Archive | December, 2016

Hair Removal: Lasers vs. Non-Laser Methods

26 Dec

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When it comes to hair removal, the first thing I think of is doing it at home. I’m busy. Finding time to get to a salon is almost impossible with my work load. Even though it is nice to let someone else worry about this task for me, I have just gotten used to doing it myself over the years. But with that comes complications. I need to find the right products. And that isn’t easy. Even with all the hair removal services available and the DIY items available in drug stores, lately I have been throwing around the idea of having it removed “permanently” and professionally. But let’s way the options, shall we?

shavingShaving At Home: This has been my go-to route ever since day one. I have seen the changes in razors and shaving cream over the years. Yes, products are MUCH better than they used to be. But the fact still remains that razors cut and that is the one side effect that almost everyone runs into sooner or later. Not to mention, that is a problem I really can’t have. (I don’t want the chance of getting an infection in a cut.) Even the wrong shaving cream can be irritating to my sensitive skin or cause my skin to be dry. If there isn’t enough moisturizer in the shaving cream, the razor won’t glide across the skin and tug the hairs instead of cutting them. Since the blades only clip the hair above the surface of the skin, the stubble can be back the very next day. Bikini season is a nightmare when it comes to keeping areas smooth for weeks at a time and avoiding the evil “razor rash” which is uncomfortable as heck!

womancreamDepilatory Creams: There are also products that are a chemical preparation that is applied to the surface of the skin to break down the composition of the hairs in that area. You then wipe or “scrape” away the weakened hair strands. For me, these are just not an option. My sensitive skin has told me so. When I use these products, the results aren’t good. I end up with problems that many people find as well: harsh smells, irritated skin, chemical burns, and even allergic reactions. Although the hair starts growing back slower than if you used a razor, you will still begin to feel stubble within a few days.

waxingWaxing: This actually is a process that I do not mind so much. I can find waxes at almost all department or drug stores. The cost is a bit more than the other two options but is way more thorough. We know that waxing is a process where you apply the product to the skin, then pull it off quickly to pull hairs out from the skin. There are cold wax kits that can be used where the wax is already on the strip so it can be pressed against the skin, then pulled up. Great idea but not if your hair is thick or course. The cold waxes very seldom “latch on” if the hair you are trying to remove is like this. Hot wax treatments work much better—you apply the hot wax directly to the area with the hair you don’t want then press on a cloth strip. After a minute or so, when the wax has begun to harden, you grab the cloth and “rip” if off. Cold wax kits are far less messy than hot wax, but also less effective. Even though hot wax is a better option, you have to be careful of wax burns, bumps and irritation. Some people like the results of a wax treatment, but you have to let the hair grow out for several weeks before you can even have it done. That’s a very long wait time, especially in the summer!!

laserLaser Hair Removal: More and more people are looking into getting their not-so-welcomed hair removed for good. That is where the laser option comes into play. This is a very effective method of removing unwanted hair from the body for as long as possible. Laser hair removal equipment uses intense pulses of controlled light to target the hair follicles and destroy the roots. The lasers use a specific wavelength of light and a limited pulse length to target the hair and not the skin. Because the hair follicle is damaged, it isn’t “healthy” enough to rejuvenate new hair growth right away. Laser hair removal can remove hair for as little as several months and a long as years. The length of time the hair is gone differs widely from person to person.

Professional vs. Personal Use Lasers

Personal lasers are for use in the privacy of your own home. They are far less powerful than professional laser devices. In order to make them safe for the common consumer, personal use lasers utilize lower power settings so people can’t injure themselves without supervision. That means they take longer to use and don’t capture the same amount of hair as the ones that are used in clinics or spas.

Professional lasers are powerful and can injure a person if not used correctly. Only a licensed technician may operate these devices. They are trained to understand the different settings and how to safely apply treatments to their clients. Although it does sound a bit dangerous, qualified and educated technicians are the only ones licensed to use them. Because they are more powerful, though, they do a MUCH more efficient job of removing hair.

Does Laser Hair Removal Require More Than One Treatment?

So, maybe you are like me and considering a laser treatment for hair removal. I have done a lot of research ever since my skin began to get much more sensitive and recovery time got longer after shaving and/or waxing. I know that if I find the right laser removal place, it may take a little while to get the results I want. If you are looking just to be bikini ready for the beach, then one or two sessions should be enough. The first treatment will capture most of the undesirable hairs, though you may need a second treatment if you have multiple areas or just want to make sure everything stays smooth for a while. That’s not bad at all. Perfect for just the areas I need treated for summer.

