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How Can You Make Every Waxing Client Rave About Your Service?

pre post waxing irritation at Vogue Beauty

The answer is very simple – use pre and post waxing products. Whether it is hard or strip wax, preparing the skin for the treatment is of primary importance. And after waxing, you can do more than just soften the skin with lotion. Pre and post waxing products are the keys to stopping skin irritation in its tracks.

Pre-Wax Preparation

Pre-waxing products prep the skin, and allow the wax to do its primary job- adhere to the hair. Dead skin cells are sloughed off rapidly by the body’s repair system. A week or so without shaving before a wax treatment allows those cells to pile up.A pre-wax cleanser (Lycotane Skin Cleanser, or  Harley Pre-wax Cleanser and Toner) clears away those dead skin cells, and frees any trapped oils or dirt.

Then the pre-wax oil or lotion ( Mancine Pre Wax Oil or Lotion Lycon Pre Wax OilHarley Pre Wax Oil ) protects the skin from too much adhesion or drag on the skin when the wax is removed. The wax will adhere to the hair only, shrink-wrap it, and have enough grab to remove from the roots.

True, waxing also removes that dead skin layer also, but without the proper preparation, the waxing treatment can irritate the skin and result in hair breakage at the skin surface instead. When a hair breaks at the surface, the result can be an ugly ingrown hair bump.

By leaving the skin unprepped, you may have to re-apply wax to certain areas, to attain complete hair removal. Re-application can be irritating to some sensitive areas.

Now, on to after-the-wax:

Why use post-wax

A post-wax oil or lotion is a no-brainer for removing wax residue. When using strip wax, there can be residual lines of wax from the edges of the strip, and the easiest way to clean up is to apply a small amount of lotion to lift it.

Primarily, a good post-wax lotion or oil should be used after wax treatments for the purpose of calming and moisturizing the skin. The key here is to reduce the potential for swelling, irritation or ingrown hair.

Proper removal of wax goes a long way to prevent this, ( see The Waxing Queen’s video for tips on wax removal) but a topical agent that refreshes the skin will also help.

Ingredients known to be effective in calming skin such as Chamomile, Allantoin and Tazman Berry and Tea Tree oil are included in these post products. Tea Tree oil acts as an anti-bacterial agent and cleanses any dirt and dead skin leaving the skin clean and fresh. here are our favorite post-wax products: Mancine’s Ultimate Finish,  Harley After Wax Oil,  Lycon’s Perfect Finish.

Preventing ingrown hairs

Products designed specifically for preventing ingrown hair work by helps reduce inflammation and swelling of the hair follicle that can occur as the result of hair removal. Natural anti-bacterial ingredients like witch hazel and aloe vera prevent infection and moisturize.

And exfolliants help to clear the hair follicles that can clog from wax residual or sweat and oils. When the hair follicle is blocked, ingrown hairs and razor rash will develop.

We recommend that you send your clients home with an ingrown banisher like Lycon’s X-it formulas or Mancine’s Ingrown Zone. They will love the results, and be back for a repeat treatment!

Now, what products will you use to create that perfect waxing treatment that ALL your clients will rave about?? Here is your shopping list:

Pre wax cleanser

Pre wax oil or lotion

Post wax finisher

Post treatment ingrown hair banisher- check out our special pricing for your retail shelves!

We have strips, rolls, applicators, wax pots and more at Vogue Beauty!

 

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From Sock Feet To Sandals – The Big Reveal!

Sock Feet to Sandal Feet- The Big Reveal

Summertime is time for those sexy sandals and means an upswing in your pedicure and foot-targeted spa treatments. Here are some tips that you can use, and others to pass on to your clients while getting their feet ready for “The Big Reveal.”

Soak, Soothe, Soften Feet

To prepare feet for their summertime makeover, soak in Epsom salts and warm water. The added salts will reduce inflammation, soothe aches and pains and soften the skin. For your clients who spend a great deal of time indoors and on their feet, recommend a foot soak every night.

After 10 minutes of soaking, use an exfoliating scrub. Massage each foot with the scrub, which will loosen dead skin and soften rough patches. If you notice any areas that need more attention, carefully use a foot file on wet skin. Once the area has been trimmed, polish the skin in a circular motion with the buffer side of the file. Rinse and pat dry.

