The Perfect Bedtime Bath for a Great Night’s Sleep

The Perfect Bedtime Bath for a Great Night’s Sleep

Oprah Winfrey swears by the power of a bedtime bath as a way to de-stress and get ready for sleep. Well, if it’s good enough for Mother Oprah, the queen of daytime and Super Soul Sundays, one woman empire and potential future president of the United States, then it’s sure good enough for you and me. But what makes the perfect bath? Well read on below and I’ll tell you. But first…

Why is a bedtime bath good for sleep?

Before we get into how to have the perfect bedtime bath let’s just cover quickly exactly why a pre-bed soak is my favorite way to get ready for bed. It’s all about heat but not in the way you may imagine 😉

Researchers have found that your brain needs to drop its temperature slightly in order to sleep. That’s why it is easier to fall asleep in a room that’s too cold rather than one that’s too hot. Being cooler will not only help induce sleep quicker it will also promote better deep non-REM sleep.

What has this got to do with a bath, that’s typically hot, not cold? Well, when you have a soak in a nice hot bath, capillaries expand and your blood rushes to the skin, a process referred to as vasodilation. Hence the rosy cheeks!

(Special consideration: if you have rosacea, spider or varicose veins, or another circulatory or known health issue, be sure to use tepid water in your bath and/or consult with your licensed health practitioner!)

bedtime bathWhen you then step out of the warm water, this heat is rapidly transferred to the air around you, and you experience a massive thermal dump. Your core temperature drops, and it’s this rapid cooling effect that is so good at helping you get to sleep.

An ice cold shower would have much of the same impact. Let’s face it though, a soak in soothing bath salts with herbs and essential oils is more than slightly more appealing.

Ok, now that the science is out of the way let’s move onto what makes a perfect bedtime bath. I’m going to assume you know the basics of how to run a bath, so below I’m going to focus on the things around the edges that you might not have considered. It’s little details like these that will elevate a good bedtime bath to the perfect bedtime bath.

Here are my top 5 tips to create a perfect bedtime bath ritual:

Clear your post-bath schedule

Once bathtime is over, all you want to do is towel yourself off, wrap yourself up in that lovely soft rope and head straight to bed. The easiest way to ruin a pre-bed bath is for it not to be before bed.

If after your soak you still have a heap of chores to do then you are gonna instantly destroy all the good work your bath has done to relax you. So, before you even consider going near those taps, make sure absolutely everything is done for the next day.

Ask for, nay, demand privacy

Do not disturb!Nothing will drain the relaxation quicker than assorted family members banging on the bathroom door. Before you head for your soak make sure every single member of the household knows you’re not to be disturbed unless something very important has occurred.

By very important I mean of the level of someone’s bleeding profusely, the dog is on fire, or the cat is stuck in a tree!

If you only have the one bathroom in the house then make sure everyone gets the opportunity to use the facilities before you lock them out. Then, if their tiny bladders still can’t cope, kindly direct them out to the garden.

Create the right ambience

What’s the main difference between your bathroom and a high-end spa? Ambience, that’s what. When you walk into a spa the whole atmosphere oozes relaxation.

If you break it down to the fundamentals however, all these fancy places do is dim the lights a touch, light a few candles and play a little bit of ambient background music. These are three things you are perfectly capable of replicating in your own bathroom, no matter the size!

Invest in few nice scented candles (I prefer either beeswax or soy candles, scented only with essential oils), or if you’re sensitive to candles, an essential oil diffuser and top quality essential oils. Download a nice chillaxing playlist to your phone. And voila! Now you’re in for an instant five star spa experience.

Diffuse some oils

Essential oils for your bedtime bath

essential oils for atomatherapy treatment with lavender and gemstones in white backround

Creating the perfect ambience isn’t just about music and lighting, it is about massaging all the senses, including your sense of smell.

Try diffusing some essential oils. Frankincense and lavender are well known for their relaxing and hypnotic qualities. As you soak deep into your bath let the scent wash over you and transport you to another level of calm.

Try not to fall asleep completely in the bath, however, as that could be a little dangerous! It might be helpful to set a timer for 20 minutes or so.

Remember your refreshment

What we eat can affect how well we sleep. Some foods are sleep blockers, others sleep promoters. I like to enhance my bath time experience with a nice cup of chamomile tea, a well known sleep aid. Or, if I’m in extra need of some comfort I make a cup of golden milk.

