Health

4 Benefits of Bergamot Oil

There are a lot of essential oils out there. One of my favorites is bergamot. There are so many benefits from using bergamot oil in your everyday light. Bergamot has a very sweet smell and it is very citrusy. It’s also very refreshing. I love putting it on after I get out of the shower or bathtub. So what can Bergamot oils do for you?

1) Bergamot is a natural anti-depressant and stimulant. Bergamot creates a feeling of freshness and joy and energy. In cases of depression it helps with sadness by improving blood flow and circulation. The stimulations also increases the secretions of digestive juices, biles, and insulin by basically acting as a natural digestion aider.

2) The oil is also known to be an antibiotic and disinfectant. Bergamot inhibits the growth of germs and virus and fungi. The oil also prevents infections including those on the skin. Bergamot also reduces the feeling of pain in the body. Another one of the great qualities of bergamot is that it can reduce nervous tension and it can treat ailments such associated with stress such as sleepiness and high blood pressure.

3) The oil is also a cicatirsant which means it aids in pigmentation issues and leaves your skin tone attractive and even in tone. You can use is on the after effects on long term acne post inflammatory hyper pigmentation.

4) Bergamot is also a popular as a natural deodorant. You have to be careful with un-natural deodorants because the lymph nodes in your under arms can easily absorb the toxins and fillers and nasty crud in those drug store brands. Nothing to worry about when bergamot is absorbed by the body! You get all the benefits from the oil flowing around in your body and you will smell great and natural!

A Few Words of Caution: Bergamot oil must be protected from sunlight, because bergaptene, one of its components, becomes poisonous if exposed to sunlight. That is why the oil should always be stored in dark bottles in dark places. Exposure to sunlight should even be avoided after it is applied or rubbed onto the skin, at least until it absorbs into your skin

9 Benefits of Patchouli Oil

TZtIkLag5PsLv2JY2nQSRlObBCaceLfLosQIWZ6pKJcPatchouli oil is my favorite of all the essential oils. The scent is the most relaxing thing in the world to me. I really enjoy rubbing it into my scarf so I can enjoy the scent all day. The best and most common benefit of patchouli oil is that it relieves stress! It is known to help with anxiety and also enhance the senses. Regular use of patchouli oil will keep you peaceful and calm. Here are some of the benefits to this oil:

1) Patchoulis fragrance also appeals to the soul and touches the mind directly. You will often find it used in perfumes and incenses.
2) The oil can also be used for massages and aromatherapy. Patchouli oil massages stimulate and relax the mind and relax the nerves.
3) Patchouli can really help people with depression.
4) Patchouli also has many healing properties.
5) The oil can help prevent infections from getting worse.
6) It is also known to have helped people with dermatitis and eczema and psoriasis.
7) The oil also has anti- aging properties.
8) The oil helps you looking young and healthy!
9) Also patchouli has been known to help acne scarring, dry skin and wrinkles.

Overall, my favorite thing about the oil has to be the way it makes me feel after I have put it on. It takes me to my favorite happy place, somewhere in the hills around my house surrounded by a redwoods. I love that the scent feels somewhat earthy and fresh. There are so many different essential oils and I feel there is one for everyone. There is something extremely spiritual about smelling and choosing an essential oil. The oil you choose will no doubt become a part apart of your life.

Here is a little more history on Patchouli oil:

Patchouli has been around for literally ages. Over the years people have discovered many uses of the oil, ranging from medical uses to cosmetics. The popularity of patchouli reached its peak during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Patchouli originates from southeast Asia and the herb grows wild in Sumatra and Java at an altitude of 3,000 feet. However, the cultivation of the herb is extensive in lower tropical jungles. The plant grows to be three feet tall and has a very strong stem with little hairy leaves. To extract the oil the plant is harvested two times a year, sometimes three. The best oil quality is considered to extracted during the rainy season. The process of the extraction involves hand picking the leaves, bailing the leaves, and then followed by draining in the shade. Afterwards, a few days of fermentation is needed. Then the oil is extraxted through steam disillation process. Patchouli is one of the rare essential oils that actually gets better with age! As the oil ages into a deep amber from a light yellow, the fragrance becomes smoother and richer. Patchouli over the years has been used for insect repellant as well as in cosmetics.

