The Aveda Institute was my first choice for esthetician school. I'd discovered Aveda products in my twenties and was inspired by the ideals of Aveda founder, Horst Rechelbacher.

When I attended school, Aveda had been purchased by Estee Lauder. I'd read online that the formulations had changed and in an effort to remove fillers from the products, the botanicals became more harsh on the skin. As it turned out, the products did not agree with me at all. In fact, in my class, 8o% of us had some kind of negative reaction to the products. 

After a month of theory, we progressed to hands-on treatments and I had my first adverse reaction. My skin was irritated with a raised rash:

 Another concern was the way our laundry was done. The machines were stuffed to full capacity and we were instructed only to use the express cycle. This resulted in poor water circulation, with both detergent and bleach being added to the short cycle. All of these factors were part of the problem. More than one of us commented on the strong bleach smell as the hot towels were lowered to our faces.

Three weeks later, I had a more severe reaction to the products: 

After my first rash, none of the administrators in the school would look at me, lest they acknowledge something was tremendously amiss. After a week of being ignored, I went to the Director, who simply said, "You have sensitive, reactive skin." No doubt, fear of litigation played a large part in how I was being handled.  My classmates and teacher complained about how the laundry was being done. When it was our turn to wash the towels, I would lessen the loads in size and the quantity of detergent used. 

At this point, I was bringing my own products to class everyday. I also purchased my own towels that I took home and laundered myself. With these modifications, my skin began to improve. Three months later, my skin was back to normal and I decided to try one more  of the Aveda skin care lines to see if my skin could handle it. Once again, I had a negative reaction. As soon as the cleanser was applied to my skin, I felt it burning and asked my classmate to take it off. After just 30 seconds on my skin, the damage was done:

When I started school, I didn't have sensitive skin. My skin became sensitive from the debilitating effects of using harsh products combined with poorly cleaned linens. Sensitive skin isn't something that we are powerless to change. Our skin is alive and able to be strengthened and made more resilient.

Many of us are using products that have ingredients that cause irritation and inflammation. I was using DNA Health Institute 100% organic products prior to school and brought them to class with me to help rebalance my skin. It's essential to be discerning about what we put on our skin. It took time to rebuild my acid mantle and skin barrier function. Another powerful component has been Collagen Induction Therapy (Dermal Needling) to  thicken both my epidermal and dermal skin layers. 

Product selection is crucial to healthy skin. Santa Fe Skin uses DNA Health Institute, Rhonda Allison & Naturopathica products. If you've suffered from sensitive skin, it is not a life sentence. With proper care and a synergistic approach to building and rejuvenating the skin, you can achieve the complexion you've been seeking.