News

  • Get Bikini Wax Ready

    wax-sunny-beach-girl

    With the summer months just around the corner, many people are looking forward to spending time at the beach or the pool, and for some – they are mentally preparing for their bikini wax. Whether your client is veteran of hair removal or is new to this grooming habit, here are some quick tips to ensure your client has a safe and successful treatment.

    Meet and Greet

    When booking the waxing service, be sure to ask the client when they are expecting to unveil their skin to the sun. Ideally, the client should wait to wax at least 48 hours before or after any UV exposure. A proper consultation is imperative and it will help you assess any contraindications, such as infected skin, systemic diseases, diabetes and oral medications like Isotretinoin. Don’t forget to communicate the extent of hair removal with the client. Going bare or barely there can determine not only the length of the appointment but the type of wax you may want to use (hard wax versus strip wax). Soft or cream wax is perfect for larger areas and hard wax is excellent for those intimate areas since it is used at a low temperature. This wax literally shrink wraps the hair and is less irritating to the skin. It’s also a perfect time to discuss common reactions expected with a waxing service such as bumps or minor irritation. For females close to their monthly cycle, it’s recommended to wax no less than two-three days before or after to help lessen chances of sensitivity.

    Pre-game Checklist

    Once the appointment has been booked, the client should begin preparing for the treatment. I’m not talking meditation, but a few grooming items can make the service go smoothly. Suggest the client gently exfoliate the area two to three days prior to the service to help lift the hair and remove any dead skin cell build up. Shaving should be discontinued 10-14 days prior to allow for the proper hair growth, about ¼” to ½” is ideal. They should also keep hydrated both internally with water and externally with a fragrance-free body moisturizer. The more hydrated the skin, the better the waxing experience. Dehydrated and dry skin can often result in lifting. Advise the client to avoid alcohol and caffeine before the service as both can serve as a stimulant and pre-sensitize the skin.

    After-care Advice 

    The waxing service does not end once the hair has been removed. An at-home care checklist is always helpful for the client to review and understand. For 48 hours after the bikini wax, recommend that they avoid sun tanning and tanning beds, saunas, or swimming as well as intense exercise, sweating and tight clothing. Do suggest light exfoliation a few times a week in between their services to help prevent ingrown hairs. Once the client is waxed and ready for fun in the sun, remind them to apply sunscreen along that exposed bikini line to avoid a UV burn.

  • Cold Weather and Skin – a Dangerous Combination!

    Sharon MaxwellAre you suffering with that winter itch, the kind where you want to just scratch your skin off?! The skin becomes dry and irritated as we face wind, central heating and low humidity. The harsh weather can strip the skin’s natural protective barrier, creating gaps in the outer most Stratum Corneum layer, allowing water to escape (dehydration) and irritants to get in (sensitivity). The dry environment may be responsible for the itchy sensations, as the inflammatory response kicks in and releases histamines. It can exacerbate inflammatory skin diseases such as rosacea, eczema, ichthyosis, and psoriasis, which suffer an impaired barrier function. Just like the eyelids, the skin on the lips is extra thin and sensitive, which can suffer greatly during the harsh winters, resulting in dry cracked, sore lips. The winter dryness looks bleak, but what can we do to alleviate these symptoms? Try this:

    • Back to Basics – start with a creamy, soap-free, acid balanced cleanser, a hydrating spritz with humectants, and a protective moisturizer with SPF15-30.
    • Supplement with a hydrating serum or masque that includes a high dose of Hyaluronic Acid (which holds 1000 x its own weight in water).
    • Target sensitized skin with calming complexes such as oats, Bisabolol, Ginger and Red Hogweed, which reduce those uncomfortable sensations.
    • Treat skin while you sleep with a peptide serum rich in Argan Oil that provides fatty acids, plant sterols, Vitamin E and Ferulic Acid to reinforce the barrier lipid layer.
    • Reduce the temperature of your bath and shower, use bath oils, and apply body moisturizer immediately after your shower (within 3 minutes).
    • Do not over bathe, over strip, and be too harsh with the skin. Treat it gently and with respect!
    • Avoid licking lips, as digestive enzymes and bacteria in saliva can damage the lips. Use a nourishing lip balm with Shea Butter and Avocado.