4 Types of Honey Masks to Try at Home

Honey masks are not only amazing for your skin but also all natural! Here are four different types of honey masks to try with different skin types :

1- Honey face mask for acne-prone skin

•3 teaspoons raw honey

•1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

Mix honey and cinnamon together, and apply to your face. Leave the mask on for 10-30 minutes. The antibacterial properties of both honey and cinnamon are especially beneficial for acne-prone skin.

2- Honey face mask for dry skin

•1 teaspoon mashed avocado

•1 teaspoon plain whole milk yogurt

•1 teaspoon honey

Mix ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. Spread the mixture over your face and let it sit for 20-30 minutes before washing it off. The fats in the avocado and whole milk yogurt are deeply moisturizing to the skin, while the lactic acid in the yogurt smooths your skin, refines pores, and stimulates collagen production.

3- Honey mask for sensitive skin

•2 teaspoon of raw honey

•1 teaspoon aloe Vera gel

Stir the aloe and honey together and apply over your face. Leave it on for about 10-20 minutes. Aloe soothes inflammation and calms your skin, perfect for those with sensitive, irritated skin.

4- Honey mask for scars and dark spots

•2 teaspoon of raw honey

•1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Combine the lemon juice and honey, and apply the mixture to your face. Allow it to sit for 20-30 minutes. Lemon juice exfoliates your skin, brightens dark spots and fades scars. Your skin will feel smooth and soft right away, but it may take a few applications to notice a real difference in scars and spots.

What You Don’t Know About Wellness and Auras

fFDf8he4MXjnHA6ahHfm1zaXx73a5dUkxO_ziBXiToEAt Aveda we believe in starting everyday with a little wellness. I thought I would share some of my knowledge on Auras with everyone!

Chakras are the system of energy that flow throughout the body and there is a system of energy flow outside the body. It works in the same flow, but instead of an internal vortex, it manifests as an external wave. This is called your Aura. What is an aura you might ask? It is part of your bodies energy and it is affected by every vibration, feeling, fear, thought that you have. Your aura is constantly recreating it’s self due to internal and environmental changes.

All living things need oxygen to survive and have an aura. Every living thing generates a large magnetic field that can be sensed and felt and even seen around their physical body. You can tell when someone is potentially a threat to yourself or another. Maybe you picked up a bad vibe from them or maybe you just cant seem to trust this person and you have never been quite sure why? You do not need to be a psychic to read or pick up on someone else’s aura.

When someone else is walking too close to you, you might think “this person is invading my personal space.” Even just the slightest interruption can jolt your body’s energy flow and make you feel a little shaved down. When working closely with people it’s important to be an energy blocker. People will take from you all day long and it can leave you feeling lost and drained by the end of the day.

The aura is usually 3 feet from the physical body, however someone who has suffered great tragedy may have a larger aura. Life is full of color and like so many other things on your path, color also has meaning. They are representations of messages from your higher self, the one. But you don’t have to be a clairvoyant to understand the importance of color in your life. It exists in every day experiences.

Everyone has differently colored auras, but the colors are always changing according to life changes, thoughts and emotions. For example, red auras are usually people who are strong minded, energetic, and people who seek adventures. Yellow auras are people who are logical and very smart. They are perfectly happy with their own company and never feel lonely. Pink auras are loving people by nature and very giving. They love to be loved. Green auras are highly creative people and are very hard working. They are very determined and down to earth. Orange auras are normally good-hearted kind and honest people. They are very in-tune with their own emotions and are often very charming people. Purple auras are highly psychic people, they know the emotions and moods of everyone around them. These people connect well with nature and animals. Blue auras are very rare and charismatic. They can take on many personalities. They can smooth out any angry situation. Gold auras are lovers of beauty and have an artistic flare. They adorn their whole life with exquisite beauty. White or sliver auras are usually very gifted people. They have a strong spiritual understanding and use it for the better of people around them. Brown aura is a lac k of confidence and a tendency for deception. Black auras are the ones you should be aware of since they project hatred, negativity, major illness, and misery. Black auras are almost always a bad sign.

The Many Uses of Lavender

0TzSpSkilDZ-PpqJuBRggEjk4-f4okY-njg60JtsZiIThis beautifully-scented herb has been used since ancient times and still remains one of the most loved and revered of all essential oils.

