Beauty, Skin Care

The Do’s and Don’ts of Waxing

DO make your appointment at least 2-3 weeks in advance to avoid the risk of no appointments being available

DO schedule the service you intend on getting. Don’t schedule a bikini when you intend to get an extended brazilian because you’re embarrassed.

DO grow your hair for at least 2-3 weeks before your service. Any shorter and you may be asked to reschedule to accommodate the growth needed to ensure a successful waxing.

DO schedule your wax at least 3-4 days before you’ll be at the beach. Any closer and you risk infection from dirty sand on your freshly waxed skin.

DO take an Ibuprofen or Advil 45-60 minutes before your service. You can also use numbing creams, such as PFB Numb-it to further decrease discomfort

DO disclose any personal health information, such as communicable diseases, to your technician.

DO use the hygiene wipe given to you if your technician supplies you with one. This is to cleanse the area of harmful bacteria we don’t want entering freshly waxed pores.

DO stay as relaxed as possible during your service; tensing up will increase your discomfort.

DO exfoliate the waxed area when you shower until you come back for your next wax as this helps prevent ingrown hairs. We recommend the Body Buffing Cloth, because its nylon fibers resist bacterial growth and it is machine washable.

DON’T schedule your wax the week before or during your period. Due to hormonal fluctuations, this is the most painful time to be waxed.

DON’T shower or steam immediately before your service. This can soften the hair, making it more prone to breakage during your wax; showering a few hours before is fine (and recommended.)

DON’T workout immediately after your service. This will result in bumps and possibly ingrown hairs.

DON’T use a loofah in the shower. Loofahs hold a tremendous amount of bacteria and will cause ingrown hairs. Opt for something washable, like the Body Buffing Cloth.

DON’T apply makeup immediately after facial waxing, which could cause bumps or breakouts.

DON’T shave, tweeze or trim between waxes. This will cause uneven hair growth, making your next wax not as clean. It will also make the hair appear coarser, due to the blunt angle it’s cut at.

DON’T engage in sexual activity the day of your wax if you’re getting a brazilian or bikini wax.

DON’T tan for 24 hours before or after your tan. Better yet, don’t tan at all!

DON’T be worried about redness or slight bumpiness after your wax-this is normal and will recede in about 24-48 hours.

 

And above all…

DON’T be embarrassed! No one will be judging you!

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Beauty, Skin Care

Soothe that Dry Winter Skin

By this time of the year, just about everyone in colder climates is beginning to experience dry, flaky skin on their body. If you’re like me, you’ve probably tried a million different creams to soothe your dull skin, only to find they’re often very heavy but never really improve the skin much; luckily we’ve got some solutions for you!

Cleanse

Most of us are conscious about what we wash our faces with, but not many people give second thought to what they wash their body with. Unless you’re really dirty, the only parts of the body that are really crucial to hit are the underarms and, for men, the genitals. While many women feel they must cleanse their “nether regions”, this is actually a self-cleansing organ and doesn’t require any extra maintenance. However, if you really insist on washing here, a cleanser balanced for that regions sensitive pH is necessary. For the rest of the body, avoid overly harsh cleansing sulfates that can remove necessary oil that you desperately need during the dry, winter months.

We recommend…. Decléor Aroma Cleanse Relaxing Shower and Bath Gel

 

Exfoliate

Now that your skin is nice and clean, it’s time to start buffing off that excess dead skin! Many people believe slathering on a thick layer of cream will solve their flakiness, but without removing the build-up of dead skin cells, much of the product isn’t even penetrating the skin. A gentle scrub helps to gently abrade the skin, resulting in a smooth, even surface. However, you can go too far with exfoliating which will result in more flakiness, so only do this step 1- 2 times per week.

We recommend… The Body Buffing Cloth by Dermalogica

 

Moisturize  

 A good body moisturizer should absorb quickly into the skin without leaving a tight feeling. One common ingredient to avoid in your moisturizer is mineral oil, which does very little to hydrate and can be comodegenic. Products with bonus ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid are wonderful because they’re going to draw water into the skin, both from the atmosphere and from the lower dermis of the skin. You may find you need a few body creams for different areas of the body. Not unlike the face, which requires specific care different from the rest of the body, areas like knees, elbows, hands and feet typically need different care. The palms of the hands and the soles of the feet do not contain lubricating sebaceous glands, so these body parts tend to be especially dry and are prone to developing hard, built up skin. A much thicker, more emollient product is necessary for these to really see results.

