Tag Archives: skin

Waxing- recycling that’s not recommended

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Waxing- recycling that’s not recommended

Imagine this- a huge metal strainer inside a huge urn like pot with a tap.
Fill it up with used hairy wax, dead skin and blood spots and let the urn heat it to a high temperature and then turn on the tap, strain the wax through gauze and an inbuilt strainer to siphon out the hair, throw out the gauze filled with hair and refill the salon wax pots.

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Yes, this really does happen, well I’m not sure if it still happens, but in the 80’s before the Aids / HIV scare, it’s what all salons did.

I worked in an exclusive high end city salon, we charged a huge amount for our waxing and during each wax treatment, the hairy hot wax from our clients legs, arms, backs and chests was thrown into a bucket under the bed. At that time, being only a junior therapist, it was my job to recycle the wax.
(And you thought being a beauty therapist was glamorous!) NOT!

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We had a great boss, so she let us throw bikini, underarm and face wax away into the real rubbish bin, but the bucket of body wax was always recycled.

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The wax was fantastic high quality beeswax, really gentle but far too expensive and unprofitable to throw away after each client.

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We were told that the boiling heat of the urn would kill any harmful germs of infected skin or hair follicles and that the wax was safe and clean to reuse.

The only other option for us and our clients was warm waxing (strip wax) made from glucose,fructose,citric acid,modified colophonium,aqua,Solomon tuberosum,fragrance and maltose.

This was always thought to be a little more painful,but a much faster, cleaner method of waxing.
We used a metal spatula that was double dipped and only cleaned with methylated spirits between clients.

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For Underarms and bikini areas we used a disposable wooden spatula (tongue depresser), but it had still been dipped in the same wax pot as the metal spatula.

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Oh boy, when I think back to those days, I just cringe. We never even wore gloves. In fact we were never even trained to wax with gloves. Gloves are now worn to protect both the operator and the client.

Fast forward 2013, this method of waxing is unacceptable, unhygienic and against health regulations in most cities.

Brazilian waxing is also more popular now, so even stricter standards of hygiene must be followed. Don’t be afraid to ask your operator for a pair of gloves too if they require your assistance during this service.

Heating the wax to these high temperatures and straining the hair through gauze and strainers may not kill blood borne diseases.

Spots of blood are very common during and after waxing, so it is very likely that if the wax is recycled there will be traces of blood in the wax, as well as on the spatula or tweezers used.

This goes for sugaring (an ancient yet very popular way of removing hair using a sugar, water and lemon juice paste or gel) as well. Double dipping of any kind is not acceptable.

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Wax rollers are generally cleaner. It is quicker to apply the wax this way without using a spatula but the roller head needs to be replaced with a new disposable one for each client. Make sure there isn’t any hair stuck in the head before they start!
A sure sign that things are not hygienic.
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Before any wax is performed important questions should be asked by the operator.
A professional salon will always check first for any infectious diseases, to minimize the risk of cross infection in the salon.

You may also get asked if you have varicose veins, moles, sunspots, pimples, warts, rashes, sunburn, irritated skin or infected ingrown hairs as these areas should be avoided when waxing.

You may also be questioned as to whether or not you are on any medication eg.
roaccutane, renova or differin also known as adapalene (Vitamin A- which causes skin thinning, so waxing should be avoided).

The bed should also be covered with disposable paper and the bed should be wiped over with a disinfectant after each client.

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If the wax pots, benches, tweezers and spatulas look sticky or dirty before you get started, this is not a good sign.

Remember, your health is not worth putting at risk.

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What are you really buying when you shop for skin care online?

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Clients often tell me about great online skincare sites. They love that they can shop at their convenience: when they run out of stock they can hop online from the comfort of their bed, iPhone or iPad and just place a quick order and in a few days it arrives at their doorstep.

Yes, this is fantastic, convenient and a no-brainer, but do you know what you are really buying? Have you ever considered that this may be dangerous? Would you buy perishable food or vitamins online? No, I hear you say. Why not? Possibly because by the time they arrive at your doorstep, they may be off: unless, of course, you are home to receive them when they are delivered.

But then there are many questions: When they leave the air-conditioned warehouse, how long have they been sitting in the delivery van? Is the van air-conditioned? How long have they been sitting on your doorstep before you get to them? Well the same goes for ordering skincare online: you need to know how many days it will take to be delivered to you.

Most products have a short shelf life. They ‘go off’ like food and they can harm your skin. The efficacy of the product will be compromised. I see skincare as an investment, why would you put this stuff on your skin? It’s so not worth it.

I had a client recently come to see me, complaining that a product she had recently purchased was not up to scratch. It wasn’t performing as well as the one I had sold her last time and she complained that it has a strange smell. On further investigation, I soon realised that her product had been purchased from an online discount site.

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She could not see that there was any problem with this at all, as when the product arrived, it was identical to the one she had purchased from me. She was convinced it was exactly the same, the box looked the same, the tube looked the same, it seemed to smell the same. What she didn’t realise was that because it was so cheap, it would have had to have been counterfeit, fallen off the back of a dodgy truck, discontinued, expired or stolen stock, which had been sitting in warehouse for months in the freezing cold or steaming heat. The large professional skincare companies would never sell to – or have any official relationship – with these discount websites. When you buy a product that is so cheap, there is a reason. Don’t get sucked in by the free freight or the buyer incentives.

Most of the reputable skincare companies invest millions of dollars buying back their products and test them only to find “some of their original product plus bonus fillers, water, animal urine, broken glass and even sand” at no extra charge.

Any reputable legitimate online store and authorised stockist will usually have a salon service and an address for returns, as well as a 24-hour question line. Do not be afraid to ring the product company directly to find out if they supply the website you are shopping with.

So I implore you to think very carefully before ordering your ‘must haves’ online; your best option is to collect them from a salon. This way you will know what you are getting: you can see where the products have come from and you will always receive exceptional service with a smile.