Introducing Our In-House Licensed Esthetician

Introducing Our In-House Licensed Esthetician

Chelsea here, Luna’s in-house esthetician. Let’s talk about the benefits of bath bombs today and how each ingredient in them affects the skin!

Luna bath bombs have the following ingredients:
-Citric acid
-Sodium bicarbonate
-Essential oils and fragrance oils
-Food grade color and oxides
-Shea butter

These may be familiar ingredients to you, but how do they benefit the skin? Let’s start with citric acid! Citric acid is a derivative from citrus fruits and is a weak acid. Most commonly it is used as a preservative and to add a tang to food items. For Luna bath bombs, they are used for not only preservation and emulsifying, but it is great for the skin! Citric acid helps slough off dead skin cells, which in turn helps with CRF or cell renewal factor. Citric acid may help with mild acne, clogged pores, pigmentation, dark spots, wrinkles, and sun damage/tanning. Citric acid is also a source of vitamin C, which aids in collagen production!

If you like to bake then you’re familiar with sodium bicarbonate or baking soda as it’s more commonly known. Sodium bicarbonate helps to balance skin pH. It is also antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, helping to sooth redness from irritated skin. Sodium bicarbonate is also alkaline in nature, which can help soothe sunburns and subsequent blistering.

Essential oils and fragrance oils are moisturizing and can be soothing to the skin. Lavender, for example, is a great moisturizing oil and anti-inflammatory, working to help soothe irritated skin from acne, psoriasis, and eczema. Adding essential oils and fragrance oils to bath bombs help to soften the skin and provide a layer of moisture. After enjoying a Luna bath bomb, apply a layer of humectant lotion to your skin to help lock in the moisture to help improve skin health. As an esthetician, I suggest avoiding lotions with strong fragrance concentrations as these usually contain higher amounts of alcohol, which will dry out the skin and can cause irritation. Look for fragrance-free and cruelty-free lotions, there are many great over-the-counter options including Cetaphil.

As for Luna bath bomb colors, we use synthetically prepared iron oxides, which are approved for use in cosmetics in the USA, decreasing the risk of mercury, arsenic, and lead that can be found in iron oxide naturally. FD&C colors are made the same way, to ensure there are no contaminants in food from color. Many of these food grade colors are also water soluble, very important for bath bombs or the color may not rinse away and you risk staining tubs. Food grade colors are the most stable for bath bombs, providing the best shelf life as herbs can interact with oxygen and moisture, deteriorating and looking quite bad. If your bath bomb has glitter in it, it is made from mica, a naturally occurring mineral. Bath bombs with mica may leave a shimmer on the skin after bathing for an extra glow.

And last, but not least, is shea butter. Shea butter is not only moisturizing but is soothing and anti-inflammatory due to its lupeol cinnamate compound. Shea butter may also help prevent wrinkles and to help keep the skin taut as we age. It is also non-comedogenic so it will not clog pores.

Now that you know more about what goes into a Luna bath bomb, draw yourself a bath and enjoy!

Chelsea, licensed esthetician

10 Benefits of Meditation We Need to Practice

10 Benefits of Meditation We Need to Practice

Meditation is a practice with many advantages. Proven to be a compelling method for upgrading personal satisfaction by enhancing physical, mental, and emotional health. Studies give us new knowledge of the impacts of meditation on the psyche/body. It’s not just one strategy that has turned out to be useful either – benefits have been shown through a variety of strategies.
Meditation exercise can give many medical advantages. Read below the fold to add to your understanding of meditation’s affects on the human body and mind.

Improved disposition and working memory – even when stressed

Meditation does not remove us from the issues of life, it helps us confront them with strength. Everyone has stress at some point. Whether from work, school, or family life, our ability to cope is stretched as far as possible. Managing conditions that seem beyond your ability to control increases negativity, tension, and anxiety. Studies demonstrated that meditation enhances your state of mind and memory; even under stress.

Alleviate mental diversions

Preparing the brain to remain focused is a motivating factor for meditation. Research demonstrates that meditation helps to process distractions easily, then rapidly come back to focus. The rewards of meditation don’t take years to develop. Studies have shown major cognitive improvement in less than seven days of meditation practice, including cognitive improvement.
Meditation has beneficially lessened the effects of issues like ADD, anxiety, and depression which are set marked distracting and unwanted thoughts. Meditation practice liberates the mind from disruptive thought patterns.

