Products

Hydrating Effects of Serums

Aveda Tulasara Serums

Light, silky, and fast-absorbing, facial serums are a must-have skincare product. They are especially useful if your skin has taken a beating over the summer and is in need of moisture ASAP. Truthfully, the fact that they have instant hydrating effects on the skin makes them almost addictive.

Serums are water-based moisturizers that contain a high concentration of active ingredients, such as vitamins, antioxidants, and/or plant extracts. It hydrates your skin and makes it look more radiant. Unlike regular moisturizers, serums do not contain occlusive emollients like shea butter, so they penetrate the skin quickly as opposed to sitting on its surface.

Serums have the smallest-sized molecules of all skincare products. That’s how they can penetrate deep into the skin. It’s also why, on a molecular level, they are especially effective for battling free-radical damage. When skin is damaged by the sun, molecules in the skin can lose an atom and become unstable, referred to as a free-radical. To make matters worse, the unstable molecule steals an atom from a stable molecule to cause more havoc within our skin.

Generally, serums’ silky texture comes from smoothing ingredients such as glycerin or “slip” agents such as silicone. Some are treatment-oriented, perhaps to target dark spots or firm the skin. So make sure to check the package before use. You should consider adding a serum to your routine whatever your skin type to increase skin hydration.

How do you use a serum? Apply, wait five minutes to let it sink in, then apply your regular moisturizer. If you have oily skin, a serum can be worn alone.

Avocado Hair Masks

Avocado Mask in Hair

Initially, the early Egyptians were the first to recognize avocado’s benefits for skin and hair, and now these benefits are well known. The Egyptians used this fruit to promote hair growth, prevent hair loss, add shine and luster to the hair.

Avocado is not only beneficial for skin and health, but this amazing fruit also has many benefits for hair that will surprise you. The oil of avocado is easily absorbed in the hair, therefore, it goes well with dry hair.

You can use raw fruit or avocado oil to get its rich vitamins and minerals. There are many natural avocado hair treatments to remedy different hair conditions. It works wonders when it is used as a hair mask. It nourishes as well as strengthens the hair.

Natural Beauty Tips

  • While making an avocado or any fruit mask, blend or mash it thoroughly into a lump-free paste. If you have small fruit bits in your mask, it would be difficult to wash them out entirely. If you face such a situation, simply use a comb to remove the bits. It’s a tiresome process, but you will get the job done.
  • If you have oily roots then don’t put the avocado mask onto the first inch or so of your hair. On the other hand, if your hair is dry or frizzy, spread the mask all over your hair and scalp. Pay special attention to the hair ends, as that is where your hair is mostly damaged.
  • If your hair is thin or limp, skip the deep conditioning masks, as they tend to weigh your hair down.
  • Always try to dry your hair naturally, without using a hairdryer, to avert damaged, frizzy hair.

Avocado Mask Recipes

Avocado and Honey Hair Mask With Olive Oil

Honey is a rich source of vitamins that strengthen scalp and hair. Further, it works as a humectant to make your hair strands retain moisture. Olive oil has excellent hydrating properties, so it protects your tresses from damage and is very useful for those who use lots of heat on their hair usually. You can also add in a few drops of lavender essential oil, which is a natural treatment for the scalp that helps get rid of dandruff and itchy skin. Moreover, it adds a feel-good smell to the mask. It’s one of the best hair masks for dry hair!

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado (pitted and scooped out)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • A few drops lavender essential oil (optional)

Method

Mash the avocado until it forms a smooth paste without any lumps. Mix all the ingredients in a mixing bowl, and blend them all together, until the mixture forms a smooth paste of uniform consistency.

Damp your hair with water and apply the mask onto your hair, paying extra attention to the hair ends. Massage the mixture a little bit. Clip your hair onto the top of your head and then cover with a shower cap. Allow the mixture to sit for about 40-45 minutes.

Remove the shower cap, rinse your hair thoroughly as many times it requires to remove the mask entirely, and then wash and condition your hair as you normally do.

Avocado and Banana Hair Mask

This provides a deep conditioning treatment for dry hair. This recipe can even maintain the gloss on your naturally curly hair.

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • A few drops of your favorite essential oil, such as lavender, rose, sweet orange or jasmine (optional)

Method

Blend the ripe banana and ripe avocado together, until they form a smooth paste without any lumps. Put the mixture in a mixing bowl; add in olive oil and 2-3 drops of essential oil. Stir all the ingredients together until you have a smooth mixture of uniform consistency.

Damp your hair with water, and apply the mask onto hair—including scalp if you want—paying extra attention to the hair ends. Massage the mixture a little bit. Clip your hair onto the top of your head, and then cover with a shower cap. Allow the mixture to sit for about 15 minutes, longer if you prefer.

