Hair Growth Cycle

Did 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, 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 main 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

In this stage the hair bulb is not active and a new hair is already started to grow underneath. 
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.

Please don’t shave, tweeze or use hair removal creams in between waxing appointments as this interrupts the hairs natural growth cycle.

Fun Facts about Hair Growth:

It takes many 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. Two hairs can be growing next to each other, but they can be at a different stage of growth. With regular waxing every 4 to 5 weeks, you are more than likely to get your hair on the same growing cycle, allowing for optimal waxing results.

Coconut Oil-Fad or Rad?

These days, coconut oil seems to be everywhere you look - online, in magazines, on T.V. Once only found in specialty health stores, can now be seen super sized at stores like Costco.

So what’s up with all this hype? Is it all it’s “cracked” up to be? Touted by some to reverse Alzheimer’s disease, prevent diabetes and even kill lice. Well, as for the skin care benefits, it looks really promising. And although coconut oil has become all the rage the past few years, the uses and benefits have been widely known by ancient cultures in the pacific, where coconuts originated.


What makes it so special?

Coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids: Capric, Caprylic and Lauric acid. These MCFTs are not easily oxidized and don’t cause free radical damage like polyunsaturated vegetable oils do and help the skin retain moisture. These three fatty acids along with numerous others contained in coconut oil, such as, linolenic and plamitic acids are also known to be anti-fungal and antibacterial.

The anti-fungal and antibacterial properties of coconut oil can be very helpful when dealing with conditions such as, psoriasis, eczema, and acne. It can first help treat the infection by battling microbial bodies and then help heal the damage or visible marks of the skin disorder.

But wait, that’s not all.  It also contains Vitamin E, which is essential for healthy skin growth, skin repair and the prevention of premature aging/wrinkling of the skin.


So, if you haven’t tried it yet, what are you waiting for? We’re officially dubbing it “Rad” (not a fad) and here are some tips and tricks for adding coconut oil to your beauty regimen:

  • Eye makeup remover: Put a little bit on a cotton ball and gently sweep over eyes and then wash face as usual.
  • Moisturizer for face and body: First, apply to a small area to be sure you’re not allergic
  • Helps psoriasis, eczema and acne: apply to affected areas as you would a moisturizer. Again, you may want to first apply to a small area to make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction.
  • Tame fly aways-rub small amount into ends of hair
  • Lip balm
  • Body scrub: Add 1 cup of brown sugar or salt to ½ cup of coconut oil and a couple drops of your favorite essential oil and there you have it.
  • Deep conditioner for hair:  Rub about a tablespoon of coconut oil into your hair, comb through and leave in for a couple of hours or even over night. Then, shampoo as usual.

However you decide to try coconut oil, make sure you use a high quality, unrefined pure virgin coconut oil.  And if you thought coconut oil was just a fad, we hope now you’ll at least give it chance and maybe you’ll find it’s a “rad” way to naturally give your skin a healthy glow.

TOP REASONS WHY YOUR SKIN REACTS

Our skin will often show a external reaction to something we've eaten, touched or encountered. Some common reactions erupt as rashes, such as: eczema, hives or heat rash. Other examples of skin reactions can also appear in the form of hyperpigmentation, acne breakouts, sensitivity to the sun and more. Getting to the root of where they started can be rather difficult. After you finish this article you will be informed to root causes of why your skin reacts.


Internal Environments

A good place to start is with the medications and supplements you take. Birth control pills can cause hyperpigmentation and trigger acne breakouts-this can happen when starting the pill as well as discontinuing it. If you’re prone to acne, screen your vitamins for kelp, seaweed or straight iodine (potassium iodide). The body only needs trace amounts of iodine and the rest will be released through bodily fluids, like sweat and can irritate the skin.

Antihistamines have a drying effect and can cause your skin to become dehydrated. This applies not only to prescription antihistamines but over the counter brands as well, for any allergies or sinus congestion. Some medications are known to cause sensitivity to UV light, as does antibiotics. Steroids and medicines containing bromides (frequently found in cold medicine) can cause an inflammation of the follicle that will lead to acne breakouts.


External Environment

Our external environment can not be ignored when talking about skin reactions. Smog and dirt can clog our pores while toxins in the air can cause premature aging of our skin. Although our air quality in San Diego is not as bad as some bigger cities, it’s important to be aware that it does affect our skin and that’s why proper cleansing is crucial.

