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Friday, September 28, 2012

Product Giveaway: Ultimate Relaxation!

SkIndulgence Relaxation Bath Tea and Body Scrub
YAY!  We're having our first giveaway!  To follow up on yesterday's blog post about the importance of relaxation, we are offering our Relaxation Set to one lucky winner!

About the Relaxation Set:
Relaxing in a hot bath is a must for relieving the stresses of daily life. Our bath packs combine bath tea and bath salts in one easy to use, single-use, large tea bag. Life is complicated, your bath shouldn't be!  This ultimate relaxation set includes one 4-ounce jar of Salty and Sweet Lavender Body Scrub, eight (8) single-use bath bags, 16 organic chamomile tea bags, and one vanilla-scented aromatherapuetic candle.  To use: begin by lighting a candle, putting on your favorite music and making a cup of tea (with two tea bags). Fill your bathtub to the desired temperature and toss in one of the Relaxation Bath Tea bags. While the tub is filling, rub your body with the Relaxation Salty and Sweet Body Scrub. Slowly immerse yourself into your herbal bathwater. Lay back and place one chamomile tea bag over each eyelid. Emerge from the water feeling thoroughly relaxed and at peace.

How to Win:
It's so easy; all you have to do is:
  1. Follow the SkIndulgence page on Facebook (if you already do, skip to #2),
  2. Write a FB status update telling your peeps about us,
  3. Leave a comment below letting us know you've done 1 & 2.  You'll want to leave your name in the comments so we can let you know you've won.
The winner will be selected through a random drawing and announced in one week, so don't forget to check back and see if you're the winner of these awesome products!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dori's Story

This is the (pretty long) story of the creation of the SkIndulgence line; or "How Dori Learned to Stop Being Afraid and Go For It".

Though I fell in love with herbs and the idea of creating my own skin care products at a very young age, I never felt it could be my livelihood.  Let me rephrase that.  I was always too afraid to try.  My entire adult life I have defined "security" as having a steady income via climbing the corporate ladder.  Never once in any of these positions did I feel actual passion, or even enjoyment.  To the contrary, I felt very out of place an unhappy.  For the past 15 years I would dread facing the office each day, and would come home each night discouraged and exhausted.  I tried convincing myself that everyone in business felt this way; that this was just part of life.  I know now that this is far from true.

Several months ago this internal conflict caught up with me.  At first I became increasingly withdrawn and depressed. I cried constantly and lashed out in anger at anyone and everyone. I stopped talking to nearly everyone I knew, and the relationships I maintained became incredibly strained, to put it lightly. Shortly after this depression started I began having debilitating panic attacks and night terrors.  It got to be that a day wouldn't go by that I would have several panic attacks or wake repeatedly throughout the night screaming and crying and filled with immobilizing terror.

The mental symptoms ended up being only a part of a much larger problem.  In early 2012, I fell very ill.  I got so weak that I could barely stand and was in so much pain it was difficult to walk.  I lost my appetite and then 20 pounds within weeks.  Several doctors and countless tests later, I was told that I had over 10 tumors throughout my body, one larger than a golf ball, and that these tumors, if not cancer, were at least the root of my illness and my mental state.  Eager to get those stupid things out and start feeling better, I scheduled the multiple surgeries it would take to remove them.

At the same time, my work situation had grown increasingly strained because of my illness.  I knew that taking time off to recover was not an option.  I say "knew", rather than "felt" because I was told as much very bluntly when I informed my bosses of my need to take time off to recover from multiple invasive surgeries.  The promotion I had just been granted was then revoked, as my illness now made me "untrustworthy".  Holding onto that need for "security", I put my work ahead of my health: I scheduled my surgeries nearly back to back starting on Thursday night with the final one Monday afternoon.  I then returned to work Wednesday morning.  I was severely bruised and my three incision points were bandaged and visibly bleeding through; I sobbed from pain the entire drive to the office and was unable to lift even a small stack of papers, but I feared getting fired and felt driven to show my bosses that I still deserved that promotion.

