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Category Archives: SWINA


Cecilia Berkley of Corazón Organic Beauty Blends Traditional & Modern Skincare

Cecilia Berkley SWINA Great Grad Aesthetician
“Be your own kind of beautiful. You never know who you are inspiring by simply being you!” says the former media personality, Cecilia Berkley, who is now an inspiration to her clients and community.

Cecilia has been preparing to open her own spa since the time she was a young girl. As a little girl in Mexico, she picked rose petals and put them in a bottle with alcohol and tried to make perfume, starting a lifetime love and passion for beauty. Additionally, Cecilia had a dream of being on television and was very fortunate to have lived her dreams, she had a TV show in Spanish in Phoenix for several years; many of the segments were based around health and beauty.

Coming full circle, Cecilia realized her life purpose, “I want to do more to help women with their health and beauty. I have started a company that produces organic skincare products. It’s called Corazon Organic Beauty. Corazón is a Spanish word meaning heart!”

A recent graduate of Southwest Institute of Natural Aesthetics, Cecilia Berkley is a Licensed Aesthetician, a Facialist and Certified Holistic Therapist who loves to who inspire and serve women. She is Founder & CEO of Corazon Organic Beauty, with global reach including customers in the US, Canada, Australia and Europe. Her list of prestigious clients includes members of a royal family from the Middle East.

One of her clients glowed when she shared, “I walked in and saw Cecilia’s beautiful face and was warmly welcomed into her luxurious spa. The ambiance of her spa and her energy are radiant. Long story short, I’ve never felt more pampered in my life!”

Continuing, the client gushed, “Cecilia puts so much love, healing and kindness into her work. I love that she creates her own products. My skin and the overall structure of my face was toned and tight immediately after my treatment.” The final endorsement was, “Do yourself a favor and experience Cecilia Holistic Spa!”

Cecilia Berkley SWINAWhen asked how she makes people feel so pampered, Cecilia explains, “I am passionate about helping women maintain healthy skin with a beautiful glow. Our skin is our biggest organ, and taking care of our skin is as important as eating healthy. For me, incorporating holistic alternatives with innovative technology is the way to gain a fresh, youthful, healthy glow for my clients!”

Cecilia’s treatments are a mixture of the most modern technologies and timeless techniques. Within her day spa, she offers LED Light Therapy, Oxygen Therapy, Biosonix Ultrasound, and Negative Pressure Therapy. She is one of only a few privately owned spas in Arizona offering the OXYLIGHT®, which is an innovative technology that dramatically reduce lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and post acne scars. The treatment also tightens, hydrates, brightens, and firms skin.

With a bit of pride and a whole lot of enthusiasm, Cecilia admits, “I am excited to be able to be one of the first in Arizona to offer OXYLIGHT® — more commonly referred to as a “Madonna” Facial!”

Another client oozed praise, “I feel amazing inside and out! My skin, my soul, my wellbeing! Cecilia is truly passionate about her work in holistic skin care and I loved everything about my experience!”

What attracted Cecilia to SWINA was the balance of modern techniques and traditional wisdom, “I was looking for a school that incorporated holistic and natural alternatives in their curriculum and that is what caught my attention. My education at SWINA surpassed my expectations! The instructors were amazing, patient and very knowledgeable. My experience was positive and my education prepared me to take my state exams and successfully pass both part of the state requirements.”

Cecilia tells us candidly, “The state test challenged me for sure, and I am thankful to say that I passed! It gave me a great sense of personal accomplishment!”

When asked about some of greatest lessons learned while at SWINA, she says “Learning to work with people with different personalities and how to plan and get organized to open my spa!”

You can connect with Cecilia through her website, or say hello on Instagram!


Written by Written by KC Miller, Founder of SWINA

KC Miller is the founder of Southwest Institute of Natural Aesthetics, a division of Southwest Institute of Healing Arts. KC completed the 600 Natural Aesthetics almost 10 years ago, and initially contributed to some of the holistic components of the curriculum. Although she is not a licensed aesthetic professional, KC regularly receive services in the SWINA student clinics — and encourages others to do the same.

Natural Aesthetics is the Future of the Skincare Industry

Why Natural Aesthetics is the Future of the Skincare Industry

Natural Aesthetics is the Future of the Skincare Industry
Smooth and glowing skin is in. From the “no-make-up make-up” trend to Korean-inspired “glass skin” there’s less covering up and more showing off your unique beauty.

Our skin is our largest organ and possesses the ability to absorb everything it comes in contact with. Using natural products is important for our health and wellness, inside and out, and people are taking notice.