If you are looking for a more permanent removal, it will take several sessions to capture all the hairs. In addition, you will need to follow up with a yearly treatment to capture any new growth. It will not permanently remove all the hairs, though what hair does grow back will be far finer, lighter and fewer in number than before. This makes it very possible to even tweeze the ones that come back yourself. A lot less irritation for my skin for a longer period of time for just a few sessions. Definitely appealing!

With winter here now, this gives me time to decide if I want to forego the razor and wax to look more towards a laser removal option. I know for a fact it will be more beneficial to my skin, avoiding unwanted cuts and irritation. Now is the perfect time to weigh the options and do some investigating.

So, Sassinistas….. chime in! What is YOUR preferred method of hair removal and why? What are your go-to products. And if you have had a laser treatment, I want to know the details! Put your thoughts in a comment below!!

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PRODUCT REVIEW: ‘Tis the season for…. Exfoliation & hydration

21 Dec

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**Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”**

Oh joy, oh joy—winter is upon us. Don’t bother looking at the calendar. I can tell you first hand… it is winter. It’s cold, I’m layering, I’ve been wearing a heavy coat for weeks, I bought new gloves. Three pair. And I even invested in a mini ceramic heater for my vanity room for extra warmth when I put on my morning makeup. When it comes to winter, if it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck…. then it probably flew south already. Just saying.

When the temperatures get colder, taking care of your skin becomes very important. Not only do you need to moisturize more frequently but you will need to possibly use something a bit heavier. This not only applies to your face but to your whole body–head to toe. I recently was sent some items after a product from a distributor in my hometown was featured in the How to be a Redhead subscription box few months back. It was a salt scrub with a nice, gentle scent. When I asked the distributor if there were other products that she liked herself, she sent me some great items to try. I was quite impressed.

shemenlogoLet’s talk about the company for a little bit. Shemen Amour is a woman-owned company that offers a great line of Certified Organic Israeli Dead Sea products. They carry products for face, body and hair for both men and women which is great because men sometimes forget that skincare is just as important for them too. The ingredients in their products have great healing benefits that naturally occur in the minerals and salts found in the Dead Sea. Every product they carry is 100% cruelty-free—part of the Leaping Bunny Program as well as “Beauty Without Bunnies” program certified by PeTA–and is environmentally conscious with each item they carry. That is something that is very important to me.

The local US Distributor was sweet enough to send me a few face and body products to try. I got them very quickly! My first reaction was WOW!—the packaging is huge. You certainly get a lot for your money! I decided to work my way “up” the line in order to give myself a chance to really try them all and see their benefits. Some results took some time to see, some were immediate. I’ll share about each:

img_2922img_2921FEET: Summer is over and it’s time to get rid of “sandal feet” and get them ready for winter. The first thing I used was the Mineral Foot Peeling Cream. I will admit—this was weird! I have used many foot scrubs over the years, but this one confused me at first because it had nothing “gritty” in it. So I wasn’t really sure how it was going to shed the dead skin off my feet. I put a decent amount of the cream in my hand and began to rub my feet with it. HOLY SMOKES! In a matter of seconds, I saw “beads” of dead skin falling off my feet! At first I was shocked but then realized what was happening: I was giving my feet a “chemical peel”. I rubbed the Peeling Cream into both feet for about a minute each then rinsed them with luke warm water in the tub. I could already feel a difference in how smooth my feet felt. It was amazing. Afterwards, I applied the Mineral Foot Cream. I loved how this moisturizer felt on my tootsies. It absorbed quickly, wasn’t sticky or heavy, and made them feel even smoother than before. Again, you don’t need a lot… just a small dollop was enough to moisturize for a day. The scent was gentle as well. I liked that it kept my feet soft even after a few days. It is a really great formula. If you do like things with a soft scent for your feet, they also offer a foot cream with a lavender scent. I tried that one as well and liked it. It seemed to give my feet a gentle cooling sensation as well which was nice.

