A Year Of Color : De-Stressing With Lavender

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We all experience stress. Whether you have Chronic Stress, stress out over that big meeting coming up, or stressing over the next blog post you are going to do- it happens. I have always felt stressed but I never really studying stress itself until I was in Esthetics school. We were learning all about stress and the effects it can have on the body (and on your skin) and I realized one of the reasons I got into Skin Care was so I could help people relax and help ease some of the stress they are experiencing.

Stress can cause headaches, upset stomach, changes in sex drive, sleep problems, anxiety, depression, irritability, overeating, and drug use. The list goes on and on. Seriously. Stress affects our bodies more ways than we even realize. If you deal with stress often (like me), you start learning what your body does when you are stressed. For me, my body has lots of fun ways of letting me know I need to chill: The cartilage in my rib cage gets inflamed causing horrible pains. I also get bad sore throats and ulcers on tongue. Yeah, it’s sexy I know. Then, I get more stressed out because my body is in so much pain. It’s a vicious cycle.

Today, I want to share some of the ways you can help de-stress yourself. Lavender is one of the most calming aromas on the planet (check out my aromatherapy post to learn more about how smell works) so I thought I would share some of the best ways to use Lavender to help relax!

Diffusing is a great way to help get a certain aroma all around your house. If you are busy and can’t take the time to just relax, diffusing is a great option for you. Drop a few drops of Lavender into a Diffuser and then you can keep on doing whatever it is you need to be doing. Since the diffuser does the work for you- and they are small enough you can have one at home or work- you can enjoy the aroma where ever you are!

If you have some more time to take to yourself, you could always take a nice bubble bath or do a little self massage. You can find products with Lavender in them pretty much everywhere (watch out for anything synthetic!). My favorite lavender products are from Aveda’s Stress-Fix line. This line includes, lotions, oils, bath salts, and a body cleanser.

These are just some of my favorite ways to de-stress with one of my favorite, most calming oils. Of course, everyone has their own ways to relax. Maybe you like to go see a movie or go fishing or take a hike. Whatever way you love to relax- do it! Please do not forget to love and take care of yourself.

Aromatherapy 101

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I love aromatherapy. Yes, I am one of those people that have tons of essential oils in my house- it has just been a big part of my life for the past several years and I enjoy learning about them as well as educating others. Not a lot of people understand aromatherapy and how it could possibly help anything so I thought I would write a quick little intro post to aromas and why they are such a big deal.

It all starts with the Olfactory System. The system includes parts of the body involved with smell such as your nose and your brain. When you smell anything, sensory neurons send signals directly to your brain where aromas can be decoded. That’s why smell can affect emotion, memory, behavior, and thought. What we smell literally triggers different parts of our brain!

For example- Lavender can help people feel relaxed. That’s because when we smell it, the certain molecular compounds in the plant trigger the parts of our brain that tell us to chill out. It’s Science (not just hippie voodoo I promise!)

Now that we have the basic science out of the way, let me share with you a couple basic aromas that can help you get more warmed up to this idea.

Lemon and Orange- pretty much any citrus aroma is very uplifting. They can help you to feel motivated, encouraged, and just put you in a better mood.

Lavender- a very calming aroma. Usually people use it to help feel more peaceful and restful. It is also very commonly used and can be pretty easily obtained.

Frankincense- really grounding. This aroma can help you feel more balanced and provides some benefits for your skin!

Tea Tree- a purifying aroma. Tea Tree is really versatile. It not only helps cleanse the air- but can help with your skin and nails. This is one of my favorites to help with skin break outs on guests.

If you have any questions about aromatherapy or essential oils, please feel free to ask away! Like I said before, I love helping people out- it’s what I do!

San Francisco : Your Day Guide

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I love San Francisco- easily one of my favorite cities to see. Sure, the traffic is always crazy, but the list of things to do is endless. Everything I go, there are some things I have to do and then I love finding new places to adventure as well.

The first thing I always have to do is get a sourdough bread bowl filled with delicious clam chowder. Most people go to Boudin to eat this meal which means it is always crowded. If you walked down the block a little bit more, you will come to a place called Tarantino’s that over looks the wharf. They have such good food and and big windows with beautiful views.

After that, I love walking over to Ghirardelli Square. The walk from the wharf to the square goes along the water and then up through one of the city’s many parks. Since it is all on a hill, you get a lovely view of the water. There is usually a line at the Ghirardelli shop so make sure you are prepared to wait a little bit; it usually does go by pretty quickly. The shop has many different sundaes to choose from. I recommend the warm brownie sundae- vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, a fresh brownie, topped with whipped cream and a cherry… Yeah. It is one of the most amazing things you will ever taste.

