Help For Ingrown Hairs

With the summer weather we are shaving and waxing more frequently. Unfortunately for a lot of us, that means those unsightly ingrown hairs. Ingrowns can appear anywhere we remove hair: underarms, bikini area, legs and/or face. Today we will look at what exactly is an ingrown hair and how they can be prevented.

Ingrown hairs can happen two ways:

1. A build up of dead skin can block the hair from growing out through the skin, trapping it underneath.

2. Curly hair curls back on itself and grows back down into your skin.

You can often see the hair just underneath the skin running parallel, or it can appear as a red raised bump. Ingrowns can become infected and collect pus under the raised bump. If you have had a lot of ingrowns in the past you may have dark marks from post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, especially if you picked at them or tried to remove them yourself.

How do you prevent ingrown hairs?

If you shave, make sure you moisturize the skin before you shave. Use warm water and a lubricating gel. Shave in the direction of hair growth. Shaving against the grain is a sure way to increase the likelihood of ingrown hairs.

If you are waxing at home, consider going to a professional for this service. Applying and removing wax improperly can break hairs just below the surface greatly increasing the likelihood of ingrowns.

Even with using the best methods of shaving and waxing, some of us are more prone to ingrowns than others. Exfoliation is the key to prevention. Using a loofah to manually remove dead skin build up and/or acne medication to chemically exfoliate will keep the skin from becoming impacted and allow the growing hair to poke through on its own. Quality moisturizers will soften the skin also making it easier for the hair to break through the skin.

If despite your best efforts you continue to suffer from ingrown hairs, Citrus Skin Studio offers a professional treatment for ingrown hairs. An in-office exfoliation using powerful enzymes, a lightening treatment and a calming mask can be applied anywhere that you have ingrown hairs, breakouts or scarring from ingrowns. It is always a good idea to schedule your appointment one week after a waxing (especially a Brazilian) to keep the area looking its best.

Donna Eicherly RN,LE

The Real Deal of a Face Peel

Corrective peels, also known as chemical peels, dermapeels or chemexfoliation, is a treatment applied by a licensed aesthetician or dermatologist and is a safe, effective alternative to laser resurfacing. Peels work on the premise that your skin has the ability to regenerate itself. The peel solution sloughs off dead, damaged skin and allows new, healthy skin to take its place.

In the past, all peels required a large amount of down time after the treatment. However, a new generation of peels are now available to aestheticians. These peels contain ingredients in bases, such as aloe vera, which are designed to be gentler to the skin, but still as effective. Peels have blends of ingredients to address multiple concerns simultaneously. They can treat acne scarring, sun damage, fine lines, active acne, rosacea and other conditions, as well as giving normal skin a healthy, glowing boost.

Peels are a cost-effective and timely way to achieve your skin care goals. While in-office facial treatments can help you achieve optimal skin health, peels can expedite the process and give you fabulous results. All skin colors and types can benefit from peels, though it’s necessary to check with your skin care professional about which peel might be right for you. If you’re taking acne medication, such as Retin A or Accutane, talk to your clinician about stopping the medication before and during treatment to avoid side effects or complications.

Here at Citrus Skin Studio we offer multiple types and levels of peels customized for your skin type and condition. Prior to receiving a peel you will have a skin analysis and a sensitivity test. You will also be instructed as to how to prepare your skin at home for the peel, which optimizes the treatment’s results.

Some peels are done as a one time treatment, while other conditions may require a series of peels. As I mentioned earlier, with the new generation of peels available, not all peels will require down time. Down time is the amount of time after a peel where your skin may appear pink and/or flaky. This will be discussed with you at the time of your consultation.

Peels are oftentimes a great solution to old skin problems, providing a fresher, younger-looking complexion free of lines and blemishes you may have considered permanent. Discuss the option with your skin care professional. It may be just the rejuvenating treatment you’re seeking

The Skin Analysis – A Critical Step In A Facial Service

A properly executed skin analysis is a critical part of any skin care treatment program. A professional skin analysis is the only way to to determine what products and treatments will be the most effective and safe to improve or restore your skin’s health. To better understand how a skin analysis benefits you, let’s begin with who can perform a professional skin analysis.

