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Benefits of Serums

Serum applied to a woman's face.

Serums differ from creams or lotions by what isn’t in them. Serums leave out occlusive (airtight) moisturizing ingredients such as petrolatum or mineral oil that keep water from evaporating. They also contain fewer lubricating and thickening agents such as nut or seed oils. Most serums are water-based, eliminating oils altogether.

Serums also have a smaller molecule, which means that it penetrates much more deeply than creams and lotions can.

If you want to brighten the skin, brightening serums will definitely get the job done. They penetrate deeply into the skin where melanin is produced.

Serums are useful to diminish the appearance of acne, and can help reduce the pigmentation appearance of sun damage.

Serums are very beneficial for your skin regimen. The good thing about serums is that there are so many different kinds that each have specific targets and can treat areas of trouble. Also, serums help moisturize the skin and having dehydrated skin is not a good look.

Here are some benefits of using a serum:

  • Serums have a better anti-aging benefits the longer you use them.
  • Serums can target areas of specific concern.
  • Serums help with hydrating the skin and locking in hydration as they are water-based.
  • Serums have high concentrations of vitamins C and E.
  • Serums are beneficial for people that have oily or acne prone skin.
  • Serums help regulate oil production.

Say Goodbye to Brassy Tones

Aveda Blue Malva Conditioner

Let me tell you: for us brunettes trying to maintain cool or neutral tones in our blonde locks, the struggle is real.

I have been using Aveda’s Blue Malva Color Conditioner since I transitioned into a level nine neutral blonde in hopes to fight the brassiness that always finds its way back into my hair’s tone. I had been using it once a week in the shower, leaving it on for at least five minutes when possible. To my disappointment, I was finding little to no results when using the Blue Malva this way so I decided to try a different approach.

I applied the conditioner on my hair when it was dry, rather than in the shower. After leaving on my hair for around ten to fifteen minutes, I hopped in the shower and shampooed and conditioned as normal. Not only was I able to successfully eliminate the brassiness where my blonde balayage meets my natural pigmented hair, but I was also able to achieve a beautiful ash tone blonde that will provide more longevity for my overall tone.

Aveda’s Blue Malva Color Conditioner is an absolute must-have for anyone fighting to maintain gorgeous brass-free color between trips to the salon. Not only does it neutralize brassy tones, but it also deep conditions your hair while leaving it lightweight and manageable.

Dealing with Rosacea

Cheek Displaying Rosacea

Rosacea is a chronic but very common skin condition. Cheeks, nose, chin, eyelids, or forehead become inflamed and red, often with small, red, pus-filled bumps. On some cases skin gets coarser and thicker with a bumpy texture.

Although rosacea can occur in anyone, it tends to be more common in middle-aged women and those with fair skin. If left untreated, it tends to worsen over time. It is also important to know that sometimes it can be confused with acne and, if treated in the wrong way, it can lead to a worse problem.

While there is no cure or proven cause, rosacea can be controlled by avoiding certain triggers:

  • Spicy foods
  • Very hot or very cold showers
  • Alcohol
  • Coffee
  • Extreme temperatures
  • Extreme exercise
  • Stress
  • Sun Exposure
  • Hot foods and beverages
  • Some drugs such as cortisone

Natural Remedies for Rosacea

  • Licorice is a very strong anti-inflammatory. Look for this naturally sourced ingredient on over the counter rosacea ointments or creams.
  • Rosehip seed oil strengthens distended capillaries and reduces redness of the skin due to its astringent qualities.
  • Chamomile , applied in cold compresses, is a terrific anti-inflammatory and skin soother.
  • The feverfew herb in capsule form can be used as an effective anti-inflammatory treatment for rosacea or severe acne.
  • Tea tree oil is a potent antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory. Be sure to make a patch test before using it because it’s strong and doesn’t work for everyone.

To minimize rosacea symptoms, avoid the above triggers, protect your face using sunscreen, manage stress levels, eat a proper diet, try out some of the above natural remedies, and use products indicated for sensitive skin: no harsh ingredients, colorants, and perfumes.

If you experience signs of rosacea, see your doctor for a diagnosis and proper treatment.

Why is Vitamin C Important?

Orange and Vitamin C

Time and again, we hear beauty experts praise vitamin C. You probably know that it prevents scurvy—the disease that afflicted sailors on long sea voyages without sources of vitamin C—and you might have heard Linus Pauling’s controversial theory that it helps prevent the common cold. There’s only one catch though—your body doesn’t store or accumulate it. That’s why daily intake is important.

