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Enbrightenment for Skin Lightening and Hyperpigmentation

Aveda Enbrightenment Skincare Line of Products

I love Aveda’s Enbrightenment line simply for the way it feels! Not only does this line of products leave your skin feeling great; it brightens the skin, helping to even out the tone and fade dark spots. The cleanser is amazing. It’s creamy and non-stripping, leaving skin feeling moisturized and hydrated. The toner is just as wonderful. It’s alcohol free and hydrating, prepping the skin for the correcting serum and moisturizing lotion or cream. Though both the lotion and cream moisturize the skin without being too oily, the cream is a bit heavier: best for those with drier skin.

As a budding esthetician, and a lover of this line, I had to investigate the ingredients to see what makes these products rich and creamy while brightening the skin. Aloe barbadensis leaf is known for its healing benefits, and it is the first ingredient in all of the products in the line. In addition to aloe, featured ingredients include caprylic triglycerides, shea butter, and rice bran oil, helping to make this line feel silky, while moisturizing and nourishing your skin. Because they are brightening products, I expected to see familiar lightening ingredients like kojic acid, licorice root or glycolic acid, but I didn’t. Instead, there were ingredients that I wasn’t familiar with such as genetian root extract, mulberry leaf, and aphyllum nodsum leaf extract. I decided to go to the Aveda website to see if they were the active skin brightening ingredients. This is what they had to say:

100% naturally derived Plant-Powered Brightening Blend including Ascorbyl Glucoside (a vitamin C derivative), mulberry root, and grape extracts to help diminish the appearance of discoloration and dark spots.

Salicylic Acid and Glucosamine help promote surface cell turnover.

A soothing aroma made predominantly with organic lavender, sustainably sourced sandalwood, organic rose geranium and organic rosemary essential oils also helps soothe and calm the skin.

Step 3 in the enbrightenment skin care system which is clinically proven to improve skin’s clarity by 52% and diminish the appearance of dark spots by 34%

Beta-Hydroxy Acid (Salicylic Acid)

Salicylic acid exfoliates skin and can improve its texture and color. It also helps with acne.

Sounds great right?! But do these ingredients alone help to lighten the skin? Are they effective in lightening all types of hyperpigmentation? And how do they compare to other types of lightening agents and methods?

Before beginning a skin lightening regime, it’s important to know the cause of discoloration, and the best way to treat it. There are many things to consider. Choosing natural versus synthetic ingredients may effect the amount of time you need to use the product before seeing results, or the type of results you should expect to see with prolonged use. You also need to consider the complimentary care you’ll need in order to maintain the results. Finally, you need to be aware of contraindications, or possible allergies to certain ingredients.

Hyperpigmentation

Being natural, the ingredients in the “brightening blend” gently help to even out skin tone, fading dark spots—hyperpigmentation—caused by sun damage. The Enbrightenment line may not be beneficial for other forms of hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation caused by sun damage can appear in a number of ways: lentigenes, chloasma, and melasma.

Solar lentigenes are small yellow-brown spots caused by exposure to the sun. Chloasma, also called liver spots, is increased pigmentation from sun exposure or from other causes. Melasma, a type of chloasma, is triggered by hormones often occurring during pregnancy or because of the use of birth control. It appears on the face during pregnancy. It usually fades over time, but is worsened with sun exposure. It is also said to be more prevalent in men and women of Native American descent (on the forearms) and in men and women of German or Russian Jewish descent (on the face).

Solar-caused hyperpigmentation usually effects the top layers of the epidermis and can be effectively treated with natural ingredients. However if the damage is deep and effects the dermis, more aggressive treatment may be necessary. Lasers, microdermabrasion, chemical peels and ingredients like hydroquinone may be used when seeking more aggressive treatments.

A Closer Look at Aveda’s Ingredients

Ascorbyl glucoside, a stable form of vitamin C, is made by combining vitamin C with glucose. It is an antioxidant and, when applied on the skin, it breaks down into L-ascorbic acid (pure vitamin C) which has powerful antioxidant properties and inhibits the synthesis of melanin.

Mulberry leaf extract is a tyrosinase inhibitor which aids in reducing melanin production. It’s non-irritating to the skin, and works best in combination with other skin lighteners.