Aestheticians are licensed professionals who have completed a required number of hours of training and then must pass a state issued written and practical examination. Aestheticians are trained to perform skin analyses, as the analysis, along with the client’s stated goals, determines the treatment plan. Many aestheticians, also receive post-graduate training all of which benefit you as the client. Dermatologists and physicians also perform skin analyses often for the purpose of diagnosing skin disorders, abnormal lesions and/or rashes.

At Citrus Skin Studio, every new client receives a skin analysis during their consultation. Typically your face is cleansed with a gentle cleanser to remove dirt, oil and makeup. At this point several things are noted including whether or not your skin reacts to cleansers; your skin is tested to see if it turns red from gentle stimulation; does the skin feel rough or greasy; etc. After your skin is cleansed it is examined under a magnifying lamp so that the aesthetician can get an up close look at your skin. Looking and touching the skin can yield a lot of information about your particular skin type. The size of your pores is examined, the laxity of the skin is noted, your skin is examined for collagen loss and checked for blemishes hidden under the skin. If there are any pigmentation irregularities, then a  Wood’s lamp is used to further examine your skin. A Wood’s lamp emits long wave (UV-A) ultraviolet light which helps to determine how deep in the dermis the pigmentation lies and whether or not it is treatable.

All of this information determines how to proceed with your course of treatment. Sometimes a single session treatment alone with a home care regimen is all that is needed, sometimes a more advanced course of treatment will be prescribed. Skin analyses are then done routinely over the course of your treatment to track the progress of the treatments and to look for any changes or concerns that may arise.

Recently, on a return visit, a client commented that she has had facial many times in the past, but she never had one that made her skin look different until she visited Citrus Skin Studio.The reason for this, is that prior to her treatment her skin was analyzed. During her analysis dehydrated areas were noted and treated, sun spots that were revealed via the Wood’s lamp received lighteners, and loose areas of skin received firming products.

At Citrus Skin Studio our goal is to treat your skin – not to simply apply great smelling creams and give your a fluffy robe to wear.  Your skin health is our utmost concern, and it all begins with a professional skin analysis.

Call us at 717.534.1100 or schedule online

Donna Eicherly RN,LE

Enzymes And You. A Skin Owners Guide.

Going back to high school biology, you may remember learning about enzymes. Enzymes are catalysts that speed up reactions and metabolic processes. Our body cannot function without them as enzymes are programmed to perform specific jobs that keep us alive: transporting nutrients, building tissue, digestion, etc.

In the skin, enzymes act as an exfoliant and an anti-inflammatory. The outer layer of our skin is made up of dead skin cells containing keratinized proteins. Enzymes digest the dead cells leaving behind smooth skin that reflects light and appears younger. As an anti-inflammatory, enzymes protect against damage from the sun, environment and pollutants.

We would all be walking around with fresh, dewy skin if enzymes weren’t so temperamental. Enzymes need a lot of factors to work correctly; the right temperature, the right pH and the right amount of moisture are necessary for them to function well. Keeping your skin hydrated and using products that help seal in your natural moisture will allow your own enzymes to continue working properly and keep the build up of dead, dull skin at bay. Skin that is chronically dry will appear dull and have inflammation from environmental factors leading to premature aging.

Applying enzymes topically with over the counter products is not very effective. These products are marketed as fruit enzymes; pumpkin and papaya are popular choices. But, as we just learned, enzymes are sensitive to pH and temperature. Products that may have sat in a warehouse or on a delivery truck in unstable temperatures may not have any viable enzymes.

Professional skin treatments include an enzyme treatment after the skin has been thoroughly cleansed. These enzymes are stored and handled properly and are very active. At Citrus Skin Studio we use enzymes combined with fruit acids and AHA’s and BHA’s for the most effective way to deeply exfoliate the skin. This allows nourishing serums, antioxidants and corrective products to deeply penetrate. Fruit enzymes include lemon, blueberry, papaya and pumpkin for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. These fruit enzymes are further combined with glycolic, lactic and/or mandelic acids as well as skin lighteners and brighteners.