Increase the size of your brain

Yes! Meditation causes your brain to grow. Age causes thinning of the frontal cortex. Without appropriate mental exercise, the portion of the brain responsible for language, comprehension and emotional processing slowly degrades. This thinning can possibly leave us with decreased cognitive ability. Regular meditation moderates the thinning of brain matter. Meditation can also increase brain areas that are associated with intelligence. The increases in cognitive ability experienced through meditation are very positive indeed.

Strengthen the immune system

Studies have shown not only improved mental health but also improved immune health also. One study showed that meditators who were given an influenza shot had more antibodies in their blood, compared with non-meditators. It also showed increased activity in regions of the brain connected with positive feelings. Some of these positive effects lasted up four months after meditation had concluded.

Alleviate symptoms of illness

We all know that stress has a negative effect on our body’s ability to fight illnesses. Meditation can help improve the symptoms of illnesses such as:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Cancer
  • Asthma
  • Allergies

A recent study has demonstrated that meditation can enhance the effectiveness of conventional health care. Meditation should not replace any recommendation by your doctor. Meditation, however, could be worth considering as a supplement to your medical care. Discuss with your healthcare professional the benefits and potential side effects.

Decreased Fatigue

Meditation may be more stimulating that a cup of coffee. If you need to nap or have been lacking sleep it may be time for a meditation break. May studies have shown a link between meditation and mental acuity. Sometimes meditation can be a replacement for sleep with a higher gain in performance.

Meditation can help with the impact of physical and emotional pain

Chronic pain can seriously affect your emotional well-being. The negative feelings that comes with pain creates stress, fueling more problems. Meditation, studies have shown, can reduce the direct experience of pain by up half. Chronic pain has a negative emotional impact also. People have learned how to respond to pain in a positive manner through meditation. Preparing the mind allows you a chance to choose how you will experience the present. Determining you control of your reactions, and preparing yourself to do so, can positively impact how you will deal with physical and emotional pain. Meditation benefits your soul

Getting to the state of flow

Described in a range of ways, the state of flow is generally the same experience. Flow is harmony, a positive state leading to a joyful wellbeing. When one describes the state of flows experience it is clear it is synonymous with meditation. Losing yourself in the movement, instinctively comprehending what will do next, responding suddenly and deliberately to current conditions, being unconscious of the progression of time and trust in your capacity to face challenges; these are all emotions which go with a state of flow. One of the most illustrative terms to describe the experience is being “in the zone”. Have you felt this before? Spontaneously or from preparation, possibly confident in your abilities things seemed to “fall into place.” Despite how you encountered flow, meditation helped you recapture this feeling. The clear focus required to get into the flow can be practiced and carried into other areas of your life. In this state, your can go forward with purpose, confident in your abilities.

Improve your power of compassion

Developing empathy can affect how we manage others. Forgiveness and compassion are essential for building solid relationships while adding to a positive self-image. Loving-kindness concentrates on building empathy for all beings. We must have compassion for ourselves, then passed on to friends, family, and others. Compassion for ourselves is not a selfish act, it is one of the most unselfish things we can do. The compassion of self leads to self-acceptance. To forgive others we must first forgive ourselves. Self-acceptance leads to more positive relationships. Understanding another’s mental and emotional state can help us put their actions in context. When we understand other’s suffering, we can work to mitigate it. Compassion leads to greater happiness for all. Through training, we move from negativity to a joyful state of being.

Attain enlightenment

Enlightenment is the ultimate spiritual goal. We have studied this elusive goal for thousands of years. Accomplishing illumination is said to uncover the fundamental nature of reality. Those who attain it portray it as the greatest paradox imagined, but liberating and far reaching. Do you believe this is possible? Is this your motivation for meditation? Enlightenment reveals some answers while also unveiling deeper mysteries. Some customs portray levels of advancement in the different phases of practice. It’s said that through regular practice in meditation, it’s possible to have profound experiences into one’s own being. Meditation, with all its benefits, is a worthy practice regardless of one’s feeling of spirituality.