At Southwest Institute of Natural Aesthetics (SWINA), we’re fully dedicated to our holistic philosophy and aim to create concious skincare pracititoners who care for and educate their clients on safe ingredients, proper care, and cultivating beauty from the inside-out.

We’ve observed a huge boom of interest in natural skincare education, and with good reason!

Searches for Natural Alternatives and Safe Ingredients Are Trending

With the power to research anything at our fingertips, it’s no secret that today’s client is well-educated. Even big brands are having difficulty competing in the natural skincare sector, with more trust being placed in micro-brands and small businesses due to the transparency and authenticity allowed by our hyper-connected world.

Clients Are Wanting to Eliminate Toxins From Their Lives

It’s way more than a marketing trend! It’s a shift in consumer conciousness. Awareness around harmful toxins and chemicals present in everyday products is causing the public to think twice about what they put on their skin. From healthy eating to glowing skin, it’s all about a holistic and concious approach.

Consumers Are Increasingly Wary of Synthetic Ingredients

Not only are natural ingredients more eco-friendly, they’re often more effective! Synthetic ingredients are many times created to be cheaper and more easily mass-produced versions of naturally-occuring alternatives. Today’s skincare enthusiasts are more willing to pay for quality care when it comes to products and services.

The Beauty Industry as a Whole is Booming

The business of beauty is growing so quickly, it’s nearly defying gravity! Women especially are on a journey of self-exploration and their creativity is being supported by their trusted beauty pracititoners. This $445 billion industry is an excellent place for self-starters and the entrepreneurial-minded to begin a business or find a loyal client base.

Become a Natural Skincare Expert


Written by Taylor Jablonowski

Taylor Jablonowski is SWIHA’s Marketing Specialist and a momma to a one-year-old boy named Arlo. When she’s not working to make the Healing Arts accessible to everyone, you’ll probably find her somewhere in the woods with her feet in a river.

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My First Facial Experience at Spa SWINA

SWINA facebook thumbnail and headline image_revitalize your beauty

When I was offered a free facial at Spa SWINA, of course, I said “Yes!” The day of my appointment, I walked in not knowing what to expect, and was welcomed by one of the front desk assistants.

The Spa SWINA Experience

I patiently waited for my appointment, and one of the student aestheticians walked towards me with a clipboard and asked me to fill out a couple of forms. After I filled out the forms, she walked me over to a private room. She asked to me remove my shirt, and to wear the spa wrap. Then, she stepped out so that I could undress myself.

Undress The Skin

A few minutes later, she checked back in, and when I gave her the “Ok,” she walked in, and told me to lie down. She asked me about my skincare routine, my main concerns, and if I had any allergies. She was very soft spoken and caring. Then, she wrapped my hair in a towel and began to gently remove my makeup with a simple solution mixed with grapeseed oil and water.

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Cleanse The Skin

Once my makeup was removed, she laid a damp warm washcloth on my face. Then, she massaged Hylunia Cleansing Gel on my face and neck. This cleanser contains hyaluronic acid, lavender, geranium, rosemary, thyme and cypress, which all help clean out dirt and impurities without overdrying the skin. She laid another damp warm washcloth again to remove the cleanser. She repeated the process once again but with Hylunia Cleansing Lotion.

Tone and Examine The Skin

Toner was one of those skincare products I thought my skin could do without, but I was sadly mistaken. My aesthetician-in-training told me that toners help restore and repair the surface of the skin. Therefore, if I wanted smooth, “poreless” looking skin, then I was going to have to tone it up! She applied Hylunia Colloidal Silver, which removes bacteria, helps heal the skin, balances sebum, and reduces inflammation.

Afterwards, she called her instructor to examine my skin. They put goggles on me to block out the LED light shining above my face. They complimented my complexion and proceeded with an antioxidant rich face mask to calm free radicals that irritate my skin.

Mask and Massage The Skin

The aesthetician stepped out for a little while to whip up the face mask, and then she applied an enzyme mask on my face. She asked me if she could also steam my face, while the face mask worked it’s magic. I agreed since I wanted to experience the full effect. While I was waiting for the mask to set in for about 10 minutes, she massaged my feet. Then, she removed the face mask with a washcloth, added toner, then applied the facial mask. From there, she massaged my hands and repeated the process. Then, she applied Ultimate Antioxidant Cream and Facial Day Lotion to moisturize and protect my skin. She concluded with a neck and shoulder massage, which I absolutely loved!

