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Teeth Whitening

Bright Teeth Illustraiton by Kim Carney of MSNBC

Since I was a child, I’ve watched TV shows depicting beautiful people with white, perfect teeth. I grew up thinking that extremely white teeth were the standard for good teeth. Throughout the U.S., there are many products that sell kits to whiten teeth. In Hollywood, most celebrities don’t just have white teeth. They almost glow in the dark like cartoons.

Myself, I think this is a bit extreme. It’s normal not to have glowing teeth. It’s okay if they are slightly colored. Who can afford the time and money to get teeth professionally whitened once a month?

Are those teeth whitening kits safe? I’ve used several whitening treatments in my coffee addict days. They definitely made my teeth whiter, but they had adverse affects. I used the Crest white strips, whitening toothpaste, and whitening mouth wash. I used the white strips once daily and the mouth wash twice a day morning and night after brushing and flossing. One morning, I went to do my daily routine of brushing my teeth and I discovered a nickel-sized cyst that had grown on my gums overnight. I started freaking out; I’d never seen anything like it before. My bunkmate at the time, who was using the same products and process that I was, also had one near her molars on her gums. We both decided to stop the whitening treatments to see if that was what was causing it. Two weeks later, the cysts disappeared and never came back.

Since then, I’ve promised myself I’ll never use another artificial whitening product ever again. I’ve done a lot of research on artificial tooth care products and their effects, and it’s devastating. They can cause labored breathing, bloody urine, infertility, and incontinence. Wow, no thank you. I’ll stick to my natural whitening remedies.

There are many amazing natural teeth whitening remedies on the internet, but they can be overwhelming. I’ve been using a recipe for a tooth whitening toothpaste that I got from an ex-boyfriend. It’s very simple, cheap, and can last a very long time. Here it is:

  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • 8 drops of peppermint oil

Put the ingredients into a big glass bowl and mix well. Transfer to a glass jar and refrigerate, scooping out about a week’s worth at time.

That’s it. It’s very simple and very effective. I have seen a great improvement in the color of my teeth from light yellowish to white. It takes about a month to really see any results but you’re avoiding crazy cysts and possible side effects. I will never go back. I love my new natural whitening toothpaste and you will too. So give it a try. It won’t hurt and I really think you’ll love it.

Honey for the Hair

Honey

Honey is an everyday product in many household kitchens including my own. It is used in various recipes as essential ingredient. But a lot of people have taken notice to the health/beauty benefits the product offers. Honey prevents certain types of cancers and heart disease, can reduce ulcers, and also has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. It can even help regulate the body’s metabolism, reduce nausea, and even improve eyesight.

Honey contains many essential nutrients and antioxidants including vitamin B6, calcium, iron, thiamin, particular amino acids, and so on. Due to its anti-bacterial properties, honey is extremely valuable for skin treatments. Besides being super-moisturizing for the skin, it also can be used as a hair conditioner or lightener. Honey is a natural lightener for skin and hair due to small traces of hydrogen peroxide it releases.

I started using honey as part of my beauty regimen about three years ago. A friend told me how she had started using it as a weekly treatment in her hair. She informed me how much softer and shinier it had made her hair! At the time, I had never given much thought about honey. It had never crossed my mind to use it as a beauty product!

If you would like to see the difference in your own hair, here is a simple hair treatment recipe:

  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of ½ lemon (optional)

Mix the honey and oil thoroughly together. Optionally, add the lemon juice to the mixture.

Use your hands to evenly disperse the mixture throughout your hair. Let it sit for 20-30 minutes, covering your hair. Rinse off.

Enjoy the wonderful smell and feel of your new, replenished hair!

Seven Best Plants for Skin Care

Here is my list of the seven best plants for skin care, most of which we use during facials and waxing at the Cinta Aveda Institute.

Aveda Plant Ingredients

  1. Aloe Vera is the top medicinal plant on my list. It is common in lotions. Aloe soothes and hyrdrates. The gel of an aloe plant contains nutrients vitamins A, C, and E; folic acid; zinc; and potassium.
  2. Lavender works to soothe your skin. It also has antiseptic properties that make it great for cleansing.
  3. Roses do more than smell good, they also boost the health of your skin. Rose is good for hydrating skin and it also helps soothe overworked skin. Rose is a great toner and can ease redness and irritation from breakouts.
  4. Calendula can relieve dryness and make your skin look and feel more hydrated. It also boosts blood flow and is used to treat burns.
  5. Tea tree oil is an ideal choice for treating acne. You can also use it as an alternate to deodorant. At the Cinta Aveda Institute, we use it after we wax a body part, to prevent breakouts and ingrown hairs.
  6. Witch hazel is great for cleansing your face. It helps clear away dirt, bacteria, and debris that can lead to breakouts. It’s also great for relieving skin irritation and fighting inflammation.
  7. Neem oil can help if you suffer from chronic skin issues such as eczema, psoriasis, or recurrent breakouts. Neem oil has a lot of antioxidants, which means it supports healthy, youthful-looking skin.

Commercial Deodorants Have Chemicals

Homemade Deodorant

How is your Deodorant working for you? Do you use a commercial deodorant product advertised on television?