It was this return to work when I began to "see the light", so to speak.  Though they knew why I had been out of the office for three days (and could clearly see my bandages), not one of my three bosses asked how I was feeling or if I was ready to return, even those I hung out with outside the office.  I know this should not be expected in the corporate atmosphere, but, for me at least, it was the beacon that very clearly shed light on the fact that this environment was not meant for me: the dedication and commitment was not mutual.  I definitely don't need or want to be coddled, to the contrary I am a very independent and private person...but I knew I could no longer spend most of my waking life in a place that I now found incredibly cold and uncaring.  Instinctively I knew that this atmosphere was destroying me.  I feel that my getting sick was a message that there was a misalignment with the way I was living my life. Though it terrified me beyond belief, I gave my notice and left the company shortly after this.

Days after leaving my job, I boarded a flight for my annual trip to Kenya with Build.Create.Kenya.  Though I was recovered enough to get around at this point, my health issues were far from resolved: I was still 20 pounds down on my weight, incredibly weak, and experiencing the depression, panic attacks and night terrors.  My family and friends called me crazy for going to Kenya, but I knew in my heart I had to go.

Less than a week into my month-long expedition, I realized that I had not felt any of my illness' symptoms since my arrival.  I kept this to myself not wanting to "jinx" anything.  But as I continued to live the "hakuna matata" (no worries) and "pole pole" (slow/relaxed) life of the Kenyans, my symptoms fell away entirely.  I felt energized and exhilarated; I had an appetite and gained weight.  I laughed and I danced and I SLEPT!

Dori: Falling asleep while eating Twizzlers during a late night meeting :-)

The long flight back to Los Angeles gave me plenty of time to reflect on the experience.  I sent this information out into the universe, and I received an answer:  I was not living my life following the path that my heart and my passions were leading; I had exhausted my spirit and my body by living with a conflicted soul for 15 years.  To save myself, I had to strip away the previous definition of "security" and redefine it by listening to my heart.  It is a common saying that the skills you are granted are a gift to you from the world, but what you do with those skills is your gift to the world.

Experiencing a cancer scare was pretty effective at stripping away my fears.  A new fearless me, has set out to offer my skills to the world and see if I can't find a new "security" in doing what I love.  SkIndulgence Skin Care was born as a result.  Through SkIndulgence, I can share all of that amazing magic hidden within plants, flowers, and other gifts of nature.  At the basis of each of our products is a message:
  • Relax! Our body scrubs and bath tea are designed to help you relax; a gift I give each of you with a vengeance since it is what saved me!
  • Love the planet and its creatures! We believe you don't need to sacrifice nature with harmful ingredients and cruel animal testing practices for the sake of beauty; our ingredients and packaging are designed with the well being of Mother Earth and her children at the top of our priorities.  And most importantly,
  • Live simply! The best things in life can (and usually do) come from those that are the most simple!  Our ingredients are naturally simple by design.
This was my story...just the beginning though, follow along and let's see what happens!

Cruelty Free and Vegan Products

International logo indicating the product is "cruelty free"
Though SkIndulgence is a stickler for creating products that are as pure and natural as possible, of even more concern to us is the barbaric use of animals to test cosmetics and other products in the name of beauty.  Though we are assured by the cosmetic industry that this testing is necessary and humane, visits to animal testing labs will convince you otherwise.  There is nothing humane about placing shampoo in a rabbit's eyes - the gentlest of the procedures practiced - or testing for allergic reactions on their shaved skin, often creating huge, ulcerated sores on these gentle creatures.

The truth is that there are easier, less expensive, and more humane ways for testing these products than abusing other life forms.  While many large cosmetic companies have changed their animal testing policies in recent years both because of pressure from caring citizens and animal rights advocates and the lack of necessity for animal testing, there are many still that refuse to end the abuse.

SkIndulgence is committed to offering products that are not only safe for your skin, but are safe all the animals, too! Our products are completely vegan, and the only animals we test on are ourselves and the luckiest of our friends.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pamper Your Hands

11th Commandment: Pamper Thy Hands

Hands are generally prone to age at a much faster rate than the other parts of the body.  They are often the first to express signs of everyday wear and tear, in part because of the relentless exposure to soaps, detergents, cold, heat, wind and water.  In order to minimize the harsh effects of these elements it is crucial to keep replenishing the skin's surface with moisture and nutrients, both from inside and outside.

