Saturday, December 29, 2012

Yummy and Luxe

Two new products we're carrying here at StormSister Spatique: Bodylish Yum and Luxe bars.

What ARE the Yum and LUXE Moisture Bars?
By nora at Bodylish.

We broke the paradigm coming up with a product for the shower that would deeply penetrate, super moisturize and protect skin. We developed the super awesome, super delicious, skin soothing Yum and LUXE moisture bars. They are a bit hard to imagine until you use one, then WOW … an instant daily care favorite.

Delicious for Skin - Yum & LUXE
These products are a solid lotion for the shower, NOT a soap. They are made with a combination of Shea butter and Cocoa butter, both known for their abilities to moisturize skin. We recommend bringing them into the shower. When your pores are open in the warm shower water, you just rub your skin with the Yum or the LUXE, then rinse. The result? Amazing soft, supple skin.

We formulated the Yum to exfoliate skin with sea salt and freshly ground Cardamom powder, and we added a most delicious combination of Sweet Orange, Eucalyptus essential oils.

The LUXE was formulated for ultra soothing, skin loving goodness by infusing the Shea butter with Vanilla Beans, and adding a combination of Vanilla, Black Pepper and Pink Grapefruit essential oils. - we've been told that this bar makes a great personal lubricant ;o)

They both smell great, are made with pure essential oils and botanicals, and are solid (no plastic bottles with which to taint the product or contend with after use).

Once these products are understood , they are adored and loved. Try one, you’ll like it!

We suggest that after you shower, you lightly towel off and rub the oils into your skin before getting dressed. They are luscious and your skin is going to feel just amazing!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Fall into Winter

By Nina Curtis via Les Nouvelles Esthetiques

Cleanse the body, mind and spirit

We often think of "cleansing" as something that is done during the spring and summer months.

But when you stop and think about it, the transition from the fall to the winter season is a great time to cleanse the body, mind and spirit before venturing into the new year. Why wait until spring to decide to give your body a needed break, lose weight or get rid of old habits and addictions that no longer serve you—or are beginning to manifest themselves into your daily life in unhealthy ways?
Do something to truly honor yourself before the end of the year. It can be so liberating—and possibly right on time!
When we speak about "cleansing" in alternative medicine, there are three main areas in our lives that we need to address: the body, the mind and the spirit. Let's consider each.

Honor thy temple

Cleansing the body is done to keep the physical temple in optimum health. We are born into bodies with physical limitations, and the aging process begins the day we are born. If we can learn to use our body's own healing mechanisms, we can begin to bring about positive change by slowing down the aging process through cell regeneration and rejuvenation. There are many ways to bring about awareness and change.
Detoxifying the body is the process of releasing accumulated toxins and waste products that build up throughout our system. Internally, our organs release waste products that accumulate in our cells and tissues. Imbalanced emotions also play a part in polluting our system with excess chemicals, such as free radicals homocysteine and cortisol.
"Detoxifying" is, in many ways, a natural process. Much of our bodies' detoxification process occurs through urination, elimination and perspiration. As our bodies age and our immune systems weaken from poor diet, addictive substances, environmental pollution and illness, we sometimes need to give our system extra help, and that is why conscious detoxification is a great way back to optimum health.
One of the best ways to start your detoxification is with the skin. A "detox" program strengthens the organs involved in detoxification and releases stored toxins, expelling them through the organs of elimination: the skin, intestines, liver, lungs, kidneys and lymphatic system.
This complete detoxification process should be done four times a year. Using the seasons as a guide allows us to work with the "rhythm of nature," and to change our focus as our bodies change.

Skin detoxification enhancers

Dry skin brushing is very useful in aiding the detoxification process of the body, as it stimulates circulation and the lymphatic system, helping to speed the removal of waste. It is a great way to "wake up" your system in the morning—and you won't even miss the coffee!
Use a natural dry bristle brush before your morning shower. Begin by brushing from the toes and continue all the way up to the head using long, light sweeping strokes that start at the bottom of your feet and move upward, from the hands toward the shoulders, and on the torso in an upward direction. Use light pressure in areas where the skin is thin, and harder pressure on places like the soles of the feet.
Dry skin brushing should be done once a day, preferably first thing in the morning. A thorough skin brushing takes about 10 to 15 minutes, but any time spent brushing prior to your morning shower or bath will benefit the body. If you are feeling ill, increasing the treatments to twice a day is good. You can also dry brush areas of cellulite for five to ten minutes twice a day to stimulate stagnant circulation and help to diminish cellulite, but this technique needs to be done consistently for a minimum of five months, depending on the cause and severity of the condition.
Avoid sensitive areas, and any area of the skin that is broken, such as rashes, wounds, cuts and infections.
Finish your shower with three hot and cold cycles. This means turning the water up as hot as you can stand it (without burning yourself) for several seconds, then as cold as you can handle it, then hot, then cold for a total of three cycles. End with either a cold or tepid water temperature. This will further invigorate the skin and stimulate blood circulation, bringing more blood to the outer layers of the skin to tone and tighten.
After getting out of the shower, pat dry and massage your skin with cold pressed organic plant oils such as olive, avocado, apricot, almond, sesame, coconut or cocoa butter.
Clean your skin brush after each use with soap and water. After rinsing, leave the brush out to dry in an open, sunny area to prevent mildew.
It will take about 30 days to see and experience the results of any well designed program. Please be patient and keep up the program! For a thorough lymphatic cleansing, perform skin brushing daily for a minimum of three months. You must be diligent!

