Wednesday, 05 December 2012 07:03

Sugar: Where Bacteria Does Not Live!

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Roses are red … Violets are blue; sugar is sweet … but is it the right choice for you?

This is the question that all salons should be asking. Many factors fall in to this question. The main one being sanitation. In today's day age, sanitation could make or break a salon. Luckily there has been a simple product around for generations that happily addresses this concern: sugar!
For 22 years now, I have been sharing with my global audiences a simple fact relating to sugar: Natural healing properties of sugar help to prevent infection and promote healing.

Sugar and honey are recorded as being used in the ancient war times and continue to be used today. These facts can be checked at your local library and online.

Sugar Enlisted to Fight Bacteria
A variety of case reports provide amazing data supporting the use of sugar in treating infected wounds. Dr. Leon Herszage treated 120 cases of infected wounds and other superficial lesions with ordinary granulated sugar purchased in a supermarket. The sugar was not mixed with any antiseptic and no antibiotics were used concurrently. Of these 120 cases, there was a 99.2 percent cure rate, with a time of cure varying between nine days to 17 weeks. Odor and secretions from the wound usually diminished within 24 hours and disappeared in 72 to 96 hours from onset of treatment.

Modern Science Turns Back the Clock – it is About Time!
It appears that there has been even greater scientific research over the last decade on the uses of sugar for healing and preventing bacterial infections. If you have any time to do some online research, you will be astounded by what you learn and see. Healing results are staggering, as are the speed of healing and the measurable comfort of healing to the patient. Sugar is being utilized medically on both animals and humans. Imagine that! Being sanitary is basic 101 schooling. Here is a step-by-step description of the right way to wash your hands:

  1. Apply enough antibacterial soap to palms, and then begin the process of sanitary hand washing.
  2. Rub hands palm to palm;
  3. Right palm over left backhand with interlaced fingers and vice versa;
  4. Palm to palm with fingers interlaced;
  5. Back of fingers to opposing palms with fingers interlocked;
  6. Back of fingers to opposing palms with fingers interlocked;
  7. Rotational rubbing of left thumb clasped in right palm and vice versa;
  8. Rotational rubbing, backwards and forwards with clasped fingers of right hand fingertips in left palm and vice versa;
  9. Right palm clasping left wrist while rotating and vice versa; Rinse hands with warm water and thoroughly dry with paper towel or clean cloth towel.

Glove Up for Protection
Use gloves on both hands when performing all sugaring hair removal treatments. This eliminates chances of cross-contamination to the skin, especially where hair is sugared/extracted in the early anagen stage, leaving skin more susceptible to contacting bacteria and bacterial contamination of products. Although high concentrates of sugar does not breed bacteria, it should not dismiss your responsibility to following a safe and sanitary protocol to your sugaring treatments.

Performing a Safe and Sanitary Sugaring Treatment Pre-treatment steps:

  1. Always wear gloves on both hands for the protection of yourself and your client.
  2. Use only your supporting hand and not your sugaring hand to prep the skin.
  3. Thoroughly cleanse the area to be treated with an antimicrobial cleanser.
  4. Spray with antibacterial/antimicrobial tonic.
  5. Dust the area with an aluminum-free, perfume-free, oil-free talc powder to ensure the skin is completely free from moisture.
  6. Using your sugaring gloved hand, remove the pre-determined amount of sugar paste from the jar so that you do not need to go back to get more sugar paste. If for any reason you need to get more sugar after you have begun treatment, use your support hand and a disposable spatula to retrieve more sugar then throw that spatula away.
  7. Continue to sugar with the quantity you have retrieved until the hair is completely extracted.

Post-treatment steps:

  1. To remove any residue (although a well-trained, seasoned practitioner will not have this need) use a clean towel with lukewarm water.
  2. Spray the treated area with the tonic to keep it sanitized – especially now that the follicles are more susceptible to contracting bacteria.
  3. For the last step, apply a hydrating lotion to keep the skin soft and smooth.

