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Beauty Ritual for Mind and Body

Woman Puts Makeup on Her Face

We live in a constantly changing environment full of work, family, fitness, and relationships. These rotate around our own clock of time and mostly we rush through life feeling disconnected from ourselves.

But we are made of cells, atoms, and water. Our body works 24 hours a day following our Circadian Rhythm—our internal “clock” linked with the sun. When it is dark, our body releases melatonin, the hormone that controls sleep; and when there is light, cortisol is activated in the body and makes us wake up.

So, what happens when this internal rhythm gets disrupted by stress and work? We lose the connection between our mind and body; our own internal engine starts to wear out, causing fatigue or even sickness.

As simple as it sounds, a way to find a connection with our body is sleeping in a regular way.

The body needs sleep. It is this regeneration time—when cells repair themselves—where our digestive and muscular systems get to rest.

From a skin therapist’s perspective, the evening is the perfect time to prepare your skin for the next day. In that way, you wake up in the morning feeling gorgeous and refreshed.

Choosing the right products for your skin type is essential. What we need for the night are nutrients—food for our skin. The body deserves attention; this is the best time to apply a rich body lotion with some aroma relaxing oil.

Self-massage also helps relax the body and prepare it for the night. Aveda’s Stress-fix body lotion nourishes your body with ingredients proven to reduce feelings of stress: lavender is soothing and calming, while clary sage has healing properties. While nourishing the skin, inhaling pure lavender aroma stimulates the activity of brain cells in the amygdala similar to the way some sedative medications work. It is a perfect way to prepare our bodies for night time. Relaxation before sleeping helps assure a good sleep.

As we wake up, a new day starts!

The morning is the time where our skin needs hydration to keep the skin protected throughout the day. It is a good habit to drink one or two glasses of water to wake up our digestive system.

Washing your face performs a light lifting self-massage. It’s helpful to bring oxygen back to the skin of the face, activate circulation, and flush toxins away via the lymphatic system. It helps you be ready to start your day!

Finding the right products to a beauty routine is key. Choose ingredients that are hydrating and strengthen the skin’s barrier function.

Powerful ingredients like sodium hyaluronate found in the Aveda Green Science line is ideal for hydration purposes. This powerful ingredient can hold 1000 times its own weight in moisture content in the skin, providing extremely good protection. Other great ingredients are shea butter which is high in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant perfect for dry or sensitive skin, and argan oil, which is rich in poly-unsaturated fatty acids that nourish and protect the skin.

Having daily beauty rituals and taking good care of our mind and body can help us reconnect with our selves. Morning and evening rituals help you reconnect to yourself with simply giving attention to what makes you live: your body. This practice can improve your health enormously and make you both happy and more beautiful.

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.

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.

The Power of Lemon Water

When people try to find cures for certain conditions, or just try to prevent problems and reinforce their existing health, usually their first thought is to buy expensive products. I don’t blame them; this is an understandable response to our massive consumption of goods and services. But there are natural and simple solutions that are not only cheaper, but also have amazing benefits. Our bodies will be extremely thankful in the long run.

One example is lemon water. Drinking lemon water is an easy and tasty substitute to more caloric beverages. And the reduction in calories is just one of its many benefits.

Lemon is a popular fruit for its therapeutic properties. By drinking a glass of warm lemon water each morning, you provide your body with all the goodness lemon can bring to our health. Here is a list of its incredible benefits:

  • Maintains your immune system because of its high concentration of vitamin C. Vitamin C supports our bodies by fighting the terrible effects of free radicals. Free radicals are well known to be harmful to us in many ways and accelerants of the aging process.
  • Contains fiber, which is very beneficial for digestion and colon health.
  • Boosts your metabolism and prepares your body to receive nutrients throughout the day.
  • Balances the pH level in the body. Our bodies need to maintain a balanced pH to better fight disease-causing microorganisms.
  • The potassium content in lemon helps people having heart problems and helps nourish brain cells.

These are plenty of powerful reasons to start packing your mornings with this healthy and simple option. Lemon’s cleansing and healing effects will have positive and visible results on your overall health in the long run. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!