Benefits of dry skin brushing

1. Stimulates the lymphatic system
2. Improves circulation
3. Strengthens the immune system
4. Helps with digestion
5. Tones the muscles
6. Tightens the skin, preventing premature aging
7. Removes dead skin cell build up

Try unwinding with the following detoxification bath in the evening.

Detox bath

2 cups sea salt
2 cups magnesium flakes
1 cup baking soda
4 tbsp. ginger powder
Place all ingredients in a warm or hot bath (never so hot that you could burn yourself) and bathe
for 20 minutes. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated while you are in the tub. This bath pulls
impurities from your body and helps you to feel better. Enjoy this bath two to three times a week
or as needed.

Healthful tips for detoxifying the body

It is important not just to drink during a cleanse, but also to eat whole foods. If you don't chew your food, you are more likely to retain fluid and hold in waste, rather than excrete it.
A good cleanse should keep glucose levels low, because insulin levels are sensitive to change during a time of detoxification. It's better to have an apple in your salad for a bit of sweetness than to bring simple sugars into your system.
1. Eat a diet that focuses on fresh vegetables and fruits.
2. Incorporate whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds into your regular diet (avoid these during the actual days of your cleanse).
3. Take "whole food" and herbal supplements to protect and enhance liver function.
4. Avoid drugs and alcohol.
5. Go on a juice and water fast for one day each month.
6. Scheduling a cleanse at the change of the seasons is a good rule to remember.
An effective cleanse should only take two to three days to help rid the body of toxins, and brighten up your mood and complexion. You can detox easily and effectively while you continue to eat, as long as you are cutting out substances that interfere with the detoxification process. You can eat as much as you like, it is really what you put into your body that matters.

Remember these rules:

1. No meat, fish, chicken or animal protein of any kind (no dairy or eggs).
2. No caffeine.
3. No soy products.
4. Drink plenty of water—
always stay hydrated.
5. Practice deep breathing.
6. The skin gets rid of many toxins, so it is important to do gentle exercise to promote sweat.
7. Make sure you eat whole, organic foods, which have the best chance of containing all the nutrients needed for liver and general detoxification.
Start every morning with a glass of tepid water with one to two tablespoons of organic lemon juice. This is a great way to jumpstart your digestive system for the day, and it assists in the easy elimination of waste from the body.

Green energy drink

Juice the following ingredients together:
1 cucumber
½ bunch kale or chard
1 pear
1/4 bunch of parsley
1 squeeze of lemon
a slice of ginger
a pinch of cayenne pepper (helpful for the liver as a natural disinfectant)

Green salad

Combine a mix of greens (romaine lettuce, arugula, baby spinach, baby kale, collard greens), plus half a tomato, cucumber, basil and half an avocado. Mix a ½ tsp each of olive oil and orange juice, and drizzle on top.

Steamed greens

Simply steam greens (kale, spinach or collard greens), and squeeze a bit of lime juice on top. Drink the water from the steamer like a broth. Lightly steaming greens creates a mineral-rich broth that supports the body during detoxification.

Green soup

Simmer the following ingredients:
Asparagus (great for cleansing the kidneys)
Swiss chard
½ red onion
1 clove of garlic
½ bunch parsley
1 medium sized, peeled red potato in 1 cup of water

Simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the vegetables are fairly tender. Put in a blender and purée until smooth. Sprinkle a pinch of celery salt on top and drink slowly.
In addition to trying the recipes above, enjoy an apple, pear or persimmon as a snack once a day.

Adopt a healthy lifestyle, including a regular exercise routine. Physical exercise is as important to detoxification as diet. Besides keeping you fit, exercise helps to burn off some of the stress chemicals that tension produces. Therefore, a tired muscle is a relaxed muscle, and relaxed muscles contribute to a relaxed mind. Aerobic exercise is very important for increasing circulation, cleansing the skin by boosting oxygen intake and ridding the body of toxins.
Excretion through sweating releases fat soluble toxins and heavy metals like lead. Cleansing the skin's pores and enabling the rejuvenation process are two of the great benefits of detoxification through regular exercise.

