Products

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.

Uses for Coconut Oil

There are many uses you can get out of using coconut oil, here are just a few:

  • Hair Loss

    Coconut oil has been used since ancient times in India for grooming hair. Various remedies were prepared using herbs and coconut oil to prevent hair loss. One such remedy can be prepared in modern times by boiling sage leaves in coconut oil. This mixture can be applied to the scalp for the improvement of healthy hair, and its use will also help prevent hair loss.

  • Hair Damage

    Using coconut oil on hair helps to reduce protein loss in both damaged and undamaged hair. Coconut oil, rich in lauric acid, has a high affinity for hair proteins and, due to its low molecular weight, easily penetrates inside the hair shaft. It can be used for pre—or post-wash hair grooming.

  • Hair Conditioning

    Coconut oil is a better conditioner for hair than any synthetic one available on the market. The use of warm coconut oil helps keep hair shimmering and soft. Apply some warm oil at night and wash your hair the next morning. This can be repeated every few days for healthy, strong, and well-conditioned hair.

  • Lip Balm

    Chapped lips don’t stand a chance against ultra-hydrating coconut oil. Scoop some into a spare contact lens holder and throw it in your purse so you can dab it on with your finger throughout the day.

  • Cuticle Softener

    Get double duty from your new DIY coconut oil lip balm case and say goodbye to ragged cuticles. Using your finger, swipe a small amount of the oil onto each of your cuticles and allow it to sink in. The coconut oil will strengthen your nails and hydrate the delicate cuticle skin, making your hands look more youthful.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a succulent plant that has many uses. Historically, it was commonly used because of its healing properties. It can be used on sunburn, insect bites, rashes, dry skin, and as a base for many beauty products.

It is a very light fluid that is mostly water. The light viscosity of the gel makes it useful in things like masks, moisturizers, and makeup for people who are sensitive, have acne prone skin, or are concerned with using heavy makeup.

One must be cautious when buying aloe vera to be sure that there is no alcohol or irritants added. Generally, the aloe bought in a store will be modified because aloe naturally contains an irritant called aloin. This is the yellow fluid that lies directly under the surface of the plant. People who are allergic to latex, garlic, tulips, and onions will also commonly be allergic to aloe when the aloin is still present. People who are allergic should be very careful to only use aloe with the aloin removed. This means that if aloe vera makes your skin red, itchy, tight, or dry feeling, it may not be a good idea to continue use.

Aloe is also often taken internally but doctors are pushing people to be cautious of overuse. Many different ailments claim aloe as a solution, however, aloin can wreak havoc internally. Aloe was once used as a laxative but, in 2004, all of those products were pulled off the shelf because it was not FDA approved.

Magical Volume in a Bottle

Woman with Fancy Hairstyle

Who doesn’t love big, beautiful hair? Aveda’s Pure Abundance line specializes in creating volume. One of my favorite products from the line is Pure Abundance Hair Potion. Hair potion works great on finer textured hair, instantly creating volume.

Hair potion gives the hair a matte finish, thickening each individual strand of hair. This is the ideal product for voluminous updos or achieving that sexy, bed head look. Aveda uses natural plant-derived ingredients such as acacia gum and kaolin clay to give hair abundantly full volume.

Hair potion is an extremely versatile styling product. For a light amount of volume, spray into hands and work into dry or damp hair. For a stronger effect, spray (using the bottle as a pump) directly onto the root area to create instant volume.

Hair Potion can also be used as a prep for updos after shampooing and blow-drying to give the hair a gritty texture that makes it easier to hold, without weighing down the hair.

Aspen Bark is a Natural Preservative

Aspen Tree Trunks

Most products need a preservative and many have them. Everything has a shelf life. Not having a preservative makes the product go bad quickly which isn’t beneficial to the retailer or the customer.

The most common preservatives found in skin care lines are parabens. There are a lot of different kinds of parabens, but they are problematic. Research in 2015 links even small amounts of parabens to breast cancer.

Aspen bark extract offers a natural alternative to traditional preservative systems, and it also has some benefits for the skin.

Aspen bark— Populus tremuloides —comes from the North American Aspen. The bark is rich in salicylates, which, for the tree, may function as a defensive mechanism against invading parasites. These salicylates are isolated from aspen bark and used in some cosmetic and personal care products as a natural alternative to more traditional preservatives. It is added to emulsions during the cool-down phase to avoid any destabilization issues. As a secondary benefit, aspen bark extract, a water-soluble powder, can also impart a smooth feel to skin.