The Truth About Cellulite

Everyone I ask has a different theory about cellulite. Some say is genetic, while others argue it only depends on how healthy your diet and exercise regimens are. The truth is that all these factors affect your body’s reaction to cellulite but, unfortunately, this uncomfortable condition affects the majority of women and is considered “a disease of the connective tissue initiated by cyclic hormones of the menstrual cycle.”

Cellulite appears when collagen fibers that bind fat to the skin stretch and tear, allowing fat cells to expand. This condition might be worsened by factors such as: the stress hormone cortisol (very common nowadays), gender differences in fat storage (women can store more fat than men), metabolism in the top layer of fat, and the structure of connective tissue in these areas. In other words, depending on how our bodies react, cellulite can appearing in our thighs, hips, and buttocks as soon as our hormones start new processes.

The purpose of this “not so easy to understand” explanation is to make people realize that there are multiple causes of cellulite and that the solution to it needs to also be “multiple.” This means that if you have heard that topical caffeine, for example, is very good to fight cellulite, it needs to be accompanied with other ingredients to be able to see fast and noticeable changes in your skin, otherwise it can be a lost battle.

Here is a useful list of ingredients that can help fight cellulite:

  • Topical Glycyrrhetinic Acid: targets fat storage in response to stress; derived from licorice root.
  • Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum): reduces swelling and inflammation, and improves circulation.
  • Gotu kola (Centella Asiatica): stimulates collagen production to strengthen the support structure, reduce inflammation, and improve blood vessel tone.
  • Topical Caffeine: has anti-inflammatory qualities and helps in drawing excess fluid from fat cells to improve the skin’s appearance.

Although these ingredients will be very helpful in cellulite reduction, is very important to remember that a healthy diet, increased water intake, and regular exercise are also key factors in controlling the appearance of cellulite in our bodies.

How I Chose Cinta Aveda Institute

Exactly one year ago, I was bored and not happy with my career. I needed something else, something that would make me happy by helping others.

Colombia, were I was born and raised, is a country where the beauty industry is always ahead and people want to look their best no matter their age, gender, or even religion. I’ve had the opportunity to always be surrounded by this amazing world, discover its beauty, enjoy its benefits, and finally see a lot of happy and satisfied faces after they get in touch with its magic.

After realizing what I wanted, the quest for the best training started. It wasn’t easy at first. I knew I wanted to explore a new country and, for the first time, live by myself. My options for this big decision were Miami, New York, and San Francisco; each of them had something special.

Miami is a city were beauty is a must, and sometimes it’s all about it. New York has it all: culture, beauty development, business. Finally, San Francisco is a city full of diversity, culture, beauty—more naturally focused than Miami—entrepreneurship, and of course, everything much more expensive than anywhere.

After doing my city research, I started searching for schools. This is when I discovered CIDESCO and the advantages of graduating from a certified school. For me, this was especially important because I am an international student on a visa and, with this diploma, I could work almost everywhere. Summarizing my options, considering the pros and cons, weighing the different variables and the infinite possibilities, the filters for my school research came down to: CIDESCO certified, schools that openly showed their esthetics program, exceptional comments on social networks from students and people that had visited the school for services, location, professionalism, and excellent job placement statistics.

I applied my filters to the list of schools that I was considering, reducing my list of 15 to just four schools: two in New York and two in San Francisco. Finally, I called each school. One school didn’t have permission from the government to issue paperwork for international student visas.

Before I made up my mind, I had the greatest opportunity of my life: I was able to travel to both cities and see by myself what I was going to pay for. Both schools in New York were great but what Cinta Aveda Institute had to offer was highly superior to everything else I saw. This school offers the whole package: very knowledgeable and experienced educators, real life experience with clients, recognition and professionalism in the beauty industry, amazing reviews on social networks, and a great location.

After being at Cinta Aveda Institute for almost five months, I am extremely sure I made the best decision. I am grateful for the knowledge I have received so far and I’m very excited for what is coming next with CIDESCO.