How would you feel if I told you that most of those deodorants contain cancer-causing ingredients? Well, it’s true, they do. Many contain preservatives called parabens that cause hormone disruption—specifically, they mimic estrogen—and can cause DNA damage that could lead to breast cancer. You can recognize parabens in the ingredient list: methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, or benzylparaben.

And do you think it’s good for your armpits not to sweat? No it’s not good. If you’re using an antiperspirant, it blocks your sebaceous glands from producing the sweat that should to help cool the body. You may think you will sweat more if you don’t use an antiperspirant; at first you will, but once your body becomes regulated and back to its natural state, you will not sweat as much and the odor will reduce.

When you decide to do the switch, you will notice changes. Aluminum is the main antiperspirant ingredient in almost all deodorants. Aluminum-based compounds are used to plug up sweat glands. Aluminum may be harmful when placed on to the skin or the breast; it also mimics estrogen-like cells that cause a hormonal effect which may contribute to breast cancer.

Now, remember, what you eat comes out through your pores. So even if you’re using a natural deodorant, if you eat greasy fast food, you’ll most likely still have an odor. Your body cleanses by expelling the toxins through your pores as well as your digestive tract. So eat healthier and you won’t have as much odor. A natural deodorant can mask the occasional scent.

Chlorophyll is also a natural plant-derived ingredient. Chlorophyll can be found in plants and gives them their green color, and it may help protect the body from cancer from the inside out. When ingested, it helps oxygenate the blood and cancer cells don’t thrive in oxygen. So eating a lot of leafy greens will help and act as an internal deodorant.

So which natural deodorant should you use? That all depends upon you. What scents do you like? Are you sensitive to certain oils or plants? If you’re still not sure, make a list of your likes of herbs and oils that help as a natural deodorant. You can even make your own; it’s very simple and cheap and you can have a lot left to make more in the future.

Here is a simple recipe that I use:

  • 1 cup coconut oil (antibacterial)
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • ¼ cup arrowroot powder
  • 10 drops tea tree oil

Just put it all in a cup and mix it all together and you will have a natural, healthy, safe, deodorant!

You can put it in a jar and use a scoop to get it out and rub onto your under arms.

Remember that it will take about 12 days to acclimate your body to the use of natural deodorant. So, be patient, and know that you will be reducing your risk of breast cancer by switching over to natural deodorant.

My Extraordinary Experience Attending Cinta Aveda

I’ve always been someone who starts things but never finishes them. I’ve always been someone who gets bored easily. I’ve always been someone who procrastinates.

School wasn’t an easy choice for me. I’ve moved around a lot over the last couple years just going with the flow of things. When I decided to check out Cinta Aveda Institute, something clicked for me. I felt so welcomed by everyone. All my questions were answered and everything seemed straight to the point. The students seemed so happy to here and super eager to learn. The staff had big smiles on their faces and I knew I belonged here. I wanted to belong here.

I’ve had the most awesome time in school. I’ve met some amazing people and got the best education that I deserve. Intro was great and moving onto the alpha phase was even better. I enjoyed coming to class everyday because of how inspired I felt, day in and day out. Now I can’t wait to get out into the real world and apply my skills.

I’m proud to say now I’ve accomplished something and am about to finish what I started. Now I’m excited about becoming an Esthetician. And Now I’m a dreamer with tons of goals and so many ambitions.

All thanks to Cinta Aveda Institute!

Being Aware of Yourself

Word Cloud - ProfessionalismLife is full of ups and downs, but what you make of it is key. Committing to an education that will pave the road for your future is a hard decision to make. You might even think that after the 13 months of your cosmetology education, you are now a full-blown stylist. However being humble and willing to adapt and continue to learn is essential to becoming a professional in the industry.

What is a professional to you? It is someone who follows the rules with grace, is fair to others, is aware of their actions and consequences; and assures others around them that they are approachable and dependable, ready for the challenges to come—mindful that every day at the salon truly presents challenges.

Being in the position of a student, whichever establishment you might be in, we always tend to blame or feel contempt for those who have authority over us. However we tend to ignore the fact that our educators are people with feelings and needs as well.

It’s important in the customer service industry—as well as in life—to step back and evaluate your position and the energy you emit into the world. If you exude negativity into the workplace or school, the people around you will receive this energy and it will affect the teams morale, as well as your services with guests during the day. Unless you are a renting a chair somewhere and work only for yourself, being a hairstylist in a salon is a team effort. It’s what helps ease workflow and keeps the salon going.

Everyone is going through some sort of personal struggle, but when coming to work or school, kindly leave the baggage at the door. This will not only make you a better person, but will uplift the people around you in a positive way.

The Benefits of Microdermabrasion

Female model with exfoliated skin.

If you’ve never heard of Microdermabrasion, it is an amazing machine that can help to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, increase the production of collagen and elastin, smooth out and retexture the skin, and help to diminish sun spots, scarring, and other discolorations. This machine creates a mechanical exfoliation using small crystals as well as vacuum suction. The vacuum sucks the skin up while the crystals work to exfoliate dead skin cells and imperfections.

