A Guide To Better Skin Today
I have been a practicing Aesthetician since I was 21 years old. In my training I learned all about the skin, how it functions, anatomy, physiology & histology, how the human body functions as a whole, to get a scientific basis on the proper application of products/services and the effects the services will have on the tissues, organs, and body systems. I use these skills to determine how to best care for my clients skin, and which product ingredients are best for her skin type & skin condition. I know which product ingredients to avoid and which would be the most beneficial. Aesthetics were originally the alternative medicine, if you will, of skin health. Now, it has turned into a multi-billion dollar industry. Resort spas, day spas, meds spas are popping up every where. In a med spa setting some services may not be performed by Aestheticians. Med spa techs who work under a doctor, are often trained to use machines, having no formal skin care training, other than what a manufacture has taught them. Of course this varies based on the state or country you live in. In my state you can have no formal Aesthetic training and work under a doctor in a med spa. In my opinion, this is negligent, being that formal training would better serve the client.
The downfall in this industry is the focus has turned into racking in the dollars by selling whatever skin care and treatments they can to turn a profit, rather than properly educating people how to care for one of the most import organs of the body. I have spoken with clients who have been talked into improper treatments for their skin, recommended the wrong products, or on harsh medications to help better their skin, yet still suffer from skin ailments. As a long time professional in the industry I find this change frustrating, because recommending incorrect skin care and treatments can do more harm then good. Not to mention all the product that end up under sinks or given away to friends. Such a waste of good intentioned effort on the part of the individual, who in good faith, wants to take care of their skin properly. This is why a professional Aesthetician should be a integral part of your skin care plan. Just like you would see a fitness trainer for increased fitness, not necessarily your primary doctor. The skin care specialist/Aesthetician has a very specific field of study, and was trained rigorously in skin health, skin care, and prevention, and can coach you to better skin.
The skin itself is an organ. It only needs you to take care of it properly to keep it in top condition. Simplicity is in order here, not radical products or treatments. The skin has what we call an acid mantle. The acid mantle is a protective acidic layer that protects the skin from bacteria. The skin has its own little “eco system”. That if you unintentionally throw off, your skin is in store for potential irritation, acne, or accelerated aging. So instead of seeing your facial skin as an object to be perfected, look at it as an organ of the body that needs your TLC as would your liver, kidneys, heart or lungs. Did you know your skin has its very own respiratory system? Did you know the skin’s main functions are to protect the body from bacteria, absorb nutrients, and excrete toxins? Seeing your skin from this lens give perspective to why you wouldn’t want to put harsh chemicals on it, why you would want to protect your acid mantle from being disrupted, and why you wouldn’t want to harshly scrub, pick, or pull on your skin. The skin is very durable, but with harsh daily treatment, through improper skin care, or harsh spa treatments you could actually do your skin much more harm than good.
Great skin relies on proper the pH, correct skin care, and nutrition. At age 41 I often get mistaken for 25 to 30 years old. It’s not because of good genes, luck, or any other reason, other than I practice what I preach and have for 20 years. I teach my clients the simplicity that I myself use to care for my skin. I don’t do any harsh treatments, or use any harsh products. I don’t use scrubbing, scraping or rolling devices. I only use a few products. These do not come from a drug store, department store, or catalogs. They are professional grade products that offer professional grade back bar (products for facial treatments). The line I personally use is created by an Aesthetician, using the power of nature and science, conscientious about ingredients and keeping toxic chemicals out.
The skin is woven similar to that of cloth. If you use harsh detergents, it can eat away the material, or if you use a brush to scrub out stains too rigorously, it can tear the cloth. Likewise your skin too can break down if you use harsh cleansers or over exfoliate physically or chemically. Our skin needs gentle cleansing and minimal scrubbing. Gentleness and pH balance is the name of the game. It all starts with knowing your skin type & using the professional skin care that will support the health of your skin.
Typically, you will have a winter skin type and a summer skin type. In the winter I have combination dry skin. In the summer I have combination oily skin. I make minor adjustments to my skin care routine when the seasons change. Also, seasons of life such as pregnancy, menopause, moving cities or states, stress, or hormone imbalances can also affect the skin. Again, making the proper skin care adjustments will help support your skin during these times in your life
The protocol I recommend for skin health is:
- Know your true skin type. Don’t guess on this one. It’s the most important piece of information you are going to need.
- Choose a professional line that you want to work with such a Bioelements, Dermalogica, Aveda.
- Choose a cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and exfoliant that best matches your skin type.
- Cleanse, tone, moisturize twice a day. Once in the morning and once at night. In the morning you are cleansing away what the skin detoxed out of your pores when you were sleeping, and at night to wash away makeup, dirt, and neutralize free radicals.
- Exfoliate 1 to 2 times a week only.
- Drink plenty of filtered water, eat raw fruits and veggies, sip herbal teas like dandelion root or nettle leaf, and take a fish or flax oil daily for omega fatty acids.
- Use sun block daily. Even on cloudy days and in the dead of winter. SPF 50 is recommended.
