Skin

How to Protect Your Skin with Natural SPF Oils

Natural sunscreen oils are much better to use as sun protection compared to artificial sunscreen creams. These oils contain Sun Protection Factor (SPF) that helps to protect the skin from darkening. The SPF number gives you the estimated amount of time that you can stay exposed to the sun without getting burned. For example, an SPF of 15 would allow you to be exposed to the sun fifteen times longer than you could without protection. Some oils have a natural SPF in them and most of these natural sunscreen oils also have other benefits on the skin.

  • Almond Oil—SPF 5

    Almond Oil

    Almond oil can give your skin a lot in terms of nourishment. Almond oil is rich in Vitamin E which keeps your skin soft and supple.

  • Coconut Oil—SPF 8

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    Coconut oil is one of the most versatile natural oils. You can cook with it, and apply it on your skin and hair. Coconut oil provides sun protection to your skin and it also protects your hair from nasty sun damage.

  • Raspberry Seed Oil—SPF 30

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    Raspberry seed oil is an essential oil that is rich in both Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids. Aside from providing sun protection, it also helps prevent stretch marks on your skin.

  • Carrot Seed Oil—SPF 40

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    Carrot seed oil is a vegetable oil that has the maximum amount of SPF. It is also rich in antioxidants and has very good antiseptic properties.

  • Avocado Oil—SPF 15

    Avocado Oil

    Avocado oil has a high percentage of mono-saturated fats. These fats form a protective layer over the skin to prevent sun tanning.

  • Olive Oil—SPF 8

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    Olive oil is the healthiest oil for your heart. Even when it comes to your skin, olive oil can provide limited sun protection and unlimited antioxidants to repair cellular aging.

High Frequency

During CIDESCO, I’ve gotten to work with and learn about a lot of different machines. Out of all of them, I would have to say my favorite is the High Frequency machine.

I’ve suffered with breakouts since puberty. I wish I had known about this machine a long time ago, as it is excellent for oily and acne-prone skin. The machine is designed to produce heat in targeted skin tissues. The high frequency machine has been proven to eliminate toxins and acne causing bacteria, exfoliate dead skin cells, enhance blood circulation, increase collagen and elastin production, and overall help rejuvenate your skin. For my acne-prone skin, it has been great because of the germicidal effect it has on the acne bacteria.

Since I became an esthetician, my skin has made huge improvements. I’ve learned about different ways to care for my skin, and I’ve been able to use the high frequency machine. It is a great tool to incorporate in your facials, especially for someone suffering with breakouts. I like to use it after extractions to really help kill the bacteria while your pores are open.

I know someone at school who has eczema too, and she uses the high frequency on the spots that are bothering her. It really helps to diminish the problem. It is definitely one of the easier machines to use, which is good because your client can purchase one for themselves and use it at home.

The High Frequency machine is my favorite. I’ve seen first hand how it can do wonders for your skin.

Enbrightenment Correcting Serum

This product contains Aveda’s most highly concentrated, plant-powered, brightening blend to diminish the appearance of dark spots and discoloration on your skin. This product helps promote surface cell turnover for greater skin clarity and luminosity to give your skin the best color and appearance it can possibly have.

It is 100% naturally derived from plants including grape extract, mulberry root, and asorbyl glucoside. These elements help promote surface cell turnover. The aroma was made with organic lavender, sustainable sandalwood, organic rose geranium, and organic rosemary. All these help soothe and calm the skin.

To use this serum, you smooth it onto clean or toned skin in the morning and at night, focusing on discolored areas. It will make the skin feel tighter which is normal. And then you follow the serum with the enbrightening correcting lotion or creme. 52% of those tested saw improvement in clarity and 34% saw the appearance of dark spots diminish.

My personal experience with this product was actually quite amazing. I have tried the serum alone mainly for scarring. My skin has very dark melanin in it, which causes my scars to become a lot darker then normal. They can turn almost black, depending on how bad the blemish is. I have noticed the scarring goes away a lot quicker when I use the product. I would recommend it to anyone that has bad scarring or dark spots on their skin, which are hard to get off.

This product costs $53, so it is on the pricey side. But it’s worth it compared to the amount spent at a dermatologist using lasers or peels on the skin to get rid of dark spots.

