Baths can be much more than just relaxing!
Baths can be truly therapeutic. I want to share with you some of my favorite baths. A recipe for headaches, cleansing, and beautifying as well as emergency baths for sunburns, leg cramps, and feminine health.
Essential oils are concentrated plant essences that have the power to inspire balance to our body and mind.
I want to share an amazing bath elixir that will help relieve energy draining headaches. Headaches can be caused by anything from seasonal allergies to anxiety and stress. Hormonal fluctuations, menstrual cycles, and lack of sleep can also cause headache tension.
The essential oil lavender is a commonly known choice to relieve stress in general but when you’re targeting a headache, we should get a bit more specific. Many of my patients suffer from sinus congestion due to internal and external stressors. Below is my favorite concoction for a treatment bath that relieves headaches due to congested sinuses.
Mix the following together then slowly pour into a warm bath.
–Peppermint oil – 10 drops
–Eucalyptus oil – 5 drops
–Sesame seed oil – 1 Tbsp.
Make sure to relax for 30 to 40 minutes to allow for the oils to do their magic. The eucalyptus oil helps decongest the airways and the sinuses while peppermint oil provides pain relief. Be aware the eucalyptus oil is a very strong, so take care not to splash the bath water in your eyes – it may cause irritation.
Goat’s milk is one of my favorite beauty gifts from Mother Nature! When I was a little girl, a local healer told me to drink a glass of goat’s milk a day and that I would always stay young. I still add it to my shakes and I love using it on my skin. It’s an ingredient that has become more popular in the past few years. It creates a transforming beauty bath when you immerse yourself in a tub filled with warm water and 2-4 cups of organic goat’s milk.
It will help soften and smooth your skin. Milk contains lactic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid that can help loosen the bonds that hold onto old, dead skin cells. Your skin will feel silky smooth and look brighter! A milk bath helps exfoliate your skin without any scrubbing, so if your like me and can’t handle dry brushing or harsh scrubs, you don’t have to worry about irritating your skin but will still get the smooth results.
You now have a clean canvas so your products penetrate the skin more effectively, so your moisturizer does a better job of keeping your skin hydrated. Milk also contains fats and proteins that can help boost your skin’s moisture even after you’re done soaking.
It’s also uber calming! The proteins whey and casein found in milk, as well as the amino acids, lactic acid and vitamins A, D and E, all work together to help reduce redness and itchiness. Great emergency soak if you get a dose of poison oak on a vacation!
Epsom salt is rich in both magnesium and sulfate. Magnesium and sulfate can be easily absorbed through the skin and taken up into the bloodstream, so it’s an excellent external way to detox and get out any harmful and unnatural substances.
This bath stimulates your lymph system and encourages increased oxygen and blood flow to your body. Sulfates stimulate the pancreas to form digestive enzymes necessary to detoxify the body. The soak also neutralizes toxins, protecting the body from heavy metals.
Magnesium in the Epson salts are uplifting to our mood because deficiencies in magnesium can cause significant damage to nerves, which manifest in symptoms associated with depression. Magnesium salt also promotes gastric activity in the intestines, which provides a laxative effect. The stimulation of movement in the gut and colon further promotes detoxification processes.
The Sulfates are beneficial for the health of joints, skin, and nervous tissue. Sulfates also bind toxic impurities in the liver to render them less hazardous.
Spend at least 40 minutes to soak in the tub. Allow 20 minutes of treatment to pull toxins out of your body through the skin. The second 20 minutes allows for the absorption of minerals to occur. 1- ½ cups for a full bath.
Quick Cramp Relief:
A muscle often locks up for no apparent reason; the root cause is a chemical signal from the nervous system that tells the muscle to contract. You’re probably running low on potassium, magnesium, and calcium – the minerals that help to regulate activity in your nerves and muscles. Many people that suffer from chronic cramping know to sip on some tonic water before bedtime because it contains quinine. This can be beneficial to sip on but also can be used as a soak. A Tonic Water bath a great way to help you get through the night f you’re on vacation or traveling for work. Head straight to the mini bar and grab a few tonic waters and add it to your bath. You should feel a bit of relief shortly!
Apple Cider Vinegar contains antiseptic properties that kill germs and relieve pain. It also helps to balance the pH of sunburned skin and reduces the blisters after burning. It acts as an astringent that shrinks or constricts the blood tissues which in turn reduces the inflammation caused by sunburn, creating instant relief. Apple cider vinegar acts as a wonderful cooling and moisturizing agent that makes the skin release the pent-up heat.
Apple Cider Vinegar or ACV to us hippies is rich in B-vitamins, Vitamin C and trace minerals, making it nourishing to skin.
Added benefit: it will also make you smell sweeter! It will help kill the bacteria that contribute to body odor and create an environment where odor is less likely to thrive in the future.
For sunburn relief, add 2 cups of Apple Cider Vinegar to a full bath and soak for 10 -20 minutes.
