But in real life, waxing does not have to be all that painful. Sure, we’ve had our share of razors and tweezing, and during the summer, but in the end, waxing takes the day off and over the course of time, keeps it off (unless you happen to use fancy gadgets).
Uni K Wax Centers, which were founded by current CEO Noemi Grupenmager, in South Beach Florida in 1993. Today, there are 33 Uni K Wax Centers located throughout New York, Florida, and California with plans to develop over 100 franchises and affiliates across the country by the end of 2015. We connected with Ms. Grupenmager in a Q&A to discover her plans and learn more about the brand.
How did the brand start and what sets you apart?
As a consumer, I was always dissatisfied with the expensive, slow, and limited hair removal services available at nail and hair salons. Before I opened Uni K Wax Centers, these salons were the only places offering hair removal. The duty was often tacked on to employees who were already too busy with hair, nails, and other services.
With this notion, I imagined something new: A center solely dedicated to waxing, with a welcoming atmosphere that offered clean, quick, and professional services at affordable prices. My vision was to have a specialized hair removal center that offered waxing for both men and women, which would raise industry and marketplace standards. Having sensitive skin myself, I also recognized the need for a wax that was all natural and pain-free, and would not aggravate the skin with harsh chemicals and synthetic ingredients.
With all of this in mind, I founded the first Uni K Wax Center in 1993 in Miami Beach, Florida, and became the first person ever to open a center devoted exclusively to waxing. I developed my own proprietary elastic Uni K Wax, made of natural beeswax, essential oils, and a special pine tree resin, which took three years of in-depth laboratory research to create. Applied at body temperature, Uni K Wax has an amazing ability to gently remove unwanted hair from the root due to its elasticity, unlike any other hair removal process offered by others, and this kind of difference creates a very relaxing experience. Once the wax applied at body temperature and sits on the skin, it gently opens the pores while moisturizing the skin and removes the hair painlessly and at the same time, lightly exfoliates.
What are the brand’s plans for the future?
My vision for Uni K Wax in the future is for it to remain an innovative leader in the body waxing industry. Uni K Wax is growing rapidly across the U.S., and we have many exciting new concepts we are working on, but above all, we will continue to strive to exceed our customers’ expectations in all that we do.
Which is the most popular treatment?
I’ve come to find that Brazilian and full bikini waxes are most popular among women as opposed to your average bikini line wax. Uni K Wax Center is known for creating the Brazilian Bikini Wax, so most customers request this specific service most often.
Although not completely new, another trend that has been gaining attention is men’s waxing, or manscaping. Over the years, men’s grooming has become increasingly common and many men prefer a clean, polished look over going au naturel. A number of men also get their chest and eyebrows waxed, and bikini waxes among men is the most popular service after a back and shoulder wax.
What are your tips on braving the first-time bikini wax?
Look for a professional waxing center that not only specializes in waxing, but also has the most “ouch-free” waxing experience. To do this, choose a wax that is all-natural as this is better for the skin. An elastic wax will gently remove hair. Finally, choose a professional that offers specialist care.
Here are some helpful tips to remember before getting a waxing service:
- Let your hair grow out about one-eighth to one-quarter of an inch before going in for waxing.
- If you are sensitive during your menstrual cycle, you might want to avoid a bikini wax during those days.
- Alcohol tightens pores, so it is not a good idea to consume before getting waxed.
- Using sun protection is always recommended when exposing your skin to the sun and it is especially important during the first 24 hours after waxing in order to avoid redness.
- Let your waxer know of any medications you’re taking, as this may affect your skin and your ability to be waxed.
Talika Bio Enzymes Mask ($15 per mask) is a facial mask that acts likes a “second skin” for your face as it goes on cool on the skin and its ingredients work actively to: rehydrate (Hydrating Bio Enzymes Mask), smoothes wrinkles and brightens tone (Anti-age Bio Enzymes Mask), and mattifying oily skin and tightening pores (Purifying Bio Enzymes Mask). According to the beauty brand, its masks uses bio-cellulose, a natural nano fiber that is 1,000 times thinner than human hair, and this is the thinnest fiber of the living world, which means the mask can sit on skin comfortably without weighing it down.
The Hydrating Mask contains hydrophilic sugars that rehydrate and acts as an antioxidant, alpine flowers to heal and protect, and hyaluronic acid to soften skin an give off radiance. After wearing the mask for 15-30 minutes, the difference is immediate, and my skin felt baby-skin soft after just one use. In terms of luminosity, this mask is excellent. The Anti-age Mask helps reduce wrinkles and replump skin, and it includes ingredients like moisturizing collagen, watermelon from the Kalahari desert, which is rich in silicium, and resulting in an increase in the skin’s collagen. Purifying Mask minimizes imperfections like blackheads, spots, and redness and also tightens pores using argon oil, alpine herbs, and cinnamon. Purifying Mask would be great for use before a date or a black-tie event.
