Ask Rita: Finding Colorless Facial Products For Sensitive Skin

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Question: Do you know somewhere in Calgary that I can get a facial with odorless products? I have a very sensitive nose and skin, and I cannot tolerate any perfume or odor. In the past, Pevonia products worked for me. – AL

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A: A cursory investigation uncovered a number of spas in Calgary that use Pevonia products. Among them are Viso Medi Spa and Boutique, 303 Center St. SW, 403-265-0330, (www.visoboutique.com) and Sante Spa at Hotel Le Germain, 899 Center St. SW, 403-930-5959 (www . germain.santespa.com).

But if you want to change things up and try something new, I have two places for you to suggest. The first is The Natural Art of Skincare at 310 16th Ave. NW, 587-351-1131. Among the product lines they offer, both for spa and home treatments, are Eminence Skin and Lowens, both of which contain no artificial fragrances. (The Lowens line was actually developed by Calgary pharmacist Chad Ryan Zelensky and has absolutely no scent; it’s also 100% organic, fair trade, and locally sourced.) The Natural Art of Skincare offers a free consultation of 30 minutes on skin care, and owner and medical esthetician Rachel Lamont is confident she can solve your problems. To learn more, visit www.thenaturalartofskincare.ca.

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Coincidentally, to celebrate International Women’s Day, the spa is hosting an open house / afternoon tea this Saturday, March 5, from noon to 3 p.m. An easy, no-pressure way to check out what they are offering.

Another option is Bella Barbarella Medical Aesthetiques at Marda Loop. Owner Barbara Zaseybida – who in addition to being a certified medical esthetician has years of experience in film, television and theater – has very sensitive skin herself and uses lovely all-natural products. Its number is 403-862-5899.

Question: I’m 45 years old and I’m going on a cruise next month. I really want to try a Brazilian wax but am I too old? – CF

A: To clarify for readers, a Brazilian wax differs from a regular bikini wax because the hairs at the bottom are removed absolutely everywhere. Having never taken this route myself, I posed your question to a waxing professional, LuLu from LuLu’s Waxing Studio (www.luluswaxingstudio.com). His response, unsurprisingly, was “you are never too old!” “

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LuLu should know that she has been in the hair removal business for 15 years and only does Brazilians.

She has some tips for novices. First, she suggests that you make sure you have at least three weeks of growth and see someone who uses hard wax for the entire service. Hard wax, she explains, is different from soft wax, which was used in this infamous scene from The 40 Year Old Virgin. Soft wax is good for the face and large areas of the body that often emerge, such as legs, arms and back; Hard wax is specially designed for sensitive skin like bikini area and underarms because it does not stick to your skin. This means that there is no dressing like a burn or trauma, which greatly minimizes the discomfort. LuLu says you should never be in pain after any type of hair removal and the result should leave the area feeling silky smooth. You should remain hairless for around 10-14 days after your first waxing and the growth is slower and smoother after that. LuLu has a great website that answers any questions you might have about the process. So go ahead and travel without hair!

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