Ingrowing hairs usually isn’t too much of a big problem when it occurs. They can appear as just a small pimple that can be barely noticeable. However, if you are a picker then these little problems. And can become deep scars from trying to ‘dig’ them out of your skin. Or the ingrowing hairs have the potential to become very painful and sore. Along with the possibility of scarring, even sometimes leading to operations to have them surgically removed. They are best to avoid all together for the general health and vitality of your skin. These little irritants can be found anywhere on your body or face, as long as there is hair. Ingrowing hairs are most common on the face, underarms, groin and legs, as the hairs tend to be stronger in these areas. 

how to get rid of ingrowing hairs
How to get rid of ingrowing hairs

Ingrowing hairs are usually more common in people with thick curly hair, though not exclusive to them. And are caused when the hair breaks away very close to the skin (most commonly caused by shaving, tweezing and sometimes waxing). Hair left in the skin can bend or curl the wrong way, and then become lodged under the skin’s surface rather than facing outward. Our skin and body assume this is a foreign body and will become irritated trying to reject it. This is why the skin can become inflamed and red, often the area surrounding the hair can fill up with puss or a white substance.  

Here we have some easy tips to avoid ingrowing hairs and keep your skin smooth and healthy in just a few steps. 

Exfoliating is key 

Exfoliating is key to maintaining healthy skin and avoiding ingrowing hairs. Exfoliating your skin at least once a week clears away dead skin cells that can stay on your skin if not washed properly. Dead skin cells create an obstruction so that your hairs can’t leave the skin and can cause them to bend into the skin instead. If you wax or tweeze your hair, you should aim to exfoliate at least 3 times a week to make sure to avoid ingrowing hair. 

Another advantage to regular exfoliation is that it can also make waxing much smoother. As all of the hair will be removed together and can also lead to being hair free for longer. 

Using separate body scrubs and facial scrubs is also an important piece of advice. Most body scrubs you will find in your local beauty shop or high street will be much harsher on your skin in comparison to facial scrubs. Harsher chemicals on your facial skin can cause irritation and breakouts, and in turn lead to more ingrowing hairs. 

On the topic of scrubs, aim to use a biodegradable scrub for exfoliating. This ensures no harmful micro-beads are washed back into our oceans and is a big help to avoid plastic waste. If you’re looking for the perfect biodegradable scrub for your beauty needs. We stock a fantastic scrub called Ruff Stuff, which comes in a range of scents and is high quality for a great price. 

Moisturising Daily

Moisturise daily and every time you have a wash. If you moisturise this will keep you skin nice and soft. This will in turn help the hair to come out of the skin and prevent any excessive in growing hairs.

If these simple tips above are still not working to treat your ingrowing hairs, or you already have one that is irritated and persistent. We also stock a fantastic product aimed at treating ingrowing hairs. Ingrow Go not only exfoliates the skin to prevent ingrowing hairs. It also includes ingredients that help sterilise pores, reduce swelling and remove dry skin cells. 

Exfoliating and moisturising should get rid of most ingrowing hairs. Although sometimes there are some tough ones. Which are sometimes very painful irritating ingrowing hair. Ingrow go should help with these. However if they are very severe you must see your GP to get medical help. But the main thing I must advise is do not pick any ingrowing hair, you could make it worse than it is.

We really hope that the above bits of advice will help to keep those pesky ingrown hairs at bay and help keep your skin healthier and feeling good. If you still have any questions or concerns about your skincare needs and would like to arrange a personal consultation. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch today!  

When looking into the various options before beginning your new treatment, it can be easy to think that the consultation is just an extra step in the process that you don't need. This is a common misconception that can potentially have a negative impact on your skin rather than an improvement.

Me Kay Cooper at the reception desk ready for consultation

You may feel like you are saving yourself some time and money - but that's not true. In fact, you’re more likely to waste time and money by not booking a consultation beforehand. A consultation is a very important part of any treatment, and here are some reasons why!

1. Check suitability

A consultant will be able to advise you on whether your planned treatment is the best choice for your needs and point you towards some better alternatives if it isn't. Whilst doing this you can properly discuss your needs and you may discover there are treatments you have yet to discover which are more suitable.

