Frequently Asked Questions
How long should I be off of my prescription meds and topical gels/creams (RetinA, Renovea, Tazeorac, Epidueo etc.) a facial or waxing service?
An absolute minimum of 3 days (72 hours) but preferably a full week. Always disclose any medications or topical creams/gels you are using to your esthetician to avoid any tearing, ripping, bruising of the skin or any undesirable reaction.
How often should I exfoliate my face (or any skin)?
Most people only need to exfoliate 1 or 2 times a week. Exfoliation is the process of sloughing off dead skin cells to make way for newer cells and prevent debris from blocking pores. If one exfoliates daily, they eventually end up scrubbing away healthy skin cells and inhibit the skins ability to heal itself and restore a natural ph (balance) which can lead to irritation, increased oil production and even dehydration of the skin. Using quality at home exfoliants is a must. Please STOP using any skin care products (not just exfoliants) with parabens as they can cause allergic reactions, alcohol as it leads to excessive dryness and irritation, mineral oil as it can be comonogenic and lead to “clogging” of the pores and phthalates as they can have hormonal-altering effects within the skin. Most professional estheticians will perform or recommend monthly professional exfoliation (microdermabbrassion, dermaplane, enzyme peel, chemical peel, hydrafacial, microneedling) and in some cases my recommend a series of 4-6 treatments done in quicker succession to maximize results. Be sure you are seeing a LICENSED ESTHETICIAN (or an RN or Dr.) for your professional services.
What is a blackhead?
A blackhead is the accumulation os sebum (oil), dead skin cells, debris (such as makeup, dust, pollen other airborne pollutants) within the pore and follicle of the skin. The Sebaceous gland secretes oil to lubricate the surface of the skin to keep it protected and hydrated. As the oil is released, if the pore is blocked by debris and dead skin cells, the oil will continue to accumulate and block the pore. As this blockages is exposed to the air it oxidizes and turns a dark yellow, brown or black color. Regular exfoliation, quality home care products and monthly professional facials can help reduce or eliminate blackhead congestion. Blackheads can be difficult to treat without professional extractions.
How long should my hair be before a wax?
The general rule of thumb is no shorter than 1/4 of an inch and no longer than 1/2 inch. Much shorter and the wax can have a difficult time enveloping the hair and much longer and there is risk for more pain due to tugging and pulling on the hair during wax application. Make sure you exfoliate the night before your wax to help removes all the dead skin so the hairs stand upright instead of being pulled down by the dead skin.
Why should I wax instead of shave?
When you shave, you cut the hair off at the thickest point of the hair and leave the bulb of the hair in the follicle and intact which allows the hair to continue to grow. As the hair grows back the thick part of the hair has to push through the skin and it can lead to itching, irritation and that lovely “stubble” feeling. When you wax, the hair is pulled out of the follicle completely and leaves a more smooth skin feeling behind. Waxing lasts longer than shaving because once the hair is waxed out of the follicle, a new bulb has to develop and grow and that can take 2-6 weeks to happen. I DO recommend having your first 3 or 4 waxes done in 2-3 week increments to get all the hairs on the same growth cycle to maximize time between your future waxes.
Does getting a base tan or “first burn” prepare my skin for more sun exposure to help reduce the chances of cancer and or burn?
NO! There is no such thing as a “base tan” or a safe tan for that matter!! When someone tans, their skin becomes darker or “tan”, this increase in pigment, called melanin, when melanin increases in the skin it is a sign of damage. When skin is exposed to UV rays from the sun or from tanning beds repeatedly it can lead to premature skin aging (wrinkles, loss of elasticity, brown spots, dehydration etc.), as well as skin cancer.
“A suntan or sunbed tan usually provides a maximum SPF (sun protection factor) of 4, which means you would take four times longer to burn than if you had no tan. If you would normally burn after 15 minutes of sun exposure, with a tan you would burn in one hour, or four times 15 minutes. However, to even get a tan you need to damage your skin: a tan is the body’s response to damaged DNA in the skin cells — the skin darkens in order to prevent more damage, but the person’s risk of skin cancer is already increased. So there is no such thing as a “safe” or “healthy” tan. Since sunburns are also associated with higher risks of skin cancer, especially melanoma, avoid both tans and sunburns.
Tanning beds also contain a lot of UVA radiation. The UVA radiation does not burn the skin as fast as UVB radiation, but it penetrates deeper into the skin and causes irreversible skin aging — loss of elasticity, sagging, wrinkles, brown spots and more. In addition, UVA, like UVB, can cause skin cancer. So there is no safe tan.”
(Source: http://www.skincancer.org/. Steven M. Rotter , M.D. - Dr. Rotter is founder and director of the Center for Skin Surgery at the Skin Cancer Outpatient Surgical Hospital, Vienna, VA.)
*sun damage undetected by the naked eye/detected under a special light*