SkinSpirit Took Me To Fantastic Skin For My Wedding!

Chemical Peel AfterA little over a month ago, I married my Mr. Right in Las Vegas. My dream wedding has always been to get married in Vegas by Elvis. I was not only able to have my dream wedding, but I also achieved my dream skin before saying “I do!” with the help of SkinSpirit Skincare Clinic and Spa.

I had to start working on my dream skin plan, three months before heading to Vegas. In January, I had a series of three Vitalize chemical peels with Kavina at the SkinSpirit University Village location. Then in March, I had a modified Jessner/TCA chemical peel with Tina at the SkinSpirit Redmond location. My goal for the treatments was not to have to wear liquid foundation in order to hide the stubborn hyperpigmentation on my face, thanks to sun damage from many summers past. After these four peels, the hyperpigmentation was significantly reduced. My overall results were noticeably lighter, smoother and radiant skin on my wedding day.

I can go on and on about the amazing talent and wealth of knowledge both Kavina and Tina have on skin and the treatments they offer, along with their impeccable bedside manner. Instead, what I want to focus on is the #1 reason why I had such amazing results from my treatments I followed the explicit instructions given to me by both of these aestheticians, both before the peels and after. I can’t stress enough just how important it is to listen to your aesthetician and follow their advice. If you’re considering having a chemical peel, I recommend:

Schedule a Consultation
First and foremost, schedule a complimentary consultation with an aesthetician to help you determine which chemical peel will be right for your skin.

Follow the Plan
Follow the treatment plan prescribed by your aesthetician, including the type of peel recommended, the number of peels needed to achieve desired results, skincare products to use both before and after the peel(s) and any post-treatment instructions.

Prepare Your Skin
Your aesthetician will help prepare your skin for the chemical peel by prescribing a four or six week skin-conditioning program. Since I was having the chemical peels to treat hyperpigmentation, the skin conditioning program I was prescribed consisted of using a retinol and a skin brightening complex once a day, preferably at night before going to bed. I also used SkinMedica’s TNS Essential Serum twice a day, to be applied after cleansing my skin. This serum is the perfect two-in-one product for a minimalist like me. TNS Essential Serum is a rejuvenating serum that helps enhance skin texture, tone and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles

Check Your Schedule
Two days before having a chemical peel, you’ll want to stop using any retinol product. Don’t forget to double-check your schedule before booking your chemical peel. You’ll want to give your skin at least three to six days to complete the peeling process. You won’t want to schedule any special events until your skin is finished with the peeling process.

Once you’ve had a chemical peel, don’t put anything on your skin up to six hours after treatment. Your skin will usually start to shed two days after treatment and can last anywhere from three to six days, depending on the type of chemical peel you’ve had. During the peeling process, the only products you’ll want to apply to your skin are a mild cleanser, a moisturizer (I prefer using Aquaphor) and a sunscreen with SPF 50. It’s also a good idea to have Benadryl on hand, just incase you experience any irritation or swelling after treatment.

And whatever you do, DON’T peel the skin prematurely during the peeling process. Not allowing the skin to come off naturally after a peel can lead to scarring and further irritation. If you’re considering have a chemical peel and want the best results possible, be sure to listen to your aesthetician and explicitly follow their advice and recommendations.

Happy Peeling!

PS: The image below was taken on Day 3 after having the modified Jessner/TCA peel with Tina. The results and peeling are in no way a guarantee to happen on everyone’s skin who has the treatment. I was just in such awe of how much my skin had peeled after this treatment that I wanted to share with all of you. Underneath all of that yellow and brown dead skin was beautiful, radiant skin, revealed just in time for my wedding!!

