If the vellus hairs are stimulated either topically (such as with shaving) or systemically, it is possible that they could become terminal hairs. This change may be gradual – over a period of months or years – and the cause may be of long duration as well eg., prolonged shaving, hormonal changes, fever, medication etc.

When shaved, terminal hairs also feel coarser, as they grow in with a blunted, rather than a tapered end.

My skin is somewhat oily in the summer even though it is dry in the winter. Should I still use a moisturizer?

Often in the summer, and especially on an oily skin, a stricter cleansing program is needed. But all skin types need some form of protection from ultraviolet rays. Look for moisturizers designed for a normal to oily skin that contain sun- screen agents. It is best to use moisturizers that are labelled non-oily, non-comedogenic or won’t clog pores, etc. The use of of a moisturizer on an oily skin as well as on other skin types helps to prevent the loss of water from the skin.

You could try wearing the moisturizer on just the areas where it is most needed, eg. across the cheeks, but do avoid the heavy night creams that you may have been using for winter. Another alternative would be to change your toner to one made for an oily skin and use a mask for an oily skin to help control oil production.

I get my legs waxed regularly and sometimes the skin seems more sensitive than at other times. Is there a reason for this?

There may be several reasons for the variations in sensitivity. Sometimes women have more sensitive skin when they are close to the time of menstruation or at the time of ovulation. It could also be the result of some medications, tiredness or fever.

Any irritation to the skin will increase its sensitivity – too much scrubbing with a loofah, brush, etc. or where there is a sunburn. If you apply cream or lotion the wax will not adhere as well and the process will hurt more. The therapist should clean off the area first. Pay attention while you are being waxed and notice if the wax is hotter than usual or is too thick and brittle. Before your appointments, avoid using lotions, oils, creams or deodorants on the area being waxed. In some cases it helps to have the esthetician apply a very light dusting of powder to the area to ensure that the wax adheres completely and evenly.

I always thought that one moisturizer was as good as another. Do you think there is any real difference?

Moisturizers may work on the principle of attracting water to the skin or of forming a barrier to prevent the loss of the skin’s natural moisture. Some moisturizing creams may work on both principles. A good moisturizer will keep the skin moist but at the same time allow the skin to oxygenate and to eliminate waste. This would be classified as a simple moisturizer. There are also treatment creams available. Besides moisturizing the skin, these creams will serve a particular function for the type of skin for which they are made. The cream may restore the pH balance, soothe irritated skin, balance oil production, heal, disinfect, etc. A moisturizer for an oily skin will be water- based. A good moisturizer will hold the moisture in the skin but it will blend with the tissues, leaving the skin feeling smooth and soft but not greasy.