A quick daily touch up to maintain feet is to use a dry pumice stone in a light, circular motion,  just after showering.

Condition And Moisturize

Whether it’s with a paraffin dip or by massage, apply a conditioning moisturizer. Mancine’s Tea Tree lotion is a perfect, lightweight moisturizer to apply at home also, immediately after showering, This will lock in moisture and also aid in controlling foot fungus.

Trouble spots like cracked heels deserve special attention. Apply a body butter, like Mancine’s Naturals Body Butter, directly to the affected heel and allow to penetrate during the remaining pedicure or spa treatment.

Since clients will want to take these products home, make sure to have them stocked on your shelves for resale. If a client has cracked heels or other trouble spots, recommend applying body butter again just before bed and sleeping in socks- a sure way to lock in that needed moisture!

Addressing Foot Issues

What may at first appear to be a fungus problem may instead be an accumulation of dead skin cells caused by sweat. Feet are one of the primary areas that the body sweats, and with sweat comes toxins. Considering how we ignore our feet, it is no surprise that they may get a little flaky or peel between the toes. Now is the time to mention properly fitting shoes, and shoes made out of natural materials or with proper air circulation.

Nail Fungus Issues

If you do discover a fungus problem, we recommend Amoresse Thymol to specifically treat nails. Thymol works to kill bacteria and microbes. Apply two drops to the affected nail, then advise the client to follow up with continued at-home treatment each morning and evening. One drop on the cuticle and one under the nail if possible.As the nail grows out, it will be fungus free with proper use of Thymol.

Another nighttime treatment that you can recommend is to apply a product with menthol (like Vicks or Mentholatum,) or tea tree oil. Again, if they can stand to sleep in socks, at least part of the night, it will help lock in the treatment.

The Finishing Touch

Now we need a little pizazz. Nothing looks better than a fresh coat of paint in striking, modern colors! Pastels like Baby Blues and Watermelon are the rage, but there’s nothing the matter with the summertime classics like Crimson and Persian Plum. From Basecoat to Topcoat we have the products for you!

With continued pedicures and these home treatments, your client’s feet will be in great shape!

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Natural Oils And Botanicals – The Best Of The Best

Natural oils and botanical ingredients are in almost all our favorite products these days, from face wash to shampoo. But what do these oils do? Which botanicals should you choose and why? More importantly, what can you tell your clients about these ingredients? When planning your retail stock, what products can you stand behind as effective and worth the cost?

Here is a rundown of some of the best ingredients and the products that contain these ingredients. All the products listed are from our reputable manufacturers and are products that we can easily recommend.

Lavender oil

More than just a pleasant and relaxing fragrance, Lavender has restorative properties, and is a gentle anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. This oil also works as an antioxidant, refreshing the skin from everyday pollutants. Antioxidants contained in Lavender “prevent and counteract the irritating effects of pollutants on the skin,” explains Claude Saliou, Ph.D., director of research and development for Johnson & Johnson, as quoted in Everyday Health magazine. “Plus, studies have shown that elevated stress results in rough skin, so lavender can improve skin by acting as a mentally calming agent.”

Recommend your clients prepare for their wax treatment by using  Mancine Hot Salt Scrub-lavender witchhazelMancine Hot Salt Body Scrub in Lavender and Witch Hazel ($14.95) followed with the matching Body Lotion. ($7.95, 250 ml)

Your client’s skin will now be in great shape for waxing. The very popular Lycojet Lavender Hard Wax ($34.95, 2.2lbs) or Harley Lavender Hard Wax ($29.95, 2.4lbs) and finish with Lycon Perfect Finish ($17.95) will ensure that your client has a pleasant experience with satisfying results!

Tea tree oil

When bacteria get trapped under the skin, inside a pore, the skin’s defense system kicks in. Encircling the bacteria, white blood cells fight the bacteria at a cellular level. Localized inflammation is the first reaction to the war. As they kill off the bacteria, the dead cells collect inside the pore, resulting in a breakout.