Day Four of Chemical Peel

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Chemical Peel: Day Three and Day Four

Peel Day 04-01When I woke up on the morning of Day Three after having the chemical peel, I looked in the mirror and saw that the peeling had moved to my entire face and neck area. I was excited because I could see the skin literally hanging off of my face. At least I knew the peel was working! The only downfall was that my husband and I had a trade show we’d be attending all day long. We were scheduled to meet with people one-on-one, a lot of these people I’d be meeting for the first time. This was going to be the first time during my peeling process that I wasn’t going to be able to hide at home or in my office, in front of my computer.

As I got ready for the day, I swear I could feel the skin literally peeling off of my face. It was the weirdest, yet most satisfying feeling. It was hard not to scratch or peel the old skin off of my face. I made sure to follow Kavina’s specific instructions of just letting the skin peel off on it’s own.

At the tradeshow, I could see the people we were meeting with give my face double-takes. My husband picked up on the looks too and started explaining to everyone that I just had a chemical peel. Most people sighed in relief and said they thought I had just come back from some sort of vacation or had too much sun. When I pointed out that I didn’t have a suntan or sunburn, they looked at me confused and wanted to know more.

I explained to the people who asked that I was covering chemical peels on the SkinSpirit blog. I told them that in order to write an effective blog post about chemical peels, I was having the service done on myself. Almost immediately, people started asking me questions about chemical peels. They wanted to know what exactly a chemical peel was, how they work, what they do for the skin and how did it feel having the skin peeling off of my face. Some of the guys we talked to said that their wives have had chemical peels before, but they didn’t know exactly what a chemical peel was. With my recent experience of having a peel and researching peels, I was able to give them educated answers to all of their questions.

My skin was peeling quite a bit on Day Three. As soon as my skin started to feel itchy and irritating, I applied moisturizer all over my face and neck. My skin felt super warm to the touch – very similar to what a sunburn feels like. The moisturizer not only helped hydrate my peeling skin, but it felt like it cooled it off a bit, making the peeling process in public a little bit more tolerable.

On Day Four, the peeling was out of control. I felt like I had to reapply moisturizer to my face every ten minutes. Not only was the skin literally hanging off of my chin and neck, I could see it peeling off of my nose. I had to spend most of Day Four in public again at the tradeshow. I swear I could still feel the skin peeling off of my face. I tried my hardest not to scratch my face throughout the day. I couldn’t help rubbing off the excessive skin along my hairline though, which caused the dead skin to get stuck in my hair. It also didn’t help that I was wearing a black sweater. Mental Note To Self: When you wear black clothing during the peeling process, count on seeing a bunch of dead skin all over your clothing.

 

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Chemical Peel: Day Two

Peel Day 02I woke up this morning and my skin felt itchy all over. I couldn’t wait to get into the shower so I could wash my face. Before I got into the shower, I looked in the mirror and noticed that the peeling had spread from both sides of my mouth area, on up to my cheek and nose area. As I washed my face gently with my hands, I could feel the dead skin roll off in chunks. It was so weird and kind of satisfying.

After I got out of the shower and dried my face, I applied facial moisturizer and SPF. There was no way I was going to put on a liquid moisturizer on top of my shedding skin. It would be way too messy and would probably interfere with the peeling process. The SPF stung my skin a bit. Mental Note To Self: New skin coming through is going to be a bit sensitive to the touch for the first couple of days of it being exposed.

By the time I got to the office, I swear I could feel the dead skin peeling off of my face, spreading across both of my cheeks and to my temple area on both sides of my face. It felt incredibly weird and extremely itchy. The only thing that relieved the itchy feeling was applying a generous layer of moisturizer all over my face. The itchiness would go away for about a half hour or so and then would come right back. It was so hard not to scratch the areas of my face that was peeling.

Now that more of the surface area of my face was peeling off, I started to feel uncomfortable about going out into public. I stepped out for lunch for a quick second and got a strange look from people who walked by me. I wanted to stop and tell them that there was nothing wrong with my face and that I had just had a chemical peel. Instead, I avoid their looks and kept walking. Thank goodness my office doesn’t have any windows and that all of my co-workers are well-versed in the chemical peel process.