Golden milk might sound expensive but it earned its name for its colour not its cost. Made by mixing a heaped teaspoon of turmeric into warm milk, then seasoned with ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon for taste.

Not only does the concoction taste delicious, it’s also incredibly comforting. Like a great big bear hug for your insides. And on top of that both turmeric and milk have crazy sleep inducing qualities. Yay!

Golden milk is the perfect bath time treat if you ask me!

Well there you have it, my five step recipe to the perfect bedtime bath.

Clear your schedule, put up the Do Not Disturb sign, get the ambience spot on, get the aromascape right and take on some light, comforting refreshment.

For more great sleep nuggets like this, check out the Sleep Advisor blog.

Have I forgotten anything?

What’s your favorite bedtime bath ritual? Please share in the comments below!

 

 

*Do Not Disturb image By Arz [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

 

 

Does DIY Skincare Have a Place in Professional Skincare?

Does DIY Skincare Have a Place in Professional Skincare?

Life is full of polarities, doesn’t it seem? There’s so much “this OR that,” and people get so caught up in whether THIS is right or THAT is right–and the “thises” fight so hard to prove the “thats” wrong and vice versa. Wouldn’t it be nice if in all aspects of life, there was room for this AND that? That both could be right? Or that this might be right for some people, while that might be right for others…right?

Want to know what I think?

I think most people benefit from a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Today, I want to take that idea to skincare–and talk about how we no longer have to have the debate of DIY skincare vs professional skincare. At first, I’ll be honest–I believed what I was taught in aesthetics school that DIY and OTC skincare were less effective, and even were potentially dangerous. But that view changed quite a bit after I dove deeper into herbalism, making my own skincare, and using my own skincare creations on my clients and seeing the results that happened. I talk about that more in this article.

I also wrote a post about professional skincare that was considered a bit controversial among aestheticians at the time (and still is, if I’m being totally honest!), where I debunk the idea that the “professional” skincare products that most aestheticians use in their practices and sell to their clients are more effective, higher quality, and more concentrated than skincare products that are sold to the general public (which aestheticians refer to as “OTC products”, or DIY skincare products. Aestheticians have been sold the idea that only they can sell these products because they are licensed, and therefore can handle and “prescribe” more “active” ingredients which supposedly have a more dramatic effect on the skin. Sorry to tell you, friends, but none of that is actually true, “Professional skincare” is a marketing term, just like “cosmeceutical.” It’s meaningless when it comes to defining the quality of the actual ingredients and formulation. All it means is that these are products that are marketed to professionals, rather than to the general public. If you’re an aesthetician, before you get mad at me, read the rest of that post HERE–because I promise you, it makes a lot of sense.

Chemical exfoliation treatmentBack to my initial point of this post: in professional skincare–meaning in the aesthetic treatment room and retail spa, I believe there is room for both DIY skincare (which I now prefer to call boutique or herbal skincare) and products that are marketed to professional. And quite frankly, if I make a product line and market it only to professionals, I’ve then made professional skincare.

I had the opportunity to shed light on DIY skincare in the professional skincare setting in my latest article in Dermascope Magazine, “10 Things about DIY Skincare.”

Click HERE to read it.

I’ll give you of the 10 things here–you’ll have to read the article to get all the details:

1. Whole foods and plants can benefit the skin.

2. Fresh ingredients are nutrient dense.

3. There are other forms of DIY skincare than kitchen DIY.

4. A properly formulated DIY skincare product can be just as, or more, concentrated as professional products.

5. There is a big misconception that DIY skincare puts people more at risk of developing allergies than synthetic skin care.

6. Not all DIY skincare is safe.

7. DIY skin care that contains fresh food, plant matter, or water must be preserved to be safe.

8. Natural preservation is not a simple topic.

9. Even anhydrous products can become contaminated.

10. The most common natural preservatives found in online DIY skincare recipes are not actually preservatives.

I hope you take the time to read the full article at Dermascope!

But the bottom line is that DIY skincare is awesome, safe, super-effective, and is legal to use and sell in the professional setting. That being said, there are guidelines and laws to follow, and there is certainly a lot of information you need to know to ensure that you’re doing it right in terms of ingredient selection, formulation, safety and stability testing, packaging, and more. If you’re an aesthetician and you still love a certain professional skincare line, then by all means–continue to sell it! But I also encourage you to offer your clients a little bit of DIY too–because you never know when a client might need a little more of this than that.

And I teach you how to create and customize all natural, boutique skincare for your clients in my online course, Create Your Skincare Professional Edition!