2. Medical history

Getting an idea of your medical history will be a key goal for your consultant to ensure the treatment that you receive is the healthiest option for your skin. Also, something in your medical history that may seem insignificant to you may actually be a key contributor to some ongoing skin conditions. It also defines your suitability, you may not be able some treatments because of certain medical conditions.

3. Patch testing

Patch tests are important to establish the best products to use on your skin. They are often used to detect any negative reactions your skin may have such as intolerances and allergies. Having a consultation will ensure that the product or procedure your specialist is going to use is safe and healthy for your skin.

4. Getting to know your specialist

If you are planning on having some long-term treatment done for you skin care needs, then you will end up spending a lot of time with your specialist. In this case, it would be important to work out if you gel with your specialist as this is also an important part of the overall experience. There’s nothing worse than sitting in a room not knowing what to say to someone because you have no common interests!

5. Getting your money’s worth

Getting the consultation will ensure that all of the above issues are fully addressed and the very best possible treatment, product, plan and specialists have been selected for you. You can rest assured that your money is being spent on top quality treatment in the capable hands of your skin care professional.

If you would like to learn more about booking a consultation and our various types of treatments, please contact the skin centre today to discuss. There are a wide range of treatments on offer such as hair removal, blemish removal and a variety of treatments. You can learn more about what we offer on the Treatment List page.

A new treatment this summer is Dermaplaning, many people have questioned me, what is Dermaplaning? Is it good for your skin? What will it look like after?

Dermaplaning is also known as blading, skin resurfacing or skin leveling. Dermaplaning removes the outer most layers of the dead skin cells, immediately leaving the skin feeling soft and smooth. It is a non-traumatic facial and most are suitable to have this treatment. This is another form of exfoliation. With this exfoliation of the dead skin cells, the vellus hair is removed, causing the skin to be perfectly silky smooth. This is turn allows make-up to sit flawlessly on the skin, as it will not clog the hairs. Dermaplaning is using a surgical sterile blade to remove to excess dead skin and downy hair.

Dermaplaning before and after facial treatment

Why have Dermaplaning?

Dermaplaning is very popular with celebrities in this high definition era. It makes the skin look more defined and sharp, perfect for all those Instagram photos.

Dermaplaning is a manual method of exfoliation, this means most people can have this treatment. It helps with rough, dry skin and can help with superficial pigmentation and scarring.

Treatment results are a more refined, smooth, glowing appearance.

But what about the hair growing back?!

The hair that is removed from your skin is called vellus hair, it is soft and downy. This can grow back slightly blunt, but will always be vellus hair. If the hair is terminal (darker and/or thicker) it will come back as terminal. Dermaplaning cannot change the hair to something it wasn’t in the first place.

What happens in the facial?

A thorough consultation is done at the start of the treatment, to ensure the treatment is suitable and what will be needed for each individual client. As with any facial, I start with a cleanse and tone of the skin, the Dermaplaning is then performed and an Alumier MD mask is applied to the face. Depending on what was discussed during the consultation, the face mask that is applied will be what is needed for the skin i.e Deep Moisture Mask, Enzyme Therapy Mask or Refining Clay Mask. After the mask is washed off, Recovery Balm and SPF 40 is applied to the skin.

What happens after the facial?

You will be given aftercare to ensure that you take good care of your skin. Your skin will feel bare or someone described to me one ‘naked’! So always make sure you follow the aftercare and a big must is wearing SPF all day every day, especially in the summer months.

How often do I have this treatment?

This is entirely up to you. Clients love to have Dermaplaning for special one-off treatment or some like to have it as a regular, every 4 - 6 weeks treatment. It is recommended that anyone having it done for a wedding has a trial facial five weeks before the big day, to ensure their skin is suitable and not too sensitive for the deep exfoliation.

I hope this has answered your questions on Dermaplaning and has helped you decide whether it is suitable for you. If you have any more questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.

This treatment is available at Kay Cooper Skin Centre, and you can book here online.

Watch the video of Dermaplaning here

Skin tags can make you feel self conscious and slightly uncomfortable in your own skin. I have had a few and all I have wanted to do is pull them off! Annoying little things. But what are these things and why do we have them and most importantly, how do we remove them?

