Skincare Tips for Air Travel

SKINCARE TIPS FOR AIR TRAVEL

Summer months are a busy time for traveling so I wanted to share a few tricks and tips on how to keep your skin radiant while in transit!

SKIN ESSENTIALS ON THE FLIGHT

The challenges of keeping the skin radiant while traveling is loss of moisture, so these are the “must-haves”, skin care tips for air travel; hydrating mist, such as a rosewater freshener or a lavender mist to replenish moisture throughout the flight, a hydrating facial cream or facial oil, non petroleum based lip balm, and if you have extra space an eye gel to de-puff the eyes and keep those crows feet away. On longer flights you will want to reapply half way through the flight.

COMBAT DRYNESS IN HOTELS

If you are staying in hotels, I recommend bringing a hydrating mask or an extra rich cream to leave on your skin overnight as this will help rebalance dehydration from the flight and leave your skin refreshed when you wake up in the morning.

WEAR SUN-BLOCK ON THE PLANE

Also, it is a good precaution to wear sun block if you travel on airplanes during daytime; due to higher altitudes you are subjected to higher than normal exposure from the sun, and UV rays can penetrate an airplane’s windows causing damage and dehydration to the skin. If you travel frequently this is very important in order to prevent permanent sun-damage and skin discoloration.

HYDRATE WITH WATER & TEA

Drinking plenty of water is a beauty must of course! Before, during and after the flight. My rule of thumb in general is for every glass of wine or caffeinated drink, have a glass of water; this helps to keep you hydrated. I personally like bringing a variety of herbal teas for the flight as well as that seems to do the trick!

My skin care essentials for traveling

My skin care essentials for air travel; Gunilla Skin Alchemy Clean Face Bar, Balance Face Oil, Hydrate Face oil, Calm Body Oil, Tom Ford Sunglasses

Bon voyage!

 

 

 

 

 

IS YOUR SKIN UNDER STRESS?

Is your skin under stress?

Adult acne, clogged pores, inflammation, pimples, … argh! Kind of makes you want to scream; and is sure to cause mild anxiety for anyone who cares about their complexion. Diagnostics is key when it comes to successfully treating your acne. Is it hormonal? Is it an inflammatory reaction? Does it arise from stress?

Stressed skin_acne

With any imbalances occurring with your skin, one thing is for sure, stress is going to make it worse! Stress causes sebaceous glands to pump out more oil that bacteria thrives on, this in turn leads to clogging and inflammation of the hair follicle, in effect causing a zit.

It is tempting to want to punish your skin and poke and squeeze it, but instead of picking your skin and spreading more bacteria, it is better to consider making a few lifestyle changes and find the right skincare solution that works for you.

There are four things to keep in mind when dealing with stressed out and acneic skin; cleansing, exfoliation, treatment, hydration.

First it is important to understand what is going on with your skin. Do you have oily skin and pimples or do you have inflamed acne? Is your skin sensitive or are you accidently drying out and irritating your skin? Oily skin produces more oils and can clog the pores. The white part of a pimple is a combination of oil and dead skin. Redness is caused by inflammation.

1. CLEANSING
Oily skin produces more oil so it is common for people to use harsh cleansing products to try to reduce the oil production. The opposite is in fact true, you want to be sure not to dry out the skin because otherwise, your body thinks it needs to produce more oil to compensate. So find a gentle but effective daily cleanser and focus on the exfoliation and treatment phase of the skin to target the pimples. For inflamed acne, treat the redness first with a sensitive cleanser and the acne second. The treatment phase would be the appropriate phase to target the acne.

2. EXFOLIATION
Your skin cells turnoever every 30 days and will slow down due to aging and stress. More oil means that the pores are getting more filled up and more stretched out, so it is important to exfoliate your skin in order to minimize the pores and to prevent build-up of dead skin. Exfoliate 3-5 weekly for oily skin and 1-2 times per week for more sensitive skin. Always be sure to use an exfoliator that is not abrasive and will tear your skin tissue. Enzyme treatments, peeling creams, and good quality scrubs are all good choices. Microdermabrasion facials and pore-minimizing enzyme treatments would be a great addition to your home care routine. Honey and youghurt are also great for a more gentle exfoliation of the skin. They both contain naturally occurring lactic acid which can be used to heal the skin. Honey in particular is good when treating the little white-heads underneath the skin known as milia and excellent for ingrown hairs.

