Posts filed under Skincare & Beauty

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

Avoid Sugar & Get Sweet on Healthy Skin

Sugar sugar, da da da da du du, aww honey, honey! Are you a candy girl or boy? I certainly was. From my late teens until about the age of 25, my skin was a mess. Puffy, breakouts, dry & oily splotches. I had no idea it was because I was eating cookies and sweets with reckless abandon. I recently saw an old photo of myself at a party eating a donut and drinking a beer... super fun but not so cute. Luckily, as an esthetician, through trial and error I was able to clear my complexion by replacing the sweets with veggies and whole foods. 

So why is eating pie making your face look older and broken out?  It's all about the process of glycation happening in your body and skin.  The legendary Dr. Frederic Brandt used to say that giving up sugar could make you look younger by ten years.

"It is already known that excess sugar can lead to a variety of health concerns, but what most forget is that too much sugar can also affect the skin. Sugar can be digested in many forms, including the consumption of carbohydrates and can even be formed via meal preparation. If there is too much sugar in the body, protein molecules can cross-link with sugar molecules. Once this cross-linking process has occurred, the new sugar proteins are called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). The human body does not recognize AGEs as normal, and will produce antibodies that cause inflammation in the skin. Once formed, AGEs tend to gravitate toward dermal collagen and elastin.

 A little self-love can go a long way when it comes to not just our skin but our overall well-being. 

A little self-love can go a long way when it comes to not just our skin but our overall well-being. 

As people age, proteins in the body can become damaged through the introduction of AGEs—one of the key factors in aging of the skin. The more sugar you eat, whether processed or natural, the more AGEs are produced. When the body is overwhelmed with AGEs, collagen becomes compromised. Effects of the glycation process at the cellular level of the skin’s structure may result in wrinkling, loss of elasticity, stiffness, accelerated aging and compromised barrier function."

Is it realistic to cut sugar to keep your skin looking healthy? Keep in mind that sugar is highly addictive, it stimulates the brain in a similar way as cocaine & heroin! If you can keep cookie monster from making too many food choices, you are likely to notice a difference. Try to choose whole foods on the low end of the glycemic index.

How soon post-sugar will my skin improve?  Skin professionals say people see changes within 72 to 96 hours. “They’ll feel better, their color will look better, their skin won’t be so oily and they won’t be so dry. Their circles will be reduced, perkier.”

How far you want to go with it is up to you! I was really serious about a no sugar diet for a few solid years and noticed a huge difference in the health of my skin...now as a Mom I like being able to enjoy a sweet treat with my wee one on occasion, so I have more of a 90/10 rule. 90 percent wholesome, 10 percent fluff.  

- See more at: http://www.skininc.com/skinscience/physiology/Glycation-and-the-Skin-230102271.html#sthash.AA7PvXl7.dpu

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