YOUR HAIR-GROWTH CYCLE

It is a little known fact that all hair on your body grows in different cycles. Some hair follicles may be in a completely different stage of growth than others and this can be challenging with waxing services. 

Stages of Hair Growth:

Anagen 

The anagen stage is the first stage of the hair-growth cycle. This is the stage where new hair is produced. It is estimated that as much as 85 percent of all hair on your body will be at this stage at the same time.

Implications

Because most of your body hair is just beginning to grow, this makes it the perfect time to wax. Waxing during the anagen stage will give you a longer hair-free period than any other stage.

Catagen

This is the second stage of hair growth—the falling-out stage. The hair detaches from the hair bulb and blood supply. Only 2 percent to 3 percent of the body’s hair will be at this stage at any given time.

Implications

At this stage of the hair-growth cycle, the hair has none of the nutrients it needs to be healthy, so it often lacks moisture and looks dull.

Telogen

This is the last stage of hair-growth cycle, and it represents the resting stage. At this point, the hair is inactive and the new hair bulb has not yet started to grow.

Implications

The hair at this stage is at its fullest and is more likely to fall out or shed. It’s important to avoid shaving, tweezing, or use any hair removal creams during this cycle in order to avoid interrupting the hair growth cycle.

Other Fun Facts About Hair Growth:

It can take many weeks for hair to grow from the base of the hair follicle to the skin surface where it becomes apparent. This explains why we may sometimes feel a little stubble after waxing—some of the hairs are still in the anagen stage and aren’t long enough to be removed.

Also, two hairs can grow next to each other while still being in different stages of growth. With regular waxing every four to five weeks, you are more likely to grab the hair on the same growth cycle, allowing for optimal waxing results.

The Myths and Truths of Waxing

There are many myths that many believe or wonder about with regards to waxing treatments. Here, I have listed those that have been most common in my experience:

Myth: Waxing makes the hair grow back thick, dark and more coarse.

Truth: Absolutely not! Waxing does not change the texture or pigment of your hair, nor does it stimulate your follicles to produce more hair. We are born with a set number of hair follicles (about 5 million), meaning the number of follicles will not increase or decrease. In fact, regular waxing treatments, (without shaving in between), will eventually cause the hair to become thinner and more sparse. This is because the frequent pulling of the hair from the root will damage the hair bulb over time.

Myth: Waxing will give me ingrown hairs.

Truth: After a waxing treatment is performed on the body, it is important to maintain regular exfoliation to keep your skin free of dead skin build up, especially in the areas you are prone to ingrown hairs. It’s important to keep your skin hydrated with a good body lotion or coconut oil and to use an ingrown treatment product to prevent this condition. Ingrown hairs are hairs that have curled or grown sideways beneath the skin and continue to grow into the skin instead of out of it.

The most common reasons for are:

  • shaving in-between waxing treatments,

  • exfoliation inconsistency or improper technique, and

  • wearing undergarments made of material other than cotton, tight clothing (such as yoga pants, tights, and jeans), which may result in chronic friction and subsequent irritation of the skin.

Myth: Waxing makes me breakout.

Truth: When waxing is performed properly, the root of the hair is rapidly removed, triggering the body’s immune system to perceive the hair removal as “trauma.” Waxing causes the hair follicles to open, leaving both the follicle and the skin susceptible to bacterial invasion. As a result, a mild breakout may occur within the first few days, consisting of small red bumps and/or whiteheads. Keeping recently waxed skin clean, cool, and dry is especially important to avoid bacterial infection after any face or body waxing treatment. In addition, any activity that could potentially irritate the skin such as vigorous exercise, heat, sun or going into a jacuzzi is not recommended for 24-48 hours following a waxing treatment.

Myth: I’m pregnant, should I wax my bikini area?

Truth: Of course you can! We know it can be difficult to groom yourself while pregnant, and waxing is a fantastic way to keep yourself feeling (and looking) fresh and clean until the “big day”. Many clients schedule their wax few days before delivery, it’s perfectly normal and a great way to be hair free for many weeks.

Myth: I’m menstruating, I can’t wax.

Truth: You can absolutely have a waxing treatment during your period, so please, do not be uncomfortable in any way! If you are okay with it, so are we. As you can imagine, this happens often. Just remember, tampons are required during your wax.

References

1. Grice EA, Segre JA. The skin microbiome. Nat Rev Microbiol. 2011. doi:10.1038/nrmicro2537

2. Khanna N, Chandramohan K, Khaitan BK, Singh MK. Post waxing folliculitis: A clinicopathological evaluation. Int J Dermatol. 2014. doi:10.1111/ijd.12056

3. Clebak KT, Malone MA. Skin Infections. Prim Care Clin Off Pract. 2018;45:433-454. doi:10.1016/j.pop.2018.05.004

What's your skin type?

By “skin type”, I mean what you inherited from your mama and papa and not a “skin condition”, such as rosacea, dehydration or acne. It’s generally accepted that there are five different skin types: normal, oily, dry, sensitive and combination.