Keeping your skin hydrated and moisturized will allow your natural enzymes to work efficiently. A professional enzyme treatment will clean the slate and help those moisturizers penetrate.

Call us at 717.534.1100 to schedule or book online

Welcome To The Wild World Of Waxing

With the hot weather comes the tedious chore of keeping our bodies hair-free and smooth. We can no longer justify our wooly legs like we did back in January when shorts season seemed so far away. Not only do we need a daily ritual of shaving legs, toes, underarms and our bikini area – we also have to guard against ghastly razor rash and ingrown hairs.

Fortunately, there are ways to make hair removal last longer and ways to keep ingrown hairs from surfacing. Waxing can provide weeks of shave-free showers and less maintenance while feeling more confident in a swimsuit or tank top. However, there are many misconceptions about waxing and we will look at what is myth or fact. At Citrus Skin Studio, we hear a lot of questions about waxing and I would like to share with you what some of the most common concerns are to our new clients.

1. Will it hurt?

We have a lot of nervous first-timers. Clients want the results but fear the process and are taking a gamble that the pain will be worth the payoff. To honestly answer the question…well I really can’t. Everyone’s pain tolerance is different but I can tell you that it is almost as never as bad as what the client is expecting it to be. Legs in general are not painful but can be stingy around the ankle area where it is bonier. Underarms are surprisingly easy and bikini is usually not as bad as what people expect either.

Now for a Brazilian wax, there are definitely areas that are more sensitive than others. Again, it is usually not as bad as expected. Pain is reduced by the type and quality of wax and the proficiency of the waxer. It is a quick sting, only lasting a few seconds, and then is gone. For more info on Brazilian waxing please read my article. You may also schedule an appointment for a test patch to see how it feels and how your skin reacts before you commit to a full waxing procedure. The more you wax, the less uncomfortable it becomes since you are not pulling as much hair out.

2. Will the hair come back thicker and darker?

Absolutely not! The number of hairs that you have is already predetermined and waxing won’t change that. If that was true, men who are losing their hair could pull out what they have to grow it in thicker. Waxing actually decreases the amount of hair that grows back. Each time you wax an area the hair comes in finer. My regular waxing clients start to stretch the time between waxing appointments longer and longer since the hair does not grow back as much. Which leads to the next question…

3. How long will it last?

There are three stages of hair growth and it can take up to four consecutive waxing treatments before all of the hair is on the same growth cycle. Your first wax may last only a week or up to three – it all depends on your genetics, and how you care for the skin before the wax and in between your treatments. Don’t be discouraged if your hair doesn’t stay gone too long the first few times. The more you wax the longer it will last. However, if your last hair removal was shaving, your first wax post shaving will not last as long.

4. How long does the hair have to be before waxing?

Ideally, ¼ to ½ inch. That usually is about 10 days growth for most people. If the hair is too short, the wax cannot adhere to the hair. If the hair is too long, we can trim it for the best wax application.

5. Will waxing prevent ingrown hairs?

Whether you wax or shave you can get ingrowns. These happen because when new hair begins to come up from the follicle it cannot break through the layers of skin on the surface causing the hair to curl back over on itself. They can be prevented by exfoliating on a regular basis. There are many ways to exfoliate both mechanically and chemically. If you already have ingrown hairs that are out of control please schedule an appointment for removal and calming of the skin.
Waxing, especially when done on a regular basis, can provide you with weeks of smooth skin and proper skin care will keep the bumps away. But, there are some hazards to be aware of:

Never ever allow your waxer to double dip. That means that once the waxing stick is dipped in wax and used on you it should never go back into the pot. You do not want the wax that was used on the bikini before you to now be used on your lip. Enough said.

If you get waxing at a nail salon make sure they are licensed to do so. Nail technicians cannot perform waxing. They must display a separate license that reads “esthetician.” Only estheticians and cosmetologists are licensed and trained to wax.

Lifting can happen. This means that along with your hair a bit of skin comes with it. The risk of this is very low for an experienced waxer. At Citrus Skin Studio we use high quality hard wax on face and bikini areas to prevent this. Hard wax only sticks to the hair and not to the skin which prevents damage. However, certain medications and creams can make you prone to lifting. Always inform your waxer of what medications you are taking, especially Retin-A and Accutane.