If you’re a skincare professional, check out our Professional Edition, and if you’re not a skincare professional but want to make yourself professional DIY skincare the right way, check out our Personal Edition.

You can even start either skincare journey today with a free class HERE!

What’s your experience with DIY skincare in the professional setting?

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please share in the comments below!

5 Ways I Make Being a Skincare Entrepreneur and Homeschooling Mama Work

5 Ways I Make Being a Skincare Entrepreneur and Homeschooling Mama Work

When people ask me about myself–about my family, and about my work –and I tell them the short version of “I’m a home-based skincare entrepreneur, and have two busy daughters–13 and 10–who are ballet dancers, one of whom, I homeschool…” the response is usually a blank stare and some version of I “I don’t know how you do it,” “you’re either really brave or really crazy,” (that’s probably true) and “I could never do all that.”

I get asked all the time how I make everything work.

I wanted to share my “how” with you today, because, honestly? I sometimes need to remind myself so I can follow my own advice. But seriously, I am busy. You are busy. We–especially moms–are ALL busy. I have never met a mom who isn’t busy, whether they work from home, are stay-at-home moms who choose to not work, or choose to work outside of the home. So I want to inspire you that yes, you can balance having a skincare business with motherhood, if that’s something you’ve been dreaming of doing.

I talk about how I make being a skincare entrepreneur and homeschooling mama work in depth in this video:

Here’s the nutshell version of my top 5 tips:

1. Have a realistic understanding of your time. You can’t always just dedicate a full day of uninterrupted work time when you have small humans pulling at you or crying, needing to go potty, or wanting to eat, needing help with school, or needing to be taxied somewhere. It’s safe to say that there are usually blocks of hours that tend to be more difficult to work during. There are others that you know you won’t be disturbed (kids in school, at a playdate, occupied with an activity, at a lesson, etc), and then there are your “wild card” hours where you can probably get a lot of busywork-type tasks done that don’t require absolute quiet or laser focus. You also need to take into consideration what hours of the day you work best at specific tasks. For example, I do not do well teaching classes or having client calls before 10 am–so I don’t ever schedule them before that. I also have a nice window of time in the evenings (like right now, in fact) where my kids are at ballet, and I am working quietly and uninterrupted at a local cafe, with a nice cup of tea. This time is really important. I used to stay at the ballet school and chat with the moms or watch the class, and then when I realized that my earlier hours in the day were just a little bit more interrupted than they used to be because my daughter is at home now, that’s when I realized that I really needed to be more strategic with how I was spending blocks of time like these.

2. Think outside the box with your business model. When I first decided I wanted to work from home, I was a little bit disappointed because for awhile, it appeared that I would have to do something like data entry, or envelope stuffing, or something really more just busywork type of thing that wasn’t a way for me to use my creativity. I tried several business models ranging from a private aesthetics practice, health coaching practice, teaching natural and organic skincare formulation in person, having my own skincare line, and then ultimately decided that what worked best for me would be to have both my businesses nearly 100% online. I still travel near and far to teach in person, speak at conferences and attend conferences and continuing education events, but that’s a very small component of my business. You need to decide what works for you, and I encourage you to let go of any preconceived notions or limiting beliefs as to what your business model “should” look like. You get to decide.

calendar3. Ask the right people for help and be REALLY clear on what kind of help you need.  I am a little bit of a control freak (most entrepreneurs are), and I am really introverted. I’ve gotten better at it because I’ve had to, but because asking for help was hard for me, I realized that I needed to learn how to do it clearly, but I also needed to be sure that the people I was asking for help were actually the right people to help me with certain things. Moms often feel overwhelmed and when it seems like everybody needs something from us at all times. But we don’t always ask exactly for what we need. Sometimes we feel that making obvious hints or projecting telepathic messages should be received by those who can swoop in to help us. But unfortunately, that’s not always how it works. It is much more effective for me if I’m feeling overwhelmed or frustrated to say to my husband, “Hey, would you mind cooking dinner so that it’s ready when I get home late with the kids? I have to work tonight and I don’t want to have to cook dinner,” than it is for me to beam him the signals, “Cook dinner when you get home.” Believe it or not, I used to do that. And then I’d get home and yell “Why didn’t you cook dinner! I’m exhausted, I have to work tonight!” It turns out, he’s not psychic. And I’m guessing that your significant other is not psychic either. Also, be sure you’re asking the person for help who has the knowledge and skills to be able to help. Say there’s a glitch with one of my online platforms, and I complain to my husband that it’s not working, I can’t figure it out, and I need help fixing it. It does not do him or me any good. What is much more effective is for me to email my assistant, and say “Hey, we’re having this glitch, can you fix this or if not, can you submit a support ticket for me.” That’s really helpful. If you don’t have an assistant, chances are you might have a tech savvy friend or colleague you can ask, or that there’s a helpdesk or tech support email you can use.

