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BOD Waxing Studio x Lady Suite are joining forces this summer to educate you on heathy, hydrated, and protected skin all summer long! Elise McCarthy is a Body Waxing, Acne Specialist and Femcare Expert. She runs a cozy + professional studio space Downtown Boise where Brazilian waxes are the most popular thing on the menu. Elise knows a thing a thing or two about vulva skin. Check out our Q+A with for summer skin tips and more!  

  1. tell us about you and why you do what you do? 


Hey there! My name is Elise McCarthy and I’m an Esthetician in Boise, ID.  I’m the owner of BOD Waxing Studio where I specialize in full body waxing.  I’m also an Acne Specialist so I help coach and treat clients struggling with problematic skin, I actually went to Esthetic school in order to learn how to heal my own acne woes.   When I graduated my first job was at a local waxing franchise where I actually learned how to wax properly, school unfortunately did not train well in this area!  I stayed there for over a year and eventually ventured out to do my own thing.  Freedom, creativity, and clean skin ingredients are what drove me to become self-employed.  Once I had the freedom to structure my career how I wanted I felt like I could truly give my clients the experience and time I wanted to.

  1. how does the sun/heat affect skin (all over)?


I have a love/hate relationship with the sun, nothing feels better than sunrays warming your skin, but also, hello damage.  I live in a very dry climate already so once summer hits and you’re dealing with heat, UV rays, and air conditioning it’s not cute.  Hot weather increases water loss from the body which can lead to dehydration.  When our body is dehydrated, skin can become irritated, sensitive, red, and dry (think of tissue paper, every wrinkle is deeper and texture more noticeable).  Sun damage is also no joke, the sun is a carcinogen!  Not only can you develop skin cancer if you’re not protecting yourself with SPF, but sun can also trigger dark spots on your skin to appear and/or darken in color.  Most of the UV damage to our skin is already done by our late teens and as we age that damage begins to surface and become visible. If you are not helping your skin protect itself by wearing SPF, than it has no choice but to protect itself on its own, and that is by pumping out extra melanin to damaged areas, resulting in discolored spots.  I could nerd out on this topic all day, so if you want some homework I highly suggest looking up “truck driver skin damage” for the perfect visual of how UV rays affect the skin.

  1. what are your go-to tips for caring for our skin this summer?


The most important skin tip for summer is defiantly SPF.  I’m not a fan of sun on my face so you’ll always see me in sunglasses and a hat of some sort.  Keeping your skin hydrated by increasing your water intake, eating lots of fresh veggies and fruits, as well as applying moisturizer topically is also important.  Once the weather warms up, I like to stash away my heavier moisturizer for a lighter one such as an oil.  I tend to be more active in the summer with things like hiking and bike riding as well which means my body is experiencing more sweat and friction than usual.  To help prevent unwanted bumps or ingrown hairs I focus on exfoliating my body a lot more during the summer months.  I’ve been using a sea salt body scrub but am looking forward to trying dry brushing this year!

  1. what should we look for in skin care during warmer months, i.e. what products and what ingredients?


There are two types of SPF, chemical and physical.  Chemical sunscreens absorb UV rays while physical sunscreens block and repel UV rays.  I always preach for the use of physical SPF’s, which are zinc based, because they do a much better job at protecting your skin.  To see how SPF works on your skin, check out the YouTube video “How the Sun Sees You” by Thomas Leveritt.  It’s amazing!  When the weather warms up I usually recommend my clients to swap out their heavier face creams for lighter options such as face oils.  I’m a huge fan of oils and I think a lot of people still fear them.  There is a misconception that oil = breakouts.  Not (always) true.  Ingredients play a huge role here.  If you have acneic skin, coconut oil will most definitely break you out.  The green beauty world blew up coconut oil and it is in so many skincare ingredient decks.  If you are not an acne sufferer, than coconut oil may be totally fine for your skin.  I’d rather opt for a face oil that contains healthy, noncomedogenic oils, that way they are safe for everyone.  A quality oil will be high in Omega 3 (flax seed, walnut, and chia oils) and Omega 6 (grapeseed and sunflower oils) fatty acids.  Lastly, Vitamin C is another ingredient that everyone’s skin regimen should have.  Vitamin C helps neutralize free radicals which cause premature aging, stimulate collagen production, and can help lighten dark spots on the face.

