What are Some Stretch Mark Treatment Options?

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What are Some Stretch Mark Treatment Options?

Posted on: November 20th, 2020

Many people have stretch marks and stretch marks are actually bands of scar tissue that are on your skin.  They are noticeable since they differ in texture from your normal skin, and they can range in color from pink, gray, purple or red.  Although for the most part stretch marks are not problematic in themselves, they can sometimes become itchy or feel sore.  It is good to know there is nothing dangerous about having them, but some people do not like their appearance and want to get rid of them. 

Stretch marks can be found almost anywhere on your body, but the most common places for them to be are on your stomach, legs, buttocks, breasts and upper arms.  Although both men and women can have them, they do more commonly affect women.  

Your skin is composed of three layers which are the epidermis, the dermis and the hypodermis and stretch marks are found in the dermis layer.  Stretch marks are caused when there is a quick expansion and contraction of your skin, such as during pregnancy, a growth spurt or during weight gain/loss.  

If your stretch marks are bothering you, it is good to know that there are a few different types of treatments that you can try.  

  • Topical creams:  Creams are a popular option for stretch marks and this is an affordable and non-invasive way you can treat them.  Creams work best on stretch marks that are recent.  If you have sensitive skin, you should talk to your doctor about which type will work best for you.  Pregnant women should not use creams during pregnancy
  • Heat treatments:  This treatment option uses radio wave energy and ultrasound to bring heat to the dermis layer of your skin, which results in the production of collagen
  • Laser therapy:  This treatment will use light instead of heat in order to lessen the stretch marks’ appearance
  • Microdermabrasion:  During this treatment, tiny crystals are scrubbed onto your skin, which will remove the layers of skin where you have stretch marks

Contact your local med-spa to find out which treatment option will be best for you.

How to Keep Your Skin Looking Beautiful this Winter

Posted on: November 13th, 2020

We are halfway through fall already and it is hard to believe that winter will be here before we know it. Although there are many wonderful things about winter, one of the aspects that is not so great is that the cold, dry air eliminates the moisture in your skin, which can cause red, itchy and irritated skin. In order to keep your skin safe, there are some tips and things that you can add to your daily routine.

Having a whole house humidifier is one of the best things that you can do for your skin. Not only will the added humidity help to keep your throat moist and your home free of static, but it will also help to keep your skin hydrated. Especially in this current environment, many people are working from home and kids are doing school at home, so it is especially important to get this added moisture to the home you are spending all of your time in. You may even want to add a small room humidifier to the rooms that you are spending the most time in, such as a home office or bedroom.

During the winter months, most people tend to spend more time indoors and with the incredibly cold temperatures that we get here in Chicago, many of us tend to keep our heat a little higher, and this actually can cause you to become dehydrated. Most people are good at drinking water during the summer when they are outside and hot, but forget that it is equally important to stay hydrated during the winter. There are many health problems that can come from being dehydrated, and having severely dry skin is one of them.

Hand washing has never been more important in our lives and most of us have become extra diligent with this, but we must remember that water really dries out your skin. Now absolutely you should continue with your great hand-washing routine, but what you should add to this is to apply hand lotion or cream to your hands after you have washed and dried your hands.

You also should think about the time that you are spending in the shower. Although it can be very tempting to spend more time in a warm shower on a very cold day, the hot water in the shower really dries out your skin. It is instead advised that you take a lukewarm shower and that you try to limit yourself to 5-10 minutes.

During the winter is also a great time to reevaluate the products that you are using to make sure that you are choosing products that are actually good for your skin. You want to find products that are cream-based, gentle and fragrance-free, since products containing fragrances and alcohol can make your skin extra dry.

It is also a good idea to incorporate a nighttime routine of applying moisturizer to your face and hands. If you are unsure as to which products will work best for your skin, feel free to talk to your dermatologist or doctor.