Pros & Cons of Waxing

Most women get rid of their hair with a razor. It’s painless, even if you accidently nick yourself with the blade; it’s fast if you do it while showering; and it’s a cheap method of hair removal. Yet waxing salons and spas are thriving. Why? Because waxing is able to last up to a month, it reduces in-between stubble, it is highly effective, and it removes hair right from the root. You get instant smoothness that a razor cannot deliver, even when it’s brand new.

The Cons

  • You have to wait for the hair to grow back again to a certain length. There is a re-growth cycle that hair goes through once removed.
  • Yes, it will hurt. No, do not drink first to ease the pain.
  • More susceptible to ingrown hairs if not treated with an exfoliant.
  • More pricey, but totally worth it.
  • You’re removing a layer of protection against infection. Our hair naturally protects us from outside environmental stressors and toxins.

The Pros

  • Smooth skin, no more stubble. Lasts for 3 to 4 weeks.
  • Hairless for longer, gets more hair than your razor could. Doesn’t leave bumpies.
  • It will stop growing in as thick after a while, and the re-growth cycle will get thinner.
  • Less effort, no razor cuts or burns.

There are also two types of wax used for waxing:

Soft Wax

  • Melts at higher temperature.
  • Stays soft after application.
  • Waxing strips, aka muslin, is necessary for hair removal.
  • Pulling soft wax off with a waxing strip often results in lifting and stretching of the skin along with the hair.
  • Can work only when you pull the strips in the direction opposite to the hair growth.
  • Cannot be reapplied to areas just waxed.
  • Can often cause rash, irritation, and redness.

Hard Wax

  • Melts at lower temperature.
  • Simply lift and pull the hardened wax. No strips necessary.
  • Hard wax hardens around the hair and not on the skin; only the hair is uprooted.
  • Does not require you to pull from the direction opposite the hair growth.
  • No rash, redness, irritation after.
  • Can be reapplied on the areas that are just waxed.
  • Good for waxing armpits and the bikini area.

The Galvanic Machine

The beauty industry has many machines that can be used to achieve multiple desired effects. Machines are great because they give immediate improvement. Microdermabrasion helps exfoliate the skin. High frequency helps minimize the population of bacteria. Faradic helps improve muscle tone. Vacuum helps move lymph.

One of my favorite machines is the galvanic, even though it isn’t used as much anymore. It helps penetrate water-soluble products deep into the dermis. It does this by creating a chemical reaction within the pores, allowing them to dilate and be receptive to products. This is achieved by using the negative electrode with a sodium chloride solution on the surface, which creates an alkaline reaction in the skin which, in turn, dilates the pore. Then you continue to move the electrode around for about six minutes until we’ve achieved the process of saponification, which turns sebum into soap.

Once you are done with this process, you switch the polarity from negative to positive and begin to close the pores back up. This is when you would apply a water-soluble product, like a mask or serum, to push into the follicles of the skin. This process brings the skin back to its natural acidic state, and the client should see a significant increase in hydration levels of their skin.

In order to successfully complete a galvanic treatment, you also need to apply a damp electrode to the client, under their shoulder or on their arm but not on their face, in order to complete the circuit and achieve the desired results. This can be done weekly, but caution needs to be taken to constantly move the active electrode. Otherwise a burn can be caused on the skin, which will not make the client happy.

Top Three Favorite Skin Care Products

Aveda Embrightenment Ingredients

Since starting school at Cinta Aveda in July, I have learned so much about each line of skin care products they offer and how to use and manipulate on the skin for better outcomes and to increase the radiance of the skin. After using Aveda for a while at school and also at home, I’ve noticed great changes in my skin—it’s much less dull and oily than before. Before Aveda, I used different brands of skin care. I tried so many, but I never really stuck to one. But I’m glad I’ve chosen Cinta Aveda as a school. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have gotten to try all these great natural products.

My top three favorites that I love and recommend are:

  1. Herbal Clay Mask — When you have those ugly blackheads or whiteheads, mix this with a little of the liquid Botanical Kinetics Exfoliant. Microwave that baby up in a bowl for 30 seconds. Mix it and apply on the face. Wait ten minutes and rinse with warm water. Ta-da! Your face and nose looks clean without having to extract.

