Forest Bathing: More Than a Walk in the Woods

blog image-smallHappy New Year! I am recently back from the most beautiful New Year’s Eve wedding on a cliff in Malibu, California. Pure magic and completely inspiring. It set the tone for 2016. Reflecting on all of the festivities of the holiday season in California, my mind sojourns to holidays spent in Sweden, where amidst crackling fires and candle light, I always make time for a walk in the forest. I love long walks in winter – the sounds of snow crunching, the crisp air and light peeking through towering birches and pine is simply spectacular.

And confirmed healthy!

Early last year, I was delighted to see “forest bathing” cited as a top wellness trend by SpaFinder Wellness 365.

The term forest bathing or “Shinrin Yoku,” which literally means “taking in the forest,” was coined in 1982 in Japan, where it has become a recognized stress management activity. As described by SpaFinder, forest bathing “revolves around a deceptively simply practice: quietly walking and exploring, with a mind deliberately intent on – and all senses keenly open to – every sound, scent, color and ‘feel’ of the forest.”

Yet, more than a walk in the woods, it is packed with benefits backed by scientific evidence. Multi-million dollar, decade-long research by the Japanese government found that, more than city walking, forest bathing reduces:

* heart rate by 5.8%

* blood pressure by 1.4%

* cortisol levels by 12.4%

* sympathetic nerve activity by 7%

Most significantly, findings reveal that exposure to phytoncides – the airborne, aromatic oils emitted by trees – has a long-lasting impact on the immune system.

The SpaFinder report continues to say that urbanization is fueling the trend by “putting nature and simplicity at a higher premium.” The “prescribing of nature” by the medical community has had a similar effect. In the United States, Dr. Robert Zarr, founder of Park RX and considered the pioneer of ‘prescribing nature’ – has written hundreds of prescriptions since 2013 for people with conditions like asthma and obesity to get out and move in nature.

Spas worldwide are also taking note, introducing forest bathing programs as the next generation guided walk and combining spa services with forest therapy. Kerstin, always close to nature and with great respect for Sweden’s indigenous Sami people, introduced a nature-based therapy years ago. Sami Zen, which debuted in Sweden in 2005, includes a gentle exfoliation, herbal bath and Sami Zen massage in a “kota” (traditionally, an indigenous tent made from natural materials) all choreographed to mesmerizing joik music, which some have described as being similar to Native American chanting.

I, perhaps like many of you, have always found solace in nature. And especially in walking in the forest. Although I was unable to make it back to Sweden this winter season for a forest walk or Sami Zen treatment, I am finding gentle ways to bring the forest into my coastal California life.

I have a simple Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Oil Diffuser by Now Solutions which emits a faint essence into any room. It is small but does the trick. I love changing the oils to match the seasons – Douglas Fir and Ravensara during winter, and lighter essences like Bergamot and Rosewood Leaf during spring and summer.

I also take time out often to nourish winter-cracked feet with our Kerstin Florian Fuß Balm, a woodsy blend of menthol, rosemary, pine and lavender.

An early riser by nature, one of my favorite times is sunrise. I start every day with meditation and then enjoy the fireplace in my kitchen with a cup of tea as I sort my thoughts for the day.

Being attuned to nature regardless of our surroundings and experiencing it through as many senses as possible is at the heart of forest bathing and its many benefits. What a wonderful ‘trend’ to see gain momentum.

May this year bring you joy, health, love and continued self-discovery, the greatest blessings we can all ask for.

Love,
Charlene

Posted in Charlene Florian's Blog

ONCE UPON A DECEMBER

There’s something about December. Something magical. Beautiful. Connective. Something that, amidst the chaos and pressure of the holidays (to consume, indulge, arrange, prepare), brings us back to ourselves, our family and our surroundings.

In the most of beautiful ways.

We decorated the house and tree early this year. We placed the star on the tree with gratitude and wishes for a joyful and healthy season. We cherish our Swedish and American family traditions.