Remove the shower cap, rinse your hair thoroughly as many times it requires removing the mask entirely and then wash and condition your hair as usual.

Avocado, Egg Yolk Hair Mask

This mask has a number of benefits for hair. Use this mask for volume, growth, and conditioning of your tresses. Avocado and egg yolk are also very effective for softening, hydrating, and conditioning hair naturally.

When using any mask containing egg, never use hot or warm water on your hair, as this will cook the egg and you will be stuck with egg bits in your hair.

Ingredients

  • ½ ripe avocado
  • 1 egg yolk

Method

You can use a blender to blend the avocado and egg yolk until they turn into a uniform paste without any lumps. Or you can whisk the egg yolk until it forms a frothy liquid, mash the avocado until it turns into a lump-free paste, and then mix the two together.

Damp your hair with water, and then apply the hair mask with your fingers starting from your scalp and working all the way until you reach hair ends. Massage the mask gently into your scalp for few minutes to stimulate blood flow. Let the mask sit for about 15-20 minutes, longer if you desire.

Rinse your hair thoroughly, as many times as needed to remove all the traces of the mask. Shampoo your hair, condition and rinse your hair as you normally do.

Avocado and Olive Oil Hair Treatment

If your hair is dry, damaged, and frizzy, use this soothing home remedy with olive oil and avocado as its two main ingredients. You can use this mix as an avocado deep hair conditioner to moisturize your mane and restore its lustrous shine. Both these ingredients have moisturizing qualities and will leave your hair looking shiny and feeling soft. Avocado has biotin, a vitamin that helps to strengthen your hair. Olive oil smooths frizz, nurses hair damage, and helps in removing tangles.

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • ¼ cup steel-cut or rolled oats
  • ⅛ to ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup milk

Method

Mash the avocado into a lump-free paste and mix it with the oats. Add in olive oil, using the larger amount if your hair is dry. Mix in milk and thoroughly stir all the ingredients together until the mixture turns into a smooth paste.

Apply the mask onto your hair, starting from the scalp till the hair ends. Wait for 30 minutes, and rinse the mask out with water, as many times as needed to remove all traces of the mask. You may then shampoo and condition your hair as usual.

DIY Bath Recipe

Bathtub

When life is getting too hectic and you need to wind down, there are few things more relaxing than a warm bath. The warmth of the water with your body submerged in it makes a bath relaxing. But what makes a bath good for your skin are the ingredients you add to it.

You can easily create your own bath soak recipe from pantry ingredients. Aim to add ingredients that appeal to your senses, are good for your skin, and have the proper consistency for bathwater.

All the ingredients to this bath soak have a purpose. Milk works to both hydrate and soften skin. Baking soda is a great detoxifier and also helps to alkalize the body. The combination of jasmine and ylang-ylang, provide soothing and relaxing aromas.

Here’s a DIY bath recipe that will leave your skin baby soft!

Benefits of this Bath

  • Relieves Stress
  • Rejuvenates tired skin
  • Detoxifies body
  • Helps sooth tired or aching muscles
  • Helps soften dry or dehydrated skin

Ingredients

  • 1 cup organic whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (in jojoba oil)
  • 6 drops ylang-ylang
  • 6 drops jasmine

Method

  1. Cook the milk, baking soda, honey, and vanilla over low heat until warm.
  2. Remove from heat. Add the ylang ylang and the jasmine, then stir them all together.
  3. Pour mixture into bathwater. Enjoy for up to twenty minutes.

Outer Peace Pads

Aveda Outer Peace Pads

If you don’t have time to do a full cleanse during your day—maybe after the gym—and you always feel like your skin isn’t good enough, then the Outer Peace Pads might be a good solution for you. They are full of ingredients that are great for busy people who are acne-prone or have oily skin. The ingredients are simple and plant-based. The main ingredients are tamanu, amla, boswellia, and saw palmetto. The aroma, however, is lemon tree oil and rose geranium oil.

Tamanu is a good ingredient for healing the skin. It is used as a topical healing agent which makes it good for people who have acne lesions.

Amla has very high levels of vitamin C. Vitamin C is very good for strengthening the tissue of the body. That characteristic is good for people with acne because it can prevent scarring or acne blemishes from staying for extended periods of time.

Boswellia, a type of frankincense, is used to treat inflammation. This is valuable in acne treatment because it helps reduce the amount of irritation and redness on the skin because of the breakout.

Saw palmetto is good for the skin because it contains a large number of polysaccharides and will strengthen the body’s immune system. This will help decrease breakouts.