But why do beauty experts feel it is so important for your skin, hair, and nails? Here are some of vitamin C’s beauty benefits:

Skin Benefits

Vitamin C is responsible for creating and maintaining collagen. Specifically, this antioxidant strengthens blood vessels and helps give skin its elasticity. For a vitamin C-rich face mask, blend one kiwi and a half-cup of papaya, and apply the mixture to your face for about five minutes.

Hair Health

Vitamin C works to help grow and strengthen hair. To do so, blend a partially-boiled sweet potato, a half-cup of gooseberries, a few strawberries, and half of a small red bell pepper until you get a creamy smooth mixture. Then apply it to your scalp and hair. Leave the mask on for 15 to 25 minutes, then rinse it off with warm water.

Nail Health

Because vitamin C strengthens nails and helps them grow, it can help prevent hangnails. Ingesting vitamin C is the best route for nail health, so remember, since your body doesn’t store vitamin C, you have to eat citrus fruits often.

Benefits of Papaya

Papaya

Papayas offer not only the luscious taste and sunlit color of the tropics, but they are rich sources of antioxidant nutrients: the carotenes, vitamin C, and flavonoids; the B vitamins including folate and pantothenic acid; the minerals including potassium, copper, and magnesium; and fiber. Papaya is abundant in anti-oxidants due to a huge concentration of Vitamin A.

Papaya is a great bet when it comes to skin care. Papaya contains *papain which is helpful in breaking down inactive proteins and removing dead skin cells; applying papaya on the skin exfoliates it in a gentle and natural way. Use mashed papaya for cracked and sore heels. Mix mashed papaya with honey for a hydrating skin mask. Because papaya is low in sodium, it retains little water. The result is an overall hydrated skin.

Papaya is a great skin-firming and anti-aging mask. Mash uneaten papaya with or without milk and apply on your face. It helps in removing blemishes, dark spots, evens out your skin tone, and brings a glow to your face.

Rub the papaya peel on your face after eating the papaya. The alpha-hydroxy acids—coveted ingredients for their anti-aging properties—are found in abundance in papaya which makes it an acidic fruit. So let it stay for no more than five minutes and wash it off with cold water. If you let the papaya stay on your face for more time, it might cause dryness and even irritate sensitive skins.

Dimensional Color

Hair Highlighting Techniques Compared

One of my favorite hair trends is dimensional color. I absolutely love the lived-in, effortless look of this approach to hair color.

In the student salon here at the Cinta Aveda Institute, I have seen a lot of demand for this type of hair service. The truth is there are many ways to achieve this type of hair.

Everyone has heard of ombre and some have heard of balayage. But what many don’t know is that there are countless more techniques that hair stylists use to achieve beautiful, rich, dimensional color. There is free-hand hair painting, baby lights, sombre, and flamboyage. It is our job as hair stylists to know what our clients want (and need) and then deliver the right results.

To better understand the difference between these techniques, it is important to break down what it is that distinguishes one technique from the other.

  • Ombre was a huge trend a few years back and is still somewhat in demand now. Ombre is characterized by having two distinct colors in the hair that are diffused and blended at the point where they meet in the hair. This point is usually right below the occipital bone, about halfway down the hair.
  • Balayage is very trendy right now as it is universally flattering because its look is so natural and blended. Balayage is a form of freehand highlighting that is not brought up all the way to the scalp in order to give off a lived-in, very natural look. This technique is great for clients that do not desire a style that requires a lot of maintenance.
  • Baby lights is a lesser known method, much like balayage, that produces a very natural effect. Baby lights are characterized by very selective placement of highlights on the hair, so as to give just a little tease of color. Baby lights require fewer foils than a traditional highlight or partial highlight.
  • Sombre is a much softer version of ombre. It is more subtle and its color variation is not quite as drastic.
  • Flamboyage is a combination of ombre and balayage. It gives a client the ultimate marriage of dimension and a pop of color.

As a hair stylist, and as someone who goes to the salon to get my own hair done, I believe being well informed and educated on your options brings you one step closer to getting the perfect outcome at the salon.

Highlight and Contour

How to Contour

Highlight and contour have become the new thing in makeup over the past year. From Kim Kardashian to Nikki Minaj, it is what everyone is trying. The purpose of highlight and contour is to bring out the highs and lows of the face. To broaden the cheekbones and to make the face look skinny. Highlighting and contouring is a great tool for anyone who likes to really define their makeup and facial features.