SWINA blog photo template_makeup remover spa swina


In conclusion, I was grateful for the overall experience, and the treatment worked phenomenally! My skin texture is more even and feels smooth. What made this treatment even more meaningful to me was that it incorporates elements of reflexology in the process. This demonstrated an appreciation for the whole self, not just the physical body. After the treatment, my aesthetician recommended I drink plenty water, use sunscreen, and to not exfoliate for 5-7 days. She also gave me a list of all the products she used during treatment just in case I wanted to purchase them in the future.

Here are some tips I recommend to prepare for your next Spa SWINA visit:

Do not exfoliate for a few days before your treatment. There will be plenty of exfoliation during treatment.

If you don’t feel comfortable enough to remove all your clothes, wear shorts or a bring a pair of casual shorts. They’ll be massaging your face, neck, shoulders, hands, and feet, so you’ll want those parts to be bare.

Wear socks. I wore a pair of flats, and my feet kept sliding back and forth because they were so moisturized (not a bad thing!).

Expect to be there a little over an hour. My appointment was at 1:30 PM, but the treatment ended around 2:45 PM, and then I left 5-7 minutes after that. So, plan accordingly.

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4 Ways To Detox Your Skin Care Regimen

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Why is it important to inspect your cosmetic products and make a more conscious decision when buying skin care items? Well, think about it this way… How many different cosmetic items do you use? Then, take into account how many ingredients are in each of those products. What purpose do all those ingredients serve, and what do they do to the body? Unless you have a toxic-free regimen, chances are you’re consuming up to hundreds of harmful ingredients! Yes, the skin is a barrier to certain elements such as water, but other ingredients are just microscopic enough to seep into the skin, then into the bloodstream, and off to your organs where many of them may cause damage over time. Therefore, it’s important to take care of your skin with clean and nourishing products. Follow these 4 simple steps to detoxify your skin care routine!

Less is more.

Look for products with fewer ingredients and names you’re familiar with, which will lessen your exposure to harmful chemicals. Another important note: read from top to bottom. For cosmetic products, the law states that the ingredients must be listed in descending order from greatest concentration to least, unless it constitutes less than 1%.1 In that case, those ingredients can be listed in any order, and if there is an active ingredient that treats the skin, like acne medication, it’s listed first.

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Consult with an aesthetician.

Ask a professional if you’re unsure of what your skin needs. They’ll study your skin and help you arrange the best skin care regimen suited for you and your skin type. Book an appointment at SpaSWINA with one of our very capable aestheticians-in-training and discuss any concerns on how to care for your skin.

Clean out your beauty cabinet.

No need to declutter your beauty cabinet all at once! Start small, and replace your most frequently used beauty products with more natural items. These natural ingredients are better for your overall holistic health. Soon, your skin (and your wallet!) will be saying, “Thank you!”

Invest in your skin_swina blog_detox skin care (1)

Do your homework.

Refer to the EWG’s guide to determine whether or not your products are safe. They use a simple grading system with explanations on how and why a product is considered unsafe. Just type in the name of the brand, and search for your product.

Stay healthy and free of potentially harmful chemicals when you follow these simple guidelines. Remember to do your research and consult with an aesthetician to help you develop a skin care regimen based on your skin type and lifestyle. When shopping for your beauty products, be sure to check the labels, and steadily replace your products with more natural ones. You’re also more than welcome to check out the products we use at the Southwest Institute of Natural Aesthetics, including Rhonda Allison, Hylunia and EltaMD! These products are natural, toxic-free, and good for your skin.



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Get Glowing: 5 Winter Skincare Tips

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When the seasons change, so should your skincare regimen. Next upcoming season: Winter. In Arizona, the biggest beauty woe experienced during the winter time is dry skin. Luckily, there are plenty of natural and holistic ways to hydrate and replenish your skin.

Eat a healthy, balanced diet and stay hydrated.

First and foremost, the key to beautiful, healthy skin is maintaining a balanced diet and drinking plenty of water. It’s important to nourish your body from the inside out. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, dairy, processed sugar, wheat, gluten, soy, processed vegetable oils and processed foods. Instead, indulge in seasonal fresh vegetables and fruits, high quality fats, organic animal proteins and non-glutinous grains.

Winter Produce

Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30.

Apply safe sunscreen year round, not just during the summer time. Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect against UVA and UVB rays, which may cause skin cancer. Refer to the EWG’s Sunscreen Guide for toxic-free, organic sunscreen creams. Still not convinced that wearing sunscreen is important? Read this article by Hylunia.

Take shorter, lukewarm showers.

Another way to glowing, soft skin is taking quicker, lukewarm showers. I know, it’s tempting to take a long, hot shower, especially with the colder weather. However, hot water and longer showers make your skin more prone to dryness by stripping away natural oils. Plus, it’s also good for the environment and cuts back on your water bill.