Aromatherapists feel that lavender essential oil is the most versatile because of its many healing properties and considers it one of the best essential oils to have on hand.

Lavender calms anxiety and provides natural stress relief.

Throughout history, people have turned to lavender for all kinds of ailments including acne treatment, skin disorders, digestive complaints, pain relief, and to prevent and treat infections.

LAVENDER HAS BEEN USED FOR:

• Pain relief

• Headaches and migraines

• Muscle aches and sprains

• Menstrual cramps

• Allergies

• Asthma

• Relaxation

• Anxiety

• Depression

• Inducing sleep

• Digestive distress, gas and colic

• Inflammation

• Burns

• Insect bites

• Chicken Pox

• Acne treatment

• Dermatitis

• Insect repellant

• Dry skin

• Muscle relaxant

HOW TO USE LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL

Some options for using lavender essential oil are:

Mix 5 to 6 drops of Lavender essential oil to your bath water if you have dry skin.

Diffuse 10 to 12 drops of Lavender into the air during your workday for natural stress relief.

Add 2 drops of Lavender per ounce of your favorite lightly scented, unrefined organic oil (like almond oil or olive oil) for a body oil with all the benefits of lavender for improving your skin, relaxing your mind, warding off insects or helping you sleep.

The unrefined organic oil you choose acts as a “carrier oil” for lavender (or any essential oil, for that matter), which dilutes the oil and carries the beneficial properties into your skin.

What You Don’t Know About Salicylic Acid

220pxfountainspringswintergreen (2)The other day I decided to find out more information about salicylic acid. I was curious about what this popular ingredient actually does. As Esti students we learned that salicylic acid is contra indicated for pregnant women and those with sensitive skin issues. Salicylic acid is mostly found as a featured ingredient in acne care as in the Aveda Outer Peace line and in one of my favorites, the Aveda Liquid Exfolient.

So what is Salicylic acid? Salicylic acid is a peeling agent that causes exfoliation or shedding of the outer layer of skin. Salicylic acid is also used topically in the treatment of acne, dandruff, corns, and warts.

As a beta hydroxy acid (BHA), it has the ability to penetrate into the pore (AHAs do not), so it can exfoliate inside the pore as well as on the surface of the skin, making it effective for reducing blemishes, including blackheads and whiteheads. Salicylic acid has shown an ability to improve skin thickness, barrier functions, and collagen production, it also functions as an anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial.

Most salicylic acid on the market today is synthesized from petroleum derivatives, traditionally salicylic acid has been derived from white willow bark or wintergreen. Aveda’s salicylic acid is naturally derived from wintergreen (methyl salicylate). The partridge berry, or Teaberry, was used by the American Indians for pain and fever. In the nineteenth century wintergreen was considered a cure-all.

6 Face Cleansers you Have to try

June 5, 2015
By

shutterstock_80750635 (2)There are so many different face cleansers on the market? How do you know which one is best for you and your skin type? Here is a general breakdown and description of some of the different type of cleansers available:

1) Foaming: Foaming cleansers are great for someone with oily-prone skin. They work up to a nice lather, with little amount of product. However, they can tend to be quite drying sometimes, so if you have dryer skin, it is not recommended.

2) Non Foaming: Non-foaming cleansers generally come in a gel or lotion, and are great for someone with dry or sensitive skin. These are the most gentle cleanser, however it is one of the most ineffective for removing stubborn makeup or sunscreen–so make sure you also have a makeup remover!

3) Oil Cleansers: Oil cleansers are generally the most deep cleaning cleansers. They will remove make-up, dirt, and even water-proof sunscreen.

4) Cream cleansers: Great for someone with dry skin who wants to keep their skin looking and feeling moisturized after washing it.

5) Gel: A gel cleanser is cool and refreshing and great for someone with combination or oily skin. If you lather up with this cleanser, it will take off makeup and debris without drying the skin.

6) Scrubs: Scrubs are the deepest cleanse you can get in your own sink. You want to use a scrub only twice a week to remove any build up on your skin and in your pores. Make sure when shopping for a scrub cleanser to look for something with round beads so you they do not scratch your skin.