Finally, look for a place where you can rebook with the same waxer each time. This is especially important for bikini and Brazilian waxes. Once you expose your lady parts to someone you really don’t want a different person the next time.

So are you ready to give waxing a try? It can be a great experience, give you amazing results and save you from all those nicks and cuts in the shower!

Take An Acid Trip With Me

What do you look for in your skin care products? We all want wrinkle fighters, brighteners, lighteners, pore shrinkers, zit fighters…well maybe not all that at once. But, how do you know if you have the right ingredients in your daily products to address your needs ?

One of the most important group of ingredients in skin care are Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids, aka AHA’s and BHA’s. These acids are derived from foods and are the workhorse of the skin care world. Let’s look at some of the most commonly used acids in skin care to help you have a better understanding of how to read you labels and get the most bang for your buck.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids

  1. Glycolic – derived from sugar cane, glycolic acid breaks the bonds holding dead skin cells together allowing them to shed and reveal healthy skin underneath. Glycolic acid was the go to acid for many years and known as “the classic peel” because of it’s small molecular size and ability to penetrate more deeply than other acids. But because of that, it is not as well controlled and can be irritating.
  2. Lactic Acid – derived from sour milk, lactic acid is quickly gaining more popularity in both over the counter and in office professional treatments. Lactic also helps shed dead skin while at the same time is very hydrating, lightening and safe for sensitive skin.
  3. Mandelic acid – made from bitter almonds and is both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. It will soften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and improve skin texture. At the same time, they lighten areas that have darkened in response to skin damage and sun exposure. It can also boost collagen production in the dermis of the skin, giving skin a firmer more youthful appearance.
  4. Malic Acid – made from apples it has a superior ability to penetrate the skin, and is an ideal moisturizer for people who have very sensitive skin.
  5. Tartaric Acid – derived from grape wine, this AHA is not as popular as the other acids because it is not as stable. You will find it in many skin care preparations, but usually not as a main AHA.

Beta Hydroxy Acids

The only BHA used in skin care is salicylic acid which is derived from willow tree bark. Salicylic is powerful for oily, acneic skin and is the most common ingredients in over-the-counter acne face washes. It is the only oil soluble acid, meaning it can penetrate sebum and unclog black heads and white heads.

Finding the Right Acid For You

The FDA does not require skin care and cosmetic companies to list the percentage of acids in the product. However, it must have less than 10% for an over-the-counter product. When reading your labels make sure the AHA or BHA is listed as the 2nd or 3rd ingredient.

For a more potent percentage, you will need to visit an aesthetician. Licensed skin specialists are able to prescribe and cell much higher concentrations of active ingredients. For example, I often put my acne clients on a 8-15% mandelic serum to assist with lightening acne scars and clear pimples. Professional treatments, such as peels, involve applying much larger concentrations of the acids onto the skin for rapid results. Lactic peels, glycolic peels and mandelics are among the kinds of peels than can be applied by a professional .

For further assistance in making sure your skin is matched to the right acid or for a more rapid response and higher concentration visit us at Citrus Skin Studio.  We offer a free skin analysis and consultation that can show you what products and treatments are right for your skin type and condition. Just contact us to schedule an appointment, and you can take an acid trip with me.

Donna RN, LE


Taking the Embarrassment out of Brazilian Waxing

I have a lot of tips about making your wax more comfortable physically. But what about the embarrassment of being exposed? Getting your first intimate waxing can be really awkward.You come to Citrus Skin Studio and you and I meet and within a few minutes your bare butt is on the table and I am all up in your lady bits. Some people are lucky, less reserved and just jump right on up on the table. I usually hear ” after having kids I have lost all modesty”. But even those who have a few kids can still feel really shy. I get it. I went to the same waxer for a long time and it still felt weird. I have been a nurse for 25 years, even working in Labor and Delivery and I still can’t totally relax for my gyn exam.  I am talking to you from a point of empathy and hope that by sharing what you can expect from the minute you come to see me, at least some of the anxiety will dissipate and even if you feel shy, you will be able to relax enough for me to do a good job and make it as pleasant as possible.