Exfoliate weekly.

Exfoliate once or twice a week.

Avoid scaly, flaky skin by exfoliating once or twice a week. Exfoliating your skin removes dead skin cells, which allow moisturizers, face masks, serums, cleansers, etc. to more deeply penetrate into the skin. In a way, exfoliation optimizes the effects of face and body skincare products. Exfoliate with natural scrubs (e.g. sugar, salt, activated charcoal) or enzymes (e.g. greek yogurt, papaya, citrus). Also, dry brushing your body before you take a shower is another natural and effective way to soften and smooth skin.

Moisturize generously.

Moisturize after taking a shower or cleansing your face. This helps keep your skin soft and supple. Apply products that contain soothing and hydrating ingredients such as rosewater, olive oil, coconut oil, aloe, chamomile, calendula, hyaluronic acid, and seaweeds.

Naturally, taking proper care of your skin helps your skin retain moisture longer as these colder months approach us. To recap, 1) be sure to eat a balanced diet and to stay hydrated, 2) apply broad-spectrum safe sunscreen, 3) take shorter, lukewarm showers, 4) exfoliate at least once a week, and 5) moisturize with an emollient cream.

Beautiful skin_swina_winter quote

Skincare is an involved practice, and it takes time to establish healthy habits and routines. Incorporating holistic nutrition is one of the most beneficial ways to keep younger looking skin. Everyone’s regimen is different, so there is a little trial-and-error involved. Take the time to speak with a natural Skincare Practitioner who will know how to help you pick the best products and diet for your skin type. A career in aesthetics may be for you, if you enjoy helping others and understanding the intricate processes of skincare. Experience SWINA for your educational journey, where caring is natural!




Medical Aesthetics vs. Spa Aesthetics: Love the World You’re In

SWINA-Spa-skincare-1.jpgAccording to American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), more than 15 million cosmetic nonsurgical and surgical procedures were performed last year (2015), ranging from microdermabrasion, chemical peels, laser hair removal, to botox, liposuction, and facelifts, respectively. While traditional medicine focuses on the treatment or prevention of disease, medical aesthetics is for improving the skin’s appearance. Procedures may be motivated by the request of more youthful skin, yet more serious intentions could be chronic acne and scarring, inflammatory skin disorders (acute and chronic), or skin that has been effected by chemotherapy, trauma, or surgery. Medical and spa aestheticians offer some of the same procedures, however personal interests, education, and working environments might differ.

What is beautiful about SWINA’s programs is that as a graduate, you will have the confidence and ability to choose either side of the cosmetological spectrum, so prospective students would not have to be affirmed in a decision until they are ready to look for employment. Here is some insight to some of the choices you would have to work, as a SWINA aesthetician graduate.

Medical Aesthetics

Environment options:

  • Offices of plastic surgeons, dermatologists, & oncologists
  • Medical spa
  • Post-operative care in a hospital
  • Cancer center

Spa Aesthetics

Environment options:

  • Salon
  • Nail salon*
  • Resorts
  • Hair salons
  • Cruises
  • Department stores

Both branches are extremely rewarding and valuable. There is no price tag on a person’s self-image. Gone are the days that spas, facials, or augmentation is frivolous or vain. Like everything else in life, moderation is key and almost every person deserves to feel special and good about themselves. Everyone has their thing: whether it’s going out to dinner, the nice car, the designer clothes, the haircut and dye every six weeks, the sports game tickets, etc: we all spend money on things not essential to our survival…..just things that make us happy. Life is full of enough challenges. What this world needs is more people in careers that help others see their potential, to make the planet a better place. Making money is 100% great; helping people is great. So what if….

You could do both?


At the end of the day, working in aesthetics is a tremendously rewarding industry. There is nothing like meeting a client on day one, who is embarrassed, sad, depressed, or upset about the current state of their skin. And as their skin care practitioner, you receive the gift of watching a process of healing which promotes  physical, emotional, and mental revolution. When you meet someone for the first time, what do you see first? You see the face: skin, eyes, and smile. Whether it’s age, trauma, or acne, every single person feels a positive shift when a skin issue is corrected, because we are all human and we care what people think. (Don’t be fooled by the ones who say they don’t care.) I believe we all need human connection to be in balance; homo sapiens are social creatures. It’s a fact.  Living in isolation—by choice or not, does not render a happy person and if someone says like being alone or rather be alone, it is usually a fear-based shield to protect them from being uncomfortable or in pain. If combining a passion for skin care and helping people in pain is something that resonates with you, I would invite you to look into our Natural Aesthetics & Master Massage Practitioner program, or if you are already a licensed aesthetician, you could add a Massage Therapy or Life Coaching certification to your practice. In talking to graduates from SWINA, they all comment on the relationship between practitioner and client:

There is a highly personal and intimate exchange of energy when you are assisting with someone’s skin. A condition is often embarrassing with underlying issues that can be very personal or emotional, causing the stress in the tissue, or dis-ease.

