Skin And Body Focus

A holistic approach to caring for our natural self

Brazillian waxing ? Yes please ! March 22, 2013

Filed under: Body Treatments,Skin care,Waxing,Wellness — skinandbodyfocus @ 8:10 pm
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bikiniwax_bigA couple of years ago I took the plunge and went to get a Brazilian wax. I was a little bit nervous but my curiosity about it was getting the best of me, plus I needed to know what it felt like BEFORE I could rightly promote it to my clients. Fortunately, I had a fellow esty I trusted who was kind, patient and understanding about my first time experience. It’s because of her bedside mannerism that I was not terrorized and ran away screaming with a scorched “kitty-kat” as I have heard so many others do.

After getting it done, I was amazed by how much I liked it. Interesting, because I used to laugh at my cousin who always got Brazilians done. I just didn’t understand why . Well now I know, for me and for most people the reasons are similar.

  1. It’s makes you feel cleaner
  2. It makes you feel fresher because there is no hair which results in less sweating. Less sweating, means less odor
  3. It allows for more spontaneity, got a spur of the moment invite to the beach or pool ?  have a special date ? No problem ! The hair has been removed a couple of weeks ago and you are ready !
  4. Less risk of razor bumps and hyperpigmentation around the bikini area, which could cause a girl to feel a little bit insecure in a bathing suit.

Brazilian waxing is the process of removing all the hair from the pubic area including the back area between the butt cheeks (yeah there is hair there too).  It is not a new technique although the name “Brazilian waxing ” was popularized  during the late 1980″s.  Full hair removal of the pubic region has a history that dates back to local customs in India between 4000-3000 BC.

It can feel a little bit embarrassing at first because let’s be honest …you are showing all of your “bizness” to someone who wouldn’t normally have the privilege of seeing it . The usual time for this service usually fall within the range of 7- 45 min. depending on the amount of hair you have, how squirmish you are, and the skill & technique of the therapist doing it. People also worry about the pain. “Does it hurt ?” they ask, well of course it does ! lol ! Momentarily… However, you can ask your friends where do they go, read local reviews for facilities that specialize in it. You should find a therapist that is confident, trained, careful and with whom you are comfortable with and it should be a decent experience.

So are you bold enough to go Brazilian this summer ?

 

 

Less is better : Waxing season is here! March 15, 2013

Filed under: Body Treatments,Skin care — skinandbodyfocus @ 8:04 pm
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Okay, so the sun is shining brighter these days and that of course means we will start baring more skin. Peeling back the layers and feeling rejuvenated. With all of this of course we start to realize mayyyybe there are a few areas that we have neglected during the cold season. Look under your arms, look on your legs, look between the legs…yeah, some of us might be in need of some “sprucing up” .

During the warmer months less is better, in my opinion ! So what are you gonna do about it ? I know what I’m doing, and that is waxing ! Waxing is a form of hair removal that saves everyone some time. It removes the hair from the root, leaving a stubble free and smooth skin. The hair does not return for 3-6 weeks (depending on growth cycle), and is not as itchy when it grows back , as is often the case when shaving. If you are on a schedule with your waxing person, you will find that the hair will begin growing back more sparse too.

So what are you waiting for ?  Go remove that hair, its waxing season !

 

Is my Wash cloth causing hyperpimentation ? February 14, 2013

I have come to the conclusion that my washcloth is harmful to my skin. Not the skin over my entire body, but the skin on my face. I have an acneic skin type ( yes estheticians have skin problems too) and although I work hard to keep it under control I still get break outs from time to time. With that, I also get hyperpigmentation (dark spots) after the blemish is gone.

When washing my face in the morning and evening before bed, like most people I use a washcloth. I rub over my skin  (gently) to remove the cleanser and of course I am washing over the blemish or the pigmentated area. Generally speaking using a wash cloth is fine, however herin lies the problem ; Hyperpigmentation is the result of melanin activity under the skin. Everyone’s skin produces melanin, it’s part of our skins protection. There are different reasons that hyperpigmentation occurs . One of which  is some type of trauma or inflammation in the skin that causes melanin production to increase in an effort to heal the area.

