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Archive for the ‘Moisturizing’ Category

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

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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

Getting gorgeous this holiday season begins with your skincare for the bath ritual. Ritual means more than a 5 min shower or bath.  A ritual is “a big deal”.  It implies indulging in something absolutely fabulous that, in this case, you create for yourself.  BECAUSE NURTURE YOU TIME IS NOT A LUXURY – IT’S A MUST!

Hey, you totally deserve more than 5 min, so make it happen!

You know what they say on the flight – secure your own mask first…Think of your bathing ritual as a lifesaver, because it just might save you from the holiday bonkers busy craziness!

Make time for a warm relaxing bath to relax and refresh before going out. Get out the candles, fragrant soaps, sugar scrubs, bath melts, a glass of tea, cocoa, wine (whatever you’re in the mood for), and maybe some music.

Think of your skin as the most elegant, carefully prepared canvas upon which everything else rests – your make-up, hair, clothes and fragrance.  Feeling great in your skin is also an emotional thing.  It changes how you feel, move, speak, think, respond, and live your inner and outer lives.  It’s where it all starts.

→ Read more

written by Raulla S. Mitchell

The perfect, sure-to-be-loved gifts? Choose your favorite fragrance (or hers or his) in a colorful gift set of sugar scrub and body butter.

Ready to gift in a brightly colored holiday gift bag or our newest package, a cute white “purse” that makes me smile (and I think it will do the same for you and yours) along with an inspirational red love note.

Your loved one will discover their smoothest skin ever, by first exfoliating and then applying super luscious body butter in a fragrance they’ll love. They’ll be sure to thank you every time they feels their softest ever skin that smells scrumptious.

What a lovely memory to make, the memory that is softest skin and signature fragrance. → Read more

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
written by Raulla S. Mitchell

“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?

What about you?          

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

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

ONE OF THE MOST OFTEN ASKED QUESTIONS: What are the differences between a lotion, creme and body butter? And most importantly, what’s best for my skin?  

There’s no better time to take a deeper individual look at what YOUR skin needs as our seasons transition.  

You’ve probably heard the chat about “seasonal skincare”?  It’s been in the beauty industry news everywhere we turn.  It should be.  Mother nature changes, and as she does, so does our skin.

I’ve always talked about understanding the essential nature of seasonal skincare needs, and specifically, learning how to listen to what our skin wants and needs as the seasons change.  If you live in the midwest with four seasons, the ideal treatments to cleanse, moisturize, protect and heal our skin are not the same year round.

So Red Note Botanica, the fresh natural luxury skincare line for the bath that I formulated, based on my training, knowledge and experience as an holistic healthcare practitioner and a certified aromatherapist is founded first and foremost as a healthy product line designed to rejuvenate and bring out the best in your skin, and secondly to delight and celebrate your beautiful playful spirit with uniquely fresh fragrances all year round.  It’s founded on seasonal skincare from the start, and always will be.

Our skin, as the largest organ of our body, absorbs at least 60-70% of what we apply to it topically.  That explains why patches and dermatological creams, ointments, serums, etc. are very effective at healing and protecting troubled skin, and even ceasing addictions like smoking.

With that in mind, it’s essential to formulate and use skincare products which have vitamin and nutrient rich oils, butters, and other healthy ingredients that will treat our skin gently with effective results.  Skincare that keeps its promises is a must.

It is my personal feeling that all skin is sensitive, and should be treated as such.  Treating your skin as anything less is not something I advocate.  Even if you are blessed with great skin now, it’s essential to protect it to ensure that it retains its natural beauty for years to come.

On that note, let’s chat about some of the things your skin might be trying to tell you as we head into colder weather temps, dry air, indoor heating, and other stuff that can dry out our skin, leading to potential irritation, inflammation, eczema, and less than healthy skin from which we absolutely do not need to suffer if we treat our skin gently on a regular basis – hey it’s fun, pampering, and the results couldn’t be better, so why not?  Let’s go!…

→ Read more

 

written by Raulla S. Mitchell

Wear your favorite “signature” fragrances year round. If you absolutely love them, the way they make you feel, act, express yourself to the world, and share yourself with those you love, they belong to you every day of the year.

If you’re looking to play with new fall fragrances in the chillier months ahead, why not warm up your fragrance wardrobe with notes of sweet vanilla cream, chestnuts roasted in brown sugar, sugarplum or hints of cinnamon, ginger and clove?  

Our fragrances are never overtly spicy, and we promise you won’t walk around smelling like a spice cake, but you’ll feel warm, cozy, relaxed and comfy inside, and what a lovely way to feel!  Play, explore, discover the fragrances that make you feel cherished as the leaves fall from the trees and the first chill hits the air.

What fragrances do you reach for?  I know my favorites.  Here are just a few you’ll love to try…

→ Read more

written by Raulla S. Mitchell

As the days grow shorter, the temperatures cool down, and dried leaves fall from the trees, it’s time to take your cue from nature.

Less moisture in the air means less moisture for your skin.

In addition, indoor heat removes natural moisture from your skin.

It’s time to switch to richer cremes and body butters to moisturize skin that, like nature, tends to feel and look dryer and “thirstier” through the fall and winter months ahead. → Read more