The recipe below is a quick and simple way to show your hands some love and care.  The recipe uses olive oil, which will promote nail strength and flexibility.  Mixed with vitamin E, the oil nourishes cuticles and nails.

1/4 cup olive oil
oil from 1 vitamin E capsule
Heat oil in saucepan and let cool until just warm enough to the touch.  Add vitamin E oil and rub into cuticles and nails, massaging any excess oil into hands.

Because we rely so heavily on the use of our palms, fingers and nails during the course of the day, an optimal time for a hand treatment is at night.  I recommend doing this just before sleep, then wearing 100% cotton gloves during the night.  When you wake up, you'll have the hands of a baby, I guarantee it!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Cosmeos, the Goddess of Harmony & Balance

From my teacher and my inspiration, Rosemary Gladstar:
There is a story we herbalists have conjured up that I like to think of. A mythical Greek goddess whose name meant harmony and balance, Cosmeos gave to mortals the gifts of herbs, flowers and other simple pleasures to nourish the body and soul. She personified radiant health that flowed from a core of harmony and balance. Cosmeos never sought to mask what she was or how she looked; rather, she fed her inner fire with the eternal gifts of the Earth.  Her beauty was as unique as the flowers growing wild on the hillside and as powerful as the granite bones of the mountain.

The modern word cosmetic stems from the Greek word Kosmeticos, meaning "skilled at adornment". This is precisely what Cosmeos is all about; it was never her intent to cover up; she used her creations to reveal in who she was.
We at SkIndulgence keep this passage in mind when creating each of our products.  We believe that each person has their own unique beauty and love the idea that SkIndulgence can use all the gifts of the Earth to help let that beauty shine by illuminating the glory rather than masking the [perceived] flaws.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Cleansing Grains

Cleansing Grains' Naturally Simple Ingredients
A perfect soap replacement, cleansing grains are mild, nourishing, suitable for all skin types, and can be used daily.  Many of the commercial facial scrubs are far too harsh; they feel like sandpaper on the skin.  People with acne or "troubled" skin often use these rough cleansers suposedly thinking they can scrub the acne away.  However, blemished skin must be treated gently.  Harsh cleansers will only further irritate the already inflamed condition.  By contrast, our cleansing grains are perfect for blemished skin. They gently cleanse, distribute excess oil, remove dead cells, and improve circulation.
The cleansing grains available from SkIndulgence are naturally simple, containing:
  • White Kaolin Clay: Stimulates circulation, is a mild exfoliant and will draw impurities from the pores with regular use. Skin is noticeably healthier looking with continued use. White Kaolin is mildly drying so it clears up blemishes and works to prevent future breakouts but it also serves a calming purpose for dry, irritated skin.
  • Lavender & Rose flowers (powdered): At once healing and soothing, these flowers are useful in treating skin conditions such as acne and eczema.
  • Oatmeal (Ground): Oatmeal lends an unbelievably soft feel to the skin, soothes irritation and redness and very gently exfoliates.
  • Almond (Ground): Almonds gently exfoliate the skin.
These cleansing grains are simple to use, as well:
  • For those who prefer to go soap-less, use as a facial cleanser by mixing with liquid (we recommend a ratio of 1:3 grains : liquid), rubbing on the skin in circular motion and rinsing clean.
  • We personally use them as a facial scrub, post cleansing, every 2-3 days.
  • They can also be used as a mask by mixing as indicated above, then leaving on the face and neck for 3-15 minutes.
  • Though the grains can be mixed with any liquid, including water, we also recommend trying facial toner, milk (of any kind), or apple cider vinegar.
We find it convenient to mix up a batch of "moist grains" ahead of time; once mixed with liquid, the grains will store for up to a week.  This is provided you don't use tap water, as it contains bacteria that can lead to spoilage; try distilled water as a safe alternative.  They're so much easier to use when made up already, plus then you have the opportunity to add a few more yummy ingredients such as honey, which serves as a natural preservative for the grains and adds a wonderfully natural moisturizing quality.  Though honey sounds like it would make the grains very sticky, it doesn't.  Try a ratio of 1:2:1, grains : liquid : honey for best results.
The cleansing grains described above are available through the SkIndulgence store by clicking here.  Save 20% on all items in the store for just one more day with the code SSCGO20PER.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Calling Bloggers: Beauty & Otherwise

SkIndulgence would be more than ecstatic to offer products from our store to bloggers in exchange for reviews and/or blog giveaways to help us get the word out about our all natural, herbal skincare line.

