The Underappreciated Magic of Underarm Waxing

You may prefer to let hair grow in the winter, or maybe you shave daily... whatever floats your boat, underarm waxing is my absolute favorite area to wax. Especially in the summer, it's an easy & affordable service that will leave you feeling luxurious & smooth and ready for many confident high fives. 

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First things first! Put down your razor! Hold off shaving for 5-7 days before your scheduled waxing appointment. It will be well worth the wait. Lightly exfoliate the area in the few days leading up to your service. This helps prevent ingrown hairs and skin irritation by ensuring dead skin cells don't accumulate in your hair follicles after waxing. 

What to expect:  Your esthetician will cleanse & dry the underarm area and possibly apply corn starch to dry everything so the wax adheres nicely to the hair but NOT to your skin. Depending on your hair growth pattern, it may take one or more passes of small sections to remove all the hair from the roots. A calming herbal emulsion may be applied afterward to soothe any redness. We use a unique blend from Yonka Paris which contains essential oils and extracts that are soothing, healing, and antimicrobial. Avoid extremely hot water or sweaty activities for a day or two after your wax to avoid irritation. 

How to maintain your new stubble free underarms: Use a gentle cleanser and wash cloth to exfoliate a few days post wax. The hair will slowly grow back as new soft hair instead of sharp cut Fred Flintstone stubble. People often think hair grows back thicker after shaving. While this IS a complete myth, the reason it seems to be true is that shaving cuts the hair off mid-shaft. The mid-shaft is usually darker and thicker, so your grow out tends to appear thicker and more "stubbly," whereas hair that grows back from waxing is quite fine and soft. To avoid getting impatient and shaving, try pre-booking your summer under arm waxes 3-4 weeks apart. You can always reschedule if your fuzz hasn't filled in by then. Waxing is most effective when hair is about 1/4" long or about the length of your eyelashes. 

Now go out and enjoy your razor-free summer! 

Be well,

Karen

Skin Goals: 3 Simple Steps to Prepare for a Perfect Facial

I've been an Esthetician for over a decade and have often been asked by clients how they can achieve the best results from their facial.  I want to share with you how you can have a great facial at The Pearl Day Spa and maintain that lovely, just had a facial afterglow!  Regular, professional care for your skin is part of a health skincare routine; sure, the results may not always be instant, but they are graceful, long-lasting and make your skin health the primary focus. Here are a few hot tips for receiving a perfect facial from a seasoned (and gently weathered) skincare professional.

1. Create Goals:

What are your 3 biggest skin goals?  Would you like to reduce uneven pigmentation, acne, or sensitivity? Write down your goals and share them with your esthetician before your facial so they can use products and methods that will help you achieve results. Not sure what your goals are? Let's talk and come up with some.

2.  Take Note:

What does your current skin care regimen look like? What products are you using? How are they working for you? Take note of what you've been scrubbing & slathering with so your esthetician has some background info to help build a perfect skincare routine specifically for you.

3. From the Inside Out:

 As you may have noticed, some foods leave your skin looking bright, glowing, and strong... while others such as refined sugars and starches can cause inflammation, puffiness, sensitivity, enlarged pores--expediting the aging process.  You don't have to tell your esthetician about your diet, but the sooner you connect diet with skin health & quality, the sooner you will start to make choices that build lasting changes and reduce damage to your skin.

Other helpful hints:

- Remove contacts before a facial.

- Bring mints if you feel you may be self conscious of your breath, so you can relax and breathe deeply.

- Remove your bra and all jewelry... a  facial will include a massage to your deccolote', arms, hands and sometimes feet. 

- Give yourself a few minutes before or after your appointment to have a cup of tea and enjoy a  moment of rejuvenation. This is your time--make the most of it. 

Be well,

Karen

Image courtesy of stocksnap and is licensed for commercial reuse 

5 Skincare Tips to Bring you into the Light

The daffodils are blooming and winter is wrapping up-it's time to think about summer! This is the best time of year for us pale Oregonians to prep our skin for the sunshiny days ahead. I'm so excited even writing this, I think I'll pull my wool socks off and put on my short shorts to keep writing.  Oooweee--my legs are chalky as all get out. 

#1 SCRUB! 
Chill out and have a steam, then indulge in a head-to-toe sugar or salt scrub followed by a massage with Organic Sacred Earth massage cream. The steam helps loosen all the layers of dead skin, then you slough it away with a scrub. Finally, hydration with a delightful 20-minute lotion application by a massage therapist.  I like to add a 30-minute massage to my scrub when I've got the time to reach extreme wet-noodle-like status. 

#2 FACIALS & PEELS
There is no better time of year to get a facial and/or peel. This time of year is great because the sun is further away than it is in the dead of summer, so there's less risk of sun damage after a short lunchtime peel or extra exfoliation.  A series of peels will be the most effective for smoothing fine lines & hyper pigmentation. If you can start before spring, you should be able to get a few peels in before summer. 