Every person that shows up as your client will not necessarily have an underlying issue that needs your attention, but the important question to ask is,

What if they do and imagine if you are the person that could change their life, and in return, change yours?

Discover a Career in Natural Aesthetics

*A nail technician is a separate certification, but often facials, waxing, and eyebrow modification is offered in a back room.

Skin Care Specialists On The Rise!

Your skin is one of the first things people see when they meet you. If you’ve never had skin issues, maybe you’ve never considered that. Everyone has had a pimple or scratched their face- something that made you self-conscious. Think if you felt you had to hide your face every, single day. Now think:

What if I could change a life by helping someone’s skin?

Skincare_Specialists1.jpgHave you ever spent time in front of a mirror looking at your skin- your freckles or your wrinkles or the pattern of your pores? Have you heard yourself think or say, “Wow, they have gorgeous skin!” Most likely you have found yourself studying facial products at the store, sitting in front of an aesthetician getting a facial, or maybe even contemplating going to school to be a Skin Care Specialist. The good news? The outlook for skin care specialist jobs is very positive and on the ups!

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, which is supplied information based on careful statistical data by the United States Department of Labor, projects that jobs forskin care specialists will only rise between now and the year 2024. In fact, their website says that the change in employment over the next ten years is accelerating at a “faster than average” rate of 12%, where as the average growth rate for all other occupations is 7%.

To put it in another perspective, think about women. In 2010, the US population was 308 million, of which 50.8% were women.1 Nearly one-quarter of these 157 million females were under 18, which means that the remaining group of women were 18 years of age and older. To be honest, at 18 years old, I was not worried about skin cancer or wrinkles. Yet at age 30, I had sworn off the sun, wore SPF 15 every single day, and embraced my un-tanned skin. I remember saying to my grandmother, “I don’t care about wrinkles! Aging women are beautiful! I don’t know why you worry so much about wrinkles!” And guess what I do now in the car when the sun is shining on my face?

“Oh my gosh, I’m getting so old! Just look at all these wrinkles!”

The point is, over half of the female population in this country are over 35 years old and we ALL pull our skin away from our eyes or dab on under-eye cream at night or think to ourselves, “I’m getting so old.” Granted, not every person is proactive, but here in AZ? We’re taking care of our skin and for those of you who didn’t have a grandma who had melanoma, and shouted at you daily, “Put on sunscreen!”, people need help taking care of their skin! That’s where you come into play.

If you’re reading this blog, maybe you have been toying with the idea to go to school to be an aesthetician, or in the least, are here looking into it. Whether this is your first time to our SWINA site or twentieth; or if you’re obsessed with skin and just happened to find this page: something is drawing you in. Here in AZ, the natural elements are working hard against us! Between the bone-dry climate, the dust and the wind, the potent sun and the swimming pools, our skin takes quite a beating, even if you use great beauty products, take your makeup off every night, and drink 100 ounces of water a day. Problematic skin is something many people battle and it can become disheartening, embarrassing, and sometimes downright depressing. When you see a person’s reaction to healthy skin they’ve never had, you will experience a rewarding sensation that many never experience through their work! There is no greater reward than helping someone love their ‘self’ more, and being there to witness it. Earning your credentials that will help people find their way to beautiful skin will not only change their lives, but yours too! Just think….

Imagine if your next career changed your entire life!

1 This fact from the HRSA( US Department of Health and Human Services). This is the primary Federal agency for improving health.


What is Microblading?

If you don’t have any tattoos, it’s probably for one of two reasons. Either you don’t know what you would get, or you have fear: a fear of commitment or pain. If you’ve heard of people getting makeup tattooed on their face, again, you probably had one of two reactions: you thought they were crazy or you envied the thought of never having to experience those irritating mornings of “one eye looks better than the other.” We live in a day and age where our culture puts so much emphasis in appearance and body-modification. While tattooing the face seems extreme, someone realized that offering a semi-permanent solution to a basic aesthetics need would not only become wildly popular, but would appeal to a much larger client pool while being extremely lucrative. And how genius: what could be better than offering a service people love that goes away after a year or two, keeping them coming back for more?