Right before I left my office for the day, I looked down on my shirt and saw flakes of dead skin everywhere. Gross. I wiped it off my shirt only to find that there was a whole pile of dead skin on the floor right underneath my chair in my office. Yuck!! I applied another generous layer of moisturizer for my commute home in hopes of avoiding shedding like that in my car.

My husband took one look at me when I came home from work and asked if he could peel some of the skin off of my face. I slapped his hands away and went to apply more moisturizer. How much skin is going to peel off of my face? Dang! At least I know the SkinMedica Vitalize Peel is working.

I think the one thing that bugs me the most is that my skin itches so much. No pain, no gain, right? Regardless of all the itchiness, I’m still excited to see the new skin come through once the dead skin comes off completely.

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Chemical Peel: Day One

Peel Day 01I had my first chemical peel on a Saturday morning. The next morning I woke up to find that there was already a small amount of skin peeling right underneath my mouth. I couldn’t grab a camera fast enough! In less than 24 hours, my skin was already starting to shed. How very exciting!

In the morning, only one side had a small patch peeling. I immediately applied a generous layer of facial moisturizer all over my face and started my work for the day.

By the afternoon, I noticed that there was another section on the other side of my mouth that had started to peel as well. Kavina was right. The first area on my face that started to peel was around my mouth area. Both of the peeling areas were still really small. I didn’t feel weird going out into public on my way to and from work today. It was just business as usual. I did notice that my skin felt a little itchier than usual.

I wonder what my skin will look like tomorrow?

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What is a Chemical Peel?

Peel-01Currently, in my position at SkinSpirit as the Social Media and Marketing Manager, one of the tasks on my To Do list is to blog about the treatments we offer. In fact this was the very task that attracted me to my current position with the company in the first place. Being paid to look and feel my best? How could I say no to that? 

SkinSpirit is a medical spa with six locations – three in Northern California and three in the Seattle, Washington area. Our clinics offer a array of skincare treatments including: Botox, dermal filler, laser resurfacing, a wide variety of medical-grade facials including the popular Signature Facial, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, laser hair removal, skin tightening with Ultherapy, IPL/Photofacials, Latisse®, a medical weight loss program and our newest skincare treatment, micro-penning.

I’ve had the pleasure of receiving a number of these amazing services over the last two years including Botox, dermal filler, the dermaplaning treatment, laser hair removal, microdermabrasion and countless Signature Facials. I even gave REBALANCE, the medical weight loss program a shot last year. A couple of months ago, one of our practitioners, Kavina (an amazing, smart, beautiful and charismatic aesthetician) at the SkinSpirit University Village location took one look at my skin and asked me if I had ever had a chemical peel. I had never had one before and quite frankly was a little intimidated by them, just for the sole fact that the treatment name had the word “chemical” in it. Lame I know, but it’s true. She spotted the hyperpigmentation on my forehead and on my cheek bones right away and told me if I gave her the chance and let her perform a series of three chemical peels on my face, I’d see a dramatic difference in the reduction of the hyperpigmentation all over my face. She got my attention immediately.

What is a Chemical Peel?
So what is a chemical peel? A chemical peel dissolves the glue that holds dead skin cells together on the surface of the skin. A chemical peel is a “controlled burn” of the skin and is considered a surface chemical exfoliation as opposed to a manual exfoliation like a facial scrub, Clarisonic brush, microdermabrasion or a dermaplaning treatment.

Benefits of Having a Chemical Peel
Some of the benefits of having a professional (and I stress professional) chemical peel include improving skin tone and texture, revealing brighter, smoother and a more refined complexion underneath the skin, reducing discoloration caused by sun damage, treating hyperpigmentation, helping to clear up breakouts, smoothing away the look of wrinkles, increasing hydration within the skin and allowing skincare products to be more effective.

