Health

The Invati System

The Invati SystemThe Invati System is a three-step system, created by Aveda, for people with thinning hair. “Invati” means invigorate in Sanskrit. This product was made and derived from India and contains a unique blend of herbs—97% all-natural ingredients—designed for thicker, longer lasting hair. The three steps are a shampoo, a conditioner, and a revitalizing spray.

The shampoo cleanses and exfoliates the scalp. It helps remove dry skin and products from the scalp, helping keep it healthy and moisturized instead of tight and dry. The shampoo consistency is creamy and runny compared to most shampoos, leading some to think that the shampoo does not cleanse well enough. But really, it’s actually the opposite. This shampoo helps exfoliate the scalp, which most shampoos don’t. It’s so important to exfoliate our skin and, to continue having healthy hair, it’s just as important to exfoliate our scalp. The Invati shampoo is very cleansing and healthy for the scalp even for those who aren’t worried about thinning hair.

The conditioner was created to thicken and strengthen the hair. This conditioner helps prevent more breakage and gives the hair more elasticity. The grape seed that is in the conditioner wraps around the hair cuticle and gives it its moisture and thickness. The conditioner also has nut oil which gives the hair its shine. The conditioner’s texture, similar to the shampoo’s, is runnier than most conditioners. But it does its magic when used correctly.

The revitalizing spray is the third step to this system. This product, sprayed and massaged into the scalp, helps rehabilitate the hair and scalp. The directions say that after shampooing and conditioning, the product should be sprayed six times on each side of the scalp while the hair is still wet. The revitalizing spray contains vitamin E oil that helps give the hair its strength. But the product is not oily at all. It is recommended to use the spray twice a day while giving the scalp a nice massage, which helps the scalp with circulation. The spray is an extremely important part of the Invati System, and it is important to follow the directions.

I used the whole Invati System for over six months. After just a couple of weeks, I experienced a significant difference in the amount of hair that I had been losing. Before I started using this product, my hair would fall out in significant quantities after a shower. But afterwards, I would come out of the shower and the hair that I would lose was countable: literally less than twenty hairs. I did a test and stopped using the Invati System and went back to use Aveda’s Scalp Benefits shampoo. But I noticed a dramatic difference and switched back to the Invati System. With the Invati System, my own hair has been thicker, too. There are also many more fine baby hairs than usual.

Because I personally used and believed in this product, I recommended it to a client that was experiencing thinning hair due to thyroid problems. I wasn’t sure that the Invati System would help because her thinning hair was caused as a side effect of a medication she was taking. But after a month, my client came back and told me that she had been losing less hair than usual and was extremely impressed and happy with the product. It’s a great feeling to be able to help someone with hair loss, especially because I know personally how bad it feels when too much hair is falling out.

I think the Invati System is amazing, but it’s important to be religious with the product. The Invati System smells great and leaves the hair healthy and clean. However, the product is on the pricey side. Everyone wants healthy skin, and everyone wants their hair to be as healthy and beautiful as it can possibly be. If you’re someone that cares about your hair the way that you care about your skin, then this product is worth the purchase. Because the Invati System is also helpful for preserving a healthy scalp, I recommend this product 100% even for people who don’t have thinning hair.

Summer to Winter Skin Adjustment

Climates are changing as we invite autumn in. Here in California, where we only really have two seasons, we experience Indian summers into October. The weather seems to be getting warmer versus taking a step back to cool off.

Other places that do not experience Indian summers actually have four seasons and are starting to become chilly. People there are preparing their homes to greet the snowy nights.

So our topic is climate change! Sudden climate changes can leave skin and hair a bit dull if not treated head on. So how does a warmer or cooler climate affect your skin?

Let’s meet the skin first. When dealing with extreme temperatures, the skin goes into a panic. She’s a tough cookie, but when it comes to dealing with drastic change, she puts her defense up.

Most people forget that the skin is an organ and its job is to protect above all. It acts as an external shield to the inner organs to keep the body within a normal temperature (37°C, 98.6°F) at all times. When the skin suddenly shifts locations to wildly different temperatures, it reacts. It happens all the time. Walking indoors from the hot, humid weather to a cool, air-conditioned building and, within a couple of seconds, the skin must adjust. Oh skin, don’t we all!