Below is a gallery of some of the items offered in our shop.  Click here to see the full line.

If you are interested in taking part in this offer, please send an email of interest with the information listed below to
  • Shop items you wish to review (don't be shy!)
  • Blog web address
  • Blog's average monthly views
Happy shopping!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Remineralizing Seaweed Wrap

Seaweed wraps are exceptionally beneficial as a quick way to remineralize the body and replenish it with nutrients and elements lost on a daily basis -- such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, iodine, protein, phosphorous, copper, vitamins and amino acids.  The molecular formation of the human blood cell and that of seawater is similar, thereby enabling nutrients from the seawater to easily filter through the pores of the skin and directly into the bloodstream.  The most popular type of seaweed used for cosmetic and healing purposes is kelp -- the common name for the large leafy brown algae that grows along colder coastlines.  Although using fresh seaweed is certainly optimal, a seaweed powder mixed with enough water to create a mayonnaise-like paste will render equally satisfying results.

8 ounces dried or powdered seaweed and
enough water to make a paste,
or approximately 3 ounces of fresh seaweed
Mylar or plastic sheet (a clean shower curtain liner is perfect)
1 blanket
Space heater (optional)

Place a blanket at the bottom of a bathrub and set the plastic sheet on top.  Set the space heater nearby and turn it on. While sitting on the sheet, cover yourself with the seaweed paste or the fresh seaweed and then wrap yourself with the plastic sheet and blanket.  Relax for 20 minutes. Slowly unwrap yourself and remove blanket and sheet from the tub. Fill the tub with warm water and relax for 10 minutes. After the treatment, pat skin dry and moisturize.

Here are some additional tips to get the most out of your body wrap experience:
  • Make sure to replenish the body's fluids after the treatment by drinking plenty of water or herbal tea.
  • Before the treatment, remove all lotions, perfumes and dirt from the skin with a quick shower.
  • Heat retention is important, so remember to warm tools, towels, and sheets as well as the wrap ingredients before the treatment.
  • You can intensify the effects of the treatment and raise your body's temperature by sipping hot herbal tea before the wrap.
  • After the wrap, put on a warm bathrobe and relax for 20 minutes. Do not attempt to do any physical activity immediately after the treatment.
  • Remember this anonymous quote: 
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched.  They must be felt.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Our Creed, Borrowed from Sandy Maine

In her book "Creating an Herbal Bodycare Business" (which is at my fingertips at all times), Sandy Maine says:
Natural bodycare businesses and practitioners...hold great promise for the world. Their products put people in touch with the healing spirit of self and nature. Their services help strengthen, balance, and enhance the functioning of clients. Energized and renewed by these conscious connections with nature, bodycare producers and recipients alike gain strength, integrity, and perspective, and move out into the world on a mission of hope and healing.
This quote perfectly states the creed and mission of SkIndulgence Skin Care, of course worded much better than we could say ourselves!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Updates from the Shop: 9-18-2012

This is just a little update of what we've been up to here in the shop for the past few days.  It's been an exciting week with a few big orders and new logo merch coming in!

The bags make me smile :-)

This definitely topped the week for SkIndulgence excitement for me!  We got canvas tote bags screen printed by Level Press for an unbelievable rate (check them out when you need screen printing for sure!).  The bags are pretty simply, exactly how I like it, but foiled for a little fanci-ness :-)  If you are wondering, that thing on the left of the pic is a couch up-cycled from a pallet found in an alley :-)

The full line; in miniature

We sold the first "discount membership" package.  This lucky recipient gets one of our fancy new bags, a trial size of all items currently on sale (and any future items for one year), and 15% off any purchases for one year.  It was pretty exciting to see all of our pretty products lined up in a row like that, and the smell was HEAVENLY!