We recommend… For hands, feet, elbows, and knees: Zents Concreta

The rest of the body: Decléor Aroma Cleanse Body Milk

 

 

All of the products mentioned in this blog can be found in house at Designer’s Denn Salon and Spa!

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Beauty, Health, Skin Care, Wellness

Getting the Facts Straight on SPF

It may not feel like it, thanks to cold temperatures and cloudy days, but the Sun’s UV rays are just as damaging in the winter as they are in the summer. This is especially true for those of us that enjoy winter sports and are spending a good chunk of the day outside. Not one of those people? Well, you still need SPF: simply driving in the car, standing by a window, or taking a quick walk down the street exposes you to those harmful rays.

 

The Vitamin D Debate

Many people don’t wear sunscreen because they argue that the average human doesn’t get enough Vitamin D. People from ages 1 to 70 should be getting 600 IU of Vitamin D a day, while those over 70 should step it up to 800 IU a day. While this may differ from many reports you’ve read, the Institute of Medicine found that the majority of Americans are getting the dosage of Vitamin D they need, even while using sunscreen. However, if you are concerned about your vitamin d intake, the skin cancer foundation recommends getting 5-10 minutes of unprotected sun exposure 2-3 times a week. Then, after that allotted time slather on the SPF! If you’re still worried about how much Vitamin D you’re taking in you can always add a Vitamin D supplement into your diet to make-up the difference. There are also plenty of foods that are chock full of Vitamin D such as fatty fish (tuna, mackerel, and salmon,) foods fortified with Vitamin D, cheese, and egg yolks.

 

Why SPF Matters

Today it’s hard to do anything without hearing that scary ‘C’ word: cancer. Skin cancer is a type that doesn’t get quite as much focus, but it should: “there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.” (American Cancer Society, 2015.) While many of these cases are not fatal and can easily be removed, it’s still concerning. Here are just a few more facts regarding skin cancer thanks to the Skin Cancer Foundation:

  • “One in five American’s will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.”
  • Basal Cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer, though rarely fatal, can becoming disfiguring.
  • Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer, with 1 person dying from it every hour
  • “1 in 50 men and women will be diagnosed with melanoma of the skin during their lifetime”
  • “On average, a person’s risk for melanoma doubles if he or she has had more than five sunburns.”
  • “More than 419,000 cases of skin cancer in the US each year are linked to indoor tanning…”
  • “More people develop skin cancer because of tanning than develop lung cancer from smoking”
  • “One indoor tanning session increases users’ risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma by 67% and basal cell carcinoma by 29%”
  • “More than 90% of the visible changes commonly attributed to skin aging are caused by the Sun.”
  • “People who use sunscreen daily show 24 percent less skin aging than those who do not use sunscreen daily.” (Skin Cancer Facts, 2015.)

 

Types of SPF

The days of greasy, thick white sunscreen are long gone. While there are still many sunscreens that are like this, we now have many other options available for every possible skin type.

  • Chemical Sunscreen: Chemical sunscreens allow the Sun’s rays to enter the skin, which is then converted to heat energy and released from the skin. Chemical sunscreens are great for people who are concerned with their sunscreen giving them a white appearance. Chemical sunscreens are not good for everyone though: because chemical sunscreens generate heat those with extra sensitive skin may find this exacerbates their problems. Chemical sunscreens can also start to create a burning sensation as you sweat. If this type sounds right for you, look for active ingredients such as oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate.
  • Physical Sunscreen: Physical sunscreens use minerals, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to physically block the Sun’s rays from ever entering the skin. This is great because there is very little heating of the skin, making physical sunscreens an ideal match for people with sensitive skin. One thing to watch out for with physical sunscreens is, because they form a physical barrier, they can sometimes impart a white sheen to the face. Also, some formulas can feel a little greasy compared to their chemical counterparts. However, this is quickly fixed by powder SPFs, such as Jane Iredale’s Powder Me SPF, which comes in both translucent and tanned. This skin cancer foundation recommended product has a sun protection factor of 30 and is even water resistant for up to 40 minutes!

 

Everyone knows a tan looks beautiful, but healthy skin is so much more beautiful. No tan is worth the damaging effects of the Sun, so take charge of your health and apply some SPF today.

 

 

 

 

 

References

American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2015.       http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@editorial/documents/document/acspc-044552.pdf. Accessed January 9, 2016.