  1. what are the pros and cons of waxing during summer?


There are tons of great benefits to waxing.  Some of these benefits include: hair growing back sparse and finer in texture, grow back is not itchy or prickly like it is when you shave, you’re saving time and energy by not shaving every few days, no razor burn, and your skin gets a gentle exfoliation.

Typically people get waxed anywhere between 4-6 weeks so waiting for your hair to grow back and be long enough to wax again is usually the hardest part for clients in the summer.  You have to be methodical in planning your appointments, especially if you have summer vacations or special dates you want to be hair free for.  Ingrown hairs can be another con but they are preventable if you’re using the right products and are consistent with use!  Consistency is key.

  1. how can we eliminate some of the cons?


Grow out is actually not that difficult.  When you shave, you’re just cutting the hair off at a blunt edge on the surface of the skin.  This allows the hair to be visible on the surface of lighter skin tones (those annoying black dots on your lower legs ladies) as well as feeling prickly as it begins to grow longer.  Prickly hair can also cause itching which we all know, is not fun.  When you start waxing, you begin pulling the hair from its root.  When it’s pulled from the root it grows back much slower, patchy, and the texture is finer and softer.  So, when you think of a patchy, less noticeable hair all together, growing an area out to wax isn’t that noticeable unless you’re looking for it.  And in that case, we can plan your wax appointments out around special events/dates.  

Ingrown hairs come down to exfoliation and hydration.  We just talked about waxed hair coming in thinner and less dense, essentially the hair itself is weaker.  If you are not exfoliating and keeping your skin hydrated, that weaker hair is going to have a tough time penetrating the skin once it gets long enough.  If it cannot penetrate the skin, it’s going to keep growing and curl under the surface of the skin.  If inflammation is present in the body, then this ingrown will become hot, swollen and tender to the touch… what most of us know an ingrown to be.  They are very uncomfortable, so prevention is key.  All you need is Lady Suite and consistency with use.

  1. do you have any tips for first-time waxing clients? also, tips on how to relax during? 


Many first-time clients come in extremely nervous.  They are usually nervous about the pain and/or being nude and vulnerable around someone they don’t know.  If you’re worried about the pain, you can take an ibuprofen 30 minutes before your appointment.  More times than not, you will build the pain up in your head way worse than it really is.  Waxing pain is a quick sting that doesn’t linger around long, it is much tolerable than you think.  As far as being nude and vulnerable, remember this is my job and I see naked bodies all day long.  I also feel like I do a great job of connecting with clients and creating a very welcoming environment.  Before the waxing starts, I always get the conversation started, there’s always great music in the background, and before you know it, it’s over!

  1. tell us about the suite summer BOD?


“Suite Summer BOD” is a fun play on words for the Lady Suite and BOD Waxing Studio collaboration this Summer.  Summertime is my busiest season, people are starting to travel and attend events again, and heat means less clothing.  Rather than focusing on fitness for your summer body, it felt fun to focus on skin as a whole.  Forget about shape and size for a minute, your “Suite Summer BOD” this year should focus on happy, healthy, protected, and hydrated skin.  That really is the secret to the perfect summer glow. 

  1. do the majority of your clients do brazilians? why do you think that is?


That’s a great question.  I’m not sure why being hair free has been the popular choice for years.  Media?  Porn? Maintenance?  Brazilians are my number one service every single month, without fail.  Body hair is a personal preference and I support whatever makes you feel the most beautiful. 

  1. what is at-home care for intimate skin?


At home care for intimate skin is the daily routines and rituals you make for your body.  The vaginal ecosystem is more sensitive and more absorbent than the rest of the skin on our bodies, therefore you should be very mindful about what products you are putting on or near it.  I fell in love with Lady Suite because they brought education, beautiful marketing, and clean ingredients to the world of feminine health.  When I became self-employed, it was very important to me to stock my backbar with products that were non-toxic and safe for intimate skin.  I feel like this simple change has really elevated my services and has made skincare and healthcare priorities in my studio. 

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