  2. Tourmaline Charged Exfoliating Cleanser — OMG, I love this mask! It has made my life so

    easy! If you get lazy exfoliating, or even to cleanse your face, this one’s for you. It’s basically a two in one. I recommend it for people who needs a little “oomph” of moisture in their dull-ish dry skin (like mine). For this cleanser, you just wet your face with warm water, take a bit of the cleanser on the tips of your fingers, and lather it on your face in a circular motion. Then rinse and pat dry. Follow with a spritz of the Botanical Kinetics Skin Firming Toner. Now it’s all nice and smooth.

  3. Intensive Hydrating Mask — When you need that extra hydration in your skin, this mask is magic. It has aloe vera, so it works great by itself. This mask doesn’t really need heating up, but I do recommend applying a somewhat thick layer. What I particularly like about this one is that you can apply it and sleep with it overnight, then rinse in the morning. When you wake up, your skin will be quenched like you never stayed up late partying.

I have more favorite ones I’d like to talk about, but these are the basics that I feel everyone needs in their home. So I hope you go out and try these babies out!

The Benefits of Oil Pulling

Coconut for Oil Pulling

Oil Pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic oral hygiene ritual that originated in India dating back over 3,000 years. This ancient practice is now making a comeback in the modern world. In 1992, Dr. F. Karach M.D. reintroduced this ritual claiming that it not only is great for your oral hygiene but it can cure a slew of illnesses.

This process entails first choosing your oil. Most people prefer coconut oil due to its antibacterial properties. You take a tablespoon of oil and swish it around in your mouth for ten to twenty minutes per day and then spit it out. For some, this can be a definite struggle. Having oil swished around the mouth for that amount of time can be a bit nauseating. But, if you can stomach it and stick to a daily routine, the benefits outweigh the difficulties. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Oral Hygiene: Oil pulling pulls the bacteria and toxins out of your mouth. In the long run, this will reduce the buildup of plaque and prevent tooth decay. Not only that, this ritual gives you whiter teeth, healthier gums, stronger teeth, and fresher breath, as well as helping to prevent cavities and gingivitis.

  • Clear Skin: Any type of skin issue or rash can be reduced dramatically due to the detoxifying effect of oil pulling. By removing toxins from your body, your skin’s complexion will glow.

  • Detoxifies the Body: Our mouth is a gateway, and it’s where inflammation and diseases can form. By removing these toxins before they get a chance to spread, the body will experience a complete detox.

  • Reduced Headaches: Headaches can occur from numerous causes, but one of them is the body going through toxic stress. By the elimination of toxins through oil pulling, headaches can be significantly reduced.

Extractions vs. Waxing

Lately, the girls and I—all current Alpha’s—have been discussing the “great debate.”

What do you find more personally satisfying, performing extractions or waxing?

Personally, I love popping zits: extractions.

There, I said it. You can think I’m weird, gross, and all sorts of other things. But I’m positive there is at least a 75% chance that you secretly enjoy picking at your skin. For those who don’t, and rely on your estheticians, don’t worry. I’m a professional (in training). I now know the correct way to unblock clogged pores by pressing lightly to release a comedone—and I know when to stop. For safety, I use sterile equipment, wear gloves, and clean the area with preventive products from Aveda.

I’m sure you’re wondering, “How can you find unclogging pores pleasurable?”

There’s science behind it! Many theories have been proposed as to why it can be pleasurable from primitive habits from our remote past to grooming as a sexual stimulant.

I favor the theory expounded by Helen Fisher, author of the bestselling book “Anatomy of Love: Mating, Marriage, and Why We Stray.” She explains that among hunter-gatherer societies, the brains and physiques of females are simply better at the fine motor-coordination necessary for good grooming, as well as certain other skills such as picking berries and making textiles. “In primate societies, females groom more than males: their children, their relatives and individuals that they are going to copulate with,” she says. “And they’ll do it for hours.”

If you are curious, you can read more at Salon.com—“In grossness and in health: Psycho-dermatology, female gorillas, and why women love to pick their boyfriends’ zits.

Extractions, to me at least, are very relaxing. But the other half of the Alpha ladies prefer performing waxing services for different reasons. So the debate continues—where do you stand?

“Acne” Skin

As an esthetician, I come across many different skin types and problems, the most common one being “acne.” I put acne in quotes because I see very few clients who I would classify as actually having acne, even if they think they do.