Some of its benefits are:

  • It’s a naturally derived botanical extract
  • It’s a water-soluble powder
  • It possesses a broad spectrum of antibacterial activity
  • It has a broad pH range: 3 to 9
  • It’s compatible with a wide range of cosmetic ingredients.

Products for Damaged and Frizzy Hair

Aveda Damage Remedy

Do you color your hair often? Does your hair feel damaged and weak? Aveda has a solution for you with its Damage Remedy Reconstructive Treatment.

Once you start coloring your hair, it is difficult to stop especially with all the new trends and beautiful colors you can achieve. The Damage Remedy mask provides a solution for damage created through chemical services.

Packed with Quinoa protein, the Damage Remedy will strengthen damaged or chemically treated hair. By replenishing your hairs natural oils with jojoba, you will regain a healthy shine and feel to your hair.

I absolutely love this product because it is one of the only options on the market which delivers a protein-packed treatment that is derived from natural proteins rather than chemical-based proteins, eliminating the risk of adding too much protein to your locks. (If dryness is your issue, Aveda has a solution with its Dry Remedy Moisturizing Mask.)

How to use:

Use in place of conditioner once a week and leave in your hair for at least five minutes if possible. Pair with Damage Remedy Shampoo for optimal results.

Fight your Frizz

Aveda Smooth Infusion

Do you find yourself always fighting frizz when styling your hair? Is your hair in need of frizz control? Aveda has the answer for you in its Smooth Infusion haircare line. The newest member to the Smooth Infusion line is called the Nourishing Creme, which nourishes hair and helps fight frizz in intense humidity, making it perfect for us ladies in San Francisco.

Smooth Infusion Nourishing Creme aids in fighting frizz by utilizing botanicals, including certified organic cupuaçu and shea butters.

I find that this product works well on most hair textures, but proves most successful with curly or coarse hair textures. In addition to taming frizz, it replenishes dry hair giving it a softer smoother touch.

How to use:

Apply when your hair is about two-thirds dry after using any of Aveda’s style prep products. I like to pair it with the Smooth Infusion Style Prep.

The amount of product used should be determined by density and texture of your hair. I recommend starting small and adding more product as needed. Proceed by either air or blow-drying hair and enjoy your frizz-free style.

Beauty Ritual for Mind and Body

Woman Puts Makeup on Her Face

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As we wake up, a new day starts!

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

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

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

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

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

Do-it-yourself Spa Baths

Bathtub

We all know there is nothing like a relaxing bath after a long day. Why not benefit your skin while you’re at it?

Let me fill you in on eleven ingredients that you can add to your bath that will give you a relaxing, spa experience right at home. And there are other benefits. I’m pretty sure that you have most of these in your kitchen right now.

  1. Green Tea

    anti-aging, detox, ph balance

  2. Honey

    soften and smooth skin, detox

  3. Jello

    hydrate, elevate mood, soften skin

  4. Milk

    calm, sooth, sun burn relief

  5. Olive Oil

    hydrate, anti-aging, strength

  6. Salt

    pain relief, reduce inflammation, relaxation

  7. Lavender

    muscle relief, stress relief, reduce inflammation

  8. Lemon

    refresh, revive, shrink pores, brighten skin

  9. Ginger

    detox, cold and flu relief, muscle relief

  10. Baking Soda

    calm, relieve irritation, sooth

  11. Cinnamon

    invigorate, detox, cures rashes

Smooth Infusion

Aveda Smooth Infusion Product Line

Aveda’s “Smooth Infusion Naturally Straight” progressively loosens curls with every use so your hair becomes straighter morning after morning, and stays that way day after day. As you straighten your hair, the lightweight creme’s unique plant fibers attach to the hair and hold your straight style in place, while a humidity barrier of organic tapioca starch, organic aloe, and maize fend off frizz in the most humid environments. The more you use it, the easier it is to create your straight look, allowing you to spend less time styling each day.

All of the products in the Smooth Infusion line contain babassu oil, often referred to as coconut oil’s cousin. It is a lighter-weight emollient that improves elasticity with extreme penetrating moisture. Additionally, they are all plant-infused with blends of organic aloe, maize, and guar bean that all work to create a smooth surface and prevent frizzing on straight styles. This line is specifically designed for straightening wavy, curly, and coily textures. They work well with colored hair as well. Because the ingredients are mostly plant-derived, they do not permanently modify the hair’s natural bonds or curl pattern. Each product is formulated with tapioca starch and maize, which help block humidity and smooth the cuticle to reduce frizz.