You Are What You Eat

What we eat and drink can radically change the appearance of our skin. Eat the right foods and we witness glowing, clear skin. Eat the wrong foods and our skin loses its elasticity, becomes puffy and red. By simply changing what we put on our fork, we can control the texture, pigment and firmness of our skin. How do you start? Radiant skin happens when we supply our body with the vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. They build the skin’s structure and prevent it from free radical damage and inflammation.

Alcohol and coffee can be dehydrating to the skin, and can be toxic to your skin. Sometimes the best thing you can change in your diet is just drink more water. Drinking more water can even help your body remove toxins, plump the skin, and keep you looking hydrated. The only difference between a grape and a raisin is water.

Protein is also important. The amino acids that make up the protein are needed to support the collagen and elastin in the skin. Without sufficient protein, the skin starts to lose its vibrancy and elasticity. Eating dark green leafy vegetables also helps provide your skin with antioxidants, clear toxins, and regulate hormones. Yellow fruits and such as Papaya, pineapple, peaches are loaded with vitamins and help with cell turn over. Meanwhile, avocados are loaded with good fats, vitamin E, and they help protect your skin from developing spotty pigmentation.

Achieving radiant clear skin doesn’t always require running to the store to purchase expensive products. It starts in your kitchen first. It isn’t limited to only some, but can be for all. It starts with good eating habits; getting proper vitamins, proper sleep, and of course water, water, water!

The Yoga Espresso and its 12 Movements

sunlarge (2)For some, shots of espresso are the daily necessity. Although a white mocha or an americano are delicious, they can be harmful when consumed daily. Try an alternative method of gaining energy like the “Yoga Espresso!” Most people know this pose as a sun salutation followed by more simple poses that flow together. Follow these 12 movements to get your daily jolt of energy:

1) Stand tall, feet hip width distance apart.

2) Inhale through nose and raise hands above head.

3) Exhale while diving upper body down towards feet.

4) Inhale, raise half way, exhale lower back down.

5) Step or jump feet back behind you, inhale.

6) Evenly lower body to ground, exhaling as you lower.

7) Pull upper body forward into a cobra-like position as you inhale.

8) Enjoy a few breaths here.

9) On your next breath push body up into downward facing dog.

10) Inhale, exhale. On your exhale, step or hop feet to meet hands.

11) Inhale slowly, one vertebrae at a time. Raise hands above head.

12) Exhale, bring hands to heart center.

Next time the body is in need of caffeine or energy, take a few minutes for your body. Breathe in and out, and honor the wonderful Earth and yourself. It is a natural and healthy way to gain positive energy that will help you get through your busy schedule.

A Catalog of Skin Disorders

Skin Cancer

Cancer is the uncontrolled replication of cells into tumors. These tumors can invade surrounding tissue, spread throughout the body, and are sometimes fatal.

Skin cancer is the most common variety of cancer in humans; it accounts for almost half of cancer diagnosis is in the United States. The American Academy of Dermatology estimates that one in five American adults will have skin cancer at some time. About 1 million Americans are diagnosed with cancer each year. Of of those diagnosis approximately 110,000 are for malignant melanoma and 890,000 are for other skin cancers. Unfortunately skin cancer kills about 11,000 people per year.

Skin cancer is cancer in the stratum basil of the epidermis, cancer of the keratinocytes in the epidermis, or cancer in the melanocytes of the epidermis. Basal cell carcinoma is by far the most common type of skin cancer. That accounts for about 75% to 90% of all skin cancer cases. It is a slow growing tumor of epithelial cells in the stratum of the epidermis. It does not metastasize and is not usually dangerous, although if the tumor is left untreated it can become threatening. Basal cell carcinoma has an extremely high survival rate if lesions are removed before they invade deep tissues. It is usually cut out with a scoop blade or a laser. The tumor producing cells can also be killed off with liquid nitrogen or with radiation. Basal cell carcinoma doesn’t spread through the body, so the risk of making the situation worse is nonexistent.

It is important to see a dermatologist once a year for a skin check.

I was recently diagnosed with skin cancer on my upper lip. It was a very scary time.

Burns

The severity of burns is graded by how deep they go, how much surface area they cover, and what part of the body has been affected. Burns are graded in three levels of depth: 1st degree, 2nd degree and 3rd degree.