Honor thy mind

Cleansing the mind brings awareness to everything that causes us limitations in our thinking. Overthinking, which is rooted in fear and deters us from living wholeheartedly, can be one of our biggest detriments. However we can learn to free our minds from limitations, and create a focused and well balanced mindset.
The desire to understand the power of our minds continues to intrigue all of us who wish to grow. Cleansing the mind entails simply listening to how your heart speaks to your mind. This language is called intuition. Children are extremely intuitive, and utilize this intuition on a daily basis. As we grow older, it seems that we tend to not trust these feelings, images or concepts from our mind's eye. They almost seem odd, irrational or just hard to believe. The art of tapping into the super-sensory powers of our subconscious is just another way of paying attention! The following steps are vital to this cleansing of the mind.

1. Maintain an open mind. Accept that there are some things you may not understand. Acknowledge that there are two sides to every story.
2. Forgiving is the ultimate step in acceptance of both yourself and of others. It directs a path to our true selves, smoothing away the bumps in the road.
3. Practice the art of listening to your hunches. Act upon them. If they are right, look at what seems to be the reason behind them. Allow mistakes to happen.
4. Allow yourself to be playful. When we tap into our childlike curiosity, we are less conscious of what others think, and are more in tandem with our free mind.

Techniques can be used to calm and clear the mind, thereby achieving clearer perception. Include some of the following:
1. Meditation is a time-honored technique that can take you into infinite dimensions of consciousness. It is a simple effort that becomes easier the more we do it. One major principle of meditation is the ability to completely quiet your mind.
2. Prayer is an intention or affirmation through a conversation with the Divine. It is dialogue with a higher power. Tuning into the Divine really requires the ability to listen to our higher self. Prayer brings awareness to any situation before us.
3. Music therapy is a magical medium and a very powerful tool. Music can delight all the senses and inspire every fiber of our being. Music has the power to soothe, relax and embrace us with comfort and joy! Music subtly bypasses the intellectual stimulus in the brain and moves directly to our subconscious.
4. Visualization involves the power of guided imagery, and is one of our most powerful gifts! A healing tool we all have within us is the "power of the mind!"

Honor thy spirit

To recognize a power that is greater than our own is to recognize our spirituality.
Spiritual health is often considered a condition marked by a diminished sense of fear, and the daily experience of unconditional love, joy and gratitude, as well as an inner awareness of an infinite source of power and compassion.
Spiritual cleansing allows us to surrender to our higher power, so that our spirit can orchestrate the infinite correlation necessary for the manifestation of our desires.
Spirituality is a state of mind. It is an experience that brings us closer to the realization of life's truths. It can be found when facing fear, enjoying simplicity or through contemplation.
A cleanse of the body, mind and spirit is a great way to move into the new year.
Keep a journal as you travel on this journey.

Nina Curtis is principal of Curtis Communications, Nina Curtis & Associates and the Nile Institute. Curtis received her MBA from Pepperdine University and consults for leading companies in the personal care industry. With more than 20 years of experience, she holds certifications in aromatherapy, reflexology, acupressure and color light therapy. Curtis has been instrumental in the development of training programs for salons and spas nationwide.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Clean Beauty and Skin Saviors

We had some new and favorite products featured in the January 2012 edition of Minnesota Monthly - Thanks, Katie Dohman!
(click on photos to enlarge.)

Here are the direct links to research each of the products.

Clean Beauty:
Kama Ayurveda Pure Rosewater - An all-time favorite facial toner. Especially helpful for enlarged pores.

Erbaviva Hand Cream - We like it for fee too.

INtelligent Nutrients Hair Shine - The name pretty much sums it up. It smells glorious as well!

Skin Saviors: (first of all, the phone number is incorrect as listed, that's our fax number. Feel free to call or text us at 612.716.5480)

Pre de Provence 100% Pure Shea Butter - This is my all-time favorite go-to product for immediate hydration of a particularly dry area. I also use it Nov.-Feb., after I have applied my skincare lotions and potions - to seal everything in.

Phytoceane Bora Bora Body Scrub - I LOVE how this heats up as you rub it in! It smells divine and is my favorite body exfoliator right now.

Phytomer TRÉSOR DES MERS ULTRA-NOURISHING BODY CREAM - Perfect for applying right out of the shower or bath. Especially after the Bora Bora scrub!

Phytomer HYDRASEA ULTRA-MOISTURIZING POLARIZED WATER SERUM - During a Minnesota winter, you simply must wear a serum underneath your moisturizer. Serums boost the effect of your moisturizer and give your skin another layer of protection, hydration and nourishment.

Phytomer PIONNIÉRE XMF Perfection Youth Cream - This is my morning and evening moisturizer du jour.

I hope you love these products as much as I do!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

E-Gift Cards

Our E-Gift Cards can be used on our StormSister Spatique or 3waybeauty sites.

Purchase one for your sister, brother, cousin, fake friend, whomever.

