Author Archives: maryhanderson

Summertime Fun and Sun Care

“Roll out those hazy, lazy, crazy days of Summer”, or so I remember the lyrics of the popular song…
I assume, dear follower, that you are engaging in outdoor activities, or being busy with family and visitors, or traveling–so now seems to be a good time right before the 4th of July to take a collective deep breath, sigh, and catch up with what is new and pertinent in regards to some really important beauty and health information during this most frolicking, fun-filled, yet skin-challenged season of the year.
In my previous blog post and FB NOTE–…
I wrote my professional pointers on how to limit damage to your skin especially during Summertime as well as all year-round, please read the link referenced above as a prequel to this article below that goes into much more detail and lays out the scientific basis for my reasoning.
My #1 BEAUTY TIP FOR SUMMER~ Safe, all-natural Sunscreens Rule!
I cannot repeat this advice enough: Use a sunscreen everyday, it is the best anti-aging treatment you can do for yourself. Yet, be sure you are using a safe and mostly natural product that does not contain the type of chemicals which may do way more harm to your skin than if you did not use any protection at all.
Are you aware of the important research that discovered that chemical sunscreens which are meant to protect the skin from free radical damage are also generating free radicals of their own? A sunscreen study at UC Riverside (Hanson 2006 ) proved that 3 commonly used chemical-based sunscreens produced free radicals exceeding the amount found on untreated skin.
While all sunscreens degrade over time upon exposure to UV, most chemical sunscreens in particular lose UVA protection very quickly (some in as little as one hour) and, as chemicals and nanoparticles degrade, they begin to generate free radicals, thus increasing the risk of photoaging. Photostability tests show that ZINC OXIDE, compared to titanium dioxide as well as chemical sunscreen ingredients, is very stable.
Zinc oxide has over a 300-year history of safety, with no known adverse reactions–which is why it is often used to treat babies’ vulnerable and sensitive skin.
Also–Be cognizant of the fact that mineral-based sunscreens safety can be compromised when nanoparticle-sized zinc oxide and titanium dioxide react strongly with UV light (*Dunford 1997) and may damage skin cells (*Sharma 2009) *from EWG report. According to investigators quoted by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), “the primary toxicity concern of nanoparticles is free radical generation. This can provoke intense oxidative stress, inflammation and damage proteins, lipids and DNA.”
How to safely protect ourselves from sun damage and free radical damage?
Look for a Non-Nano Zinc Oxide broad spectrum formula of 15 to 30 spf**which is safe and never irritating. **spf Protection numbers are often confusing to people. Spf ratings tell you what level of protection you will get from UVB, or burning rays, but there is more important information regarding sunscreens than just avoiding a sunburn.
According to MD Anderson Cancer Center, “a sunscreen with an spf (Sun Protection Factor) of at least 15 is a good choice for most people. It is important to remember that the protection an spf offers does not increase proportionately with the designated spf number. spf 15 absorbs 93% of the sun’s burning rays, while spf 30 absorbs 97%.”
A spf of higher than 30 provides only incrementally more protection and offers false security since people are less likely to follow the 2 hour rule about re-application every two hours and/or after swimming or perspiring.
The most important factor to be aware of is that a spf rating does not take into account UVA protection. A sunscreen with a very high spf rating that provides little or no UVA (aging rays) protection could expose you to UVA damage BEFORE you burn. One study showed that it only takes one hour of summer midday sun of UVA exposure to cause photoaging, and that these changes occur before any sunburn or tanning is evident. While titanium dioxide effectively attenuates UVB and short-wave UVA, it offers much less protection than zinc oxide as well as less safety factors.
So it bears repeating that it is very important to remember that the protection an spf** offers does not increase proportionately with the designated spf number, that is, spf 15 absorbs 93% of the sun’s burning rays, while spf 30 absorbs 97%. A spf of higher than 30 provides only incrementally more protection.
Also, the most important factor to be aware of is that a spf rating does not take into account UVA protection. Be sure to get a product that states “Broad Spectrum” sun protection.