From Sweden, I love the December 13 tradition of Santa Lucia, marked by the eldest daughter in the family wearing a white dress, red waist sash and crown of candles on her head, followed by siblings in white dresses with tinsel, bearing traditional breakfast bread to the family early in the morning (now more at parties and in the gorgeous old churches in Sweden). The crown is a wreath made of lingonberry branches, an evergreen, symbolizing new life in winter. In Sweden, we celebrate on Christmas Eve with glogg, a traditional mulled red wine with spices, a traditional dinner of cured salmon, lingonberries, herring, meatballs, cured cucumbers and an array of potato and vegetable dishes. Santa shows up after dinner with a lantern and big red bag of gifts for the children.

From my native California, Santa may be dressed in board shorts with a surfboard under his arm (a small exaggeration), but still bears the gifts and good will of the season. I love the briskness of winter and the solitude and peacefulness of an early-morning holiday walk on the beach.

Other traditions observed around the globe are equally special, beautiful, intimate and connective:

Beauty: Oaxaca Mexico celebrates the fiesta for the Virgin de la Soledad, patron saint of Oaxaca, with beauty and vibrant colors of the season – and splashes of red-and-white radishes artfully carved into nativity scenes, conquistadors and dancers. The fiesta signals the beginning of the Navidad festivities. On December 23, the annual Noche de los Rabanos takes place. This is a very festive time when booths are set up along the length and breadth of the zocalo, or town square. The focal point of each booth is an exhibit of these hand-carved, giant radishes. There are also colorfully-decorated floats, music, traditional dancing, and piñata prizes. The crowning glory of this fiesta is a mammoth fireworks display.

Warmth: I love the tradition of the Weihnachtsmarkt in Germany, a Christmas market that offers traditional delights for the senses, wooden ornaments, food, paper stars whose textures invite touch. Aromas of gluhwein spiced mulled wine and gingerbread fill the air as you wander through the finger-tingling cold streets, wrapped in your warmest gear soaking up the festive atmosphere.

Light: Oil lamps carry the light of the season in India where, those observing Christian holidays, decorate banana or mango trees, place red flowers (typically poinsettias) in their homes and give to charity in lieu of exchanging gifts. And in Israel and Jewish communities worldwide, the candle-bearing menorah heralds Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights.

Intimacy: From the birthplace of our moor mud – Hungary – a traditional Christmas is celebrated only with immediate family – no traveling about. Christmas trees are decorated by adults (on the eve of December 24) as a surprise for the children who believe angels brought the tree.

Connection: France, quite fittingly, celebrates the season in high fashion. Friends and families gather on December 24 to enjoy a multi-course dinner featuring fresh oysters, fish, poultry, meat, cheese and dessert, served with wine and champagne. Guests dress to the nines and the best silver, china and crystal is brought out. Connecting hearts, which this year, especially in Paris, is so very needed.

There are so many more beautiful and sacred holiday traditions. Whatever your personal observances, whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, all of us at Kerstin Florian International wish you a joyous and light-filled festive season. And the happiest New Year.

With Love,
Charlene

Posted in Charlene Florian's Blog

In Gratitude and Thanksgiving

November – despite its characteristic gray skies and bare trees in many parts of the United States – has always held a special place in my heart. It’s a month of gratitude, inner reflection, and thanksgiving – officially marked by the gathering of families and friends to feast and pay homage to the bounty in our lives.

Having grown up with both Scandinavian (via my mother) and American (my father) traditions, I’ve always loved the ceremony and circumstance of Thanksgiving. This year, it bears special significance – on a global level as we send our deepest love and support to our friends in Paris, and within our own family as we deal with some health challenges. It is in times like these that our gratitude is the strongest because we still have so many blessings for which to be grateful. We all face challenges. They are part of life. It’s our attitude that helps us determine how we face them. And the relationships that surround us that help us through. I am beyond blessed in all of these ways.

But giving thanks and living mindfully and with purpose is not a one-day affair. Rather, it is a lifestyle to be embraced every day, every season.