What is a skin tag?

It is a piece of fibrous tissue, which is loose collagen and blood vessels. Its actual name is fibroepithelial polyp. You know it’s a skin tag by the “mushroom” shape. A thin piece of skin attached and a big bulby head. They are mainly found on the neck, underarms, and groin or under breast area. Any area the skin rubs together. Commonly found in men or women that are older or overweight and pregnant ladies.

Skin tags are harmless and do not normally cause any pain or discomfort. With that in mind, the NHS do call that cosmetic and so anyone wanting them removed would have to pay privately.

Skin Tag Removal

Home Remedies

There are a few home remedies that can be tried and have been known to be effective.

An old wives remedy was to tie a piece of string around it and eventually the blood flow would stop and it would fall off. I remember my mum helping my Nan with this method. Though I do remember my Nan at one point having lots of string around her neck. I think it takes a  while for them to fall off!

Another home remedy is to put lemon juice on the skin tag, this will help to dry it out. I have never known this way, so I can't comment on how effective this method is.

Another way is to go to your local pharmacy and purchase a freezing spray kit, which costs roughly £20. You can then spray the skin tag and it will after two weeks will fall off. (Quoted from Boots online shop).

Salon Method

The method I use and found very effective is electrolysis. I remove the skin tags with an electrolysis probe. The probe will have a current running through it. This will cauterise the blood flow and leaves a tiny little crust in the skin tags place, this will naturally fall off after a week and should leave barely any scar if nothing at all.

A15 minute treatment can cost £45. This time can be used for up to 10 skin tags, depending on the size of them and how long they have been there.

Watch a Skin Tag Removal Video Here

Alumier peel being carried out

A month ago I introduced a new treatment to the skin centre and when I mentioned chemical peel, the look on some faces were slightly horrified and a little scared. A common question was asked, “will I look like Samantha from Sex & the city after?!”  This question has come up quite a few times, I thought I had better address it.

Now I would like to point out that Samantha had gone to a plastic surgeon to have her Botox then he offered her the peel (I had to rewatch it for research purposes) with plastic surgeons they can go deeper into the skin and prescribe hydrocortisone for healing the skin after. Therefore their peels can be a very deep peel. The Alumier peel I use is a light to medium level. Which is not aggressive, yet still effective for skin conditions

So after realising that you won't look like something off of The Walking Dead let me explain to you:

‘What is a chemical peel?’

A chemical peel is a technique that is used to improve the texture of the skin. It helps with acne, ageing, pigmentation, and redness. The peel intends to remove the outer most layers so that it speeds up desquamation, the natural skin exfoliation process.

Please don’t think a chemical peel is a harsh skin stripping treatment. The chemicals that are used are natural acids you find, for example, lactic acid, which is naturally found in milk and salicylic acid is found in plants, another is soy amino acids, which is extracted from yeast.

With the explanation of the chemicals used, you can see they are not the harsh skin peeling chemicals you naturally think of.
These ingredients are progressive, not aggressive, ensuring they are targeting specific skin conditions. Salicylic is great for mopping up excess oil.

Why have a chemical peel?

There are so many skin conditions that a peel can help with; ageing, hyperpigmentation, acne, redness. These are the main conditions that I hear clients say they are unhappy about. The peel itself helps to remove the outer layers of the skin quickly, so the newer, healthier, the less blemished skin can appear.

Can one peel sort out everything?

A single peel will help with the appearance of your skin initially (around 10 days after) though if you have a skin condition a course of peels with home care will be the best course of action for the best possible outcome. If you were trying to lose weight and only ate healthy once a month you wouldn’t lose a lot.

What does my skin look like after?

Each person's skin can look different each time. My first peel was absolutely amazing, my skin was glowing. Then my next peel, I had a few flaky bits to start with, but then it settled after 5 days and as I mentioned before my skin looked amazing at day 10. As there can be such a difference after each peel, I would always make sure that you have not got a special occasion a week or so after the peel, as the reaction can be different each time.

Do I have to do anything after?