Grape seed extract is effective in lightening skin pigmentation due to UV radiation. Taking grape seed extract internally is also effective in reducing hyper pigmentation due to melasma when taken for 6 months.

Salicylic acid exfoliates the skin, helping to promote greater skin clarity and luminosity.

Beta hydroxy acids are less irritating than alpha-hydroxy acids, yet have similar results in improving skin texture and color. However, people who are allergic to salycylates (found in aspirin) should not use products containing salicylic acid. Salicylic acid can be absorbed into the bloodstream and may cause an allergic reaction or contact dermatitis. Pregnant or nursing women should not use products containing salicylic acid.

Other great ingredients in the Enbrightenment line that help to reduce hyper pigmentation are ascophyllum nodsum extract and aloe vera. Ascophyllum nodosum extract, a seaweed, actively reduces melanin synthesis and pigmentation of synthesized melanins. It also eliminates the pigmented scales. It offers anti-radical protection against aging of skin.

Aleosin, is a C-glucosylated 5-methylchromone, a component of the aloe vera plant. It is a naturally mild tyrosinase inhibitor, with no cytotoxicity recorded. It is best combined with other ingredients, due to its hydrophilic (has an affinity for water) nature.

It may take up to eight weeks, or several months of regular use, before seeing results. However, your complexion will look dewy, hydrated and have a noticeable glow and brightness immediately after first use. For added results, using the Enbrightenment Intensive Massage Masque once every two weeks boost the effects of the line. To maintain results, use a moisturizer with SPF to protect your skin from the sun and reoccurring hyperpigmentation.

Like I said, this line is amazing! I highly recommend it.

Teacher Spotlight: Ashley

As a student at Cinta Aveda Institute, one has so many expectations for their career after graduation. Whether working at a spa or salon, or owning your own, there are many directions you can take. Students often have peers or classmates within the industry, helping them to gain exposure and network.

We also have the fortune of having some of the best teachers within their field who are skillful at teaching techniques and modalities, both traditional and modern, that help students learn and cultivate their chosen area of expertise. Their one on one advice and tips, along with classroom demonstrations, expose students to new and exciting ways to enhance their skills.

Ashley is one of those teachers. A former student at Aveda, and a staff member of Cinta Salon, Ashley has a wealth of knowledge to share. I had the opportunity of asking Ashley a number of questions to help perspective and current students make the most out of their experience at Cinta Aveda and ways to help them prepare for a career in the Beauty Industry.

Why did you choose Cinta Aveda?
The beautiful institute, having two programs in one, was better than the other schools I looked at.
What was your area of study while at Cinta Aveda?
The Esthiology program.
How would you compare Cinta Aveda to other institutes?
Better education, more professional, most educated instructors, great products.
What was your focus?
Makeup, skin care, eye lash extensions and to become a well rounded Esthetician and get my license.
How did you develop your skills?
Practice and obtain employment teaching makeup and giving personal beauty advice to clients.
How would recommend a student make connections within the beauty industry?
Take classes wherever you can, network with peers, take free beauty classes at Sephora stores, look into Model Mayhem and network with good quality photographers, and stylists. Volunteer at the Academy of Art to obtain photos for your portfolio. Connect with social networks and promote your skills on LinkedIn.
Did Cinta Aveda help you make connections?
With peers, new clients, Academy of Art Fashion Institute, new opportunities at my current job within Sephora.
How did your connections help you after graduation?
Continue growth at the Cinta Aveda Institute and the Cinta Salon.
Are you still in touch with your classmates?
Yes, on Facebook and phone.
Were you able to build a portfolio while in school?
Yes, but I had one before I started school and I continue to build it.
How should one go about building a portfolio?
Trade for prints with photographers. Use Model Mayhem. Photograph your work. Get certificates and put them into your portfolio book.
When applying for jobs, is a portfolio necessary to show perspective employers?
Yes.
Did you extern while in school?
No I worked at Sephora and in cosmetics for 12 years prior to attending school.
What was your favorite part about attending Cinta Aveda?
Learning facials, waxing, and taking real clients.
Would you recommend Cinta Aveda to other perspective Estheticians?
Yes
What should a newly certified Esthetician expect when looking for a job within the industry?
It’s competitive. You may have to start out as a receptionist or apprentice for a while before they hire you on as an esthi. I had some places tell me I needed to have a year’s experience at the location before I could take clients there. Be ready for baby steps into a clientele and continue your education after school.
What would you suggest people do to give them the cutting edge when applying for work?
Have as many skills as possible for the environment where you want to work. Project a professional, positive, personable attitude and be flexible.
Is there anything you’d tell a prospective or attending student to make the most out of their experience at Cinta Aveda?
You’re only here once so make the most out of it. Learn as much as you can, and have fun, but take it seriously. Be nice to your instructors, because they are here to help you grow and become the best you can be.