3. TREATMENT
As part of your daily skincare routine you will want to add specific treatments that target the inflammation of the skin. Salicylic acid for spot treatment, benzoul peroxide for killing the bacteria and vitamin A for speeding up the cellular renewal process are all good choices but must be used sparingly. In my experience they can also dry out and irritate the skin and even cause damage over time. For a more sustainable solution, I prefer a natural alternative such as green tea compresses on acne skin. Green tea is a natural benzoul peroxide and will keep the break-outs at bay. Neat tea tree oil is excellent for killing the bacteria and drying out the pimples. Birch bark is the natural equivalence to salicylic acid which is a beta-hydroxy that helps to dissolve black heads and white heads and reduce inflammation. You can buy it as a tincture and do spot treatments on the skin. Alternatively, ground up raspberries, strawberries and tomatoes will also do the trick. If your skin is particularly irritated, try applying ground up cucumber as it will also help heal the skin and soothe the redness.

4. HYDRATION
You must hydrate even if you have oily skin. I see many clients who come in with oily dehydrated skin. A light serum, gel or oil will suffice for oilier skin types. For acne look for cleansing and antibacterial ingredients such as lavender, rosemary, green tea, and palmarosa. For irritated skin look for ingredients such as chamomile, rose, and lavender that are more soothing yet anti-bacterial in nature. If you drink, coffee, wine or green tea be sure to double up on your daily water intake so that your skin can stay hydrated and purge.

Now that you have adjusted your skincare routine it is important to see where you can improve in your lifestyle. Remember that continuous elevated stress causes higher levels of cortisol to be produced in the body, which produces inflammatory agents in the body – all bad for your skin if you tend to break out. Find a way to stay calm and incorporate relaxation and deep breathing into your life. Mindful breath lowers cortisol levels significantly allowing nervous system to be calm down and your mind and body to relax. Your skin will start improving and you will feel much better!

Have you noticed a correlation between stress and acne? If so, I would love to hear about it! Please, share in the comments below.

Also, if you liked this article please share it with your friends!

Best of Bay Area Beauty

7×7 Magazine’s Best of Bay Area Beauty!

So thrilled to be in the Best of Bay Area Beauty by 7×7 Magazine this March. It’s an honor to be in such great company and to also have a shout out to my Gunilla Skin Alchemy skincare products.

This is what they had to say about my Complete Ultra-sound Facial:

The complete ultrasonic facial at Gunilla Eisenberg’s tucked-away Cow Hollow salon utilizes ultrasound waves to help anti-aging and pigment-balancing products penetrate our skin. Eisenberg’s bedside manner is warm and jovial, making an otherwise intimidating prospect a pleasant affair. For an everyday fix, we swear by her custom line of rose-scented face oils and cleansers.

7x7 Magazine_Press_Gunilla

What a wonderful way to start March and soon to be Spring!

Fitness & Acne

Fitness_Acne_BlogDOES EXERCISE CAUSE ACNE?
What do running shoes, sunblock, and mineral foundation have to do with skincare you might ask yourself? It has to do with obtaining that clear blemish-free complexion! While working out is great for you, it can cause havoc on your skin and cause unwanted acne if you don’t watch out.

CLEANSE PRIOR TO YOUR WORKOUT
Sun-block and makeup are designed to stay on the skin and not penetrate the skin barrier so when you work out all that sweating can’t easily be excreted through the pores which causes blackheads to build up or acne. It is therefore ideal to cleanse off any make-up or sun-block prior to your work out so that you can sweat out the toxins through the skin. However, if that is not realistic for you, then be sure to take a shower and clean your skin as soon as you can after your work out to allow your skin to breathe.

WASH-CLOTH
I also recommend using a wash cloth daily as it is important for removing any leftover residue on your skin from your cleanser which can clog your pores. And of course follow with your replenishing moisturizer or face oil.

HAPPY YEAR OF THE WOODEN GOAT!