“Zinc oxide is the closest thing to a total sunblock on the market today. It uniformly covers from 290 to 400 nm, thus protecting against the UVB and UVA spectrum. No other sunscreen ingredient provides broader protection”. (Sheldon R. Pinnell, MD and Doren L. Madey, PhD, Aesthetic Surgery Journal, May/June 1999).
Zinc oxide has over a 300-year history of safety, with no known adverse reactions–which is why it is often used to treat babies. While titanium dioxide effectively attenuates UVB and short-wave UVA, it is much less effective than zinc oxide in protecting against long-wave UVA. When you purchase a broad spectrum sunscreen, you are getting both UVA and UVB protection. Again, just make sure it only contains non-nano zinc oxide for the safest, cleanest product available.
In the next few paragraphs, I go into detail on my Personal Favorite SUNSCREEN and recommend a brand I have trusted for its effectiveness and great protection for my clientele for years, the award-winning SKIN SCRIPT SHEER PROTECTION spf 30–Winner of Dermascope’s Aestheticians’ Choice Awards 2016, #1 in Sun Care. Read about it by clicking this link here:…
and contact this company directly at (480) 543-1121 or send them a direct email at from their webpage at:
and an associate or their informative guide to retailers will surely guide you to a location near you that carries this crucial Summertime skin care product since it is only available through professionals. Please tell customer service that Mary Anderson of Simply Nirvana referred you.
What I personally love about Skin Script’s Sheer Protection spf 30 is that it contains the “good for you” sun protector, ZINC OXIDE at 13.5% of its total ingredients, AND, additionally, it blends very easily into the skin so it does not leave a white, pasty look that typically comes when using a high percentage zinc oxide-based sunscreen.
There is also a plus factor since this is a professional skin care line product recommended and carried in salons/spas/medical offices by ESTHETICIANS and Dermatologists which means that as well as being highly effective, it also contains beneficial lightly moisturizing, natural ingredients to keep the skin hydrated without having to apply an extra layer of moisturizer which is usually required under sunscreen. This makes for an all-in-one, easy to use sunscreen which will encourage you to use it daily as you should  It is designed for use especially on the facial area–face, tops of ears, neck, décolleté, shoulders, yet it should also be used on top of hands, feet, and anywhere that clothing is not covering you from the sun when outdoors.
Sheer Protection spf 30 is a MUST-HAVE on days when you know you will definitely be exposed to the sun and a second protective layer applied is certainly recommended.  Doing this will NOT provide you spf protection** with a higher number, but it does add to your protection by ensuring Full Coverage.
Skin Script’s Sheer Protection spf 30 is also ideal to wear at home so that if you do go briefly outdoors or are sitting next to a window, you will be both protecting your skin from any incidental sun exposure and treating yourself to the wonderful, anti-aging ingredients in its formula which will help to repair the existing sun damage over time and improve your skin’s overall appearance and condition.
Again, keep in mind that the protection an spf offers** does not increase proportionately with the designated spf number. Spf 15 absorbs 93% of the sun’s burning rays, while spf 30 absorbs 97%.” A spf of higher than 30 provides only incrementally more protection.  So the spf 30 is highly recommended.
This sunscreen is ideal for beach and sports for the whole body and the whole family. Zinc Oxide–it’s active ingredient– is recognized by the FDA as a Category I skin protectant, meaning it is safe for compromised or environmentally challenged skin as well.
Skin Script’s Sheer Protection spf 30 is packaged in a unbreakable tube and sample sizes are available at a small cost plus shipping charges so you can then carry the product conveniently with you for travel, in your workout and make-up bags, and use them consistently, that is, EVERYDAY, especially during Summer and Indian Summer daylight hours.
So, be pro-active by keeping your skin safe from sun damage and keep it youthful-looking by using only healthy sunscreen products everyday like Skin Script’s Sheer Protection spf 30 with its excellent product formulation, and remember to re-apply every 2-3 hours whenever you stay outdoors.
If you already have sun damage, again, please refer to my previous post which includes guidance on physical sun screens such as hats and other protective clothing and accessories and other important information regarding the dangers of spray-on sunscreens:…
and also please read my next blog post which deals holistically with managing Hyper-pigmentation.
And…be sure to check back here again soon for my other Favorite Summertime products in my future post. Have a beautiful, safe and sane Summer!