Spray Tanning 101

Posted on: October 9th, 2020

Although we are still lucky to be getting some beautiful, sunny days, we are losing the warmer temperatures. As we get further into fall and then into winter, some of us start to lose our tans and spray tanning is a wonderful option for those who want to still be golden and bronzed. For those of you who are not familiar with spray tanning, here are some tips of what to expect.

Before you go in to get your spray tan, you want to make sure that you are freshly washed and your face is free of any make-up. If you do not remember to do so beforehand, the tanning salon will likely have some face wipes you can use. You also do not want to be wearing deodorant, since traces of it on your skin can cause you not to get evenly tanned.

Once you arrive at the tanning salon, you will be brought to a room and asked to undress. If you would like to get your undergarments on, that is absolutely okay. It is your choice as to what you feel comfortable with. You also want to make sure that you remove all of your jewelry or any other accessories, including glasses. You may want to wear a hair net to protect your hair and it will also work to protect your ears.

You will discuss with your tanning therapist what your tanning goals are and how deep of a color you would like. Once you have chosen that, a formula will slowly be applied to your face. You will keep your eyes closed. The therapist will then work the formula spraying down first the front of your body, and then the back. Your therapist may ask you to adjust your stance or position to make sure you are getting sprayed evenly.

After the session, you will get dressed again, and it’s a good idea to either wear clothing you are okay getting discolored, or make sure the clothing you wear is dark. Some people do not care for the smell of the formula, but you can rest easy knowing the smell will not last for very long.

In order to make your tan last as long as possible, it is advised that you wait six hours before you have a shower. This allows your skin to absorb the color and ensure your skin remains even in color. You should also try to take a faster shower, because the more time you spend in the water, the higher the chance you have of having the color fade.

Spray tanning is a very safe way to get a tan and when it is done by a salon that knows the proper techniques, the color can last for a long time.

Benefits of Microneedling

Posted on: September 10th, 2020

As we get older, our skin changes and it will start to show signs of aging. The texture of your skin becomes rough and the tone of your skin changes as it loses its luster. You will also notice more and more fine lines and crow’s feet. If you do not want your skin to be an indicator of your age, there are treatments that you can consider, including microneedling, that will help you to turn back time.

Microneedling is a procedure in which small needles are used to puncture the skin so your skin will form new tissue that will rejuvenate your skin. This treatment allows for your skin to build collagen and helps your skin to have a thicker and fuller appearance. Having fuller skin will also give you a more youthful appearance.

There are many different reasons that a person might have for considering microneedling, including getting rid of fine lines, wrinkles, stretch marks, acne scars, brown spots and other pigment issues. If you are considering microneedling, you should first discuss it with your primary physician to make sure that any medications you are on or any health issues you have will allow for you to safely receive this treatment.

Before the treatment begins, your face will first need to be cleansed, and then a topical anesthetic will be applied. Once the numbing has taken effect, a serum will be placed onto your skin that will enhance your skin’s ability to heal itself. Then a microneedling tool will be used all over your face. Another layer of serum will then be placed onto your face, which allows for everything to be sealed.

The thought of needles being placed into your face can sound very scary and painful, but in reality, this is not a painful procedure. The numbing cream allows for patients to experience only minimal discomfort during treatment. After treatment, it is normal for patients to experience some redness and mild skin irritation. The skin irritation should only last for 24 hours after the procedure, but the redness may take a few days before it is completely gone. You will be given after care instructions and it is important that you follow those instructions.

In order to receive optimal results from treatment, it is usually recommended that you receive four treatments total that should be spaced apart by 4 weeks. In order to maintain your results, it is suggested that you do a booster treatment every year.

As with any sort of treatment, you will want to do your research beforehand and make sure that you are going to someone who is a licensed practitioner. You also want to make sure to ask questions about the sanitation process and also make sure that they do apply some sort of numbing cream.

What is Aromatherapy?