To contour, a bronzer or darker shade is used under the cheekbone, on the forehead, and along the sides of the nose to shade the parts of the face that is desired.

To highlight, take a much lighter shade and place it on the high points of the face such as the cheeks, above the eyebrows, and on the cupids bow.

You can use a cream or a powder contour. Using cream is better for dry skin, and gives a dewy finish, however, it is a lot thicker and tends to be messier. Powder contour is best for oily skin because it absorbs the excess oil and gives a matte finish to the face. It is also easier to control.

Looking up tutorials on YouTube or taking a class can really help. It is a fun way to do makeup and you always look fierce and flawless.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is derived from the Tea Tree. Its scientific name is Melaleuca alternifolia.

It sometimes comes from Australia. Originally it was used in tea by some, but Australian natives used it in medicine for a long time.

The most relevant uses of tea tree oil to someone in the beauty industry are:

  • acne,
  • after waxing,
  • during extractions,
  • for tinea unguium—also known as onychomycosis, which is a fungal infection of the nail,
  • tinea pedis (athletes foot),
  • scabies, and
  • possibly pediculosis (lice).

It can also be used as a natural antiseptic on things like cuts and abrasions. Some believe it can help with bug bites. It has many other uses and can also be used in the bath as a bath oil. This can be good for the health of the skin by soaking or it can be good for inhaling through the steam of the bath. Some people use it in this way for things like sore throat or a common cold.

Tree oil works by containing chemicals that may kill bacteria and fungal infections. Some people believe it also works to reduce skin reactions from contact irritants or allergic reactions.

When using tea tree oil, it is important to use a carrier oil. It contains eucalyptol which can be a skin irritant if it is not used correctly. This means that if one were to use tea tree oil as a spot treatment then 100% cannot be applied directly to the area. Mixing it into a small amount of lotion or serum is a much better option.

Aveda Joins the No Poo Revolution

Brunette Woman with Curly Hair

Who has time to wash their hair every day? Those of us with curly, wavy, or frizzy hair know that our hair looks better the second or even the third day after shampooing.

Frequent shampooing can dry out the hair and curly hair has a tendency to be dry because the curls make it difficult for the hair’s natural oils to travel down the hair shaft. The solution for many has been to use conditioner only; however, conditioner alone does not remove product build-up and won’t leave your scalp feeling squeaky clean.

Aveda has joined the no poo revolution with their new product Be Curly Co-Wash. Be Curly Co-wash is sulfate free, using babassu oil to gently cleanse the scalp, leaving the hair soft and the curls defined.

Co-wash isn’t just for curly hair, but can be used by anyone with a tendency towards dry or frizzy hair.

Co-wash provides the essential moisture to hair, leaving the hair soft, manageable, and clean.

Stop by an Aveda Experience Center and see if Be Curly’s Co-Wash is right for you!

Facials are for Everyone

Man Getting Facial

Some people think, “Oh, facials are just for girls!” Or maybe, “It’s not for me.” Well think again! When I hear facial, I hear skin care. Well, everyone has skin and everyone should be taking care of their skin. After all, it’s the human body’s largest organ and it’s our first line of defense. Facials literally help us from the outside in, and with proper help from a professional Esthetician, results can be seen, if not immediately, then in just a couple weeks.

Here are just a few of the reasons why everyone should be getting facials:

  1. Facials increase circulation of the blood under the skin which promotes the renewal of skin cells.
  2. By working and properly massaging the lymphatic system that lies just under the skin, facials decrease waste underneath the skin that can cause puffiness, redness, and fluid build up. Facials also aid in detoxification.
  3. A good facial and facial massage can help smooth fine lines and promote collagen production, which is key to preventing premature aging, wrinkles, and sagging.
  4. A facial cleanses the pores on a deep level. Even non-acneic skin can use a good deep cleanse. Extractions and cleaning out the pores can help to maintain clear skin, stop acne from producing, and can help to change the pore’s size. Sometimes, when pores are left unchecked, they can start to stretch and widen with the build-up of oil and dirt. Please do not attempt to extract or pick at your own skin unless you are a professional and know how to do it properly; you could be at risk of scarring and infection.
  5. Facials provide deeper exfoliation than you can achieve at home. Exfoliation smoothes skin, allows for greater penetration of products including moisturizers or serums, unclogs pores, improves the skin’s ability to retain hydration, and evens skin tone.

Now doesn’t that sound like facials benefit everyone?