The pads are also useful in facials. They are good for closing the pores after extractions and are also a great toner for people with acne-prone skin.

I think you’ll like them.

Lavender Oil Benefits

Lavender Farm

Studies have shown that Generation Y is more prone to stress and anxiety. The scent of essential oil of lavender has strong calming abilities which make it perfect for the nerves and anxiety issues. It can also be helpful in treating migraines, headaches, depression, nervous tension, and emotional stress. It helps eliminate nervous exhaustion and restlessness while also increasing mental activity. One study showed when lavender oil was inhaled before taking a test or exam, more people were focused, and relaxed. Pass rates improved!

Lavender oil also helps induce sleep—a healthy alternative for insomnia. It has such a relaxing impact on people that it can often replace modern medicine for sleep issues. Studies on elderly patients have shown an increase in their sleep patterns when they replaced their normal sleep medication with lavender oil.

Surprisingly, lavender oil is also a great bug repellent. The scent of lavender essential oil is anathema for many types of bugs like mosquitoes, midges, and moths. Apply some lavender oil on exposed skin when outdoors. And if you do get bitten, lavender oil is an effective anti-inflammatory for irritated insect bites.

Aveda Enlightener Blonde Finish Protective Toner

Aveda Protective Toner Group

Blonde with trends like ombre and balayage have captured our guests’ attention. As Aveda’s Global Creative Director Antoinette Beenders remarks: “Blonde is having a moment now, but it’s refined to be just the right tone for you. Whether you feel like channeling your inner rock star, bombshell, or flower child, there’s something for everyone.”

As part of their Rare Bloom collection, Aveda released their Aveda Enlightener Blonde Finish Protective Toners that are designed to help achieve and customize the perfect shade of blonde for every guest and lasts up to four weeks.

How is Aveda able to achieve customized blonde results for every guest?

After achieving the desired lift result using Aveda Enlightener, the hair is then shampooed, towel-dried, and treated with Aveda’s Damage Remedy Equalizing Solution to rebuild, strengthen, and prepare the hair for even saturation of the toner. Then one of three “pre-blended” shades of toner—96% naturally derived and containing Aveda’s signature blend of organic protecting oils: sunflower, castor, and jojoba—are massaged through the hair and left to process for five minutes. Having an exact process time allows the Aveda Enlightener Blonde Finish Protective Toners to create the perfect shade of blonde every time.

The Aveda Enlightener Blonde Finish Protective Toner shades are:

  • Violet-based Enlightener Blonde Finish Protective Toner Ash
  • Violet/yellow-based Enlightener Blonde Finish Protective Toner Beige
  • Yellow/orange—based Enlightener Blonde Finish Protective Toner Gold

“This is clearly not your basic blonde,” says Ian Michael Black, Aveda Global Artistic Director, Hair Color. “Our new Enlightener Blonde Finish Protective Toners give us the ability to refine blonde hair and really create customized and unique looks.”

Surprising Facts About Honey

Honey

The uses of honey in Ayurvedic medicines dates back almost 4,000 years. Honey, when blended together in preparation with other ingredients, enhances their medicinal value. It has been shown to improve eyesight, speed up weight loss, and cure impotence. Honey also helps in treating urinary tract disorders, diarrhea, asthma, and nausea. It is also said to treat disorders such as bacterial gastroenteritis and ulcers.

In ancient times, athletes used to consume honey to enhance their endurance level, reduce muscle fatigue, and instantly boost their performance. Honey is also known to help in recovery and maintaining glycogen levels. Before swim meets, when I was younger, we would eat a honey stick before our races to give us an extra instant energy boost.

It is a rich source of flavonoids and antioxidants which help reduce the risk of heart disease and even cure some cancers. The mix of fructose and glucose in honey helps the body regulate blood sugar levels. And because of the presence of an enzyme that makes hydrogen peroxide, honey contains antibacterial and anti-fungal properties allowing it to be a good toner and even cleanser.

Honey can do wonders for your skin. That’s why you will find it in many skin-care products today. Honey acts as a great anti-aging agent and moisturizer. Here are some easy recipes to make honey-based face masks and exfoliators that you can try at home.

Facial Mask

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon honey (preferably raw honey)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Yolk of an egg

Method

Blend all of them together and apply it to face.

Leave it for 15-20 minutes and then wash it off with warm water.

This mask will help you remove sun tan and give a glowing look.

Alternative Facial Mask

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon fuller’s earth (multani mitti)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Method

Mix them well to form a thick paste.

Apply it to skin and leave it for 15 minutes.

Wash it off with warm water.