Rubbing the skin too many times (night & day) with a cloth could agrevate the skin. Depending on the texture of the cloth, the abrasiveness may add to the inflammation and irritation  which will stimulate melanin activity.  This may cause the pigmentation to last longer on the skin or make old areas reappear.  Although I do not rub aggressively, I may be still doing too much because of the frequency. By choosing to lower the frequency on the use of my cloth, using something much, much softer, the pigmentation will fade away faster. Especially when using products in your home care to support this such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E , and GreenTea

Being too aggressive is not necessarily my problem, but it doesnt mean that I can’t take some further steps to maintaining beautiful skin. Perhaps it is a problem for others, which is why I share this post. To let some know that sometimes less is better. We have to protect the skin ! Wiping harder, scrubbing more or using a washcloth is not going to make the blemishes better.

Here are a couple of links that I think you would find helpful if this is a concern for you too :

http://blog.reneerouleau.com/2009/10/got-brown-spots-avoid-vigorous-rubbing-of-the-skin/

http://buy.dermalogica.com/e2wItemMain.aspx?parentID=IT00001277

 

The truth about chocolate : good, bad and ugly February 1, 2013

There is no secret among my peers that I really like chocolate. It makes me happy inside, it is one of my go-to comfort foods and I am a bit of a chocolate snob. I even have a Pinterest board dedicated to it.  And I know I am not alone in my love…

Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate Goodness

The month of February is one of the biggest selling months for the chocolate industry due to the Valentines day holiday,  last year selling over an estimated 60 million pounds ! But I say why wait for the holiday to enjoy the benefits ? Chocolate, made from the Theobroma Cacao is beneficial for our body if taken properly and moderately, is also good for skin and body care. It’s with good reason it was named “Food of the gods.”

Cocoa is full of Flavanols (antioxidants) such as Catechins,  these help to fight free radicals. We need to fight the free radicals because they are what break down our skin and bodies, speeding up the aging process. If we have less free radicals we have a more youthful appearance and less wrinkles ! Cocoa can increase blood flow which may lower blood pressure.

The reason why we feel so good when we eat a good piece of chocolate ? It’s because the Cacao bean contains Phenylethylamine ; an organic compound that is similar to the body’s own dopamine and adrenaline hormones. It also increases Serotonin ; a neurotransmitter found within the body of humans and animals and is known for contributing to happiness and well-being. Therefore it can be considered a slight antidepressant and stimulant.

When it comes to skin and body care, cacao  is made up of 50 % fatty acids such as Palmitic and Stearic. Fatty acids are necessary for proper cell function. Healthy skin cells need to maintain proper amounts of water and nutrients. The fatty acids help the cells to do that, without enough fatty acids the cells would be lacking and our skin would develop problems and conditions like loss of elasticity, dryness, dehydration, wrinkles. The Fatty acids also work to repair the skin damage caused by pimples and blemishes as well as when used in a treatment can reduce the appearance of cellulite. It’s no wonder there are so many treatments and products used  in the esthetic rooms that contain cacao ! When used properly in esthetics it is great for achieving skin care goals.

Chocolate in itself does not cause acne However, remember Chocolate is also high in sugar. So be careful of the type of chocolate you buy and consume. Diets high in sugars are not good for the body and will breakdown the nutrients needed for the internal health of our body and skin. Dark chocolate of 70 % or higher is best and  about a square piece two to three times a week is optimum. ( ok, this is hard to do ! And I’m working on that part lol ! )

So, now that you know…go ahead and indulge in the “food for the gods” ! Here is a recipe for a wonderful face mask to try at home :

I have used a similar version of this recipe and it is amazing ! I found this version on Dying for Chocolate blog…

Chocolate Oatmeal Honey Mask from Skin Care and Remedies

Ingredients
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup organic honey
2 Tbsp of heavy cream (or sour cream)
3 tsp oatmeal powder

Directions
Mix all ingredients until mass in consistent.
Apply to face, gently massaging so oatmeal can start exfoliating the dead skin cell layer.
Leave on for about 15-20 minutes
Rinse off with lukewarm water.