6 Benefits of Taking Baths

6 Benefits of Taking Baths

Baths and washing have been a large part of the human experience throughout history. There are many bathing traditions around the world. While some take plunges into cool water after a sauna, others created large bathing structures with under-floor warming. Some of these are still today. Nowadays, baths are usually used for relaxation and for time to one’s self. However, does bathing have additional helpful qualities?
There is a perfect temperature for bathing.  As too much heat can put your body under “heat stress” and your body will have a difficult time recalibrating its temperature. One should take a slightly cooler bath and pour cool water on yourself occasionally. Otherwise, bathing’s benefits are in two areas: mental relaxations and concentrating on specific conditions.

Being Horizontal In Water Helps Your Mood

This is truly surprising but proven by science. In 2002 a University study found that daily bathing, generally at day’s end, improved the mood and optimism of those tested, which was credited to a mix of genuine comfort, warmth, separation, and body arranging. It seems bodies relate horizontal conditions with being relaxed and vulnerable especially when bathing which maybe mirrors the warm, liquid conditions of the womb.

Showers May Help Relieve Skin Conditions

If you have encountered the impacts of psoriasis or another skin conditions, you’ve likely been prescribed medicated or oiled baths as a way to moisturize your skin, sloughing off dead cells, and trying to delete potential sources of infection.

A Bath’s Heat Can Help Muscle Pain

The honest motivator to muscle pain relief in your bath is not the bath salts: dependent upon the sort of bath you take, it’s either heat or lactic acid. In the event that you’re taking a hot bath, it’s believed that the heat of the bath is giving what is known as a “hot pack” that increases the temperature of the sore muscles, blocking pain sensors and creating relief.
However, an athlete will usually dive into a cold bath, which lowers lactic acid in the bloodstream. The cold will restrict vessels and drains lactic acid out of the sore muscles. Once out of a cold bath new blood, free of lactic acid moves in and recovery time improves dramatically.

Hot Baths Before Bed Produce Better Sleep

A good night’s rest is associated with a huge amount health benefits, from immune system health to increased pain recovery, and a warmed bath before bed is clearly a great way to coast off to “Dreamland”. It’s all in temperature alteration and hormones.
Body temperature drop amid the night is one of the signals body to start melatonin production, the hormone that induces sleep. Our body temperature starts to lower two hours before bed and will last until about 4 a.m. By taking a warm bath before bed we can trick our body into feeling sleepy. Exit the bath, cool down for a bit and slid into bed. Do not over heat yourself or your beginning yourself revved up instead!

Steam Helps To Reduce Cold Symptoms

One of the better qualities of a warm bath is as a treatment for winter cold sufferers. While we can’t make a cold vanish, getting into “hot water” will target two segments of cold management: steam treatment and general body temperature. Breathing in the steam of is an extraordinary answer for a cold’s misery. It helps to clear nasal passages while reducing inflammation. Besides, it is recommended that you keep yourself warm when you’re combating a cold: a report showed that elevated body temperature will help certain parts of your immune system to function more efficiently, helping you fight off what ails you. A warm bath enhances your immunes system to work better.

Salt Water Baths Calm Arthritic Pain

Suffering from joint agony, fibromyalgia, or lower back issues? This one may truly be a blessing from paradise-forgotten: using ordinary table salt as a piece of your bath can genuinely lessen the amount of pain you get in your joints. This scientific discovery in 2012, exhibits that a saltwater bath takes an impressive amount of the anguish out of inflammation-based pain.
Why? Salt reduces swelling in cells by dehydrating them and inhibits inflammation that causes pain. Amazingly, salt bathing is one of the most ancient bathing practices by the Greeks and was big business in 18th century Europe. Bath salts for pain management have been around for thousands of years and it is only now we are beginning to understand the science behind the myth.

Don’t hesitate to draw yourself a warm bath tonight and coax yourself into a better state of mind before heading to bed!

5 Stress Relievers We’re Forgetting

5 Stress Relievers We’re Forgetting

Looking over this list you may think to yourself, “this just looks like work!” You are absolutely correct if you haven’t already started building these habits. My grandpa used to tell us that anything we put altruistic effort into will come back to us ten-fold. This has been a personal truth for me and my family so I urge you to keep it in mind while re-connecting with what dissolves stress. Keep in mind, what is our concept of relaxation today? Most of our “techniques” we think are stress relievers are tied to instant gratification. The relief they offer is as fleeting as they are accessible.