Facial Exfoliator

Ingredients

  • Honey
  • Lemon juice
  • Sugar

Method

Mix them and gently rub it on your skin.

Leave it for about 10-15 minutes and rinse with warm water.

Honey cleanses your skin, lemon juice brightens it up, and sugar works as an awesome exfoliator for those hard-to-get areas. Use this exfoliator to remove dead skin cells from their roots. This also helps in getting rid of blackheads. Exfoliation is good for oily as well as dry skin. Just use once a week.

Start Your Day with Warm Lemon Water

Lemon Splashes in Water on Black

Every morning, first thing, drink half a fresh squeezed (never bottled) lemon in a warm glass of water. The water doesn’t need to be boiling. For an extra boost, add ginger and cayenne.

  • Aids Digestion: Lemon juice flushes out unwanted materials and toxins from the body. It encourages the liver to produce bile which is an acid that is required for digestion. Lemons are also high in vitamins and minerals and help loosen toxins in the digestive tract. The digestive properties of lemon juice help to relieve symptoms of indigestion, such as heartburn, belching, and bloating.
  • Cleanses Your System: Lemon juice helps flush out unwanted materials partially because lemons increase the rate of urination. Therefore toxins are released at a faster rate which helps keep your urinary tract healthy. The citric acid in lemons helps enzyme function, which stimulates the liver and aids in detoxification.
  • Boosts Your Immune System: Lemons are high in vitamin C, which is really good for fighting colds. They’re high in potassium, which stimulates brain and nerve functions. Potassium also helps control blood pressure. Vitamin C, found in lemons, shows anti-inflammatory effects, plus it enhances iron absorption in the body. Iron has an important role in immune function. Lemons also contain saponins, which contains antimicrobial properties that may help keep cold and flu at bay.
  • Clears Skin: The vitamin C in lemons, along with other antioxidants, helps decrease wrinkles and blemishes. It also helps combat free radical damage which comes from sun exposure and damages molecules in our skin. Vitamin C is vital for healthy skin, while its alkaline nature kills some types of bacteria known to cause acne. It can actually be applied directly to scars or age spots to help reduce their appearance. Since lemon water purges toxins from your blood, it would also be helping to keep your skin clear of blemishes from the inside out.

Aveda Dry Remedy Oil

Aveda Dry Remedy Oil Bottle

We typically look to oils to help resolve the big hair issues of dryness, damage, frizz, or smoothness. But have you ever noticed the vicious hair cycle that begins when you start to use serums?

Day One: hair is silky, smooth, and tame.

Day Two: hair is weighed down and a little greasy.

Day Three: hair is unbearable; it’s almost clumpy with grease, weighed down, and looks terribly filthy.

To counter that, you have to use a clarifying shampoo to remove the gunky residue. This strip/grease/strip/grease cycle leaves your hair dry, brittle, and dull.

Experience the difference with Aveda’s Dry Remedy Moisturizing Hair Oil. It’s a silicone-free hair oil derived from the buriti nut. Because it doesn’t have silicones to force the oil to stay on the surface, your hair shaft completely absorbs the nourishing essential oils and stays light and silky, soft and full of beautiful shine. It’s especially good for dirty hair because it moisturizes dry, brittle ends. The buriti nut has great hydrating power. It can increase the moisture of your hair by 40% in one use.

How to use: apply 1 to 2 drops of oil to your hands, emulsify, and smooth from mid-length to ends through half of your hair. Repeat for the second half. Gently comb your fingers through your hair to evenly distribute. With residual oil on your hands, gently smooth over your crown for more shine and fewer flyaways. That’s it!

Healthy Hair Tips

Blonde Hair Tips

Hair trends come and go, but healthy, luscious hair is always in style. After all, the time and money spent on trying out the latest hair trends are not worth it if your hair’s foundation isn’t healthy and strong.

Improving the health of your hair is surprisingly easy if you adopt healthy hair habits. There are small daily things you can do—or refrain from doing—to improve the appearance of your hair and make it healthy from the inside out.

  1. Try to use heat styling products sparingly. Heat = damage. When possible, allow your hair to air dry naturally. Apply appropriate products to reduce unwanted frizz.
  2. If you must use heat styling products, apply a heat protectant beforehand. Aveda’s Brilliant Damage control spray is both a heat protectant and also a great detangler.
  3. Avoid using shampoos that contain sulfates, which strip hair of its natural oils. There are many natural products that can be used to cleanse hair such as apple cider vinegar.
  4. Don’t wash your hair every day. Aim to wash your hair about three times a week. Over-washing hair will strip your hair and dry out your scalp. However not washing your hair enough might lead to oily hair and clogged hair follicles. It’s a balance.
  5. Nourish your hair and body from within. Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water. Eat a healthy diet that contains healthy fats found in foods such as fish and avocados. An added plus is taking supplements like vitamin D and biotin that have been proven to benefit hair.