- Get a facial once a month.
Every skin type benefits from the basic protocol above. But if you have neglected your skin you might need a little bit more to jump start your skin towards the right direction. That is where the skin condition comes in, such as; wrinkles, fine lines, acne, clogged pores, sensitive skin, thin skin, hyper or hypo pigmentation, dilated capillaries, and the list goes on and on. When you know your skin condition you can add products that’ll support your skin. If you have visible wrinkles you may want to add a serum or a specialty night cream. If you have sensitive skin you may want to add a calming mask. If you have pigmentation issues you may want to add a pigment suppressor. Instead of going it alone and buying the products you may or may not need, an experienced, licensed Aesthetician, can help you decide what’s best for your skin. Be sure you are talking with an actual Aesthetician not a sales person or an unlicensed spa worker. A trained Aesthetician is sure to guide you in the right direction.
Let’s talk about treatments. What type of treatments are necessary? A basic European Facial is often downplayed as a treatment geared towards relaxation. That couldn’t be more far from the truth. A European Facial is very beneficial. It is detoxifying, hydrating, nourishing, & the facial manipulations are firming and rev up circulation. It just happens to be very relaxing. That’s the bonus. There are treatment series that focus on a particular outcome. Like the Vitamineral Power Facial. This particular treatment protocol is done every 4-6 days for a series of 4 to 6 treatments. This treatment focuses on reducing lines, brightening, and firming the skin with the use of stabilized vitamins A, C, & E which synthesis the skin’s natural production of collagen and elastin, and reverses free radical damage. The focus is decreasing lines, firming, creating a more youthful radiant glow. Similarly, a Acne Treatments Series focuses to calm and clear acne skin. Then there are more radical facial treatments such a microdermabrasion, micro-needling, laser treatments, and so on. These treatments are appropriate if the skin condition is damaged deeper into the layers of the skin. This is where it gets tricky. Spas are quick to sell you something, for example, like microdermabrasion even if you don’t need it. So the best rule to follow is going for the basic treatments and if you are referred to a more radical treatment to be sure to ask lots of questions to make sure it’s right for you. I had a client who went in for a Photo Facial at a local med spa to treat a few spots of hyperpigmentation, and ended up with severe hyperpigmentation all over her face, because the light triggered the pigment to come to the surface. Now, she will forever have to live with her face severely spotted because of the wrong treatment. Had she done a less invasive brightening facial and given a spot treatment for home, and SPF 50, she could have suppressed her pigment spots and avoided triggering new ones. Hyperpigmentation is tricky because it is the actual cells that are malfunctioning and they are constantly producing melanin. The ONLY thing that will keep the the dark spots reduced, is a life long use of pigment suppressors and SPF 50, year round. There is no fixing the cell. It’s all about managing existing spots and avoiding new ones.
Acne, the plague most people have to endure at some point in their life. Especially in the teen stage of life. Hormones, food allergies, improper care, picking at the skin, and sluggish digestion are high on the list of acne causes. Hormones from the body changing, or stress can trigger the androgen hormone or male hormone. An increase of this hormone can cause acne. Allergies to gluten or dairy can cause acne. Using the wrong skin care, throwing off the skin’s pH, can cause acne. Picking on the skin can cause acne to spread.
The most affective protocols I have found to help my clients who suffer from acne is to balance the skin’s pH and get the acid mantle working properly again. Which will kill off bacteria before it can cause a breakout. Eliminating potential food allergies. Following the hands off rule. Eating raw fruits and veggies, and making sure bowel elimination is at least 1 to 2 times a day. Toxin built up in the gut expresses itself through acne along the jawline. Managing stress and hormones through supplements and meditation help to keep the androgen hormone decreased. Drinking plenty of water daily to help the body eliminate toxins. A facial series with a skilled Aesthetician can help jump start the skin to healing and recovering from acne, along with proper skin care at home. I never treat my clients with acne washes or medicated skin care. I focus on balancing the skin and restoring the acid mantle back to its natural acidic state. It is the most effective long term approach to clear, healthy skin, in my experience.
All skin types have in common the need, to be cared for gently and properly. An experienced licensed Aesthetician can teach you how to care for your skin properly and which products are best for you. All skin types should avoid daily exfoliation through chemical or physical means. Such as facial products with exfoliating acids, rotating brushes, or harsh scrubs. Exfoliation should only be done 1 to 2x a week. An acne skin should NEVER use a scrub! Eat plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, which nourish the skin with antioxidants and keeps the digestion in peek performance. Drink plenty of water to clear out toxic build up, which could eventually express itself on the skin. And to make an appointment for a basic European Facial once a month for maintenance. These minor simplistic changes in your skin care routine, help to keep the skin youthful, calm, and clear, without breaking the bank.
Let’s keep the discussion going. What are your skin struggles? How are you currently caring for your skin? Do you know your skin type and condition? Have you ever had a professional European facial from a licensed Aesthetician? How has this articled helped you? Comment below or comment on the pinned post in my group Inspired Life and Beauty Social. Click here to join in!
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