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Patience pays off after alpha treatment

By Al Varela

Dear Al: I am interested in having an alpha treatment done on my face but I am worried about how soon I will be able to have my face waxed afterward since I also get waxed regularly. What do you recommend?

Alpha treatments are done using glycolic acid in concentrations of 30 to 70 percent. These peels remove the outer layers of the skin and can eliminate fine lines and refine the skin's tone and texture. Many times this procedure consists of a series of treatments gradually building up to higher concentrations to minimize any possible risks of side affects such as stinging, discoloration and sun burn like results.

Before you can resume your waxing you must be sure that your skin is completely recovered from the alpha treatment. I have seen women who have ended up with scaly and crusty patches because they were too hasty in having their face waxed after a treatment. Your patience will pay off.

A daily ritual of cleansing your skin properly is necessary. Also using a gentle exfoliator every other day to sluff off any dead skin cells will make the treatment more effective.

I always recommend the best quality moisturizer for night-time use. Remember that sleeping is the best time for the skin to be nurtured and repaired or healed. Orlane has an incredible nurturing moisturizer, "B21 Intensive Nurturing Care", that serves this purpose very well.

Masking -- not the kind of mask that is used to remove clogged pores or oils, but a moisturizing mask --- is recommended after an alpha treatment. An alpha treatment has a tendency to excessively dry the skin and a moisture mask is more concentrated than a regular moisturizer.

Decleor has a very effective hydrating mask called "Hydravital." Although this mask can be used daily during an alpha treatment, this mask should not be left on the face for more than 15 minutes. Some people assume that the longer you leave a mask on the better, but actually doing that can turn the skin balance topsy-turvy.

Most importantly I recommend that your skin be as normal as possible before any alpha treatment. Any breakouts, flaking or dryness should be addressed before a treatment. Glycolic acid should not be applied to damaged skin as it can absorb to deeply and result in a longer recovery period.

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