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Summer’s Over…Why Wax?

On goes the debate over hair removal. Should I wax? Should I shave? What about laser? Can I get away without hair-tending in the winter? Should I tell my friend that Movember is just for men? Yes, men also mush have a best mustache wax. It makes guys mustache way cooler then others! Well, as expected, estheticians are cheerleaders for waxing year round. And here’s why:

1. Waxing lasts longer than shaving.
Clearly it makes sense that if you remove the hair from the root, it takes longer to grow back. 21 days longer, to be exact. And if you wax consistently, your three hair cycles sync up so you’ll get even more time before those hairs show their heads.

2. Waxing makes hair thinner.
If you shave every day, the constant stimulation of the hair follicle triggers a “healing” reaction where the body floods the follicle with nutrients designed to make the hair stronger. Waxing is done much less often, therefore less stimulation. Over time, yanking out the hair also retards the follicle so hair becomes thinner and may even stop growing entirely. Doesn’t that sound nice?

3. Waxing leads to fewer ingrowns and irritation.
We’ve all dealt with razor burn and ingrown hairs caused by frequent shaving. Waxing can definitely help reduce this since there’s no constant scraping of the skin.

4. Laser overpromises.
Of course there are people who are satisfied with their results, but I have a lot of waxing clients who have tried it and are still showing up on my table. That kind of says it all. Since laser is attracted to pigment, you need really dark hair and really light skin. And it takes a lot more sessions than they say. And after all those sessions, often the hair is not completely gone! I know waxing isn’t permanent either, but at least it’s a lot less expensive.

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Seeing Spots?

Take a stand against pigmentation

Uneven skin tone is probably the most hated facial flaw amongst women today. And it’s also one of the most difficult to treat. Even if you have success in lightening those stubborn spots, one week in the sun can often bring them back. So what’s a gal to do? The first step is to understand how melanin works, and accepting that if you choose to fight it, it’s a battle that lasts a lifetime. Sigh.

Hyperpigmentation and Sun Damage
Inside our skin we have pigment cells called melanocytes that determine the color of our skin. They also serve as protectors, manufacturing melanin whenever our skin experiences some sort of “injury.” And just like with a tan, the melanin slowly fades away once the injury has healed. But if the skin is injured repeatedly by sunburns, sun exposure, or recurring acne lesions, the melanocytes go into a sort of permanent overproduction that never stops. Some spots can take up to 20 years to develop, and the darker your skin tone, the more melanocytes you have, thus the more prone you are to pigmenting.

Melasma
Often mistaken for sun damage, Melasma is a form of hormonally induced pigmentation that can occur any time hormones change. Pregnancy, lactation, contraceptive use, perimenopause, and menopause can all trigger the body to produce more melanin, resulting in large, dark patches that look like symmetrical stains on the skin. And while the sun doesn’t cause Melasma, it can definitely bring it out.

Treatments
Once pigment becomes permanent, meaning the Melanocytes have entered the state of ongoing overproduction, fighting it becomes multifaceted. First, you have to exfoliate the skin to bring the damaged (discolored) cells to the surface. Microdermabrasion, chemical peels, and exfoliants like Retinol are my favorite methods. But just like a penny at the bottom of a pool, as the cells rise up, they often look darker and more distinct before they fade away.

Next, you need to break up and lighten the melanin clusters in order to reduce their appearance. Vitamin C, Arbutin, and Licorice Root all do a good job in this department. Finally, you need to suppress new melanin production with ingredients like Hydraquinone, Kojic Acid, or Niacinamide.

With these simple steps, and a little patience, you can achieve some dramatic results. Just remember to stay out of the sun!

Hello, Hindsight?

SKIN CARE ADVICE FOR MY YOUNGER SELF.

Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing receptionists. And when I asked these 20-somethings if they ever get facials, I was shocked when most of them said, “not really.” I couldn’t believe that taking care of their skin wasn’t a priority. And then I thought, “I was no different at their age.” Which made me ask…if we could go back and advise our younger selves about skin care, what would we say?