*this blog post is not intended to replace any medical advice, or treat any medical conditions. Please consult with your Doctor to see if this is acceptable for you.*

 

 

Sleeping habits that could aggrevate skin and body conditions January 22, 2013

How do you sleep ? When do you sleep ? How long do you sleep ? These are all very important questions to ask yourself when trying to figure out why you are starting to notice stuff on your face and body. Believe it or not, it’s the little things we do everyday that can give us pause.

It’s happened to me , and perhaps you too. You look down at your chest and realize it’s a little wrinkly, some new blemishes randomly decide to wreck havoc on your cheeks, you’ve noticed the fine lines on the sides of your face too…WTH ?!

Here’s the culprit : SIDE SLEEPING.

I know right ? Because for me side sleeping is like the best, coziest sleep evah ! However it is also the reason for increased wrinkles and lines on the decollete’ . Just think about it, as you are laying on your side in that pose the positioning is causing the skin in that area to crunch up. Maybe not a lot, but over time, night after night this repeated pattern will cause creases in the skin. This can also be true of the new-found fine lines on the skin of the face, the repeated pressure of leaning the face against the bunched up pillow or sheets during sleep will cause wrinkling.

When you wake up in the morning and see you have grown a little ant hill on your cheek while you were sleeping, it is very possible that side sleeping may be the aggrevater of  the situation. Why ? Because oil & debris can be trapped on your pillow case. I know you are thinking ” I keep my sheets clean !” Well I hate to tell you but no matter how clean your sheets are they still gonna have microscopic traces of oil & debris on it . Mainly because our skin is made up of thousands of pores which secrete oil & water from the glands, plus our skin is always desquamating (shedding dead skin). Add to it the lotions we wear, makeup, & hair chemicals….you get the point. There is stuff on the sheets.  These things which are layed on each night could breed bacteria, infect and irritate the skin and cause breakout activity.

The solution you ask ? : Sleeping on the back with a pillow under the knees and changing the pillow case every couple of days  (if you insist on side sleeping).

Lastly, be sure to get enough sleep at night. A lack of sleep can cause you to look older and less vibrant. According to The Huffington Post “HCG is at it’s hightest production during slow wave sleep ” . A deficiency in this hormone (which could be caused by sleep deprivation) could cause sagging skin, a less youthful look . Not to mention when you are well rested you feel better and we all know that when you feel good, you look good. Our whole outlook and attitude is bright and that gives off an added glow.

So, how are you sleeping ? Your answer just may explain how your skin looks positively or negatively! 😉

 

 

 

What is the deal with moisturizer ? January 10, 2013

Filed under: Skin care — skinandbodyfocus @ 3:24 pm
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woman_applying_moisturizer-200.hteaseAs an esthetician one of the questions I ask during a consultation is “do you use a moisturizer ? What type of moisturizer is it ? And how often are you using it ?”

I ask these pertinent questions because it can give a lot of insight on the condition of the clients skin. The answers I get are commonly : “I don’t use a moisturizer because my skin is too oily.” “I only use my moisturizer in the morning.” ” I just use my body lotion.” I use cocoa butter.” “I use vaseline” “I use __*insert name brand moisturizer*__ every day”. There are lots of reasons why the above list of moisturizer applications is incorrect, and quite honestly I don’t have the time today to explain them all in this post. Soooo, instead of giving you the negatives I’m gonna focus on the positives . Here is a brief synopsis of why you should use a good moisturizer daily twice a day. Ready ? Here it goes ! :

  • Protection and nourishment of the skin
  • improves the skins texture
  • May reduce the appearance of fine lines (depending on ingredients)
  • Draw moisture into the skin to counteract dehydration
  • Balancing oil – water content of skin ( which may prevent breakouts)
  • Treats various skin conditions such as redness, aging, or dryness
  • Assists the skin in its natural shedding ability

