Skin

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.

Your Body Needs Water

Water Splash

It goes without saying that water is very important for your body. Ionized water is what allows your body to absorb nutrients and function normally. Staying well hydrated has many health benefits.

Water, or the lack thereof, makes a big impact on your skin. Dehydration of the skin causes superficial lines which can give the appearance of aging. Dehydrated skin gets a crepe-like effect on the surface. The surface color can also appear dull.

Internally, water is important on a cellular level. Most of the important body processes use diffusion to move hormones, blood cells, and other important things around the body. When there is dehydration in the body, it can cause headaches, impaired vision, and even issues with judgment. Dehydration also causes fatigue.

It is important to drink water to keep the immune system healthy. Water is needed to flush toxins out of the body. Water is important to your kidneys and liver that work constantly to flush the body of toxic and unneeded waste. When your kidneys are dehydrated, your urine is much more yellow when it should be running almost clear. Your heart also needs water to keep blood flow moving well. Blood flow can become resistant when the blood is too thick from lack of water.

So how much water do you need a day? There is the theory that everyone needs eight eight-ounce glasses a day. Some people, however, believe you may need a personalized amount.

One personalized measure uses your weight and a simple formula. Take your weight, in pounds, and subtract a third. The resulting number is the number of ounces of water you need each day. For example, if you weigh 120 pounds, you would need 80 ounces of water. This amount should be adjusted based on how active you are every day.

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.

Make-up for a Tropical Vacation

Tropical BeachProduct: Aveda’s Inner Light Mineral Tinted Moisturizer

Going on a tropical vacation—you know you’ll be in and out of the ocean—can be a make-up challenge. Personally, I don’t want to spend a lot of time doing my make-up on vacation. But I still want to look and feel my best.

When my sister decided to vacation in Croatia for the country’s yacht week, she asked me what she should bring for make-up. Because she was backpacking around before settling on the boat, she stressed to me that she needed to be very conservative with her toiletry space. Right away, I knew the product she would not be able to live without: Aveda’s Inner Light Mineral Tinted Moisturizer.

Not only does Aveda’s Inner Light Mineral Tinted Moisturizer act as a moisturizing lotion for your skin, it also evens out your skin tone giving you a natural, healthy glow while providing sun protection with its SPF 15. It does all of this without clogging your pores and causing breakouts!

I love this product because it is very light and you don’t feel like you are wearing anything at all. With the lavender content, it soothes stressed skin and will keep you looking radiant without loads of effort.

Pair the Tinted Moisturizer with Aveda’s Petal Essence Blush/Bronzer in your desired color pallet and you will have natural, radiant skin without the hassle of a full make-up routine.

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.

Facial Tips and Tricks

Woman getting facial.

An Aveda facial consists of an aroma sensory journey, a deep cleansing, skin analysis, having an educator look over your analysis, a refinement with a hand and arm rub, a facial massage, a mask with either a foot rub or a neck and shoulder rub, and ending with eye cream, serum, and moisturizer. You can also add on treatments such as a revitalizing eye treatment, a plant peel, enbrightenment, outer peace, or green science which targets certain skin problems.

Here are a few tips to really making your facial extra special and leaving your clients feeling pampered and relaxed.

  • Put essential oils — lavender, vanilla, rose, tangerine or bergamot—in your water bowl
  • Mix up different masks. For example, use deep herbal clay mask with exfoliant, enbrightenment toner, or green or sea science
  • Mix in tea with a mask
  • Use energizing composition oil during the hand and arm massage
  • Use a composition oil, mixed with the essential oil of their choice, during the neck massage
  • Place a hot towel on their back after the treatment. (This is such a crowd pleaser, it really ends the facial with warmth and soothing while also wiping excess oil off the skin.)

These are some techniques I have personally used in my treatments. The response is always great.

Making the treatment your own is a great way to please a client, and it is more likely that they will come back to you because you added your unique touch. And having some clients who follow you is really important when you’re looking for a job.

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.

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

Avoiding Cosmetic Acne

Woman Applying Makeup with Brush

Cosmetic acne is caused or exacerbated by cosmetic products for skin or hair. It can be unsightly and a bother to get rid of. Here are some tips and tricks to help lessen the problem.

When you can, keep your hair off of your face, shoulders, and back. This helps keep the product combined with your hair’s natural oils from clogging your skin’s pores.

When you are in the shower, wash your face, shoulders, and back after you’ve washed your hair. This keeps the hair products that you’ve used from sitting on the skin and clogging the pores.

Sleep with a new t-shirt or towel on your pillow every night. This helps keep a buildup of product and dead skin cells from irritating and clogging your pores.

If you wear makeup, wash your face every night to get it off. If you would also like to focus on skin issues, double cleansing is a great way to fully remove makeup and also treat skin imperfections.

Wash things like beauty blenders after every use. They absorb a large amount of product when used and need to be kept clean so that they will not add dirty makeup and bacteria to your face each time they are used.

Wash cosmetic brushes once a week.

Give your skin time to breathe. During that day when your brushes are drying, try to wear minimal makeup and less hair product to give your hair and skin oxygen. This break is good for your skin as it gives it a break from the cycle of wearing makeup and other products and then stripping it all off later.

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.

Dealing with Rosacea

Cheek Displaying Rosacea

Rosacea is a chronic but very common skin condition. Cheeks, nose, chin, eyelids, or forehead become inflamed and red, often with small, red, pus-filled bumps. On some cases skin gets coarser and thicker with a bumpy texture.

Although rosacea can occur in anyone, it tends to be more common in middle-aged women and those with fair skin. If left untreated, it tends to worsen over time. It is also important to know that sometimes it can be confused with acne and, if treated in the wrong way, it can lead to a worse problem.