This is a beautiful time to:

  • Stop and smell the roses. Literally stop. Breathe. Take in the fragrance, the beauty, the gorgeousness and miraculousness of a rose (or lily or hibiscus) blooming. I am moving into a new house this month with the most spectacular view. Taking a moment to look at and appreciate it when I wake up warms my heart and makes me smile.
  • Walk in nature. For me, that means taking time to get outside, walk the beach, breathe in the sea air. And when I’m traveling, to step outside and immerse myself in nature – wherever that may be: a lonely country road; a wooded path; a walk through city streets – taking in the crowds, the noises, the smells.
  • Breathe deeply and meditate. As a longtime yogi, I have, over the years, become in tune with my breath. I have also recently learned the famed Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique which I now practice for 20 minutes twice a day. It is a completely effective and substantiated technique for inner peace and wellness, and profound rest and relaxation. TM is backed by 380 peer-reviewed research studies published in more than 160 scientific journals conducted at more than 200 universities and research centers including Harvard, Stanford, Yale and UCLA (my alma mater).
  • Write it down. Keep a ‘gratitude journal.’ Every day, carve time to list five items for which you’re grateful and record them in a book. Some days, the pen may flow easily and the list expands. Other days, five may seem too huge an effort. But do it anyway. And look back at them periodically. As your heart opens, and gratitude flows, more blessings will find their way to you.
  • Practice self-care. Rid yourself of the notion that it’s selfish to have a spa treatment, to get your nails done or to join a yoga class or gym. Take time to nurture, nourish and care for your body. One of my personal favorite and most replenishing rituals includes a bath with Kerstin Florian Mineral Wellness Soak after exfoliating with Turkish Body Scrub, followed by an application of our aromatic Organic Ginger Bath & Body Oil. Home spa rituals can be powerful and renewing.
  • Follow your bliss. Nurture a hobby or interest. Follow a passion. Learn to say no – just because you’re invited to the party, doesn’t mean you must go. Listen to your inner voice. And trust…

As author Elizabeth Gilbert so eloquently writes: “To sit patiently with a yearning that has not yet been fulfilled, and to trust that fulfillment will come, is quite possibly one of the most powerful ‘magic skills’ that human beings are capable of.”

Indeed.

In wellness and gratitude, Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

Love,
Charlene

Posted in Charlene Florian's Blog

Acne, Not Just For Teens

The scenario is all too familiar. A young, 20-,30-, even 40- something-woman – starting out in her career, marriage, motherhood role – experiences breakouts. Her skin hasn’t been this congested since she was a teen. Or maybe ever. And she’s perplexed.

Adult acne is different than the T-zone flair-ups traditionally experienced during the teen years. Most often it is linked to ‘adult’ indicators such as high-stress, inflammation, hormonal imbalances (i.e. a drop in estrogen levels) as well as environmental and dietary factors.

A 2012 study, published in the Journal of Women’s Health, reported that 27% of adults had clinical acne, while an additional 29% experienced mild acne.

Tips for healthy-looking, clear skin:

Wash Your Face Daily: Use a gentle, sensitive-skin cleanser morning and night like Clarifying Oil-Control Cleanser.

Moisturize Daily: After gently washing your face, apply Clarifying Oil-Control Serum and a light water-based moisturizer like Clarifying Daily Hydrator for normal, combination and sensitive skin or Mattifying Hydrator for oily, problematic skin. The right facial oil can be the perfect healing treatment. Our USDA Organic Certified Clarifying Lavender Oil is an effective anti-bacterial, and sebum-regulating oil. And if you are on-the-go a lot, our Balanced + Bright Oily Skin Solutions kit might become your next favorite travel companion! It features travel-ready sizes of cleanser, toner, scrub and moisturizer.

Meditate: Take 20 minutes a day to meditate or sit quietly and focus on your breath. There are at least 600 research studies published by over 200 universities in 30 countries that confirm transcendental meditation as a scientifically validated approach to reduce anxiety, stress reduction and disease. Reaching a state of deep relaxation helps keep cortisol levels and breakouts under control while quieting the mind and body.

Disinfect Your Cell Phone: Try keeping it away from your jaw line to avoid chin breakouts too.

Work Out: Exercise is essential to stimulate circulation and help to manage stress which is an important part of a healthy skin program.

Drink lots of pure spring water and enjoy a diet rich in detoxifying greens and green juices.

Keep a Food Diary: Pay attention to foods that may worsen acne such as coffee, dairy, bread, salty foods, sugar and alcohol to name a few. Keep a food diary and when breakouts occur, look back a few days prior to see what may have contributed to the irritation.

Supplement your skin’s needs with essential nutrients like zinc, probiotics, magnesium and essential fatty acids.

Clear skin is definitely possible through all stages of life. Healthy lifestyle shifts and consistent habits are simple, yet important daily practices to embrace.