Posted on: September 8th, 2020

There are many reasons that someone may want to consider aromatherapy for treatment.  Whether it is because you need to relax more, you are looking to combat sleep issues or if you suffer from anxiety, aromatherapy is very enjoyable and relaxing.  Aromatherapy may help with your physical, mental and emotional well-being.  But before you consider this treatment, you probably would like to know what it is exactly.  

Aromatherapy (also called essential oil treatment) involves the usage of essential oils, and these essential oils are made from flower, herb or plant extracts and these oils are either placed onto your skin, or they are breathed in through your nose.  There are specific cells in the plant that give it a fragrant smell, and these are called its “essence.”  This essence is then extracted from the plant’s stems, flowers, bark, roots or other parts of the plant, and it then becomes an essential oil.

Essential oils require a great deal of flower, herb or plant product.  For example, in order to make a pound of lavender essential oil, over 200 pounds of lavender flowers are required.  In aromatherapy, the most popular essential oils that are used are lavender, lemon, chamomile, eucalyptus, tea tree oil, bergamot and cedarwood.  

Aromatherapy is believed to be a relaxing treatment that might aid in stress relief.  Other uses for aromatherapy include:

  • Depression treatment
  • Insomnia treatment
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Fight infections

There is not scientific evidence that proves that aromatherapy treats these ailments and these ailments should also be discussed with your primary care physician.  Aromatherapy is also not a good treatment option for all people and if you have certain medical conditions, you should discuss aromatherapy with your doctor prior to getting treatment.  

Aromatherapy is often used during a swedish massage and they are either placed under your nose to be inhaled, or they are placed onto your skin to be utilized during the massage.  You can discuss your treatment goals with your aromatherapy technician and they will let you know which essential oils are going to be best for your specific treatment.  


Brow and Lash Tinting 101

Posted on: August 26th, 2020

Lash and brow tinting is exactly what it sounds like:  it’s when dye is brushed right onto your eyelashes or eyebrows to give them a new color, shape or thickness.  This is a very fast and easy treatment and it will usually only take about 30 minutes to have both treatments done.  There is also no downtime after receiving this treatment.

Before the treatment begins, the esthetician will go over your various options and discuss what you would like to achieve from the treatment.  They will make recommendations based on your skin, hair and eye color and then will help you choose the dye color that is right for you.  

For brow tinting, dye is directly applied to the eyebrows and the esthetician will let it sit there for  a few minutes, to allow the color to take effect.  The excess dye will then be removed.  

Eyelash tinting involves a few more steps, but is also an easy process.  A protective eye pad will be placed onto your eyes to protect them and during this part of the treatment, you will need to keep your eyes closed.  The dye will be brushed onto your lashes and just like with the brow tinting, the color will need to stay on for a few minutes before it is wiped off.  The eye pad can then be removed.  

For most people who receive this treatment, they will have results that can last anywhere from 4-6 weeks.  There is not a drastic change that will happen when the results are fading.  Instead, the dye will be subtle in its fading until your eyelashes and eyebrows have gone back to their usual color.  Results can last for longer if you make sure you follow the after care instructions that were given by your esthetician.  After care instructions include:

  • Being careful as to what cleansers you use on your face.  You want to find a gentle, oil-free cleanser or eye make remover
  • Wearing sunglasses and a sunhat when going into the sunlight.  UV light causes the fading process to accelerate

Lash and brow tinting is also an appealing treatment because it is generally very affordable.  This is a great treatment option for those who are looking to save time in their makeup routine by already having fuller eyelashes and eyebrows.  Depending on the dye that you use, you can also have a more dramatic look that can normally only be achieved by using makeup.  

Brow and lash tinting has become increasingly popular as a treatment and there are many different places that will offer this service.  You want to make sure that you choose a facility that has certified and qualified brow and lash tinting technicians. 

What is Reflexology?