Baking soda baths are a useful remedy to fight against many feminine health issues as it maintains a pH balance in the body. Anything that upsets the pH of your vagina will worsen the situation. Substances like semen or menstrual blood are Alkaline. A sitz bath with baking soda, which buffers pH levels, can help reduce the pH of your vagina and decrease the irritation.
A full bath can also help soften your skin and also remove chlorine from your skin and hair.
Add 3 tablespoon to sitz bath- about 2-3 inches high in water or 6 tablespoons to a full bath. Soak for 20 minutes.
I hope these baths inspire you to take the time for self care and relaxation for you to create the true whole body health you deserve.
~My article was also published by LVBX Magazine.
Our genetics are the biggest cause of cellulite. Exercise, diet, hormones, laxity of the connective tissue, and our overall lifestyle can attribute to the expression of cellulite.
If we want to create a smooth silhouette, what can we do? Let’s talk technology first.
They’re have been many medical treatments that have provided some good results, but mostly have been disappointing and costly. Two new machines that came out this year have some promise, but time will tell if they can create anything more than temporary results.
Most treatments use a vacuum feature that creates swelling which only delivers a temporary result. It can be beneficial by creating a “detox” of the area and better circulation, but there are many ways to create this on your own via exercise, saunas, massage, etc. The homecare massager “Body Belle,” is an amazing way to boost blood and lymphatic flow. It also stretches the fibrous tissue to improve elasticity. This strengthening of the connective tissue is key.
When the skin on our body looses elasticity and the connection between all the layers weaken, cellulite looks it’s worst! We need to strengthen the relationship between all the layers. Stretching, yoga and Pilates can really help. I target this factor at my clinic by mixing radio frequency skin tightening treatments with CIT collagen building treatments to get the skin pillowy and youthful looking.
Exfoliating on a daily basis in the shower is essential. It wakens up the skin, and preps it for the topicals you apply during your morning beauty ritual. You can use the body brush head on your clarisonic or you can get create your own homemade sugar scrubs. Add a little rosemary oil to your recipe for blood flow. The one skincare line for the body that I’ve seen deliver real results is called Kayo. Their Concentrated Slimming Serum creates not only amazing instant results, but also truly accumulative benefits. The Vitamin Boost is essential for rebuilding the skin. For a supportive supplement, I love ATP by Meehan Formulations. This formulation keeps your body clean and fine-tuned by energizing your cells and keeps you fit on a truly molecular level.
Cellulite can be related to hormone imbalances, specifically an excess of estrogen and a deficiency in progesterone. It’s so important for women to get their hormones checked regularly. It has an astronomical effect on our skin. You can create a hormone-balanced climate through naturopathy and even easy diet changes. Other internal contributors to cellulite are low thyroid, adrenal dysfunction, and blood sugar imbalance.
Cellulite can be a telling sign that we need to shift things in our whole-body health routine. Giving some extra love to ourselves is a priceless investment on our path to living our most vital life. Empowering our bodies empowers our lives.
Image via LVBX Magazine
Growing up, I loved old Hollywood. I was watching a documentary and saw Bette Davis dipping her face in a sink full of ice cubes. This was a tried-and-true beauty ritual of many actresses and actors, including Paul Newman. I right away ran to the freezer; grabbed all the ice cubes I could find and tried it for myself! It felt shockingly cold, but it was invigorating and gave me an extra “glow”. Okay, granted I was in the 1st grade, but it did make me feel very glamorous. Maybe it’s the Swedish in me, or growing up in the cold Santa Cruz Ocean, but I’ve always loved the powerful feeling of the cold.
Today, Crotherapy, ice baths and freezing facials have been gaining more and more popularity and media attention.
So why does the cold feel so good and how does it create health and beauty?
Let’s start with our beauty sleep.
Sleep cool. Over a 24-hour period, our body temperature naturally peaks and declines. While we sleep, our bodies naturally cool down. Helping your body get to that lower temperature faster can encourage a deeper and more restorative sleep time.
This deep sleep will allow your body to release more melatonin, one of our best anti-aging hormones. Another perk! Studies show that sleeping in a 60-67 degree room makes you burn more calories than while awake, and can inspire your body to burn more calories the following day.
Air conditioning can create a dry and dehydrating environment, so I recommend keeping a bedroom cool by opening windows, sleeping naked, using light bedding, running a fan, and keeping your feet out of the sheets. You can also purchase a “cooling pillow” to help naturally draw the heat away from your body.
Cooling ingredients in skincare create comfort and beauty.