They'll like you more.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

LaunchGrowJoy

Our interview at Launch Grow Joy:

Featured Entrepreneur: 3waybeauty

Want to be inspired by entrepreneurs who are doing something great? Then read on. Each day we feature new entrepreneurs who are passionate about their business and who are living their dream.

Today’s entrepreneur is Becky Sturm of 3waybeauty.

When and why did you start your business?

2010 – Tired of over-marketing by the big beauty companies, I wanted to develop beauty and personal grooming products that have multi-purpose aspects to them.

Describe your business in 20 words or less.

A truly natural, multi-purpose beauty and personal grooming brand for both men and women.

Where do you get your inspiration from and how do you stay inspired?

Customers that are looking for truly eco-friendly, healthier alternatives to all of those beauty and grooming products in their cabinets. Hearing their health concerns keeps me inspired.

What is your biggest success or accomplishment you’re most proud of in your business?

When I couldn’t get a loan to get my idea into production and two women came forward, who believed in me, and gave me the financing to get things going.

What advice would you give other entrepreneurs when they are first starting out?

Don’t give up. If you can imagine giving up because of some obstacle, and there will be MANY, don’t get in the game.

What is one mistake that you made that you really learned from and what did you learn?

Too much inventory. I assumed it would be a hit right out of the gate and tied up a lot of money. I learned to launch each new product with a smaller inventory.

If you like this interview, Like 3waybeauty on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Stem Science

via American Spa Magazine and INtelligent Nutrients.

Discover how and why stem cell technology can prove beneficial.

Over the past few years, stem cells have become the skincare industry’s hot anti-aging ingredient. Now commonly found in many products, the science behind stem cell technology is often confusing for both clients and spa professionals alike, mostly due to the fact that there are several types of stem cells that have made their way into the skincare arena, claiming to help clients reduce the signs of aging by decreasing the effects of free-radical damage, stress, and poor lifestyle choices, which can wreak havoc on the skin. Much of the confusion occurs because the science behind the use of stem cell technology in products and treatment protocols can be
difficult to decipher.

Simply stated, human stem cells are unique biological cells that have the powerful ability to morph into any type of cell in the body. Because they don’t have a specific function, they can, and have been, used to transform into a multitude of cells with a more specific function when needed to assist any type of diseased or injured organ or tissue. As we age, our stem cell count decreases due to free radical damage and environmental factors, such as poor diet and stress, which affects the body’s ability to protect itself. While human (embryonic) stem cell treatments are being offered at a number of medical spas, this is not necessarily a viable option for traditional spas. “Stem cells need specific nutrition via a blood supply in the tissue to survive and function,” says Jörg Gerlach, M.D., Ph.D., professor of surgery at the University of Pittsburgh. “If they were layered onto intact skin, the stem cells would just die. However, if stem cells are applied to a fresh open skin wound, after a burn injury for example, then the cells are in contact with the blood supply in the open tissue and could survive and potentially regenerate the skin.”

Another stem cell option involves using botanical stem cells from plants, which, in many ways, mimic the benefits of human stem cells by secreting a similar enzyme that helps to stimulate human stem cell growth and protect them from damage. “Plants have stem cells comparable to human stem cells,” says Christine Heathman, CEO and founder of GlyMed Plus, whose skincare line incorporates plant extract derived from the stem cells of the rare Swiss Uttwiler Spätlauber apple. “It is well known for its excellent storability and longevity potential due to its long-living tissue stem cells.”

G.M. Collin also incorporates Uttwiler Spätlauber into its products because of the benefits it offers. “By stimulating aging skin stem cells, it has been shown to lessen the appearance of wrinkles,” says Karen Asquith, director of education of G.M. Collin. “Plant stem cell extracts provide important nutrients to human stem cells. These nutrients improve the viability and health of human skin stem cells. They also protect and maintain the function of skin stem cells to ensure longevity and to delay skin aging.” Because promoting a treatment as a “stem cell facial” can be misleading to clients, Asquith suggests simply incorporating products containing stem cell technology into already existing protocols. “Stem cell products can be integrated into many specialized treatment protocols,” she says.

Relatively few in number and concentrated in the most vulnerable parts of the plant (like buds and leaves), plant stem cells contribute to the growth and repair process. They contain the highest concentration of antioxidants (active substances / phenylpropanoids) and allow for the generation of new tissues and continuous growth.

Through a groundbreaking biotech strain selection process, these unique plant stem cells—featuring antioxidant concentrations of at least 1,000 times those of plants in nature—are reproduced in the lab without soil for use in skin revitalization, rejuvenation and restoration."

INtelligent Nutrients chose Edelweiss, coneflower and pennywort plant stem cells for their abilities to address multiple signs of aging. This proprietary blend is formulated at maximum potency for a synergistic approach that revitalizes, rejuvenates and restores skin. Plant stem cell laboratory production is environmentally superior to conventional agriculture production.

