Health

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.

Relaxing Rituals for the Evening

Aveda Lavender Fleurs Oil

After a long day, it can be difficult to unwind. Taking a quiet moment for yourself before bed can be the difference between a sleepless night and a refreshing night of sleep. Here are four bedtime rituals you can practice at the end of the day to maintain wellness and restore balance to your body and mind.

  1. Aveda Lavender Fleurs Oil

    The sweet, earthy scent of Lavender is one of the most calming aromas. Put a few drops of this oil on your pillow case before bed for a relaxing night of sleep. This oil can also be used in a warm bath or mixed in with a lotion.

  2. Nutmeg Face Mask

    Nutmeg calms the mind and is one of the best remedies for sound sleep. Mix equal parts nutmeg with honey. Use as a face mask and leave on for 7 to 10 minutes and then remove. Not only does this mask smell good and relax the senses, it also has hydrating and protecting properties for the skin.

  3. Unplug Yourself

    Studies have shown that you should turn off your electronics at least 20 minutes before bed. The blue light produced by electronics is stimulating to the brain and tricks your brain into thinking it is still daytime. A helpful tip is to try to avoid using your phone as an alarm. This might be hard, but it helps avoid middle of the night Facebook sessions and receiving late night texts or calls.

  4. Practice Reflection

    It is easy for anxiety to get in the way of a restful night of sleep. The practice of reflection at the end of the day can help clear your mind and help you let go of any stressful events that occurred during your day. If you keep a journal or just give yourself a few quiet moments to reflect, it can be so important for both your body and your mind.

At Home Skincare—The Lemon Yogurt Honey Mask

Honey is a great cure for acne and other blemishes. Though it can used along with oatmeal as a facial mask, honey itself is also sufficient. A honey mask is especially helpful for those with sensitive skin that can’t tolerate chemical treatments. Without using harsh chemicals, honey cleans out the pores and prevents microbe growth that typically promotes acne. In addition to healing blemishes, honey’s natural properties can lead to a smooth, soft face, its stickiness grabbing dead skin and dust from the surface while also acting as an exfoliant.

For the mask, one would just use honey and apply an even layer on their face. When used frequently, this natural method is able to successfully clear acne, dark spots, and blemishes.

To supplement the honey, lemon and yogurt can also be used effectively. Lemons have two great components actively working to cure acne: citric acid and L-asorbic acid. Citric acid is best for smoothing the skin’s surface while L-asorbic acid dries out oily acne when applied appropriately. Because lemons are incredibly acidic, it’s best to use the juice in small amounts or paired with other ingredients like yogurt and honey. The live cultures and nutrients in yogurt also helps gently cleanse the pores.

The Lemon Yogurt Honey Mask is a combination of milk, honey, lemon juice (from a lemon), yogurt, and lukewarm water. After mixing them together sufficiently, one applies a single layer of the mixture, and eventually rinses it off once it has dried completely. The most successful approach is to apply another layer after each rinse until the entire batch has been used.

Ten Ways to Feel Pretty on an Off Day

We all have those “off” days now and then where your hair just doesn’t look right, or maybe you feel like you have nothing to wear and don’t wanna leave the house. Laying in bed moping all day isn’t the answer! Here are a few tips to help you turn that off day around and leave you feeling pretty!

  1. Wake Up and Put on your Favorite Song: Music has the ability to lift your mood instantly! Make a “Feel Better” playlist that includes all your favorite songs that put you in a good mood.
  2. Go Workout: Working out gives you endorphins; endorphins make you happy!
  3. Eat Healthy: When you eat healthy, your body, skin, hair, and mind will thank you. You will have more energy and radiate awesome.
  4. Wash Your Face and Hair: Sometimes the best way to deal with a bad hair/makeup day is to simply start over and pamper yourself to a fabulous face mask and deep conditioner.
  5. Put on Lipstick: Adding some bright red lipstick to your usual makeup routine can just be the pick me up you need!
  6. Treat Yourself: Whether it’s going to the mall and buying a new outfit, makeup, or simply just going to get your nails done, treat yourself to something that makes you happy.
  7. Get Some Coffee: Go to a cute and cozy coffee shop and order your favorite coffee off the menu and grab a good read. Doesn’t that just sound sophisticated?
  8. Think Positive: One of the best ways to feel pretty is to think about all the positive things in your life—your health, family, friends, and accomplishments!
  9. Laugh: Sounds simple, but calling up a best friend and having a good laugh is simply the best! Whoever said laughter is the best medicine was right!
  10. It Ends: Remember every off day eventually comes to an end and tomorrow will be a fresh start!