People with oily skin tend to have larger pores. They are therefore more prone to blackheads and breakouts. Because there isn’t any way to physically reduce pore size, they really need to exfoliate and regulate their oil. I recommend they use something with at least 2% salicylic acid, either in pads or as an astringent. This helps eliminate the bad bacteria, as well as clean the skin and strip the oil. Another product I recommend is a clay mask at least once a week, depending on oil production. Clay helps to absorb excess oil.

Another skin type I see commonly is classic combination skin. These clients have active oil in all or some of the T-zone, and are usually dry or dehydrated on their cheeks and neck. For these clients, I still recommend a mild exfoliation daily on the oily areas as needed. This doesn’t need to be as strong as 2% salicylic acid, but that depends on how your skin handles the exfoliation. Then I suggest they do a hydrating mask once a week to help with their lack of moisture.

The key to controlling acne breakouts is to exfoliate followed by some kind of moisture. Even though you want to strip the oil from your skin, you don’t want to over strip, as the oil we produce is a natural protectant. I also recommend getting facials once a month because they offer the deep pore cleanse and hydration that you can’t get at home.

Spotlight on Acne Spot-treating

Honey

I’ve personally suffered from acne all of my life, from cystic to hormonal, stress-caused, and everything in between. Since a young age, I have always required rather harsh treatments that have been potentially caustic both to my skin and internally as well. I have always looked for ways to treat my breakouts between visits to my esthetician. While searching for a more holistic approach to treating my acne, I have come across a few spot treatments that are safe to use on a daily basis.

Raw honey contains high antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, which helps to reduce bacteria within and around a breakout. To use, swab a small amount of raw honey onto a cotton q-tip, and press it onto your blemish. Leave the raw honey on for 15 minutes, and then rinse with cool water. Repeat this process for a few days, or until noticeable results occur.

Aspirin is great for large, painful cystic acne. The chemical composition of aspirin is very similar to that of salicylic acid, a very common topical treatment for acne. Using aspirin topically to treat acne also reduces swelling and redness that accompany a breakout. Crumble one aspirin tablet, and add in a few drops of purified water until you’ve created a paste-like consistency. Swab a small amount onto a cotton q-tip, and press it onto your blemish; leaving it on for 10 minutes. Rinse off the aspirin paste with cool water, and re-apply this mixture each morning and night until signs of your breakout subside.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil (melaleuca) is an incredible essential oil that has been around for quite some time. It has amazing healing components that kill bacteria and it has many benefits. It can reduce and prevent both acne and fungal infections of the nail (onychomycosis). It helps to kill lice and scabies. And it treats ringworm infection, athlete’s foot (tines pedis) and many other infections. If you have almost any type of infection or sore or itch, you should use tea tree oil to kill the bacteria that lives in the infection.

If you have a sore throat, take a bath and add it to the bath water. Tea tree oil’s healing properties and nutmeg scent will help treat the itchiness of your cough and reduce the inflammation in your throat, making it easier to breathe and sooth the soreness of your throat. Tea tree oil works by killing the bacteria and fungus that lives in the infection. This reduces your bodies allergic reaction to that bacteria or fungus.

In rare cases, tea tree oil can cause its own allergic reaction such as a rash or redness that is mildly itchy and appears as a blister. Some people have gotten severe blistering from tea tree oil. When you stop using the oil, the rash will dry up and go away on its own. So you probably want to make sure that you’re not allergic yourself before using a lot of it.

Tea tree oil should never be taken orally. Some reactions from ingesting tea tree oil include drowsiness, confusion, hallucinations, coma, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach ache, blood cell abnormalities, unsteadiness, and severe rashes. Tea tree oil should never be used on pets, children, or by women who are pregnant or are breast-feeding.

My personal experience with tea tree oil has not been that great. After coming to the Cinta Aveda Institute, I started to experiment with essential oils including lavender, rose, and tea tree oil. After my face routine which included exfoliating and using toner, I would apply a couple drops of tea tree oil on my palm and dab it all over my face. At first, it was great. I noticed it would dry out some acne and it helped get rid of it much quicker then usual. But after about two months of using tea tree oil in my daily routine, I started to get this strange blistering on my forehead and cheek. At first I thought it was a staff infection, but I looked online and found my symptoms exactly matched the allergic reactions of others to tea tree oil.