After having a peel, which is a really deep exfoliation, you must take good care of your skin. After each peel you will be given an after peel pack, to be used for 5-7 days after. Which contains a cleanser, moisturiser and an SPF 40. This is to make sure when you go outside your skin is protected at all times. Not wearing SPF will cause sun damage/hyperpigmentation.

To get the very best results from the peels, it's recommended that you use the home care products continually in between peels. The best analogy I’ve heard recently is; if you have your kitchen professionally cleaned once a month, you wouldn’t expect it to stay clean in between. The more effort you put into looking after your skin the better it will look.

For more information on the Alumier peels and skincare contact me or watch this space for product reviews.

Written by SkinBase

IPL, or Intense Pulsed Light is a long-term solution for unwanted hair. However, did you know it’s also extremely effective at treating a number of skin concerns? If you’re suffering from acne, thread veins or pigmentation, read on because IPL may be the solution you’re looking for.

How does IPL work?

IPL works by filtering light, which means that only certain wavelengths of light will reach the skin. This is what makes IPL medical therapies able to treat a variety of skin concerns, because after filtering, the remaining light works on specific skin structures, achieving the desired results. Melanin in the hairs absorbs light during permanent hair reduction. This converts to heat, which damages the hair follicle and leaves it unable to support future hair growth.

IPL for acne - spots

IPL ACNE treatment results

Many people are left feeling lost after unsuccessfully trying an array of creams and lotions to treat acne. IPL is a reliable option for people with acne and works in three different ways.
The first is that it destroys bacteria on the skin. Whilst the underlying causes of acne vary from person to person, the cysts and blemishes themselves cannot happen without an influx of acne-causing bacteria. By destroying these bacteria, IPL removes one of the main culprits of acne.
The second way that IPL targets acne is that it prevents the over-production of sebum. The acne-causing bacteria feed on the sebum, and the sebum itself is what gets trapped in the pores to cause spots, so by reducing the amount of sebum being produced, it becomes more difficult for spots to form.
Finally, IPL dramatically reduces inflammation and stimulates collagen production, which means that red, angry spots are minimised and scarring is reduced, for a greatly improved skin texture.

IPL for Vascular Lesions- Thread veins/blood spots

Treat thread veins, rosacea and cherry angiomas with IPL using SkinBase medical therapies. Small blood vessels trapped near the surface of the skin are the cause of these skin issues and can have a really negative effect on body confidence. SkinBase IPL targets these issues by causing controlled damage to the blood vessels, which stimulates the body’s healing responses. When the body identifies the damaged vessels, it will naturally remove them, revealing healthy, flawless skin.

IPL for Pigmentation

Pigmentation from sun damage can take up to 20 years to appear, which means even if we start protecting skin now, we still have to deal with the damage done years ago. IPL is a great way of removing unwanted pigmentation; it breaks down the excess pigment in the skin, which stimulates the body’s healing response. This healing response removes the damaged pigment, leaving behind even-toned skin.

What are the other benefits of IPL?

IPL is a non-invasive and non-surgical treatment. There’s no downtime either, which means you can go straight back to your day without needing to recover. IPL also stimulates collagen production in the skin, which reduces wrinkles and leaves the skin looking more youthful and fresh. SkinBase’s system uniquely uses a cooling handset to ‘anesthetise’ the area ensuring the most comfortable treatment possible.
These treatments are available at Kay Cooper Skin Centre in Midsomer Norton.
Book a consultation and see what IPL can do for you.

The winter season is tough on the skin, dry air and harsh winds can sap the moisture from the skin. This can cause cracking, chapping and irritation.
Changing temperature means a change of routine, no matter which part of the world you live in. If you want your skin to be its best. You have to adjust your routines to help it to keep healthy as possible throughout the winter months. Here are a few guidelines for the long winters months, to help you keep your skin in good condition.

Hot Water

Don’t take long, hot showers. Hot showers may sound attractive in the cold winter and they can help warm you up. But they can also strip skin of its natural moisturising lipids, leaving your skin dry. Instead, take a short warm shower. Pat your skin almost dry and apply a good moisturiser while the skin is still damp. A moisturiser with shea butter or almond butter as they help to protect the skins own natural oils. You will need a super-emollient lotion for hands and heels. Or anywhere else you experience especially dry, cracked skin.