img_2919-1img_2918BODY: One of my favorite scents when it comes to body products are fruit scents. They awaken my senses and leave my skin feeling and smelling fresh and sweet. When I saw that I got two body products to try from Shemen Amour in a passion fruit scent, I was psyched! The first item was a VERY large “tub” of Aromatic Body Scrub. Enriched with Dead Sea Salt, herbal extracts and nourishing oils including olive, avocado, jojoba, sesame and sunflower, this body scrub exfoliates AND moisturizes at the same time. I found that before I use it, it is really important to SHAKE THE CONTAINER! It will separate if it sits around, so to get the oils into the salts, mixing is really important. It even contains aloe vera so as it removes the dead skin, it soothes too. After the shower, my skin felt smooth and silky… not dry or irritated at all. That is how you want your skin to feel after a mineral salt scrub. When the shower is over, you want to lock in the benefits of the soft skin you have just achieved, and the best way is with a matching body butter. I was sent a “tub” of Shea and Passion Fruit Body Butter to try with it. Again, the scent was awesome! A nice fruity scent without being overpowering. The body butter is enriched with the Dead Sea Minerals as well as vitamins, oils and fruit extracts. It wasn’t “heavy” but it was super moisturizing. The formula did not irritate my sensitive skin, absorbed quickly and didn’t feel greasy. My skin felt noticeably softer to the touch and eliminated dryness immediately. This product is gentle enough to use on your body daily or when you need a boost of moisture… especially this time of year.

img_2920HANDS: I was also sent a tube of the Mineral Hand and Nails cream. We all know that there are endless hand creams on the market with all kinds of ingredients. The thing I like about this hand cream is it doesn’t just moisturize and condition my hands but it also conditions my nails and cuticles. There are a lot of separate products for your nails and cuticles but this one product does both, saving you time and money. The tube is LARGE and I leave it right next to my couch so I can just give my hands a little bump each day, especially this time of year, to keep my nails from splitting, my cuticles from cracking, and my hands from getting rough and dry. If they need a good exfoliating treatment first, rubbing & washing them with some of the Aromatic Body Scrub helps shed the dead skin first before applying the hand cream. An extra boost for those cold months!

img_2924EYES: One thing I learned early on in my glamour career is that there are three areas of the body that will tell your age better than your driver’s license: your hands, your neck and the skin around your eyes. For that reason, you can imagine how many products I have tried for each of those area just to keep my lie about my age as “realistic” as possible. Because of my sensitive skin, the hands and the neck areas aren’t too bad to keep in check. My eye area, however, has been a challenge. I wear contacts, I have allergies, and random things can make my eyes burn terrible. I find that the more natural a product is, the less problems I have with it. That is why I was eager to try the Shemen Amour Black Mud Eye Cream. This cream was actually designed for the sensitive skin eye area. The Black Mud Eye Cream states that it rejuvenates the skin in the eye area, smooths wrinkles, improves elasticity and increases blood circulation which decreases puffiness and dark circles. A product like this doesn’t show the results immediately. Plus, it is the responsibility of the user to make sure it is used day AND night. Apply it with a gentle tapping of the finger under the eyes and around the edges near the temples. Do not get disappointed when you don’t see results in 24 hours. I had been using it about once a day a couple of weeks and did notice some improvement in the fine lines in my eye area, but it wasn’t until I became truly faithful about using it day AND night that I began noticing a significant difference. My fine lines were very less predominant, the skin was much smoother, the dark circles that were beginning had stopped and even lightened. Concealer was now an option—not a necessity. I like the fact too that it is suitable for all skin types. So in the winter when my skin is dryer, I can give my eye area a double dose at night. In the summer, a light layer is more than enough. The jar that it comes in is VERY large and a little goes a long way, but don’t think you have to be stingy with it. It absorbs quickly and if it absorbs very fast, the skin around your eyes may need more than you think. Don’t be put off by its color in the jar either. Just because it is dark like mud doesn’t mean it stays dark on your skin. Once it is absorbed, the color is gone. I really like the Black Mud Eye Cream. I can already see a difference and my sensitive skin and eyes are very happy with it as well!

I am so glad I had the opportunity to try these products, thanks to the lead from my family at How to be a Redhead. You don’t have to be a redhead to enjoy these great beauty products from Shemen Amour. They are on track with other, more known brands as far as treating you with ingredients that will help you achieve or maintain younger, healthier skin. The state of the art minerals and salts found in the Dead Sea give you the anti-aging benefits without heavy chemicals. Anyone who likes to use natural products which are good for the skin would not be disappointed with the product list from Shemen Amour! I am very happy I was able to give them a try and will add them to the products I have come to love over the years.

You can check out their entire line at www.shemenamourusa.com!