Let's Talk Skincare 101
written by Raulla S. Mitchell
Everywhere I go, I hear women complaining about their dry skin. They pull out purse-size moisturizers to spread over their faces and hands, and it’s still dry. Sometimes what starts as a cosmetic issue quickly winds up to a deeper chronic issue such as itchiness, eczema, and other inflammatory conditions. We can probably each name several people we know and love with eczema in the winter, maybe including ourselves.
The reason why these skin irritations are so important to prevent is that our skin is the largest organ of our body, our first line of defense to prevent the entrance of toxins into our body. When skin is open and exposed to environmental and chemical toxins we encounter everyday, it’s more likely to allow these agents to pass into our body where they can do harm that is more than skin deep.
So what can we do? Time to get real with effective solutions.
As with most things, prevention is the best option. Then there’s the first ethical principle of medicine: Do no harm.
Yes, we’re told to wash our hands throughout the day to prevent the spread of viruses and illnesses that spiral during the winter months. This is essential. As we talked about in our earlier post about CLEANSING, the sulfate-free soap you choose is essential to protecting your skin, since it’s not an option to cease cleansing. See more about cleansing below.
Next, some of us use anti-bacterial lotions.
I’m not a fan of anti-bacterial soaps and lotions. They tend to contain harsh irritating ingredients, some which may be suspected of serious toxicity, and frankly, are not necessary. They do no better job at cleansing than products which are not classified as anti-bacterial. If you work in a medical environment, considerations may be different, but for most people, I don’t believe we need to expose our delicate skin to the elevated health risks of anti-bacterial cleansing products.
That said, I’m a big proponent of washing hands, but if your skin is super dry or you’ve noticed inflammatory patches, have you thought about what soap you’re using? Not all soaps are created equal.
You can use the best moisturizers on the planet, but if you’re using a harsh detergent-based soap (you’ll know if it foams abundantly – sulfate or detergent-based soaps tend to generate a lot of foam which is not at all indicative of its cleansing properties), you will most likely continue to suffer skin irritations.
Change to a sulfate-free soap with added natural oils, butters and botanicals, and I promise you’ll notice a difference.
Then, immediately after washing, apply a thick rich body butter (fragrance-free if you’re suffering any degree of inflammation) over slightly damp skin to protect, soothe, heal and nurture your skin. Do this EVERY TIME after you wash. Applying your body butter to slightly damp skin makes a remarkable difference, as opposed to applying it to dry skin. When applied to damp skin, your moisturizer will protect the natural moisture in your skin and your skin will be visibly and tangibly softer and plumper than if you simply applied it to dry skin. Try it. I promise you’ll notice the difference.
One big reason we make our travel mini body butters is so you can take them wherever you go – pop one in your purse, and re-apply after you wash your hands – every time. If you wait until you get home, your hands will be exposed to cold, dryness, wind, and other environmental irritants. Again, we’re big on prevention, because we know it works.WHY MOISTURIZE?
A good body moisturizer (lotion, creme or body butter) will:lock in skin’s natural moisture, keeping it soft and supple protect it from dryness, topical irritants and inflammatory agents Moisturized skin feels and appears healthier, younger, softer and smoother moisturized skin will optimally intensify and retain fragrance → Read more
written by Raulla S. MitchellWHAT IS EXFOLIATION? the topical removal of dead surface skin cells by particles (see below) or a chemical application (e.g. glycolic, lactic or other acids) sugar, salt, nut or seed particles (e.g. walnuts, almonds), grains (e.g. oatmeal, rice), or synthetic granular materials are used within a lotion, cream or butter/oil base to gently massage skin to remove old surface skin cells which can otherwise clog pores, leave skin looking dull, sallow, or with blotchy pigmentation discoloration, and feeling rough or uneven textured. → Read more
written by Raulla S. Mitchell
There are lots of wonderful skincare “extras” to pamper and treat your skin in the most luscious way, and we’ll talk about in blogs to come: peels, masks, serums, moisturizing fragrances, etc. Starting out right now, let’s kickoff the year with 3 FUN, SIMPLE and EFFECTIVE STEPS aka the basics:CLEANSE EXFOLIATE MOISTURIZE
First, let’s talk CLEANSING → Read more
written by Raulla S. Mitchell
Do you feel like you’re not completely dressed until you choose the perfect fragrance?