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!

DIY Brightening Face & Body Scrub

Lemon, Sugar, Olive Oil, Honey are the ingredients of this scrub.

I know we can always buy scrubs at a store for convenience but it’s always fun to do it yourself from time to time. And also, a lot of times, you don’t really find that one scrub or product you are looking for. So here is a quick and easy lemon and sugar face and body scrub for you to try.

This is what you’ll need:

  • ½ fresh lemon
  • ½ cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of organic honey
  • 1 medium-sized Tupperware bowl with lid

Add lemon juice and olive oil into a bowl. I like to use glass Tupperware as it makes for easy storage.

Add the honey and whisk or stir quickly until the ingredients bind together into a medium thick consistency.

Add in the sugar and mix. If you sense that there is not enough sugar to get the scrubbing done, add a bit more. Again, this is a personal preference.

You can add or subtract the amount of olive oil and honey that you use depending on how thick you want your scrub to be. I would keep the lemon to the juice of one half of a freshly cut lemon for every ½ cup of granulated sugar.


Benefits of the Ingredients:

  • Lemon—A natural source of Vitamin C; an ingredient commonly used to lighten sun and age spots and even out skin tone; A natural astringent that tightens pores and brightens the complexion.
  • Sugar—A natural exfoliator; a natural source of glycolic acid which evens out skin tone, cleans pores, and improves overall skin texture by removing dead, dull skin cells.
  • Olive Oil—High in Vitamin E which soothes and heals skin; a natural moisturizing ingredient often used for its anti-aging benefits.
  • Honey—A natural source of anti-oxidants making it a perfect ingredient for age prevention; a natural humectant so it locks water into the skin keeping the complexion hydrated; the antibacterial properties benefit acne-prone skin by reducing breakouts.

Well, now that you’ve gotten the ingredients and the great benefits, I hope you try it and enjoy making it. It sure saves you a whole lot of money!

Balancing Morning Rituals

Aveda Blue Oil

No matter how busy or fast-paced life may get, it is important to take some time out of your morning for yourself, to get centered and ready to take on the day ahead. Even if you have just a few minutes, a little bit of wellness can change the nature of your entire day. Here are some quick, stress-free rituals for the morning.

  1. Blue Oil Balancing Concentrate

    This Aveda blend of peppermint and chamomile helps to relieve stress and increases your energy level. Rub a few drops of this oil into the palms of your hands. Cover your mouth and nose with your hands and take three deep inhalations. This is the perfect ritual for those on-the-go and can also be used on the skin for a cooling sensation that helps with muscle relief.

  2. Camel Pose

    Camel pose is a yoga pose that opens up the air passages in your lungs and gives you a deep back stretch. This is perfect to do just as you wake up. To perform this pose, sit on your knees. Reach your hands back and hold your ankles. Arch your back and lean your head back. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat 3 times.

  3. Drink a Glass of Warm Lemon Water

    Drinking a glass of water in the morning is a great alternative to tea or coffee and helps to rehydrate your body. Lemon also helps digestion and the warmth of the water will help calm and warm the body.

  4. Seven Minutes of Exercise

    Exercise in the morning is very important because it releases stress relieving hormones called endorphins. Recent studies show that seven minutes is just enough to get your energy up without making you groggy for the rest of the day.

Implementing just one or all of these rituals into your morning routine can give you a fresh start to your day and help your body and mind feel revitalized.

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.

Which Chakra Are You?

Certain groups of people are very knowledgeable as to what chakra is and the purpose and benefits from these body mists.

Aveda has five different chakra scents:

  1. Grounded
  2. Nourished
  3. Intention
  4. Harmony
  5. Expressive

Someone had to explain to me that, after smelling all five scents, the one that smells most pleasant to you is the one that you need most.