Tea tree oil helps zap that bacteria. A study found that tea tree oil was as effective as benzoyl peroxide, according to an Everyday Health article.

You will find effective amounts of Tea Tree Oil In Lycon’s Anti Bump Foaming Gel, ($13.95) a great retail product for you to keep on the shelves for your clients. After the shower, your clients may want an everyday moisturizer that helps fight inflammation while soothing the skin. We recommend Mancine Tea Tree Body Lotion and Lycon Tea Tree Soothe Lotion.

You will also find Tea Tree Oil in several post wax treatments such as Lycon Perfect Finish ($17.95)  and Harley After Care Waxing Oil ($13.95) Mancine Ingrown Zone ($9.95.)

Chamomile oil

Lycon Soothing Cream

Chamomile is  more than a tea that soothes your little one’s upset tummy, or encourages relaxation and sleep. The anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties helps prevent irritation from wax treatments. This oil is added to waxes to provide that calming touch for clients prone to redness or skin irritation. Try Lycon Soothing Cream ($17.95) with Chamomile, Rose and Shea Butter for a soothing experience!

 

Rosehip oil

Vitamin A is necessary and helpful in rejuvenating skin cells. Age spots, scars and stretch marks can be lessened by using a retinol (containing vitamin A) based product. An easy way to help overall skin condition is to use a bodywash or body lotion with Rosehip oil, which is naturally rich in in Vitamin A.

Olive and Avocado oils

renew-and-repair-cuticle-oil-by-en-Vogue

Here is a tip from our friends at Everyday Health- Got thin or brittle nails? Use a little olive or avocado oil on them before bed. The oils will soak in overnight and nourish with good-for-you fatty acids. Or, you might like to keep ‘on hand’ (excuse the pun,) our  Renew and Repair Cuticle Oil by en Vogue. A blend of sunflower, grape seed, jojoba and Vitamin E oils along with essential oils of bergamot, black pepper, Roman chamomile, eucalyptus and lavender. ($2.95 for 3ml. Larger sizes available.) Send some home with your client as a little gift- a sure way to increase repeat customers!

Additionally, rich oils like avacado and olive are used to re-condition skin after a waxing treatment. Since waxing removes all the surface oils and exfoliates the skin, moisture needs to be replenished afterwards.  Mancine Olive Oil Strip or Hard Wax contains olive oil to soothe and replenish the skin. These waxes are especially perfect for sensitive areas.

Shopping tips

You can share this helpful tip with your clients- a product advertised as “natural’ or claiming to have certain natural ingredients, may contain too little of the substance listed to be fully effective. Many over-the-counter products that claim to contain Vitamin C or E will not have a high enough concentration of these antioxidants to prove effective at reducing wrinkles or sagging skin. For the best results, look for products that a dermatologist carries or recommends as effective.

Shop with Vogue Beauty for professional products designed to help your business thrive!

 

 

 

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Why use pre and post wax products

pre waxed-legs

There are many reasons why you should use pre and post wax products for every waxing application.

We talk a lot about how to get repeat business by creating a lasting impression on your client. So again, we will stress that- 1) taking the extra steps needed to set you apart from other salons, 2) skilled treatments with high-quality products and 3) making the client feel special- will go much farther to ensure repeat business than trying to compete by cutting your fees.

Using pre and post waxing products answer each of those points. So, let’s consider each of the steps in pre and post waxing.

Pre Wax Treatment:

Even if your client has followed your pre wax  instructions at home, you will still want to ensure that the skin is clean of trapped oils and perspiration or makeup and moisturizing creams. Your client’s skin should be a clean slate, prepared to take the wax and release the hair.

Cleanse

Before applying the wax, prepare your client’s skin with a cleanser. Try Lycon’s  Lycotane to gently remove surface oils, perspiration, pollution, make-up and any other lotions. Lycotane can also be used after waxing, to cleanse the skin and to help close the hair follicles.

Mancine’s Pre-Wax Lotion removes moisturizing creams, surface bacteria and perspiration. Pre wax lotion also prevents the wax from becoming tacky. This lotion has a pleasant fragrance and dries fast.

