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Archive for the ‘Cleansing’ Category

written by Raulla S. Mitchell

Winter dryness leaving you feeling suddenly sympatico with Chinese Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s 3rd century B.C. terra cotta warriors? No worries. Nothing our gentle exfoliating sugar scrub and whipped body butter can’t heal and bring back to radiant life.  Isn’t it nice when this happens?  I mean the simple and real fix.

3 simple steps to heal and repair winter skin dryness: → Read more

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written by Raulla S. Mitchell

Are you a Lebenskunstler?  It’s one of the most beautiful words I know, and no it has nothing to do with Oktoberfest.  The first chill in the air, falling leaves, autumn storms, and a recurring desire to make my hibernation nest cozy and warm makes me want to get in touch with my inner lebenkunstler.  

It’s too good a feeling to keep to myself, so I want to share this feeling with you.  Maybe it’s time for you to discover YOUR inner lebenkunstler too?

Leben (life) and kunstler (artist) combine to make a yummy word that describes someone who makes an art of her everyday life.  Now, who wouldn’t want to be a lebenkunstler?

Don’t worry if you’re not feeling it right now, or never thought of yourself as an artist.  No one is born a lebenkunstler, and it’s not at all hard to become one.

We’re not talking about a visual (Picasso) or dramatic artist (Meryl Streep).

A lebenkunstler is more of a ritual artist, a decorative artist in the way she decorates her moments, hours and days, as well as the space in which she lives.

Elements of everyday life touched by creative rituals add love add meaning to our lives.  As it becomes clear that colder weather has come to stay, our indoor environments, where we spend more of our time until spring (in Minnesota where I live and in other four season climates) send out a siren call to become the most inviting, genuine expressions of our unique selves.

What are some of the everyday little rituals that add meaning to your life?  That make you feel excited to jump out of bed and start your day, or happy to slip between the covers of your winter duvet, read, binge watch Anthony Bourdain eating strange foods in amazing countries you might never otherwise visit and experience (or maybe you’ve been there and relive the memories),…

Whatever you choose, remember, they don’t have to be monumental to be meaningful and memorable.

I feel my inner lebenkunstler smiling right now?  How about you? → Read more

written by Raulla S. Mitchell

Of course fashion mags and department stores are already into fall wardrobe, but really who wants to stash away their summer sandals in August?  Not me.

I love to max out every moment of summer!  In Minnesota, it’s too short a season to contemplate anything else.

It’s still summer so let’s face it, we’re not ready for boots, socks and tights yet. During this barefoot, sandals and flip flops season that we want so badly to last and last, let’s keep up the care of our hands and feet with daily cleansing, exfoliating, and body butter to nourish and soothe. → Read more

written by Raulla S. Mitchell “All is a miracle. The stupendous order of nature, the revolution of a hundred million worlds around a million stars, the activity of light, the life of all animals, all are grand and perpetual miracles.”   Voltaire (1694-1778, France)

Bliss is a perpetual miracle. And what’s so fab about bliss is that we can discover it everyday within ourselves!

We cannot help but be reminded of the veracity of Voltaire’s eloquent expression, particularly after months of nature covered in snow and ice, green begins to expose itself once again, the initial sign of nature’s powers of miraculous rejuvenation and rebirth.  April’s wet grass, blossoms beginning to form in May, fruit growing on trees, and moisture in the air tells us that spring has returned. We are part of the cycle of nature, and follow her revitalization.

Even if Mother Nature decides to snow flower-sized snowflakes in Minnesota this April, we know from experience that they’ll quickly melt when the sun comes out.  Just a little reminder to be grateful for the spring when she comes to stay!

When I was a child, my grandmother used to call each April 1st with the same line “Look out the window, it’s snowing.”  I’d say “Grandma, it’s not snowing, don’t you know it’s April!”  She’d insist, so finally I’d put the phone down, go to the window, and when I’d return to the phone, she’s say the inevitable “April Fools.”  I miss her calls every April 1st.  I’ve always thought Mother Nature and my grandmother were conspiring to make me truly appreciate the beauty of spring.

What better place than a warm fragrant bath to discover your blissful rejuvenation this season? Your bath is a sanctuary for undisturbed reverie and meditation. Release all winter’s cares to be swept away by the uncontrolled beauty of your thoughts, feelings, emotions and sensations.  Give in to wherever they lead you…Your bath is your bath.  I’d say your bath, your rules, but it’s more your bath, no rules sort of thing, a rule-free zone.  Your isolation tank or a shared space, whatever you’re in the mood for.  → Read more

written by Raulla S. Mitchell

Winter drab be-gone. Perk up your thoughts, dreams and creative imagination with beautiful spring floral colors from palest pinks, roses, lilacs, mints, sea foams, melons, butters, and cocoas to the brightest fuchsias, limes, cherries, sunshine yellows and tangerines. Your favorite fresh spring colors are all here!   → Read more

strewritten by Raulla S. Mitchell

Have you ever thought of trying a “detox”?  It’s a pretty loaded word – there are lots of different kinds of detoxes or cleansing programs.  Natural, holistic, or integrative healthcare practitioners may custom design a detox program for you based on the state of your current health.  There are endless books on the topic.  Detox packages may be purchased OTC at health food co-ops, spas offer “detox” on their menus, and you’ll find DIY detox tips on Pinterest boards.

Some are gentle though deliver effective long lasting results while others fall into the overhaul category, and may not be as safe, particularly if changes are abrupt and extreme.  It comes down to the question of how you look at your well being and lifestyle long term.

I fall into the kinder, gentler camp when it comes to integrating dietary and lifestyle modifications.  I think incorporating elements of a gentle detox regime into your daily life is an excellent opportunity to shift into healthier living without disrupting your body chemistry or bringing about short term results only, and at risk that I regard as undesirable.  For example, results such as immediate weight loss related to detox may be initially thrilling, but cannot be maintained long term, and in fact, may be in part responsible for the weight gain subsequent to coming off a detox regime.  Then you’re back somewhere behind square one!  No one wants that.

So, let’s assume we don’t suffer from any major chronic illnesses that require supervision by a medical professional, and we’re going for a gentle detox, one that we can begin now, and continue on a regular basis if we choose to.  Nature’s seasonal transitions (spring and fall) are ideal times for detoxification to cleanse mind, body and spirit from

dietary toxins: refined foods and carbohydrates, hydrogenated fats, alcohol, caffeine, processed sugar, high fat meat and dairy, etc. environmental toxins: in our air, soil, water, cleaning and personal care products, clothes, etc. emotional and psychological toxins: chronic stress, anxiety, worry, juggling too many balls in the air, lack of relaxed “down time” and regenerative sleep

Detoxification is best supported synergistically from the inside out and the outside in. Gentle modifications to our diet and lifestyle have the potential to create the canvas for a healthier you.  When we cleanse our liver, kidneys and skin, we cleanse the body’s primary organs responsible for the elimination of toxins.

What is one very simple dietary treat we can add to facilitate our body’s own capacity to detoxify? 

→ Read more

written by Raulla S. Mitchell

Super easy to make Neroli Geranium Toner.  Essential oils of neroli (citrus) and geranium (floral) bring you dreams of spring and summer whatever the season!  Refreshes and keeps your skin moist and hydrated like the beautiful floral essences from which it’s made!  After you cleanse your face, spritz 10 times over forehead, cheeks, nose and chin.  Watch your skin glow and look completely refreshed and youthful.  Apply moisturizer to still damp skin to lock in water and your skin’s natural moisture. → Read more

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?

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.  Some of us use anti-bacterial lotions.

First, let’s get the latter off the table.  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.

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. 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 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