When you arrive at Citrus I will introduce myself to you as soon as possible and I will give you forms to fill out. There are certain medications that could cause you to be more sensitive so we need to talk about that. I also will want to know if you have ever been waxed before and if you had an adverse reaction to the wax. I will give you an opportunity to use the ladies room. A full bladder during waxing can add to your discomfort. I will also offer you wine. Excess alcohol can cause more sensitivity but a little glass to take the edge off is fine.

When you are ready you will be taken into a private room and be instructed on how to prep. I will step out of the room to give you privacy while you undress and use a pre cleansing wipe. You will then get up on the table and drape your lap with a towel. When I come in I will  put on gloves, cleanse all the skin where I am going to wax and just start on a small area. If it is your first wax I want you to be acclimated to the sensation. I also use a lot of hard wax, so if you were waxed elsewhere with soft wax I want you to feel the difference. Hard wax is much gentler. I will do a strip or two in the bikini area. At that point , if you are still really uncomfortable, we can stop. Almost all the time a newbie tells me that the waxing wasn’t nearly as painful as they expected it be. But if it is too much from you it is ok to call it quits. Some clients start out with scheduling just a bikini their first appt and then move up to a Brazilian.

After the first couple strips the rest goes quickly. Usually less than 15 mins for the whole thing. We will chat about work, kids, This is Us, football, your wedding..anything to keep your mind off what is  going on down there. The next thing you know your back out the door. It is not so bad once we get started and when we do get to more sensitive areas I will show you how to hold your skin to make things more comfortable and we will do some breathing techniques to ” blow away the pain”.

I hope that you can sort of visualize the process now and that alleviates some anxiety. But there are a few things that may be running thru the back of your mind that I will be upfront with you about. Things that may be making you afraid to book that appt:

Will I see everything ? Yes. Some of us have hairs on our inner labia. I will get those. Most of us have hair in our butt crack. I will get those. As one client recently said ” you see parts of me that even my husband doesn’t see”! Somehow,it seems normal. We get to talking. Things happen quickly. For most of the procedure you are in a frog leg position. At the end you will pull one or both legs back to get the crack. Yep. It is awkward but really worth getting the hair out I cannot even guess how many vaginas and butt cracks I have seen in my nursing and waxing career. Anyone who does waxing sees them day in and day out. We don’t even think twice about it. Chances are, yours is not special or memorable in any way. Just run of the mill girl parts. Which leads to..

Am I normal down there?  Most girls don’t get a close look at other girls like I do and they want to know. Everyone is different but the same. If that makes sense. We all have the same pieces but some of us have weird blotches, moles, fat labia, labia that turn inward, hemorrhoids, long floppy labia…you get my point. I have not seen anything so freakishly strange that it made me run.

What if I have an odor? If you care enough to get waxed, you probably already have pretty good hygiene down there. I give you a pre cleanse wipe and I cleanse again before we start. I honestly haven’t had many issues with clients, even on the hottest days. I think my nose is pretty immune. Actually, stinky feet are more of a problem during the summer. And it really doesn’t bother me.

What if I fart ? You probably won’t. But there are some people who are nervous tooters. Just give me a heads up if I am pretty close in that area. You have to have a sense of humor to do what I do and it’s really ok. I have to say out of the dozens of waxes I do a week – I might get one fart a month.

What if I scream ? Nobody does. It doesn’t hurt that bad. Scream if you want. Curse. But most people get a weird nervous laugh if anything.

What if I just can’t do it ? Intimate waxing is not for everyone. I am not trying to sell you on the service. But so many of you are curious and want to try it. I just want to tell you how it really is and invite you in to try it. You are allowed to stop the waxing at any point if it is not for you. I do need you to relax your legs and your muscles as much as possible because it will hurt less and I can do a better job. I will give you a break if you need one. I can also tell you that it is probably not nearly as bad as you think and after the first one the next is significantly easier. Your brain knows what to expect. Your hair is finer and thinner. You know me and what the process will be.

Are you ready to try it ? If you would like to schedule you can book online or give us a call!


Happy Waxing