Waxing And Other Forms Of Hair Removal

Waxing is the process of hair removal from the root by using a covering of a sticky substance, such as wax, to adhere to body hair, and then removing this covering and pulling out the hair from the follicle. New hair will not grow back in the previously waxed area for four to six weeks, although some people will start to see regrowth in only a week due to some of their hair being on a different human hair growth cycle. Almost any area of the body can be waxed, including eyebrows, face, pubic hair (called bikini waxing), legs, arms, back, abdomen, knuckles, and feet. There are many types of waxing suitable for removing unwanted hair.

Strip waxing (soft wax) is accomplished by spreading a wax thinly over the skin. A cloth or paper strip is applied and pressed firmly, adhering the strip to the wax and the wax to the skin. The strip is then quickly ripped against the direction of hair growth, as parallel as possible to the skin to avoid trauma to the skin. This removes the wax along with the hair. There are different forms of strip waxing or soft waxing: heated, cold or pre-made strips. Unlike cold waxing, heated wax is spread easily over the skin. Cold waxing is thicker, which makes it more difficult to spread smoothly over the skin. Pre-made strips come with the wax on them, and they come in different sizes for different area uses.

Stripless wax (as opposed to strip wax), also referred to as hard wax,is applied somewhat thickly and with no cloth or paper strips. The wax then hardens when it cools, thus allowing the easy removal by a therapist without the aid of cloths or strips. This waxing method is very beneficial to people who have sensitive skin. Stripless wax does not adhere to the skin as much as strip wax does, thus making it a good option for sensitive skin as finer hairs are more easily removed because the hard wax encapsulates the hair as it hardens. The stripless waxing method can also be less painful.

Facials And Skin Care Treatments

Last year, Americans spent nearly $17 billion on spa services. A lot of that money went toward facials: treatments that claim to remove blemishes, combat wrinkles, moisturize, regenerate, tighten and otherwise beautify the skin so that your face looks fabulous.But is there evidence to support the claims (and costs) of these treatments? Experts say it depends on the type of facial, where you have it performed and the skin benefit you’re hoping to get out of it.

“I was at this beautiful spa in Santa Fe, and the esthetician giving me a facial said the next citrus emollient she was going to apply would help cleanse my liver,” recalls Ushma Neill, editor-at-large of the Journal of Clinical Investigation and vice president of scientific education and training at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “I almost sat up in disbelief.”

That experience, Neill says, prompted her to investigate the existing science on spa facials. She published her findings in a 2012 report. Her conclusion? “I realized just how useless it all was,” she says. “I haven’t had a facial since I wrote that article.”

Neill says she doesn’t dispute claims that facials can temporarily revamp the skin by “moisturizing it to the max” and removing pimples and other blemishes. But when it comes to many of the fancier, pricier services that claim to combat aging or inflammation—everything from ozone and antioxidant treatments to stem-cell extract applications—most of that stuff is “complete malarkey,” she says.

Other experts reiterate that point. “As a dermatologist, I see a lot of patients with misperceptions about different creams and procedures and the whole concept of facials,” says Dr. Joel Cohen, an associate clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Colorado and director of AboutSkin Dermatology and DermSurgery near Denver.Apart from moisturizing the skin, Cohen says most topical creams are unlikely to provide much lasting benefit—especially if applied sporadically and only in a spa setting. And while some chemical peels that use substances like salicylic or glycolic acid can help stimulate skin cell turnover and repair, Cohen says proper daily skin care—regular cleansing and applying moisturizer and sunscreen—are a lot more likely to be helpful.