SUMMER-PROOF Your Skin During a Challenging Season

Summertime is about a month away, and while we look forward to longer, warmer days as well as the fun activities that this delightful season brings, we also must be prepared to take extra care of our skin by incorporating daily pro-active steps to ensure our faces and bodies stay protected, hydrated and youthful-looking for this season…and most importantly, going forward since sun damage is cumulative.

Not only the weather, but also the busy-ness of Summer often keeps us from fully paying attention to the day-to-day care of ourselves in regards to sun protection. It’s not just about a few swipes of sunscreen applied when you remember to do so. We must do our part everyday. Protecting our skin and our health during Summer has its challenges. It is well known that the most dangerous time to be exposed to the Sun’s rays are between 10 am and 2 pm, yet also be aware of the sun’s position and intensity whenever and wherever you are during daylight hours. Spending 10 to 20 minutes a day in low sun light conditions is good for Vitamin D absorption…more than that increases your risk of over-exposure and sun damage.

The main challenge of Summer is to counter-act PHOTO-AGING which actually occurs every day, 365 days of the year, yet sunlight in the Summer time is more intense, daylight lasts longer, and the heat will often cause any protection applied in the morning to be gone in a couple of hours due to perspiration and exertion.
Photo-Aging (aging caused by the exposure to sunlight) leads to Hyper-Pigmentation which shows up as sun spots, freckling, discolorations, and new growths on the skin’s surface. Photo-aging also is what causes loss of Collagen and Elastin in the skin’s dermis because sun damage creates “cross-linking” of these fibers deep within the skin’s tissues making skin less flexible and likely to wrinkle. Both UVA (A=aging) and UVB (B= burning) rays of the sun must be screened. One of the first things to look at on a sunscreen product label is to make sure it states “Broad-Spectrum” protection. There is a misnomer about higher Sun Protection Factor (spf) being better, however, this is not necessarily true.
There is no total sunblock ingredient except for pure Zinc Oxide. A 15 spf rating equals approximately 93% screening. Over 15 spf, there is only a possible increase of 2-4 % more although the higher spf may last a little longer on the skin. Unfortunately, most people let the notion of a higher than 15 spf mislead them into thinking they are 100% protected, so they forget to apply more throughout the day especially when they are out golfing, swimming, walking, gardening or engaging in another outing where activity doesn’t allow for a break from the sun. It’s no wonder that a “surprise” sunburn occurs.
Also, when receiving a rating, an amount of one full Shot Glass of product is used for the exposed area when tested. We’re not really putting on that much sunscreen are we? So the thinner, lighter application of product also reduces the measure of protection.
During sun exposure, please use clothing and accessories as extra physical sun protection, that is–
Hats, wide-brimmed are best. I do not recommend head visors as adequate sun hats because they don’t provide full shade for your face, often leaving the most vulnerable areas of forehead, temples, cheeks, bottom of nose, upper lip and chin exposed which can easily become burned or mottled with discolorations;
Round necklines rather than v-necks are recommended to protect the delicate and easily damaged décolleté area (one of the most easily sun damaged areas of a woman’s body); and Bandanas/Scarves for neckline;
Long-sleeved, lightweight cotton shirts or blouses; Long, lightweight cotton slacks; Sunglasses (large enough to protect the eyes and upper cheek areas);
Umbrellas –both a lightweight personal sun umbrella as well as sturdier ones for the beach or outdoor picnics, etc.
It’s also very important to fully protect Hair & Scalp, Ears, Hands & Feet with physical blocks as well as sunscreen. If you already see spots on your hands or feet, make sure to take immediate action by covering them daily with sunscreen, wearing gloves while driving, playing outdoor sports, or gardening, and wear protective shoes whenever possible.
Types of Sunscreens–I highly recommend Zinc Oxide as the safest and most effective sunscreen. Titanium Dioxide is okay, but not as safe as Zinc. Stay away from any nano particle products. The latest research has found that many of the other sun screening ingredients actually cause skin cancer. Zinc Oxide can be found in lotions, creams, and tinted moisturizers.
Be careful of relying on Mineral Powders as your only facial sun protection–they must be applied thickly and evenly to work, and many contain clogging oils in their formulas.
Spray-on sunscreens are highly discouraged since #1–they don’t cover evenly; #2–Breathing impairment and danger to respiratory system (your own as well as by-standers) is risked by breathing in the chemical mist residue; #3–they are highly toxic to the Environment. All of the spray brands contain bad chemicals that go into our Water Supply (pools, spas, oceans, rivers, lakes, streams, etc) as well as down the drain when you shower or bathe after using them. Spray-on sunscreens are especially dangerous for children’s sensitive skin and systems.
It’s also important to make time to renew and repair your skin with professional facial treatments during the Summer. Make several appointments during June, July and August with an experienced, holistic esthetician who will know to avoid peels and other aggressive treatments at this time of year that will leave your skin overly sensitive by thinning the stratum corneum (skin surface) and, as a result, will most likely cause the skin to burn resulting in hyper-pigmentation and photo-aging. Gentle, restorative and hydrating treatments are the protocol I recommend to keep the skin looking its best and protected during the Summer.