I love that these products are made to moisturize, but with light-weight, concentrated formulas. That means the hair won’t be heavy or greasy, and you don’t have to use a lot of it to get the desired results. Another thing I love is the smell! This line has a blend of sandalwood, mixed with rose, and a fresh citrus-floral blend that is noticeable, but not overbearing, and definitely holds true to Aveda’s principles of botanical, therapeutic, green-science beauty products.

Beauty Hacks Using Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar

Many of us have a bottle of apple cider vinegar sitting in our kitchen cabinet, but few know just how many uses there are for it.

  • Toner

    Mix together some organic apple cider vinegar and distilled water for a great all-natural toner. The antibacterial properties in apple cider vinegar make it ideal for acne or facial blemishes.

  • Dandruff Relief

    The acidity in apple cider vinegar clarities the scalp, and fights off yeast, which can cause dandruff.

  • Hair Pop

    Make the natural tones in your hair pop by rinsing your hair with apple cider vinegar. By clarifying the hair, natural underlying tones will seems brighter. This works well for both blondes and brunettes.

  • Foot Soak

    The anti-fungal properties in apple cider vinegar make it a great foot soak, especially for those that suffer from excessive foot sweat or bad foot odor.

  • Mouthwash

    Simply swish some apple cider vinegar in your mouth for a half a minute for fresh breath, the natural way.

  • Stained Nails

    The high level of acidity in apple cider vinegar makes it a great stain fighter. Soak stained nails in a bowl of apple cider vinegar for 5 to 10 minutes.

  • Bug Bites

    Apple cider vinegar has anti-inflammatory properties that are helpful for irritated skin, whether it be acne, skin blemishes, or pesky bug bites.

  • Purifying Bath

    Throw a few drops of apple cider vinegar in a warm bath. Post-bath, skin should feel more soothed, and less irritable.

Benefits of Serums

Serum applied to a woman's face.

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

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

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

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

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

Here are some benefits of using a serum:

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

Say Goodbye to Brassy Tones

Aveda Blue Malva Conditioner

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

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

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

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

Benefits of Papaya

Papaya

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

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

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

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

Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aveda Joins the No Poo Revolution

Brunette Woman with Curly Hair

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aveda Comforting Tea

Aveda Comforting Tea

I thoroughly enjoy Aveda’s comforting tea.

Ever since I started as a student in the Alpha phase, I’ve been drinking a cup at home at least three times a week. It has this sweet root taste that soothes the throat and stomach.

The tea bags are licorice root and peppermint-infused. The licorice gives it that smooth earthy and smoky note, while the peppermint gives it a refreshing and cooler sensation, creating a perfect blend to calm me down.

The peppermint herb is known to be a great way to calm and sooth any stomach discomfort. Peppermint also has many immune system benefits, carrying multiple vital vitamins to the body. Sometimes I rub peppermint oil on my stomach or I’ll just use the herb in a tea bag to make a pure hot peppermint drink.

Licorice root has a long list of benefits. It helps menstrual cramps, gastric issues, and skin problems. Many Aveda skin products have licorice extract which helps with disorders such as rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis. Licorice extract is anti-inflammatory, which can be especially helpful for treating skin rashes and swelling.

Anyone who feels stressed, or just needs a soothing drink, should definitely try this tea. It doesn’t just keep you cool, calm, and collected, but it also tastes really good!

Biohazards in Skin Products

Biohazard Symbol

Here is a list of some common, harmful ingredients that can be found in skin care products.

  1. Phthalates
    (pronounced f-THAL-lates)

    These are added to plastics to make them flexible. They are also used as lubricants in products. They can be found in perfume, hair spray, deodorant, almost anything fragranced, nail polish, insect repellent, carpeting, vinyl flooring, the coating on wires and cables, shower curtains, raincoats, plastic toys, and your car’s steering wheel, dashboard, and gearshift. They are responsible for that “new car” smell.

    Why are they bad?

    Phthalates are known to disrupt hormones, especially in men. They have been linked with many sexual developmental and birth defects.

    Recommendation

    In cosmetics, opt for natural perfumes. Look for products that do not contain synthetic fragrance since most all synthetic fragrance contains phthalates. Instead, try products that are scented with essential oils or are specifically labeled “phthalate-free.”

