Five treatments to get you back into tip-top shape for fall…
As hard as it is to wave goodbye to summer’s easy-going and carefree vibe, there’s something satisfying about getting back into a fall routine. We asked five beauty and grooming experts to suggest the best rejuvenating services to book now so you’re organized and ready for everything the new season has in store.
THE TREATMENT: Fotona SP Dynamos Laser Hair Removal
This treatment – the ultimate in hair-growth removal – uses the power of light to target pigment within the hair follicle to destroy the follicle and prevent further growth.
Why do it: The Fotona SP Dynamos laser hair removal system is touch-free and fast, and promises to eliminate unwanted body hair. “It’s safe to use on all skin types,” says Dr. Mansour Bendago, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon at the Toronto Cosmetic Clinic. “Laser hair removal saves time and money. It helps with ingrown hairs and, as an added benefit, can help even out the skin tone on treated areas.”
When to book: Once your summer tan has faded, so there is maximum contrast between the colour of your skin and the unwanted hair. “The underarms and bikini and groin are the most common areas of stubborn hair growth,” says Dr. Bendago. “So on average, six to 10 sessions are needed, spaced four to six weeks apart.”
The price: From $100 per appointment.
Cool fact: While there is some discomfort, the Fotona SP Dynamos uses a cooling method to make it more comfortable. Plus, once the hair is gone, you can wave goodbye to razor burns, nicks and cuts.
THE TREATMENT: Anti-acne facial
Exfoliating dead skin cells, plus all that dirt and grime buildup, can help to heal and reduce or even eliminate your facial acne.
Why do it: Spending the summer outdoors in the heat and sunshine takes a toll on your skin, often with a built-up layer of dead skin cells that can cause flaking and trap excess oil, causing unwanted spots. “A professional facial can help to smooth the skin for an improved appearance and feel, as it rids the skin of dry flakes and dead skin cells for a better glow,” says Charmaine Cooper, education manager at The International Dermal Institute and Dermalogica Canada. The aesthetician’s techniques, combined with the ingredients in the products used, will help to “purify and detoxify the skin and help to improve the skin’s natural cell renewal rate.” Plus, Cooper says, “Facials deep-clean, lock in moisture, fight bacteria and inflammation, and improve scarring or pigmentation.”
When to book: From as often as every month for more challenging cases of acne, to every third month if you’re looking for deep cleansing and extraction of blackheads and whiteheads.
The price: From $65 per appointment.
Cool fact: Facial scrubs, which are often incorporated into anti-acne services, “use abrasive ingredients [think rice, jojoba or synthetic beads, salt, pumice stone or apricot kernels, sugar, coffee grounds] to smooth the outermost part of the skin’s surface,” says Cooper.
THE TREATMENT: Cosmetic facial acupuncture
Based on the principles of Chinese medicine, this non-surgical treatment reduces the signs of aging by inserting super-thin, disposable needles into the acupuncture points on the face to increase circulation and stimulate collagen production.
Why do it: To eliminate fine lines from the sun, soften deeper lines, add radiance and tighten the skin – all for a healthy, glowing complexion. “It can also help to minimize dark circles, puffy eyes, double chin, sagging skin and dropping eyelids,” adds Kevin Liu, a registered acupuncturist at the Cosmetic Acupuncture Clinic in Toronto. “It gives people with dull, tired-looking skin rosy cheeks.”
When to book: Two months (eight weeks) before any major event. Liu recommends booking 10 to 12 sessions in total, with one to three treatments per week. “Each individual will respond differently, depending on their age and lifestyle,” says Liu. “Visible results will be noticeable after the sixth appointment.”
The price: $120 per appointment.
Cool fact: Virtually pain-free, cosmetic facial acupuncture is also promises to tighten pores, control acne, improve digestion, increase energy and even give you a better night’s sleep.
THE TREATMENT: Manicures and pedicures
Just because summer’s over doesn’t mean the fun has to be over too – take a break for a therapeutic massage that will relax and stimulate your hands and feet.
Why do it: Now that it’s fall, you’re back at it 24/7, whether that means racing to the subway in the morning, fitting in a lunchtime game of racquetball or simply sitting at your desk typing. Manicures and pedicures can help relieve tension and carpal tunnel syndrome, and reduce foot cramps from all of this activity, while simultaneously eliminating calluses, hangnails, ingrown nails and dry skin. “Soaking and exfoliating your hands and feet is therapeutic and relaxing,” says Toula Bintas, an aesthetician and co-owner of Allazo Skin Care in Toronto. “Hydrating your skin and then painting your nails with a fresh coat of clear or coloured nail polish will also make you look and feel great.”
When to book: Whenever you have a little down time and want a pick-me-up service. Bintas recommends booking a mani/pedi combination service every other month to remove calluses and deeply moisturize the skin. “Pedicures are especially beneficial if you’re prone to ingrown toenails, which can be very painful especially if you wear high heels or when you’re working out at the gym.”
The price: $40+ per appointment.
Cool fact: Pedicures feature reflexology benefits. Your aesthetician may not be trained in reflexology, but the results from the foot rub are similar: relaxation and rejuvenation.
THE TREATMENT: Teeth whitening
A quick and easy way to put the sparkle back into your smile, teeth whitening quickly and easily removes stains (from summertime indulgence with too many glasses of sangria) and whitens teeth using a gel-based peroxide. “The peroxide will penetrate through the outer layers of the tooth and change the colour,” explains Dr. David A. Gardner, founder of the Gardner Dental Centre in Toronto.
Why do it: “A bright and radiant smile exudes youth, health, vitality and confidence,” says Dr. Gardner. Feeling and exuding confidence is important, whether you’re speaking with your colleagues and meeting with clients, or trying to make an impression on a special someone – or just want to give yourself a little pick-me-up.
When to book: Any time is a good time for whitening your teeth. If you have a convention or important event looming in the near future, leave yourself enough time for a touch-up session after your initial treatment for last-minute bleaching and polishing sessions. And don’t forget to book you teeth-cleaning session beforehand, says Dr. Gardner, adding that for maximum effect “your teeth should always be properly cleaned before whitening.”
The price: From $250 per session.
Cool fact: For fun, add a touch of bronzer to your cheeks the next time you’re heading out to a work function or have an important presentation with your boss. “A little colour can heighten the contrasting effect of brighter teeth,” says Dr. Gardner.
ADRIANA ERMTER is a Toronto-based, lifestyle-magazine pro who has travelled the globe writing about must-spritz fragrances, child poverty, beauty and grooming.
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