#3 ADJUST YOUR MOISTURIZER
Most people need to change up their skin care seasonally. It's time to check last years supply of sunscreen for an expiration date, because it looses its effectiveness. You may need a lighter day time moisturizer as well, since you wont be getting blasted by indoor heating and blustery cold wind. Your skin retains more moisture in the spring & summer. My favorite (as a 35-year-old seeking to stay naturally youthful)  is Yonka Elastine Jour, but you can get a good recommendation for your skin type from your Esthetician at The Pearl. Skincare consultations are always free.

#4 FIND A HAT!
The time is nigh! You need a hat.* Something that folds up that you can fit in your purse or bag is ideal. Go find one you like, and NEVER leave it behind from May - September.  You can thank me in 20 years ;). You will avoid so many burns and so much sun damage this way (*In addition to your uva/uvb sunscreen, of course). 

#5 WAX IT.
Smooth as an Easter egg, soft as a cherry blossom, slick as a raincoat! Ladies & Gents, do you have any hair on your spring chicken bod that you would like to be free of? Personally, I don't mind letting it grow for the winter, but in the Spring it feels pretty lovely to de-fuzz. My favorite is the lesser known under-arm wax. It's amazing because it leaves no shadow, for WEEKS.

Images courtesy of flickr and are licensed for commercial reuse

Raindrop Inspired Massage, Awaken the Senses

Whether the weather be cold, whether the weather be hot, we'll weather the weather, whatever the weather, whether we like it or not.... I think I'll stick to my day job. 

The changing of seasons can bring spring showers or a winter downpour, but the beauty of either is the sweet and soothing sound of those raindrops. They awaken, inspire, and lull the senses. And, like our beautiful and invigorating friend, the rain, Raindrop Inspired Massage enlivens, invigorates, and soothes the mind and body.

Raindrop Inspired Massage is our own unique and tailored spin on Raindrop Therapy. It's called ''Raindrop" because the therapist drops essential oil directly onto your skin through a delicate and deliciously crafted recipe of specific essential oils. All delivered individually and rhythmically massaged into the body, the oils are coupled with hot towels and hot packs to draw the beneficial properties of the oils into the skin and muscles.

Raindrop Inspired Massage essential oils and their benefits are:

Valor Essential Oil- balances the energies of the mind, body, and spirit. 

Thyme-energizes the mind, and clarity in direction of energy flow, and clarity of the mind.

Basil-soothes tired and overworked muscles.

Oregano- cleansing and soothing

Cypress: beneficial for troubled skin, spiritually grounding, aids in feeling emotionally secure.

Wintergreen- soothes head tension and muscles after exercising. 

Marjoram-relaxes tense and fatigued muscles, nervous system support.

Peppermint- promotes clarity, stimulates the brain, soothes and aids digestion.

Aroma Siez- an essential oil blend, soothes tired muscles, helps reduce stress and discomfort, Especially lovely for head, neck, and tired feet. 

During the treatment, essential oils, hot towels, and hot packs are applied to the feet, back, legs, and neck. Layer upon layer of aromatic oils melt into the skin to relax the mind, release toxins, and reduce inflammation, thus creating a full-bodied bouquet of aromas.

It's said that the anti-inflammatory and healing benefits of the oils can aid in spinal alignment and support physical and emotional balance. Everyone I have given this treatment to has said they feel incredibly relaxed and over the moon with how heavenly they smell. Speaking for myself, the intoxicating and stimulating qualities of the oils leaves me feeling awakened, invigorated, and nurtured through the rest of the day. I often wake the next day with the sweet aromas still greeting me with the sun.

May You Be Well,

Lily

Images compliments of Creative Commons and are licensed for commercial reuse

Strengthen Your Low Back with these 5 Exercises

I have had the pleasure of living with low back pain since the age of 15 years old. You may be asking yourself, "Did she just say had the 'pleasure' of having back pain?! She's crazy!" I truly view my journey as a blessing. I'm 35, a Massage Therapist, and mom of an active toddler. I am passionate about fitness, biking, hiking, and yoga. I am basically moving non-stop all day the moment my feet hit the ground.

This beautiful and busy life depends on me being strong, balanced, and intentional. Part of my self-care regime is exercise, and this exercise is my prescription for life. I'm not being hyperbolic here. I truly see my fitness as a necessary supplement to a magnificent life. 

When I was young I worked for my dad, did farm work, and played hard. At times, I pushed my growing body too hard. Consequently, I began to have a slow onset of, what I now know to be hypertonic (too tight) muscle issues. This led to poor posture, improper technique, and muscle strain in my low back. I then developed Sciatica, which, if you don't know is a pinched sciatic nerve which conveniently affects the legs and can cause severe low back and leg pain. 

Being the problem solver that  I am, I looked into ways to reduce pain, restore strength, restore flexibility, and over all improve my life. It was on this journey that I discovered massage therapy, physical therapy, chiropractic, and the wonderful world of alternative medicine, which, in turn, ultimately taught me that my health was in my hands. I was empowered! I had the ability to do something about my health and wellbeing.  Along my journey, I  found these 5 exercise that support and help the low back, and ultimately, the whole body.

Full disclosure, you may feel these in your booty for a few days...but living pain-free and feeling strong is totally worth it!

May You Be Well,

Lily

* Images compliments of Creative Commons and are licensed for commercial reuse