Sun Protection

Continue to protect your skin from sun damage. While seasons change, one thing that remains constant: the sun. No matter what season it is, it's still shining. And you need sunscreen to protect your skin against harmful ultraviolet rays. Even though it's not blazing hot. Your skin is still vulnerable to damage from the sun's ultraviolet rays. Since you’re usually wrapped up outside in the wintertime, you don’t need a lot. But try to wear a moisturiser with an SPF 15 on your face and all exposed skin throughout the wintertime. If your planning on taking a skiing holiday, do wear a high SPF. The sunlight reflecting on the snow can leave you with severe sunburn from a day on the slopes.

Exfoliate

Exfoliate twice a week. This will remove the dead skin cells and allow the skin to absorb extra moisture. The oil which we complain about in the summer is no longer being produced. Because of the cooler winter temperatures. Therefore skin loses the water, which should be retained in the lower dermis of the skin. This can lead to premature ageing of the skin and fine lines, whilst your skin can appear puffy and grey.

Moisturise

Moisture frequently. Use a cleanser with oils and emollients. The more oil a moisturiser contains, the more moisture the skin will retain. If you work outdoors, make sure your face moisturiser is thick barrier cream. That will help protect from the wind as well as the sun. If you work indoors with central heating add an extra serum to your usual skin routine. A hyaluronic serum will help with combatting dehydration and keeps in natural moisture.

Humidifier

Use a humidifier. With heat on and the windows closed, the air inside your home can become very dry. This can cause your skin to feel dry and itchy. So it's important to use a humidifier in communal areas. As the dryness in the atmosphere can also cause dry throats, as well as dry, cracked skin.

Drink Water

Drink plenty of water. This is a year-round tip but often avoided in the winter months. Its recommended that you drink 8 glasses, 2 litres of water a day. Drinking water gives you energy and benefits health. This helps you not overeat and most importantly helps your skin not become dehydrated.

I hope this helps you in protecting your skin from the terrors of the winter. If you have any questions or queries on how you can take care of your skin, please feel free to contact me.

Picture of women with great skin
Taking care of your skin in winter

Not a lot of people know that I have been searching for a skincare range for a little while now.
I have been trying to find a range that was good for everyone. But I always try the products out on myself first before I am confident to recommend them to others. However this can be a downfall for me. A few years ago when the mineral make-up became fashionable I tried some. This one particular make-up range had been bulked out with talc. This made skin reacted badly with it and caused a hypersensitivity around my mouth and nose. So 7 years on and I have a redness that is permanent and I am self conscious about it. Over the years I have tried many skincare ranges. And having a few friends in the industry, who have offered their recommendations. Unfortunately with the hypersensitivity. Most skincare ranges would make my skin flare up and make the area sore. I had found skincare that didn’t irritate, but then I had to use a foundation powder, which dried out my skin.

I have had recently a lot of clients come to me for treatments and have skin problems. This can be dry skin or oily skin, these can cause problems for the treatments I provide. Oily skin can conduct the electrical current in electrolysis, so we need a lower setting. Oily skin tends not to hold pigment well. So microblading can be difficult, some cases its not recommended at all. Dry skin can also be a problem, with waxing, cracked open skin. Electrolysis can be difficult with dead skin blocking hair follicles. Some cases the dead skin can even cause ingrowing hairs.

Now with all these skin issues that have risen. While I’m doing treatments or consultations many people ask me what I recommend. And up until recently I have struggled with this question as I had not even found one for myself. So how could I recommend anything to anyone that I was not happy with?

Recently a facebook friend had started with a business with a cosmeceutical range. She was posting how great this range was. Now I was not expecting miracles. Lets face it my skin has been like this for 7 years, so I know the damage is permanent. But my ears perked up to a cosmeceutical range. This is a grade below prescription based skin care. The ingredients in cosmeceutical is active and penetrates the skin deeper. This can help with problem skin.