One moment you’re immersed in your favorite Netflix series and the next you are painfully aware of how you’ve avoided what really needs to be done. How is this relaxing? We all know we need to build better strategies for overcoming the stressors in our lives, but where do we start? Our ancestors have some compelling under-rated answers.

Storytelling and Reading to Strengthen Compassion and Stress Relief

Storytelling served our ancestors as an aid to remember the important parts of humanity. You and I both love to hear a good story. We share stories of what happened over the weekend when we come back to the office as a way of sharing our experiences and being exposed to choices and consequences that aren’t our own. They inspire and provide a great deal of relief for the listener and the speaker. Many ancient stories have been lost to time or have successfully been recorded in books.

When was the last time you peeled open a printed mash of papers and lost yourself in the stories of long past?  Reading novels can improve your brain connectivity and function far beyond what our electronic devices and televised series can offer.  42% of college graduates exit the university environment to never read a book again. Our perspective on reading must change if we want to overcome our ingrained sense of reading equals work. To look at reading in a more positive light is to see it as storytelling.

Why should you climb above the aversion to reading that school-work has accidentally created? At Emory University, researchers found that our brain’s resting state connectivity after flipping pages of fictional novels was significantly heightened.

These qualities of immersion built by you are far superior to being told a story from outside your own mind. Reading ultimately helps us build compassion, develop empathy for protagonists and antagonists alike. Find books with fleshed out narratives that compel you to go beyond your normal stream of thought.  Reddit offers a great community (a subreddit) that focuses on helping people find fiction and reading that fits their interests.  I recommend you take a moment to find the next novel that will help build your brain connectivity, and in the end, fortify a great pro-active barrier to the stressors circling our day.

Painting and Creativity as Play

Trying to complete the next Mona Lisa is anything but stress relief. But how about finger painting? Now we’re talking. Seeing creativity as an opportunity to go back to grade school years helps pull you away from what ails you.

Creativity is often attributed to some sort of in-born talent.  If you have it great. If you don’t? You’ll probably say something like, “I’m not creative so I chose a career in accounting.” You most certainly can be an accountant and be creative. Creativity is a learned skill that takes practice. Each one of us has a creative side whether tended to or left wild in a back lot.  View your time spent being creative as play time! LunaBath’s sister site focuses on building creativity skills. Check it out!

Wonder why kids have an easier time at learning and growing their skill sets?  It’s because they don’t have the dense concept of work nagging them while they “play” even if their play is actually a hidden way to get better at something.

The recent phenomenon of adult coloring books exemplifies our inborn want to be creative. The goal of using art materials to make isn’t to be the worlds next top artist.  It’s to connect with our past as makers and creators and find a greater sense of confidence in ourselves. I’m handing the reins over to Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray Love, to explain why everyone at their heart is an artist;

…all of your ancestors were creative — all of them. You and I and everybody we know were descended from tens of thousands of years of makers.

The entire world, for better or for worse, has been altered by the human hand, by human beings doing this weird and irrational thing that only we do amongst all our peers in the animal world, which is to waste our time making things that nobody needs, making things that nobody needs, making things a little more beautiful than they have to be, altering things, changing things, building things, composing things, shaping things. This is what we do. We’re the making ape. And no one is left out of the inheritance of that. That’s our shared human inheritance.

And another really strong piece of evidence is that every human child is born doing this stuff innately. It’s an instinct. There’s no child that you put crayons and paper in front of who doesn’t get it, what you’re supposed to do. No four-year-old boy was ever sat in front of a pile of Legos and said, “I don’t know, I’m just — I’m not feeling it.”

I guarantee a surge of relief if you give yourself the chance to play with art materials like a kid does. You never know where it may lead you, but you can be sure that it will help build your armor to deflect stress.

Walking in Nature for Inspiration and Resetting the Brain

Those who left footprints before us spent significantly more time out doors. Most of the time not out choice, but out of necessity. We cant go back in time and survey the moods and health of our ancestors but we can craft a theory stating in some ways their outdoor experiences led to fulfillment that is being slowly forgotten. Let’s take a look at our lives and be honest about how nature affects us.