Emergency Beauty Kit

First Aid Kit

As a girl, the struggle is real when it comes to making sure you have the necessities when going on a date, or on vacation, or even out with the girls. You have made lists and set reminders to make sure you have absolutely everything you need—or may possibly need. We have all had those moments: “dang why didn’t I bring…” [insert unnecessary item that you know you don’t actually need but have totally convinced yourself that you or your friends will need it].

But there are some things you really must have. First and foremost is mouthwash. You can find mini ones in any grocery store—just go to the travel section and get the travel sizes. You also need some face powder to touch up, gum, lip gloss, bobby pins, two hair ties (someone always asks to borrow a hair tie, it’s good to have an extra), safety pins (in case of a wardrobe malfunction), tampons, mascara, and a backup phone charger.

It’s pretty amazing what you can fit into a clutch or small bag. Knowing you already have what you may need is going to help ease the anxiety of having to go somewhere.

You can also get these emergency kits at stores such as Forever 21, TJ Maxx, or the Beauty Supply Store, but it’s super affordable to just create them yourself! Who doesn’t love shopping for themselves? It could even make for a fun girls’ night, or even party favors for a bachelorette party.

Bathe for Sunburn Relief

Bathtub

If you’ve ever had a painful sunburn on your body, you know how difficult it is to get relief. While applying aloe vera gel is a great topical treatment throughout the day, taking a bath can help to completely alleviate the pain.

One of the most important things to remember about taking a bath with a sunburn is to avoid using hot water. If the water is too hot, it can make the skin hurt more.

Some amazing ingredients for a sunburn bath are oatmeal, cooled green tea and peppermint, and vinegar. The vinegar, which is a light acid, may sting at first, but it will eventually help to relieve the pain. They shouldn’t all be used together because that could overstimulate already angry skin. It is a good option to try each individually and see what works best for your skin.

Oatmeal is very soothing for sunburns and inflammation of any kind.

Green tea is a great thing to add to a bath or to use in compresses. The ingredients are soothing on the inflamed area.

Peppermint tea is a mild ingredient with a cooling effect, so long as you don’t use it on blistering or broken skin. It is great to add cooled peppermint tea directly into the bath or you can use the tea bag as a compress once it has cooled.

Vinegar is a useful ingredient to help relieve a sunburn because of the acetic acid. It is especially appropriate for sunburns that are itchy, painful, or inflamed. Apple cider vinegar is a great option because it is already very good for the skin.

Benefits of Using Toner

The word Toner written by a Female Hand.

There’s more to a good skin regimen than cleansing and moisturizing. While those are definitely the most important steps, there’s another step in between which should not be omitted—toner. Why is toner important?

  1. It gives your skin the right pH balance.

    When you cleanse your face, especially if you exfoliate, you tend to make your skin more alkaline than acidic. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, 7 being neutral. Our skin is naturally acidic, having a pH of 4.5 to 5.5. It’s important that skin be acidic so it can fight away harmful bacteria that tries to penetrate and damage the skin.

  2. It shrinks pores.

    Toner minimizes the appearance of pores. It will not shrink them permanently, but it will definitely visually minimize them.

  3. It adds a layer of protection.

    Toners can help close pores and tighten cell gaps after cleansing, thus reducing the penetration of impurities and environmental contaminants into the skin.

  4. It moisturizes the skin.

    Some toners are humectants, which means that they help to bind moisture to the skin.

  5. It refreshes your skin.

    Toner can also be used in lieu of washing your skin when it’s oily or dirt. It will leave your skin revitalized, even when you’re on-the-go. You can even spray it over your make-up!

  6. It can prevent ingrown hairs.

    Toners containing glycolic or other alpha hydroxy acids can help to prevent ingrown hairs, so it also aids in grooming.

  7. It reduces oil on the skin.

    After cleansing your face, you tend to produce more oil. Toner helps restore and balance everything out.

Aromatherapy-Essential Oils

Essential Oils

Essential Oils are the key ingredient with Aromatherapy. They are known as pure essences from plants that are natures gift to the human body and spirit. These oils are extremely beneficial and give off scents and health giving properties.

These oils, derived from plants, are used to promote good health. The beneficial effects of essential oils are applied many ways, through baths, massage, compresses, vaporizers, and so on.

It cannot be stressed too often how important it is to use pure, natural, authentic oils as aromatherapy uses the complexity of the plants to deliver therapeutic qualities.

