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Beauty Tips From a Certified Cosmetologist

While we’re all on the constant search for the next best beauty product, it can be quite confusing figuring out exactly what would work for us. This month, we’ve decided to have a sit-down conversation with cosmetologist and content creator Dr. Nora Essam, to ask your burning beauty questions and get some tips and tricks from an expert!

How long have you been practicing cosmetology?

I’ve always loved cosmetology and I really wanted to specialize in it when I was in college. I then took courses in the field, and I got a master's in cosmetics and formulation. I was working as a content creator at the time and doing some marketing, so I decided to transition into creating my own blog and publishing my own content. I’ve been working on my cosmetology blog for three years now. 

Our readers had a few beauty concerns that we would love to get your input on, so can you give them some advice on these concerns?

Absolutely, let’s do it!

How many times should we apply sunscreen a day?

It’s not about how many times per day; sunscreen should be applied every two hours, whether we are subjected to sunlight or not. 

There’s a lot of debate over vitamin C products. Should we use them in the morning, or only at night?

That’s a misconception. Vitamin C is an antioxidant, so we should absolutely use it in the morning before applying sunscreen. It can also, of course, be used at night as well—sunscreen and vitamin C work parallel to each other.

When it comes to the lips, can lips get sun damaged?

Yes. One of the most common cancers occurs because of the lips. A lot of people don’t put their lips into consideration when they’re applying sunscreen and I think that’s a huge mistake. You should apply the same sunscreen you use on your face on your lips as well because lips are extremely sensitive. Lips are always dehydrated and actually using scrubs on them too much can damage them as well. So lip balm and sunscreen are going to be your lips’ best friends. 

Speaking of scrubs, how many times should we scrub our bodies?

I recommend scrubbing once a week and trying to stay away from the harsh materials. Coffee scrubs are great for your body because they also nourish and stimulate blood circulation. Scrubbing too often can cause micro-tears, which is bad for your skin. 

As for shaving, do scrubs help with ingrown hairs?

For sure, scrubs make shaving a whole lot safer and easier. I also recommend not using hot water when shaving because it can cause a damaged skin barrier. It’s also essential that you moisturize your skin after shaving to keep your skin safe.

What about acne and acne scars, what would you recommend for those?

Acne is a chronic disease, so anyone with acne needs to find a routine that works for them and deal with acne as an incurable disease. You just have to learn how to adapt and keep it under control. Sunscreen and moisturizer are, again, very useful for your skin barrier. Don’t wash your face too much because that will stimulate acne. Use anti-inflammatory products, they’re going to make life a lot easier, as well as products that balance sebum production, as well as salicylic acid. Just use everything in moderation. Too much is never good.

Many people deal with dandruff. What would you suggest they do?

I think the biggest mistake for people with dandruff is using sulfate-free shampoo because it’s powerful enough to cleanse your scalp from residue and then applying a hair mask once a week to nourish and moisturize your hair. Using mint and tea tree oil is magical when it comes to dandruff. I strongly recommend trying those on your scalp if you haven’t already. 

Unfortunately, for a lot of men specifically, they think they have dandruff but sometimes it’s actually seborrheic dermatitis. So if you’ve tried everything and still have dandruff, you should visit a doctor to help treat it.

When it comes to hair loss, what are the biggest causes, and what are the treatments?

Well, hair loss can be caused by a lot of factors. A lot of the time it’s caused by stress and that’s actually the easiest to treat; by using hair ampules. Other times it’s caused by alopecia, which is a disease that requires seeing a dermatologist because it’s not caused by outside factors, a lot of the times it's hereditary!

What about dark circles around the eyes and under eye problems, what would you recommend to treat those?

Under eye problems and dark circles can be caused by hyperpigmentation, and in that case, I recommend using an eye cream that includes retinol or antioxidants like green tea, especially if you have inflamed under eyes. If you’re looking for faster results, mesotherapy does wonders for the eye area within only three days. 

Going back to you and your career, where do you see yourself in five years?

I want to keep going with my content creation but also continue with my full-time career in marketing. A dream of mine is to create a beauty school in Egypt. A place where people actually go to study cosmetology and come out as beauticians. We don’t have that at all here, and the only way to study our field is by getting a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy. I’m looking into this idea and trying to make it a reality. Hopefully, one day, soon, it’ll happen. We have a lot of talented and passionate people in Egypt!

Photo Credit: Pinterest

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