Now, having said that, there are many factors that affect the condition of the skin: hormones, weather, pollution, diet and stress, just to name a few. Your skin condition may change according to these elements, but the natural tendency of your skin will remain the same. For example, you may have an oily skin type, but because of the dry weather and improper hydration, your skin might get dehydrated and feel dry.

Let’s briefly go over each skin type:

  • Normal skin is supple and well balanced, not too oily or too dry

  • Oily skin is shiny, with larger pores and is more prone to acne

  • Sensitive skin is usually dry and can easily become red and irritated

  • Dry skin will be flaky, dry and will feel tight. Complexion will be dull and pores will be smaller

  • Combination skin is usually oily through the T-zone, which includes the forehead, nose and chin. The skin around the cheeks and eyes will be dry

Recommendations for each skin type

Oily Skin
-Wear an oil-free sunscreen. Sun exposure increases oil production.

-Switch to Mineral makeup only. It’s ideal for oily/acne skins.

-You must use a moisturizer daily but be sure it’s suitable for your oily skin. When your skin “feels” is dry on the surface, will produce more oil within 4 hours after cleansing, be open for bacteria and cause you to have more acne blemishes.

-Don’t over-cleanse. If you do, you stimulate more oil production and disrupt the P.H of your skin. Two times per day is enough, followed by a light moisturizer.

Dry Skin
-Stay away from mineral oils, lanolin and synthetic fragrances.

-Increase fluids.

-Use a gentle, non-foaming cleanser, only at night, not in the morning.

-Also add a serum to your daily routine before your moisturizer and a face scrub to gently exfoliate dead skin cells.

Sensitive Skin
-Stay away from synthetic fragrances, parabens, harsh exfoliation products and treatments.

-Invest in a great skin line that has ingredients to strengthen your capillaries and prevent further damage. Be careful with over exfoliation.

-Use a mask weekly that has soothing ingredients. Store it in the refrigerator along with your face moisturizer and serum!

-Always apply sunscreen (30+) at least thirty minutes before you leave the house. Most sunscreens take that long before they become active and protect you.

-Always test products on a small area before using all over your face.

-Use cool water to cleanse the skin, especially at the end of every shower.

Combination Skin
-T-Zone tends to be more oily so use a lighter moisturizer there and a medium consistency on the rest of the face to make sure you’re feeding your skin properly.

-Use the appropriate products for each area of your face.

-Cleanse, moisturize and hydrate your skin twice a day. Exfoliate twice a week.

It’s important to use the proper skin care products for your particular type of skin. Using the wrong products or ingredients can aggravate your skin and make any skin condition you may be dealing with worse.

The best person to discuss your needs is your Esthetician! We are well educated and have great insights.

Schedule a custom facial right now and discover your skin type, the best home care regimen and proper skin habits for your skin type.

Psoriasis and Eczema

Cold, dry weather can have us all slathering on more lotion and cream. But, for those who suffer with skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema it signals the beginning of a seemingly endless battle of intensely itchy, irritated skin and embarrassing patches of redness and open sores.

About 20% of children suffer with eczema and 3% of adults deal with eczema or psoriasis. Neither is contagious and though one single cause is still unknown, the origins of both are genetic and can be triggered by allergies and stress.

Eczema, also know as “Atopic Dermatitis” is a chronic inflammatory skin disease which causes dry, itchy, irritated skin. It can appear anywhere on the body, but many times occurs on the elbows and behind the knees.

Irritants such as soaps, detergents or shampoos can trigger or worsen the symptoms. The culprit can differ from person to person, so it’s important to pay close attention to find what may be a trigger for you. Environmental allergens like dust mites, pet dander or mold can also cause a flare up, as can food allergies. One thing’s for sure-finding the root cause of atopic dermatitis can be very difficult.

Psoriasis is a more involved and complex condition. People affected by psoriasis are at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and other immune related inflammatory diseases.

While the edges of eczema rashes have irregular edges, psoriatic lesions tend to be more distinct. The most common type of psoriasis is Plaque Psoriasis, which produces raised, thickened patches of red skin covered with silvery scales. While normal skin takes 28-30 days to mature, psoriatic skin matures in 3-4 days. Instead of sloughing off, the dead skin cells pile up on the surface and trigger inflammation and overproduction of skin cells.

Without a known cause, treatment consists of managing the symptoms and doing all you can to lead a healthy lifestyle. Traditional treatments eczema include, steroid creams and antihistamines. General rules of thumb are: taking short warm (not hot) showers, pat skin with towel and immediately apply moisturizer after your shower.

In severe cases of both eczema and psoriasis, Phototherapy may be used. Phototherapy uses ultraviolet light to help reduce the itch, bring down inflammation and increase Vitamin D production.

Treatment for Psoriasis also includes steroid creams. Salicylic acid may be used for small areas as it promotes shedding of psoriatic scales. Calcipotriene, another topical ointment, is related to Vitamin D and may be used in limited amounts. Doctors may also prescribe retinoids. In severe cases, oral medication that suppresses the immune system may be used.