  • Chakra 1 is located below the stomach. This one helps one feel more grounded to take care of our basic needs. This one will help those who need to slow down.
  • Chakra 2 is located in the stomach. This one helps those feeling disconnected to themselves.
  • Chakra 3 is located above the stomach. This is where we set our intentions and desires. This one will help with feelings of impatience and anxiety, or with mental blocks.
  • Chakra 4 is located in the center or the heart. This is connected to feeling empathy and love for others around you. This one will help those who feel unconnected to people or depressed.
  • Chakra 5 is located in the throat. This one helps those in need of help expressing themselves or getting into their creative mode.

I personally like all of the chakra scents, they all smell natural and earthy. For some, they may smell too strong or “unfeminine.” But I think everyone should give chakra a try. It works similarly to aroma therapy. So go to your closest Aveda shop and find out which chakra you are.

Skin Care Tip: Wear Sunscreen

If I could emphasize one skin care tip to everyone, it would be to apply sunscreen! I come across many people who ignore this task, carefree since they are youthful and have beautiful skin.

Primarily because I love the sun, I am a huge advocate of sun protection. In order to continue enjoying the warm kisses of the sun while still slowing down the aging process, I make sure I always apply some type of broad-spectrum sunscreen on my face and my body. And don’t forget the ears!

There are two types of sunscreens: a physical sunscreen that reflects the sun’s rays, and a chemical sunscreen that absorbs the rays and scatter them. I lean more towards natural products, so my preference is to use a physical sunscreen. However, any sunscreen is better than no sunscreen.

For sunscreen to be effective, it should be applied at least 20 minutes prior to sun exposure. In addition, it should be re-applied. For many women, re-applying is difficult, since they’re already wearing makeup. However, the makeup also acts as another barrier against the sun. If you will be having prolonged sun exposure without reapplying, throw on a big, fashionable hat. Also remember to apply sun protection even on cloudy, overcast days because the UV rays can still penetrate through the clouds.

I like to kill two birds with one stone, so for the last few years, I’ve been using tinted moisturizer with a minimum of 15 Sun Protection Factor (SPF) which gives me protection and light coverage. For more coverage, you can use a facial moisturizer with SPF and apply your favorite foundation over it. Protect your face and skin now, so that years from now, you’ll need to do less work to maintain your beauty!

How to Protect Your Skin with Natural SPF Oils

Natural sunscreen oils are much better to use as sun protection compared to artificial sunscreen creams. These oils contain Sun Protection Factor (SPF) that helps to protect the skin from darkening. The SPF number gives you the estimated amount of time that you can stay exposed to the sun without getting burned. For example, an SPF of 15 would allow you to be exposed to the sun fifteen times longer than you could without protection. Some oils have a natural SPF in them and most of these natural sunscreen oils also have other benefits on the skin.

  • Almond Oil—SPF 5

    Almond Oil

    Almond oil can give your skin a lot in terms of nourishment. Almond oil is rich in Vitamin E which keeps your skin soft and supple.

  • Coconut Oil—SPF 8

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    Coconut oil is one of the most versatile natural oils. You can cook with it, and apply it on your skin and hair. Coconut oil provides sun protection to your skin and it also protects your hair from nasty sun damage.

  • Raspberry Seed Oil—SPF 30

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    Raspberry seed oil is an essential oil that is rich in both Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids. Aside from providing sun protection, it also helps prevent stretch marks on your skin.

  • Carrot Seed Oil—SPF 40

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    Carrot seed oil is a vegetable oil that has the maximum amount of SPF. It is also rich in antioxidants and has very good antiseptic properties.

  • Avocado Oil—SPF 15

    Avocado Oil

    Avocado oil has a high percentage of mono-saturated fats. These fats form a protective layer over the skin to prevent sun tanning.

  • Olive Oil—SPF 8

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    Olive oil is the healthiest oil for your heart. Even when it comes to your skin, olive oil can provide limited sun protection and unlimited antioxidants to repair cellular aging.

Wellness

When I began as a student at Cinta Aveda, first thing in the morning we would go into the main room and conduct “morning wellness.” This normally consisted of meditating before we began to dive into our long day ahead.

We still continue to have ‘wellness’ during theory as Alphas. I love it! Not only is it a pick-me-upper from the long mornings, it allows me to look internally to make sure that I have a positive mindset. I truly believe that we—people in general—give off energies. And being in the beauty industry, estheticians must have a positive vibe so that we can care for our clients and give them the best service even if they are having a bad day. We intake that negative energy and in return fill them will new providential energy.