4. Have a support circle of other moms who have businesses who get it. Moms in general need a support circle. Moms who have businesses in particular, need a support circle, because when you have a business and you have kids too, it’s very different from when you have a business and you don’t have kids or when you have kids but you don’t have a business. The challenges that you experience are specific and unique. Having friends who get it, and also having mentors who get that, is really helpful. I have a couple of really close mompreneur friends that have very similar challenges that, if we’re feeling frustrated and we just want to vent, we can vent to each other because we get it.

Clutter5. Choose your battles. It is really hard to kind of keep our supermompreneur cape on all the time. And there are things that are really important to us that don’t always get done because we all have the same amount of hours in a day, and sometimes things come up and things get pushed to the next day. You have to decide what’s most important to you in your business and in your home, and not feel bad about the other stuff. I’m not a great housekeeper. I’m not going to say I’m a slob, although my husband probably would, but I prioritize my kids’ ballet schedule, their schooling, my businesses, my self-care and healthy food. We catch up with chores on the weekends, but during the week, we have clutter on the surfaces, the floors don’t get swept most of the time. There are dishes in the sink, there are heaps of laundry on the couch. I’ve tried all the tips, the apps, and read the books. I even worked with a professional de-clutterer. It just doesn’t work for us all the time and I’m done feeling bad about it, because you know what? My kids are awesome, they’re successful at school and at ballet, and they are kind young girls who love themselves. My businesses are awesome and are growing steadily. And if that means my house is not always spick and span, I’ll take it. Choose your battles, and be OK with whatever you choose to let slide.

If you’re a work-from-home mom, I’d love to hear from you!

How do you get it all done? How do you keep your sanity? Please share in the comments below what your best tips are, and what your absolute negotiables and non-negotiables are.

Like I said in the the video above, if you’re a mom, you’re already awesome and I applaud you. And if you’re a mom who has a business, you didn’t choose the easiest path, but I can tell you that you chose a pretty darn good one. It’s a really rewarding path and it’s something that is yours that you can pass on to your kids, and that is something that I’m really grateful for.

If you want to learn more about what it takes to have a skincare business, please click HERE to take my free Skincare Business Crash Course! 

And if you are interested in becoming a skincare entrepreneur, or want to grow your existing skincare business, and you know you’re ready to commit, I am ready to teach you. Click HERE to learn more about my online course, Create Your Skincare Professional Edition.

*Calendar image credit: Udi H Bauman. Clutter image credit: Chris Tolworthy.

 

Ode to the Multi-passionate Entrepreneur

Ode to the Multi-passionate Entrepreneur

Are you a Jack (or Jane) of all trades? Or what’s now often referred to as a “multi-passionate” person or multi-passionate entrepreneur? That’s me too, and for a long time, I thought it was a bad thing. So many people (parents, teachers, successful friends) asked me why I can’t just focus on one thing? Why do I need to explore more interests, earn more certifications, pivot in my business when I can just focus on doing one thing really well and make a ton of money? First of all, that’s not necessarily realistic–but second of all, it’s just not my nature. And if you’re reading this, I’m guessing it’s not in your nature too. So today I want to celebrate us multi-passionate entrepreneurs and people, because what I’ve come to figure out is that there are a LOT of good things about being like us.

If you are a multi-passionate entrepreneur, I’m sure you can attest to this: when someone asks you “What do you do?” It’s really hard to give a simple answer.

When I was in both nutrition school, and when I studied marketing, branding, and even PR later on, I was asked to give my “elevator pitch,” which is typically an introductory statement that is typically given in one minute or less, to tell people what I do. And like many other people, I was really tripped up with that, because it’s not easy to say everything that I do. I can’t exactly say “I’m an author, blogger, holistic skincare entrepreneur, skincare formulator, skincare educator, herbalist, Reiki practitioner, health coach, aesthetician, metaphysical minister, qi gong practitioner, speaker, mentor, intuitive, skincare business and marketing coach, copywriter, editor, and curriculum developer.” Not if I want the conversation to continue beyond “What?” or “Oh, that’s nice” (with a glazed over gaze).