By relying on a pro-active regimen of sun safety, consistent care at home, as well as professional skin care treatments, you will be able to conteract the damaging effects of the more challenging season of Summer. Incorporating specialty products such as masks, cooling toner sprays, gentle face and body exfoliators, and lightweight yet hydrating body lotions are the key to prepare, treat, and heal your one and only precious skin.
In my next blog, I will be recommending my choice of products specifically for Summer Sun Care. Meanwhile, please re-read this post to really understand how to protect yourself and your loved ones from over-exposure and sun damage. You’ll be grateful you did

A Spring Renewal Program from dawn til after dusk~

April is here~Spring is poising to enter into full bloom…did you notice how green and vibrant everything is becoming? I hope you’re enjoying rising with the sun to experience the fresh feelings of a bright Spring morning with its chilly dew-filled air leading into a perfectly warm day. Now is the perfect time to begin a Spring Renewal Program for health, vitality, and regeneration of your body/mind/spirit. Here is my day into evening SPRING RENEWAL PROGRAM with recommendations for health and beauty created especially for you~
At this time of year, our senses of sight and smell are delighted with the bloom of daffodils and tulips seen all around. Those flowers are the ones who hibernated in the ground during our colder months and are bursting forth now in bright array symbolizing once again re-birth and renewal. We should align ourselves with their example and radiate their beauty from within by honoring our bodies.
Here’s my Beauty Tip for May~ Go Outdoors first thing in the morning~ out on your patio, or on your balcony and BREATHE in slowly through your nose and out through your lungs via your mouth audibly at least 7 times to stimulate and balance all your chakras, and therefore, all your body systems. Next, do some easy stretching along with this focused breathing. If you also then do yoga poses for 15-20 minutes, you will feel even more energized.
Begin your morning with a glass of pure, warm water with a wedge of lemon added, or with a shot of a highly active probiotic like “Good Belly” (see my Health Tip of the month in my next NOTE). Wait to feel the effects, and follow after 20-30 minutes with a freshly squeezed juice or a lovely Blueberry Coconut Milk Smoothie*~this can be as easy as adding 1/3 cup of fresh or frozen organic blueberries with a cup of organic coconut milk to your blender; adding half a banana or 1/3 cup of diced mango adds both substance and extra nutrients to this nutritious drink. If you wish, add one Tablespoon of protein powder.
Start your day on the right, healthy track and it will surely continue that way. So, in an hour, savor a fresh, bright orange Papaya with cottage cheese for a high protein breakfast.
Skip the coffee, and, instead, take a fresh brewed herbal tea (warm or lightly-iced) to go with you on your busy day. Yogi Teas~ available in health food and many grocery stores are the best in my opinion for purity and effective combinations of herbs, flowers and spices, and they taste wonderful too.
Remember to eat some high quality protein for Lunch. This warmer Spring season is perfect for eating freshly grilled fish and a green salad with a light coating of olive oil, lemon and herbs.
Make it an early Evening Ritual to put your tootsies in a comfortably hot water and epsom salt footbath laced with just a drop or two of organic Lavender essential oil while you enjoy a vegetable juice “cocktail” which is an extremely healthy powerburst to your Immune and Digestive Systems~much livelier (alive!) than a plain old glass of vino…plus the juice “cocktail” will keep your figure improving.
Dinner can be light and full of greens~ steamed kale, spinach, broccoli and a baked yam make for a satisfying end of your day food-wise.
Before Retiring, thoroughly unwind with a soothing Bath or Shower using fun, holistic bath and body products for Spring. The Lotus Wei line has some incredibly active, organic, and yummy~smelling Aromatherapy Mists, Elixirs and Serums that create mental and emotional states equivalent to their names like Quiet Mind, Inner Peace, Joy Juice, Inspired Action, Radiant Energy, Infinite Love~truly exceptional!
Slumber peacefully and renew your entire being overnight after being replenished on a deep level with organic flower essences and real gem essences. Find them here:…
I also love the Bath, Body and Anointing Oils from Napa Valley au Naturel.
These skin revivers from traditional style high quality exfoliating and hydrating *Body Scrubs~…
to refreshing and purifying your entire home (or work environment) with a delicious uplifting Seasonal *MIST~ Be sure to spray your bathroom too before you indulge in your evening ritual because it really can be your Personal Beauty Retreat when you pre-set the mood for relaxation and renewal~
to wonderful smelling and nurturing *ANOINTING OILS~…
and an especially created *Body/Mind SOOTHING BLEND to assist you in peacefully transitioning to a restful sleep~…
By engaging yourself in my inner and outer holistic Body Renewal Program during Springtime, you are working with the natural seasons and positively affecting your entire being–we all want to feel HEALTHY and ALIVE at this time of year.
Follow my program and you’re sure to benefit in all the ways you’re meant to for a restored, relaxed, and full of focused energy SELF for Spring and beyond. My last important rec is for you to really enjoy this special time of year, wear sunblock, a cute hat, and lipbalm everyday.

