Anyone else found that Emla improved moisture level of skin?

A year or so ago I noticed that I could use a lower setting for a customer when she used emla (with occlusive dressing). She didn’t have particularly dry skin, but the hairs were definitely tougher to treat without the emla. I tried using a normal skin cream (E45) and got the same result too. It hasn’t always been the case, but when I do find that hairs are not coming out on the expected setting I sometimes find that applying E45 cream really helps for some. I tried using aloe vera gel but it didn’t work at all. Has anyone else noticed this effect with emla, or another cream?

(In case anyone in the uk didn’t know, emla can now be bought without prescription, but you still have to go to a chemist.)

I have found that it is important for the client to be well hydrated, it really does help with proper epilation. I have not, however, found a quick fix for dry skin. Perhaps I will try your trick!

The very structure of western life (school, work, being sedentary for 4 hours at a time) almost assures dehydration of the body.

A good book to read on the subject would be:

Of course, our clients would never take the time to read it, and they won’t believe us when we tell them.

Hi Pam,

One thing I think needs to be brought into this discussion is the subject of occlusives. Occlusives have several functions. They prevent contact of the area of coverage from foreign materials, they prevent a drug or ointment from being removed by contact to clothing and other objects and they prevent the moisture from evaporating from the area of coverage. For these reasons they are often used in the treatment of severe psoriasis outbreaks as the moisture build-up softens the surface scale allowing easy soap and water removal with a washcloth with little to no damage of the lesions, increases the rate of absorbtion of topical medications and prevents them from being wiped off on clothing and bedding.

If an occlusive has been in place for about an hour, there will be a significant build-up of moisture from the inhibition of evaporation from the skin. This will lead to a much better hydration level for the treatment area. This is a workable advantage as well for sensitive clients as the local hydration allows proper treatment at lower power and discomfort levels.



Anyone who has ever had a full body wrap at a spa will now how good that is for the moisture level in the skin.
They cover you with aromatic oils then wrap you in plastic and a comforter over that. Then you relax and listen to soothing music or just peaceful silence.


That reminds me, I remember reading years ago that anti-wrinkle creams used to base their claims on tests where a small area would be shaved off a lab animal and a thick layer of cream would be covered with an occlusive dressing. Of course the bunny/rat/whatever would see a massive increase in moisture and wrinkles would of course disappear!

The watercure website sort of ties in with a book on PMS by Katharina Dalton. She explained water retention was caused by certain areas of the body that for some reason swell up once a month. They aren’t evenly spread in the body, so for example an area inside the eye socket or skull swells up causing a headache or migraine. Or the area around the lungs swell to cause wheezing, which isn’t relieved with asthma medication. Diuretics don’t help as the cells in question hold onto the water, leaving the rest of the body to become dehydrated. The advice is in contrast though, as not drinking too much water the day before water retention happens is the best way to stop it. However the reasoning (that certain areas of the body require water to function, and water isn’t evenly distributed) are similar.

Dr. Batmanghelidj would say that without an established dehydrated state, the body would not be forced to prioritize what gets water, and what is forced to give up its water stores.

All I can offer is that the body hydration scale that I use proves that my average client is seriously dehydrated. A good score is in the 60-70’s and most of my clients have ranged between 39 and 53. I have yet to see a first consult hit a 60.

Think about it, though, we learn early in life that you don’t want to go to the rest rooms at school, and therefore don’t drink much during the school day. If Madison Avenue has its way, you will be drinking caffeinated sugar water when you get home, and all that equals a dehydrated state when menstruation starts. At that point a woman is even less interested in visiting the restrooms at school and later at work. When would the average American ever be well hydrated?

Hi James,

From the standpoint of medical and physiological knowlege, you are absolutely correct with your assessment of hydration and Western Civilization, such as it is. I do not dispute anything that you are stating, as we both have had very similar experiences in trying to establish appropriate power levels in a vain attempt to achieve proper epilations - while still leaving some skin in the treatment area.

I am just about to put a big spot on my treatment room wall with the words; “In Case Of Improper Client Hydration, BANG HEAD HERE!”

While an occlusive does make an area temporarily better for treatment, it does not indicate that a client is properly hydrated over-all. One of the things that I have noticed with the “occlusive effect” is if too large of an area is freed from the occlusive, by the time the last area of clearance is reached, I will rapidly find out if my client is properly hydrated.

I think you will agree with me if I say…Sigh…Sob!

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