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The Basics

Say Hello To Multi-Tasking. The Future of Self-care.

When it comes to the world of wellness, it's easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of products available in the market. Which is the right one for you? How many do you need? Will they even work? How long will it take?

Take skincare. You’ve got toners, serums, and masks. Cleansers, scrubs, washes and exfoliators. Lotions, balms, gels and creams. Oh, don’t forget gel-creams.  It's no wonder that a typical skincare routine can involve as many as 10 products and multiple steps. 

And what about hair care? Do you choose the shampoo for volume, the one to prevent dandruff or the one to repair damaged hair? Should you need to buy them all? The answer is no. Just the one can be enough, when it’s the one that does it all.

If that means we sell less products - so be it. We’d rather give you one that works and be confident in the fact you’ll probably come back. It’s a risk we’re willing to take.

Our products are designed to do a little bit of everything. They combine the benefits of multiple steps and ingredients into a single formula, eliminating the need for multiple. For instance, Formula 01: The Face Lotion combines the benefits of a toner, serum, and moisturizer focused on everything from barrier repair to hyperpigmentation, wrinkle reduction, oil control and breakout prevention. It’s a game-changing little piece of science that we’re immensely proud of. 

Benefits of Multi-Tasking Products:

They save you time! Obviously. It’s about efficiency - the productivity of those very products. With multi-tasking products, you can simplify your routine the amount of time you’re spending on it. You don't need to spend hours applying multiple products and waiting for them to work in any particular order.

They save you money! By reducing the number of products you use, you can save money! Brilliant. Who doesn’t like that? Multi-tasking products may cost more upfront, but in the long run? You’re laughing.

They reduce waste! Single products mean just a single package, reducing the amount of plastic waste generated. Moreover, you'll be using fewer products, which means less waste overall. It’s less energy used in everything from production to transportation to disposal. It’s just… less! 

They’re more convenient! Multi-tasking products are easy to use and carry, making them perfect for travel or being on-the-go.

If you haven’t figured it out already - this is the future of self-care. A convenient, customizable, and eco-friendly alternative to traditional routines. By simplifying your regimen with our multi-tasking products, you can save time, money, and reduce waste while still getting each and every benefit you’re looking for.

So, say goodbye to complex, multi-product routines with our all-in-one, powerhouse formulas that do a little bit of everything so you don’t have to.

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Hair Basics: What It Is And What It Does

Hair Basics: What It Is And What It Does

The role of your hair — or even your lack thereof — extends beyond your scalp, beyond how it looks and beyond how it feels. It, like every other part of your body, has a unique purpose. 

It protects your skin. It helps to regulate your body temperature. It facilitates the evaporation of sweat. It contributes to your sensory experience.

How you care for it involves more than simply washing it, treating yourself to a new cut, or throwing your hands in the air and chalking up it’s shortcomings to genetics.

Diet, exercise, weather, pollution and your overall approach to traditional hair care all affect the health of your hair.

The importance of taking care of what hair you have — ensuring its health — wherever it may be, however voluminous, doesn’t change.

Here at Basic Maintenance, we’ll comb through the information for you. Trim off anything unnecessary, and style it in a way that gives you confidence. Confidence in knowing you’re doing everything you can to ensure a healthy, functional body full of hair.


You have different types of hair.

Other than a select few places, like your palms or the soles of your feet, the entire surface of your body is covered in hair.  

There are two main types. The shorter and thinner hairs are called vellus hairs (aka peach fuzz) and the longer and thicker hairs are called "terminal hairs”. Terminal hairs are the ones on your head, face, eyelashes, eyebrows, pubic hair, chest hair and belly hair. Those very noticeable hairs.

How much of each you have differs from person to person and depends on your age and sex. Children’s bodies mostly have vellus hair. Only 30% of women’s bodies consist of terminal hair, compared to around 90% for men.

The lower layers of your epidermis is where the new cells get made. It takes about 4 weeks, but eventually they make their way up to the top and replace the dead cells as they shed. 


Hair Structure.

Hair consists of a shaft and a root. The shaft is the visible part that sticks out of the skin. Once the hair grows beyond the skin's surface, the cells aren't alive anymore. It's made up of three layers of keratin, a hardening protein.

The inner layer is called the medulla. Depending on the type of hair, the medulla isn't always present. The middle layer is called the cortex, which makes up the majority of the hair shaft. The outer layer is called the cuticle, which is formed by tightly packed scales in an overlapping structure that kind of look like roof shingles.

The root of the hair is in the skin and extends down to its deeper layers. This is surrounded by the follicle - the shaft through which hair grows - and is connected to a sebaceous (oil producing) gland of the skin.

Every follicle is connected to a muscle called the arrector pili which contracts to make the hair stand up. Most nerves end at the hair follicle - these nerves sense hair movement and can pick up even the slightest draft.