Being in school opens doors for you in ways that you may not have expected. There may be opportunities in areas that you never considered, like working for a magazine, film, theater, or in a spa. Read trade publications, blogs, and take advantage of making connections at school. That will help to broaden your perspective or even change your career path.

Having access to the Cinta Aveda job board, externships, the creative team, and talking with instructors like Ashley are helpful ways to gain insight and experience you need to help you build your career.

Treating Rosacea with Aveda

Suffers of rosacea know that it can be tricky finding the right products to calm inflammation and reduce redness. Though the cause of rosacea is unknown, it is treatable. At Aveda, we take a synergetic approach to healing and relieving the effects of skin conditions such as rosacea. Our customizable services, treatments, and products address imbalances in a person’s “elemental nature.”

Aveda, steeped in the wisdom of Ayurveda, not only treats the skin topically, but internally. This holistic approach brings the mind, body, and spirit into balance. We do this by coming to understand a person’s “elemental nature”—an imbalance in their constitution based on the elements, similar to doshas in Ayurveda. The elements fire, earth, ether, water, and air are expressed as:

  • Fire: Sensitive, inflamed, irritated skin.
  • Water/Earth: Oily, combination skin.
  • Infinity/Air: Dry, dehydrated, combination skin.

When the skin is out of balance, it may exhibit any of the above traits. Rosacea, being “fire”, is characterized by dilation of blood vessels; redness; and dry, sensitive skin, that may sting or burn, on the nose and cheeks. It appears in adults over thirty. If severe, it is accompanied by papules and pustules. And, in rare cases, rosacea that is not treated may cause permanent effects, such as thickening of the skin or loss of vision. It may also cause knobby bumps on the nose, called rhinophyma. Over time, it can give the nose a swollen, waxy look. But most cases of rosacea don’t progress this far.

Aveda brings rosacea into balance in several ways: products, treatments, helpful tips, and recommendations. Aveda’s sensitive line is a great first step to balancing the condition. It has caprylic triglycerides, jojoba, and soy bean oils that leave the skin feeling moisturized without an oily feeling. And it doesn’t have essential oils and fragrances that may irritate the skin. Because rosacea’s elemental nature is fire, removing the product with a cool cloth is recommended.

The deep herbal cleansing clay mask blended with a liquid exfoliant should be used once or twice a month as a gentle refinement. It has herbal extracts of marshmallow root, and red clover leaf in the mask help to sooth and balance skin, while the kaolin clay—the gentlest clay that is good for all skin types—adds minerals to the skin while tightening pores. The liquid exfoliant gently removes dead cells helping to soften skin.

If the skin is very inflamed and irritated, I recommend using Aveda comforting tea as a cool compress daily to help reduce heat and irritation before applying the refinement mask. It contains licorice root that soothes and brightens the skin, helping to even out tone, while reducing redness. It also contains cooling peppermint, which calms inflammation. And, of course, enjoying a cup at home, or after each service, is a relaxing way to help bring down inflammation internally.

Which leads us to addressing external ways of bringing down inflammation.

While applying the compress, recommend that your client avoid spicy foods, alcohol, and caffeine, as these things may trigger inflammation. And if they are finding avoiding these things difficult to do, suggest that they keep them to a minimum.

Stress may also trigger rosacea. In the spa, we take our guest on Aveda’s signature “aroma sensory journey,” inviting our guest to enjoy fragrant essential oils, bringing them into a state of relaxation. Your guest may repeat this at home. We offer single note essential oils that may be inhaled directly from the bottle or in the palm of their hand. The single note is blended with oil and can be worn as perfume, worn on skin or in hair, added to other Aveda products, or added to a bath.