  • 1st degree burns are sometimes quite painful, but it is only a mild irritation of the superficial epidermis characterized by redness but no blistering. Mild sunburn is perhaps the most common example of a first degree burn. Overexposure to the sun damages cells in the epithelium, setting up an inflammatory response. This leads to pain, heat, redness, and swelling. Sunburns generally heal in three days. Sometimes it can cause flaking and peeling of the skin.
  • 2nd degree burns involve damage to all layers of the epidermis, and possibly some of the dermis as well. Symptoms include redness, blisters that appear instantly, edema, and pain. Second degree burns often lead to permanent scarring.
  • 3rd degree burns go through the dermis or beyond, destroying hair shafts, and even nerve endings. In addition, one of the special problems with third-degree burns is that they tend to contract rapidly, forming a continuing little scar tissue even with quickly executed light skin grafts.

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease with occasional acute episodes in which cells and isolated patches replicate too rapidly. Where normal skin cells are replaced in the cells every 28 to 32 days, psoriatic skin cells divide every two to four days. The result is a pile up of excess cells that are itchy, red or pink, and scaly. This condition comes and goes, and presently no permanent cure is available, although it has recently been classified as an immune disorder.

This disease affects six to seven million Americans and is most common in white people. About 150,000 new cases are diagnosed every year. Some cases have a genetic link. It is most commonly diagnosed in the middle years, but it has been seen on tiny babies as well as quite elderly people.

Most people have it in a mild form; only about 20% report their cases as moderate to severe. Plaque psoriasis is a very common condition; most people have at least some of it. It takes the form of raised pink or red patches that grow over a long period of time. They may be itchy, but they are seldom very uncomfortable unless they are in an acute stage, when they can inch and create a severe burning sensation. Most plaques are on the knees or elbows, but they can be found on the scalp, trunk, palms, soles, and even in the mouth. While there are no permanent cures for psoriasis, there has been a lot of research done to help eradicate this disease.

Herpes Simplex

Herpes simplex is a viral infection resulting in painful blisters on a red base. They develop around the mouth, genitals, or other areas.

Oral herpes is transmitted through oral or respiratory secretions. Genital herpes is transmitted through mucus secretions during sexual contact. In either case, a person’s first outbreak usually occurs up to 20 days after exposure, and is called primary herpes. A primary herpes outbreak may be very severe or almost unnoticeable.

Most cases of oral herpes are picked up during childhood, and the new carrier may never be aware of his or her infection. In extreme cases, the primary infection may be accompanied by fever, swollen glands, and many painful sores that may last two to six weeks.

Herpes is famous for being contagious. The virus can remain infectious outside of the body for several hours. Most adults in the United States have probably already been exposed to some form of the herpes simplex virus.

No vaccine against herpes has yet been developed. Antiviral drugs suppress viral activity and shorten the duration of an infection, but they don’t prevent future outbreaks. Keeping as healthy as possible between outbreaks is an important way to reduce the frequency and severity of herpes episodes.

Impetigo

Impetigo is a bacterial infection of the skin. It is usually seen in infants and young children. Lesions usually occurred around the nose and mouth, sometimes inside the nostrils or ear canals.

Although it is often begins on the head, impetigo can affect the skin anywhere on the body. Red sores with small blisters appear, typically around the mouth or nose. The sores are itchy but not painful. The blisters rupture and are liquid; a characteristic yellow-brown crust that resembles honey develops. Left untreated, the sores heal in about three weeks, leaving no scars.

Mild forms of impetigo can be treated with a topical anabiotic cream. But if the blisters have spread over much of the body, and especially if there are other signs of systemic infection, oral antibiotics are prescribed.

Impetigo can have serious complications, including renal failure, meningitis, and cellulitis, if it is isn’t treated carefully. Impetigo often appears where the skin has been damaged. Any wounds should be cleaned thoroughly, treated with anti-bacterial ointment, and covered. The lesions must be kept clean and dry and crusts removed as soon as possible because the moisture underneath the crust harbors bacteria.

Children with impetigo are encouraged to stay home from school and avoid contact with other children for at least 24 hours after they begin treatment.

Boils

Boils are a large and painful infection that usually occurs one at a time. A cluster of boils connected by channels under the skin is called a carbuncle.