Exfoliation is important for all skin types, including the most healthy of skins, to ensure the process of cell turnover. As we age, the rate of our cell turnover—or the amount of time it takes new skin cells to reach the surface and replace the old, dead ones—becomes slower and slower. For this reason, we all need a little help with desquamating the old skin cells. Microdermabrasion is an excellent way to slough off those dead skin cells to reveal a more polished and lively skin tone.

Another benefit of this treatment, in comparison to other forms of deeper exfoliation such as chemical peels, is that there is relatively no downtime. You can leave the spa the same day with a glowing and fresh complexion.

These treatments can be done alone, or in conjunction to an anti-aging, skin brightening, or deep cleansing facial. It is also extremely beneficial when compared with a gentle peel, to really stimulate cell turnover, as well as to decrease pigmentation and sun damage. In addition, for desirable results, it is necessary to have more than one treatment. Microdermabrasion is a progressive treatment, requiring anywhere from two to twelve treatments to see the desired change in your skin.

Check out your local spa scene to see which spas offers this amazing service.

There are a few things to consider to make sure your treatment goes off without a hitch:

  • Make sure your treatment is followed up with some kind of hydrating product. For full facials, a nice hydrating mask is perfect following microdermabrasion, as exfoliated skin can drink up all the nutrients of the mask. For shorter services, a hydrating serum or rich moisturizer can do the trick.
  • It is also crucial that a good sunscreen be applied following your service, as exfoliated skin is more susceptible to sun damage. Aim for at least an SPF of 30, but SPF 50 is ideal.
  • Furthermore, as one of the goals of this treatment is to help to reduce sun damage, it might be a good idea to avoid prolonged time in the sun for a few days.

Careers in Cosmetology

Career Choices Illustration

When I started attending school here at the Cinta Aveda Institute, I wasn’t exactly sure where I wanted to be when I got done with the program. One of the reasons I decided to start with the Cosmetology program is because I felt it would open me up to a whole world of possibilities. There are a whole world of career options to choose from that are all covered under the umbrella of the cosmetology license and give the licensee tremendous choice between possible careers in the industry.

  • Most people that graduate from the cosmetology program will most likely go on to be stylists, color specialists, cutting specialists, general hairdressers, or maybe even salon owners.
  • Cosmetologists that want to work hands-on with the public can also become manicurists, skin care specialists, or makeup artists.
  • Those that love to teach can become a brand ambassador, institute instructor, or master stylist and educator at a salon.
  • Those who like to work on their own terms can become a freelance stylist.
  • Those who love the glitz and glam of Hollywood might be suited to movie styling or editorial photo shoot styling.
  • You can also get a job in theater, the fashion industry, as a platform stylist, sales representative, or at a hotel or resort.

Whatever your passion or skill set, a cosmetology license can give you the credentials to achieve your goals in the beauty industry.

The Impact of Getting Less Sleep

Sleeping Woman with Alarm ClockWhen you are older, you don’t need to have as much sleep as you did when you’re younger. However, there are many studies that prove we need at least eight hours of sleep every night. Getting eight hours of sleep can not only make you feel much better throughout the day, but can also help make you look better, too.

New research from the Sleep School in London and Benson Beds shows that if you miss two hours of sleep—only get six hours a night—for five days, it can have a big impact on your face. The study consisted of 30 woman who took photos of their faces after eight hours of sleep and then came back after five days of only six hours of sleep. Fine lines were increased by 45% where spots increased by 13%. There was 16% more bacteria found on the skin and redness went up 8% as well.

So go to bed early! Wash off your makeup, cleanse your face, put moisturizer on, and use those eight hours of sleep for your face to replenish itself. You will look more alive in the morning and your skin will glow. Compare that to less sleep with bags under your eyes and and redness. Whenever you’re able, hit that snooze button more often!

Surviving Beauty School Beautifully

Road Signs of Life

School can be an incredibly grueling time where you can’t find much time for yourself. All of us who have gone through the beauty school process understand how you feel! Balancing school, work, and a social life can be almost intimidating. There are a few sweet little things you can do to rest your mind and your body and keep yourself balanced.

  1. After a long day at school, go home and take a bath with a bath bomb. Not only will this relax your muscles but it will help you unwind so you can sleep better.
  2. Use tea bag compresses to keep the area under your eyes from looking tired. I like to take two green tea bags and make a cup of tea. Take out the tea bags, squeeze out the excess water, and put them in the fridge for ten minutes, and enjoy your tea while you wait. Once they’ve cooled down, apply them to your under eye area for 10 to 15 minutes. Your under eyes will seriously thank you.
  3. In your spare time, clean your room and make your bed. Keeping things clean and organized helps everything else feel less hectic.
  4. Get manicures whenever you can.
  5. Make water with cucumber, lemon, and oranges. Not only will your skin love it, but you’ll feel so much more energized.
  6. Find 30 minutes to do yoga or meditation. Take time to reflect on all the good that is going on in your life and be proud of yourself for all you’ve done so far.
  7. Even if you don’t have much time for socialising right now, take time to check in with your friends and family. They’ll be your biggest supporters and will always be there to cheer you on.