Even though I like the oil, I am one of the unfortunate people that are allergic to it. I have noticed, however, that if I dilute the oil with some exfoliating toner, I don’t get any type of rash!

High Frequency

High frequency is a very useful, effective, and simple machine that is very beneficial to the client. When used properly, it can be used every day.

The machine consists of a glass electrode that can be used for different purposes. Within the electrode, there is neon or argon gas, and when turned on you can see the color of the gas and hear it. It has an oscillating current that is at a high frequency of over 10,000 Hz. — hence the name.

There are two ways the machine can be used: the direct or indirect method.

The direct method benefits the skin of acne prone clients by minimizing the population of the bacteria on the skin. The electrode is applied directly to the face using talcum powder or gauze to help with slip over the skin. It is most effective against papules — not whiteheads — because there is no chance of the possible spread of bacteria. This is done for about 5 minutes.

The indirect method is much more relaxing, and is more suitable for the mature or dehydrated client. The client holds the electrode while the therapist massages them. It is important to ensure that contact is not lost or else you could shock the client, which is the opposite of relaxing. This method is very stimulating to the skin without drying out or causing overstimulation.

Both of these methods can be done every day, as long as you don’t over stimulate the follicle which could be damaging rather than beneficial.

These machines are sold by themselves or as part of a multi-functional machine.

I Don’t Need Botox in my Twenties—And Neither Do You

This is my personal opinion but I believe getting botox in your 20s is way too early.

I think that both men and women become their sexiest after thirty. So why mess with your face now?

In our 20s, we make the biggest skin mistakes. Those mistakes actually create wrinkles versus preventing them. I’m not saying it’s time to start chemical peels and microdermabrasion now, but little things here and there—and maybe some big things—will help you avoid going for the botox needle in the near future.

Here’s a list of lifestyle tips to follow if you’re serious about anti-aging or want to slow it down a bit.

  • 1. You Don’t Need a Cigarette or a Drink to Party

    I’m not saying be a bore and don’t go to parties. You’re only young once! When you’re older, it’ll be more awkward to explain. But while partying, make healthier choices.

    Say no to smoking.

    No, seriously. Not only will your health thank you, your face will love you. Smoking constantly deprives the skin of oxygen and vital nutrients. So some smokers appear pale, while others develop uneven coloring. Youth is about glowing skin and having makeup free days. And trust me, 20s are very youthful if you do it right. As for wrinkles? Smoking basically destroys any collagen or elastin which means your skin starts to drop and those laugh lines or forehead lines will be set in stone—actual hard lines.

    Also why do smokers generally have more eye wrinkles or crow’s feet than anyone else? The warmth from lighting up cigarettes and squinting to keep smoke out of your eyes contribute to visible crow’s feet. Meanwhile, chemicals from inhaled tobacco cause internal damage to the skin structures and blood vessels around your eyes.

    Alcohol consumption is no better. People can have allergies to salicylates which is usually found in wine whereas hard liquor and beer don’t let your body properly metabolize, resulting in puffiness and breakouts.

  • 2. Enjoy the Sun…with Caution

    I’m not saying to live under a rock for good, but there are safer ways to enjoy that summertime sun. You have to be smart and safe when you decide to lay down and get some color. Sun exposure is a major cause of premature aging.

    According to Dr. Arthur Perry, a Plastic Surgeon, “It is the ultraviolet light (UV) contained in sunlight that is responsible for much of the aging of the skin. Chronic UV exposure causes wrinkles, splotchy pigmentation, visible capillaries (telangiectasia) and loose, rough skin. UV causes damaging substances called free radicals to be produced. UV also depresses the natural antioxidants in the skin, contributing to more damage. Ultraviolet light damages your genetic material (DNA) every time you are in the sun. To convince yourself, compare the skin on the back of your hands with the skin on the inside of your upper arm. The upper arm looks better in everyone.”

    So stay safe with UV-Protection Sunglasses, a big stylish hat, a generous and constant re-applied amount of Sunblock/Sunscreen with UV Protection and take breaks from the sun. Note that just because the spf number is higher, does not mean you don’t have to re-apply it as often! As for tanning, though a little bit won’t hurt you—Vitamin D, whoo!—there’s always the option of tanning salons. But see this article from the New York Times.