Posted on: August 20th, 2020

Some people hear the term “reflexology” and think that it is just another name for a foot massage. Reflexology is actually a whole lot more than that. In reflexology, pressure is applied to very specific reflex points and each reflex point corresponds to a certain area in your body. This treatment is supposed to help your body to develop a healing response and reflexology might even help to lesson some ailments.

Reflexology has become increasingly popular in recent years and is now a very common type of massage. During this treatment, the ball of your foot is kneaded, there will be light pulling on your toes, your heel will be traced and pressure will be applied into the arch of your foot and all of these things together are very enjoyable for most people.

You may be asking then, how is reflexology different from a foot massage? Although the treatments do have their similarities, there are also some important differences. During a normal foot massage, the tissue is manipulated in order to relax your muscles, improve circulation and alleviate tension. During reflexology though, there are targeted, pressure-points that work to restore your body’s flow of energy. Although this treatment is most often focused on the feet, it can also be utilized on your ears and hands.

Reflexology also has many benefits. Reflexology might be suggested to you for all different types of ailments, including stomach problems, headaches and sinus issues. If it is noted there is sensitivity in a certain area, it generally is indicative of an imbalance or weakness in your body. Other benefits of reflexology include increasing circulation in your body, cleansing your body of toxins, promoting healing, balancing your body’s energy and providing a boost to your immune system.

Reflexology treatments can last anywhere from 30-60 minutes. You will be clothed and either sitting or lying down during your session and depending on whether or not you have any specific concerns or ailments, the reflexology therapist might work on certain areas more than others. After your treatment, it is important that you drink a lot of water to eliminate any toxins that were released during your treatment.

There are many spas that offer reflexology as a treatment. In order to get the most from your treatment though, you want to go to a reflexology practitioner who is certified and who has experience with the treatment.

Esthetician vs. Medical Aesthetician

Posted on: July 13th, 2020

Most people do not understand what the difference is between an esthetician and a medical aesthetician. Although the two professions do have some similarities, there are also some vast differences as well. It is important to understand the difference if you are considering a career in esthetics or medical aesthetics, and you will want to know the differences in the training, license requirements and job potential.

Estheticians are those who are performing skin care services, which can include massage, hair removal, skin cleansing and skin toning. Medical aestheticians may also perform the same tasks than an esthetician does, however, medical aestheticians have also had further training that allows for them to work in a clinical setting where they can perform more specialized treatments. Therefore, while estheticians can usually be found working in a salon or a spa, medical aestheticians are more likely to be working in a rehabilitation center or a plastic surgeon’s office.

Estheticians generally are working with clients who have minor skin problems, like age spots or dry skin. Medical aestheticians tend to work with clients who are suffering from much more serious skin problems, including burns, trauma or helping people after they have had plastic surgery.

Estheticians usually are required to take at least 600 hours worth of training in order to obtain their license. Their studies will include training on skin conditions, hair removal, massage techniques, facial cleansings and management of salons. Medical aestheticians will usually also be trained in these same areas, but their training might also include pre and post-surgical skincare, permanent makeup, eyelash extensions, advanced hair removal and manual lymphatic drainage.

The career path for estheticians and medical aestheticians will vary as well. Spa estheticians will work in a salon or spa performing the tasks in which they were trained. They might also one day become a beauty educator and that would involve visiting various locations and training estheticians on different beauty products.

Cosmetic medical aestheticians will usually work either in a hospital or a rehabilitation center to help patients after they have suffered a trauma or an illness. Medical spa aestheticians will usually work in a salon or spa and will usually help clients with sun damage, perform chemical peels, do tattoo removal or cauterize varicose veins. A medical aesthetician might also eventually become a medical aesthetician training inspector and that job involves going to rehabilitation centers and medical spas to make sure that all regulations are being followed.

It is important to understand the difference between the two so you can figure out which path you want to follow.

