strands? A mask is just might have the juice your hair is thirsty for. Unlike just your ordinary conditioner, our Hair Masques work their way deep into the hair cuticle – rather than just working the surface. Their bucket-loads of hair-saving vitamins and nutrients deeply nourish hair – and restore lustre, softness and shine.
So if you want to love your hair back to life, choose between our Healing Power Hair Masque (Avocado + Banana Oil + Coconut Milk + Agave) and All That Shines Hair Masque (Grapefruit + Kale + Lemon + Orange Peel Oil) for a solution that sticks. And remember, use your mask twice a week for best results. Wishing you many good hair days ahead!
It’s sweet, it’s bright, and it’s your favorite summer fruit. You guessed it, we’re talkin’ mangoes.
Not only are they our go-to smoothie ingredient of choice, mangoes are also fabulously nutritious for the skin. A rich source of vitamins and minerals, mangoes play an important part in producing collagen to firm the complexion.
Its pulp, extracts, butter and even skins are so full of natural goodness, they can take your skin from zero to hero real quick. Here’s how:
It can prevent breakouts
Mango is rich in Vitamin A – which has been proven to reduce oil production on the skin. So, if regular acne keeps showing up on your face like an unwelcome visitor, mango can help. Pssst – it’s also great at reducing fine lines and wrinkles, too!
Did you know mango is brightening magic? It works to perk up and brighten your complexion – leaving your skin feeling and looking younger, bouncier and more alive. Since it’s jam-packed with antioxidants, mangoes works to promote collagen production which increases skin elasticity and firmness. Its Vitamin A properties also help with giving your skin a head-turning glow.
It can ease inflammation
If you ever suffer from rosacea or other kinds of inflammatory conditions, mango can help with that. Mangiferin, which is found in mango’s seeds, skin and kernels acts as a potent antioxidant, which calms and soothes inflammation.
It promotes collagen
Because it’s brimming with Vitamins A and C, mangoes produce collagen proteins. Collagen proteins are the connections to amino acids that build the body’s connective tissue, and they help skin look full, youthful and radiant.
It protects against premature aging
Rich in a special property called phytochemicals, mango acts as a barrier from free radicals that have the potential to damage skin cells and bring on premature aging. They’re also moisturizing, so they get an A+ in making skin appear youthful.
It reduces dark spots
Finding it hard to get rid of sunspots, or have hyperpigmentation that just won’t go away? Mango skins hold special extracts that can help to reduce dark spots and even out the skin tone.
It removes dead skin cells
Dead skin cells be gone! Mango has alpha hydroxy acids which are known for their effectiveness in chemical exfoliation, removing dull, dry, flaky skin to reveal the fresh, bright, soft skin that’s underneath.
With all that, it’s safe to say mango is a total superfruit for the skin – which is why at Raw Sugar, we use it in so many of our skin-loving products. Check them out here.