Looking through the range I found a tinted moisturiser that had full coverage! This was going to be good. No more powder foundation, and crinkled skin around my mouth and eyes half way through the day. And it was even better than I imagined, it covered the redness perfectly. The coverage lasted from 7am to 8pm with no extra application. Two months on from the start of using it and I have had no soreness or irritation. Don’t get me wrong the redness is still there. Like I mentioned 7 years on, that isn’t going anywhere. But now I found something that can help my insecurities and give me a confidence again.

Now you ask ‘what has your skin issues got to do with me?’ Let me tell you, this range will help you with any skin issue you may have. If you have dry, oily or maturing skin this range can help. It is a very simple, no added extra skin care range. Cleanse, serum (if needed) moisturise. And even a face mask once a week for an intense treatment.

The next thing you will most likely be thinking is ‘how much will this cost?’ . The price can be an issue, with some ranges can charge around £100 for a little pot of moisturiser. And that makes me cringe, especially when they only last a month! The price of the tinted moisturiser I use is less than £20! £18.50 to be exact and I have not reached the halfway mark yet and its been around two months of using it. The most expensive part of the range are the moisturisers. These help with anti-aging, dryness and pigmentation marks. They all cost around £24 each and the serums that help with eyes and lips, skin tightening and oily skin are £19.50 each. None of these costs will break the bank.

Ok, so this is all quite interesting, but what about the company? This company is French and we all know the french skincare are the best, and this one is no exception. This company is the laboratory that actually makes the skincare! I buy this skincare directly from the labs in France. This is why it is sold a lot cheaper than you’re other brands of cosmeceutical ranges.

Acti-Labs is also a very conscious about the environment. They have won an award from the government for ‘low carbon footprint’. Everything is recycled and recycle able items are used where possible. They will not test on animals and uses ingredients not tested on animals. Although they are not a vegan company, natural ingredients are chosen over synthetic.
There you have it, my raving report on why acti-labs are a great company and have an amazing skin care range. I’ve not mentioned the dietary products and make-up and hair products also make. As this would be a huge blog! I am personally trying out the dietary products, but will not review that for a couple more months. But if you would like to ask me any questions or book for an Acti-Labs facial contact me.

When taking care of your skin there are two factors you must consider when thinking about the problems you have with your skin and at some point in our life we will have some kind of problem. It may be dryness, spots or  ageing skin. The two factors we need to consider is how are we caring for our skin internally and externally! 

Internally

So we have all heard the saying ‘you are what you eat’ well this is kind of true. If you eat loads of chocolate you’re not going to turn into a chocolate bar. But it will affect your body and most importantly your skin. 

Firstly if you want to eat that chocolate bar, make sure you drink plenty of water, at least 2 litres a day. This will help flush out all the toxins and create a healthy glow. 

Then make sure you eat fatty fish that contain omega 3, this has moisturising properties. However, if like me you’re not a fish lover then try some walnuts, they contain omega 3 too (phew!) 

Avocado has vitamins E and C, but so do sunflowers seeds, these vitamins are good for producing collagen and essential for healthy skin. 

Sweet potato, carrots, and spinach all contain beta-carotene, which will convert into Vitamin A and is natural sun protection, this prevents sunburn, dry skin and with that help delay aging. 

If these are not reasons enough to eat your fruit and veg I don’t know what is! 

Externally

Taking care of your skin is very important, you only have one. Now I’m not saying you have to follow these exact guidelines, but this will always be my advice and personal opinions, after 17 years of being in the beauty industry and training in 5 different skincare ranges, here is the gist of it: 

Cleanse, tone and moisturise, every morning, this will wake you up and refresh you. 

Cleanse, tone, moisturise, every night or when you get home from work. Take the days make-up off or if you’re not wearing any make-up, take the days pollution off your face. 

Don’t use wet wipes or face wipes, they just move the dirt/ make-up around your face and don’t take it off. Also, they are bad for the environment, they contain tiny particles of plastic that are destroying the environment. 

Exfoliate twice a week, no more, it can take too many layers off your skin. But do exfoliate to help get rid of dead skin cells. 

Always wear a sun factor SPF 30, this will help protect your skin from sun damage and premature ageing!! 

If you have any questions, please contact Kay Cooper for help

example of a women with good skin

woman with good skin

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