A boil typically begins as a hard painful, red pinkish lump that develops over a day or two. For the next several days it increases in size, and the center of the abscess fills with pus and bacteria. It may grow to the size of a golf ball.

Boils—also called furuncles—are local staphylococci infections of the skin. They often occur at sebaceous glands or hair shafts that are clogged by dirt, dead skin cells, or other debris. They can also begin wherever the skin has been compromised by a cut, scrape, or friction. Boils usually occur in areas where hair follicles are numerous, and where friction, in combination with sweat, can irritate and damage the skin. They are most common in the axilla or groin.

Treatment for boils usually begin with topical antibiotics and hot compresses. It is important never to try to squeeze or pop a boil. It could force the infection deeper or across the surface of the skin.

Unless it is surgically drained, the boil will spontaneously rupture and resolve. Large infections that penetrate into deep layers of the skin may leave a permanent scar.

Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water

Glasses with Lemon Water

I love lemon water! I love it not only for its taste but also for its benefits. Most people don’t really know how great lemon water is for you.

Lemons are packed with nutrients such as vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and fiber. It’s interesting to realize that they contain more potassium than apples or grapes!

Some of the benefits of lemon water are:

  • gives your immune system a boost with the vitamin C
  • excellent potassium for your heart’s health
  • aids digestion
  • cleans your system by flushing out the toxins
  • helps freshen your breath with citric acid
  • keeps your skin blemish free with antioxidants
  • helps you lose weight because of the pectin fiber in the lemon
  • reduces inflammation
  • gives you an energy boost
  • helps to cut out caffeine
  • helps fight viral infections

Not only are the benefits of lemon water endless, but it’s one of the most substantial yet simple changes you can make for your health.

Ectomorph

If your body type is primarily ectomorphic, you are most likely on the thinner side, with slim shoulders, and a fast metabolism. You find it hard to gain weight. To some this may seem ideal; however, with this body type you can still fall into the category of “skinny fat” or you can have a hard time gaining weight to get the shapely physique you desire.

In order to achieve more muscle mass and definition, it is in an ectomorph’s best interest to eat a dense calorie diet and do workouts that focus on larger muscle groups.

Some examples of food that are both high in calories and high in nutrition are: chicken, turkey, safflower oil, peanut oil, almond butter, dark chocolate, quinoa, brown rice, and tuna steak.

As for workouts, they should be less cardio; and more isometric, strength-based exercises, such as: bench presses, leg presses, calf raises, lying leg curls, and squats. For an ectomorph, it is all about building and maintaining muscle to get their ideal shape.

Although most people are a combination of two or more types, more weight training and repetitive movements with a dense caloric diet will yield you the results you desire.

Twelve Uses for Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is a cactus plant that is very well known for its skin healing properties. The plant secretes a clear gel from its leaves that has multiple uses. I have listed twelve ways Aloe Vera can be useful in your life.

Aloe Vera Leaf

  1. It is soothing and can treat burns from hot tools, the oven, or sunburned skin.
  2. It can treat cuts due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-biotic, anti-bacteria, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties.
  3. All those “anti” properties above can also help with oral health such as bleeding gums and mouth ulcers.
  4. It can heal skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.
  5. It helps with stretch marks by repairing the skin.
  6. It is a moisturizer. It is fast-absorbing and hydrates the skin well.
  7. It helps with the itchiness from insect bites
  8. It improves digestion when taken internally. It helps with issues such as constipation or diarrhea.
  9. It assists in detoxifying the body by absorbing toxins in the intestinal tract, which can speed up the body’s metabolism.
  10. It is high in vitamins and minerals and can naturally increase what the body is lacking.
  11. It not only helps repair dry and damaged hair, but also with building strength in the hair.
  12. It improves elasticity and has antioxidants to battle free radicals which slows the aging process.

The Importance of Micronutrients

When aligning their diets, many people focus on macronutrients but neglect the importance of micronutrients. While macronutrients are the building blocks for overall body composition, micronutrients are vital for your immune system, internal processes, and even make a huge difference in skin health.

One of the most common micronutrient deficiencies is iron. Iron is vital to the process of producing red blood cells, and it is the only deficiency that is prevalent in developed countries.