Almost ready; just need to dress those bottles!

Today we are getting a special gift package ready for someone very special; more info to follow on this!  We still need to slap some labels on there, and then they will be ready to ship!

Now through Sept 25th you can save 20% on the products shown above at the SkIndulgence store with the coupon code SSCGO20PER

Monday, September 17, 2012

My Daily 3-Step Skin Care Regime

Do you guys remember that movie from the 90s with Uma Thurman and Janeane Garofalo, The Truth About Cats and Dogs...?  There is that scene when the skin care sales lady asks Janeane what her"Skin Care Regime" is and Janeane responds with smart-allecky remarks about her use of the word "regime".  No?  Just me? Well, anyway, that scene is pretty much the sole reason I choose to use that word :-)

I qualify my skin as normal to combination/oily skin.  For the most part the oil is under control, but during that "special" week each month I tend to be blemish-prone.  Since I make skin care products, my face essentially has to be a walking advertisement for my products, so I am a stickler for making sure my skin stays as blemish-free and fresh-looking as possible.  This goal is made remarkably easy with the three SkIndulgence products below (I am definitely my own best customer, let me tell you!). My personal bedtime "regime" consists of:

Facial Cleanser for Normal to Oily & Acne Skin

Facial Cleanser for Normal to Oily Skin - This gentle daily cleanser is made with tea tree oil to control breakouts.  Tea Tree oil is a natural and safe alternative to commercial "acne control" products like benzoyl peroxide; however, it doesn't leave behind all of those icky side effects like a dry and peeling face, because who wants that nastiness on display?!  Also, because this product is all natural, it doesn't contain any horrid sulphates.  This means that the cleanser has a thinner consistency than what you are probably used to experiencing with commercial brands.  However, I package my cleanser with a foaming tip, so it is super easy to use and won't spill all over the place.  Lastly, this cleanser contains oat extract, an all natural emollient and one of the most sought after ingredients in skin care for it's ability to soften, soothe and calm irritation.

Queen of Hungary Herbal Facial Toner

Queen of Hungary Herbal Facial Toner - This is one of my personal favorites and ultimate beauty secret! Queen of Hungary Facial Toner is the oldest commercially marketed cosmetic in the world. This facial toner is recommended for all skin types and is safe to use daily. Even the most natural of facial cleansers leave behind a residue; remove that layer and balance your pH levels with an all natural toner.  After cleansing I spray about 10 sprays on my face (close those eyes!), then use a cotton ball to wipe clean.  After moisturizing, I give my face a light spritz again and allow to air-dry.

Night Cream for Normal to Oily & Acne Skin
Night Cream for Normal to Oily Skin - This blend was crafted using organic botanicals that are nourishing for acne prone and oily skin types. Many commercial creams contain too many synthetic, drying ingredients and using them strips the skin of it's natural sebum forcing the skin to work overtime to replace lost oils. The result is skin that is in worse condition than before. The answer? All things in balance and moderation. Use the right oils in the right amounts to keep skin balanced and calm. This night cream uses only the best oils and humectants and was created to penetrate through the dermis to hydrate and nourish the epidermis. A little goes a long way with this cream! Gently massage a pea-size amount to face and throat after cleansing and toning the skin each night.

When morning comes I simply rinse my face with water, apply a light sunscreen and go!

Now through Sept 25th you can save 20% on the products listed above at the SkIndulgence store with the coupon code SSCGO20PER

Friday, September 14, 2012

Banana and Chickpea Protein Mask

Chickpea flour has many advantages: it's an effective skin-softening exfoliator, it stimulates circulation and it rejuvenates tissues.  Bananas, rich in potassium and vitamin A, are natural emollients and help reduce redness and puffiness.  The egg in this mask will tighten pores and leave your skin feeling revitalized.