Plant stem cell laboratory production:
Uses 1,000 tons less water than traditional production methods.
Supports preservation and availability of the most rare plant species.
Ensures purity, as the plant stem cells are 100% free from herbicides, pesticides and fungicides.
Promotes sustainability through the reduction of green house gases—because farming is not required.
Is non-GMO—no genetic modification.

According to Cassie Miller-Hart, a licensed esthetician and West Coast educator for HydroPeptide, botanical stem cell technology contains specific components that improve the vitality of skin stem cells and protect against negative environmental influences and is even more beneficial when combined with peptides. “Aging skin stem cells become less effective at healing, endure increased oxidative stress, and become more prone to generative disease in skin tissue,” says Miller-Hart. “Our scientists work with six different botanical stem cells that address a range of skincare concerns, from super antioxidant protection to healthy collagen support. They go a step further by combining this blend of six stem cells with two of the latest generation peptides that make up an ingredient that stimulates the most relevant structural proteins of the dermal/epidermal junction. Peptide and stem cell technology restore structure to the skin and protect it from environmental stressors.”

One popular treatment at The Four Seasons Resort Biltmore Santa Barbara Spa (CA), says Miller-Hart, is HydroPeptide’s Advanced Resurfacing Stem Cell Facial ($180, 50 minutes; $250, 80 minutes), which incorporates the power of botanical stem cells and peptides to rejuvenate, revive, and protect the skin, re-energizing the client’s skin cells, increasing hydration, and reducing wrinkles, as well as firming and lifting the skin. “Everyone can benefit from the multifunctional benefits that botanical stem cells provide,” she says. “Six different plant stem cells delay signs of aging by protecting our skin stem cells. In short, stem cells can be thought of as super-antioxidants that help prevent oxidative stress and DNA damage to cells. Spa-goers get excited about plant extracts for the youthful qualities they restore to the skin.”

Monday, December 17, 2012

Kiss Up

One of my favorite people (and bloggers), Sara Bartlett of Bombshell Beauty fame, featured one of our favorite products last week on Twin Cities Live: Treat - Kiss and Make it Butter lip scrub.
Thanks, Sara!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Perfect Gift

via American Spa Magazine.

Frankincense

In Biblical times, three wise men traveled hundreds of miles to bring gifts to the baby Jesus. One of the gifts of the Magi was frankincense, a milky-white resin with a fresh pine, lemony scent. It was one of the most prized commodities of its time, valued as highly as gold and fine silk. Ever since, frankincense has been associated with Christmas. While its historical significance makes frankincense an opulent ingredient to feature in spa treatments around the holidays, it also affords the opportunity to educate guests about its medicinal powers, which are less widely known.

Just as resins help trees heal wounds, frankincense has skincare properties that encourage rapid healing, treat wounds and scars, and help regenerate the skin. “Frankincense is really one of the best oils for calming the mind as well as helping treat older skin, which makes it invaluable in the spa environment,” says Geraldine Howard, co-founder and president of Aromatherapy Associates. “On a physical level, the molecules in essential oils are very small, so they can penetrate into the bloodstream, helping optimize the cellular renewal process, enhance blood circulation, and help treat aging skin. On an emotional level, frankincense has a dynamic effect. The sense of smell is the most primitive of all the senses, linked to the deepest parts of the brain that govern basic instincts and emotions.”

Frankincense has long been used in churches and temples to purify the air and uplift the spirit. Spas can tap into its calming effect, says Tino Lerma, medical esthetic educator and global corporate trainer at Pevonia International. “From a psychological perspective, frankincense promotes a deep sense of relaxation that assists clients both in letting go and calming their emotions,” he says. “Historically, this is the secondary reason that world religions in India and China, as well as the Catholic Church, have burned incense containing frankincense at religious services and also why it is used so often in the East for meditation.”

SpaRitual founder Shel Pink suggests taking advantage of frankincense’s aromatherapy benefits and incorporating it into a soothing bath or a stress-relieving massage.  “Add a few drops of frankincense essential oil to a bath, or burn the incense to enjoy the pleasant scent,” she says. “Also, frankincense can be used in the form of aromatic steam, which helps clear the lungs and makes breathing easier.”

Thanks to Aromatherapy Associates’s frankincense oil, The Spa at The Grove Park Inn (Asheville, NC) does just that during the Grove Park Classic Massage (starting at $129, 80 minutes).Guests inhale the invigorating aroma emanating from a steamed towel while a massage therapist soothes tight back and shoulder muscles.