While there is no cure or proven cause, rosacea can be controlled by avoiding certain triggers:

  • Spicy foods
  • Very hot or very cold showers
  • Alcohol
  • Coffee
  • Extreme temperatures
  • Extreme exercise
  • Stress
  • Sun Exposure
  • Hot foods and beverages
  • Some drugs such as cortisone

Natural Remedies for Rosacea

  • Licorice is a very strong anti-inflammatory. Look for this naturally sourced ingredient on over the counter rosacea ointments or creams.
  • Rosehip seed oil strengthens distended capillaries and reduces redness of the skin due to its astringent qualities.
  • Chamomile , applied in cold compresses, is a terrific anti-inflammatory and skin soother.
  • The feverfew herb in capsule form can be used as an effective anti-inflammatory treatment for rosacea or severe acne.
  • Tea tree oil is a potent antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory. Be sure to make a patch test before using it because it’s strong and doesn’t work for everyone.

To minimize rosacea symptoms, avoid the above triggers, protect your face using sunscreen, manage stress levels, eat a proper diet, try out some of the above natural remedies, and use products indicated for sensitive skin: no harsh ingredients, colorants, and perfumes.

If you experience signs of rosacea, see your doctor for a diagnosis and proper treatment.

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.

Facials are for Everyone

Man Getting Facial

Some people think, “Oh, facials are just for girls!” Or maybe, “It’s not for me.” Well think again! When I hear facial, I hear skin care. Well, everyone has skin and everyone should be taking care of their skin. After all, it’s the human body’s largest organ and it’s our first line of defense. Facials literally help us from the outside in, and with proper help from a professional Esthetician, results can be seen, if not immediately, then in just a couple weeks.

Here are just a few of the reasons why everyone should be getting facials:

  1. Facials increase circulation of the blood under the skin which promotes the renewal of skin cells.
  2. By working and properly massaging the lymphatic system that lies just under the skin, facials decrease waste underneath the skin that can cause puffiness, redness, and fluid build up. Facials also aid in detoxification.
  3. A good facial and facial massage can help smooth fine lines and promote collagen production, which is key to preventing premature aging, wrinkles, and sagging.
  4. A facial cleanses the pores on a deep level. Even non-acneic skin can use a good deep cleanse. Extractions and cleaning out the pores can help to maintain clear skin, stop acne from producing, and can help to change the pore’s size. Sometimes, when pores are left unchecked, they can start to stretch and widen with the build-up of oil and dirt. Please do not attempt to extract or pick at your own skin unless you are a professional and know how to do it properly; you could be at risk of scarring and infection.
  5. Facials provide deeper exfoliation than you can achieve at home. Exfoliation smoothes skin, allows for greater penetration of products including moisturizers or serums, unclogs pores, improves the skin’s ability to retain hydration, and evens skin tone.

Now doesn’t that sound like facials benefit everyone?

Benefits of Waxing

Brazilian Wax Bikini Area

From the start of my program, I’ve fallen more and more in love with my career choice. I’ve always been interested in the beauty industry from makeup and skin care to aesthetics and reconstructive surgery. I’ve always been fascinated on how seemingly little changes can make a big difference to a person.

But now, I’ve found a new love for waxing especially Brazilians. I first started with shaving. Big mistake. Thinking about it now makes me cringe. Once I started waxing I noticed how nice, smooth, and silky it leaves my skin, along with the reduction of hair growth. It also exfoliates your skin which can lighten the area you are waxing.

Benefits of waxing:

  1. It gives you smooth, silky skin that lasts
  2. No skin damage, if done by a professional that knows what they’re doing
  3. Finer hair
  4. Double function of both hair removal and exfoliation
  5. Diminishes hair growth
  6. Best of all, it is long-lasting: three to eight weeks depending on the individual’s speed of hair growth.

For first-time waxers, it is going to be a little painful due to the depilation of shaving. From shaving, your root tends to be a deep and thick bulb. As long as you stick to waxing religiously, you will be fine. From the first service, you will notice the difference in your skin texture and the reduction of hair growth.

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.

About Sun Protection

Sun Rays Diagram

The Summer is almost over and we’re heading into Winter. Why do I need to worry about Sun protection?

The sun exposes us to two different types of radiation:

  • UVA (Aging Rays)
    • Makes up most of our UV ray exposure
    • Longer wavelength, which means it penetrates deeper into the skin
    • Main ray for tanning and aging
  • UVB (Burning Rays)
    • Can burn year-round
    • Shorter wavelength, which means more visible damage to skin
    • Main ray for sunburns, redness, and skin cancer

The Effects of Sun Damage

  • Fine lines/wrinkles
  • Dark spots/uneven skin tone
  • Sun burns
  • Darkens acne spots and prolongs fading
  • Skin cancer and melanoma

When choosing a sunscreen, consider the following:

  • Physical: Deflects/ blocks rays from the skin and is very stable. This type of sunscreen usually leaves a white cast over skin. Ingredients to look for in a physical sunscreen are Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide.
  • Chemical: Absorbs rays to prevent penetration, generally stable though some chemical sunscreens are not, and usually does not leave white cast over skin. Ingredients to look for in a chemical sunscreen are avobenzone, oxybenzone, helioplex, mexoryl, uvinul, homosalate, octisalate, and octylcrylene.
  • Mixture: Mix of both physical and chemical sunscreens and leaves minimal white cast. Ingredients to look for in a mixture of both would be a combination of either type of sunscreen.

How much SPF is appropriate?

  • Make sure to apply a sunscreen with the SPF of at least 30!
  • Make sure to apply enough! At least ¼ teaspoon for face and neck and about 1 ounce for body
  • Reapply often. UV rays are the strongest from 12 pm to 4 pm. Make sure to reapply every two hours.