At the base of the hair, the root widens to a round bulb. Within this bulb is the papilla - which supplies the root with blood. It’s here where new hairs are made.


How does hair grow? 

New cells are constantly forming in the bulb. Eventually these stick together and harden, and a full strand develops from that group of hardened cells. As new hardened cells keep on attaching to the hair from below, it starts to push up out of the skin.

A single hair on your head grows at a rate of about 1 cm per month. Facial hair, and especially eyelashes, eyebrows and body hair grows at a slower pace.

Whether it is straight or curly depends on the cross-sectional shape of hair. Round hair grows straight out of the skin. If that cross-section is more oval shaped, the hair will be curlier.

The cross-sectional shape of a hair also determines the amount of shine that the hair has. Straighter hair is shinier because sebum from the sebaceous gland can travel down the hair more easily. With curly hair, the sebum has trouble traveling down the hair, making it look more dry and dull.

Hair color is determined by the amount of melanin in those hardened cells. This varies from person to person. It changes over the course of a lifetime and decreases with age.  As we age, more air gets trapped inside the hair and starts to lose color, eventually turning gray then white.


Hair Growth Cycle 

As long as new cells are being produced in the bulb, the hair grows longer. This growth phase is called the anagen phase. At any given time, nearly 90%  of a person’s total hair is in its growth phase. The length of the growth phase depends on where on the body the hair is growing. For example, on your head it can last years. If you wanted meter long hair, technically you could have it, but we don’t recommend it. For eyelashes, eyebrows, nasal hair and ear hair, the growth phase is much shorter - typically only 100 to 150 days, so they never really outgrow their purpose.

When the growth phase is done, the hair root separates from the papilla. Then a transitional phase called the catagen phase begins. It’s a transitional stage, and 3% of all hairs are in this phase at any given time. It lasts for two to three weeks. During this time, growth slows down and the outer root sheath shrinks and attaches to the root of the hair. This becomes a club hair, which is a hair that has stopped growing.

The final stage in the cycle, knows as the resting phase of the telogen phase, is when the hair has completely separated from the papilla. It accounts for 10% to 15% of all hair. The supply of blood is cut off and the hair is gradually pushed out of the skin and it falls out. This can last a few months.

Eventually, new hair cells start to multiply at the base of the empty hair follicle to form a new hair, and the entire hair growth cycle starts all over again.


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What are "skin types"?

What are "skin types"?


While “skin types” are largely a marketing term, understanding what the market is referring to certainly helps when identifying the right products for you. There are four types of skin: dry, normal, oily and combination. As you can see, “perfect” isn’t one of them. Your skin type is determined by genetics. So blame your parents for that pimple in your grad photo.

Skin Types Explained

Dry Skin

Skin that doesn’t produce enough oil. This does not have to do with hydration - water retention. That’s dehydrated skin. Dehydrated skin is not a skin type, it’s a condition.  But, it’s that oil production that helps prevent water loss. So underproducing it leaves you more dehydrated. Tricky, but you’re smart enough to take your skin health seriously, so we’re confident you figured that out too.

So, we know that the oil helps your skin retain water. But how does it lose it? Sweat. Obviously. The active water loss from increased body temperature. Trans-Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL for the kewl kids). This is just the passive, natural way your body perspires. Think of it like evaporation.

What causes dry skin? A lack of Natural Moisturizing Factors. These are amino acids, derivatives of those amino acids, salts, sugars, lactic acid and urea - the end product of all broken down proteins. A lack of Epidermal Lipids. These are ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acids. All crucial to proper skin function.

Dry skin can feel tight, look brittle, and feel a little rough to touch. It lacks elasticity and is prone to cracking.


"Normal" Skin

Skin that produces a balanced amount of oil (sebum). It has fine pores, good circulation, a soft and smooth texture, virtually no blemishes and is not particularly prone to sensitivity.  Normal skin is obviously the best case scenario, but the lucky winners aren’t out of the woods just yet. Normal skin tends to turn into dry skin as we age. All skin changes with time, with the weather, and with the environment.  All skin requires keeping healthy.


Oily Skin

You guessed it, skin that overproduces oil. Imagine that. Oily skin has larger, more visible pores. Oily skin looks oily - it’s got a nice shine to it. Oily skin is generally thicker as well. Unfortunately, it’s more prone to oil related reactions - breakouts. Blackheads, whiteheads, all that fun stuff. We’ll get into those a bit more later. Remember, genetics. Not much you can do about it. Other causes? Stress, hormones, medications, skincare products.  You know what doesn’t cause oily skin? Greasy foods. Old wives tale.