The Spa at Mandarin Oriental Boston also uses Aromatherapy Associates’s frankincense essential oil and products to help guests retreat from holiday stress and maintain peace of mind. Its Frankincense Massage Ritual (starting at $217, 80 minutes) begins with a warming frankincense elixir, calming guests from the inside. A warm oil foot treatment is followed by a relaxing massage with wild chamomile, frankincense, and petitgrain oils. Deep inhalations of frankincense essential oils begin a scalp massage fit for royalty, diminishing holiday stress. Guests are then sent home with a holiday gift of pure frankincense essential oil to continue their relaxation at home throughout the holidays and the New Year. “Frankincense is one of my personal all-time favorite oils,” says Howard. “It’s not only great at helping to calm and focus the mind but it also has wonderful anti-aging properties.”

Frankincense has also been used as an effective skin preservative for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians used it in the mummification process.

Its anti-aging and rejuvenating properties make frankincense the ideal ingredient in facials, says Pink. It refreshes the skin, and its cytophylactic qualities encourage the growth of skin cells. “The natural astringent features of this essential oil also reacts as a balancer of skin and cuts down any dry or oily skintone problem, returning it to normal,” she says. “The treatments that are best suited for frankincense are decreasing and avoiding wrinkles, killing germs, healing wounds, minimizing scarring and skin inflammation, and firming and toning the skin.”

As with most, if not all, ingredients, when it comes to frankincense essential oil, quality is key. Pure frankincense essential oil has been shown to clinically plump fine lines and wrinkles. This oil possesses antiseptic abilities that assist inflammatory skin types and pre-rosacea grades from evolving further. Because of this, pure frankincense is perfect in anti-wrinkle and skin regeneration treatments for prevention and to calm inflammatory processes in hypersensitive, pre-rosacea, and rosacea skin types.

Additionally, many skin types exhibit more sensitivity during the winter, when the air is drier.

Accista Spa at the Hyatt Regency (Monterey, CA) offers a seasonal Harvest Manicure ($45, 30 minutes) and Pedicure ($60, 40 minutes), featuring SpaRitual. The harvest treatments are designed to prepare the body and mind for the harsh months ahead by revitalizing and protecting with frankincense. Into the new year and well beyond, spa guests can enjoy the rich skincare gifts that frankincense offers. Because who can resist the luxurious oil with the healing, wrinkle-erasing benefits fit for kings and queens?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

For The Minimalist

via Wanderplex

Packing carry-on only is becoming more and more popular, but trying to fit all the toiletries and cosmetics you need into that little TSA-approved baggie is not exactly easy. This grooming bar is a great way to get around the problem, since you can use it three different ways – for showering, for shaving and for shampooing. Not only does it eliminate the need for multiple products, it’s also solid, so it doesn’t even have to go into the liquid baggie. Plus, it won’t leak mid-flight. All of the ingredients in the bar are natural, so it’s safe on the environment if you’re hiking.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Ayurvedic Herbal Secrets

via Les Nouvelles Esthetiques & Spa by Melanie Sachs and Sudhir M. Shah

The following article is a Q & A interview by Melanie Sachs with Sudhir M. Shah, explaining the benefits of taking the Ayurvedic approach to achieving beautiful skin.

Q: Can you explain the term 'Ayurvedic' from your personal perspective for those not yet familiar with it?

A: Ayurvedic herbal remedies are a part of Ayurveda, the traditional holistic healing system of India. I am Indian myself, and my mother was an Ayurvedic practitioner. She had no formal education in this area, so you could say she practiced folk medicine. But it was nonetheless effective, and most importantly available to all. Her skills were very well respected, and she was able to raise 10 healthy children using virtually no modern medicine.

Q: So you were raised in a household where the use of herbs was the first choice in health care. Did you always share your mother's interest and skills?

A: Honestly, no. I studied modern sciences and came to the United States of America to pursue a graduate degree in molecular biology. I also earned an MBA from Yale University. It wasn't until my own son suffered from eczema very badly that I turned back to my roots. By combining Ayurvedic knowledge with my science and business training, I not only found some wonderful remedies, I have also been able to develop and market products that help others. 

Q: That is such an interesting and rare combination of talents. Could you tell us from your perspective what is unique about the way Ayurveda approaches skin care and the use of botanicals?

A: The Ayurvedic approach to skin care is uniquely different, and yet this approach is refreshingly contemporary in its premise and its promise. 
Ayurvedic skin care is pure, natural and chemical free. It teaches that the skin absorbs nutrients that affect the body on a cellular level; therefore, nothing should be applied to the skin if it cannot be eaten without causing a problem. 
Ayurvedic beauty products should contain only full spectrum botanical ingredients. Plants, having evolved over millions of years, have created a natural balance. When we tear apart a naturally occurring compound, we are stripping it of its inherent balance and natural synergy. Isolated, it may give us one desired benefit, but the price is many undesirable side effects, some of which are hidden. In addition, synthetic production alters its bioavailability. Also, truly natural Ayurvedic products are neither bleached nor chemically processed to give them a white or clear appearance. 
Ayurveda treats the cause, and does not just mask the symptoms to give you temporary results.

