Balance Beauty for the Winter Months

Late Fall early Winter signifies the Vata Season.  Vata, the Ayurvedic Dosha of air and ether is known for it's dry and unsettled qualities.  Just like nature, our bodies change with the seasons.  That is why in the winter we often experience chapped lips and rough skin and find our bodies and our minds to be restless.  

Three simple ways to soothe the dryness of the Winter Season and settle the restlesness of the active holiday months are what I like to call, the 3 M's, Massage, Movement and Mindfulness.  Together, they are simple enough to achienve every day and effective enough to keep you warm,cozy and comforatable all winter long. 


A Nourishing Red Lip for the Holiday Season!

Nothing says, "I am ready to celebrate." like a bold red lip!  Only often times we find that lipstick can dry our lips, especially in the crisp winter months.  It is important to find a product that not only has the perfect color, but also the perfect protection for potentially dry chapped lips.


Vapour cosmetics are changing the way we do beauty.  Using healing botanicals and natural mineral pigments, Vapour crafts gorgeous color blends in concentrated, moisturizing products bursting with antioxidant activity.

For the perfect red lip pairing of color and moisture, try Vapour LUX Organic Lip Conditioner followed by Siren Coquette.  Together they will seal in moisture and provide the perfect holiday pucker!



Stay Cool In The Summer Heat With A Bath??

In the hot Summer months, when it comes to the end of the day, most of us think cool showers before we consider a warm bath.  The days of Summer tend to be more active in nature and our schedules are filled with stimulating events.  Without realizing it, these days of constant activity and excitement also aggravate our systems and throw our constitution out of balance.  One of the best ways to calm the "Fire of Summer" is to slow down and relax...treat yourself to calmer, soothing activities...which brings me back to the bath...more specifically an Ayurvedic bath designed to balance the fire in our bodies.  We'll get to that in just a moment.  First, let's start with the basics. 


From a Balanced Beauty standpoint, taking a bath is a key element of self care.  We all deserve a little luxury in our lives to feel good about ourselves, relax our bodies and calm our restless minds.  There is no doubt that taking a bath has a multitude of health benefits such as improving our blood circulation, loosening tight muscles and helping to gain more restful sleep.  But what about in Summer, when the temperatures are hot and our bodies need cooling?
Ayurveda, one of the most ancients healing systems from India, breaks down individuals into three doshas (or physical constitutions) that relate to the seasons in nature.  Everybody has all three, just in different combinations.  The three doshas are Vata=Air, Kapha=Water and Pitta=Fire.  These three doshas also relate to seasons in nature, Vata=Winter, Kapha=Spring and Pitta=Summer.  With every season Ayurveda recommends we vary the use of different products, practices and food to naturally balance our bodies constitution.  


As Pitta represents Fire and Summer, this dosha when out of balance results in mental, emotional and physical aggravation.  Skin irritations such as eczema, cold sores and rosacea as well as digestive issues and stomach upset are very common results of an irritated Pitta constitution.  We all have Pitta in our systems, some of us more than others.  (To discover your individual constitution, consult an Ayurvedic practitioner.)  The summer heat intensifies Pitta and cooling treatments such as the Surya Spa Pitta Cooling Bath Soak with Rose Petals and Neem Leaves, helps to calm emotions, quench the fire that an aggravating day can bring and restore serenity. 
Every Ayurvedic Pitta Bath Soak from Surya Spa provides the luxury of a healing Ayurvedic treatment in the comfort of your own home. Without making the water too hot, the bath soak is not only a "treat", but a "treatment".  The Pitta bath soak includes natural epsom salts, organic sea salts and mixed Ayurvedic whole herbs, rose petals and neem leaves, to soothe and restore.   The cooling principle of neem, combined with its capacity to support healthy blood, helps to balance pitta.  The other ingredient, rose, associated with romance, balances pitta by soothing the "fire" that governs emotions and their effect on the heart.  So at the risk of sounding "mushy", you know the tingly, butterfly feeling you get when in love?   The Surya Spa Pitta Bath Soak is like being handed a dozen roses.  You'll not only feel light on your feet, soothed and nourished, but you might find yourself visualizing sweet dreams of the heart as well.

To enjoy an Ayurvedic Pitta Bath Soak and/or discover the other varieties of bath soaks they offer, visit their website.
Stay Cool All Summer Long, With A Bath!
Alison Burmeiser
Balanced Beauty



Pro Natal Care with Ayurveda and Yoga

Ayurveda and Yoga have been promoting and preventing wellness for centuries.  Together they are the perfect recipe for a healthy lifestyle.  At the end of last year I joined forces with Surya Spa in Pacific Palisades to develop a dosha yoga program and promote their beauty and wellness products and practices.  

In what I hope to be the first of many articles, Aleiela Allen, Director of the Surya Spa Mother Baby program, and I partnered to write this Article for Ayurveda Mantra Magazine.  I hope you enjoy reading it and will share it with your new mothers and mothers to be! 

Cheers to Healthy Mamas and their Happy Babies! ;)


"Self Care" your way to "Balanced Beauty" all Winter Long!