Love,
Charlene

Posted in Charlene Florian's Blog

Staying Hydrated – Inside And Out

Years ago, a dear friend of mine, an actor, revealed his formula for hydration. Working long hours, under bright stage lights, he learned early in his career to hydrate – drink lots and lots of water. It’s a ritual all of us, regardless of our profession, should do.

Our body is comprised two-thirds of water. But we lose water daily through breath, perspiration and elimination. With it, we also lose essential salts and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, sodium and calcium. Unlike a plant or flower, the skin does not immediately ‘perk up’ upon receiving water. Rather, the process of hydration must be ongoing and consistent. A good rule of thumb is to drink water often and throughout the day. Bring a reusable bottle with you everywhere – to work, school – drinking half your body weight (in ounces) per day. Opt always for pure spring or filtered water.

Along with drinking water, other aids to hydration include:

Eating Hydrating Foods: a number of water-rich foods beautifully hydrate the skin. Among them: Cucumbers and avocados, a great source of Vitamins C and E; fish (salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, anchovies and rainbow trout) high in omega-3 fats; yellow and orange vegetables, containing carotene and vitamins A and C; water-dense fruits (cantaloupe, mango, oranges, grapefruit, raspberries, blueberries, watermelon and pineapple) also high in Vitamin A and C; nuts and seeds; spinach and dark-leafy greens, packed with iron and omegas; and olive oil, chock-full of Vitamin E. 

Hydrating With IV Therapy: One trend to watch in modern hydration and nourishment are spa-like IV therapy centers like The Hydration Room in Orange County, California, founded by Drs. Bales and Florie. Recognizing that patients in Southern California are in a “state of chronic dehydration,” the physicians made it their mission to have patients experience a true balanced state of hydration through IV therapy. And show their patients how to properly and effectively integrate an oral hydration regimen into their daily life. Guests use the facility to access IVs that address the onset of a cold or flu, intense fitness or athletic performance, migraines, malabsorption diseases, cancer or chronic immune related diseases. Staying adequately hydrated is the key to health. Centers like this are becoming more common in major US urban cities.

Misting: pair your water intake with a refreshing mist of Neroli or Rose water to keep face cool and hydrated throughout the day.

Starting Your Day Differently:  swap out your morning latte for green tea, high in antioxidants to help keep skin hydrated. The polyphenol and catechin levels of green tea prevent oxidative stress, and have been associated with an increased metabolism and more efficient fat burning, which can potentially lead to weight loss.

Dehumidifying at Night: run a humidifier to moisturize the air in your bedroom.

Moisturizing Topically: skin is the largest organ in the body and due to its porous nature effectively absorbs water. Applying water-rich gels and lotions is an essential supplement to drinking water. One of my personal favorites is our Kerstin Florian Rehydrating Algae Gel Masque, formulated with helichrysum, algae extracts, rich in Vitamins A and E and minerals to nourish the skin.  I use it during the warmer months once a week when I’ve spent time outdoors or when I need a moisture boost.

Because staying hydrated is a life-long (and year-round) practice for good health.

Love,
Charlene

Posted in Charlene Florian's Blog

Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Staying Healthy on the Road

With the color-burst of 4th of July fireworks over the East River (New York), San Francisco Bay (California) and every small Americana town in-between, summer here is officially underway. And with it, vacation season – which doesn’t have to mean unhealthy indulgences. Whether traveling by plane or train; checking into a five-star hotel or the cot in grandma’s spare attic room, there are ways to keep your mind, skin, body and spirit healthy while on the road.

Some of my favorite travel must-bring, must-do, wellness-on-the-road tips:

At the Lake or Beach House: stock your kitchen with fresh produce and super food ingredients (explore the local farm stands and markets). And bring along your smoothie blender. Nourish yourself with your healthful blends, and maybe even turn your housemates on to green living. If you’re a morning person, rise early in the a.m. to watch the sunrise over the water. Practice yoga in the morning (or dusk) light, go for a jog, kayak, stand up paddleboard, or take a long walk in nature. Be sure to apply sunscreen throughout the day and shield face with a hat and sunglasses. Skip the hair dryer and curling/flat irons and allow your hair to cool-dry naturally in the breeze.