Your Sanitation Responsibilities Are Not Done Yet…
Your treatment room is a magnet for bacteria. If you do not tend to your treatment room on a regular basis as a "post-treatment" cleanup, you risk creating a battlefield of bacteria. Follow these three easy steps to help prevent contamination:

  • Cleaning – With a clean, damp mop clean the entire treatment room floor space (including under trolleys, massage/treatment beds, et cetera) with a disinfecting cleaning solution. Your mop must also be cleaned and disinfected after each use and thoroughly air dried.
  • Disinfection – This process will help to kill pathogens. Pathogens are anything that causes disease (bacteria, fungus, virus, et cetera). For a treatment room, the beds should be cleaned and disinfected after each client treatment.
  • Sterilization – In our sugaring business, the main items that require proper sterilization are electric trimmers, tweezers, brow brushes (unless you use disposables), or any other tool that touches the skin. UV sterilization is easy and convenient.

Accountability is Your Responsibility
To be absolutely certain that your spa is compliant with your State Board of Cosmetology sanitation bylaws; I recommend you take time to initiate getting informed. That way if you are ever a recipient of a surprise inspection visit, you will have done your homework and avoided any penalty charges or worse ... temporary shutdown. But more importantly, you will have ensured the safety of your clients.

What About Advising Your Clients?
How can advice to a client be a part of sanitation care from your spa/salon? Simple! When you perform perfect sugaring treatments, you already know that you are providing optimum results. By that I mean you are taking hair out in the natural direction only and in the anagen stage only. For the purpose of sanitation, I am only speaking about "the hair and its appearance in this stage" and the effect it causes on the follicle as it travels through the follicle and pops out through the opening of the follicle. A "complete extraction of a hair while it is still attached to the derma papilla" leaves a follicle more susceptible to contamination. Equally important to you performing all required post-treatment steps to help ensure safe treatments, you are responsible for advising your clients on after treatment care, or in other words – safe home care.

"No Nasties" Can Help Carry Through Safe Treatments
Many markets have prohibited or restricted the use of specific ingredients commonly used by near all manufacturers to formulate beauty product for decades now. Still, when I frequent our food markets and pharmacy stores here in the U.S. for some of my personal care products, I still see a lot of the ingredients on the hit list also known as "the nasties." The top of this short list, which has become more known in the media circle within the last several years, are: paraben, urea, petro and laurel sulfate.
Take time to share your knowledge with your clients on some of the ingredient issues at hand. It is highly important for the first 24 hours after extracting the hair that the client pay more attention to what they are putting onto their skin when they leave your spa. If you do not already carry products free of the nasties, you should consider upgrading your retail center, or at the very least, teaching your clients to review package ingredient listings before they take it to the counter for purchase.

LAW 101 – Read the Fine Print!
I think it is safe to say that most of us are quite familiar with this expression and that without performing our due diligence in reviewing documents such as leases, purchase agreements, banking, et cetera … we could really find ourselves in a bind – right?

Product Labels
Skip the hype and read the labeling on the back of the product! Everyone has access to the Internet and there you will find all the information you need to help guide you to intelligent product selection for your personal care. Try not to let any site put you into a frenzy due to information overload.

A chief pioneer collecting many feathers in her cap, Lina Kennedy is the expert on professional sugaring who writes articles regularly for industry magazines here in North America and in Europe. As president of Alexandria Professional, one of her personal goals is to ensure that each professional trained in the art of body sugaring learns and understands the exceptional results they and their clients can achieve through The Kennedy Theory™ for sugaring and The Kennedy Technique Theory™. Both theories were established by Kennedy in a strong on-going effort to mainstream professional sugaring as a viable solution to treating unwanted hair and to achieving permanent reduction. Kennedy's unique technique and secret formulations combined with her theories and result oriented products have taken sugaring to a whole new level which includes spa skin conditioning treatments. To contact Lina call 800-957-8427 or visit www.alexandriaprofessional.com

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