As you can see, it does not matter what your skin type or condition is. Skin is skin is skin and it all needs moisturizer ! *Side bar : the skin on the face is different from the skin on the body so keep your moisturizer for the face on the face and the lotion for your body on your body.*

The key is finding the right type for your condition and skin type for the most satisfying results. For oily and combination type skin a water based moisturizer is best, without leaving a residue.  A dry to normal skin could benefit from a oil-based moisturizer designed to protect the surface and trap water under the cream. Overall you want your moisturizer to be non-comedogenic and easily absorbed.  A skin therapist is a good person to ask…most of the time a skin consultation is free and he or she can make an excellent recommendation on the moisturizer you need.

Now ladies and gents…. start moisturizing ! 😉

 

 

 

 

Dehydration and it’s affects on your skin and body October 1, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — skinandbodyfocus @ 5:00 pm

I was once told by my Naturapath Dr. to Google dehydration. I didn’t rush to do it at first because I felt like I already knew what it was and why I needed to drink more water.

Eventually though I did decide to take a little look. And as I suspected there was information that I already knew…but then there was some things I did not know and overall I had the reinforcement I needed to be mindful of my daily water intake. Quite honestly, me and water have a love hate relationship. I like to drink it and drink it daily, but have been guilty of just not drinking the proper amounts ( half your weight in ounces). Some days I struggle with it.

If you are like me perhaps you need to have the reinforcement , and motivation to drink more water too. Here are a few things I found under dehydration, take note and drink more water ! :

Dehydration causes

  1. Lack in energy
  2. Low blood pressure
  3. poor skin elasticity
  4. Premature aging of skin
  5. A breakdown of the skins protective barrier
  6. Dry, cracked skin

Causes of dehydration

  1. Smoking
  2. Over exposure to the sun
  3. Sweating
  4. Certain medications
  5. Not enough water intake
  6. diarrhea
  7. Improper skin care products for your skin type
  8. Poor nutrition
  9. Lack of proper rest
  10. Stress
  11. Exposure to harsh chemicals

How to treat dehydration

  1. Drink 1/2 your weight in ounces
  2. Eat more fruits and veggies
  3. Avoid using bar soaps on the face , many contain harsh detergents and are drying on the skin.
  4. Use a broad spectrum sunscreen to protect the skin
  5. Apply a hydrating  facial mask at home a few times a week such as raw honey
  6. Get  professional facial with treatments to help balance your skins PH
  7. Professional facial  with treatments such as enzymes, vitamin C, seaweed, serums, steam and more.
  8. A body wrap
  9. Limit caffeine intake
  10. Start taking daily supplements like omega 3 and cod liver oil

 

 

 

 

 

Apple cider vinegar uses and benefits September 19, 2012

Filed under: Body Treatments,Healthy stuff,Wellness — skinandbodyfocus @ 5:43 pm
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It’s no surprise that I like to use a lot of natural things to get various tasks done in my home, which also spills over to my treatment room and personal care. Whatever natural thing that I choose be it a type of food, herb, liquid, clay or whatever I always wonder what other ways can I use this item other than the way I currently am ?

One of those such items is Apple Cider Vinegar. It is inexpensive and  is a staple found in most homes.   It has both acidic and alkaline properties which makes it a very beneficial product for internal and external use. Before the fermenting process of the apple cider,  the apples are alkaline.  Once fermentation is complete and it forms the vinegar, acids such as lactic, malic and citric are present.

Our bodies are healthy with a mostly alkaline environment internally and externally our bodies (skin) are healthy with a more acidic environment.

Here is a list of some ways the apple cider vinegar is useful in more ways than one.