  • 3. Sleep Deprivation—You Only Live Once

    Whether it’s starting work, going to college, or enjoying $5 Fridays, we lose sleep: for a good reason or not. We tend to sleep a lot less after we turn 18 and that continues until our 30s or beyond. One of the first places that lack up sleep shows up is on the face—those dark circles and bags under the eyes and sagging skin are all signs of aging and lack of sleep. Besides for sleep deprivation affecting your brain, it also prevents you from making the best decisions during the day time—maybe you grab the sugary cookie over a healthier option for that quick pick-me-up. Sleep deprivation is never a good idea.

  • 4. Dieting and Lifestyle

    Yo-yo dieting is a sneaky contributor to aging. Whether you’re Vegan, Paleo, Carnivore, or whatever else is healthy: stick to it. No heartbreak, reunion, wedding, or anything with a timeline is worth either:

    1. Starving yourself for days or weeks to fit into whatever. Your Health is much more important than That Dress.
    2. Emotional eating—candy, fast food, or any other “moping friendly” snacks.

    “Rapid weight gain or loss can cause visible changes in the skin, such as stretch marks and laxity,” says Dr. Jennifer Linder, a dermatologist. Healthy living is nature’s beauty treatment. “If you drink plenty of water and consistently eat a healthy diet, your skin will look better.”

    Also, now that you’ve embarked on a healthy lifestyle, it’s time to start taking vitamins and dietary supplements—One A Day, vitamin D, biotin, etc.

    Along with a balanced diet, an exercise plan will also help with your skin, thanks to that sexy thing we call sweat. “Increasing blood flow to any area of the body promotes the metabolism in that area, and it makes sense that [when you exercise] toxins would get flushed out and cells will heal and grow faster,” says dermatologist Dr. Jessie Cheung.

  • 5. Skin and Makeup

    Whether you wear makeup everyday or every once in a while, there is a correct way to take care of your skin before and after makeup.

    This is a personal opinion but buying a foundation that is on the “cheaper side”—i.e. less than 20 dollars—for daily use is not a good idea. If it will be on your face daily, make the investment and get a good foundation for your skin. Please be willing to drop the money whether it’s a mineral powder foundation or a liquid. How you apply it is very important as well. Roughly applying makeup can torture skin. Rough handling can cause wrinkles and fine lines to appear from harsh handling. Be gentle to your face, especially tugging around the eyes.

    If you can, once a week take a day off from your makeup to let your skin “breathe.” Because of school or work, I wear makeup almost five days a week, but the second I’m off, I reach for a makeup wipe and go home prepared to do my nightly routine. Do not wait until bedtime to wash cosmetics off. The longer makeup stays on your face, the longer it will clog pores and the more likely skin blemishes will occur. A good idea for that makeup off day is to make that the day you do your eyebrows or use any home masks or facials.

    Forgetting to take off your makeup off at night ages your skin! You may find it tempting to fall into bed after a busy day—or a late night on the town—without cleaning your face. But skipping a cleanser at night can lead to breakouts later. During the day, environmental toxins, like dirt and pollution, build up on skin and invade pores. This can cause complexion problems. So don’t hit the sack before you wash. Use a good cleanser and save your skin. Keep a box of cleansing towelettes bedside for added convenience—simply swipe and sleep.

    Taking your makeup off correctly goes hand in hand with having a good skincare routine that has a cleanser, exfoliator, moisturizer, and whatever else works for you.

But life shouldn’t just focus on whether or not you’ll look twenty forever. And who wants to, anyways?

The best anti-aging secret? Being stress-free.

Relax, crinkle your nose, and enjoy your days!

Beauty Behind Ice

Freeze your flaws away by trying out an ice facial treatment. Ice can be used to treat a wide variety of skin conditions from blemished to aging, and it can be done simply from home. Depending on what you’re looking to treat, ice can provide some major benefits.