Harley Pre Wax Cleanser does more than just cleanse the skin. It also re-balances the PH level of the skin, tightening pores to maximize your waxing results. See all of Harley Waxing products here.

Moisturize:

Once the skin has been cleansed, add a small amount of a pre wax moisturizer that is specifically designed to prepare the skin for waxing. Just be sure the moisturizer you use absorbs into the skin and does not leave a residue.

Mancine pre wax oil softens and prepares the skin prior to waxing. The treatment prevents wax from sticking to the skin, minimizing skin drag and making waxing comfortable, clean and efficient. Also available are Harley Pre Care Oil and Lycon Pre Wax Oil, designed protect and pamper the skin.

Post Wax Treatment

After the treatment, you want your client to walk away feeling pampered, with glowing, soft skin. You want to minimize any chances of breakout or ingrown hairs, and create a pleasant memory of the experience. Post wax products are designed to do all of that- return the proper moisture balance and also soothe and calm the skin.

Rehydrate

Clear away any wax residue with Mancine Ultimate Finish, which is suitable for use on both face and body. Leaves your client feeling wonderfully relaxed and calm with skin feeling silky smooth. Lycon Perfect Finish can be mixed with Tea-Tree Soothe for a lighter, less oily finish.

A side note here, Tea Tree oil acts as an anti-bacterial agent and cleanses any remaining dead skin cells. It can reduce skin irritation, redness and the possibility of any ingrowing hairs. Harley Waxing  After Care Oil contains Tea Tree oil and will condition the skin and leave a silky smooth finish.

To moisturize again after waxing- send client home with sample of Lycon Aloe Vera Soothing Gel. The gel moisturizer provides immediate, soothing hydration for the face and body. Your client will notice a reduction in any skin irritation or redness, if their skin type is sensitive.

 

Here are some tips that you can pass along to your clients.

WAIT

Waxing isn’t a spur-of-the-moment decision. To achieve the best results, you will need some time to prepare the area to be waxed.  It is an especially bad idea to wax for the first time just before a sunny or active vacation or a special occasion. Try out waxing at least 6 weeks before the big day to make sure of your skin’s reaction and experience.

CHECK

Check carefully for and inflammation, sunburn (ouch!) or cuts and bruises before your appointment. You should postpone your treatment until you have healed completely. Also,  moles should be marked and pointed out to the therapist so that the proper protection can be used.

STOP

Certain medications can sensitize skin to waxing. Products containing retinol that are used in an area that you want to wax must be stopped for two weeks before waxing. Also, some antibiotics and prescriptions like Accutane can cause skin sensitivity. Don’t stop your prescriptions without the advice of your doctor.

Some report that they experience more skin sensitivity if waxing during the week of menstruation. Plan ahead, book your appointment a week later.

PREPARE

Keep the skin moisturized up to your appointment. Don’t moisturize on the day of- your wax treatment includes pre and post wax moisturizing.

A regular routine of exfoliation is essential. But don’t exfoliate the area to be waxed the day of your waxing appointment.

Waxes can effectively remove hairs as short as 1mm. But for the best results, a week or two worth of grow-out is ideal. The hair needs to be long enough for the wax to grip it, but short enough that it doesn’t lessen adhesion. Your therapist can trim too-long hair to the appropriate length if needed.

DRINK!

Hydrate. When you don’t drink enough water, your skin is the first to show it. The pull when removing the wax may cause more discomfort and leave the skin irritated. Drink water; beverages with caffeine or alcohol  dehydrate!

after waxing tips:

Stay hydrated! Again, water, water, WATER!

Avoid heat- No soaking in the tub, sun tanning, saunas or steam rooms for 48 hours.

Avoid strenuous workouts the day of treatment.

No deodorant for underarm waxing

No tight clothing that to rub or irritate the waxed area.

Fight bumps by using Lycon’s Ingrown X-It. It effectively reduces the potential and any discomfort of ingrown hairs.

Use Ingrown Zone hair retardant a product that actually slows and softens future hair growth so waxing becomes easier and more comfortable. you’ll find that it will take longer for the hair to start growing back.

 

Shop all of Vogue Beauty’s pre and post waxing products here>>>

 

 

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5 skin tips to prepare for summertime fun!