Microblading, a technique thought to have originated in Asia, is also known as Eyebrow Embroidery, Microstroking, or Japanese Makeup Method. The idea is that rather than implementing solid line tattoos which tend to bleed (meaning the line, which begins crisp and defined, ends up blurring), apply an ultra-fine line mimicking hair with a tool that keeps the line in its original condition.


The Technique

There are seven actual layers of the skin, the three main layers are the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous fat. While tattoos go deep into the dermis, the pigment in microblading only goes as deep as the epidermis. This not only hurts less, but is also the reason that microblading only lasts a year, for some up to three. It all depends on your type of skin. The other significant difference is that microblading, like the term suggest, uses a blade to minorly slices the skin to deposit the color, rather than puncturing. The blade is a handheld tool, comprised of 6-14 needles, and pushes the pigment into the skin. A pigment is a substance that gives something color; it can be plant or mineral based and is crucial to this art form. It is also the quality of pigment versus tattoo ink, along with the non-puncturing blading technique, that keep the lines thin rather than bleed. It is the slicing and the level at which the pigment is placed that keeps the color out of the lymph system, and in turn, keeps the lines “drawn” looking like the original, not blurred. The process is still not over. Once the eyebrows look just the way you want, it’s time to set it. This is done by turning the pigment into silicone form, which prevents it from being absorbed further into the body. The healing process differs from person to person, but generally redness and/or swelling will go away in about two weeks.


Microblading.jpgYour first thought might be that this is a frivolous beauty expenditure. However, that would be judgmental, as every human spends more money on something than the person next to them, whether junk food, clothing, sports tickets, or a mortgage or car payment. There are also health reasons that would encourage a person to seek out this type of aesthetic care. Chemotherapy, a common treatment to ward off cancer cells, also leaves the patient hairless (with prolonged treatment), and not just the hair on the head. Remember, hair falling out means throughout the whole body, including eyebrows and eyelashes. What a beautiful way to offer a low-stress option of reinstating the brow, to a person who is going through the worst time in their life. Microblading is also beneficial for other ailments. For example, alopecia is a condition where people lose their hair for unknown reasons. Mental distress, as in trichotillomania, causes some people to pull their hair out. You can’t pull out a tattoo! Other issues that reduce hair include autoimmune disorders, thyroid imbalances, systemic diseases, and fungal infections of the head and scalp.

This is a relatively new procedure in this country. In fact, bringing you this blog took almost fifteen different windows and web searches to get all the information. At Southwest Institute of Natural Aesthetics, we try to enlighten our community to relevant and important topics. If you do not already subscribe to our blogs, please sign up: in a few weeks, we’ll be featuring one of our Great Graduates has immersed herself into her natural aesthetics career and has already begun offering microblading in the Valley! Stay tuned for the one and only Georgia Nelson!

Discover a Career in Natural Aesthetics


Skin Rejuvenation: The Use of Rosemary from Food to Face

‘Make thee a box of the wood of rosemary and smell to it, and it shall preserve thy youth.’ –Banckes’ Herbal

Rosemary is a well-known herb that grows incredibly well here in the desert land of Tempe. You can see it bordering buildings on the ASU campus or in residential gardens. Tug gently on a branch when you walk by, and you’ll be left with an authentic aromatherapy dose on your fingers. It is a symbol for remembrance and was used in funerals; it is also a symbol for friendship and has been used for centuries in wedding ceremonies. The spiky herb can be quite helpful around the house with uses ranging from a spice for cooking, essential oils, a memory enhancer, perfume, tea, or in the medicine cabinet for skin care. The green sprigs are also quite useful in meat preservation by wrapping the pieces tightly before storage. Rosemary is in the mint family and similarly aids in digestion and calming the digestive system or simply ridding a headache. Externally, if made into an oil, it can aid as a muscle relaxant, treating sciatica, pulled, or strained/overworked muscles. Interestingly, it naturally contains its own essential oils such as borneol, camphor cinelole, linalol, and verbenol.


