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When searching for acne solutions, people are forced to navigate the endless types of lotions, creams, soaps, exfoliants, and topical remedies that can cost hundreds of dollars.

The LED Bed – Full Body Wellness Treatment

Written by Amy Gardner, director of global education for LightStim

Most skin care professionals would agree that having the right equipment is essential to getting superior results from facial treatments. On that note, they should also think about introducing equipment that helps create an opportunity to offer wellness-related services. Consider this information – according to the Global Wellness Institute's Global Wellness Economy Monitor, the wellness industry was worth $3.72 trillion in 2015. That figure can be broken down into a number of categories, but it is worth mentioning that "Beauty & Anti-Aging" account for $999 billion and "Spa Industry" represents $99 billion. Based upon these numbers, it is clear that public interest and investment has decidedly prioritized being better over simply looking better.

The field of pre- and post-operative care in cosmetic surgery began in the early 1990s during a time in which the concept of integrative aesthetics services into a medical practice was a fledgling idea.

Stem Cells and Skin Care

Written by Hal Simeroth, Ph.D., co-founder and CTO of DermaTech Research LLC

Over the past decade, intensive stem cell research has greatly increased the general knowledge about stem cells' natural roles and contributions in the development and renewal of plants and animals. Various types of stem cells are found in animals and plants; they play an indispensable role in the development of a new organism and the repair and regeneration of the structures of the organism, due to either damage or aging. Unlike the specific cells that make up the tissues of the body, stem cells are undifferentiated cells. They have special properties of self-renewal and the ability to differentiate into a more tissue-specific cell – stem cell differentiation is the process by which a less specialized cell becomes a more specialized cell type.

10 Things About Hormonal Disorders and Skin Health

Written by Courtney Freeman, L.E.I.

Skin health is tied to many distinct and precise factors throughout the human body. Professionals must understand the many avenues that consultations should be based on in order to assist their clients in today's modern and scientific world. Like never before, clients yearn for their service providers to have a thorough education and deep understanding of underlying causes. So much of a proper client consultation is rooted in complex, yet simple, education that a client can hear and comprehend. A thorough understanding of the endocrine system and hormonal balance is essential in today's thriving aesthetics market.

10 Things About...Cellulite

Written by Jeri Ross, M.P.H.

There is no magic cure or quick fix for cellulite. Clients would like to get rid of the lumpy, bumpy appearance of cellulite with minimal time and effort, however, smoothing out the dimples is best achieved by adhering to a three-pronged plan of professional spa treatments, homecare products, and a healthy lifestyle regimen. Professionals should educate themselves about the causes of cellulite and the most effective solutions for prevention, reduction, and maintenance in order to position themselves as an expert that clients can trust.

Laser hair removal is everywhere these days! From television commercials, magazine advertisements, and radio spots to giant billboards looming above freeways, people all over the country have learned that laser hair removal is fast, convenient, and more affordable than ever. This technological trend has been embraced by both women and men. The most requested hair removal area for women is the Brazilian area and underarms, while for men it is typically the back.

Hard Wax Hair Removal Protocol

Written by Lydia Jordane

Hard wax, which is also known as hot wax, is a type of depilatory wax that is applied directly to the skin and removed without a strip. It is perfect for sensitive areas of the body, such as the underarms, face, and bikini area. The benefits of using a quality hot wax include the ability to remove short, stubborn hair; ease of use; and reduced redness and irritation of the skin.

The Roots of Waxing

Written by Lilliane Caron

Hair removal may not be considered the most glamourous aspect of the aesthetic industry, but it is one of the most lucrative. While there are many areas within the industry that may seem more glamourous, such as makeup or tanning, the reality is that hair removal is relevant to both female and male clients and is generally seen as a necessity rather than a luxury.

Hair removal can be achieved either through depilation, which removes the hair above the skin's surface, or epilation, which removes the hair from under the
skin's surface.

While exfoliation may seem like a fluff step in professional and homecare routines, it is actually critical for optimal skin health and a glowing, refreshed complexion. There is nothing quite like the look and feel of skin that has been recently exfoliated. Although exfoliation is suitable for all skin types, choosing which exfoliation method will work best for each client can be challenging.

