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Archive for the ‘natural skincare’ Category

written by Raulla S. Mitchell

Some of you prefer 100% pure aromatherapy essential oils to fragrance skincare for the bath products whenever possible.  We understand, especially if you’ve experienced a sensitivity to some synthetic fragrances.

Our essential oils are ALWAYS 100% pure, authentic and genuine.  They are NEVER diluted with carrier oils that can negatively effect the quality and shelf-life of your essential oils.

Sometimes to give you a more beautifully unique and complex fragrance blend that’s not available with only fragrant essential oils, we blend our 100% pure essential oils with high quality synthetic (phthalate-free) fragrances to create the most elegant, refreshing, and playful fragrances we all adore.

Just one sec here:  Before we jump into talking about an important issue inherent with the use of essential oils in skincare products, an issue which most people don’t think about when touting the benefits of essential oils and citing the potential negatives associated with synthetic anything, including fragrances (e.g. sensitivities, allergies, irritation, etc.), let me tell you that very often, the primary culprit associated with synthetic fragrances is PHTHALATES.  Phthalates are the chemical compounds which can, in some individuals, cause headaches, respiratory irritation, and other temporary sensitivities.  Our highest quality synthetic fragrances are phthalate-free, for just that very good reason.

Want to know more about phthalates?  Several of you have asked me about this, so I’ll include a new post on the topic.  If you can’t wait to know more, shoot me an email, and I’ll share with you the scoop on phthalates, and why you can expect to see more and more quality beauty products listed as phthalate-free.

But, for right now, here’s a very important reason for using phthalate-free fragrances (rather than essential oils) when you’re out in the summer sun: PHOTOSENSITIVITY.

It’s important for you to know that just because we use 100% pure essential oils (not adulterated or blended with carrier oils which risk reducing their fragrant potency, therapeutic effectiveness and natural shelf-life), this does not mean that these essential oils are free of potential cosmetic issues when we expose our skin to the sun. → Read more

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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

Transitions are a natural part of life. Acknowledge and embrace transitions and the changes they bring as part of the mystery of life that offer you an opportunity to expand your horizons, try new things, learn and grow.  Remember last week’s blog post about jumping into new experiences and changes without fear?  Mother Nature herself is changing it up and setting the example for us to follow! → 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

“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

Wear your favorite “signature” fragrances year round. If you absolutely love them, the way they make you feel, act, present 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 for 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, 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

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 late 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