At Southwest Institute of Natural Aesthetics, we try to spotlight our natural friends who support our skin in a healthy, positive way and rosemary is no exception! Aesthetically speaking, it is considered to be a natural skin rejuvenator and toner. You may be familiar with Queen of Hungary Water, a popular beauty tonic: its main ingredient is rosemary. Our friendly herb helps strengthen the capillaries and improve circulation for a natural, healthy glow. Additionally, its anti-inflammatory properties will fight against early day puffiness after sleeping, although be mindful of application in the eye area. In Arizona, we pay special attention to skin preservation due to our intense exposure to the sun and rosemary is an excellent combatant of sun damage, sun spots, and free radical damage. The rich nutrient content of iron, calcium, vitamins E/A/C, natural fatty acids, antioxidants, and phytonutrients is another reason many skin and hair products use rosemary in their products. Hylunia, a highly regarded company who produces some of SWINA’s aesthetics-grade skin products, also supports these findings and adds that it is an excellent ingredient for anti-aging creams, toning, and for binding loose or sagging skin. An astringent contracts the skin tissue, resulting in a tighter complexion; rosemary oil, when applied to a cotton ball, can be used on the face after washing and before applying a moisturizer. It is also wise to treat acne or pimples with products containing rosemary because of its anti-inflammatory and anti-septic properties. Is there anything this plant can’t do? Remember (need some rosemary?), we’re lucky that rosemary grows well in hot, dry climates. To utilize this plant in your own yard, plant one in your garden and take a look at the following ideas.

DIY Recipes & Ideas

Oat & Rosemary Mask or Facial Scrub

~ Exfoliate ~

  • Finely grind oats and dried rosemary with mortar and pestle, food processor (on pulse), or a handcrank grater (usually for cheese).
  • For Oily Skin: mix with cool boiled water
  • For Dry Skin: milk and & 1 T honey (moisturizing)
  • Topically apply over face; wait 15 minutes and rinse.
  • Facial Scrub: moving in circular motions, exfoliate well

Only make as much as you think you will use because it will spoil. The dry mixture can be stored in a mason jar for next time!

 For Sensitive Skin

  steam.jpg ~ Open the Pores ~

  • You will need a ½ cup dried rosemary
  • Bring 3 quarts to a boil and remove.
  • Add the dried rosemary to the pot of steaming water. Wait 5 minutes.
  • Place your face about a foot above the pot and drape a towel over your head so that the face can absorb the steam. Every minute or so, stand up straight to take some fresh air. Repeat the process for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • To finish, cleanse the face with a mild cleaner and rinse with water.


Hot Rosemary Oil Scalp Treatment

 rosemary-bottle-aroma2.jpg ~ Stimulate & Penetrate ~

  • Using a small bowl, pour 2 tsp of coconut oil and 2 tsp of castor oil and heat for 1-2 minutes on a low flame. Add 4-5 drops rosemary essential oil and stir.
  • Massage into scalp after it has cooled.
  • Mix with almond oil with lavender and clary sage and smooth down length of hair. Comb/brush through to disburse evenly.
  • Repeat every 2 days if desired.

Rosemary is simply a power-herb for all sort of remedies and treatments. It is also an excellent antibacterial and anti-fungal and can be mixed with a myriad of other essential oils. Through the next few months SWINA’s site will be posting more incredible uses for other herbs and essential oils. If you haven’t yet, plant some herbs in your yard and reap the rewards for offering your love and care!

Learn more about skin rejuvenation services offered by SWINA. We also invite you to learn about natural aesthetics educational programs offered by the Southwest Institute of Natural Aesthetics.

Speak with an Admissions Advisor

Organics x (Fruits +Veggies + Protein) = Great Skin

swina_Hylunia_Product1.jpgOne of the secrets to great looking skin is a great looking diet filled with organic protein, fruits, and vegetables for the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, or what enthusiasts call holistic nutrition. When you eat processed foods filled with refined sugars and unnatural chemicals (like food coloring, preservatives, or artificial sweeteners), the body struggles to remove these toxins. Guess where the body stores the excess waste: the skin! Wrinkles are generally a result of a lack of moisture in the skin, which the body also struggles to produce on its own because of the natural aging process. A healthy, holistic diet provides the essential nutrients that support healthy skin moisture and structure. Hylunia, one of Southwestern Institute of Natural Aesthetics’ favorite skin care product lines, makes a wonderful, anti-aging, vitamin C topical serum called, Beyond Complex C,  which nourishes and protects the skin while aiding in natural moisture production, increasing the skin’s brightness, vitality, and smoothness. If you wanted to go the extra mile, take a daily anti-aging supplement to help reduce the storage of disease-causing toxins and support cellular regrowth for younger looking skin. Be successful at implementing better habits and keeping them by clicking the link below and checking out our other blog on our SWIHA site!