Prepare Skin in Summertime - How To Protect on Vogue Beauty Blog

Summertime means exposure to the elements- more sun, sweat and drying conditions for your skin and hair. How can you combat the effects of extra sun? Here are 5 skin tips to prepare your skin and keep it in tip-top shape:

Prepare

Skin tip #1- Fresh sunscreen, reapplied!

How old is that bottle of sunscreen in your bathroom cupboard? Do yourself a favor and buy a new bottle of at least 15 SPF each season. Tests have shown that sunscreen needs to be fully absorbed into the skin 20 minutes before sun exposure to be fully effective. So lather up before going out! Here are some other great sunscreen tips.

Even if your sunscreen is waterproof and sweat-proof, reapply it after 30 minutes of activity. Remember, sunscreen will rub off with a towel. So, make sure to reapply often during your summertime activities.

Protect skin with hat

Cover and protect

Skin tip #2- Cover sensitive areas

Fight the look of premature aging- Protect your face, neck and chest by wearing sunscreen, clothing with built-in SPF factor or a wide brimmed hat. better yet, all three!

Protect the danger areas from overexposure and potentially skin cancer- the scalp or part in your hair, the tops of the ears, nose, lips and the back of the neck are critical areas. Don’t forget these areas when applying sunscreen! Again, a hat is your best friend.

(Don’t forget to protect your hair!)

Fight the look of dry, brittle hair by using a dry shampoo or skipping the shampoo altogether. The natural oils in your scalp help protect the hair shaft. There are also hair products with special sunscreens, designed to fight fading and protect from salt and chlorine.

Summer Tan by mancine- Vogue Beauty

Get glowing!

Skin tip #3- Self tanning

Instead of baking (or frying if you are like me) in the sun to get that golden tan, try a self tanner. Applied at home or in the salon, these formulas are much better than the self tanners of the past. Get a natural sun-kissed look in a few minutes!

Remember to exfoliate first! Using a scrub before you apply self-tanner will get rid of any dry skin.  It is important to keep your skin exfoliated between applications so that areas like the knees  don’t appear darker than the rest of the skin. We carry Lycon and Mancine body scrubs that will prepare your skin for self tanners.

Hydrate, baby!

hydrate-watermelon skin care at Vogue BeautySkin tip #4- Nourish and hydrate

The goal is to nourish and hydrate inside and outside your body. Your skin needs nourishment from the inside as well as protection from the outside. The first line of defense is to drink enough water. Keeping your electrolytes and amino acids well balanced is another key factor, enabling your body to hydrate effectively. Fresh fruits and vegetables that are rich in proteins, vitamins and antioxidants help stimulate collagen, keep the skin elastic and fight wrinkles.

Mancine Naturals-body-lotion

After the fact

Skin tip #5- Replenish natural oils

 

Finally, replenish your skin by using emollient rich lotions with natural ingredients. Apply after sun exposure, and every night before bed, when the lotion can soak in undisturbed.

Follow these tips and you will be looking good all summer long!

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What to do about post-waxing irritation

pre post waxing irritation at Vogue Beauty

Challenges of male waxing

Sometimes, clients report post-waxing irritation after a wax treatment. For men, chests and backs are usually more sensitive. For women, a common area is towards the inner thigh or groin areas. Delicate spots, like the brows, are also prone to irritation.

Lydia Evans, a dermatologist, explains it this way in  Real Simple magazine, “Since coarse and thick hairs are more stubborn to remove, you’ll probably experience more redness in areas where they grow,” such as the bikini line and the underarms. Lycon legs at Vogue Beauty

A great therapist can do a lot to lessen or prevent irritation by mastering the application and removal technique. The following are some tried-and-true methods. Compare the tips to your technique, and give the points that are new to you a try!

How to minimize post-waxing irritation

  • The force it takes to pull hairs out from the roots can inflame skin. To minimize the possibility of breakouts happening, it is very important to give attention to the direction that the wax is applied and pulled off the skin.

  • Application: Strip wax is applied with the hair growth and hard waxes are applied against the hair growth.

  • Removal: With all types of wax, pull the wax against the hair growth, unless you are in an area that makes it difficult to pull off this way.