  • For blemished skin—Hold an ice cube directly on a problem area to reduce inflammation, and alleviate pain from deep, cystic acne. Wrap an ice cube in a plastic bag, and hold it onto the blemish for 10-15 minutes for results.
  • For tired eyes—wrap an ice cube inside a clean wash cloth and hold over your eyes for 10-15 minutes to reduce swelling—or “bags” under your eyes. For a more powerful effect, brew caffeinated tea and freeze it into cubes, following the same instructions.
  • For dry/flaky skin—Create an icy scrub which will produce an awakening, cooling effect that’s perfect for mornings. Combine a few ice cubes with a few pieces of papaya into a blender to make your exfoliant. The ice pieces act as a mechanical exfoliant, while the natural enzymes in the papaya will act as a chemical exfoliant, to help further smooth the texture of your skin.

Ice cubes held to female face.

3 Steps to Prevent Ingrown Hair After Waxing

An ingrown hair occurs when a shaved or tweezed hair grows back into the skin, causing inflammation and irritation.

Sometimes, dead skin can clog up a hair follicle. That forces the hair inside it to grow sideways under the skin, rather than upward and outward. Ingrown hairs aren’t serious. But they can be irritating and embarrassing.

Here is three steps to help prevent them before they start:

  1. Exfoliation is key; use a good quality scrub before and then 24 hours after your treatment. A product I love is Aveda’s Caribbean Therapy Body Scrub applied with a loofah mitt. Ideally, you will already be exfoliating the area already. But if you are not, you can start your regime the same week as your scheduled service. Just don’t start on the same day. Twenty-four hours after your wax, you will want to exfoliate again. Continue to do so a few times a week, depending on your skin’s sensitivity and hair type.
  2. Apply a product that contains salistitic acid to the area with a cotton round. This step clears out the pores and helps to prevent the area from getting infected. The product I prefer to use for this step is “Tend Skin.” This is my go-to anytime I wax my bikini area, underarms, and even my face.
  3. Moisturize with a product that is free of perfume so it does not irritate the skin. Applying a light layer will be sufficient. It’s important to avoid over moisturization as this can clog pores and create even more irritation.

The Difference between Sunblock and Sunscreen

The difference between sunblock and sunscreen is often misunderstood. Sunblock and sunscreen are considered to be synonymous terms, which is not the case. As the names imply, one blocks the sun’s rays and the other screens them. Sunscreens keep most rays out but let some in. Sunblocks physically reflect the sun’s rays from the skin.

There are chemical sunscreens and physical sunblocks. The sunblocks are generally made from more natural mineral ingredients. The FDA currently approves 17 ingredients for sun protection, some physical, and some chemical. Making an informed choice requires familiarity with the differences. To make it more confusing, some brands are blends of sunscreen and sunblock.

Chemical sunscreens absorb UVB rays. A common chemical used for this purpose is PABA: para-aminobenzoic acid. They are starting to more commonly contain UVA blocking ingredients also.

Physical sunblocks provide a physical barrier to ultraviolet radiation by reflecting that radiation away from the skin. They protect against UVB and UVA light. They are often made from titanium dioxide or zinc oxide and have an opaque color and thick consistency. This thickness does cause them to be hard to camouflage on the skin, often showing as a white, possibly streaky, residue visible on the skin. They wash off less easily than chemical sunscreens, which deter some from using them. They are the natural option though, and they are probably the best option for people with sensitive skin who may be allergic to the common ingredients in chemical sunscreens.

Either sunblock or sunscreen can be equally effective at protection from the harmful effects of sun exposure, as long as they have an SPF rating of at least 30.

Nice hands, Grandma!

Aveda Hand Relief Product

Just kidding, that headline was kind of rude.

On a serious note, when we think of anti-aging regimens, we think of serums, eye creams, night creams, and so on. When used correctly, a great skincare routine can really turn the clock back on your face and neck, and help prevent premature aging.

Radiant skin? Check.

Healthy, bouncy, hair with not a gray in sight? Check.

Soft, spot-free hands? Whoops.

Oh hands. If one day I decide to lie about my age, you will be my dead giveaway. Hands show the signs of aging faster than other parts of your body. They physically go through much more. Whether they handle chemicals, are used for manual labor, or are chaffed from winter winds, our hands need protection too.

Now is the best time to add an extra step in your PM routine.

Aveda launched the Hand Relief™ Night Renewal Serum as a new way to improve the texture and evenness of your hands while you catch up on some sleep. Skin loses hydration throughout the night, which is why it’s the best time to pull out the big guns with heavier serums and creams. Before you know it, your alarm goes off, and your hands look like you’ve never worked a day in your life.