Julie: “Wear SPF 30 every day.”
Can I get a hallelujah? Now I will admit, if I’m going to be inside all day, I don’t wear sunscreen. But any time spent outside can trigger melanin production, break down collagen, and cause “sun damage.” What does that look like? Wrinkles, brown spots, and skin cancer, baby! And you’ll spend thousands of dollars trying to get rid of them down the road.

Erin & Colleen: “Cleanse your skin every day, especially before bed.”
Totally agree! So many young people tell me that they don’t wash their face before bed. But going to bed wearing makeup, oil, pollution, and the dirt from the day, and then rubbing in your face in your pillow all night, is just a recipe for clogged pores and irritation.

Judy: “Don’t smoke!”
It’s true. Smoking asphyxiates the skin which leads to clogged pores, dehydration, and collagen breakdown. And those vertical lines around your lips? Totally caused by puffing and puckering.

Amal & Kimia: “Go easy on the makeup / don’t wear MAC.”
Sorry girls (and MAC), but they’re right. I know heavier brands like MAC give good coverage and have amazing hues, but it really is the most comedogenic (clogging) makeup out there.

Kelley: “Get regular facials.”
I know they seem like a luxury in your teens and 20s, but facials really do make a difference. It’s all about skin wellness and prevention. Just like going to the dentist, you need to see an esthetician to help keep your skin healthy. If you can’t afford it, ask for a facial for your birthday, Christmas, anniversary, etc. At the very least, get some good products to use at home.

Suzanne: “Don’t use drug store products.”
It’s true. Products sold to the masses are not designed for “you.” They’re either “inert” so as not to fry everyone’s face, or they have a lot of alcohol and cheap ingredients. I know they appear more affordable, but you’re paying a different price in the end. You can get amazing products from your local spa for just a little bit more, and they are so much better.

Adrienne, Sandy, & Nancy: “Hydrate / moisturize early in life.”
So many young people don’t use moisturizer because they are afraid of breaking out, or because their skin is “fine.” But hydration is essential to keeping your skin healthy and functioning properly.

Kristin: “Start using Eye Cream before you think you need it.”
Oh crow’s feet…how you taunt me every time I look in the mirror! Using eye cream in your 20s helps keep fine lines from forming in the first place.

Bruno: “Take high quality fish oil and Alpha Lipoic acid”
Good advice! Both supplements for sale are anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant, which helps repair cell damage. And Fish Oil increases oil production to hydrate your skin from within.

 

SPF BS

4 myths about sunscreen debunked!

1. The higher the SPF the better. I hear this a lot. Here’s the deal: SPF 15 blocks 93% of UV rays, SPF 30 blocks 97%, and SPF 50 blocks 98%. Go any higher and there’s barely a detectable increase in protection. In fact, the FDA has proposed new labeling rules that cap SPF at 50+. And remember that the higher you go, the more chemicals you introduce into your skin. Is an additional 1% protection worth it?

2. Pick physical sunblocks over chemical sunscreens. Hmmm, not necessarily. I like products that have both. The physical ingredients (zinc oxide, titanium dioxide) provide a wall between you and the sun, which is great! They also start working immediately, unlike chemical sunscreens that take 20-30 minutes to absorb into the skin. But physical sunblocks can also feel thick and look pasty, making them harder to wear. Chemical ingredients (oxybenzone, avobenzone, PABA) are absorbed into the skin and filter/deactivate UV rays. When you combine the physical and the chemical ingredients together, you get an easier-to-wear powerhouse product that protects from all angles.

3. But chemical ingredients cause cancer, don’t they? Once again, the organic activists have extrapolated scientific findings to the point of absurdity. A widely publicized study claimed that chemical ingredients mimic hormones and disrupt the endocrine system. But in that study, oxybenzone was directly fed to mice in huge doses, not applied to the skin. And while oxybenzone can be absorbed through the skin, it is absorbed in much smaller concentrations. No study has ever shown it to cause cancer in humans. It’s also worth noting that none of the best health organizations have recognized the findings.

4. My moisturizer/makeup has SPF, so I’m covered. There’s a dirty little secret about dual-purpose products that the manufacturers won’t tell you, and it’s all about dilution and efficacy. An SPF goes into your moisturizer as 30…that’s what the bottle says anyway. But there are a lot of ingredients in moisturizers that don’t play well with SPF ingredients, breaking them down and turning your 30 into more like 7. Additionally, SPFs are very drying, thus counteracting the hydrating properties of your moisturizer. And don’t even get me started on SPFs in makeup and how nobody applies a thick enough layer to get that level of protection. Bottom line: keep your SPF separate.