When you wear your special fragrance, you feel ready for nearly every challenge that comes your way?
Your secret fragrance makes you feel gorgeous, excited, and energized to create a wonderful life on your terms?
Here are four of our bestsellers. If you haven’t tried them yet, maybe now’s the perfect time! → Read more
“The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect, but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.”Carl Jung (psychologist)
How do you celebrate Halloween?
Do you dress up in a fave silly or ghoulish costume for a party?
Do you toss together something last min to surprise unsuspecting trick-or-treaters when you open your door?
Do you chaperone the kids (and dog, in costume too), joining in their shrieks of laughter and calls to each other as they run in the dark from home to home in your neighborhood?
For years, I used to dress as Wilma Flintstone. My husband as her stone age hubbie Fred. Our next door neighbor created these costumes for us.
One year my Fred no longer wanted to go barefoot. He determined that an oversized bright orange tunic with black patches and a royal blue tie were sufficient to signify Fred, without his big bare feet at the bottom.
That was the year of our descent from full-on Wilma & Fred, as I recall it.
Who IS Fred with shoes on? He’s NOT Fred, that’s who.
Wilma’s white jig-jag bottom white dress has shrunk over the years. Maybe, I’ve put on a few, or things have shifted… No, it’s shrunk.
I choose to thrive in the land of deNile. Free choice is a good thing.
My other sartorial option: a femme fatale vampire feline – homage to Don Taylor’s 1977 flick “The Island of Dr. Moreau”.
Cinephiles, or femmes d’un certain age, remember, Dr. Moreau, the mad scientist who experimented with inter-species breeding on his lost island filled with the sounds, dreams and nightmares of human-tiger-leopard-jaguar creatures, starring the gorgeous Barbara Carrera? Unforgettable.
I searched far and wide and finally discovered a beautiful faux fur black tail and leopard ears to pair with a royal purple velvet hooded victorian cape. My ancestral Romanian-Ukrainian-Lithuanian-Russian DNA (black hair and anemic complexion, a natural Goth) brings me nearly to completion without much make-up beyond a good pair of fangs. Not all fangs were created equal. Some are better than others, and you get what you pay for where fangs are concerned.
For those of you who know me, any other ideas?
Any plans to dress up this year?
Please tell me that you still leap into the spirit of Halloween dress-up!
The last thing I have to say about dressing up for Halloween is “pourquoi pas?”
When is there a better excuse to dress up and pretend to be someone else, even if just for one night?
Come on, have some fun, let out those primal screams, giggles, roars,.. – You know you want to!
Remember: play is instinctual and vital to the creative spirit. Why wait? If not now, when? → Read more
written by Raulla S. Mitchell
You’ve had a wonderful busy week, and now it’s time for YOU.
Halloween costumes for my daughter, myself and our dog (what can I say, HomeGoods had an irresistible canine cow costume, which I promise wasn’t the reason I went there – it was a tablecloth which I couldn’t find, but the costume had our dog Sugar’s name all over it, in my vision, if not in Sugar’s), bags of Hershey’s, Nestle Crunch, Snickers, Red Licorice and Starbursts (that should be anywhere but on our dining room table within my reach – I’m chewing a lemon Starbust as I write this – yumm…),Frankenstein’s illuminated head and hands rise from his grave of leaves along our walkway…
Squirrels know it’s over. Our large oak tree sends acorns spilling everywhere, bounty for a bevy of bushy-tailed hearty squirrels who quickly discover our outdoor pumpkins every year. They’ve make considerable progress taking apart my daughters ornately carved, painted and decorated pumpkins, pull off the wooden witch head inserted at top to make room for mucho nibbling. They’ll eventually make a total mushy mess of no longer recognizable Jack O’Lanterns, and only then will I remove them from the stoop. Right now, I let the viewing and feast planning to gain momentum.
I adore the only holiday that encourages you to transform yourself into someone else for a night. It’s primal. It’s creative. It’s dreamy. It’s freaky. It’s whoever you are or want to be, just for a night. Like fragrance, they’re memories that I want to linger.
Sometimes, my m.o. is why not flow from one holiday to the next? Abrupt transitions imply that one can’t wait to be rid of something that brought joy just a short time ago. I leave old Frankenstein’s head and hands crawling out of the ground out there, long after Halloween is over. He makes me smile. Why not make more days feel like holidays? The calendar may say one thing, but allow your heart to feel whatever it desires. How about you?
