Fading Dark Spots on Skin

Product - Murad Age Spot and Pigment Lightening SerumI’ve always been a picker. I can’t leave my skin alone and try to pick things that don’t even exist.

I’ve been using all these different products over the years, pro-active brightening spot treatment, Derma’e and other concoctions.

I walked into my favorite beauty supply and a friend of mine handed me a sample of Murad’s “Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum.” I saw my dark spots and pick marks start to fade in just two days. I couldn’t believe all the good it did for me in such a short amount of time. Murad’s product has really been a discovery for me.

It has two active ingredients: Hydroquinone, which is a progressive and intense bleacher, and Glycolic Acid. You have to use Hydroquinone sparingly because its effect can wear off; three days using it and two days off. Glycolic Acid is an AHA, which gently exfoliates the skin and sloughs away old skin cells.

This product doesn’t only get rid of old skin but helps renew skin as well. Though I love Murad products, I realize that what helps foster good skin and not having any dark spots is to also use vitamin C and exfoliate at least twice a week to help promote cell turnover and get rid of bacteria buildup.

For anyone out there who hasn’t found their answer to dark spots, I suggest using this Murad product. It worked for me.

Aloe Vera — a Powerhouse for the Skin

Aloe VeraEveryone is probably very familiar with Aloe Vera as a treatment for burns. However, Aloe Vera has a host of other skin and body healing properties. The Ancient Egyptians called it the “plant of immortality.”

There are many studies that back up the effectiveness of Aloe Vera in treating a variety of skin conditions, from flaky or dry skin, cosmetic ailments, and scalp problems.

Aloe treats sunburns through its powerful healing activity at the epithelial level of the skin, a layer of cells that cover the body. It helps the skin to heal quickly.

Aloe acts as a moisturizer without giving it a greasy feel, so it is perfect for anyone with oily skin. Aloe is also great for treating acne. The gel contains two hormones Auxin and Gibberellins. These two hormones contain wound healing and anti-inflammatory properties. Aloe is used to effectively heal chronic skin problems, such as psoriasis, acne, and eczema.

Aloe Vera is also widely used in anti-aging products. Aloe leaves many antioxidants including beta carotene, and vitamins C and E, that help improve the skin’s natural firmness and helps keep the skin hydrated. Aloe also lessons the visibility of stretch marks.

Besides being an effective skin treatment, Aloe is nutrient rich for good health. The solid material contains over 75 different nutrients including vitamins, minerals, enzymes, sugars, antraquinones, or phoenolic compounds, lignin, saponins, sterols, amino acids, and salicylate acid. It also helps to aid in digestion when taken internally.

Aloe Vera is one amazing, medicinal plant that anyone who cares about health and skin wellness should know about.

Facial Yoga

Face Yoga ExercisesYoga is a practice that is full of spiritual and physical techniques to connect the mind, body, and soul as one. Expected outcomes of yoga include ease of understanding, total relaxation, and even enlightenment. Full of both physical and psychological benefits, it is no surprise that yoga is done around the world; from serious, traditional classes in the heart of India, to the body-toning hot yoga class down the street.

While there are many different kinds, a form of yoga that has not gained much attention is a frontal muscle workout that goes by the name of “face yoga.” Face yoga refers to the exercising of the muscles in the face, and can be done to tighten, tone, and combat signs of aging.

How does it work? Well, the muscles’ movement increases blood circulation in the face, allowing more oxygen to pass through and replenish cells in the area. The techniques can also aid in the production of collagen and elastin, resulting in supple and smooth skin.

Some of the facial moves look odd as they include widening the eyes and sticking out your tongue. However the exercises are performed, here is a video that includes some methods you can try out.

Practicing face yoga for only five minutes everyday can bring great results in reducing signs of aging. Results can be noticed in as little as two weeks and, over time, the look of visible wrinkles, lines, and sagging skin can be reversed.

Simple Yet Versatile Hair Brush

Aveda Paddle-type Hair Brush

Brushing your hair can be a pain especially if your hair tangles easily. One brush I feel that is essential for any hair type is a paddle brush.

Aveda makes a great wooden paddle brush. I like this brush because it’s so versatile. I use it to detangle and while blow drying clients. It’s great for all hair types including curly, coarse, fine, short, and long.

Using the paddle brush as a styling brush is simple and easy. You simple blow dry the hair following the curve of the head. Once the hair is pre-dried, you can take sections and use the padding on the brush to smooth out the hair, perfect for a sleek look.

Also the brush is very gentle. My hair never snags on the brush and it easily detangles the most unruly hair. I would definitely recommend this brush to anyone who just wants an all around good brush for everyday styling and blow drying.