Sensitive skin especially loves feeling relief from heat and discomfort. Whether it’s caused by rosacea, post treatment inflammation, eczema, dermatitis, etc., there are products that can deliver the cool! Peppermint, violet-Viola Odorata Extract, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, and menthol are extremely effective. When topically applied to the skin, menthol produces a cooling sensation by blocking a current along the nerves responsible for detecting temperature, triggering a response in nerve endings that makes the body think it’s cooling down. Cooling ingredients can also improve the flow of blood to the skin causing a temporary plumping effect. Love the plump! Starting to see now why cold is such an essential beauty tool?
Another point to consider when it comes to the power of cool; many products heat up their ingredients to be able to mix them to achieve a certain texture or to bottle the product more efficiently. This, just like when we over heat food, can kill vital nutrients and change the product on a molecular level. Do your research on how your product is created.
CryoFacial: Next level skincare.
This is the “Bette Davis ice dip” on steroids!
–Reduces inflammation, which supports our own anti-aging mechanisms.
–Relieves edema/swelling. AKA puffy face.
–Makes your pores look tight and your texture smooth and firm.
–The treatment creates a vascular reaction that enhances the penetration of products, creating better hydration and performance of topically applied vitamins and nutrients.
It not only stimulates collagen but also the Queen of Youthful Skin: elastin.
Cold promotes cell repair, making it a game changer for healing, especially post-procedures. The treatment flushes your skin with healing blood and nutrients making it feel revitalized.
How it works:
Therapies that use cold temperatures stimulate circulation.
The cold causes the blood vessels to contract and then dilate. This improves the oxygen and nutrient supply to the skin’s surface, making it appear more youthful.
Skin cooling increases the amount of neurotransmitters in the nerve fibers. This speeds up the metabolism and enzymatic cellular processes.
Therapies that use cold stimulate the release of good growth factors, including cytokines. The signs of aging in the skin can be attributed to a breakdown of collagen and elastin, which gives way to fine lines and wrinkles. Studies show that when the surface of the skin is cooled during cryofacials that the layers beneath are disrupted, and respond by increasing production of elastin, collagen and anti-aging growth factors. This results in brighter, firmer skin as it regains elasticity.
The anti-inflammatory responses of the skin by this cold are also a very effective in caring for chronic skin conditions such as psoriasis, dermatitis, and eczema.
You can do many things at home during your beauty routine to benefit from the effects of cold.
Don’t want everyone to know you just injected your lips?
Ice rollers have been popular in Asia and Europe for years, and are now gaining popularity in the States. Retailed Cool Globes are filled with water and gel that you keep in your fridge or freezer and can be used to relieve inflammation in general but are very beneficial following clinical procedures such as lasers and injectables, especially for the extra vascular lip area. Just lightly roll the globes over the entire face and neck or just apply in a specific area.
Big night/Big pimple? Use an ice cube!
Ice reduces the redness by diminishing swollen tissue and any possible weakened capillaries. It can also help to reduce the production of excess oil and acne-causing bacteria. Wrap the ice cube in some gauze soaked in witch hazel for 3-5 minutes.
Too much fun in the sun?
Soaking in a cold ice water bath can provide instant relief. Not only will it alleviate the heat and swelling, but also slightly numb the pain and soothe irritation. Add a cup of apple cider vinegar or an oatmeal bath recipe with some organic chamomile oil and you will feel instant relief.
Have morning after eyes?
Cold Eye Rollers to the rescue! Because blood pools around the eyes and causes dark circles, specially designed cold eye rollers can restore a healthy appearance by reducing swelling and inflammation. Applying a great eye gel with vitamin K will give you even better results.
Keeping it cool.
Simply keep certain products like gel masks, eye treatments, toners and spritzers in the fridge! You can also create your own mask. Try making a mask consisting of Greek yogurt, cucumbers and strawberries. Using cooled products is a simple way to make your skin feel amazing and awake. It can also add to the life and vitality of many products.
Go ahead, enjoy these last days of summer, and just remember to stay cool.
Photo courtesy of LiveBoxMagazine
Want to achieve sufficient exfoliation without using chemicals that will make your skin more sun sensitive?
Derma planing is a manual exfoliation technique used to gently and effectively remove the outermost layers of dead skin cells from the face using a customized medical grade blade. Utilized by a medical practitioner, it can also remove vellus hair or the “peach fuzz” on the face.
It improves texture and lightens up the appearance of hyperpigmentation. This type of exfoliation is suitable for sensitive skin because it’s not aggressive or harsh on the tissue.
There’s no downtime, your products will penetrate more efficiently and your makeup, especially bronzers, will go on smoother.
Dermaplaning is a Summer-Smart choice because chemical peels create heat in the skin and can create an ongoing flaking, making your skin more sensitive to the sun.
I prefer this treatment to other manual or physical exfoliation treatments like microdermabrasion. With microdermabrasion, you’re creating pressure with a vacuum that’s bringing up heat and leading to erythema. With dermaplaning we use a gentle blade on dry skin with light pressure, leaving the skin more resilient against the summer sun and heat.
With smart skin choices, you can have a healthy glow all summer long!