  • Oh, the Weather Outside is Frightful!

    Holly SherrardOh the weather outside is frightful… at least in the Canadian great white north! Chapped lips, flaky skin, dehydration and sensitization are all symptoms people face when the temperature drops. When clients seek our advice to treat their winter skin, it gives us the chance to create insanely great treatments and alleviate uncomfortable skin conditions!

    So what can you do during a winter skin treatment? Start by offering clients a warm drink upon arrival, such as an herbal tea or mulled cider in celebration of the holiday season. Heated neck pillows, which soothe muscular stress from holiday shopping bags and alleviate cold winter chills, are perfect to get clients relaxed. They may also enjoy changing into a heated wrap, robe and slippers before climbing into a warmed bed.

    During the treatment, we must always customize according to what skin conditions we see – skin treatments are not one-size-fits-all. When it comes to exfoliation for example, consider your options. Professional exfoliation removes dull surface cells and prepares the skin for optimal penetration of active ingredients. Mechanical exfoliants remove surface flakes, while chemical exfoliants, such as Lactic Acid, have multiple effects such as increasing hydration and decreasing pigmentation.

    For skin that is sensitized, use ingredients such as Red Hogweed, Oat Kernel and Ginger to reduce inflammation and redness. To reinforce the barrier lipid layer, look for Colloidal Oatmeal, Evening Primrose and Borage Seed oils.

    Massage techniques will vary according to clients’ needs and wants. Although a deep, stress-relieving massage may feel wonderful on a dry, aging skin, a sensitized skin will benefit more from Chinese Acupressure. No matter the method of massage chosen, keep in mind the physiological and psychological benefits of touch – decreased stress and anxiety, positive effects on brain waves, breathing and immunity and pain reduction. Our touch is the perfect gift for a client to receive.

    Body treatments should include ingredients like Ginger and Wasabi, which have warming and anti-inflammatory properties and plant oils like Olive and Grape seed to minimize evaporation of water, which can lead to body chills.

    We never want a client to feel like they have simply been steamed and creamed with lotions and potions, so it is important that we leave them with home care advice to maintain excellent results from the treatment. Be sure they know about these important steps for at-home treatment of their skin:

    • Dry body brushing is one of the best ways to remove dead, dry skin cells, improve lymphatic circulation and increase cell turnover. This technique should be done daily in the direction of lymphatic flow.

    • Shower once every other day and use warm (not hot) water. Use mild cleansers only on necessary areas, and minimize the length of time in the shower or bath. While skin is still wet, apply conditioning oils such as Vitamin E, Grape Seed, Olive, Kukui Nut or Apricot Seed Oil to prevent water loss. Follow with a rich moisturizer with conditioning ingredients such as silicones, Shea Butter, and Evening Primrose Oil.

    • For clients experiencing dryness and dehydration on the face, ensure they use a mild, acid-balanced cleanser. Layer hydrating ingredients onto the skin such as a toner enriched with Hyaluronic Acid, a serum or concentrate to minimize inflammation, a moisturizer and daylight protection.

    • Drinking plenty of water will maintain hydration levels internally; however it does not always solve epidermal dehydration.

    When the holiday bustle leaves our clients feeling overwhelmed or stressed, make your environment delightful and ‘let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!’

  • Taking Care With Sensitized Skin

    Bettina ZammertMore and more, people are suffering skin reactions and unpleasant feelings with itching, burning and redness – a particularly bad problem at the colder time of year! It is also a well-known fact that stress can not only cause physical problems such as tension, headache and stomach ache, it can even cause redness, itching and other skin reactions.

    Unfortunately, there are many factors that will unbalance the skin:

    • Inflammation, caused by the immune system or stress
    • Restrictions of the skin barrier
    • Genetic factors and hormones
    • Environmental factors such as air pollution, chemicals and foods.