When it comes to health, beauty and wellness I feel the new buzz phrase today is "Self Care".  Right up there with kale, acai berries and coconut water people are realizing, holy cow, this stuff is good for me!  Only now instead of a smoothie or salad, people are talking about a number of ways to better serve their bodies, minds and spirits.  You know what I have to say to that?  It's about time!!

With Balanced Beauty, I've always preached there is no one magic solution for everybody.  Each individual has to find their own "Balanced Beauty" routine.  Depending on your lifestyle, genetics, diet, exercise habits, skin and body type, what makes one person look and feel good, may not be right for someone else.  Also, as seasons change and our bodies age, what was once relevant to us may not be the best thing now.  So just as we evolve and seasons change, so will our "Balanced Beauty".

Speaking of our bodies and seasons, as we find ourselves deeply rooted in the winter months, we must take care of ourselves more than ever.  Just like in nature, we find ourselves colder, drier and wanting to hibernate.  To maintain the energy and vitality we need to get through the day, it is important that we consider ways of "self care" (there I said it!  I feel so hip.) to keep our minds, bodies and spirits in balance! 

Here are a few ideas for "self care" in winter that might just work for everyone!


Drink Warm Lemon Water

Drinking a glass of warm lemon water when you first wake up in the morning helps in so many ways. 

  • Aids in Digestion (Think Big Winter Meals)
  • Detoxifies the Liver (Drinks to go with said, "Big Winter Meals")
  • Hydrates the Lymph System
  • Boosts the Imunne System (Flu Season!)
  • Terrific for Skin (Get your winter glow on!)
  • Boosts Energy (i.e.  get off your couch)
  • Helps Fat Loss (refer back to "Big Winter Meals")



Massage your hands and feet with warm sesame oil


Cold hands, Warm Heart?  In the winter most of us just simply have cold hands!  Massaging Sesame Oil into the hands and feet has a warming effect which not only is great for circulation but also calms the nervous system, lubricates the joints and softens dry skin.  Feel free to continue up the leg and arms, using long strokes on the limbs and circular motions around the joints.  Great to do in the shower, when you wake up and before bed for a better night's sleep! Give the oil time to soak in or pat it dry with a towel.






Use facial oils to hydrate the skin

"If I put oil on my face won't I break out?" Not so. Facial oils, unlike body oils are lighter. With the right formulation for your skin type they won't clog your pores like so many think.  When not cleansed and exfoliated, dirt and dead skin cells will clog your pores and potentially result in break outs.  Facial oils like Argan, Rose, Frankincense, Hemp and Jojoba are very nourishing for dry, dehydrated winter skin.  When applied and combined with a mini-facial massage, you not only feel the difference in your skin, but see and feel the relaxed muscles in your face also!




Take steamy warm baths with essential oil bath salts

 Bath Salts made with essential oils turn a regular bath experience into a "self care" experience.  Essential oils like Vetiver, Jasmine and Lavendar are known for setting a calm and tranquil mood.  Clary Sage, Ylang Ylang and Lemongrass are stimulants that uplift your mood and Eucalyptus will help to clear congested respiratory systems. Combine that with pleasing music, candle light, good book and maybe a glass of wine and your mind, body and spirit will thank you! 





Eat soups made with seasonal vegetables and broths

In the winter time our bodies benefit from eating foods that are naturally available during this season.  Foods that are sweet, sour, salty, heavy, oily, moist and hot such as soups, stews, steamed veggies and warm herbal teas.  Unlike summer where our bodies benefit from drier, colder foods such as salads and smoothies, in the wintertime we balance the dry chill we feel with hearty, warm food.  Soups and stews made from winter squash, tomatoes, pumpkin and carrot are not only delicous but nutritious too! 





Take walks despite the weather

For all you L.A. folks, let me tell you a little story...growing up in Chicago Winters, there were streets downtown where ropes were tied between buildings so people could hold on while they walked door to door. If they did not grab tight, the strong winter winds would blow them down the street. (For everything I'm about to say, this is the exception). Everyone else...get out and move!  It is so easy to cuddle up by the fire, sink into the couch and stay in bed when it is cold outside.  As we mentioned before, seasonally, this IS the time to hibernate!  However, do yourself a favor (and your pooch if you have one) dress appropriately and go for a walk. Part of staying warm is keeping the blood circulating!  Ropes not included. 

 Practice restorative yoga and yoga nidra

During the winter season one of the most sensitive systems in our body is the nervous system. Emotions are high, our focus is scattered and our bodies naturally are less grounded. This is why practices such as restorative yoga and yoga nidra are so important and much needed during this time. Restorative yoga, using props, deep juicy stretches and postures rooted in the earth nourishes us and leaves us feeling well rested. While yoga nidra, releases stress and tension by consciously scanning the body, witnessing your thoughts and feelings and connecting deeply with your breath. 

I hope one or all of these can be incorporated into your daily routine this winter season!  Wishing you focused, calm days and cozy, warm nights! 


Alison Burmeister


Balanced Beauty