Caring and where you store your oils is extremely important. Oils are extremely volatile, which can easily be affected by the environment, light, temperature, air, and moisture. They must be stored in cool and dry places.

I’m going to focus on one essential oil: lavender. Lavender is one of the most valuable oils for the treatment of acne, according to aromatherapists. Here are twenty conditions that lavender can improve.

  1. Aching Muscles

    Put a few drops in your bath water for aching muscles.

  2. Acne

    Bacteria thrives on the over-secretion of sebum. Lavender rebalances this to reduce scarring. Add a few drops of lavender oil to a plain cream or lotion. It is safe to use everyday.

  3. Bacteria

    Can use lavender to help fight infection.

  4. Cuts and Wounds

    Apply oil to soothe pain, This prevents bacterial infection and aid scar-free healing.

  5. Ear ache

    Warm a bottle of lavender oil in hot water for a minute or two, then massage a few drops gently into the skin around the ears and throat.

  6. Eczema

    Stroke infused lavender oil into dry, itchy skin.

  7. Fatigue

    Add five drops of lavender oil to a hot foot bath and relax while your feet soak in it. Lavender reaches your bloodstream quickly, exerting its stimulating and soothing effects on various systems of your body.

  8. Fevers

    For babies or small children, sponge them down very gently with tepid water to which you have added a drop of lavender oil. This works for adults also.

  9. Faintness

    Make your own smelling salts—sea salt, lavender oil, peppermint oil, and basil oil.

  10. Insomnia

    To help to induce sleep, put three to four drops of lavender oil on your pillow. For babies, add one drop of lavender and geranium oil in a carrier oil and massage into a baby’s back or put a few drops in their bedtime bath.

  11. Long Travel

    Keep lavender in your hand luggage and roll it over your pulse points to help you keep a clear head during those endless hours in the air.

  12. Menstrual Cramps

    Massage a few drops of lavender into your lower abdomen or apply a hot compress onto the area.

  13. Moths, Midges, and Mosquitos

    These bugs hate the smell of lavender. To prevent bites, splash yourself with lavender oil before you go out at sunset or to bed, put three to four drops of oil on your pillow. Lavender oil is also a remedy for insect bites, soothing itching and inflammation: dab it on to the bites as soon as possible. To keep moths off your clothes, hang lavender bags on your coat hangers, or keep them among your sweaters, and refresh them with a drop or two of lavender oil from time to time.

  14. Scabies

    Rub your whole body with neat lavender oil, then following every day until better with a mixture of lavender oil and alcohol. Change and wash bedding and clothes and sprinkle lavender oil on the mattress.

  15. Shingles

    Combine a mix of lavender oil with analgesic, antiviral and scar preventing essential oils neat or on compresses on the agonizing lesions of shingles. It usually produces a cure within five to eight days.

  16. Sinusitis

    Lavender is one of several essential oils that aromatherapists recommend for inhalations to relieve sinuses.

  17. Stress and Anxiety

    Keep a spritzer of Lavender Mist—Hydrosol handy to spray on your face during the day, or apply lavender oil neat to your temples.

  18. Sunburn

    Spray pure Lavender Mist—Hydrosol directly onto the skin or pour it into a cool-to-lukewarm bath and soak for ten minutes.

  19. Headache

    Mist around your head is refreshing and soothing. Alternatively, make a compress of a piece of gauze sprinkled with a few drops of lavender oil and apply to the forehead, or massage a few drops into the forehead, temples, and nape of the neck.

  20. Minor Burns

    After you have cooled the area by putting it in cold water for a few minutes, stroke on lavender oil. Pain relief is almost immediate, and burns usually heal without scarring.

Green Tea: Nature’s Healthiest Drink?

Green Tea

Green tea is one of the healthiest beverages on the planet. It is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that have amazingly powerful effects on the body. This includes improved brain function, fat loss, a lower risk of cholesterol, and many other benefits.

Green tea is loaded with polyphenols, like flavonoids and catechins, which function as powerful antioxidants. These ingredients can reduce the formation of free radicals in the body, protecting cells and molecules from damage. These free radicals are known to play a big part in aging, wrinkles, and diseases.

One of the more powerful ingredients in green tea is the antioxidant Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG). EGCG has been studied for its effects on the treatment of many diseases and it may be one green tea’s main ingredients that give it powerful medicinal properties.

Green tea also has small amounts of minerals that are important for health. The catechins in green tea have other biological effects as well. Some studies show that they can kill bacteria and prevent some viruses like the influenza virus, potentially lowering your risk of infections.