In the Air: While many airlines are working to well-up their menus, plane food is still just that – plane food. Carry on your own healthy snacks: fruit, nuts or dried snacks. Buy water at the airport and drink, drink, drink inflight. Keep your shoes on, or change into a pair of thick, cushy slipper-socks, those plane floors can be nasty. Massage your calves every so often to help the blood circulate. Use the flight to relax – plug into your favorite soothing music, book a window seat and watch the clouds. Dab on one of my personal favorites, Kerstin Florian Calm Mind, a blend of lavender and peppermint oils, to temples and sinus points. Or rub a few drops in palms and slowly inhale.

On the Train: Rail travel is one of my favorite modes of transportation – a throwback to a gentler, more romantic era, and I find, a perfect way to go inward. Seek out the “Quiet Car” – which is completely conversation (and cell-phone) free. Use your time there to digitally detox from your own phone. Read that book you’ve been longing to read. Close your eyes and meditate into sleep. Or better yet, keep eyes open and savor the scenery.

In the Hotel Room or Grandma’s Attic Room: Whether checking into a five-star room, or the guest room of a friend or family member, make the room your own. Set up your night-table with familiar items: a small photo of your children, spouse or partner; bring your favorite travel-sized candle and light it upon arrival to infuse a scent of ‘home’ spread out your yoga mat and stretch. And unpack your bathroom with your very own favorite, travel-size products – cleansers, mists, face and body moisturizers. Including our very own Kerstin Florian products.

I’m thrilled to announce that for this summer-vacation season, we are offering three carry-on ready, TSA-approved travel kits to take with you to your favorite destination:

The Beachcomber: containing our Kerstin Florian Multi-Vitamin Day Crème SPF 30, Rehydrating Neroli Water, Sun Protection SPF 30, Lip Balm SPF 15, Hyaluronic Serum sachet and Brightening Eye Crème sachet.

The Jetsetter: featuring Rejuvenating Cleansing Gel, Rehydrating Neroli Water, Rejuvenating 24-Hour Moisture Crème, Fuß Balm, Hyaluronic Serum sachet and Brightening Eye Crème sachet.

The Weekender: with Rehydrating Cleansing Milk, Rehydrating Neroli Water, Multi-Vitamin Day Crème SPF 30, Hyaluronic Serum sachet and Brightening Eye Crème sachet.

All three travel kits arrive in a clear zippered sand and water-resistant travel bag and include a smoothie recipe card.

Happy summer and happy travels!

Love,
Charlene

Posted in Charlene Florian's Blog

Say Yes to Wellness

The excitement of summer is in the air at Kerstin Florian headquarters. That’s because of the energy, enthusiasm, and ‘magic’ we feel as we’ve been counting down to Global Wellness Day, June 13, 2015, a social movement without any commercial purpose that was started by my beautiful Turkish friend, Belgin Aksoy.

Global Wellness Day was first celebrated only three short years ago, in Turkey – under the premises that something so important as our wellbeing deserved its own special day. We are thrilled that this year, more than 50 countries around the world will be sharing the mission of wellness – stopping, pausing, reflecting – for this one day – to ask the poignant question: “How can I live a healthier and better life?”

True change, of course, begins on a small scale, and with little steps. Global Wellness Day has identified seven easy steps – that will make a huge impact on lives. And we’ve added a few of our favorite Kerstin Florian wellness tips to the mix.

Walk one hour per day – rise early before work to start your day; walk during a lunch break; or after work in the evening, walk just to walk and clear your head. Also for quick errands – to the grocer, bank – try walking instead of driving.

Drink more water – a great rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight (in ounces) per day of the purest water you can. Spring water in glass is best. If you don’t filter your water, your body will have to.

Avoid plastic bottles – which pollute our earth and destroy our oceans. Invest instead in a large, reusable container that can easily be refilled while on the go.

Eat organic, locally-sourced produce – to ensure you’re getting enough fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet, invest in a high-speed blender like a Vitamix, to make green (veggie) and fruit smoothies.

Do a good deed – practice the art of kindness, even when you don’t feel like it. Hold the door open for a stranger, smile, pay it forward.

Eat a family dinner – make a point to sit down, as a family to eat dinner, converse, share your day.

Go to bed at 10 p.m. – getting our ‘beauty rest’ is important. We call it vitamin S.