Lifestyle changes can also help symptoms from both psoriasis and eczema. You may try an anti-inflammatory diet, such as, cutting out sugar, white bread and pasta, alcohol, milk and gluten. Add in fish oil and plenty of fresh leafy greens. 

Managing your stress level is very important as stress can trigger and worsen your symptoms. Try exercise, meditation and of course getting a relaxing treatment at my spa. 

If you prefer more natural, at home treatments, you can try Aloe Vera gel, Calendula cream and taking Epsom salt or Dead Sea Salt baths. Essential oils, such as lavender, chamomile or neroli mixed with almond or jojoba oil can soothe and reduce inflammation. Coconut oil is also excellent for the skin and can be applied directly to the affected areas. You can also make a paste out of nutmeg powder and warm water and apply to the skin. And last, but not least, drink lots of water!

Although a single cause of eczema and psoriasis is still unknown, you still have the power to do what you can to reduce flare-ups and ease the symptoms.

The Battle with Oily Skin

Tips on Dealing with Oily Skin

  1. Use products specifically for oily skin

  2. Use a cleanser with salicylic acid

  3. Choose Mineral makeup products only

  4. Switch to a lighter face cream

The fight against oily skin usually intensifies during these hot and humid months of summer. But in our quest for that beautiful matte finish, we can actually aggravate the skin and give the oil more ammo for its’ battle. The natural inclination to scrub, wipe and cleanse the oil away can cause the skin to dry out, triggering the body to release even more oil. 

The top causes of oily skin:

Hormones

Our bodies are at the mercy of hormones-they control pretty much every process in our systems, including oil production in the skin. So as expected, during times like puberty or pregnancy, when hormones are racing through veins, we’re more prone to oily skin.

Heat/Humidity

The weather definitely has an effect on our skin. While those with dry skin have probably been loving the humidity we've been having, all of my oily-skin clients are probably counting the days until cooler, drier weather.

Stress

Stress causes an inflammatory response in the body, including an increased production of oil. That’s why during stressful times in our lives, and often when we want to look our best, we have the inevitable breakout.

Over-cleansing the skin

Getting too aggressive and trying to scrub the oil away will irritate and dry out the skin-causing an increase of oil production. Also, be careful to use the correct products for your skin type. For example, if you have combination skin, but use products for oily skin it’ll dry out the dry areas further and cause more oil to be produced.

Genetics

When in doubt, just blame your genes, right?! But unfortunately, try as we may, there are just certain attributes we can’t get around. And yes, our sebaceous glands (glands that produce oil) are one of them.

Are you getting enough Water?

If you struggle with your water intake, here are some tips to get you going:

  • Add these in your water for a pop of flavor! Mint, sliced cucumbers, strawberries - or any other fruit of your choice

  • Keep a container of water with you at all times. At your desk, in your car, in your purse

  • Fill your ice cube tray with freshly squeezed orange and lemon juice and add them to your water

  • Drink a full glass of water right after you wake up in the morning

  • Drink herbal tea for extra flavor and nutrients

  • Set alerts on your phone throughout the day to remind you

  • Place post it notes around your house or at your desk as a reminder

  • Eat more foods with a high water content such as cucumbers, melons, celery

  • Track your water intake daily

I don’t want to be a nag, but I've noticed that many of my clients don’t drink water. You want nice skin, but don’t drink water? We've all heard the facts and figures, but somehow it still is not a priority for many of us. So I’m taking it upon myself to drill it into your head...Drink more water!! And here’s why...

Our bodies are made of 60% water and it’s involved in most of our main body and skin functions. When you think of the uses of water in general, what comes to mind? It flushes out toxins, transports nutrients, produces tears to hydrate our eyes, produces saliva to moisturize our mouth, keeps our joints lubricated and skin supple.

Next time you urinate, take notice of the color, smell and how much do you produce each time you visit the bathroom. If you’re well hydrated it will be clear and free of odor. It’s important to take note of these things because it’s linked to the health of your kidneys. The kidneys are a vital organ because they remove waste and toxins from the body, produce red blood cells and hormones, which regulate blood pressure. Being chronically dehydrated may put you at a greater risk for developing kidney stones. Ouch! Go ahead, take a water break right now!

Staying hydrated is also crucial for digestion and normal bowel function. It helps food move through the intestines and prevents constipation. The body also needs water to maintain body temperature and to keep our muscles from fatiguing.

So how much water is enough? That depends on many different factors, but a good rule of thumb is dividing your body weight in half and drinking that much in ounces every day. Of course, other fluids you intake during the day counts towards that number as well. It’s true there’s water in coffee, however, caffeine is a mild diuretic.

We lose more water when we exercise and during hot weather so remember to up your intake even more during these times. I hope this post has been helpful and motivating. Keep in mind­ the next time you come in to see me, I’m going to ask how much water you’ve been drinking! It affects your skin, hair and wax results.