Skin Care for Men

It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s Metroman!

Chances are your man isn’t as committed to skin care as you are. I’m guessing  that his regimen involves a bar of Irish Spring in the shower, or at best, swiping your $100 serum and using half the bottle in one application. And I’ll bet that getting regular facials is about as common as braiding your daughter’s hair. In honor of Father’s Day, let’s examine how good skin care can make him look and feel like a brand new man. And let’s face it, some days wouldn’t YOU like a brand new man? On other related article about skin care try using vape rather than smoking and visit dry herb vape pens.

Histology of men’s skin: So we all know that men have more testosterone. But what does this mean to their skin? Well to start, a thicker epidermis, more oil, and larger pores. These factors, along with shaving and a lack of sunscreen, can lead to significant issues if left unchecked.

Do they even care? Most men brush off vanity like crumbs on the kitchen counter–in front of their women anyway. But when they’re on my table, they really do open up about crows feet, sunspots, blackheads, redness, and wrinkles. Who knew that they actually think about their facial flaws and genuinely want to fix them? They just won’t admit this to you.

How can you help him? Get him in for a facial. I’m sure you’ve had the frustrating experience of giving your man advice that gets completely dismissed until a professional tells him THE EXACT SAME THING. For some unexplainable reason, the power and potency of this phenomenon is even stronger during a scalp massage. Hmmm…? We’ll convince him that skin care is not just for metro guys named Thad carrying louis vuitton purses and handbags, and send him home with a simple regimen that even he can follow. You may also give him gifts in exchange for his skin care approval like vape in devinedist.com where they offer wholesale e liquid

Book Him a Facial >>

Serious Serums

Tiny bottles. Big price tags. Are they worth it?

I used to think serums were stupid. It’s true! Blasphemy, right? An esthetician who doesn’t sell serums? I’ve always believed in simplicity when it comes to skin care regimens. Use only the number of products you need to keep your skin healthy. Then a funny thing happened…I turned 40. And all of a sudden, my needs changed. My simple regimen was no longer enough to fend off wrinkles and sun damage. I needed more.

That was 6 years ago, and now I covet my serums like Gollum and his “precious.” I only wish I’d started using them in my 20s and 30s so I could have prevented these flaws from forming in the first place.

What is a serum? Lightweight and chock-full of potent, active ingredients, serums are designed with small molecules to penetrate faster and deeper. They “feed” the skin with concentrated vitamins and antioxidants that trigger cell renewal.

How do they fit into my regimen? Serums can be used day, night, or both depending on their ingredients and their purpose, and should be layered underneath your moisturizer and SPF.

Which serums should I use? That depends on what you’d like to improve or prevent. Fine lines? Look for serums containing Vitamin A (retinol), peptides, or CoQ10. Pigmentation? Vitamin C, Kojic Acid, and Hydroquinone are your best choices. Acne? Try salicylic acid, glycolic, or benzoyl peroxide serums. And don’t use an “all-in-one, do everything” serum. Too many ingredients start to dilute each other’s efficacy. And they’re usually more expensive, anyway. You’re better off getting two serums and using one in the morning and one at bedtime.

Why are they so spendy? Since serums are formulated with higher concentrations of active ingredients, they often come with a higher price tag. But you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars. We’ve got some amazing budget-friendly choices that work wonders!

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Pregnancy and the Skin

Not everyone gets the “glow!”

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I thought it would be a good time to talk about how pregnancy affects your skin. The baby news may be joyful, but the problems that follow are anything but.