My Favorite FACIAL OIL BLENDS– the best organic quality and results from these skin~restoring potions for Spring

After you’ve read my recent post on the third and vital step to my Hydrate in LAYERS system* of attaining and keeping a moist, refined, and hydrated looking skin by using a FACIAL OIL BLEND immediately after applying a first layer of a liquid/gel-like Serum** then read this latest post with my favorite facial and body oils for SPRING. This step is especially important after the Winter ravages of cold, wind, dry and de-hydrating environments, and perhaps a neglect or lack of utlizing the correct and most nourishing skin care regimen. Now is the time to begin restoring and revitalizing your precious skin to get that Springtime glow
By reading my previous NOTES found below, you will understand in-depth how important using an OIL BLEND is to your daily skin care routine, and it has to be one that is organic, free of synthetics, colors, pesticides, and unhealthy ingredients. One that is deliciously and naturally fragranced with its own nutritive carrier oils, or lightly scented with quality essential oils that add to the beautifying properties of a well-made FACIAL OIL with certain skin regulating components that enhance with their delightful and time-honored essences (essential oils are actually more liquid-like than oils, except for tree resins which are generally thicker). Therefore, the carrier oils and essential oils do not make your skin oily…they actually balance your own natural oils without leaving excess oiliness on the skin’s surface since the skin readily absorbs them a few minutes after application of a few precious droplets.
Read these notes first to get up to speed with my recommended protocol:
These previous articles posted on Simply Nirvana’s FB blog will fill in the background necessary to create your own essential SPRING SKIN CARE REGIMEN that will not only repair the damages caused by Winter conditions, it will more importantly Strengthen and Re-New your DAILY BEAUTY routine for a fresher, moister, and less-lined countenance to greet the new season with confidence.
My system’s steps will also prepare your skin/body/mind/spirit for the following Summer Season which like the Winter Season is the hardest on us in terms of keeping a healthy lipid barrier on our skin and protecting it at the same time since exposure to the stronger Nature elements of both Summer and Winter are the skin’s real challenges. I have instructed both on what makes a quality facial oil blend and how-to use it in my above links, so take a look there to read and understand my methods and then, see the next paragraphs for listing of my current Favorite OIL BLENDS which will enhance both your skin and your outlook for Springtime by reviving your complexion in wonderful, effective and naturally beautiful ways~
My most highly recommended products to use as a FACIAL OIL for your Spring Skin Care Regimen are:
NELUM BOTANICS Graceful Face Elixir~ Company description–“Nelum Botanics’ Graceful Face Elixir is a powerful blend of organically grown medicinal botanicals working in harmony to strengthen collagen, maintain elastin, support skin structure, regenerate skin tissue and protect from free-radical damage. Alive with phytochemicals, our Graceful Face Elixir will help prevent age spots and even skin tone while replenishing your skin with vitamin A, B, C & E for a wonderful, graceful you!” Recommended for: •normal skin •dry skin •sensitive skin •blemished skin •mature skin
My Review~ While using this excellent product, I felt the wonderful experience of my skin being fully drenched and pampered with real quality, carefully selected, free trade carrier oils accompanied by a very lovely & deep-smelling, yet pleasantly light-feeling and not at all over-powering, essential oil blend of skin revivers and beauty enhancers Helichrysum essential oil and extract, Jasmine Absolute, EOs of Frankincense, Myrrh, & Citrus Blend (non-toxic which means non-photo sensitive which is so important in regards to citrus essential oils so they do not cause hyper-pigmentation or irritation from exposure to sunlight). This gorgeous facial oil comes in glass which I believe is the only safe container to use for beauty products.
I found this blend to make my skin very soft, moist, and restored, it also left my skin feeling refreshed and nourished without any residue…in fact, it felt perfect…like what my skin had been longing for had at last appeared. Find this wonderful facial oil elixir here:…
Use my special code: nelumbo10 for 10% off this delightful product until the end of April and begin to enjoy it while bringing your “dry in-need-of nurturing” skin back to life, and isn’t that what Spring is all about? R-e-g-e-n-e-r-a-t-i-o-n
NELUM BOTANICS Rosehip and Chamomile Body Oil~ “Formula Rosehip and Chamomile is a delicate mélange of oils naturally fragrant herbal extracts that have long been used to calm, soothe and nourish sensitive skin. Our light and deeply nourishing formula is kissed with a unique blend of Essential Oils and CO2 Extracts such as Rosehip, Chamomile, Ylang ylang. This sensual blend, rich in Vitamins A, C, D and E, lecithin, and Omegas help improve and restore your skin’s barrier function by strengthening skin elasticity, shielding against oxidation and preventing trans-epidermal water loss.” Recommended for: •normal skin •dry skin •sensitive skin •mature skin •blemished skin
My Review~ This is slightly heavier in weight than the Graceful Face Elixir, yet is still very penetrating and light-feeling and makes an excellent Face as well as Body oil for those who prefer a simple system of an all-in-one face & body moisturizer that is truly natural, restorative and healthy for the planet as well as ourselves. Rosehip Seed Oil is a well-known and revered carrier oil known for its anti-inflammatory and healing qualities, and the addition of chamomile and ylang ylang essential oils make it calming while at the same time sensual for the body/mind/spirit.
The convenient 4 oz. size with pump makes it easy to use and refills are available at a reasonable cost. I love both the smell and how Nelum Botanics Rosehip and Chamomile Body Oil made my skin feel–dry, flaky, dehydrated skin cells were quenched and looked repaired almost instantly. Applied head to toe after gently exfoliating in my shower, I felt that I was stepping happily into Spring feeling renewed and thankful for my body. Find it at this link:
Again, use my code for this month’s special introductory price of 10% off your order with my exclusive Simply Nirvana code: nelumbo10
I know you’ll really appreciate all the careful thought and importance to details that go into the delightful product line of this environmentally-concious company whose owner is a true lover of Mother Nature and all her glorious gifts. You’ll also find Nelum Botanics on FB and please read the blog on the website which has lots of good articles on beauty care and self-care using the best in natural, sustainable ingredients~