I was able, years and years later, able to narrow it down to holistic skincare entrepreneur. OK fine, sometimes I get a little more descriptive, and I say holistic skincare coach, educator, formulator, and author. Those are all different descriptors of what I do. But really, my main thing is holistic and integrative skincare, and I run two businesses that serve people in that world.

But my multi-passionate entrepreneur self didn’t want to be pigeonholed.

Luckily, In that holistic skincare realm–which of course is part of the beauty, wellness, and health health industries–there are all sorts of different offshoots in which holistic skincare can spring into, which is a really good thing, because multi-passionate entrepreneurs tend to get bored easily! If this is you, you know what I mean.

Now, there are certainly some entrepreneurs who find their one thing, and they love that thing enough that they make a whole lifelong career out of it. And that is amazing if that’s you. That’s just not me.

Skincare is my thing now, and it probably always will be my main thing, because I keep coming back to it. That’s how I know that the way I’m meant to deliver my life’s purpose in this world. Whatever that “big plan” is, it’s through skincare. I just had to figure out what within skincare I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it.

And before I got to this point, I was one of those people who took a really long time to figure out what I wanted to do when I grew up. And I hear this from a lot of people who have their own businesses now as well. So I’m just going to tell you a little bit about how I got here.

But before I do that, I wanted to tell you that I now offer a free class called Skincare Business Crash Course. If your multi-passionate entrepreneurial spirit has an inkling of desire for starting a skincare business, or if you already have a business in the skincare world, and you want to see what else you can do with that that might include custom formulation, or having your own signature skincare brand, I can help you with that. Register HERE.

Back to the story of how I became a multi-passionate entrepreneur.

I want you to know that if you are a multi-passionate entrepreneur, it’s great. You’re perfect just the way you are. You don’t have to only focus on one thing, and feel like you’ll never be able to experience all of these amazing other things that you’re interested in and you’re passionate about in your life.

It’s really OK to have a lot of things that you love doing; but the biggest pitfall that I’ve seen, that I’ve observed from other multi-passionate entrepreneurs in my life, both friends and family members, as well as some things that I experienced in the earlier stages of my business, is that it can be a little bit distracting. When you find yourself getting bored with one thing and then moving on to another thing, you spread yourself really thin. It might seem like a lot gets done, but it doesn’t always get done effectively, well, efficiently, or cost effectively.

I tell the whole story of some of the challenges I experienced as a multi passionate person in this video:

Click HERE for a list of things I wish I knew before I started my businesses.

The moral of the story is that I found ways to infuse all of my loves–all of my passions–into my two businesses. They don’t always show up in the same ways, and I am sensitive to the fact that people come to me from diverse backgrounds–but I feel that as women, connecting with the Divine creatrix within is something that is so needed in today’s white male-dominated world.

Being a multi-passionate entrepreneur has helped me create a beautiful life.

Both my businesses are doing very well. And, I’m a mom. I have two girls who are amazing. They’re 13 and 10, and they’re ballet dancers, and one of them I actually homeschool. I actually am able to make time for all of that. I have time for these incredible growing businesses, which are like two other children in my life. But I also have time to be a very present mom for both my kids. I have time to be a very present wife for my husband. I have time for my pets and for my volunteer work. And I also do ballet myself, and I have time for that. I make time for it.

I think that being a multi-passionate entrepreneur is fantastic, because it makes you really good at multi-tasking. It makes you really good at coming up with quick solutions, and making strong connections that might not makes sense to everyone. But when you draw from different strengths that you’ve accumulated through all of these interests, and you’re able to unite them, it makes your thing really special and unique. And it makes you able to offer something that other people just can’t, because it is uniquely yours.

So if you are a multi-passionate entrepreneur, pat yourself on the back. Hug yourself. Because you’re awesome.

You have all of these incredible, incredible strengths and talents and interests and messages that you’re just dying to share with the world. And they’ve been sent to you for a reason. You’re the one who’s meant to deliver them.

But what I want to encourage you to do, instead of getting a little bit distracted and jumping around and having that butterfly shiny object syndrome, instead of just hopping from one thing to the next to the next to the next, see how you can connect them. See how you can make them a logical path. And see how all of these things can be your toolbox.

Are you a multi-passionate entrepreneur too?

I’d LOVE to know how you nurture all of your interests and how they enrich your business. If it’s something you find challenging, I’d love to hear about that too. Please share in the comments below!

 

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