Do-It-Yourself Bath Bombs

Homemade Bath Bombs

Always on the go, we are so time sensitive that we never stop and smell the roses. But before we can take care of others, we must take care of ourselves.

I’ve found that a great way to relax is to take a luxuriating bath. Aromatic therapy can take you on a pleasant ride to a land of peace and tranquility. Many companies make bath salts, bombs, and oils; but you can customize your experience by creating you own.

Here’s how to create your own bath bomb.

Ingredients

  • 1 & ¾ cup baking soda
  • 2 cups cornstarch
  • 1 cup citric acid
  • food coloring
  • essential oils–peppermint or lavender for a stronger scent, lemon or grapefruit for a weaker scent.

Equipment

  • spritzer bottles
  • glass bowl
  • baking molds

Method

Sift baking soda, citric acid, and cornstarch to remove chunks.

To make different tints, fill small spritzer bottles with water and add about 6 drops of food coloring to each.

Pour 1 cup of sifted powdered mixture into a glass bowl. Lightly spritz, stirring after each spritz, until powder is the desired color. Add water slowly so mixture does not fizz. If mixing two tints, alternate colors as you spritz. Check the consistency of the powder with your fingers; when it can be tightly packed or shaped, stop spritzing. This may take a little while.

Add 5 drops essential oil for stronger scents or 6 drops for weaker ones. Mix well. Firmly pack mixture into small baking molds. I use ¼ cup for each fizzy, which is good for one bath. Allow mixture to set for two hours, then pop out of the mold carefully. Repeat, with different tints if desired, for remaining powder.

After you’ve made your batch, take one and enjoy it in a bath!

Choosing the Right Job

Jobs want ads and magnifying glass

As you reach the end of your beauty school journey, you will have to start thinking about the next step in your career—finding a job.

If you are like me, you have spent endless hours obsessing over Craigslist job posts, and perfecting your resume and cover letter. At times it seemed a little dubious that I would find the right job—entry level, but still at the caliber that I feel I deserve. Although you might be fresh out of school, don’t settle for any job just because they are willing to bring you on.

Here are some ideas to carefully reflect on before choosing your first job. If you are lucky enough to be called in for an interview for a job that peaks your interest, really pay attention.

  • What is the atmosphere in this spa or salon?
  • Is this a place you would feel comfortable?
  • Is it aesthetically pleasing to you?

Ideally you want to begin a career and a relationship at this spa but if it does not align with your sense of beauty or ideals that may create a conflict down the line. You want to come to work and feel at peace in a setting that you like.

If you are interviewing with the owner or manager, make sure you ask exactly what his or her expectations of you will be. If it is a spa that expects a lot of retail, make sure you know this and are prepared to do your absolute best. In addition there are some very hands-on and demanding spa owners. If having someone watch you and give you very precise directions will rub you the wrong way, it’s best that you seek employment from a more relaxed individual.

Another aspect to consider: which products does the salon or spa carry? Are they organic, or are they more scientific or clinical? These are important questions to ask. Depending on your feelings and ideologies as a cosmetologist or esthetician, it’s important that you and your employer are in sync. Furthermore, I think it’s important that the products the salon or spa carries are products that you believe in. Have you used these products? Is this a line that you can work with and sell?

Finally, continuing education is very important no matter where you end up! I chose a place where I knew I would learn a lot.

Obviously things like salary and schedule are important to consider, but these other tips are important to really think about before accepting a job.

Lemon Water and Vitamin C

Glasses with Lemon Water

Drinking a certain volume of water daily, depending on your weight, can do wonders for your body and skin. Some of you add a lemon to your water when you’re out at a restaurant, but do you know the benefits of drinking lemon water?

When you add lemon to your water it adds vitamin C, which has numerous health benefits. Vitamin C is essential for normal growth and development. A single lemon contains around 30-40 mg. of vitamin C in comparison to an orange which contains around 80-90 mg.

Vitamin C has been studied extensively and shown to have a myriad of health benefits, protecting against: prenatal problems, cardiovascular disease, eye diseases, skin wrinkles, and immune system deficiencies.

Putting lemon in your water brings your water, eventually, to an alkaline state. Water, for the most part, has a neutral PH of about 7.0, which means it is neither basic (alkaline) nor acidic. Anything above 7.0 is considered alkaline. The alkalinity of water is a measure of its ability to neutralize acids. A fresh lemon added to your drinking water will also make your purified drinking water more alkaline. Though it seems counter-intuitive to think that adding an acidic lemon to your purified drinking water could ultimately produce an alkaline result, it’s important to remember that fresh lemons are also anionic. Once you drink the acidic lemon water, it will become alkaline as your body reacts with the lemons’ anions during the digestive process. Use fresh lemons that haven’t been exposed to air for more than 30 minutes; do not use lemon juice that you can buy in a container from the store.