Whatever climate the skin is faced with, being moisturized is very important. The moisture—consisting of fatty acids, lipids, and natural oils—should be between pH level 4.5 and 5.5 (acidic) which is enough to repel bacteria. Doing this successfully depends on external factors (e.g. moisturizers) and internal factors (e.g. water bottles galore).

Sunscreen should always be used daily, no matter the weather and climate! And in any climate, moisturize the skin and make sure you’re drinking enough water.

Now, when the weather is warm, your skin reacts by sweating, which cools down the body. Heat and your skin tends to butt heads. This is the time where most breakouts occur because your skin is in overdrive producing oils already so people think: “Why even moisturize? It’ll only clog pores even more and cause more bumpity bumps.”

You do want to avoid the thicker, heavier creams for moisturizing during the warmer climate and stick to something light and noncomedogenic. But you still have to moisturize your skin. Botanical kinetics™ hydrating lotion is a great option because this quick-absorbing lotion—which contains emollients derived from coconut, jojoba and other naturally-derived ingredients—replenishes moisture with a gentle touch. Camomile and lavender blend helps promote a soft, supple skin texture.

Remember those tips for warmer weather. But now let’s add humidity. Moisturizers that contain humectants—a hygroscopic substance used to keep things moist—is ideal for humid weather. They prevent the loss of moisture so the skin retains the natural moisture it already has. According to a Mayo Clinic article, you should look at the ingredient list for urea, glycerin, aloe vera, or alpha hydroxy acids.

But if you actually live where fall transitions into winter, your skin functions differently. Circulation becomes sluggish which results in sensitive skin. Remember, your skin just went through a season of hot weather and is about to adjust to the colder weather. Keep those summer products to the side, or even toss them to avoid using them after expiration, and grab the thicker creams for the cold air.

In a 2011 article, Jessica Krant, Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center said, “Winter brings dryness from every direction, which sucks the moisture out of our skin, lips, hair and even our eyes.” She makes a series of suggestions on how to combat the effects of winter cold.

In an article from HealthDay News, Dr. Amy McMichael, a dermatologist at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, offered the following tips for protecting skin during the winter months:

  • Switch to a thicker facial and body moisturizer.
  • Do not use indoor tanning beds.
  • Limit alcohol consumption and avoid hot beverages to minimize rosacea flare-ups.
  • Laser and chemical procedures are available that can help treat rosacea, melasma (a kind of skin discoloration) and other skin problems.
  • Take advantage of off-season or post-holiday sales on sun-protective clothing to help protect your skin all year long.

The Daily Glow, which is now EveryDayHealth, released a report on the Best and Worst Skin Cities. There’s also an infographic.

San Francisco is number two, yea!

Nutritious Hair

Combing Damaged Hair
Everybody desires naturally healthy, strong, luminous hair. Why rely on endless searching for a costly “miracle product” to restore your hair, when you can find the answers you’re looking for in the foods you eat?

One of a stylist’s best-kept secrets to healthy hair isn’t which high-end product they squeeze from a tube; but rather a well-balanced diet. With the appropriate amounts of protein, iron, and other key nutrients found in the foods we eat, we can actually treat the overall health and appearance of our hair from a much deeper standpoint—from the inside out.

Magnesium, vitamins B, C, D, E and, most importantly, proteins and iron, are necessary to maintain healthy hair. Learning how to work these elements into your daily diet to coexist with your personal lifestyle will, over time, result in the reconstruction of your hair.

Non-Vegetarians: The best source for protein and iron will be in lean meats such as pork, beef, and fish.

Vegetarians: Non-animal sources for protein and iron include spinach, soybeans, lentils, and cereals containing iron.

As much as well-balanced diets create the condition for healthy hair, poor diets can cause poor hair. Malnourishment, which is generally the result of low-caloric intake from a restrictive diet, can cause dry, brittle, dull hair. “Crash diets” can lead to hair loss due to an insufficient intake of necessary nutrients. Cigarette smoking—and the nicotine in them—also affects hair-health. Nicotine affects the body’s circulatory system; if the scalp doesn’t have a sufficient blood supply, hair growth can be inhibited.

