Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving is such an amazing time of year. It's the calm before the holiday storm. What a great time to reflect and pause so that we can take that peaceful energy into the Christmas and Holiday season. This is a really great time to start a gratitude practice. Consistently taking time to make note of positive things in your life will not only make you happier and improve your brain function, but allow you to become more resilient in tougher times as well as improve many other aspects of your life.

Our brains are programmed to really focus on the negative things that are happening in our lives. This was an evolutionary advantage. Back in the day, if you walked to your favorite watering hole and a saber tooth tiger popped out and chased you and you were lucky enough to survive it was really important to remember that that happened or you would not make it very far. Our brains have not changed since then and it is not very good at discerning a threat on your life from a work deadline. It can get really overwhelming to be focusing on all the negative reinforcement and that can lead to stress and lack of sleep. Gratitude it a way to process the stress and to put it in perspective of all the other wonderful things that are happening all day long that we are not fully present for.

Many successful people swear by a gratitude practice and credit it as a key to their success. Oprah, Richard Branson, Deepak Chopra,Tony Robbins all credit gratitude and mindfulness as an important tool for their health and success.

Mindfulness doesn't have to take a large chunk of your day. View it like going to the gym and schedule a few minutes in the morning and then a few minutes of reflection in the evening and you will notice huge shifts in your hormones, your happiness and mental toughness as well as your relationships. The really great thing about this practice is that it sets off reward centers in your brain so the more you do it the easier it is! It can be something as simple as someone held a door open for you or smiled at you or a grand as a friend sent you flowers. Here is a really great resource for a gratitude journal that is short and sweet and really effective. They have an iphone app if you are more techie as well!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Why Am I Still Breaking Out?!?!

More and more women 30 years and older who never experienced acne as teenagers are starting to get breakouts. There are many reasons why this phenomenon is starting to occur more frequently, however the good news is there are things you can do to help clear your skin.

 You wouldn't believe how many people are using the wrong cleanser as well as just not washing their face properly. Using harsh acne cleansers for breakouts may be adding fuel to the fire depending on your skin type. Common acne cleansers use lots of surfactants like sodium lauryl sulfate in combination with benzoyl peroxide (essentially a bleach) to remove oil from the skin. The marketing claims make it seem as though all people with acne need to remove all oil from the skin to solve the issue. The problem with that is that we are all biologically unique. Couple that with the fact that oil production decreases as we get older. So if that is true, why are women over the age of 30 still experiencing acne?

Skinflammation is at the root cause and stripping the skin of it's protective barrier just makes matters worse! It is really important that you use products that are chosen for what is going on with your skin today. Your acne isn't being caused by dirty skin. stress, hormone imbalances, birth control, lack of nutrients, toxins and food intolerance are the main culprits. Having a Licensed Esthetician evaluate your skin and lifestyle is a great start to getting your acne under control. Estheticians can tell if you are oil dry or water dry, if you are experiencing damage to the skin from the environment, we have a vast knowledge of ingredients as well as how the skin is affected in different situations. As an esthetician I can help you get to the root cause. Based on your skin analysis we can determine not only what treatment is going to give you the fastest results, but what exact products are going to stop the inflammation, balance pH, and create a balance of water and oil on the skin; resulting in fresh glowing skin. Below is a video with a few myths about acne and great tips to address your blemishes.

Here are some quick tips to help soothe acne breakouts today!
Play with dirt! Kaolin and Bentonite clays as well as French and Rhassoul clay all have really great benefits for the skin. They draw out impurities, control oil and soothe skin. 

Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid that is oil loving. In formulations of less than 2% it is anti-inflammatory. Avoid it if you are allergic to Asprin though. Be sure to talk to a licensed professional to find out what salicylic product is best for you!

Ice it! The number one way to clear a breakout is to remove the inflammation. Try icing a blemish for 15 minutes twice a day.

Make an appointment! I have some great treatments and tools to creatively restore balance to the skin and reduce inflammation. I would love to help you with your skin!