Major factors to our health are our perceptions and attitude. Jen, one of Aveda’s beautiful instructors, showed us a Youtube video “The Science of Happiness—An Experiment in Gratitude” that demonstrates how happiness can affect people.

This video made me think of myself and how I can continue to strive for good chi and find outlets to let go of the collected energies from our long days on the spa floor.

First is a hot shower to wash any unworthy emotions and promote a good night’s rest. On occasion, a glass of red wine or sleepy tea is needed. I think we need to focus our energies in the morning, since most of us wake up tired, sluggish, and dreading the day ahead of us. Apart from getting more sleep, there are a few quick and easy things we can do to help start our days off on the right foot.

  1. Wake up to great music. I think most of us are energized and motivated by great music.
  2. Floss. A lot of people don’t floss everyday. If you do floss first thing in the morning, that tiny action can make your mouth tingle and can make you feel like you’re doing something great for your health. Because you are.
  3. A quick workout. Yoga. Ten sit ups, ten push ups, and ten squats.
  4. A quick note. Write a quick note to your significant other, friend, or to yourself. Starting the day expressing gratitude for the little things in your life can make you amazing.
  5. Eat breakfast. Too many people skip out on breakfast, but it really boosts your mood and metabolism.
  6. Smile. Say good morning to strangers.

Setting the tone for the day is so important and it begins as soon as we wake up. Do what makes you feel good and alive. Get moving and attack your day with a smile.

The Benefits of Oil Pulling

Coconut for Oil Pulling

Oil Pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic oral hygiene ritual that originated in India dating back over 3,000 years. This ancient practice is now making a comeback in the modern world. In 1992, Dr. F. Karach M.D. reintroduced this ritual claiming that it not only is great for your oral hygiene but it can cure a slew of illnesses.

This process entails first choosing your oil. Most people prefer coconut oil due to its antibacterial properties. You take a tablespoon of oil and swish it around in your mouth for ten to twenty minutes per day and then spit it out. For some, this can be a definite struggle. Having oil swished around the mouth for that amount of time can be a bit nauseating. But, if you can stomach it and stick to a daily routine, the benefits outweigh the difficulties. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Oral Hygiene: Oil pulling pulls the bacteria and toxins out of your mouth. In the long run, this will reduce the buildup of plaque and prevent tooth decay. Not only that, this ritual gives you whiter teeth, healthier gums, stronger teeth, and fresher breath, as well as helping to prevent cavities and gingivitis.

  • Clear Skin: Any type of skin issue or rash can be reduced dramatically due to the detoxifying effect of oil pulling. By removing toxins from your body, your skin’s complexion will glow.

  • Detoxifies the Body: Our mouth is a gateway, and it’s where inflammation and diseases can form. By removing these toxins before they get a chance to spread, the body will experience a complete detox.

  • Reduced Headaches: Headaches can occur from numerous causes, but one of them is the body going through toxic stress. By the elimination of toxins through oil pulling, headaches can be significantly reduced.

Real Men Get Facials

Men with facial masks on.

When I offered to give my guy friends’ free facial treatments at school, their responses were, “I’ve never gotten a facial treatment before, how does it feel?” or “Do I need to cleanse my skin before hand?” My answer to them were the same—“It makes you feel cleansed and relaxed, and no, the whole point is that I cleanse your face and give it some pamper.” Yet none of them has actually come in for a free facial treatment.

Guys, I know most of you don’t even have a regular skin care regimen at home to properly cleanse your face. So I recommend you go out there now and find one! You need a cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and maybe an eye cream, too. Why? Just like us women, you’re a human being with skin that can get dry, dull, oily, dehydrated, or for those with combination skin, everything in between.

Then schedule your first-ever facial treatment. There is nothing to be shy or afraid of; it’s really relaxing. A facial treatment is not only deep cleansing for your skin, but we also help you find the right treatment for your skin by analyzing it: is it dry or dull? Does it suffer from inflammation, hyperpigmentation, dehyration, and so forth. After each facial, you’ll see and feel the results—you’ll be amazed, trust me!

If you’re having trouble finding the right skin care regimen, I recommend trying Aveda’s Botanical Kinetics Purifying Crème Cleanser, Botanical Kinetics Skin Firming Toning Mist, and Botanical Kinetics Hydrating Lotion.