The discoloration on my face is something I’ve always felt insecure about. I’ve always been quick to hide it with heavy liquid foundation. Hyperpigmentation is a common, usually harmless condition in which patches of skin become darker in color than normal surrounding skin, typically caused by sun damage or hormonal changes. The discoloration on my skin was caused largely by the numerous hours spent in the sun both during the summer months wakeboarding on the water and during the winter months snowboardng up on the mountain. Who knew that the reflection of the sun on the snow in a high elevation climate could be such a prime breeding ground for hyperpigmentation? Even though I’ve been pretty religious about wearing sunscreen whenever I spend time outdoors, sunscreen only protects skin from damaging UV rays that cause sunburns. Sunscreen, unfortunately doesn’t prevent the skin from tanning (getting pigmented) and turning brown.

The Initial Consultation
Since I refuse to live my life indoors and wanted to feel confident wearing my skin free of heavy liquid foundation makeup, I went ahead and told Kavina to sign me up for the chemical peel series. Before I could have my first chemical peel with Kavina, I had to come in for a consultation. During the consultation, Kavina explained to me my treatment plan. Since I spend a good chunk of my free time outdoors, Kavina wanted to come up with a realistic treatment plan that would work with my active, outdoor lifestyle while helping me get the results I was looking for. Kavina suggested that I have a series of three Vitalize chemical peels over the course of a month, with each treatment being within two weeks of each other. The first treatment would be a Vitalize Peel. The second treatment would be a modified Signature Facial with a Vitalize Peel. The third and final treatment would be another Vitalize Peel.

Skin Conditioning
To prepare my skin for the first chemical peel, Kavina advised that I undergo a four-week skin conditioning preparation program. Skin conditioning is designed to bring the skin into a tolerant state so that it responds better to a chemical peel and lessens the chance of triggering an undesirable response to the treatment, Without the skin conditioning program, I run the risk of not having my skin respond well to the treatment and not getting the results I’m hoping to achieve. Over the next four weeks, Kavina recommended that I apply a retinol and a skin brightening complex, once a day to my skin.

Products to Use and How to Use Them
My goal for my very first chemical peel series is to target the hyperpigmentation on my skin. With this in mind, Kavina suggested that I use SkinMedica’s Retinol Complex 0.5 and the Lytera Skin Brightening Complex once a day, together in the morning after cleansing my face. What’s nice is that I can easily use these products in conjunction with my facial cleanser, Clarisonic skincare brush, daily moisturizer and sunscreen. The daily use of these products will help suppress the pigment on my skin before having the treatment, in addition to helping build up a solid foundation and tolerance for the chemical peels.

Kavina also recommended that I use SkinMedica’s TNS Essential Serum twice a day – once in the morning and once at night after cleansing my face. She said that for a minimalist like me, this was the perfect product to use daily. It’s an all-in-one, rejuvenating serum that will not only help enhance my skin texture and tone, but also reduce the appearance of wrinkles, leaving my skin looking healthier and younger. Who doesn’t love an easy-to-use product that does all of that?

With my skin conditioning program in place, my skin should be good to go for my first chemical peel in the next few weeks. I can’t wait to see the results!

 

I’ll be documenting my chemical peel series experience along with my recent laser hair removal series experience on the SkinSpirit blog over the next month. Feel free to check out the SkinSpirit blog here.

 

 

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“I’m Looking for a Natural Sunscreen That Wont Break my Face Out. Help!”

Shopping_For_SunscreenA blog reader recently asked me a great question about sunscreen. As soon as I sent the reply, I realized that a lot of you out there might have the same question. I know I did!

Reader Question: “I’m looking for a natural sunscreen that wont break my face out. Help!”