    To ensure that skin care products cause no unpleasant surprises, a thorough skin analysis by a professional skin therapist is essential for effective care at home. Here are a few tips to help choose the right products:

    • Only use products that do not contain artificial dyes, colors or fragrances.
    • Support your skin’s lipid barrier and use a moisturizer with slightly higher lipid content, especially in the colder months.
    • Don’t forget to use physical sun protection. Suitable products contain Titanium Dioxide and/or Zinc Oxide.

    Not only are the products themselves important, but so too is the “how” when it comes to caring for sensitive skin. “Less is more” is a good rule of thumb. “Less” refers to the amount of product being used – do not overload your skin with active ingredients and over-process it. Also, avoid mechanical irritations such as rough sponges, brushes and manual exfoliation, and ask your professional skin therapist which products, if any, you should use for acute outbreaks of neurodermatitis or eczema.

  • Sensitized Skin and Exfoliation? It’s Possible.

    We all love how our skin feels after it’s been exfoliated: smooth, brighter, revitalized and softened texture. However, for those with a more sensitized skin, caution and due diligence are required when choosing the correct exfoliating product, otherwise (as you would well know) the skin can respond by becoming irritated and red with increased sensitivity.

    People with sensitized skin must not think they a) can’t exfoliate their skin, and b) would not benefit from exfoliation; both would be untrue. There is a simple premise to follow when choosing the correct exfoliating product:

    1. Avoid all scrubs and forms of exfoliation that cause friction.
    2. Use non-friction exfoliants such as hydroxy acids or digestive enzymes. They work by breaking
    down/dissolving the structure of dead skin cells on the surface of the skin.
    3. Exfoliate less frequently; once or twice per week is normally sufficient.
    4. A fantastic alternative to an exfoliant, or to use in-between, would be to use a “microfoliant.” This is a much gentler option for sensitive skin. A microfoliant lightly and very gently polishes the skin surface with a base of Rice Bran Powder, because it is extremely gentle it can even be used daily (for those exfoliation junkies).
    5. Use products that contain lots of anti-inflammatories.
    6. Avoid exfoliants that contain artificial fragrance (a known skin sensitizer).

    There is a valid concern that too many people may be over-exfoliating their skin at home. Unfortunately, they tend to subscribe to the erroneous belief that “if a little is good, more must be better”. With repeated over-exfoliation, the inevitable result will be to diminish the skin’s natural barrier function, thereby contributing to a potentially sensitized skin condition and increased dehydration, so it is essential choose wisely when and how you plan to exfoliate your skin.

    People with sensitization should seek out exfoliants that contain the following ingredients:

    Salicylic Acid
    Salicylic Acid exhibits anti-inflammatory properties, making products containing the ingredient seem less irritating than Glycolic Acid, even though they are more powerful. The anti-inflammatory effects of Salicylic Acid make it a preferred option for people with sensitization and Rosacea.

    Phytic Acid
    Rice Bran has been used for thousands of years to relieve inflammation, cleanse and soften the skin. Rice Bran contains Phytic Acid, a B complex vitamin which aids in the natural exfoliation process. Gentle in nature, this is a great option for daily microfoliation. Phytic Acid is also terrific for brightening the skin, and increases its luminosity.

    Enzymes
    Enzymes are mild and gentle in nature, and they have the ability to digest and clean-up dead skin cells from the very surface layers of the skin without any aggression. Enzymes such as Papain, Bromelain and Bacillus Ferment are classified as proteases (protein digesting enzymes), which are another great option for sensitized skin.

    Urea Glycolysates INCI: Glucosamine HCL, Algae Extract, Yeast Extract and Urea
    State-of-the-art technology is using acid-free smoothing agents that enhance cell renewal and promote natural exfoliation without any irritation or flaking. Algae, Yeast, Glycosamine and Urea are not pH dependent as are hydroxy acid formulas. They activate epidermal and dermal cells and stimulate cell renewal and the production of Hyaluronic Acid and Collagen. They also provide an overall improvement to skin texture and firmness and are a great option for aging, sensitized skin. These ingredients can be found in exfoliating creams, masks, boosters and serums.

    With the professional skin industry having access to the latest ingredient technology and sophisticated formulators, there are some fantastic, results driven, therapeutic, exfoliating options for everyone suffering from skin sensitivity.