Streptococcus mutans is the main harmful bacteria in the mouth. It causes plaque to form and is a leading contributor to cavities and tooth decay. Studies show that the catechins in green tea can stop the growth of Streptococcus mutans. Green tea consumption is linked to improved dental health. Another awesome benefit of green tea is that multiple studies show that it can reduce bad breath!

Do you love that morning cup of coffee but not the jitters? One of the main active ingredients in green tea is caffeine! A known stimulant, green tea doesn’t contain as much caffeine as coffee does, so it’s less likely to give you that jittering feeling. But it’s defiantly enough caffeine to perk up the mind and body in a more gentle and healthier way.

I think that green tea is nature’s healthiest drink!

Aveda Pure Abundance Hair Potion

Product - Aveda Pure Abundance Hair Potion

Aveda Pure Abundance Hair Potion definitely falls into the easy decision column. It’s best suited for fine hair; it bulks it up and gives it a nice matte texture.

The Hair Potion is actually a powder that liquefies when it hits your hair or skin. You just sprinkle it sparingly onto your hair and then use your fingers to create the style you want. The bottle claims it thickens hair up to 17%, but that actually seems to me like they may be underselling it compared to the actual effects I’ve experienced.

This product is best for textured, matte styles, as opposed to slicker styles obtained using wax or pomade.

Aveda Pure Abundance Hair Potion is one of Aveda’s best sellers.

  • What It Is

    It’s a volumizing and texturizing product with an unusual formula that goes from powder to liquid.

  • What It Does

    As a dry powder, it absorbs oil and adds lift at the roots. When it’s rubbed between hands, it turns wet and can be used to create tousled, beachy waves. Aveda also claims that it will temporarily bulk up the hair shaft by up to 17 percent.

  • Key Ingredients

    Acacia gum and kaolin clay (temporarily thicken hair); pullulan and honey (add hold); silica (absorbs oil).

  • How It Feels/Smells/Looks

    It starts out as a powder, but when you rub it between your hands, it turns into a wet, sticky paste. There’s no discernible scent.

  • Why I Like It

    This product acts like a dry shampoo, volumizer, and beach spray all rolled into one—what’s not to love?

Licorice Extract

Licorice ExtractAlso called anise, licorice extract finds a home in some kitchens for its syrup-like sweet taste. But licorice’s medicinal properties are not as well known. Licorice also has the ability to promote healthy, even-toned skin as an ingredient in personal care products.

Licorice extract has been used for its health benefits as far back as ancient China, and it is an ingredient in some over-the-counter cleansers, toners, face creams, and spot treatments.

The syrupy juice from the herb’s root contains beneficial plant sterols, which promote skin elasticity, fight inflammation, and suppress wrinkle formation. It is also a natural ingredient that helps brightens the skin. It is a great alternative to more controversial skin bleaching products like hydroquinone.

Licorice extract contains glycyrrhizin, an acid that plays a role in increasing steroid hormones that naturally occur in skin. Glycyrrhizin helps to combat several skin disorders that respond to topically applied hydrocortisone. Licorice extract also can help soothe irritation caused by some skin-care products and medications.

Here are some benefits of products that contain licorice root:

  • Healing Troubled Skin. Body cleansers, body creams and facial skin-care products that incorporate licorice extract have effectively treated skin disorders such as rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis. Licorice extract is an anti-inflammatory.
  • Fading Dark Spots. Consistent use of licorice extract over time has been known to fade dark spots and blemishes and lighten skin. It can also reverse the darkening of scars, which are fibrous skin tissues that remain when an injury hasn’t completely healed.
  • Preventing Skin Problems. Potent antioxidants in licorice extract fight skin-damaging free radicals.

Benefits of Vanilla

Vanilla Beans

Last week, I wrote about the Vanilla Plant. But vanilla is much more than just a sweet and fragrant flavor. Pure vanilla extract possesses several medicinal properties and can be beneficial for your health in various ways.

  1. Treats Anxiety and Depression

    Certain neurological studies have shown that vanilla extract can have a huge effect on those suffering from depression and anxiety disorders. Vanilla scent is specifically helpful for this purpose. For example, sipping water or milk containing vanilla has helped cure people with these disorders.

  2. Assists Weight Loss

    Certain studies have shown that vanilla extract can help people lose weight. Though exercise and diet play a primary role in weight loss, these efforts can be supplemented with the intake of vanilla extract for greater and perhaps faster benefits.

  3. Relieves Nausea

    One of the best benefits of vanilla extract is that it can help calm the stomach in case of a feeling of nausea. All you need to do is add a few drops of vanilla extract to a glass of water and sip.

  4. Treats Cough

    Cough syrups often contain vanilla extract as a flavoring to mask the awful taste. Though further research is needed in this regard, the properties of vanilla extract can relieve symptoms such as pain from a sore throat or from a cough.