  • Get rid of stinky feet – soak foot in a foot bath for 20 -30 minutes with a cup of ACV.
  • Assists in clearing up acne ( do not apply directly on skin, could cause burns. instead, it should be diluted in water)
  • Aids in weight loss
  • Soothes itchy skin
  • Helps the body to get rid of excess mucus
  • Cleanses the liver
  • Decreases joint pain, reduces inflammation
  • The natural enzymes rids the body of fungus such as candida
  • helps with allergies
  • Helps lower blood pressure

Some suggest taking a vinegar bath. Adding one cup of the vinegar to a warm bath will help to remove bacteria in areas of the body like the urethra, thereby preventing urinary tract infections.  Then, you can take it a step further and add a few drops of lavender essential oil for an aromatic bath. The end result is soft glowing skin.

 

Why is green clay beneficial ? September 11, 2012

I have been a fan of using french green clay for many years. I have used it in my personal life and of course professionally I use it in my treatment room. Green clay has many benefits and can be used in a number of ways for various purposes. Read below to find out for yourself and maybe you will become a fan of it as well …

It is a very absorbent mineral clay that contains in parts, decomposed plant materials as well as trace minerals of calcium, copper, zinc & more. It’s ability to absorb is what makes this natural source a great detoxifyer. The thicker it is laid/packed on the skin the more impurities it pulls from it.

When it comes to facial skin care, it is great to use as a mask. the clay improves circulation which in turn increases blood flow , lessening wrinkles, and giving the skin a healthy glow It will help tighten the pores, absorb excess oil,  exfoliate the dead skin cells built up in the pores,  & reduce inflammation that is common with acneic skin.

This green clay is good for body treatments and is regularly used in pelotherapy. It is excellent in healing trauma injuries, supporting immune system stimulation, organ elimination too.

A study of French green clay and its medicinal benefits was conducted in 2007 by  Arizona State University. This study concluded that this clay was highly anti-bacterial and effective in inhibiting bacterial pathogens such as ecoli, salmonella , Staphylococcus and several others of which can cause disease and disorders of the skin. This research in itself was a surprising, validating and interesting piece of information for me too.

To make your own mask at home it can be as simple or as complicated as you’d like. Simply mix the clay with a liquid of your choice (water, aloe vera gel, apple cider vinegar, hydrosols ) to create a paste. You may also add a drop of essential oil ( be sure it is one appropriate for skin use). It can even be mixed with honey . Once you have the ingredients that you want to use combined it can be applied to the face and left on for 10-15 minutes. Let it harden, rinse well  and then remove with a warm (not hot ) cloth. Add your moisturizer and your done. If you’re not the DIY type it’s okay, I always welcome a friendly face in my treatment room 😉

It’s  easy to purchase from your local herbal store, some farmers markets and of course on line . So when will you give it a try ?

 

 

“Ice, Ice , (that zit) baby !” August 28, 2012

Okay, so I couldn’t resist using that old school vanilla ice reference in the  title for this post.  But it is so true, you really can use ice on acne. Sometimes when there is a pimple on the face (or any body part) it is accompanied by some swelling and inflammation. This happens mainly because of infection in the pore that may have ruptured the follicle wall, which will signal the white blood cells to come in and try to heal the wounded area.

Healing is good but the red and sometimes itchy and painful spots are not. So, what can you do ? Don’t add toothpaste… “Ice, Ice baby ! ”  (couldn’t help myself) Applying ice to the area will calm down the skin and reduce the swelling. It will also help to tone the facial muscles and help with giving the skin a nice glow. For an added benefit, try freezing rose-water in ice cubes and apply to the skin. The rose-water is a lovely way to hydrate, heal  and tone the skin.

Using the ice cubes is simple . Do this :

  1. cleanse your face with your facial cleanser twice.
  2. grab an ice-cube and place it in a washcloth
  3. rub the cube in the cloth over the pimple, cyst and the entire face for about 3 passes
  4. apply hydrating serum
  5. apply a blemish control spot treatment
  6. apply moisturizer (and spf if done in the morning)

Note : This is also good for rosacea skin types as well.

That’s it. One extra step in your normal routine. Simple and yet effective