Changes in our own bodies as a reaction to stress, menstruation, pregnancy or disease can also show up through our skin. Stress and pregnancy can lead to hyperpigmentation and breakouts and during pregnancy, some women experience “melasma” which is the darkening of the skin around the cheeks and forehead. Many women will experience a healthy glow during pregnancy, but that’s not always the case. Menstruation can cause greater sensitivity to light as well as breakouts due to increase in sebum production during this time.


Health Conditions

Health conditions such as diabetes can cause the skin to take longer to heal and they may bleed and bruise easily. Liver diseases increases the skin’s susceptibility to bruise and skin has more red dilated blood vessels. Thyroid conditions, such as an over-active thyroid, can cause the skin to be thin, moist and covered in sweaty fine hair. An under-active thyroid will cause the skin to be rough, dry, decreased sweat and hair growth. Thyroid hormones play an important role with the skin's oil production. This is why it’s important to let your skin care professional know about changes in your health.

Our skin, kidneys, lungs and liver have important roles in the excretion of waste from the body. If you have elimination problems you might experience some skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis and eczema. If you have “chicken skin” (bumpy, dry skin) on the back of your arms or back you probably have excess uric acid in your system and better elimination is needed.


Our skin can be a reflection of what is going on in the inside of our bodies as well as the outside. By working together, we can achieve the best skin care results possible.

What's your skin type?

By “skin type”, I mean what you inherited from your mama and papa and not a “skin condition”, such as rosacea, dehydrated or acne. It’s generally accepted that there are five different skin types: normal, oily, dry, sensitive and combination.

Now, having said that, there are many factors that affect the condition of the skin: hormones, weather, pollution, diet and stress, just to name a few. Your skin condition may change according to these elements, but the natural tendency of your skin will remain the same. For example, you may have an oily skin type, but because of dry weather and improper hydration, your skin may be dehydrated and feeling dry. 

Let’s briefly go over each skin type. 
* Normal skin is supple and well balanced, not too oily or too dry. 
*Oily skin is shiny, with larger pores and is more prone to acne. 
*Sensitive skin is usually dry and can easily become red and irritated. 
*Dry skin will be flaky, dry and will feel tight. Complexion will be dull and pores will be smaller. 
*Combination skin is usually oily through the T-zone, which includes the forehead, nose and chin. The skin around the cheeks and eyes will be dry.

Dos and Don’ts

Oily Skin
-Wear an oil-free sunscreen. Sun exposure increases oil production
-Still use moisturizer, but be sure it’s for oily skin and it’s a light one. 
If you don’t your skin will produce more oil within 4 hours, be open for bacteria and cause more acne blemishes.
-Don’t over-cleanse. If you do, you stimulate more oil production and disrupt the P.H of your skin. Two times per day is enough

Dry Skin
-Stay away from mineral oils, lanolin and synthetic fragrances
-Increase fluids, but watch your caffeine intake
-Use a gentle, non-foaming cleanser, only at night, not in the morning
-Also add a serum to your daily routine before your moisturizer and a face scrub to gently exfoliate those dead skin cells

Sensitive Skin
-Stay away from synthetic fragrances
-Always test products on a small area before using all over your face
-Use cool water to cleanse the skin, especially at the end of every shower

Combination Skin
-T-Zone tends to be the oily/problematic one, so use a lighter moisturizer there and a medium consistency on the rest of the face to make sure you’re feeding your skin properly
-Use proper products for each area of your face
-Be sure to exfoliate

It’s important to use the proper skin care products for your particular type of skin. Using the wrong product can aggravate your skin and make any skin condition you may be dealing with worse.
The best person to discuss this with.. your Esthetician, Me!

Schedule a custom facial right now and discover your skin type, the best home care regimen and proper skin habits for your skin type.

Psoriasis and Eczema

Cold, dry weather can have us all slathering on more lotion and cream. But, for those who suffer with skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema it signals the beginning of a seemingly endless battle of intensely itchy, irritated skin and embarrassing patches of redness and open sores.

About 20% of children suffer with eczema and 3% of adults deal with eczema or psoriasis.  Neither is contagious and though one single cause is still unknown, the origins of both are genetic and can be triggered by allergies and stress.

Eczema, also know as “Atopic Dermatitis” is a chronic inflammatory skin disease which causes dry, itchy, irritated skin. It can appear anywhere on the body, but many times occurs on the elbows and behind the knees.