If the hair is pulled off sideways, it can dig into the side of hair follicle and scratch the follicle or break off. This can cause follicle irritation,  or an ingrown hair which can sometimes progress to folliculitis.

After Waxing Techniques To Calm Skin

Here are some recommendations to follow after waxing areas like backs, chests and legs:

1.    Cleanse skin with Lycotane Skin Cleanser.

2.    Apply a cool wet towel compress on the skin

3.    Apply Ingrown-X-it spray all over the area and massage in gently.

4.    Apply Tea Tree Soothe Lotion.

5.    Recommend that client uses Ingrown-X-it spray or cream at home on clean skin, 2 times per day for 2 weeks or longer.

6.    3 days after waxing, client can also use Tea Tree Soothe daily after using Ingrown-X-it.

If a little more support is needed, the client can apply a 1 percent hydrocortisone cream.

Just a pea-drop size of the cream, applied directly to the red zone can calm the flare-up. Hydrocortisone cream calms inflammation and reduces redness and any itchiness. Advise the client to follow the directions on the package.

Quick tip: Many clients say that they do not schedule a waxing within three days of the start of their period, because the skin tends to be extra sensitive.

Lycon productsto prevent post-waxing irritation
Shop Vogue Beauty for all of the Lycon product suite

For more Lycon application tips, order Lycon’s instructional DVD here.

 

Lycon waxing video at Vogue Beauty - underarm

Watch this Lycon video on underarm applications

Happy Waxing!

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The Benefits of Dry Brushing

Dry brushing techniques on Vogue Beauty

Have you heard of dry brushing?  This article explains benefits of dry brushing thoroughly. But, put in a nutshell, it promotes circulation and helps the lymphatic system clean out toxins.

How to dry brush:

Use a body brush or loofah to ‘sweep’ your limbs, torso and back, in a direction that always aims towards your heart. The touch or pressure should be light, not vigorous as you would if you were exfoliating your skin.

Repeat for at least 5 or 6 swipes of each area. You can use your fingers on your face and chest, in the same direction, out and down towards your heart. Add light tapping to help decongest your sinuses during a cold.

Here is an illustration, courtesy of Collective Education,  that demonstrates the technique:

dry drushing technique

 

Take care and look beautiful by reading more articles in our blog!

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Revitalize and fight aging skin!

How to revitalize aging skin on Vogue Beauty

Do you feel like your skin is dry, tight, dull, and wrinkled? It’s time for some body maintenance! Revitalize and fight aging skin with this 4 step process: hydrate, cleanse, exfoliate and moisturize.

Hydrate skin from the inside

Did you know coffee and your favorite green tea, both act as a diuretic? They do, and so does drinking hot water!  While it seems like getting rid of excess fluid would banish puffiness, the effects of this type of dehydration can show up in your face, neck and hands as wrinkly, prunish, and baggy skin! What should you do?

The answer is to create an exchange- keep hydrated, while ‘rinsing out’ waste products your liver has worked so hard to process through the night. There are some great ways to encourage the exchange, as Dr. Oz brings out in this post. Rule of thumb: remember that for every cup of a diuretic, drink an additional cup of water.

Cleanse skin

Have you heard of dry brushing? Dry brushing is a technique that promotes circulation and helps the lymphatic system clean out toxins. It works better on dry skin- here’s how to do it:

Using a natural bristle body brush or a loofah, ‘sweep’ your limbs, torso and back, always towards your heart. Aim for at least 5 or 6 swipes of each area. You can use your fingers on your face and chest, in the same sweeping motion, towards your heart. Light tapping will help decongest your sinuses during a cold or sinus flare up.

What about your soap choice? Is gel or bodywash better than an old-fashioned bar of soap? Experts say it doesn’t matter, as long as the cleanser is gentle enough to clean without stripping away natural oils.

Exfoliate skin

When we are young, our skin cells are replaces every 28 days. As we age though, the rate that it takes to become a ‘new woman’ slows to about every month and a half. The pile-up of dead skin cells on the surface can lead to ingrown hairs, flaky skin and a dull, grey appearance.