Bio-active ingredients in Ayurvedic skin care stimulate the skin and body's inherent self healing mechanisms, promoting an internal synergy between various constituents. Ayurveda reminds us that beauty, health and wellness make up the balanced and dynamic integration between our environment, body, mind and spirit.

Q: Having more understanding of where you are coming from as a formulator, can you tell us more about your top five Ayurvedic herbs for promoting beautiful skin?
A: I'm happy to name them here with their common English name, botanical and then the name I know them by from my mother.

Aloe vera, aloe barbadensis miller, kumari

Q: This is the plant many keep in a pot in the kitchen in case of mild burns. I believe they call it the 'healing cactus' in India.

A: Fifty years of scientific research has confirmed aloe vera's therapeutic benefits for the skin when used both internally and externally. Aloe juice should be used in all skin care products as a base ingredient instead of water – from cleansers and serums to moisturizers and sunscreens. Aloe penetrates tissue. Unlike water, aloe can be deeply absorbed into all the skin's layers. This is due to the presence of lignin, a substance similar to cellulose. This allows aloe to act as an excellent carrier for the other beneficial components of aloe vera, as well as other ingredients that are included in aloe-based skin care products.
It acts as an anesthetic. Aloe has a high magnesium content and contains aspirin-like compounds. This is why aloe is used to ease the pain of burns or inflamed skin.
It also has antimicrobial properties. Rich in saponin and barbaloin, which are both powerful antibacterial compounds that can kill the bacteria that aggravate acne and other inflammatory conditions.
It is an anti-inflammatory. Aloe contains beta hydroxyl acid, known for its anti-inflammatory capabilities. Additionally, it contains sterols that inhibit acute inflammation, similar to cortisone but without the side effects. Nearly all skin conditions stem from inflammation, making aloe an ideal remedy.
It is proven to heal wounds. Several components in aloe are responsible for its excellent ability to regenerate cells. These include gibberellin, a growth hormone-like substance that increases protein synthesis, and lectin, a protein that increases collagen activity and improves the collagen matrix. Thus, aloe may be utilized to heal conditions, such as acne or eczema, as well as in anti-aging formulations.

Holy basil, Ocinum sanctum, tulsi

Q: Grown, loved and revered in many an Indian garden, holy basil is a sacred plant used during prayers and meditation. You may have come across it as tea blended with rose petals or ginger, or as an herb to help with clearing the lungs. 

A: It is known as an adaptogen in Ayurveda, which means it is helpful in increasing the body's resistance to a variety of environmental threats or stressors. It is an excellent source of vitamins A, C and K, as well as trace minerals. In India, it is widely used in cosmetics, perfumes, shampoos and soaps. For centuries, the anti-microbial properties have been well known. Crushed leaves of holy basil have been used to treat acne and irritated skin. Tulsi contains ursolic acid, which has anti-aging properties and generally improves the skin's health by forming an oil-resistant barrier. It also minimizes the appearance of wrinkles and age spots by restoring the skin's collagen bundle structures and elasticity. 
Essential oils such as eugenol, carvacol, linalool, caryophylline, and methyleugenol in holy basil are said to elevate both mood and spirit.
A study from the Pharmaceutical of Biology Journal shows that the holy basil plant has anti-melanoma and radio-protective properties.

Boswellia, Boswellia serrata, Shallaki

Q: It is sometimes known as Indian frankincense. You may have seen it as an ingredient in a joint rub for arthritis or back pain. 

A: Boswellia is one of the most effective anti-irritants for skin known to man. It is not an herb exactly, but a resin that oozes from the bark of the boswellia tree. Sometimes we call it 'bark tears.' Boswellia is known to fortify all the systems of the body and rejuvenate the skin. It's action calms, soothes and combats the stresses that cause skin inflammation, such as air pollution, UV irradiation, injuries, cuts and burns.
It reduces fine wrinkles. Since Vedic times, people have used frankincense for moisturizing skin. James A. Duke, author of The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook, lists wrinkle prevention as one of boswellia's traditional uses. Gill Farrer-Halls recommends boswellia to rejuvenate skin and prevent wrinkles in The Aromatherapy Bible. It has the ability to produce more youthful looking skin. In 2010, the researchers at the University of Brescia in Italy found that women who applied Boswellia cream to their faces experienced much suppler, smoother and less oily skin within 30 days.
It fights inflammation. Boswellia extracts have shown strong anti-inflammatory effects in vitro and in clinical trials. Boswellic acids, primary active constituents in boswellia, appear to prevent substances that cause inflammation from forming, according to a monograph published in Alternative Medicine Review. Although isolated boswellic acid is effective against inflammation, there is at least one known side effect: the inhibition of leukotriene biosynthesis—causing increased allergic reaction and histamine production. This is mitigated by lipids and polysaccharides in the whole resin.
It is antiseptic and antibiotic. Boswellia has a long history of use as a wound dressing and antibiotic in the Asia. Anecdotal reports and historical use suggest that boswellia promotes wound healing and may help heal skin ulcers and pimples.