Microbead Controversy

For years, microbeads have been touted as a great agent for scrubs and other cleansing products. Their small size and perfectly round shape allow for manual exfoliation of dead skin cells without any harsh tearing or damage that other exfoliating agents with rougher edges may cause. They also create a smoother texture in products.

Microbeads Shown in a HandBut what seemed to be a convenient and effective product is now a source of controversy. It turns out that microbeads have a significant negative effect on the environment. Microbeads are made of plastic and, because microbeads are too small to be filtered from waste water, they are becoming a major source of pollution. They are washed down the drain and flow into streams, lakes, and oceans. Once in the water supply, the microbeads are swallowed by birds, fish, and other marine life and, through the food chain, they eventually wind up in our food.

Microbeads have been especially harmful to the Great Lakes region. Studies have shown a high concentration of microbeads have collected there, especially in Lake Erie. They account for 81% of the plastic pollution in the Great Lakes. Because of this, the state of Illinois passed legislation to ban the manufacture and sale of microbead products.

Other states are following suit with varying degrees of success. Unfortunately, the proposed bill to ban them in California failed to pass in August of 2014. Still, many activist groups are working to raise awareness. There is an app called “Beat the Microbead” to inform consumers of which products contain microbeads. There are many excellent alternatives out there.

Acne

September 27, 2014
By

Acne before and after

Acne can affect you in many ways, both emotionally and physically. I myself have gone through the troubles and frustrations that acne can bring. I’m going to explain the different types of acne and how to help your skin heal, as well as give some tips for prevention.

Acne has four grades of severity:

  • Grade I—Minor breakouts, minimal comedones (black heads), a few papules (pimples).
  • Grade II—Many comedones, and occasional papules and pustules.
  • Grade III—Red and inflamed, many comedones, papules, and pustules. Better to get treated by a dermatologist.
  • Grade IV—Cystic acne. Cysts with comedones, papules, pustules, and inflammation are present. There is a higher risk of scarring and deep pitting. This grade of acne can only be treated by a dermatologist.

There are many ways to help with the symptoms and treatment of acne. It’s very helpful to keep your skin clean and have a good skin regimen. Facials are recommended once a month or as needed. A healthy diet is also good to keep in mind. Use products that are noncomedogenic. Avoid too much sun exposure and it can also help to reduce stress. And don’t pick your blemishes. Not only will you prevent the infection from spreading, but you will reduce the chances of scarring, and you’ll decrease the healing time.

Acne is a constant battle but if you take the right measures in keeping your skin clean and hydrated with the right products you can definitely win the fight.

Benefits of Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids

September 17, 2014
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We all have our issues with choosing products for our skin and finding the best effective products with ingredients that will benefit our skin! AHA’s and BHA’s are great ingredients for giving a youthful look to our skin. They both work in their own way for a particular skin type or skin problem.

AHA and BHA

Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) is an acid that is derived from fruits that contain skin rejuvenating properties. Most commonly known are Glycolic, Lactic, Citric, Malic, and Tartaric Acids and are found in most skin care formulations as they promote the cell turnover rate. The process in which they work is by melting down the intracellular fluid letting dead skin cells to be removed from the surface of the skin. AHAs are water soluble and are best for the sun damaged or individuals with a thicker dermis. AHAs exfoliate the surface layers of the skin and help retain more water which, in turns, helps the overall moisture content. They do not penetrate as deep as BHAs; the overall effect of the AHAs is felt on the surface of the dermis.

Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) is specifically one organic compound—a salicylic acid. BHA will work in the same way as the AHA does by breaking down and exfoliating dead skin cells. The defining difference is that salicylic acid is oil soluble, which has the ability to penetrate pores filled with oil and exfoliate those pores. BHAs are great for those individuals with oily or acne prone skin. There is an anti-inflammatory property as well as an anti-bacterial affect from using a BHA. It is also great for sensitive skin types and those that may have a specific skin condition.