Heated Massage Techniques

Written by Kristin Sartore, vice president of sales, marketing and business development for Spa Revolutions, and Vicky Karr, L.M.T., owner of Spa Success, LLC

Massage is the most requested spa service. According to the American Massage Therapy Association 2015 consumer survey, about 18 percent of adult Americans received at least one massage between July 2014 and July 2015. With a growing variety of treatments available, such as seashell, stone, and bamboo massage, there truly is a massage for everyone.

Best Exfoliant Based on Client Concerns

Written by Brenda Linday, L.E., L.E.I., C.A.C.

What client does not want to live with perfect skin? Every client's skin is unique and experienced, knowledgeable skin care professionals learn to customize treatment regimens that balance each client's needs and concerns with reliable, affordable, and innovative methods.

• Physical or mechanical exfoliation breaks up the keratinized protein that accumulates on the skin's surface, lifting and whisking away dry, dull cell debris to reveal softer skin.
• Chemical exfoliation uses topical ingredients to dissolve cell debris for a glowing finish.

10 Things About...Hydrotherapy

Written by Lydia Sarfati

1. Hydrotherapy is the use of water in its various forms to relieve discomfort and promote physical well-being. Today, hydrotherapy can mean anything from taking a nice warm bath or using a cold pack after spraining a knee to immersion in sub-zero nitrogen gas or using a warm water flotation tank prior to dental procedures. Although hydrotherapy is very old, it can have very new applications.

A Step-by-Step: Cellulite Blasting Treatment

Written by Victoria Tabak, L.E.

Cellulite is an ongoing concern for many clients. It is recognizable for its dimply appearance, which is comparable to the skin of an orange peel; severe cellulite can even resemble cottage cheese. Understanding what cellulite is and its primary cause is important in order for skin care professionals to be able to repair affected areas.

The skin-healing benefits of clay have been recognized throughout history and there is a plethora of scientific evidence to support its therapeutic properties. Various types of clay have been found to detoxify the skin by drawing out impurities, help problem skin by absorbing excess oil, soothe sensitive skin, and offer analgesic effects. Clay-based products are a favorite among skin care professionals and clients for skin care treatments because of their effectiveness and intrinsic beneficial qualities.

The first thing that pops into most clients' minds when they think of skin care is their face. While, of course, everyone wants healthy, radiant, youthful skin, many people forget that the skin is the largest organ and that every inch of it would benefit from the breakthrough ingredients that are regularly applied to the face. Fortunately, there are many options for body treatments, such as seaweed wraps, salt and sugar scrubs, mud masks, dry skin brushing, and slimming wraps, and using products that are specifically designed for facial treatments are becoming much more common for body treatments.

When skin care professionals use facial products with the latest active ingredients, the results can be dramatic and are often seen in just one treatment.

Although most clients tend to be more concerned with facial skin, the skin on the rest of the body is equally as important and prone to many of the same conditions as the face. At the same time, the body has its own prominent concerns that require their own treatments and products.

A New Theory on Over-Exfoliating the Skin

Written by Ben Johnson, M.D.

Exfoliation has become one of the most dominant activities in skin care and is considered by many to be beneficial as it refreshes the skin and removes dead cells. Before accepting this concept at face value, it is important for skin care professionals to examine why science might be hinting at something completely different.

Exfoliation Practices
Here are some of the methods currently being utilized for exfoliation by professionals.

Exfoliation is the removal of the dead skin cells that reside on the outermost layer of the skin. This practice is often recommended because it reveals a fresh layer of skin that is softer, more radiant, and more accepting of product ingredients. Exfoliation can be achieved through physical, chemical, and mechanical methods. Because each of these approaches have different depths of exfoliation and levels of efficacy, not every method is ideal for every client.

Protecting the Aesthetician’s Assets Through Grounding

Written by Martin Zucker, co-author of “Earthing: The most important health discovery ever?”

To an outsider, the skin care professional’s job hardly appears to put muscles and joints at risk. Yet, reality indicates that muscle and joint problems abound in this profession.