Year of the Wooden Goat!Wow! Can’t quite believe that we are here in 2015? Happy Lunar New Year! The Year of the green Wooden Goat promises to be a more gentle, harmonious, abundant and less tumultuous year than last year. I think most of us will appreciate a little calm in our lives this year!

The year of the Wooden Goat is generally considered a year of financial prosperity and power but be careful not to be too greedy, the key is to find balance. You don’t want to overwork and run yourself down! Instead it is a good time to be gentle with yourself and remove as much stress as you can from your day-to-day life. Because this year has a strong earth element to it, being out in nature is a powerful way to restore your energy, replenish and find balance. For me long restorative walks on the beach is an important weekly ritual. For you it might be hiking in the redwoods or being up in the mountains. Whatever it is just try and incorporate it into your routine, it may just provide all the relaxation that you need!

I wish you a magnificent and harmonious Year of the Wooden Goat and if you haven’t had a chance yet to start out doing all the things that you set out to do in 2015, then you still have time because todays is another fresh start!

Here is a great more in-depth read on The Year of the Wooden Goat:

May all your intentions come to fruition!

Gunilla Skin Alchemy is Featured in the Wall Street Journal!

Wall Street Journal

GUNILLA SKIN ALCHEMY IS FEATURED IN THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
I am beyond excited to share that today Gunilla Skin Alchemy is featured in the Wall Street Journal! They even included a wonderful photo of me with my products…I am kind of pinching myself right now!

LUXURY VERSUS GREEN SKINCARE
The article discusses the pros and cons of marketing products as luxury vs green and why some companies like myself choose to position ourselves more as a luxury brand. Part of my reasoning is that I believe that sustainability is a long-term plan not just a trend. Growing up in Denmark we look at business planning as something that is long-term and sustainable for the environment. I position myself as a luxury brand because I want to be able to get the highest quality ingredients available and I buy only from farmers that practice sustainable harvesting. This makes the price point of my products higher and therefore I have had to make the choice to be in the luxury segment of the market.

SUSTAINABILITY
I believe this is such an interesting topic because as a business owner I think it is so important to support companies that practice sustainability every day. For my facial business, I have always used green products for cleaning and laundry. I use recycled paper for my marketing materials and I only work with product companies who share the same philosophies. I am also happy to report that so do my clients. Each person makes a difference. Every choice we make makes a difference.

 

 

 

 

THE BALANCING ACT OF BEING A WOMAN

THE BALANCE OF BEING A WOMAN

Being a woman presents many challenges; one of the most difficult ones is to find balance. As a woman who has my own business, is a mother of two, who loves to be busy, socialize and who has an extended family living overseas; I have found that having balance in my life is the key to long-term joy and happiness.

BALANCE IS A PRIORITY

My desire to have balance has helped me throughout my life and it still does. It keeps me grounded and present! As I am witnessing many of my clients becoming mothers for the first time, I know how overwhelming it can be to manage it all at first. It is a big adjustment and something has to give.  The last couple of years after I had my daughter I had to prioritize and let go as I looked to maintain balance. I had a major website overhaul to do as I was rebranding my business, products to repackage and launch, a shop to renovate, a newborn to care for, a 7 year-old and his soccer schedule to manage, and a husband to pay attention to. And then there was grocery shopping, making healthy food choices, the desire to lose my post pregnancy weight, and lastly the always-impending-need-for-sleep. I was tired!  To make it all work, I really had to sit down and organize what my priorities were for now. This is the order I came up with.

1.  My sanity (prioritize sleep and be okay with chaos in the house)
2.  Be a mother (nurse my daughter and reschedule work for my son’s soccer games)
Family (go out of town and spend precious time with my husband & kids)
3.  Business (accept that it would take longer to rebrand, redo my website, and put my renovation plans off for later)
4.  My vanity (get back into a fitness routine when I had time and energy. Sleep was more important than running).

Your list may look entirely different than mine but shifting priorities really has made a big difference in my life when it comes to finding balance and feeling good about myself, I call it “the balancing act of being a woman.”

