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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.

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.