Now for a mind-blowing, universe altering tidbit of info: oily skin can be dry. Sorry, dehydrated. Yeah. You’ll recall that dry skin, the type, actually has nothing to do with hydration. It’s all about oil production - or a lack thereof - and the water loss associated with it. So, just as dry skin is dehydrated, so too can be oily skin. In fact, it often is. And that’s why your skin overcompensates for its lack of hydration by producing extra oil. It needs something to keep it elastic, stop it from losing even more water, and help maintain its function as a protective barrier. Oil to the rescue.


Combination Skin 

You’re never going to believe this, but combination skin is skin that is both oily and dry. But not oily-dehydrated like the above scenario. Still with us? Great. This one has more to do with the different parts of your face. It’ll be oily in one place, and dry in the other. Simple. Usually, people with combination skin experience the oily part on their forehead and nose, while their cheeks are dry. We call that part the “T” zone. Mind. Blown.


A note on "sensitive" skin.

Sensitive skin is technically not a skin type. It’s simply an underlying condition related to one of the 4 types above. For example, if you have dry skin and use an especially drying cleanser - your skin will react poorly. Similarly, if you have oily skin and slather it with oil, the results won’t be good. Sensitive skin is more of a common issue across skin types rather than being a category in itself. And it’s by no means a medical diagnosis.

It’s just skin that is more prone to adverse reaction. Inflammation, redness, breakouts, rashes and the like are far more common for people with sensitive skin. These are usually caused by chemicals, fragrances, and dyes that the skin comes in contact with. Irritation can also be caused by clothing and friction.

How to determine your skin type.

The Full Day Test.  One you’ll ace with ease. All you have to do is shower and wash your face in the morning, and look at it again at night. No further action required. Is it shiny? Oily skin for you. Is it tight? Flaky? Maybe even a bit itchy? Must be dry. Virtually no oil, no flakes, no tightness, no redness? Normal! Forehead and nose (T-Zone) shiny? Combination.



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Skin Basics: What It Is And What It Does

Skin Basics: What It Is And What It Does


Before we dive into the maintenance of your skin’s health, it seems instructive to go over a few of the basics of exactly what skin is, and what it does.. 

You’ll want to understand the rules of the game before you start playing if you want to win. Right? 

What is skin and what does it do?

An organ. A big one

It’s the largest. It covers over 20 square feet of space.  It’s the heaviest. It makes up nearly 1/7 of your body weight  

And, it’s your only visible one. So let’s keep it healthy.

Its most basic function is quite simple. It protects what’s inside your body from the outside world. Easy one. It is the walls to your castle. It encases your entire body. It’s structures and systems. It upholds and supports their proper function 

It demands your care. It asks for it in sometimes glaring ways. It may look off. It may feel off. Hell, sometimes it even falls off. Give it some help.

It’s essential to your wellbeing. It regulates your body’s internal temperature. It protects it from pathogens. It stores fat and controls water loss. Through nerve endings, it lets you sense the world around you.

It’s a complex organ. We’ll try not to bore you.


Your skin has 3 layers.

Epidermis. This is your skin’s outermost layer. It has 2 main roles. 

Protect: From the sun’s UV rays. From bacteria. Viruses. Funghi. Parasites. Even heat. It’s also waterproof. 

Reproduce: It sheds dead skin cells and creates new ones. Believe it or not, you shed around 500 million skin cells a day. Nearly a third of the skin you see is dead cells. Fun.

The lower layers of your epidermis is where the new cells get made. It takes about 4 weeks, but eventually they make their way up to the top and replace the dead cells as they shed. 

For our more academically inclined friends, perhaps the Latin enthusiasts, the epidermis itself consists of 5 layers: Stratum Corneum. Stratum Lucidum. Stratum Granulosum. Stratum Spinosum. Stratum Germinativum. Bunch of gladiators right there.


Dermis. Mostly connective tissue, this bad boy right here has 4 unique roles. Each one more awe inspiring than the last.

Produce oil and sweat. Ain’t pretty, but someone’s gotta do the dirty work. The dermis contains the various glands that do. Sweat glands for temperature regulation, and sebaceous glands for oil production. Here in the big leagues we call it sebum - an oil that lubricates and waterproofs.

Provide sensation. The receptors that detect heat, pressure and pain are all housed in the dermis.

Provides blood. All of your skin’s blood vessels are found in the dermis.

Grows hair. Vital little pieces to the puzzle. Hair helps protect your skin. It regulates temperature and facilitates the evaporation of sweat. Just like your Dri-Fit.

The hair also acts as a pathway for the sebum (oil) that is produced in the glands to reach the surface of your skin.


Subcutaneous Tissue. Goes by Sub-cutis in the lab. Such a beauty. 

It attaches the dermis to the body. You know, all that muscle and bone beneath. It also provides your skin with nerves and is its blood supply. It stores fat. Helps insulate your body and prevent heat loss. That fat also provides a protective cushion for your muscle and bone. 


So, your skin does a lot, doesn't it? 

It does. And it does so, so much more. So lets take care of it.



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