Monday, September 21, 2015

What is self-care? It is a self-initiated lifestyle habit that is used to maintain optimal health. It is pretty much one of the most important habits to cultivate. Without health it is pretty hard to live a happy and successful life.
 Why is it so hard to develop this habit of taking care of ourselves? First there is so much to do and not enough time in the day. (I don’t know why anyone hasn’t thought to add more hours in the day!) I guess we will all just have to settle with having the same ours in the day as Beyonce!
We all have social obligations and bills and work schedules. We are wired for the most part to put others before our own needs. Which is valuable and thoughtful, however not sustainable. We do this to a fault and don’t realize it until we pay the price with our health. As women especially we are socially programmed to be everything to everyone.
 It is possible to be there for everyone and ourselves, but it involves developing a self-care routine. I would consider each woman the heart of their family. If one of us isn’t there to do their part the whole system caves. Interestingly, in our bodies there are lots of important functions going on and they rely on certain systems. All of these organs and nerve cells and hormones are all individually working towards a greater goal. The main thing that is really important is for our hearts to continually keep beating to provide circulation for our blood so that all of these functions can get what they need. If your heart were to stop beating there is no way the other functions can keep working. Your body knows this and your body WILL prioritize your heart function over other organs in the body (no exceptions). This is a beautiful lesson for how we should live our lives. Here are a few tips to begin your self-care practice.
#1 Sleep- Get at least 7 hours of sleep a night.
If for whatever reason it has to be less, shorter durations  of really, really good sleep are better than sleeping 14 hours of less than ideal sleep.
 Black out your room, make sure that the temperature is on the cooler side and make sure you are eating enough throughout the day so that your blood sugar is balanced while you are sleeping.

#2 It is ok to say NO.
No is a full sentence. If you have booked yourself to capacity with obligations it is ok to say no. Tell them I said you couldn’t do it! Practice saying it. If no is too uncomfortable let the person know you will think about it or tell them probably not.

#3 Schedule it.
 Find something an activity that is just for you. Even if it is only a 15 minute activity like taking a bath or calling a friend. Put it in your scheduler and don’t cancel. Think of this as a very important meeting.

You don’t have to stop being the super hero you are, but it is time to make some habits so that you can look and feel amazing while doing it! 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Rescue 911 for Your Sunburned Skin!

So you stocked up on sunscreen and giant sunglasses and a super cute beach hat and camped out in the sun all day. Maybe you were deep in a novel or playing a game of water polo and didn’t realize that you forgot to re-apply your SPF!. . .oh, no! Now you are pink and sore and feeling awful. The good news is that your immune system is working! The bad news is that a bad night of painful sleep and a few days of peeling skin are in your future! Well, not to worry because I have a few tricks up my sleeve to get you relief quick!

First and foremost just rinse in the shower (or skip it for now). Don’t use soaps or cleansers and please put the buff puff down! Your body knows what to do next to heal and you don’t want to wash off any protective oils or use any cleansers that might further irritate your skin at this moment. (You can start using cleanser tomorrow!)

Next make sure that you eat foods that are high in antioxidants and reduce your sugar intake. (Sugar can actually make your vitamin C receptors not work optimally) Since you have experienced sun damage you will have free radicals doing damage so taking in antioxidants will help to minimize the damage.

Apply aloe (read the labels kids. . .not all the aloe in the sunscreen section is actually aloe and may contain other irritating ingredients!) your safest bet is to just get an aloe leaf from the grocery store and cut the gel out to apply. Or you can use an epidermal repair serum like Rescue byOsmosis Pur Medical Skincare. Rescue contains oriental medicinal herbs and it calms the skin while helping to rebuild. In addition it will help to repair dark spots.

Lavender water is great to mist on the skin as well. As long as the essential oil is from an unadulterated source mix some Lavender essential oil with distilled water into a spray bottle and mist on your skin periodically

Shea butter moisturizer is fantastic for keeping skin hydrated. I like Everyday Shea by Alaffia Sustainable Skincare I would go with the butter as opposed to the lotion for this application. The lotion is a lot lighter and may not hydrate as much as you need. Also, I would go with the unscented version to prevent irritation.

Just like with your sunscreen you will want to re-apply, re-apply re-apply! Don’t pick or scratch at your skin or you will make matters way worse. . . If you were unlucky enough to blister don’t pop it!!!! Clean unbroken skin is our best defense against bacteria and that blister is essentially your body’s way of making a band-aid. 

Most of all remember to apply sunscreen over your freshly injured skin. These tips are super simple and will get you relief quickly. If I can answer any questions for you on skincare or sun safety. Please feel free to email me.