 

Answer:
As far as finding a “natural” sunscreen, that’s going to be really hard. The term “natural” doesn’t have an industry-wide definition so every brand is going to have their own way of defining what natural means. Plus, in order for sunscreen to be effective and work, you need the vital active ingredients in the product. Chemical sunscreen need active ingredients like Avobenzone, Homosalate, Octisalate, Octocrylene, Oxybenzone, Oxtinoxate, Menthyl Anthranilate or Oxtocrylene and physical sunscreens need active ingredients like Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide. You’re best off trying a few different sunscreens to see which works better for your own skin. The best way to do that is through a patch test on the back of your neck or on a lower portion of your neck.

Zinc Dioxide and Titanium Dioxide are the two active ingredients found in a physical sunscreen. A physical sunscreen works to protect your skin from harmful UV rays by sitting on top of the skin and deflecting them. This is opposed to a chemical sunscreen which allows the UV rays to be absorbed into the skin and then neutralizes them. This is why a physical sunscreen works a lot better for the sensitive skin types. If you’re acne prone, go for a physical sunscreen that’s formulated for the face and is oil-free and lightweight.

Here are a couple of my favorites that I’ve tried recently that haven’t caused me any breakouts:

SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion Defense UV SPF 50
This formula has a bit of tint to it which eliminates that chalky look on the skin

SkinMedica Environmental Defense SPF 50
It’s water resistant for up to 80 minutes. This stuff is great for water sports or if you’re doing something outdoors that makes you sweat.

mybody Protect and Serve, SPF 30
It’s specially formulated for aging, sensitive AND acne skin types

There’s a natural vs organic debate that’s been going on in the beauty world. I’ve covered it on my blog and have even been published on the topic. If you’re curious, check out what I’ve written:

What does “natural” mean?
What does “organic” mean?

Finding the right sunscreen for your skin can be quite a process, but it’s worth the research!!

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Does Shaving Cause Hair to Grow Back Thicker?

shaving_legsFact or Fiction? Shaving causes hair to grow back thicker and darker.

When I was in the seventh grade, I noticed that hair was starting to grow in places on my body that it hadn’t grown before. It felt like overnight, my legs, underarms and down-there regions had hair. Long, straight, dark hair. How annoying! What was up with that? And why was the hair growing on my body showing up right before my friend’s pool party?

My mom’s answer to hair removal was a little, pink electric razor. Not only was it cute, but it was near impossible to hurt myself with it. I was nick-free, but my skin was far from smooth. My mother also gave me strict instructions to not shave anywhere above my knees. My thighs were off limits to my little, pink electric razor. Her reason? If I shaved the hair off of my thighs, the hair would grow back even thicker and darker than before. She told me that I was better off leaving the hair on my thighs alone.

Eventually I got tired of the stubble and begged my mother for a new hair removal method. She introduced me to Nair. Nair is considered a depilatory that dissolves hair at the skin level. It’s a chemical reaction and I thought it was way better than the electric razor. I had smooth skin for a day or two, but the smell was horrid. I also learned quickly to always follow the instructions on the bottle. Leaving Nair on the skin for too long was a guaranteed recipe for a nasty chemical burn.

It wasn’t until I started high school that I was introduced to a razor. Yes, eventually I rebelled against my mother’s advice and started shaving the hair on my thighs. That’s when I discovered that the hair on my thighs didn’t grow in any thicker or darker than the rest of the hair on my body. Was my mother a liar?

No, not exactly. With depilation, the process of removing hair at or near the surface of the skin, hair seems to grow back thicker and darker because the hair is blunted from being removed at the skin’s surface. The blunted hair then feels more stiff against the skin’s surface as it grows back. Depilation includes temporary hair removal methods such as shaving or using a chemical depilatory like Nair.

With epilation, the process of removing hair by breaking contact between the bulb and the papilla, the hair takes longer to grow back because it’s removed from below the skin’s surface. Epilation includes temporary hair removal methods such as waxing, tweezing or sugaring.

So, does shaving cause hair to grow back thicker and darker? I’d say this is FICTION. Temporary hair removal methods do not effect hair regrowth on the body. It’s all a matter of perception. Sorry Mom!