  2. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (also called SLS)

    Sodium lauryl sulfate is a surfactant in most products, meaning that it reduces the surface tension between the product and your skin. In many products, it is the foaming agent, which makes it popular for use in toothpaste, shampoos, facial, and body cleansers.

    Why are they bad?

    Although the evidence is controversial, there are many documented links between SLS and cancer.

  3. Parabens

    Parabens are chemical preservatives added to many products to increase shelf life.

    Why are they bad?

    Parabens mimic estrogen in the body, making them endocrine disruptors. While controversy surrounds a 2004 study where parabens were found in breast tumors, many scientists believe that parabens are a known carcinogen, especially when applied directly to the skin. Parabens are easily absorbed and enter our bloodstream intact. This results in a higher probability that they may affect hormonal function.

Coffee Beauty Benefits

Coffee Cup and Beans

I’ve been drinking coffee for more years than I can remember. A good cup of coffee is what most of us prefer to jumpstart the day. Recent studies suggest that we can gloat about the health benefits of that morning cup of joe, too. Coffee can reduce stress and make you smarter!

But did you know that there are coffee beauty benefits worth noting too?. Coffee is packed with antioxidants that can prevent premature aging. And some research suggests coffee can decrease your risk of skin cancer. Here are three beauty benefits of coffee:

  • It gets rid of puffy eyes. Caffeine helps to reduce swelling and irritation. Rather than drinking coffee, applying eye creams that contain caffeine is best, because topical treatments target this skincare problem faster.
  • It temporarily minimizes the appearance of cellulite. Unfortunately, the skin-firming effects will only last for about three hours.
  • It exfoliates dry skin making it silky smooth. While coffee beans may be a bit too harsh to use on your face, using a homemade scrub made out of coffee bean grounds is a safer option for exfoliating the body.

Curly Hair Love

Woman with Curly Hair

Having naturally curly hair can seem like the biggest blessing and the biggest curse all on the same day. I’ve been a natural curly gal my whole life, but I haven’t always been accepting or knowledgeable of my wild and unruly main. I remember struggling with my big frizzy hair as a child to the point of tears, never wanting to wear it down out of fear of being unable to tame it afterward. It wasn’t until I was about 14-years-old that I began to embrace my natural locks and attempt to learn how to “train” my hair. Every curly head’s curl pattern is unique and special to them, some are frizzier, kinkier, wavier, looser, or wilder than others, but all are beautiful. It took years of trial and error to find a great daily routine, but I finally got it down and offer it to all curly heads to try on their own:

  1. I shampoo once a week, and condition every other day using the Curl Perfection line by Pantene Pro-V, then towel dry a bit using a Turbie Towel. All of these products can be bought at any Target or Wal-Mart.
  2. I apply oil to my scalp and ends of my hair, constantly rotating the type of oil I use to make sure my skin and hair don’t get “too used to” any one particular product. My top three pure oils of choice are olive oil, Moroccan argan oil, and tea tree oil. There are many different manufacturers of these essential oils and I’ve been open to try them all. I usually find them at any Target, Wal-Mart, beauty supply store, or the beauty aisle of any local drug store like Walgreens or CVS.
  3. I use Moroccan Oil brand Curl Defining Crème throughout my entire head. I separate my hair into five parts—two on the back half of my head, two on the front sides of my head, and one section at the crown—and work two pumps of product carefully through each part, separating my curls as I go to really add long-term definition. This crème is a bit harder to find than the other products because not all beauty supply stores carry the brand, but I find mine at a chain of beauty supply stores in the East Bay called Beauty Center.
  4. I apply a handful of gel over the already defined curls in three sections—the crown being one, and the rest of my hair parted down the middle into two sections. I use a really inexpensive gel—less than $5 at Target, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, and CVS—called LA Looks Sports Gel. I’ve used other gels throughout the years when stores are out of LA Looks and I need gel, and usually, any maximum hold gel will suffice. Tip: LA Looks Sports Gel is blue so I tend to get whichever other blue gel is available when I need a substitute.

Now I understand that what works for me might not necessarily work for all curl types, but I would definitely recommend trying all the products I mention here to every single curly-haired beauty to see what results you get. My curls are always soft, tight, bouncy, and defined for days when I complete my routine. My hair has never looked healthier or more beautiful, and that’s my wish for all my curly-haired brethren around the world.