Irritants such as soaps, detergents or shampoos can trigger or worsen the symptoms. The culprit can differ from person to person, so it’s important to pay close attention to find what may be a trigger for you. Environmental allergens like dust mites, pet dander or mold can also cause a flare up, as can food allergies. One thing’s for sure-finding the root cause of atopic dermatitis can be very difficult.

Psoriasis is a more involved and complex condition. People affected by psoriasis are at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and other immune related inflammatory diseases.

While the edges of eczema rashes have irregular edges, psoriatic lesions tend to be more distinct. The most common type of psoriasis is Plaque Psoriasis, which produces raised, thickened patches of red skin covered with silvery scales. While normal skin takes 28-30 days to mature, psoriatic skin matures in 3-4 days. Instead of sloughing off, the dead skin cells pile up on the surface and trigger inflammation and overproduction of skin cells.

Without a known cause, treatment consists of managing the symptoms and doing all you can to lead a healthy lifestyle. Traditional treatments eczema include, steroid creams and antihistamines. General rules of thumb are: taking short warm (not hot) showers, pat skin with towel and immediately apply moisturizer after your shower.

In severe cases of both eczema and psoriasis, Phototherapy may be used. Phototherapy uses ultraviolet light to help reduce the itch, bring down inflammation and increase Vitamin D production.

Treatment for Psoriasis also includes steroid creams. Salicylic acid may be used for small areas as it promotes shedding of psoriatic scales. Calcipotriene, another topical ointment, is related to Vitamin D and may be used in limited amounts. Doctors may also prescribe retinoids. In severe cases, oral medication that suppresses the immune system may be used.

Lifestyle changes can also help symptoms from both psoriasis and eczema. You may try an anti-inflammatory diet, such as, cutting out sugar, white bread and pasta, alcohol, milk and gluten. Add in fish oil and plenty of fresh leafy greens. 

Managing your stress level is very important as stress can trigger and worsen your symptoms. Try exercise, meditation and of course getting a relaxing treatment at my spa. 

If you prefer more natural, at home treatments, you can try Aloe Vera gel, Calendula cream and taking Epsom salt or Dead Sea Salt baths. Essential oils, such as lavender, chamomile or neroli mixed with almond or jojoba oil can soothe and reduce inflammation. Coconut oil is also excellent for the skin and can be applied directly to the affected areas. You can also make a paste out of nutmeg powder and warm water and apply to the skin. And last, but not least, drink lots of water!

Although a single cause of eczema and psoriasis is still unknown, you still have the power to do what you can to reduce flare-ups and ease the symptoms.

The Battle with Oily Skin

Tips on Dealing with Oily Skin

  1. Go easy with the blotting paper. It can push dirt and oil deeper into the pores
  2. Use products specifically for oily skin.
  3. Use a cleanser with salicylic acid
  4. Use a lighter foundation
  5. Switch to a lighter face cream

The fight against oily skin usually intensifies during these hot and humid months of summer. But in our quest for that beautiful matte finish, we can actually aggravate the skin and give the oil more ammo for its’ battle. The natural inclination to scrub, wipe and cleanse the oil away can cause the skin to dry out, triggering the body to release even more oil. 


The top causes of oily skin:

Hormones

Our bodies are at the mercy of hormones-they control pretty much every process in our systems, including oil production in the skin. So as expected, during times like puberty or pregnancy, when hormones are racing through veins, we’re more prone to oily skin.

Heat/Humidity

The weather definitely has an effect on our skin. While those with dry skin have probably been loving the humidity we've been having, all of my oily skin peeps are probably counting the days until cooler, drier weather.

Stress

Stress causes an inflammatory response in the body, including an increased production of oil. That’s why during stressful times in our lives, and often when we want to look our best, lo and behold-we have the inevitable breakout.

Over-cleansing the skin

Getting too aggressive and trying to scrub the oil away will irritate and dry out the skin-causing an increase of oil production. Also, be careful to use the correct products for your skin type. For example, if you have combination skin, but use products for oily skin it’ll dry out the dry areas further and cause more oil to be produced.

Genetics

When in doubt, just blame your genes, right?! But, unfortunately try as we may, there are just certain attributes we can’t get around. And yes, our sebaceous glands (glands that produce oil) are one of them.