Acne. If you don’t have acne-prone skin, then you probably won’t break out during your pregnancy. If you do, then it often depends on where your normal hormone levels lie. Thus, if you tend to be a little heavier on the androgen side, then being pregnant with a girl can reduce breakouts. On the other hand, being pregnant with a boy can lead to excess oil production and make your breakouts worse. But don’t despair! There are plenty of baby-safe treatments to try:

Yes: Low-dose Benzoyl Peroxide, Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Sulfur Masks, Microdermabrasion, High Frequency
No: Accutane, Tetracycline, Retinols, Salicylic Acid

Pigmentation. During pregnancy, many moms-to-be see an increase in pigmentation called Melasma or Chloasma. Caused by a rapid increase in melanin production triggered by rising estrogen levels, these patchy brown spots are usually temporary and can be treated safely with a number of different ingredients:

Yes: Azelaic Acid, Vitamin C, Kojic Acid, Arbutin
No: Hydroquinone, Retinol, Sun Exposure

Eczema/Dermatitis. Pregnancy hormones and increased blood flow will often make your skin more sensitive. If you start to see dry patches or flare ups, try one of these anti-inflammatory treatments:

Yes: Chamomile, Calendula, Coal Tar, Antihistamines, Oatmeal
No: Cyclosporine, Protopic, Elidel, Alcohol, Harsh Detergents

Of course, check with your doctor if any concerns arise.

To Peel or Not to Peel, That is the Question

(OR QUITE POSSIBLY THE ANSWER)

When I ask people to tell me about their skin care regimens, the one step most often missing is exfoliation. Everybody understands the importance of cleansing, moisturizing, and sunscreening…but exfoliating? Why bother? Well, exfoliation is probably the most important thing that you can do to keep your skin healthy.

Teens. When hormones start ramping up, both oil and cell turnover go into overdrive. And it takes time for the skin to figure out what the heck to do with it all. The result is a face full of oil trapped under layers and layers of dead skin cells, A.K.A a fun-fest of bumps, blackheads, and pimples. Exfoliation helps keep dead skin from building up so pores remain open, oil flows freely, and no bacteria can grow.

20s-30s. College, jobs, kids…the 20s and 30s truly define the term, “stress.” And with stress comes hormonal fluctuations that create an unbalanced ecosystem of oil production alongside dehydration. Additionally, our busy lives often lead to a lack of self-preservation. Exfoliation can help our products penetrate better in order to protect healthy cells from environmental damage.

40s-50s. As our skin ages, cell turnover slows way down. What used to take 21 days now takes 35 days or more. Meanwhile, time has left lots of dead, damaged skin cells sitting around making pores look larger, sun spots darker, and fine lines less “fine.” Just like a snake, we need to shed that outer layer to reveal the beautiful skin beneath. Exfoliation triggers the underlying tissues to produce new, healthy cells so that old, damaged cells will take a hike.

What are my exfo options?
From at-home scrubs and enzymes to in-spa peels and microdermabrasion, there are many http://ourbestbrain.com/consider-before-buying-brain-health-supplements/ options to choose from. All options come in different formulations and intensities, so let your esthetician pick the best one for you. It just might be the answer you’re looking for.

Facial Fundamentals

PART II: WHY? WHEN? HOW?

If you missed Part I of this blog where I explain what facials entail, check it out here >>

Why should I get regular facials? Two reasons: Skin Health and Mental Health. In simple terms, getting regular facials helps keep you looking and feeling good. Your skin changes constantly, and it helps to have an expert identify what it needs right now. A PA center use professional strength products to perform treatments that you just can’t do yourself. And let’s face it, no matter how good our intentions may be, we fall off the wagon at home anyway.

Advances in Weber Facial Plastic Surgery mean that it’s now possible to transplant all or part of a person’s face. The first partial face transplant did in France in 2005, and the first full face transplant did in Spain in 2010.

Additionally, the value of taking time out to relax and let someone else take care of your needs for an hour is immeasurable. Kids, spouses, work, laundry…the demands of life take their toll. And you need some recharge time to ensure that you don’t have a Mel Gibson meltdown moment, or end up hiding in a closet rocking back and forth.

When should I get a facial? As often as your schedule and budget will allow! Seriously, we all get busy with work, kids, and social obligations. But facials only take an hour. I waste an hour every day dinging around on Facebook or watching re-runs of Big Bang Theory. And the price of a facial is the same as one nice dinner for two. Surely keeping your skin healthy is worth that? Getting a facial once a month is ideal. At a minimum, come once a season to see what your skin needs and what you should be doing at home.