Licorice, Glycyrrhiza glabra, mulethi

Q: We know it as a sticky black candy, but I take it you are talking about the powdered root here.

A: Indeed, licorice root powder is found in numerous traditional formulas, both in Eastern and Western medicine. It contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that are used in the successful treatment of eczema and rosacea to soothe and heal the skin. It also contains glycyrrhizin and glycyrrhizic acid, which reduce inflammation and help soothe irritated skin. When licorice extract is added to cosmetic formulas in sufficient quantities, it can control redness, flushing and other types of inflammation. 
Glabridin inhibits tyrosinase, the enzyme that causes pigmentation in response to sun exposure. It can also help diminish the dark pigmentation resulting from scars. It is a wonderful, natural skin lightening alternative to chemical hydroquinone.
Glycyrrhetinic acid, which seems to have mythical powers over a traumatized epidermis. In addition to being credited with anti-inflammatory abilities, it also demonstrates anti-allergic, anti-viral, antibacterial, and hepato-protective benefits. Clinical tests point to this ingredient as an effective treatment for atopic dermatitis because of its ability to reduce redness and irritation. 
A Triterpenoid called saponin, which aids in the absorption of nutrients, making it a carrier for nutrients in skin care formulations.

Gotu kola, Centella asiatica, mandukaparni

Q: I know gotu kola as an herb that is said to have the ability to increase intelligence, memory and support of the immune system. It grows like mad in my garden here in central California, and I eat a few leaves each morning. But I did not know that it has also been used crushed to help heal stretch marks and scars.

A: Triterpenoid, saponins, the primary constituents of gotu kola, are mainly believed to be responsible for its therapeutic actions. Apart from healing tissues, the herb is used for the treatment of various skin ailments and more serious conditions such as leprosy, lupus, varicose ulcers, eczema and psoriasis. Look for gotu kola in your anti-aging, stretch mark and scar creams.
The chemical composition (see chart on page 85) of these Ayurvedic herbs is highly complex, containing many nutrients and other bio-active compounds. The nutritional and pharmacological properties of the whole herb in its natural form result from synergistic interactions of many different active phytochemicals. Here is my attempt to list some of the phytochemicals that benefit our skin.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Travel Kit

For every $150 in products purchased at either StormSister Spatique or 3waybeauty you will receive a complimentary Phytoceane travel kit that includes mini sizes of:

Cleansing Moisturizing Milk
Invigorating Cleansing Lotion
Facial Scrub with Vegetal Coral
Nourishing Moisturizing Cream

(We've packed it full of other samples as well!)

While supplies last.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Holy Santa!

Join us on Wednesday's, December 5th and 12th at STYLEDLIFE for Show The Love.

STYLEDLIFE's signature holiday soiree that makes shopping FUN again.

We'll be there for some StormSister Spatique STYLEDbeauty Elixery lipstick services.

Filled with savings and all-out fun, their annual Show the Love event is THE place to be for shopping and gift giving. Santa will be so proud of you!

Showing YOU love at Show the Love:
Special 10% off ALL purchases Wednesday 12/5 & 12/12 with free domestic shipping
Top 8 holiday gift ideas (all specially priced)
Happy Handbag Holidays promotion - 20% off select styles
Designer jewelry discounts - 20% off your 3rd piece
Their infamous Sexy Santa/Sexy Elf
Lili Salon surprises for your hair and skin
Drinks & Sweets
$500 in prize drawings
Wish Lists for stress free shopping
See you there, Weds. 12/5 & 12/12!

Monday, December 3, 2012

LocalLuxe

Thursday, December 6th at Style Architects from 4:30 - 9 PM.

219 N. 2nd Street, Suite 400, Minneapolis 55401
612.326.9020

Mention Style-Architects and receive complimentary parking behind building!

Please join us for an evening of fine wine & cheese tasting and holiday shopping with your favorite local designers and artisans:

Irely IntimatesKuhl StudioNelli Designs
J.W. Hulme Co.Post- Accessories
Miller Upholstering ✴ Lily & Violet
Michael Belotti ✴ Remember Me
StormSister SpatiqueUnrefined Jewelry

Food & beverage hosted by: Naked Grape Wine, Surdyks Gourmet Cheese & Deli, and Lily Bloom’s Kitchen

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Go Green for Eczema and Psoriasis

Did you know that Greenbody Greenplanet shampoo may help ease the discomfort of Eczema and Psoriasis? We have testimonials from life-long victims of itching that have found relief using the shampoo as a body wash! It's also excellent for allergy sufferers and those highly sensitive to chemicals and fragrance.

Greenbody Greenplanet Hair Care is also available in UNSCENTED!