GETTING IT ALL DONE

Fast forward a couple of years and I am getting it all done. It took me a little longer but I am happy to say that I finished my new website, repackaged my products, updated my identity, hired a new design team, spent the summer renovating my Gunilla Skin Alchemy boutique, started working out again, played a ton with my kids, went out on a few dates with my husband, switched to a pescetarian diet and I FEEL amazing. I am full of energy and I am excited to keep going. Slowing down, prioritizing and being kind to your-self is really the key to living a balanced life!

I would love it if you would chime in on what finding balance looks like for you?

I leave you with these words of wisdom:

“Be still as a mountain, flow like a great river!” ~ Lao Tse

The Practice of Letting Go!

As I was staying up late last night contemplating what I wanted to let go of on this Full Moon, it occurred to me how important it is this practice of letting go. Only, when we let go can we make room for change and make room for greatness to enter into our lives. Perhaps we need to let go of fear, doubt, expectation or control? Whatever it is; as we let go we are more here in the NOW and we are more open to have new experiences, relationships, FEEL LOVE and experience abundance. It is a bit like clearing out the clutter in your life. You should try it sometime… I already feel lighter!

PRACTICE LETTING GO OF:
• Fear
• Doubt
• Expectation
• Control

Does stress affect your skin?

Relaxation!Can too much stress affect your skin?

I have recently been getting many clients coming in with break-outs, blemishes and various types of acne. After examining the skin and asking a lot of questions about health, diet, lifestyle and work life balance it usually becomes very apparent that stress is the underlying problem. Stress takes a big toll on our body, it compromises our immune system and if left un-attended will show up in our lives as fatigue, a sore throat, anxiety or where we might really notice it; on our skin. Because in today’s world we are so accustomed to living with low level stress all the time, we may not actually recognize that we are stressed. But your skin will tell you. I always say; ‘your skin is talking to you, so take a listen!’ Don’t get frustrated and irritated with yourself or your skin if it is acting up; instead think of what might be causing this imbalance in your system and see how you can make some small changes. When we truly feel good, we radiate health and have a glowing complexion.

WORK/LIFE BALANCE
There was an article recently on today.com that talked about how people nowadays experience stress at home even more than at the office. Whether you work or not, work is present in your home, either from your partner or from just managing home, school, work responsibilities. This is very stressful because you can never turn it off. Most of us are juggling so many responsibilities; work, kids, school, extra-curricular activities and running a house-hold. It is a daily challenge to keep it all together.

This is why it is so important to find ways to take care of ourselves and distress our minds and our bodies. When we feel good and our lives our harmonious, we look and feel radiant. So if you are experiencing acne, break-outs, or your skin is not quite glowing, it may be a good idea to think about what in your life could be a causing this? You could be eating healthy but how are you feeling? Are there any stress-factors such as consistent lack of sleep, always thinking about work, worrying about your little ones, or an over-active brain that could be the culprit? If the answer is yes, it is time to find ways to restore harmony and relaxation back into your life. You will notice that your skin will start clearing up and get that glow again.

HOW TO COUNTER-BALANCE STRESS
One of the ways that work for me to counter-balance stress is to take 5-10 minutes in the morning before everyone wakes up and tune into myself, focus on my breath, inhale and imagine myself in a relaxed, healthy state going about my day. Or in the evening before I go to bed, I take a little time in my bed or in the shower and turn inward, letting go of the day so I have a clear head before going to sleep. You will sleep better.

I also incorporate essential oils into my life daily to help me get centered and stay calm. A scent can transform your mood or your entire day. One of the things I absolutely love when I drop my daughter off at her daycare, is that there is always orange essential oils infused into the air in the morning. If I am in a rush, it immediately reminds me to stop, slow down and be in the moment. Where do I need to be in such a hurry?

Lastly, I remind myself to take a break from my phone! The virtual space that we all live in can be very unsettling. The inbox that never gets entirely cleared out, the always being available to someone, the allure of social media or searching the internet. Most of us are guilty of being attached to our smart phones but if you can get into the habit of putting it away once in a while during the day, it will have a most positive affect on your life and overall well-being.

These are just some techniques that work for me, but I encourage you to explore what works for you and do more of it. Your body, mind, brain and your skin will respond favorably. I would also love to hear if you have any different techniques that work for you?