Have a spa treatment – beyond the aesthetically pleasing experience of spa, treatments (massage, body wraps, facials, steam-sauna) help to release an important hormone called oxytocin which helps us feel loved, connected and blissful.

Take care of your skin – our body’s largest organ. For the face, start with an easy skincare regimen of cleanse, tone, moisturize, morning and night with gentle exfoliation once a week.

Express gratitude – say thank you to the people in your life; soak in the beauty of the nature that surrounds you. Try keeping a gratitude journal, at end of the day just before bed (or whatever works best for you), take a moment to write down all that you’re grateful for. Grow your relationship with your inner self and your spirituality through meditation and prayer. And always do your best at everything you do (read Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz).

Certainly on my gratitude list for June 13 is this worldwide Global Wellness effort. The Kerstin Florian Team will be at a private wellness event taking place at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. Its purpose is to promote a truly obtainable wellness-loving lifestyle around the world. I couldn’t be more excited and humbled at the same time.

Love,
Charlene

Posted in Charlene Florian's Blog

Celebrating Earth Day

Thank you Earth for our home, for the wide sky and the blessed sun, for the oceans and streams, for the hills, mountains and whispering wind, for the flowers, trees and green grass. Thank you for Earth Day.

April 22nd marks the 45th anniversary of Earth Day around the world. More than one billion people will participate in activities this week, making it the largest civic observance in the world.

For me, Earth Day is one of the most important days of the year — reminding us that we live on a beautiful planet that requires our constant respect, love and attention. Earth Day gives us the opportunity to re-evaluate our relationship to ourselves, to others, our health, to the planet and how we live our lives. It’s a day of celebration and contemplation — and, unlike many special days, does not require any prep work. In fact, Earth Day is very simple to observe.

A few ways to celebrate:

  1. Connect to Earth: It’s spring time in the northern hemisphere and flowers are in full bloom. If the weather allows, toss off your shoes and get connected to the earth.. I try to make this a regular practice but admittedly can go several days in between. I live at the beach where it is natural to take walks barefoot. ‘Earthing’ as it is called has so many health benefits substantiated by research.
  2. Teach a Child: The greatest gift we can give to the planet is to teach sustainability and respect for Mother Nature to the next generation. Teach a child that every day is Earth Day.
  3. Eat Organic and Green: Imagine the possibilities if one billion people had this blessing?
  4. Visualize Perfect Harmony: Close your eyes and visualize earth in perfect harmony and balance.
  5. Set a Goal: Make one goal to improve sustainability in your life — like finally switching to sustainable household cleaners, carrying a (non-plastic) water bottle with you, or bringing reusable bags to the market.

I will be observing Earth Day with special friends. We will spend it in contemplation, doing yoga, enjoying nature hikes and beach walks. Water conservation is a big topic for us in California so both personally and at the corporate office, we will be implementing new ways to reduce our water consumption.

And as we take daily mindful steps today, we are excited to announce that Healing Lifestyles & Spas honored two of our products with a 2015 Earth Day Award.

Correcting Eye Rescue — Best Eye Treatment
Correcting Brightening Body Scrub — Best Body Scrub

These are two of my favorite new products and we are thrilled to have them recognized for their natural benefits.

Correcting Eye Rescue, based on pure concentrated laminaria algae (rich in amino acids, essential energizing minerals and trace elements) has clinically proven results for instantly younger looking eyes. This all-natural eye treatment provides an intensive energy boost to lift, plump and smooth the skin. It helps to stimulate collagen production. Clinical studies have proven it to: reduce wrinkle depth (by 27%); increase hydration and plumping (by 60%), reduce wrinkles (by 70%), smooth skin (by 80%) and revitalize the skin (by 85%).

Correcting Brightening Body Scrub actively retextures the skin, achieving a brighter, smoother appearance and skin tone. Exfoliating bamboo, jojoba beadlets and stimulating fruit enzymes polish and refine, while rich emollients hydrate and protect. This uplifting scrub invigorates, illuminates and softens the skin.

In honor of this special celebration, we are offering a one-day promotion: 20% off all Kerstin Florian products on www.kerstinflorian.com (promo code KF20).

Enjoy this day of celebration and join us to take a moment, pause, reflect and give thanks to this beautiful planet on which we live.