According to the dermatologist interviewed in Allure Magazine, “Dead skin cells pile up, diffusing the light and making skin dull.”  Our bodies work to replace cells throughout the night. So, slough them away by exfoliating at night in a before-bedtime bath, instead of in the morning.

Moisturize skin

Next, lock in moisture with a good, all-over body lotion. For particularly dry areas or trouble spots like knees, elbows and heels, body butter is even better! Apply the moisturizer just after you shower to help your skin look fresh and plumped.  Fight aging skin with Mancine-Naturals-line

 

We recommend using Mancine Naturals body care line. Mancine Natural products do not contain petro-chemicals,  sulphates, animal derivatives,  triethanolamine, mineral oil, parabens or artificial colors and fragrances. Use the bodywash, scrub, body lotion and body butter as a regimen to fight aging skin.

You can find everything you need to revitalize your skin at Vogue Beauty!

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How To Treat and Prevent Ingrown Hair

anatomy of our skin

*An abbreviated version of this article was published first as a Linkedin post 6/15/15

Ingrown hair- man or woman, we all experience them from time to time. For men, the problem is most common at the chin line or neck. Women seem to have the most trouble on the back of the legs, folds of skin or underarms. To understand how to prevent ingrown hair, it helps to understand the reasons why ingrown hairs form, and what to do to inhibit their development.

anatomy of our skin
anatomy of our skin

Overview: Skin facts related to ingrown hairs

The top two layers of the epidermis (Stratum corneum and the Stratum lucidum) are made up of mature or flattened cells and dead skin cells called Keratinocytes. These cells are constantly shed and replaced by cells from the lower layers of the epidermis.

The hair follicle is a little pocket of epidermis embedded deep the dermis. Hair itself is made up of the protein keratin. Hair and skin are protected by oils and cooled by sweat that are produced in small glands found throughout the skin and hair follicle.

So, shedding dead skin cells and buildup of keratin deposits, and also sweat and oils all contribute to a clogged hair follicle, or ingrown hair.

What is an ingrown hair?

Razor bumps, boils, ingrown hair….are they all the same thing?

Yes, in fact, all start out the same way. An ingrown hair is usually a coarse and curly hair that has looped back on itself and grows back into the skin. This can happen when the hair is cut, and then has a sharpened, beveled edge that can poke back into the skin. The result is a red bump, or bumps in an area. If the skin becomes infected, a boil can result.

Infected ingrown hairs could become quite serious, as this Cosmo article relates. If you notice that a client has many ingrown hairs, especially if the bumps are red, painful or pus filled, recommend that the client see their dermatologist for treatment right away.

What causes ingrown hairs?

Dull razors that cut the hair leaving it with a jagged edge, and a buildup of dead skin cells or oils and dirt that clog the hair follicle are a few reasons. Using fresh razors, or an electric razor can lessen the chances of developing razor bumps. Treatments such as waxing, electrolysis or hair removal creams are a good way to avoid ingrown hair.

At times, a client will ask if waxing causes ingrown hairs. The answer: Instead of causing ingrown hairs, a good wax treatment is a great way to exfoliate the skin. Exfoliation removes the debris that can clog the follicle and prevent the hair from growing out.

Is waxing better than shaving?

As a therapist, you know the benefits of a complete waxing treatment. Explain to your client each step:

  • Pre-waxing treatments cleanse and hydrate the skin of the dirt, oils and dead skin that could cause ingrown hair.

  • The wax removal exfoliates the skin, leaving the skin refreshed. Certain waxes have anti-inflammatory ingredients to help reduce any skin irritation. It is a good idea to have several choices of wax on hand to address different skin and hair types.

  • Using a post-wax treatment finalizes the skin, giving it much needed moisture.

  • The final step is your client’s best friend- using a product like Ingrown X-it by Lycon or Ingrown Zone by Mancine. Both formulas contain ingredients to reduce inflammation, clear pores and fight bacteria and are available in a cream or a convenient spray. You can send them home with a bottle for use in between treatments!

Your clients will appreciate your expertise on the subject and the knowledge you share with them. No doubt, many will become regular clients when they see the results of your treatments on their own skin!