How do facials help at my age? In your 20s, it’s all about starting good habits that minimize bad ones…like drinking, staying out late, eating poorly, and stressing out over college. Oh the memories! Regular facials can help unclog pores, minimize breakouts, and counteract sun exposure that leads to damage down the road.

In your 30s, hormones and job stress run rampant causing adult acne and dehydration. Additionally, fine lines start to appear. Regular facials help re-texturize, nourish, and maintain muscle tone to help prevent pimples and fine lines from forming. You can also have muscle gain by buying some roids.

Your 40s and 50s require more: more exfoliation, more active ingredients, more hydration. Cell turnover starts to slow way down, and the elastin fibers that give your skin volume flatten out. Plus, the effects of aging, life-long sun damage, and menopause manifest in pigmentation, crow’s feet, dehydration, and new unexplainable growths. Fun times! Regular facials including peels and microdermabrasion can deliver advanced exfoliation to help correct these facial flaws while encouraging collagen production.

Your 60s and 70s can be a bit of a blessing because you just can’t see what’s going on anymore. All our 2017 reviews come with an ongoing maintenance plan. But that is exactly why you need someone looking out for you to pick that giant blackhead or tweeze that long chin hair. Collagen and elastin continue to break down, forming deeper wrinkles. Regular facials help improve circulation while stimulating new cell growth for thinning skin.

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Facial Fundamentals

PART I: WHAT IS A FACIAL, ANYWAY?

People often ask me, “why should I get facials?” And every single, this question takes me by surprise. To me, it’s like asking, “why should I brush my teeth?” or “take a shower?” or “pay my taxes?” or “watch Game of Thrones?” It’s obvious, isn’t it? But if you’re not an esthetician, maybe it isn’t. I realized that, to a lot of people, facials are a luxury. An expense. A special occasion. So I decided to write this two-part blog to explain how facials are not an indulgence, but a necessity.

What is a facial? When questioned by her 5-year old daughter, one of my clients replied, “mommy is going to get her face washed.” This made me chuckle, and also admit that if you’ve never had a facial, you may not really know what they entail. All facials are unique, but there are some fundamental steps:

Cleansing. Yes, we wash your face. But usually with more excitement than you do. Especially after a long day of work, kids, and stress. This stimulating cleanse removes make up, pollution, and daily build-up while increasing blood flow to feed the skin.

Exfoliation. Next we apply either a scrub or an enzyme to help loosen dead skin cells and stimulate new cell production. Producing new cells helps heal almost any skin imperfection from acne to wrinkles to sun damage. Sometimes we use steam. Sometimes we don’t.

Extractions. To pick or not to pick, that is the question. Dermatologists everywhere have put the fear of God in us by preaching that picking leads to scarring. Well this is not entirely true. If you leave the pores clogged, then they can become distended and enlarged. Additionally, if a pimple lingers too long it’s going to pigment anyway since the body produces melanin as a response to inflammation. But there is a right way and a wrong way to pick, and estheticians know the right way. We also have a wonderful tool called High Frequency that helps sanitize the skin and reduce redness.

Masking. Applying a mask at this stage of the facial can really help address skin health. Your skin’s needs change all the time. Sometimes you’re broken out. Sometimes you’re dehydrated. Sometimes you’ve had too much sun. We pick just the right mask for your needs, and apply it when your skin is prepped for maximum absorption.

Massage. All facials address skin health, obviously. But to us, mental health is also a very important part of the facial experience. It’s your time to relax and recharge. So we incorporate a scalp, shoulder, and hand massage into every treatment. This also helps you forgive us for all of those extractions.

Infusion & Hydration. The skin is the body’s largest organ. And it needs nourishment. Facials incorporate vitamin-rich serums, ampoules, and moisturizers that feed the cells so that they can fight free radicals, combat the signs of aging, and repair environmental damage.

Education. Probably the most important part of every facial is ensuring that your home care matches your skin’s needs. Estheticians can only affect so much in the treatment room. What you do at home extends the facial service and continues to improve your skin’s health. Maybe your products are working fabulously, but maybe they’re not. Maybe your skin’s needs have changed. Facials give you a chance to ask questions and get advice.

Watch for Part II (coming soon) when I explain why you should get facials, when you need them, and how they help at every age.