Love,
Charlene

Posted in Charlene Florian's Blog

Peace, joy and time to “be”

The holidays are here. Last week our Kerstin Florian team gathered for our annual holiday luncheon at Fig and Olive in Newport Beach – an artisan restaurant exuding the natural essence of the Mediterranean, a fitting place to set the tone for the New Year.

Bright and natural is our theme for 2015 – a time of healthy beauty and vitality, eating organic foods, practicing yoga, seeking more natural energy sources, rejuvenating physically and spiritually, and fueling our positive thoughts by stopping to ask the question, “Where am I headed?” 2015 is the time to manifest our genetic blueprint through positive daily habits and loving our skin as it is. Enhanced by a great skincare regimen and healthy lifestyle, natural beauty requires little makeup.

I will be spending my holidays on a catamaran in the British Virgin Islands, diving, swimming and reconnecting to nature. I’m excited to truly feel the freedom that sailing brings as I unplug and connect to my surroundings. I am so grateful to have this opportunity just to “be” and appreciate beautiful sunsets…

I’m bringing my NutriBullet (blender) plus Superfood ingredients, (cacao, maca, hemp seeds, chia seeds and lucuma) and my favorite smoothie recipes. I will be nourishing my skin with Neroli Water and one of my all-time favorite Kerstin Florian products: Brightening Facial Treatment, a powerful blend of skin-illuminating and scientifically-proven botanicals that deeply moisturize and visibly fade dark spots. I love this product and the superpower ingredients it contains: red algae, Chinese mushroom (to reduce redness), kombucha, black tea ferment (to smooth and improve skin texture, vitamin C (increases collagen), chlorella, turmeric and the perfect sailing condiment, sea water.

Along with this facial treatment, I’ll be wearing my Multi-Vitamin Day Crème SPF 30 (of course), along with my favorite sunglasses and hat. In preparation for my make-up-free mantra, I’ve tinted my lashes, visited my local brow bar and conditioned my hair with our new Intensive Hair Repair (if you haven’t tried this yet, it’s one of my favorite products). I look forward to the feeling of letting go. Breathing in. Digitally detoxing. And ushering in the New Year, with a renewed sense of peace. We all need it. The world craves it. From peace we cultivate a space where we can create absolutely anything.

As per the famous poet, Rainer Maria Rilke, “And now we welcome the New Year. Full of things that have never been.”

Wishing you and your family peace, joy and the time to “be” this holiday season, and throughout 2015.

Love,
Charlene

Posted in Charlene Florian's Blog

Spa Treatments Help Us Feel Loved, Connected, Blissful

To experience a spa treatment is a gift. The faint aroma of beautiful essences, herbal teas, soft music, skilled therapists and the sound of bubbling water. Spa is a place to rejuvenate and recharge, a place to nourish the skin and soul. But the benefits of spa treatments go beyond just nourishment and muscle relief. Spa treatments help to release an important hormone called oxytocin which helps us to feel loved, connected and blissful.

Oxytocin is a hormone consisting of nine amino acids, made in the hypothalamus portion of the brain. These amino acids are then transported to and secreted by the pituitary gland located at the base of the brain. Oxytocin acts as a hormone and as a brain neurotransmitter—it is really important to our overall happiness and sense of wellbeing.

During my time in Sweden this summer, Kerstin and I had the opportunity to meet Kerstin Uvnas Moberg, M.D., Ph.D., a world-renowned authority on oxytocin. Her research takes place at the famed Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, and at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, where she is a professor of Physiology. She is the author of more than 400 scientific papers and books—including The Oxytocin Factor, which I am just finishing.

Dr. Moberg is a firm believer that oxytocin—released during a spa experience—is responsible for a series of benefits that go beyond relaxation, increased circulation and detoxification. So, next time you receive a spa treatment or massage, consider these added benefits:

  1. Increased self esteem
  2. Faster healing (anti-inflammatory properties help to heal wounds)
  3. Pain relief
  4. Antidepressant—you will feel blissful
  5. Improved digestion
  6. Reduced anxiety
  7. Reduced stress responses
  8. Feelings of extraversion
  9. Increased ability to trust
  10. Greater psychological stability
  11. Beneficial metabolic effects

This amazing research proves again how important it is to include regular spa treatments in your lifestyle regimen.

Love,
Charlene

Posted in Charlene Florian's Blog