There are serious diseases, such as scurvy, which are directly related to vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Vitamin C deficiency can prompt gum bleeding, failure to properly heal skin damage, and irregular hair growth.

Vitamin A plays a central role in skin maintenance and health because it controls cell division, differentiation, and growth. Not only does your skin need and love it, but it also aids your sight as well. Vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of blindness in infants.

This is why you will see micronutrient heavy foods used as ingredients in many skin and healthcare products. It is also an easy way to know if a food should be consumed or not when dieting. Most foods that are heavy in micronutrients will also help align your macronutrient intake.

The only thing you need to be aware of is natural sugar intake in fruits, which is why they should be used as snacks. But don’t be afraid to load up on vegetables during meals.

The Aroma Sensory Journey

Woman getting head massage.

As an Alpha Esti student performing elemental nature facials, my guests will often comment on how good everything smells. I agree, and I believe that the aroma-therapeutic benefit of an Aveda facial makes for an exceptional sensory experience.

Some of Aveda’s signature aromas are highlighted in The Botanical Kinetics line.

The toning mist and the Botanical Kinetics skin firming/toning agent both contain a calming aroma featuring rosewater.

The Botanical Kinetics liquid exfoliant is enhanced with soothing and familiar aromas of Lavender extract, Witch Hazel extract, Chamomile extract, and Melissa Officinalis (Balm Mint) extract.

While the use of essential oils are becoming more widely recognized as therapeutic, plant and flower extracts have always been an integral part of Ayurvedic healing practices. According to Ayurvedic traditions, there are essential oils that benefit each elemental nature type:

  • Infinity/air: Typically susceptible to dry skin, anxiety, and hypersensitivity. Avoid sharp or strongly perfumed essential oils. Use warm, energizing oils such as camphor, cinnamon, and cypress; combined with the stabilizing, calming oils such as sandalwood, jasmine, or rose; blended in sesame oil, as a carrier oil.
  • Fire: Prone to inflammatory skin diseases; would benefit from cooling, calming oils; flowery fragrances such as gardenia, jasmine, mint, rose, or sandalwood blended in a cooling carrier like coconut oil.
  • Water/Earth: Typically oily or combo skin types; would benefit from warm, light, stimulating oils such as sage, basil, cedar, pine, myrrh in very light carrier oils.

Over centuries and across cultures, the belief holds that essential oils have the ability to advance wellness, enhance product efficacy, and bring a deeply relaxing sensory experience.

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.

Is it Really That Bad to Sleep in My Makeup?

You may have been told that falling asleep without removing your makeup isn’t good for your skin. I’ve learned that is very true!

Why? You’re throwing a “dirt party.” If you don’t remove your makeup at night, the powder, shadows, and cremes you’ve worn for 12+ hours will combine with the dirt, debris, and oil that has accumulated on your face throughout the day. And it will all sit there on your skin, mixing and mingling for another six to eight hours while you sleep.

You’re clogging your pores. And did I mention the oils, dead skin, and grime from your hair that is on your pillow? This will help to push all the dirt and debris right into your pores, leading to blackheads, breakouts, a dull complexion, and overall congestion.

You’re preventing your skin from doing its overnight job, including regenerating and repairing the day’s damage. Your skin behaves differently at night, cell turnover increases, trans epidermal water loss increases, oil production decreases, and blood flow increases. There’s a lot of important work to do, and you need to give your skin a proper cleansing, rehydrating, and an overnight rejuvenation treatment to help the process get done as effectively as possible.

The History of Yoga

Seal Mold from the Indus Valley from about 3000 BC shows a Yoga Pose.

Yoga can be dated back to around 3000 B.C. when pictures of yoga poses were carved in stone. The history of yoga can best be described by four influential periods: the Vedic period, the Pre-Classical period, the Classical period, and the Post-Classical period.

The Vedic period stems from the Vedas—the scripture of Brahmanism—and is about deep spirituality. During this time, Vedic yogis were sought to teach the Vedic people how to live in elevated spirituality. Later, the Vedas were known for the creation and understanding of the Upanishads—a collection of texts in the Vedic language. The Upanishads revolved around the relationship of the brahman and the atman, also known as the relationship between ultimate reality and the transcendental self. The 200 scriptures of the Upanishads lead to the Gita, which is known as the oldest yoga scripture, and incorporates the importance of kind actions and awareness of ourselves and our egos.