  5. Improves Dental Health

    Vanillin in vanilla is similar to capsaicin in chili peppers. This compound has a positive effect on the central nervous system. Vanilla can help fight toothache and infection.

  6. Treats Digestive Disorders

    Vanilla infused herbal tea can relieve digestive problems. A traditional remedy for vomiting and stomach upsets is to boil water with vanilla beans. Its rich aroma is effective in easing bloating.

You might find this surprising, but the benefits of vanilla extend to your skin. It is used as an ingredient in several skincare products like body lotions, lip balms, body butters, and creams to impart fragrance, but it has other skin benefits as well.

  1. Treatment of Acne

    The antibacterial properties of vanilla make it beneficial for the treatment of acne. Vanillin, through its antibacterial effects, helps cleanse your skin, reducing the occurrence of pimples and acne.

  2. Anti-aging Benefits

    Vanilla is rich in antioxidants which prevent and reverse skin damage caused by free radicals. It helps to slow down signs of aging like fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots. It is widely used in the cosmetic industry for its fragrance and anti-aging benefits.

  3. Soothes Burns

    Vanilla is used as a traditional remedy to heal burns, wounds, and cuts. Concentrated vanilla extracts or essential oil should not be applied directly on recent burns. However, topical treatments containing vanilla extracts might be helpful.

  4. Promotes Healthy Skin

    Vanilla is a good source of vitamin B, which plays an important role in the maintenance of healthy skin. The antioxidant properties of vanilla protect your skin from damage caused by the environment.

For a facial masque, all you need to do is slice open five vanilla beans to scrape out its seeds. Add these seeds together with 3 tablespoons brown sugar and 2 drops vanilla essential oil to freshly squeezed lemon juice. Mix the ingredients and apply it on your face. Massage for a few minutes and then rinse off with warm water. Then rinse.

The Vanilla Plant

Vanilla Plant Illustration

The vanilla flavor is well known all over the world, but only some of us are aware of its source and origin. There is much more about this flavor that has been a part of many different desserts for centuries.

Vanilla ice cream, and other desserts that we love eating, attribute their flavor to the presence of an extract derived from vanilla beans. These beans are sun-dried pods obtained from orchids of the genus Vanilla. It’s fragrance and amazingly soft and sweet flavor make it a popular ingredient in sweet drinks and confectioneries. Obtaining these beans is a labor-intensive process.

The vanilla plant is an herbaceous climbing vine that requires a supporting tree or pole for optimal growth. It has trumpet-shaped flowers which are naturally pollinated by bees and hummingbirds. Vanilla pods turn yellow as they grow to be about 5 to 8 inches long and are ready to bloom. These are harvested, placed in boiling water, sweated, and sun-dried for a few weeks until they turn dark brown and wrinkled. The white crystalline essence known as vanillin is extracted from these quality beans. This essence is referred to as the vanilla flavor.

The most common form of vanilla is vanilla extract which is prepared by soaking chopped vanilla beans in ethyl alcohol and water for about 48 hours. The mixture is stored for several months and then filtered. Several varieties of vanilla are available in the market; Madagascar vanilla is the most widely used accounting for 75% of vanilla production. Tahiti and Mexico supply the majority of the rest.

Vanilla pods contain several tiny black seeds which are used to flavor many desserts and chocolates. Vanillin is the essence of vanilla bean, but artificial vanillin is also produced on a large scale from wood pulp by-products. The vanilla flavoring is often a blend of pure and imitation vanilla. The appearance of tiny black specks in a vanilla flavored dish is an indication that real vanilla beans were used.

The nutritional value of vanilla makes it beneficial for your skin, hair, and health. Vanilla extract is known as the storehouse of essential oils, vitamins, and minerals as well as sugars.

Next week, I’ll post about the health and skin benefits of vanilla.

Aveda Dry Remedy Oil

Aveda Dry Remedy Oil Bottle

By now, I’m sure everyone has heard of the Dry Remedy Daily Moisturizing Oil. If not, it’s time to get hip. Here are a few ways to use this holy grail product.

  • Detangle: Apply a few drops into your hands and smooth through hair to help eliminate tangles.
  • De-frizz: Apply 1 to 2 drops to hands and gently smooth over crown to tame frizz and flyaways.
  • Moisturize: Apply along with your favorite styling product for a moisture boost, then continue to blow dry or style as usual. If you have thicker hair, apply a little more once hair has dried.
  • Finish: Apply a few drops, then follow with a flat iron to get a straight, sleek looking finish.
  • Shine: Apply a few drops to hands and smooth over hair to add a little extra shine.