So often we find ourselves in expansion mode, stretching to meet all of life’s challenges. But isn’t a relief when the light fades a little and we can loosen up just a touch on the reins? Often, people feel very swept up by spring’s effervescent energy, which will arrive in just 6 short months. But in order to benefit fully from that seasonal fizz, we need to counter with quietude and introspection when the time is right. And that moment is now!As the days grow slightly shorter, even here in bright and mild Palm Beach, a movement towards cocooning feels so right. We can’t hibernate, but we can use nature’s momentum to guide us towards nourishing and replenishing our inner depths. At home, that might mean applying a thick pack of Purifying Lucent Masque or Restorative Radiance Masque and allowing all the nutrients and energizing essences of those formulas to absorb, while disconnecting for fifteen minutes of blissful rest. In the same way, at the Spa, clients are enjoying the transformative indulgence of our Botanical Body Wrap, which incorporates a warmed body masque, made with decadent Rose, Jasmine and Lotus flower oils and mineral-rich clays. With both treatments, the physical feeling of cocooning is so delightful, and that conscious gesture wakes up an inner movement of the spirit. I think you’ll find that turning the attention inward with a loving intention to comfort and to replenish will almost immediately ignite the heart chakra, ushering in both a feeling of groundedness and an uplifting sensation right at the core.
Archive for the ‘Fall Skin’ Category
The more I learn about the plant world, the more I’m amazed by the knowledge it holds and the parallels and teachings nature offers in our own lives. Take, for example, the potent reality and the metaphoric magic of roots. Autumn is a root time of year, when hearty root vegetables are harvested, and when we can best benefit from all that they hold. Right now, my garden is bursting with sweet potatoes, ginger and turmeric, and, as I well know through my work in botanical medicine, these roots are full of potency. Roots are where plants store vast concentrations of vital energy, which is why I use so many root remedies in my formulas—from Fo-Ti to Burdock to Iris. At the same time, my appreciation of these incredible medicinal remedies helps me remember the importance of my own energetic roots. Often the clients I see at this time of year are pulling from their deep energetic reserves—their roots—and some feel close to running on empty. We’ve all been there, and sometimes we all forget to do what’s necessary to keep from getting depleted. But now is the time. Whatever it is that best feeds your own depths—whether it’s music, movement, practicing gratitude, or a connection with nature—as we transition towards a time of less light, it’s important to replenish the deepest parts of who we are. It’s a time to restore the inner resources that we draw on most. Of course, what’s good for the soul is also good for the skin! Nourishing deeply, beyond the shallow surface, is crucial. One formula that seems to work so well at these times is Quintessential Serum, ultra-concentrated with nutrients and also deeply grounding. I hope you’ll try it and let me know whether you agree. And, in the meantime, I am wishing you a season of beautiful bounty!
As I’m creating formulas or working with clients in the treatment room, I’m often wonderstruck by the intricate beauty of our skin. As an essential part of the body’s immune defenses, skin protects us against infection, with incredibly exacting precision. Skin cells are so intelligent, discriminating between potentially detrimental microorganisms and the beneficial, symbiotic microbiata that actually help promote immunity. And, as we all know, the relationship is reciprocal: a strong, stable immune system results in glowingly healthful skin. At this time of year, as many of us transition into cooler weather, the body is especially vulnerable to infection. It’s a great time to shore up the immune defenses with a super-boost of beneficial nutrients. Incorporating broccoli and spinach (both rich in Vitamin A) is a wonderful way to empower your diet, while also including almonds (packed with Vitamin E) or Green Tea (a fantastic antioxidant). Vitamin C, of course, is our culture’s classic remedy, an antioxidant that supports the immune system (and also encourages healthy collagen production). It’s one of the key ingredients in many of my favorite formulations—from Purifying Cleansing Gel to Essential-C Tonic and Antioxidant Crème, with Neroli and Orange. In the ancient ayurvedic tradition, these seasonal transitions are very important for maintaining balance, and one of the most sacred medicinal remedies, turmeric, offers a wealth of benefits to immune health and to skin as autumn arrives. For more than 4,000 years, turmeric has been celebrated as a natural antibiotic and anti-inflammatory. It offers detoxification, purifying and nourishing skin, as well as energetic cleansing and a purification of the inner life-force. If you’re feeling low-energy, or like you might be coming down with a cold, or if you’d simply like to take advantage of all that turmeric has to offer, there are plenty of creative ways to incorporate this gorgeous golden root into your day—in soups or sauces, rice dishes or smoothies. As many of you know, I love to start the day with a glass of hot water and lemon. Mixing in a 1/8 teaspoon of freshly grated turmeric root, and a little raw honey, and, perhaps a little fresh ginger, electrifies that morning ritual. Some like to keep a little jar of honey and turmeric paste on hand (1/3 cup raw honey to 2 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric is Heidi Swanson’s recipe), stirring a little spoonful into hot water every now and again to keep the bright, bold cleansing vibes going strong all day long. Please take great care of yourself this fall!
Here in Palm Beach, we are happily blessed all year round with beautiful fruits and vegetables at our local farmers’ market, but in September there’s a special buzz in the air as the traditional Fall harvest invites us to re-invent the ultimate salad, bringing together bold new tastes in order to absorb a seasonal burst of supercharged nutrients in support of great eating and good health. Naturally, some of the most delightful powerhouse ingredients also boast a whole host of incomparable benefits for skin. Take kale, for example, skin’s favorite nutrient-dense super-food, full of the potent antioxidant Lutein, which supports healthy cell growth, as well as an array of immunity boosting vitamins. Gorgeous sun-ripened heirloom tomatoes are packed with Selenium, another strong antioxidant that helps to repair skin. Fresh broccoli, just lightly steamed, if at all, is packed with Vitamin C. And nothing beats the crispy and crunchy toppings—seaweed, seeds and nuts, rich in fatty acids, selenium and zinc. Of course, though we may forget what our grandmothers knew so well, all vegetables are not created equal, and sometimes eating for vitality requires looking with fresh eyes at what goes into our shopping baskets—and, ultimately into our bodies. No matter how pristinely packaged that drab, pale sack of supermarket spinach may be, it's probably not the uplifting, healing, nurturing choice we’ve been searching for. The salad I crave isn’t sad and penitent or rote, but a robust and utterly flavorful celebration of all that’s delicious and satisfying, with each ingredient selected just at the peak of its ripe perfection. Let's go local. And let's go for what looks irresistibly, divinely beautiful while the harvest is in full swing. This week, why not leave the shopping list behind and let intuition lead you through the market. What does your body hunger for? Let the beauty of the bounty call you—heart, body and soul—towards those items that you just can’t help bringing to the plate.