4 tablespoons chickpea flour
1 ripe banana, peeled and mashed
1 egg, beaten

In a bowl, blend chickpea flour and ripe banana into a paste. Add beaten egg and apply mixture to face and neck. Leave on for 15 minutes and rinse well with warm water. Pat Dry.

Each time you do a mask, always follow it up with a toner (to tighten the pores and restore pH) and a moisturizer (to hydrate and nourish the skin).  I recommend the Queen of Hungary Herbal Facial Toner and either Night Cream from the SkIndulgence Store.  For a limited time get these and other products for 20% of with code SSCGO20PER.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

30 Minutes to a More Relaxed You!

Life is stressful.  It is crucial for your mental and physical health to relieve stress and r-e-l-a-x!  Nothing helps me relax faster and deeper than a hot bath. Here are the steps you should take for the best effect:

Get Ready
Begin by lighting a candle, putting on your favorite music and making a cup of tea.  I recommend chamomile tea as you can then put the tea bags over your eyes for added relaxation in the tub.

Fill the Tub
Fill your bathtub to the desired temperature and toss in one of my Relaxation Bath Tea bags.  Your bathwater will be richly scented and permeated with the healing essences of the herbs.

Scrub Away Stress
While the tub is filling, rub your body with the Relaxation Salty and Sweet Body Scrub to renew and refresh your skin.  The exfoliation is great for your body not only because it is removing all that dead skin that dulls you up, but it is improving circulation and getting blood to rise to the surface of your skin.  At the same time the botanical oils, aloe vera and seaweed in the scrub are nourishing your skin and replenishing your body.  The relaxation factor is enhanced with the lavender flowers and essential oils that work aromatherapeutically to melt your stress away.

Immerse your Body
Slowly immerse yourself into your herbal bathwater.  Let the candlelight lure your dreams, the soft music entice you.  While soaking use the bath tea bag as a gentle scrub; massage it soothingly over your body.  Lay back and place one chamomile tea bag over each eyelid. The bath tea works by taking advantage of the fact that skin is the body's largest organ of absorption and elimination. What this means is that taking a bath can be a medicinal act, not just an enjoyable one.  Each tea bag is comprised of three parts: bath salts, herbs, and oatmeal.  The bath salts draw out impurities while simultaneously replenishing vital nutrients and minerals.  The combination of herbs work aromatherapeutically to aid in relaxation, and the oatmeal adds emollients to soften and nourish your skin.

Now through Sept 25th you can save 20% on the Relaxation Bath Tea and the Relaxation Salty and Sweet Body Scrub at the SkIndulgence store with the coupon code SSCGO20PER

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Each Its Unique Beauty

This quote from the ever-amazing Rosemary Gladstar is making my day today:
No where in the garden or in nature do you find an ugly flower.  There are odd ones, unusual ones, crazy and outrageous ones, bright ones, dull ones, loud ones, and shy ones. But never have I seen a collection of flowers and proclaimed a single flower in it less than beautiful.  Each is so unique and perfectly divine that it has its own beauty.  Why can’t we see this same unique beauty in one another?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

About the Shop

Did you know that everything you put on your skin goes directly into your bloodstream? It's true! Skin is the body's largest organ of absorption and elimination. That means that what we put on our skin is just as importation as what we put in our bodies.  This is the primary motivation behind the creation of SkIndulgence Skin Care.  We aim to create a product that not only allows people to feel their most beautiful, but one that is all natural and healthy, too.

Not only are our products safe for your skin, they are safe for the planet and all it's little creatures, too!  Our products are completely vegan and made with certified organic and ethically-cultivated ingredients and packaging.  You won't find a single phosphate, sulfate, dye or perfume in the bunch, and the only animals we test on are ourselves and the luckiest of our friends!

I am pleased to announce that 20% from each sale benefits my other passion, Build.Create.Kenya, an NGO servicing the education sector in underserved regions of East Africa.  For more information on this organization, please visit

The SkIndulgence shop is truly my labor of love. It is the ultimate dream to be able to do what you enjoy. I'm thankful to be in a position in life to pursue my dreams and have this little shop. Here's to hoping you find just what you're looking for! Don't see what you're looking for? Let me know what you need and I'll work on it for you!  Welcome!