Okay, back to YOU TIME and fragrance chat. We promised. We’ll deliver.
written by Raulla S. Mitchell
Do YOU still even think about New Year’s resolutions? Those things some of us promise we’ll revolutionize in an amazing way about life, love, work, and everything in our personal universe? I’ve noticed that it seems almost passe to host this New Years resolutions mindset in 2017. Talk of resolutions has gone into hiding.
In it’s place, there’s a lot of talk about commitment to new ways of looking at things. Or, thinking about how we want to feel? How we want to care for ourselves to help us to feel the way we want to feel?
Is this the same thing as resolutions with a new spin, or does it truly inspire something more innately successful at motivating, with the secret potential to motivate in a way that resolutions fail to do?
What do you think? Do you love writing down a to-do list of resolutions, or would you prefer to dream about how you’d love to feel in an ideal world of your making, and then take baby steps, or jumps if you like, into creating that world?
Whatever works for you – jump in, let’s shake things happen, make some dreams come true in 2017!
If resolutions work, super! If a new mindset (committing to wearing new glasses, so to speak), looking at your life from a fresh perspective or reflecting upon how you want to feel, and then taking actions to make you feel this way seems intriguing, why not try it on?
However we choose to think about our lives in 2017, why not toss our skincare routine into the mix?
How we look is more than skin deep. It’s indicative of our overall health, and expresses to the world how we feel about ourselves. Let’s make it absolutely F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S, dig in, and have fun!
THIS YEAR, before we chat about skincare mindsets or making a list of how we’d like to feel, and a list of ways in which we can help ourselves to feel this way (yes, I’m going with that), a few mindful words:Celebrate the beauty of who you are, inside and out. Be compassionate with yourself, how you look and feel, and all else will fall into place. → Read more
Earth Day is next week. How do YOU celebrate Earth Day?
I don’t mean how should you celebrate it, because you can celebrate it anyway you want (no normative framework around this) but I’m interested, because there seem to be infinite ways to celebrate a day all about the planet on which we live, and conversely, without which, we couldn’t live, at least not yet, and certainly not in the same manner.
I saw part of the film “The Martian” while my daughter was watching it on Netflix, and I have to say, Mars is not for me.
The verdant landscapes, trees with abundant leaves, and flowers in bloom this spring hold the potential to transform our spirits. In the midwest, we know this all too well, especially these last few years, in light of, dare I say it, global warming. I think I can dare. It’s pretty clear that it’s arrived, and now we’re in the rush to figure out what to do to prevent more drastic consequences of our collective actions over generations.
In Minnesota, we deal daily with temperature and climate pendulum swings. Is it spring, is it winter, is it spring, is it winter…? Mushy snow that melts nearly on contact with the pavement mid-April leaves us asking and waiting to change our closets and unveil our charming (let’s hope so) personalities to our neighbors.
We’re left with empirical knowledge and faith, knowing and believing that spring will come, as it always does. We can leap from freezing winter temps, wind chills that threaten to push down my heavy Volvo trunk on top of my head while reaching for my purse inside (yeah, that’s right it did just that, and it was as frightening and painful as you might imagine when it happened at Costco), and a slippery mess of a rain-snow mix to 70 degrees the next day.
It can also feel a little like “En attendant Godot”, waiting for Godot or Mother Nature to brighten our yards and our spirits. Come on Mother Nature, please hurry on over to Minnesota with your powerful feminine charms, we want to see our tulips and irises popping up! I’d even be immensely grateful for a hosta or two along the boulder wall and by the mailbox. I’ve been staring at colorful silk flowers in pots outside my front door all winter, because I can’t bear life without color. Still, I don’t for a sec believe they’re real, and I’m sooooo….ready for flowers that grow in the earth! → Read more
written by Raulla S. MitchellVolupte and Splendor in the Lemongrass
In the mood for a little volupte sur l’herbe or splendor in the lemongrass this Valentine’s Day? Lusciously unique fragrances to fall in love with, and share with someone special.
We know you love these fragrances 365 days a year, but if you’ve been saving them for something special, hey, it’s Valentine’s Day, week, month…however long you want it to last – the choice is yours.
It’s time to dip into your luxurious lotions, cremes, body butters and apply your cubes de parfum to rejuvenate your skin, delight your spirit and why not make a little magic too!