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Shaving vs Waxing

Shaving_Legs_Pinup_GirlDid you know that women have 18 times more areas to shave or wax than men? With all of that hair removal, many women have to decide, “Should I shave or should I wax?”

Before I became a licensed esthetician, the only area on my body that I would have waxed on a regular basis were my eyebrows. I couldn’t fathom shaving my brows. I also knew that I didn’t have adequate technical skills to shape my own brows with wax or tweezers either. Since brows shape the face, I decided to leave this waxing service to the professionals. Everything else on my body got shaved.

It wasn’t until I went to beauty school that I discovered how awesome body waxing was. With shaving, I knew that I would start feeling hair stubble grow back the very next day With waxing, I wouldn’t feel hair growing back for at least a week after the service. I found that my skin was much smoother for longer periods of time whenever it was waxed. Plus, waxing cut down on my primping time because I didn’t have to allow any extra time in the shower for shaving.

Everyone has their own personal testimony as to why they wax or shave certain areas on their body. Shaving is the old, DIY hair removal method that can be done anytime, anywhere and by anyone with a razor. Waxing is the primary hair removal method most estheticians use. Using either a hard or soft wax, wax adheres to the skin, which then adheres to the hair. The hair is removed by the hair’s bulb from the follicle, leaving the skin smooth for several days after the service. With waxing, the hair needs to be at least 1/4 inches long to be an effective hair removal method.

Here’s an overall Shaving vs. Waxing comparison based on frequency, results, price, exfoliation, how the hair is removed and any precautions.

Frequency

Waxing: Anywhere from 3 to 4 weeks, depending on how fast your hair grows.


Shaving: Once or twice a week, depending on hair growth and how often the areas that need hair removal are exposed. Not everyone wears a bikini year-round. This is why bikini services are more common during the spring and summer months.

Results

Waxing: Hair stubble starts to show up and be felt on the skin in about a week after the service.

Shaving: Hair stubble typically comes in the next day. Hello five o’clock shadow anyone?

Price

Waxing: Depending on the service, waxing can vary anywhere from $10 to $80 a service. If you buy waxing services in bulk ahead of time or purchase them in packages, spas and salons tend to give discounts of the original price.

Shaving: It depends on the toiletries you purchase. Shaving requires razors and some sort of shaving cream. You don’t have to use shaving cream. You can substitute shaving cream for conditioner if you want to. Razors don’t last forever. They get dull after a few uses and can harbor bacteria. Razors should be replaced every six to eight uses. If you invest in a good, quality razor, it might run you around $9.99. Then you have to factor in razor cartridge refills, which are another $14.99 for a 4-pack. If you go the shaving cream route, that could cost you another $2.99.

Exfoliation

Waxing: When the skin is waxed, it gets a slight exfoliation (removal of dead skin cells) on the top layer of the skin. Removing dead skin cells on a regular basis helps to keep breakouts and ingrown hairs at bay. With waxing, you’ll need to exfoliate areas that have been waxed more often.

Shaving: Shaving is a mechanical form of exfoliation. Instead of using an actual exfoliant product to remove dead skin cells, shaving will remove hair and the top layer of skin that is compose of dead skin cells. Think of shaving as a two-in-one exfoliation for the skin.

Hair Removal

Waxing: Waxing removes the hair and its bulb from deep down inside the hair follicle. This is why skin feels so much smoother for so much longer whenever its waxed.

Shaving: Shaving only cuts the hair at the skin’s surface. This is why the hair seems to grow back faster when its shaved. Shaving doesn’t make hair grow back any faster. It just doesn’t remove as much of the hair when its waxed. This explains why hair stubble shows up the very next day after shaving.

Precautions

Waxing: There are a lot of possible contraindications when it comes to waxing. If you’re taking certain medications, they can weaken the skin and cause lifting on the skin if its waxed. Some people can be uber sensitive or even allergic to wax. If an esthetician doesn’t have a good waxing technique, they can break the hair at the skin’s surface, causing discomfort and ingrown hairs. If the wax is too hot, the skin can be burned. Some people have a low pain tolerance so the act of waxing on their skin is too unbearable to tolerate.