In an attempt to normalize yoga and its teachings, the Yoga Sutra was born, marking the beginning of the Classical period. Written by Patanjali, who believed that self and spirit must be separate, Yoga Sutra set forth the theories known to be the eight limbs of classical yoga:

  • Yama—ethical values,
  • Niyama—personal purity and tolerance,
  • Asanas—physical exercise,
  • Pranayama—breath control,
  • Pratyahara—meditation preparation,
  • Dharana—concentration,
  • Dhyana—meditation, and
  • Samadhi—ecstasy.

Although these were thoughtful practices, the physical aspect was often neglected. Later, the physical was found to be extremely important, which led to the Post-Classical period.

The movement, in conjunction with meditation or yoga as we know it, first surfaced for westerners in the 19th century and, with this, some of the original beliefs were altered. Instead of one using yoga to transcend themselves spiritually, we now often use it to focus on the moment—present reality—and then find our peace in that reality.

The evolution of yoga has been minor, but influential to many societies, cultures, religions, and countries, with the main concepts being self-awareness and peace with oneself.

Yoga is truly a lifestyle rather than just a physical or mental practice.

Wellness with Lavender Essential Oils

In my esthetician program, during the intro phase, I was first introduced to essential oils and how the body reacts to them. At the beginning of the day, we would always start off with wellness, with a guided meditation to put us in a positive mood.

Wellness generally means a healthy balance of the mind, body, and spirit that results in an overall feeling of well-being. Aveda is centered around Ayurveda which is an ancient holistic system of healing that strives to create balance in body, mind, and spirit, which is something I like most about Aveda. Not only are you using the best products but there is a greater balance within them.

I had never done any type of meditation to bring myself into a healthy balance, but I have seen how much it helps in my daily life. I continue to do guided meditations with essential oils at home.

One of my favorite oils to use on myself is Aveda’s essential oil in lavender. I notice most of my clients choose that scent as well during their treatment. Lavender essential oil has a fresh, sweet, floral aroma that is soothing and refreshing. Lavender is an adaptogen, which is a unique group of herbal ingredients to help improve health, and therefore can assist the body when adapting to stress or imbalances. Not only does it help to relax the body and mind but it is also soothing for the skin.

I highly recommend, when you come in to a get a facial, that you choose the lavender essential oil to relax and de-stress during your treatment!

A Story About Acne

Acne is not only a disturbing and time-consuming skin condition, but it can also cause serious emotional and psychological effects. The main causes of acne include hormonal imbalances and genetics; and variables known as promoters include stress, medications, diet, and cosmetics among others. Acne does not happen exclusively to adolescents. It can occur at any age and is equally uncomfortable at age 13 or 50.

This is the story of a person that had acne when he was 29 years old. He briefly tells us how it felt before and after his treatment.

One day I was having lunch with my girlfriend and she pointed out that I had a greasy forehead. Initially I thought this was the result of sweat due to the stress of work. It was after this conversation that I realize that I had an acne problem which needed my attention. I began by asking friends and family for ways to resolve the issue.

Having acne raised signs of insecurity in many ways: I felt it was impossible to be really clean for a working environment. Additionally, having acne distracted me from being productive at work; instead, I was actively thinking about my skin condition and constantly checking if people around me were noticing my acne problem.

After several days feeling this way, I decided to book an appointment with an esthetician for a facial treatment. I had three sessions over the course of four months. There was some improvement in my condition but not nearly as much as I desired.

By searching on the web I discovered there are several grades of acne, each one requiring a different treatment. This analysis encouraged me to seek medical advice. After my first visit, I was prescribed a form of Retin A, although I was only required to take two pills per week. I experienced noticeable improvement within the first three weeks of my medical treatment. Today I am a confident person and I highly value the lessons I learned regarding my skin care routine.

This story teaches us a very valuable lesson on how to better address this difficult but very common skin condition. People experience things in many different ways and finding the right solution can sometimes be hard. In mild cases of acne, changing your skin care routine and having facials regularly can definitely improve your skin’s appearance. On the other hand, when experiencing severe cases of acne, is important to consult with a dermatologist. This fine line between knowing if you are experiencing mild or severe acne can save you time and money.