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Of course, as a tourist in San Francisco, you probably want a cool picture of the Golden Gate Bridge. There are a lot of cool places you can go. One of my favorites is by a historical Site called Fort Point. When you get on the road to the old fort, there are several places you can stop to get a good view (and picture) of the world-famous bridge. After you get your picture, you can continue on to Fort Point. If you are a history buff, you will love walking around and learning all about this cool building under the Golden Gate Bridge.

If you have time, some other cool places to check out are the Sutro baths and Muir Woods. San Francisco is an amazing city and whether you are there for 1 day or 1 month, you will not run out of things to interest you. If you have ever been to San Fran, I would love to hear about your favorite things to do!

The Homestead Crater : What To Expect

We finally went to The Homestead Crater!

This is something I have wanted to do since I moved to Utah a few years ago and I am so glad we finally got to go. The Homestead Crater is located at The Homestead Resort in Midway Utah- a cute little community nestled in the mountains. From the outside, the crater looks like a hill or a small volcano. A small tunnel takes you to the center where you can swim in some amazing hot springs.

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Since I had never been before, I did not know what to expect and was shocked by some of the different things at the resort and the crater. Here are some things to keep in mind before you go!

– You must make reservations ahead of time. The hot springs are a popular place and reservations are required in advance to check them out. These reservations are at a specific time so make sure you get to the resort at your scheduled reservation time

–  Since you have a specific time to be there, you only have a certain amount of time to enjoy the hot springs. Your reservation is for about an hour including changing time. This means they allow about 40 minutes for actually being in the hot springs.

– You must wear a life vest. Unless you are going there to scuba dive (yeah- you can go scuba diving if you are certified or taking the certification lessons there), you have to wear a life vest the entire time you are in the hot springs. You can rent snorkeling equipment for an additional cost which is cool. However, don’t think you can go swimming around under water while you’re here.

– You will not be the only ones there. Unless you bring a large enough group to block out the entire hour or you go during a time that is not busy at all- there will be other people there. AND there is not an age limit for the crater so there may be lots of little kids there with you. If you are looking for some alone time or quiet time, this may not be the place for you.

I thought going to the crater was a cool experience and I am glad we got to do it. However, I am not sure if it is something I would do again any time soon. There were a few too many rules to fully enjoy the hot springs in the Crater. I can’t wait to go to more hot springs here in Utah!

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Your Guide For A Basic Skin Care Routine

For those of you who do not know, I am a Master Esthetician. I graduated Esthetics school back in December of 2016 with 1200 hours and I have absolutely loved it! Not only do I enjoy what I do now, but I loved being in school and getting to learn so much about skin care. With that being said, I also love educating others and helping them to feel more confident in their skin so I thought I would put together a basic step-by-step to help you with your skin care goals!

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Cleanser- There are 2 basic types of cleansers: Cream and Gel/Foaming. Cream cleansers are best for dry or aging skin. Gel and Foaming cleansers are going to work well for oily and acne prone skin. It is important to wash your face at night and in the morning, especially if you wear makeup, work out frequently, or have a job where your skin gets dirty. Pretty much- just wash your face.

Toner- Toners help to refresh and cool the skin. Again, there are 2 main types: Hydrating and Astringent. You want to go with a hydrating toner if you have dryer skin or combination skin. An astringent toner will help out more if you have oily skin as it will help take excess oil from the skin.

Moisturizer- The dryer your skin, the thicker and creamier you want your moisturizer to be. Consistencies range from thin lotions for oily skin to rich butters for very dry/ aging skin. You want to use some type of moisturizer even if your skin is oily. Hydration may help to balance out your skin and help even out oil production.

Exfoliation- It is important to exfoliate 1-2 times per week (depending on the type of exfoliation you are doing. If you get chemical peels done- this will be less frequent). You can use a chemical or mechanical exfoliation. Chemical simply means that the ingredients in the product slough off dead skin cells without any abrasive items like beads or salts. Mechanical is when a product uses beads, sugar, salts, or anything else abrasive to exfoliate. Exfoliation helps to get rid of dead skin cells to keep the skin brighter, firmer, and helps manage break outs by keeping the skin clean.

From here you can start adding in any serums, eye creams, or specialty products you want! These few steps are just the foundation to help you get started with taking care of your skin. Let me know if you have any questions!