The Benefits of Sunscreen

September 13, 2014
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sunscreen_ultravioletWhy is sunscreen so important? This is the number one question people ask. There are so many reasons to use sunscreen or products with SPF. First, reducing the risk of skin cancer! These cancers strike more than a million each year. Melanoma is the deadliest and kills more than 8,000 Americans each year. Therefore, it is recommended to use a SPF of 15 and above.

Sunscreen is ideal for all skin types even if you have a darker skin tone. There is a common misconception that if you are dark-skinned, you don’t need sunscreen. But, in reality, we all need some type of protection from the harmful UV rays from the sun. Sunscreen also helps to reduce broken capillaries and any redness or blotchiness. It prevents your skin from getting sun spots which are darker spots which may appear like freckles and skin discoloration. It also helps slow down the development of wrinkles and premature aging.

Sunscreen or products with SPF come in many different ways and, if you are anything like me and feel like SPF creams are too thick or oily for acne prone skin, there is always an SPF powder.

These are some reasons to choose to take care of your skin from the harmful UV rays that the sun produces. We all want to make sure that we protect ourselves and start reducing skin cancer and deaths associated with skin cancer. Sunscreen can also help keep your skin looking healthy and young. And who doesn’t want that?

Three Sweet Secrets for Healthy Hair Treatments at Home

June 1, 2014
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Carmen MirandaDid you just run out of your favorite store or salon—bought deep conditioner? Is your hair dehydrated and dull? Maybe you’re having a night in of pampering yourself and just want to get creative in the kitchen. I will show you a handful of ways to nourish your thirsty tresses, using easy natural recipes.

A papaya treatment can help remove build up and residue from cleansing products and chemicals, and also restore hair’s natural shine and softness. To make a papaya pack, buy a papaya and half it. If you have very long thick hair you can use the entire fruit. Peel the skin and discard along with all of the seeds. Mash the fruit until pulpy, add a half cup of plain yogurt, and blend. Apply this mixture to your hair and leave on for 30 minutes, then rinse.

Honey contains vitamins, minerals, and acts as a humectant to retain moisture. A honey treatment can be a solution to split ends and contributes to a healthy scalp, making your hair feel nourished and enriched. For a mask, heat together three tablespoons of olive oil with two tablespoons of honey. Then add a tablespoon of lemon juice and mix well. Apply it to the scalp and hair and leave it on for 30 minutes or longer. Rinse out, then shampoo. Do this once a month for healthy locks.

The ancient Egyptians were the first to recognize the fantastic benefits of avocado. It can add shine and luster to the hair, as well as prevent hair loss and promote hair growth. All you have to do is wet your hair, mash up an entire avocado, and make sure to coat all of the split ends. Leave the avocado in the hair for up to 30 minutes, and then rinse. Follow with shampoo if needed. The vitamins and amino acids will noticeably condition your thirsty ends.

Hopefully these fruity salves will help solve all of your dryness distress! Plus, you will be happy to save money by taking a break from expensive products and using these trusty treats.

Protein for Hair Growth

May 25, 2014
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Your hair needs the same vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients needed for good health that the rest of your body needs to stay in shape. Your hair health is completely interconnected and reflective of your diet and lifestyle. Your habits effect the rate of hair growth and the condition of your hair, which is why it is good to be mindful the way you treat yourself.

Making sure to get enough protein in your diet is a good way to make sure your hair grows healthy and strong. Because your hair is made of mostly protein, it means you need to eat enough protein for your hair to grow.

At any time, 90% of your hair is in the growing, or anagen phase. For each hair strand, this phase lasts 2 to 3 years. After that, hairs enter a resting phase, or telogen phase, which lasts about 3 months before hairs are shed and replaced by new ones. If you don’t get enough protein in your diet, more hairs than usual may go into the resting phase.

Everyone sheds hair throughout the day. Most people shed about 50 to 100 strands a day and don’t even notice. However, if an unusually large number of hairs enter the resting phase at the same time, hair loss can become noticeable. This can easily be fixed by adding more protein to your diet. Even if you don’t eat meat, foods like nuts, beans, and dark leafy greens can give you a substantial amount of protein.

If not getting enough protein is the reason for your lack of hair growth, just change your diet!Aveda Damage Remedy - Graham Brown Photography, Inc.