Step Three of your Winter into Spring Skin Care Regimen, Hydrate in Layers, part 2~your Oil Serum layer

Step Three of your WINTER into SPRING SKIN CARE REGIMEN~ Hydrate in Layers, continuing with part 2~ Choosing an OIL SERUM to achieve a beautiful, moist and nourished complexion for Springtime~
If you’ve been following me on the Beauty Walk here, you’ll know that I began to teach you in Late Autumn then transitioned into a Winter program giving you step by step instructions on how to counteract this dry, dehydrating and cold season of Winter, and now we’re transitioning from Winter into the first weeks of pre-Spring. I’ve taught you my practical and experienced lessons on how to care for your skin at this crucial season–Winter–by writing out in detail a successful guide to taking good and gentle care with your one and only precious skin. Read on to see links to my previous NOTES below where I describe Step One through Step Three, part 1, of my Four Part professional system for a complete SKIN CARE REGIMEN that takes Seasonal and Climate variations into consideration.*
Since the early days of March at the New Moon, we’ve entered another transition time which requires that you slightly modify your day and evening skin care regimen from Late Winter into Early Spring in order to keep your daily skin care regimen/RITUAL up-to-date as well as get into sync and complement what is happening in your personal environment as far as weather, air quality with its humidity or wind-chill factor is concerned, and especially become aware of your bodily transitions during this period between Late Winter into Early Spring.
Remember, the phrase of “…those will be helped who help themselves?” Well, Nature and our own often-forgotten, yet always there, BODY RHYTHMS will usually give us a cleanse either because 1) you’ve assisted your body with its own natural, season-induced CLEANSE by employing proper, easy, and gentle detox methods…or because, on the other hand, 2) you’ve neglected to follow MOTHER NATURE’S RHYTHMS and therefore, self-inflict yourself with colds, allergies, and sluggishness of body, mind and spirit.
This is because our bodies are overloaded and somewhat clogged by the past months’ slower pace, holiday and daily eating of heavier (and often less) fresh market food and substitution of some fresh foods with easier stored and prepared pantry foods. And, unless we carefully adjust with seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, and light or no dessert, our diet has almost subconsciously been seasonally adjusted to keep our bodies warm and our tummies full. Settling in with a good book and a glass of vino as you read this? Oh,oh, more carbs and sugar!
Yet, only the very disciplined can resist the comfort of warm bread, delicious cheeses, potatoes, and baked goods when the wind is blowing and temperatures drop so low during a long Winter’s evening–are you one of these people? I know I’m not really good at resisting temptation. So, when the season of Winter is coming to a close and our body’s overload happens, if you forget  (or worse, resist)  SELF-CARE methods such as the easiest and well-known method of doing a daily Gentle Detox first thing in the morning–the warm to slightly hot LEMON WATER RITUAL with its LIVER cleansing properties–you experience the often unpleasant result of system overload…and then what’s your body to do? BE PRO-ACTIVE…see my post:…
And you may be wondering–“What does this have to do with my skin care regimen for Spring?”  My methodology is HOLISTIC, that is, my knowledge and advice encompasses taking our entire being~ Body/Mind/Spirit ~into consideration when recommending protocols and products…so please continue reading if you’d like to learn more.
After gentle cleansing, misting or toning, and then applying the first layer of your Hydrate in LAYERS protocol–the light, liquidy SERUM Layer (see link below), IMMEDIATELY FOLLOW with the second layer in my protocol, the OIL SERUM Layer, the layer that guarantees a moist, hydrated, repaired and re-juvenated appearance to your Winter-weary complexion. Today, I will give you instructions on How-To apply and what to look for in OIL SERUM, and in another NOTE, I will give you my recommendations to my favorite products in this category.
Delicious OIL SERUMS whether smelling of their own carrier oil goodness, or lightly fragranced with real, pure essential oils is a BEAUTY RITUAL known since ancient times to prevent dryness and preserve a less-lined look to the skin because of their nourishing and replenishing properties. Plant-based OILS contain natural vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and lots of other great components for keeping skin both beautiful and HEALTHY.
This is because our skins by their very composition are Oil Loving! Our skins’ sebum is what keeps it lubricated and protected NATURALLY from bacteria; Our skins’ LOVE OIL~ our pores (really not “pores” but technically sebaceous glands, and not our sweat glands either) actually readily absorb and appreciate natural plant oils as the best and most beneficial moisturizing ingredients we can utilize–only if they are truly fresh and good ORGANIC OILS, and not heavy molecule ones like coconut oil, or clogging, synthetic ones like mineral oil–in order to function optimally allowing the skin to become Normal/normalized, the most sought-after skin type whose dewy, glowing, baby-like soft and radiant appearance is the condition that is strived for, and for which lots of money is out-laid for, to gain and maintain that just about perfect look we admire so much.
HOW-TO APPLY  an OIL SERUM~  Use either a third of a small glass dropper full, or 2-3 pumps of your selected  OIL SERUM which usually comes in a Glass Bottle into the palm of one hand, and use the fingertips of your other hand to press some of the oil onto your fingertips until most of the oil serum is on the fingertips of both hands. Then begin to apply in slow, gentle sweeping movements from the center outwards of your cheeks, forehead, chin, jawline and nose in that order.  Blend in lightly until you feel most of the oil blend has been absorbed into the top layer of your skin, then apply an equal amount or more to your neck and décolleté in lightly downward movements from under your jaw down with gentle and light pressure towards your collarbones.  Finish with sweeping movements across your décolleté and shoulders.  You must treat your entire facial area in order to retain a youthful countenance…both the right products and your ritual daily face massage will both stimulate lymph flow and assist circulation which are key to skin’s health and appearance. Leave on just the barest slight layer of oil so you may FOLLOW with the 3rd and final layer…your more occlusive cream layer/barrier.
Your daytime CREAM will become your 3rd layer (a future NOTE forthcoming) applied right after the OIL SERUM has absorbed…I suggest about 1 to 2 mins allowance time before applying the third layer…with enough of a slip and glide feeling left comfortably on your skin’s surface to form a semi-occlusive final layer over both your previously applied liquidy serum and oil serum layers. This is the application method I highly recommend to keep your skin protected and hydrated for the whole day and again, overnight, after your EVENING Ritual.
By repeating this cleanse, mist, layering system in the Evening, you will not only refresh yourself and prepare for a restorative sleep, you will prepare your skin to do its own restoring and repairing work overnight by providing a “breathe-able” yet very moisturized environment for your skin to repair free-radical damage and balance itself into the normal skin that is naturally ours. BE SURE TO APPLY the layering steps to your Neck and Décolleté areas also–this is crucial to maintain a total countenance that looks and remains refreshed and youthful.
*And be sure to check out my NOTES which appeared in the last few months on my Simply Nirvana Facebook page as well as on my Blog~ Your Skin Advisor at WordPress: to review all the STEPS so far–remember my motto–BE BEAUTIFUL NATURALLY!
Step One~ Cleanse GENTLY:…
Step Two~ Mist LIBERALLY:

Step Three of your Winter Skin Care Regimen ~ Hydrate in Layers, part 1

One of my key Beauty Secrets is the third step in your Winter Skin Care regimen. This important step was preceded by #1~ Cleanse GENTLY…
and #2~ Mist LIBERALLY…
An analogy to this next vital step, STEP #3~ Hydrate in LAYERS of my recommended Four Step Regimen, is my statement that “Just as we dress warmer by layering our clothes during the colder Winter months, it is a perfect idea to layer our Skin Care Products in order to provide enough protection and moisture for our exposed faces.” This NOTE will focus on the first step/first layer of my strongly recommended  Hydrating in Layers protocol–
After cleansing and misting well with some of my favorite MISTING Products (see the link just above for details and a brief critique of what makes them special), I recommend that you IMMEDIATELY HYDRATE with a thin, even base coat of a SERUM, not an oil blend or cream per se, but a liquidy/gel/ lotion~like emulsion which absorbs into the skin almost instantly, leaving a smooth surface.
Another wonderful quality of a serum is that it is Very Concentrated so only a small pump or half of a pea-sized amount in the palm of your hand is all that’s required to  spread quickly by the fingertips of the opposite hand with gentle yet continuously gliding strokes applying the precious ingredients all over your face. Next, use about two applications for your neck and decollette [A MUST!! your face doesn’t stop at your chin 😉 and along with the eyes are usually the first areas to show signs of environmental damage and loss of elasticity].
I highly recommend the Serums from OSEA Organic Seaweed-based quality Skin and Body Care line. I have used their products on myself and on my faithful clientele for years and I prefer not only the way they absorb deeply into the skin, and what the ingredients they contain do for the skin, yet also just the right amount of the gel-like liquid is dispersed from the high quality pumps of the beautiful frosted glass bottles. I enjoy and appreciate all 3 serums from OSEA and here is a little explanation and my critique of them one by one:
First, the VITAMIN SEA Serum– What Osea says about it~ “This potent serum infuses skin with Hyaluronic Acid and a fortifying blend of seven seaweed extracts to help smooth the look of fine lines and wrinkles on the skin’s surface. Antioxidant-rich Turmeric, Ferulic Acid and Green Tea restore the appearance of youthful plumpness to moisture-depleted skin. Leaves skin feeling supple and hydrated.”
*My opinion is that the exceptional ingredients including Hyaluronic Acid, known for its ability to retain about 300x its weight in moisture when applied to the skin, are just what Winter skin craves. As the first step of your 3 part layering, a wonderful serum like this one absorbs quickly and makes a light base to help the next two steps adhere and absorb more evenly and deeply. Vitamin Sea Serum is categorized as Anti-Aging, or as I like to say, “Youth~Enhancing” 🙂
Second, the BRIGHTENING Serum– What Osea has to say~ “This ultra-lightweight serum contains potent botanicals that help to visibly brighten your complexion, diminish the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation, and create the appearance of a more even skin tone. Vitamin-rich ingredients such as Indian Gooseberry, Curcumin, Japanese Matsutake Mushroom and Bearberry give your complexion a refined, radiant look.” The Brightening Serum is considered ‘radiance enhancing’ and anti-aging by its maker.
*My opinion is that the gently exfoliating and brightening ingredients contained in Osea’s Brightening Serum are much safer and work at a much deeper level than chemical exfoliants and artificial brightening agents. Plus its special and unusual ingredients such as gooseberry (an Ayurvedic favorite), curcumin aka tumeric (known for its anti-inflammatory effect), specific type Mushroom, and Bearberry herb are ingredients known for assisting in the repair of sun damage and the gradual and safe lightening and even~ning of sun damaged-caused hyper-pigmentation of the skin which appears more and more as we take on the exposure year after years not realizing that SUN DAMAGE is CULMULATIVE, that is, every year in the sun, unprotected, causes a gradual change in melanin which is triggered deep in the dermis and comes eventually up to the skin’s epidermis (surface) slowly yet relentlessly.
So, every year we receive more sun exposure and the protective melanin increaes (a darkening of areas as small as freckles in the beginning then over time expand to be larger “sun spots” and with every birthday the spots and imperfections become darker and more prevelant…and that usually makes us so sad 😦
The only solution is to be pro-active with Protection, Lubrication, and pure Organic cleansers, toners, masks and other skin care products that are made specifically for certain skin conditions like these and beautifully realized by OSEA. There is help out there and this serum is one of the skin’s best friends.
Thirdly, the EYE GEL SERUM for all skin types. Osea’s description of its benefits~ This is a “Supercharged Serum For Tired Eyes.” meaning “This robust age-defying under eye serum combats visible signs of fatigue such as dark spots, fine lines and surface puffiness for an instantly illuminated look. Resveratrol, Montmorillonite, Organic Algae, Hyaluronic Acid cultivate a youthful, firmer looking appearance. Has an immediate, gentle, cooling effect that promotes a sense of freshness and wellbeing.”
*My opinion is that no skin care regimen should be without this very moisturizing and so necessary product since the EYE AREA requires specialized and consistent attention with the right kind of product that is not heavy to order to not cause clogging around this delicate, thin-skinned area, and it is also very important that an eye serum penetrates easily to sink in and not sit on top interfering with the next two layers in our Hydrate in Layers regimen. Again, the ease-of-application with the pre-measured pump as well as the just-right-size container to take in your purse, gym bag, travel bag, etc. makes Osea’s Eye Gel Serum one of my most highly recommended skin care products and definitely one of Mary’s Must~HavesTM.
Find the above mentioned products here~…
Be sure to follow my Simply Nirvana Facebook page as well as  my new blog, to see my next NOTE where I will share the second step of my HYDRATE in Layers method–your oil serum layer–the key moisture~retaining step.