As estheticians, using the balancing infusion oil for sensitive skin and the cooling treatment mask is the way to go. Use the balancing oil before the treatment mask to boost its effect. The oat, chamomile, and calendula extracts, along with the borage, sunflower oils, and lecithin, help to heal and nourish the skin. The balancing oil balances the skin, preparing it for the cooling mask, helping it to reduce inflammation. At home, however, if the client isn’t applying a mask, suggest they apply the balancing oil before using the comforting tea cooling compress.

The cooling mask is a combination of the herbal science remedy, a blend of millet seed flour, oat kernel flour, and lavender, combined with the intensive hydrating mask. The main ingredient is aloe. It is an amazing treatment mask that reduces inflammation and redness instantly. If their rosacea isn’t severe and they aren’t experiencing sensitives, the addition of Aveda’s lavender single note intensifies the masks effectiveness. The herbal science remedy isn’t sold to the public. To achieve similar results at home, suggest that they use the intensive hydrating mask. It is gentle enough to allow for daily use, or to use as an overnight treatment, until their inflammation subsides.

If their rosacea isn’t severe and they have no essential oil senstivities, the Enbrightenment line is amazing. It has a number of herbal extracts, and vegetable and essential oils that are known for relieving inflammation, exfoliating the skin, evening out tone, and moisturizing the skin. This line has no alcohol, which is great for those with rosacea, as alcohol may irritate the skin. Be mindful though that the Enbrightenment has salicylic acid and, if the rosacea is irritated, this can aggravate the condition.

Many people have combination skin and, if the person has rosacea with other skin conditions, the treatment and recommendations have to be customized. The use of steam or heat during facials should be minimized or avoided altogether when treating clients with fire elemental natures. Remind your client of this when they are caring for their skin at home.

Whether in the spa or at home, treating rosacea is made easy with Aveda.

Lip Saver

Aveda Lip Saver

One of my favorite products at Aveda is Lip Saver. It’s a wonderful product packed full of natural ingredients like castor, jojoba, and sunflower oils; and shea butter. They help heal and sooth your lips. I’ve used a number of lip balms, like Sugar by Fresh, Dr. Hauska, and Pangea. They all worked great, but were really expensive. My friends thought I was crazy for spending so much money on lip balms, but I thought they were worth it because my lips were chapped.

Though I’d used Aveda’s hair products, I had never used Aveda’s skin care products until I began attending the Institute. Once I tried Lip Saver, I was amazed! It worked wonders for my lips. It cost way less than the other brands and, in my opinion, worked better. My lips were protected all day with one application.

What makes Lip Saver stand out from the rest is its combination of oils. Castor oil, the first ingredient, is one of the strongest ingredients for healing chapped lips. It is rich in Vitamin E, antioxidants, and minerals that boost skin health. It also contains triglyceride fatty acids that are known for their antiviral and antibacterial properties. Triglycerides are helpful to the skin, as they help it to restore its natural moisture balance, keeping the skin moisturized during winter months.

Jojoba oil is a liquid wax containing essentially all wax esters, Vitamin E, and phospholipids. It’s very similar to sebum-the oil that humans secrete to lubricate skin and hair-and can be used to moisturize dry skin. It is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, hypoallergenic, non-toxic and non-comedogenic.

Sunflower oil, high in beta-carotin (a source of retinol-Vitamin A), protects the skin from wrinkles, fine lines, and sunburns. The antioxidants in beta-carotin help prevent premature aging caused by exposure to the sun by neutralizing free radicals.

Shea Butter has an exceptionally large “healing fraction,” setting it apart from other oils and butters. The healing fraction contains important nutrients, vitamins, and other valuable phytonutrients required for healing. Because Shea Butter has a large healing fraction, and moisturizing fraction, regular use of this natural oil can treat many skin problems, including blemishes, wrinkles, itching, sunburns, small skin wounds, eczema, skin allergies, insect bites, frost bite, and other skin conditions. It is because of these unique healing properties that the Shea tree got its name, the Karite tree, which means the Tree of Life.

I recommend Lip Saver to all my clients, and have found they are as happy with it as I am.