The benefits include:

  • Visibly reduce dark spots
  • Moisturizes and plumps to smooth fine lines
  • Andiroba oil protects skin’s natural moisture barrier
  • Refreshing aroma with certified organic orange, lavandin, and eucalyptus

Plus, unlike thick hand creams, this serum absorbs into skin instantly without leaving a greasy finish behind.

It doesn’t hurt that the usage is so easy. You massage the serum onto your clean hands thoroughly and…hit the pillow. You worked hard and so have those hands.

Show them a little love.

A Passion for Waxing

December 4, 2014
By

In addition to the passion for extracting sebum that I mentioned in my last blog entry, I have discovered a deep love for another type of extraction—hair! Yes, it turns out that I love waxing. Waxing everything from nostrils to navels, brows to buttocks. I guess I’m just an instant-gratification, conquistador-type chick.

To be honest, I thought waxing was something that would creep me out or even disgust me. But it turns out that I didn’t even know myself as well as I thought I did. It’s a blast.

This could also be because I’m a hairy gal myself. At least, I would be if I weren’t to wax. I’m like a little, hairy monkey. And I know how much I love a fresh wax. What’s more satisfying than going from legs that feel like scouring pads to legs that feel like a baby’s bottom? Not much, if you ask me. It’s right up there with creme brûlée … being fed to me by a certain man with the last name Elba. Yeah, it’s that good.

So why not bring that joy to others? If I can, for a second, make you feel like you’re yachting in the south of France with a bunch of supermodels at your every beck and call—why the heck not?

Aveda’s Hand Relief Moisturizing Creme

Aveda's Hand Relief Moisturizing CremeOne of Aveda’s best sellers—and rightfully so—is “Hand Relief Moisturizing Creme.” This is one of my all-time favorite hand creams.

Being a hairstylist takes a toll on your hands. We are constantly washing them and thus stripping our skin of its natural oils and moisture. The best thing about Aveda’s Hand Relief Moisturizing Creme is that I only have to use it two times a day: once in the morning and once before bed. I find that if I apply it once in the morning, it locks in moisture so well that I don’t feel the need to use it again until the end of the day. It’s said to last through three hand washes, which is great for anyone who works with their hands!

One of the main ingredients in Hand Relief Moisturizing Creme is licorice or “Glycyrrhiza glabra,” which is also known as “sweet wood.” It acts as an anti-irritant. This product really is great for all skin types, even for those of you with sensitive skin! The only thing you should be aware of is that it does have a thick consistency. But two to three minutes after applying it, you can already feel that it has fully absorbed into the skin, leaving your hands feeling smooth and silky soft.

So if you’re looking for a new hand cream this season, you really should try out the Aveda’s Hand Relief Moisturizing Creme. It works wonders!

Natural Remedies

Some of the most cost effective and naturally beneficial skin care for all skin types can be made from ingredients you can typically find in your own pantry. Some of my favorites include:

Skin Care for Dry Skin

  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt

Leave this combination on for 20 minutes and rinse with cool water.

A Firming Toner for Aging Skin

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups purified water

Paint this mixture onto your face and neck and let dry.

A Calming Milk Mask for Rosacea or Red, Irritated Skin

  • Vitamin D milk
  • 2-3 drops rose oil, optional

Soaking a clean cloth the milk until fully saturated. Optionally, add in rose oil for added aroma and more calming effects. Wring out the cloth lightly, being careful not to remove too much of the milk. Lay the cloth over your face and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Rinse your face with cool water.

Brightening for Oily Skin

  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • A few drops honey
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt
  • ½ a small lemon, juiced

Mix together the ingredients and leave on the skin for 15-20 minutes. Then rinse face with cool water.

Brightening for Dry Skin

  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • A few drops honey
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, almond oil, or olive oil

Mix together the ingredients and leave on the skin for 15-20 minutes. Then rinse face with cool water.

A Gentle Exfoliant

  • ½ cup hot water
  • ⅓ cup oatmeal
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 small egg

Mix ingredients together. Apply a thin layer to the face with a brush, and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Rinse with warm water, moving your hands in circular motions to gently exfoliate. Use this mask once a week to remove dead surface cells.