5 Proven Ways to Naturally Prevent Wrinkles

lizard25 proven ways to naturally prevent wrinkles

Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night worrying about what you might look like 10-15 or 25 years from now?  Are you frequently asking yourself questions like: “Will those crows feet multiply? Are my wrinkles going to deepen? Are those worry lines between my eyes going to stay? If so, you are not alone!

During my 15 years as an esthetician “How do I prevent premature aging?” has probably been the biggest question that I have come across. As a person with dry skin tending towards dehydration my whole life, premature wrinkles have also been one of my greatest concerns.

You will be happy to know that there is a resounding “YES!!” to the answer: “Is there anything that I can do to slow down the process of visible aging?”  To learn more, keep reading!

My top 5 proven ways on how to prevent wrinkles naturally:

1. Always wash your face at night
Be sure to clean your skin at night. You want to clean off your makeup, sun-block and any environmental pollutants so that your skin can breathe and repair itself at night. Apply your best rejuvenating products for they will help replenish your skin while you are sleeping. Your nightly routine is so important to not overlook. I remember when I was in my early twenties and I went out with my Russian girl-friends; when we came home after a night of dancing and drinking, and we were getting ready for bed, one of the Russian girls: “If you don’t clean your skin at night, it takes a year off your life!” And so I have cleaned my skin every night ever since.

2. Keep your skin hydrated!
Even if you have oily skin, this is a must! Oil and water is not the same thing. Chronic dehydration and dermal inflammation of the skin is what causes pre-mature aging. This is why it is so important that you find the right moisturizer, serum or facial oil for your skin type to keep your skin nicely hydrated; particularly if you tend towards normal to dry skin. But remember that even oily skin can get dehydrated and dryness of the skin is what causes wrinkles to form deep in the layers of the skin.

3. Manage your stress-level
You probably know this already! Stress is the biggest factor when it comes to aging. When we are feeling under stress, we tend to neglect ourselves. Our health, our dietary habits, our fitness and lastly our skin take a big beating. Stress can cause acne, pigmentation, inflammation, rashes, severe dryness in the skin so I always encourage my clients to look at your skin as if it is talking to you and letting you know what is really going on on the inside. In this culture we have been really taught to ignore and suppress any indicators that we are over-doing it. We push ourselves to the max. If your skin is not looking its usual best, it could be that stress is the culprit. So think about ways to incorporate stress-relieving techniques into your life; simple things such as, taking a daily walk, joining a yoga class, or even just taking a long hot bath at night with aromatic essences can be a powerful way to decompress after a long day–and it will do wonders for your complexion.

4. Sun-bathe mindfully
I personally believe that the sun is good for us and we need the Vitamin D for our bodies to stay healthy. So I think it is important to get outside and soak up some sun. That said, being out in the sun at the beach for hours without sun-protection will cause pre-mature aging, sun-damage, dehydration of the skin, or worse bad sun-burns; all factors which are bad in your quest of a youthful complexion. Therefore, my advice is to be mindful when you are out in the sun. Wear a good sun-block, preferably zinc based as that will protect the skin and reflect the sun away. Stay away from sunscreens packed with anti-aging ingredients as they have been found to cause chemical burns on the skin.  Also, be sure to bring a hat and spend some time in the shade. Another great tip that I learned about sun-bathing mindfully was when growing up in very sunny Southern Spain where we were always taught to stay out of the sun from the hours of 1-4 when the sun is at its highest and will cause the most burns.

5.  Consistency is key!
I know that all of our lives are very busy so whatever skincare routine you can commit to just make sure you do it consistently. Whether your are working long hours at work or you are a new mom, I know it is really hard to do have the energy to wash your face at night and apply a moisturizer, but I promise you that if you start a daily skin care routine, you will not regret your commitment when you are older. You are investing in your future beautiful and radiant face with minimal wrinkles! So keep it simple. Make sure that whatever time you have, you can do it. Consistently, every day!

If you enjoyed reading about my top 5 proven ways to prevent wrinkles, you may enjoy learning some more tips on ways to maintain a life-long, beautiful complexion. If you sign-up for my newsletter, you will receive a series of 3 instructional videos that will teach you how to clean your skin properly, do a nightly facial massage to plump up the skin and prevent wrinkles as well as the benefits of incorporating organic essential oils like jasmine and neroli into your life.