A new modality for wellness via Flower Power

An informative interview with the creator of modern flower essences/elixirs for raising and fine tuning your outlook, creativity and mind/body connection. See the paragraph just below the link for my special for February with direct link to these exceptional products ~

Use my code: SIMPLYNIRVANA for 20% off any order ***only thru the end of FEB*** of these transformative, plant-dervided flower essences that enhance your moods, lift your spirit and inspire creative action and updated perspectives.  The  Lotus Wei collection includes Tinctures, Mists, Serums, and Perfumes plus specialty products~

Step two of your Late Autumn into Winter Skin Care Regimen~ Mist Liberally

Facial Mists and Toners are often an under-rated and therefore, an often skipped part of the average person’s skin care regimen. Many times I have heard that a consumer is told that a hydrating facial mist or gentle toner is an un-neccessary step in cleansing, so I am sharing with you now that this is totally wrong and mis-guided information.
Thoroughly misting your face with a delicious floral water, herbal water, or mildly cleansing toner is one of best procedures to plump up your skin, hydrate it enough to allow superior penetration of whatever moisturizer, oil blend, hydrating cream and serum you put on next, and fully invigorate your skin by removing tap water residue and/or any remaining cleanser on your skin due to not removing your cleansing product thoroughly.
Please see my blog post  dated November 29th on this page for my step by step instructions on how to really wash your entire facial area properly, and visit this blog again to  refer to my upcoming blog post on how to use a facial mist versus a facial toner.
All mists are used both to re-hydrate your skin after cleansing or masking as well as to prepare the surface of the skin for moisturizing by bringing back the skin’s natural pH balance and creating a moist medium for the serum, oil, lotion or cream you apply for superior penetration of product. Just think of the analogy of a wet sponge picking up more water into it than a dry sponge.
Mists are also very exhilarating to your senses and state of well~being because whether it’s the Evian spray or an aromatherapy or flower essence product. you are creating a vapor of loveliness as each precious minute particle of the mist falls delicately onto your skin and your nose picks up its refreshing scent. Please check my next NOTE to understand why you just don’t spray and leave the mist to evaporate–that will not have the same effect as my trusted method of application.
My current favorite MISTING PRODUCTS are:

1) Napa Valley au Natural’s ROSE KISSES Mist –A gorgeous smelling and feeling floral water blend of Rose Otto & Rose Geranium, two of the best traditional essential oils for softening, hydrating, nourishing, balancing and re-generating the skin. Experienced Aromatherapist, Anna Wingfield, creator of Rose Kisses’ gives her description~ “A sweet mist for your lovely face with rose otto & rose geranium essential oils. Also with ‘pretty face’ flower essence (to assist you in being kind when you look at yourself in the mirror). Rose is especially helpful in feeling beautiful and aging gracefully.” Find it here:…

 2) OSEA’s SEA VITAMIN BOOST with Gigartina Skottsbergii Algae hydrates while infusing skin with vitamins and minerals to reinforce the appearance of youthful volume and firmness. Leaves skin feeling hydrated and protected. Wonderful for all skin types and conditions~…
3) Lotus Wei’s Aura Mists~ Create a whole new mind set by using these intriguing organic extra high quality flower essence and essential oil blend products. The Lotus Wei system is a modern take on Bach Flower Remedies where a particular plant corresponds to a a particular energetic vibration that is healing to a specific condition. When you pick your flower of the day, it always reflects what energy you need most on that particular day….see what I mean by clicking on the link and exploring the newest healing modality that overlaps mental wellbeing and beauty~…
4) Evian pure mineral water in the traditional Spray~ The Classic standard of refreshment with gentle cleansing, toning and mositurizing properties all in one. I’ve used it for years personally and professionally and highly recommend it.
I also recommend that you purchase the 5 oz. size because the contents continue to spray whereas the smallest size (1.7 oz) has barely any contents yet makes a handy addition to your purse or when traveling. A cleansing mist of Evian can help remove perpiration, ocean salt, pool cholrine, or surface facial dirt. The very large size (14 oz.) does not maintain it’s sprayer function after using only about one half of its content–this is based on my years of utilizing this vital beauty product so, in other words, after buying literally a thousand cans of Evian Spray Mist and that’s why I’m passing on this information
I love the middle size (5 oz.) and have used it quite successfully in my own personal beauty ritual as well as using it on my spa clientele with fantastic results for over twenty five years. I believe its neutral to slightly alkaline pH (7.2) and unique balance of minerals propelled in a super-fine mist can penetrate the upper layers of the dermis for deeper hydration. It is also a great aid to overheated or dry office air and instantly helps soothe and re-hydraate sun burned and wind chapped skin. It keeps your skin looking fresh and moist and that is how skin thrives.
By purifying the skin with excellent mineral water sealed at the source in the French Alps, the Evian mineral water spray (“Brumisateur”) will assist you in the important step of rinsing away tap water residue which, in turn, leaves you with a completely fresh, sterile and dewy complexion to continue to enliven with a second mist of fragranced floral water or herbal toner, or just simply continue to the third step of moisturizing with more substantial pure skin care products which I will discuss in a future NOTE~ Find the 5 oz size of Evian Mist at Bed, Bath & Beyond, Target, on Amazon, or in many health care shops like Pharmaca.
And, be sure to follow along to see my next recommended step, Step Three–“Hydrate in Layers” in a future NOTE on my Simply Nirvana FB page (see a future reference on this page also) where I will explain how applying moisturizing products in LAYERS will really make a difference in how well moisturized your skin becomes & stays–and we want it glowing 🙂


How to rate your Spa Experience

My commentary on what’s the difference between a great Spa and those that are so-so in an article called “Why Good Spas Go Bad” from December 28th 2012 by Spalicious at
Please read this article~ I have posted a comment at the end of the article and although it is several years old, it will always be applicable regarding this pertinent topic…see what I have to say with my background as the creator of the first Aromatherapy Spa in Corona del Mar CA 1992~
 also posted on my professional Facebook page~

The top Wellness Trends of 2017

Find out how to make your New Year the best in regards to your health of body, mind, spirit including self-care, fitness, relaxation, and fulfillment~