Vitamin C keeps you healthy and fit in five important ways:

  1. Helps treat common cold symptoms. Although there is no proof vitamin C can prevent cold, studies do show that vitamin C can reduce the severity of cold symptoms and the duration of the cold. Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine; it reduces the levels of histamine.
  2. Can be a natural cure for skin problems. Vitamin C is used to treat a lot of skin related problems. It is now used in moisturizers and masks for a natural glow to the skin.
  3. Regulates sugar levels in diabetics. Diabetics can definitely benefit from foods containing vitamin C. It helps regulate blood sugar levels.
  4. Improves asthma symptoms. Vitamin C, being an antioxidant and antihistamine, improves the function of the lungs and airways.
  5. Helps reduce arthritis symptoms. Arthritis is caused by the collapse of cellular process the help in the production maintenance and repair of cartilaginous tissues. Since Vitamin C is required for collagen production, it helps to reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling of joints in people with arthritis.

Gamma Phase for Cosmetologists

Many OptionsThe last phase in the cosmetology program is bittersweet. You’ve overcome struggles, learned more than just a thing or two, and have made friends over the thirteen-month-long program. Now are you ready to go out into the professional world? What’s next?

Cinta Aveda Institute has many opportunities to help aspiring hairstylists thrive and present their work to the public. There’s the Trashion Show, Career Day or Creative Team projects. They also help students find jobs in salons around the Bay Area.

Putting yourself out there, being passionate about what you do, and keeping an open mind help to achieve a successful career. Many students inspire others via social media such as Instagram or Facebook. This is a great way to spread the word that you’re ambitious and approachable for possible side projects, photoshoots, or weddings where hair and makeup services might be needed. Even if you’re not being compensated for certain activities outside of school, getting your feet wet helps you to become better and more comfortable working in the field. You’ll definitely come away with tips and tricks you can use for the future.

Settling into an assistant program in a salon is beneficial. One might not need to start assisting at the very beginning of their program however, towards gamma, it always helps to have yourself already settled in somewhere you enjoy working, getting a feel for salon life, and having a potential job lined up.

Thirteen months sounds like a long time, but it goes by in a flash! Being confident, eager to learn, and being a bit humble starting out in the industry is a sure way to a long and happy career full of opportunities.

Smoking and Skin

Please, No SmokingSmoking harms nearly every organ of the body. Some of these harmful effects are immediate.

Did you know second-hand smoke is even more dangerous than the smoke you inhale when smoking? second-hand smoke doesn’t go through the filter at the end of the cigarette, it just goes directly into your lungs. The levels of nicotine, tar, nitric oxide, and carbon monoxide are at least twice as high in second-hand smoke.

If you smoke, or if you breathe in second-hand smoke, you’re getting a lot of skin damage. The collagen destroying enzymes (MMPs) ramp us when exposed to tobacco smoke, causing increased wrinkling and visible aging of the skin. Aging of the skin means that it droops, develops wrinkles and lines, and can become dry and coarse with uneven skin coloring and broken blood vessels (telangiectasia). Smokers often appear gaunt and develop an orange or gray complexion.

Women who smoke have a harder time getting pregnant and, if they conceive, can harm the health of their baby. Smoking can also lead to early menopause, which increases your risk of developing certain diseases like heart disease.

Smoking delays wound healing, including skin injuries and surgical wounds. It increases the risk of wound infection, graft or flap failure, death of tissue, and the formation of blood clots.

Smokers have bigger bellies and less muscle than non-smokers. They are more likely to develop type two diabetes, even if they don’t smoke every day. Smoking also makes it harder to control diabetes once you already have it. Diabetes is a serious disease that can lead to blindness, heart disease, kidney failure, and amputations.

As if lung cancer wasn’t enough, you need to know that smoking causes much more than just lung cancer.

My Cinta Aveda Journey

The road that points to the sunrise.Going into this, I had no idea what to expect.

I signed up for school at what could be deemed the worst time I could possibly have chosen or maybe it was the perfect time; glass half full or half empty. For me, it turned out to be the perfect time.

My class became my family, my educators became my mentors, and the experience has changed my life. There were days where life didn’t agree with my schedule, and moments where I thought it was all just too much to handle. But I’ve also been surrounded by people to whom I genuinely say “I love you,” and deeply miss them when we aren’t together in class. Everyone has had an huge effect on my life and my heart, and I’ll treasure every moment spent with them.

When I’m asked about my experience in the esthiology program and what I think of the school, it’s more than just saying it’s great! To me, it has also been an amazing journey. I’ve learned more than I thought my brain could possibly retain, and I’ve gained strength in areas where I didn’t know I was lacking.

Prepared for the industry, ready to live, inspired for life. Thank you, Cinta Aveda Institute!