Skin Cancer Facts. (n.d.). Retrieved January 2, 2016, from http://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/skin-cancer-facts

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Beauty, Wellness

Making Time for Relaxation

 

In a world where success is measured in dollar signs and overtime, downtime is often not prioritized. However, as money adds up relaxation and peace can still elude us.

Many people do not take the power of relaxation seriously, but the effects of long-term stress can leech into every aspect of your health and wellness. If you’re at all concerned about leading a long, healthy life, reducing stress should be a top priority.

 

Stress Effects on the Body

Stress affects every single system of the body, some in more obvious ways than others. The body’s response to stress is designed to help you survive perilous situations. Short term this means your body slows a lot of other processes down to focus on one thing: getting you out of danger. As the stressor passes, the body’s functions return to normal. Chronic stress, however, does not allow the body to return to normal. This results in physical symptoms that present themselves in every system of the human body.

 

Musculoskeletal system: Stress causes muscles to tense up. As the stress fades, muscles will begin to relax but chronic stress results in chronic muscle tension. The effects of this can be felt in sore muscles and tension headaches.

Digestive System: Stress can cause heartburn, ulcers, the feeling of “butterflies, and even vomiting. Stress also can interfere with proper nutrient absorption.

Inches on the Belly: Stress causes the adrenal cortex to release cortisol. Excess cortisol can cause the body to store excess fat around the midsection, adding unwanted inches.

Nervous system: The nervous system (specifically the sympathetic nervous system) is responsible for the fight or flight response, allowing you to flee from possible danger quickly. However, having this response triggered long term puts extra wear-and-tear on the nervous system and can leave you feeling run down.

Reproductive Health: Irregular menstrual cycles are common in those experiencing a lot of stress. Symptoms of menopause can also be more pronounced.

Stress Effects on the Brain: When stress first hits you actually may feel more focused thanks to the fight or flight response. This state of awareness though becomes taxing on the brain long term and can lead to a foggy feeling. Studies have also shown that long-term stress can actually cause changes to the brain’s structure and function. The hippocampus, responsible for memory and emotions, is physically smaller in people that have been under long periods of acute stress. Also, cortisol has been known to actually hardwire people’s brains differently to be in a constant state of fight or flight.

 

Now, that might all seem rather scary, luckily, you’re not powerless to stop the effects of stress. There are many proven methods that will help you to feel calm and in control.

 

Ending the Cycle

If you have five minutes….

You’ve probably been told at least once in your life, just take a few deep breaths. While it may seem silly, science has proven that deep breathing is our bodies built in relaxation mechanism! Slow, deep breathing stimulates the systems in the body responsible for calming us down. Studies have shown deep breathing not only helps calm you down quickly, but it also can help lower blood pressure, regulate the pH of your blood and improve symptoms of asthma. In fact, some studies have actually shown that deep breathing changes the way your body works on a cellular level. Now that’s some relaxation!

 

If you have a half an hour…

Relax with a cup of tea! Turn off all the electronics, find a cozy place to snuggle into, and slowly enjoy a cup of hot tea or tisane (herbal tea.) The simple act of slowly sipping a warm beverage relaxes the body, however some teas have compounds that actually induce relaxation. One herbal tea, chamomile, has been shown to reduce symptoms in mild to moderate generalized anxiety disorder. If you have allergies to any members of the daisy family, such as ragweed, it is best to enjoy chamomile with caution, as there have been reported cases of allergic reactions. If you’re concerned, it is always best to check with your medical provider before adding anything new into your dietary regimen.

 

If you have an hour…

Yoga is a great way to relax body and mind. Coupled with deep breathing, yoga helps to relieve muscular tension and is wonderful for getting your body into shape without too much strain. While any sort of yoga practice is great for relaxation, certain poses are better than others. Attending a yoga class (either in person or through an app on your phone) is a great way to learn more!

 

If you have two hours…

While many people view them as luxuries, facials and massages are amazing for both relaxation and revitalization. These spa services help in a number of ways to relax the body and mind. The most obvious way is that a typical massage or facial lasts for at least one hour, couple that with the time you take in a relaxation room prior to the service, you’re looking at least 90 minutes of time reserved simply for you to relax. Not only that but human touch helps release dopamine, which naturally makes you happier. Plus, after a facial you look great and your skin will thank you for it! The Decléor Signature Facial offered at Designer’s Denn, features a luxurious back massage, facial massage, aromapressure, as well as hand paraffin. Another wonderful option is the 60 Minute Signature Massage, a full-body experience featuring foot paraffin and warm stones. If you’re really feeling stressed a 90 minute option is available as well.

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