10 Tips To Help You Stay On Your Dieting Track

Professionals in nutrition across the globe would agree that limiting bad (saturated) fats, incorporating more fruit and vegetables, and eating a diet that limits sugar, is fundamental to our well-being. However, holistic nutritionists would also strongly advocate for balance and moderation of potentially fattening food, rather than complete food restriction because we all know what happens when we say, “No, you can’t have any ____.” The time spent on the diet will be cut short. Like quitting a bad habit, good habits will also take time to instill, so be gentle and patient with yourself and others. For more support and encouragement, Life Coaches or Nutrition Coaches are available to guide you and cheer you towards your goals. It is a better choice to ask for help than give up because you feel like you failed or aren’t strong enough to meet your mark. Many of SWIHA’s Great Graduates have Life Coaching certifications and are currently serving the community. You may find a coach in your area by reading our blogs with the tag Life Coaching.

SWINA_toxins.jpgWhat To Eat

It may seem impossible at first, but changing your diet is possible. If you’re the type who resists change, it might be easier if you change one thing at a time. You might have to get creative so your food has flavor and it’s enjoyable to you. The effort you put in will make the transition smoother. Here are some ideas to get you going.

A Mediterranean diet, which includes fish or chicken olive oil, fruit, and tomatoes, is not only heart-healthy, but supports healthy skin. The omega-3 fatty acids in the fish will help keep skin-cell membranes strong and elastic, while the olive oil and tomatoes have high antioxidant levels which assist in preventing chemical reactions in the skin that lead to sun damage.

  • Chicken is high in magnesium, an essential electrolyte for maintaining the skin’s hydration. Found in B vitamin complexes, choline aids in the production of collagen and will also fight against free radicals. Grill 6-12 chicken breasts and let cool. (The steam will turn to ice and make the chicken soggy if you do not let cool completely.) Salt and pepper alone is delicious; for more flavor, use worcestershire or squeeze lemon on as they cool. Individually place them in a baggie and store in a large bag in the freezer. Take one out as you need.
  • The same exact thing could be done with fish of your choice. (Salmon, mahi mahi, ahi tuna (moderately), snapper, halibut, sea bass, shrimp, or tilapia are some good options.) Omega-3’s are fatty acids that are known to be anti-inflammatory and are crucial for sufferers of dermatitis, rosacea, psoriasis, or chronic acne. Additionally, omega-3’s have demonstrated a resistance to UV radiation which may even reduce the risk of skin cancer.
  • Turkey is high in biotin (B vitamin-good for moisture retention), zinc (for inflammation caused by blemishes), and selenium (neutralizes free radicals before they can lead to wrinkles), all of which maintain healthy skin. A pound of ground turkey or beef (buy 93%-7% Fat) can be made into taco meat, using sautéed onion, garlic, and your favorite spices. Add the taco meet to organic greens with salsa and no dressing is necessary.
  • Cocoa hydrates your skin, making it firmer and more supple, for that natural glow! Dark chocolate or cacao are your best bets, over milk chocolate (high in fat and sugar). Cacao contains flavanol which has been noted to have positive effects on facial wrinkles and elasticity.
  • Plain Greek yogurt is loaded with protein, moderately low in carbs, and low sugar. (Avoid the flavored options and can also be used as a sour cream substitute.) Dairy helps the skin become firmer, so it resists lines and wrinkles.
  • Walnuts contain omega-3’s and are loaded with copper. As previously stated, omega-3’s improve skin elasticity and copper boosts collagen production. Add to the Greek yogurt with your favorite berry for a super-skin breakfast or snack. Sunflower seeds are also high in omega-3 and a sunflower seed oil can hydrate lips and heels when topically applied.
  • Fight crow’s feet with bell peppers. Carotenoids, the antioxidant found in yellow and orange vegetables, can decrease the skin’s sensitivity to sun, as well as fight the smiling creases around the eye.

You can do it!

SWINA_secret.jpgWhen making positive changes in life, we all have to start somewhere! Don’t compare yourself to the Jones’ or to your favorite pop star on TV. You are you and you have the ability to accomplish anything. With the internet at your fingertips, you can look up recipes that suit your needs as well as your palate. Don’t forget to keep foods you love in your weekly routine, just monitor your servings. If you can’t give up chocolate, don’t: eat a couple Hershey’s Kisses or a small handful of chocolate chips; not half the bag. Can’t give up your favorite muffin at the coffee shop? Don’t. Eat half and save the other for the next day. If you love happy hour with your friends, try a light beer instead of the IPA or a glass of red wine. Learn to reward yourself in other ways, like buying a new shirt on sale, a manicure, or a new yoga studio you wanted to try. When you’re constantly adding new things to your life, you won’t feel so badly for giving up the foods you love. As always, be kind to yourself, and it’s ok if you slip and eat five slices of pizza after a bad day. It’s not the end of the world. You just get back on track the next day! Also, before making any major changes, you might want to discuss your thoughts with your healthcare profession.

Be Smart, Stay Healthy!


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