Shaving: The act of shaving isn’t painful, but can cause pain if the razor cuts the skin’s surface. Shaving can also cause pain if you slip and fall in the shower, trying to shave a hard-to-reach area. There’s also the risk of razor burn and ingrown hairs, which generally happens when the hair is shaved in the opposite direction of its growth.

 

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Hair Growth Cycle

hair_growth_cycleDid you know that your hair grows in three stages? All the hair on your body grows in cycles, but not every hair is always at the same stage, at the same time. Here are the three stages of hair growth.

Anagen: The Growth Stage
The first stage of hair growth is the Anagen Stage. This is the stage of the cycle where new hair is produced. Approximately 85% of all the hair on the body will be in the growth stage at one time. Since most of the hair on the body is in the Anagen Stage at the same time, it makes it the perfect time in the hair growth cycle to wax.

Catagen: The Regression or Falling Out Stage
The Catagen Stage is the second stage in the hair growth cycle. In this stage, the hair shaft grows upward and detaches itself from the bulb. Once the hair has detached itself from the bulb, its also gets cut off from the blood supply. This means that the hair no longer receives any nutrients or pigment. This is the mean reason why hair in this stage looks dull and unhealthy. Only 2 to 3% of the body’s hair will be at this stage at any given time.

Telogen: The Final or Resting Stage
This is the stage in the hair growth cycle when hair is at its fullest size. In this stage, hairs are completely erect in the follicle, allowing the hair to show above the skin’s surface. Hair is more likely to either shed or fall out during this stage. Only 15% of the body’s hair will be in this stage at any given time.

Fun Fact about Hair Growth: It takes anywhere from 4 to 13 weeks for the hair to grow from the dermal papilla (the base of the hair follicle) to the surface of the skin. Have you ever felt a little leftover stubble after getting waxed? That’s because some of the hairs left behind were still in the early Anagen Stage and not long enough to be removed from waxing. With regular waxing every 3 to 4 weeks, you are more than likely to get your hair on the same growing cycle, allowing for optimal waxing results.

 

Sources:
Milady’s Standard Fundamentals for Estheticians, 9th Edition
Hair Structure and Hair Life Cycle @ Follicle.com
The Life Cycles of Hair @ EWC

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What is Benzoyl Peroxide?

acne_cartoon_faceBenzoyl peroxide is the most common treatment for the most common skin condition: acne. It’s available in prescription strength, which requires a visit to the doctor and over-the-counter (OTC) concentrations, which can be purchased by anyone at their local drugstore.  Benzoyl peroxide comes in all types of forms: cleansers, foams, lotions and gels.

This powerful ingredient fights off acne efficiently and effectively by acting as a peeling agent. It helps to keep pores free and clear of debris. The “peeling” effect increases the normal skin turnover rate, which reveals newer, younger and healthier skin faster. It also does a great job of killing bacteria in pores. In the simplest form, acne is a dramatic reaction to bacteria in the skin. The only way to keep acne at bay is to kill the bacteria that causes it. How benzoyl peroxide fights acne is that it penetrates the pore on the skin and sends oxygen deep into the pore where it then kills the acne-causing bacteria.

Benzoyl peroxide is available without a prescription in concentrations ranging from 2.5 to 10%. More does not necessarily mean better when it comes to this acne fighting ingredient. Dermatologists recommend starting on the lower end of the concentration spectrum when using benzoyl peroxide. This ingredient is so effective in killing bacteria, it can also cause dryness and irritation on the skin. Using a lower dosage enables the skin to be more tolerant of the harsh ingredient, ultimately leading to less skin irritation. It’s typical for the skin to take up to a week before it develops a tolerance to benzoyl peroxide.

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