The 411 on Microblading

Posted on: July 8th, 2020

Some people are unfamiliar with the term microblading, but microblading is simply another name for cosmetic tattooing or permanent cosmetics. The process involves taking color and placing it into the skin, which makes it a tattoo process.

Microblading does not utilize a blade, but instead a hand tool is used that has small fine-point needles attached to the handle. The hand tool device needs to be sterilized before it is used and should be disposed of after the treatment.

It is important to note that microblading or eyebrow embroidery is a permanent procedure, although some may advertise it as a semi-permanent process. The pigment may fade over time, but this does not mean that the process is only semi-permanent. Results will differ from person to person and it cannot be predicted how much pigment will fade for each person and how long it will take to do so.

Some people will be an ideal candidate for microblading, but not everyone will be able to receive this treatment. Microblading is not a good treatment for women who are pregnant or nursing, people who have certain skin conditions (including chronic acne, eczema, dermatitis, rosacea, keratosis and psoriasis), people with oily skin or acne on their forehead, people who are on medications for certain conditions, or for people with certain skin types. It is important to discuss whether or not you are a good candidate for treatment.

If it has been decided that you are an ideal candidate, you should next do some research to make sure the place you choose to go to has a license or a certificate to practice microblading. The requirements for this vary by state, so you may need to do some research for your particular state. You do not want to go to just any esthetician or cosmetologist, because although they may be licensed in those areas, microblading is a very different procedure and requires knowledge of the skin.

You should inquire as to what the instructor’s education has been and you should look for a technician who has a 100 hour certification in microblading. Obviously, the more hours the instructor has, the more training they have received. In addition to having the appropriate training in microblading, you also want to find a facility that has the appropriate health permits and is maintaining a very clean and sterile environment.

Microblading is a very innovative procedure that offers many people a solution they have been looking for. It is beneficial to have some background knowledge of the procedure and to also understand what to look for in a technician.

Airbrush Makeup 101

Posted on: June 8th, 2020

Airbrush makeup is makeup that is sprayed onto your skin using an airbrush, instead of using the traditional brushes or sponges. Most people are not as familiar with airbrush makeup as they are with traditional makeup, so it is important to know more about it before you give it a try.

Before you start using airbrush makeup, it is a good idea to first practice with water so you can get a feel of the compressor and airbrush gun and you can experiment with the different settings. You need to mix the makeup for the gun beforehand and you want to achieve a consistency that is like milk.

You also need to prepare your skin prior to putting on the makeup and you want to wash your face and neck with a good cleanser so that all the dead skin cells are removed. Afterwards, you will want to thoroughly dry your skin. The makeup will not apply evenly if it is sprayed onto wet skin. Once you have the mixture in the airbrush gun, you should test spray either on your hand or a piece of paper to make sure that it is working properly and that you have the right color for your skin tone.

Before you begin spraying, make sure that you have your hair tied back so you do not accidentally spray your hair. The appropriate technique for applying airbrush makeup is to have a constant and steady motion so that the airbrush foundation will be spread evenly. You also want to make sure that you keep your hand moving and do not stay in one area for too long or else you will apply too much color and it will not dry as quickly.

You want to hold the airbrush gun 6-12 inches away from your face when applying the makeup. You can move it slightly closer for the target areas that you need more coverage for. If you hold the gun too closely to your face, it will cause the color to become too concentrated and it will not be very natural looking.

Another important thing to remember is that when you are applying over your eyelids, you do not want to close your eyes too tightly. If you do, the makeup will concentrate in the wrinkles and it will draw attention to those spots. You also want to make sure that you blend your neck in with the rest of the foundation. It is a very common mistake to forget about blending your neck.

There is an art to applying airbrush makeup and the more you practice, the better you will become. It is important to remember that less is more and you do not want to apply too much makeup. It is very easy to go overboard when applying. If you are looking to have airbrush makeup done for a special occasion, such as a wedding, it is best that you go to a professional to ensure you get the best possible results.