Photo Credit: thedermblog.com
Jeffrey Benabio, MD, is helping to elevate dermatology’s profile, making it one of the most connected and digitally savvy specialties out there. A practicing dermatologist, Benabio also serves as the Physician Director of Innovation and Transformation at Kaiser Permanente in San Diego. As such, he spends a good deal of time working to promote telehealth initiatives, social networking for doctors, and digital healthcare delivery. In the future, individuals who are able to take a selfie of a mole and email it to their doctor for real-time analysis will owe a big thank you to Benabio, who is also the voice behind The Digital Doctor, a popular blog that educates patients about health and wellness.
Benabio connected with Beauty in the Bag over email (after all, what else would you expect form the Digital Doctor?) to discuss his skin care philosophies as well as how telemedicine will change the way dermatologists see patients just like you in the not-too-distant future.
What are the three worst things we do to our skin?
We don’t adequately protect it from the sun’s damaging rays. Although people are generally better about applying sunscreen today than they were years ago, we still have lots of room for improvement. We know that sun exposure and sunburns, in particular, can lead to both premature skin aging (wrinkles) and skin cancer and that regular use of sunscreen is related to a reduced risk for skin aging and skin cancer. To keep your skin healthy, you must protect it. And that means for most people applying a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF of 30 daily. It also means being sun smart by covering up with clothing, hats and sunglasses and seeking shade when outdoors.
We also don’t moisturize enough. With winter approaching, it’s particularly important to get in the habit of using moisturizing body washes and moisturizing lotions. When temperatures drop, there is less humidity in the air, which causes any moisture on exposed skin to quickly evaporate. Whipping winds and blasting heaters exacerbate your already parched skin, leading to uncomfortable, dry, chapped, cracked skin. First, stop using bar soap which strips oils off of your skin, leading to dry skin. Instead, use a moisturizing body wash such as Dove Men +Care’s body washes that have micro moisture technology to lock in moisture and keep skin feeling and looking healthy. Also, try to apply moisturizer to hands as often as possible, especially after hand washing. Cover up with hats, scarves, and gloves when outdoors, and try eating more omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods such as salmon and walnuts which can help keep your skin fight off dryness.
We pick, poke, prod, and pluck with abandon. Although tempting, it’s never a good idea to pop a pimple. Most people apply too much pressure which pushes the bacteria into the skin, worsening an already unsightly blemish. It’s not uncommon for the skin to become red, inflamed, and tender. Picking and prodding also leads to scarring and dark marks that can take months or years to fade.
What is your go-to product line?
I always recommend Dove products to all my patients – the brand is known and trusted in dermatology communities for cleansing, moisturizing, and care. For the guys, I tell them to use Dove Men+Care products, which are specifically formulated for men’s skin across personal wash, deodorants, face care and hair care. For example, in the summer I suggest men use the Dove Men+Care Hydrate+ Face Lotion. It not only offers advanced protection for dry skin, but it also contains a broad spectrum SPF 15. It’s fast absorbing, non-greasy, and has a light, fresh scent, unlike other products with high levels of perfume which can irritate skin. Check out dovemencare.com for more information.
If there was one thing you would recommend to stave off wrinkling and premature aging, what would it be, and why?
Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Most people highly underestimate the importance of quality sleep. We know that lack of sleep is related to many health issues and is critically important for your skin’s health. Sleep is a strong anti-inflammatory, so it can help with inflammatory skin conditions such as rosacea, acne, and psoriasis. It also helps your skin look less dry, wrinkly, and puffy. That’s why when you’re tired, your face shows it: Your eyes are puffier than usual, and those fine lines don’t look so fine anymore. Chronic sleep deprivation can leave your skin looking and feeling dry, dull, and wrinkly. Over time, chronic sleep deprivation can lead to a host of medical problems including weight gain, memory problems, and headaches to name a few. Sleep isn’t a luxury. It’s a necessity.
Tell us how you see telemedicine affecting the way dermatologists treat patients.
It will be an additional way that patients can “see” their doctor for help. It is becoming increasingly common for patients to send photos by email to their dermatologist; it’s an easy and convenient way for patients to get answers to their skin questions. Teledermatology is also used between primary care physicians and dermatologists. In that instance, the primary care physician can send a photo to a dermatologist when they have a question about a rash or a growth. Getting a response right away from a dermatologist helps make primary care physicians even better at taking care of their patients. With the use of technology, there will be fewer barriers between physicians and patients.
Is your passion technology, skin care or both?
Both. I’m fortunate to practice medicine at a time when more people than ever have health insurance, when technology is better than ever at helping us care for people, and when patients are more informed than ever before about their health and healthcare. I’m always looking at technology as a means to make us better physicians and to enhance the relationship that doctors have with patients.
What do you predict will be the next big thing in dermatology?
Apps that accurately diagnosis skin cancer and other skin conditions, including rashes. We’re close to doing so today, and this will transform dermatology.