We get in ruts when striving to better our careers and our lives.  On occasion, we must unplug not only from our ambitions but also from our electronic devices. You would be hard pressed to find someone who regrets going outside on a pleasant day.  Gregory Bratman did a recent study on a group of people who were split into two paths.  One group took a path through a natural environment and the other was channeled through an urban setting. Before and after the walk, the researchers examined brain activity in the subgenual prefrontal cortex – the part of your brain responsible for examining your own emotions and thoughts.  The volunteers who walked through nature scored much lower on brooding over negative thoughts than those who were asked to walk along urban activity.  This was also measured in a reduced blood flow to the prefrontal cortex indicating their body had chemically let go of what ailed them.

For those who don’t have easy daily access to nature, it is even more important that they take the time to seek out a day-cation away from their urban lifestyle.  Your mental health depends on it! This guide from Yoganonymous is incredibly helpful for getting the most out of your outdoor adventures.

Gardening to Grow Relief from Stress

Gardening is another skill that is primed for stress relief but gets shelved because of popular opinion. You can ask most people and they will concede they simply don’t have a green thumb. The popular story being, “I’m so bad at growing plants that I killed a friend’s cactus while they were gone on vacation.” Gardening is not a talent or natural gift – rather it must be learned! Those who keep a garden successfully learned from their parents or from attending community classes to help build their abilities. What a wonderful way to tackle two obstacles at once – make new friends and learn how to garden properly by taking a community class or participate in online forums like Houzz’s garden forums.  I have personally used their forum to brush up on gardening skills. The community is full of experts who have a passion for helping those who want to start getting back to soil.

Mary O’Brien is a researcher and Doctor at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London who works with cancer patients to improve their well-being during treatments. She identified a helpful strain of bacteria that make their homes in fertile soil. Patients who were exposed to this bacteria called Mycobacterium vaccae exhibited increased levels of serotonin – a chemical found naturally in our body that soothes muscles, enables transmitting of our nerve cells and helps regulate our body to promote happiness!

“Gardeners inhale these bacteria while digging in the soil, but they also encounter M. vaccae in their vegetables or when soil enters a cut in their skin,” says Matthews.  “From our study we can say that it is definitely good to be outdoors–it’s good to have contact with these organisms. It is interesting to speculate that creating learning environments in schools that include time in the outdoors where M. vaccae is present may decrease anxiety and improve the ability to learn new tasks.”

I wear the dirt under my nails after gardening as a badge of honor. Little did I know I may have been introducing helpful bacteria little by little into my system.

Cooking up A Stress Busting Meal

We are becoming increasingly reliant on easy fixes for our hunger. In 2016 over 50 million Americans choose fast food every day over cooking at home. I’m one of those 50 million on occasion when stress and lack of preparation get the best of me. We spend on average 27 minutes a day preparing food, down from the 60 minutes in 1965.  This means today we are spending 55% less time in the kitchen creating something on our own. Our lives have certainly become different from our 60’s culinary crafters – but I’m not confident that our work-load has changed. Our options to eat away from home certainly have.

53% of Americans feel they can’t cook as well as their parents! This lack of confidence in the kitchen creates all sorts of new stressors that affect our financial prosperity and our own physical health. When we rely on fast food we allow a company to prepare our meals for us. Some businesses do a great job of finding local healthy ingredients but there most certainly is an added cost that ultimately can lead to more stress.

What happens when we cook in the kitchen?  I won’t stand by the idea that buying from a grocery store is going to net you better ingredients. Many grocery stores find their produce and protein from the same production farms used by restaurants and fast food. But something else much more important happens when we cook a meal at home. Sure we save some money, but what is heaviest for consideration is our health.

A recent study by John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public health shows that those who eat at home consume fewer carbs, less sugar, and less fat compared to those who rely on restaurants and fast food for their meals. We invite our friends and family into our homes to show off our culinary best-ofs and encourage storytelling that benefits our mental health. We all have a need to connect with others, why not let a meal be the center stage for a performance of well-being?

Need to brush up on your cooking skills? I highly recommend watching Alton Brown’s series Good Eats.  The series is available for purchase through Youtube or Amazon. Not only is Alton animated in his explanations to cooking well – but they are incredibly educational! Watch this video to learn what Gordan Ramsay considers the bare-minimum essentials in your kitchen. Set aside a small budget and get yourself to your local restaurant supply store or Amazon for great pricing on the tools you need to transform your kitchen into a veritable classroom guiding your path to eventual stress relief!

We hope you enjoyed this post – all of us at LunaBath wish you the best.  Remember, above all else, love yourself so you may better love others.