More and more clients are beginning to ask about the health benefits of green tea. The accelerating growth of green tea in the United States market is undeniable. Over the last decade, green tea has gradually found its place in virtually every household, tea bar, café, and restaurant. Green tea has gained popularity as the public has become more health conscious, interested in herbal teas, and aware of alternative medicines. Green tea is not just a soothing tea beverage, but also a common ingredient in smoothies, ice creams, cookies, power bars, salads, supplements, and personal care products.

Exfoliation removes dead cells, taking dullness and flakiness with it and revealing a new layer of glowing, healthy skin. Despite its benefits, exfoliation is often skipped in skin care routines.

The Scrubdown on Exfoliation

Written by Christiane Waldron

When clients are informed that the top layer of their skin is composed of dead skin cells, they are usually surprised. With that one statement, clients can often be convinced of the importance of exfoliation. Despite its importance, many skin care professionals still do not know what to recommend when it comes to exfoliation.

10 Things About...Waxing

Written by Lydia Jordane

Waxing dates back to the ancient Egyptians, who removed unwanted body hair by formulating a wax made with beeswax. Although beeswax is still an important part of quality depilatory waxes, a quality wax relies on more than just beeswax to be suitable and effective in removing hair. Today, premium waxes are typically made from beeswax, quality resins, and aromatherapy oils.

Taking a Closer Look at the Aesthetic Concerns of the Periorbital Region

Written by Ahmed Abdullah, M.D., F.A.C.S., F.I.C.S.

It is said that the eyes provide a window to the soul, but for those who suffer from aesthetic conditions in this area, the view their eyes offer may be a bit misleading. Clients often complain that puffy lower eyelids, dark undereye circles, and excessive creasing in the eye area give the impression that they are tired or stressed out when, in reality, these problems usually have little to do with such factors.

The Couple’s Guide to Waxing Before the Honeymoon

Written by Caroline Surprenant, marketing associate at CONAIR

Waxing for the first time is no walk in the park. Honeymoon memories haunted by flashbacks of painful chafing, bumps, or ingrown hairs can be avoided with a little planning.

When a couple decides to wax, especially if it is the first time for either one of them, the first service should be scheduled at least six to eight weeks before the honeymoon. This early appointment will give the couple enough time to get at least two waxes before the honeymoon.

A wedding can be one of the most exciting and stressful days in a woman’s life. With all eyes on the bride, many feel pressure to look and feel their absolute best. Whether the bride wants to slim down or have flawless skin and makeup for her wedding pictures, the skin care professional is in the perfect position make that happen. This special editorial section covers a number of topics that will have the bridal client saying “I do” to the spa days, weeks, and months before her big day.

The Best Wrap Practices for Skin Care Professionals

Written by Heather Kreider, L.E., co-owner of Makes Scents Natural Spa Line

Body wraps, with their hydrating and detoxifying benefits, provide clients’ skin with immense benefits. But, as with any other treatment, proper preparation is an absolute must. It cannot be stressed enough that preparation goes well beyond choosing exceptional products.

Exfoliation has been touted as a vital skin care step for long enough now that nearly every skin care consumer realizes it is a recommended part of their regimen. But knowing that a product or step is beneficial does not always mean consumers will adopt it. In fact, many skin care professionals have encountered clients who claim that exfoliation just is not their thing.

A Step-by-Step: The Whole Pot of Wax

Written by Mandip Singh, lead hair removal expert at the Wax Bar

Triple filtered, aromatic, enviro-conscious. Wax has come a long way from the icky-sticky, burnt, rubber-scented resin that was first made available on the market. With so many variations (cream, gel, hard, soft, and roll-on) and sugaring hair removal making a comeback from the 1800s, offering epilation services can be enticing. Yet, with hair removal businesses hitting the market with the resolve of offering this singular service, professionals cannot afford not rendering the convenience of waxing to their client base, both men and women.

Sugaring: The Sweet Side of Hair Removal

Written by Catherine Kooiman, L.E.

The pursuit of soft, smooth, hair-free skin is sought after by many women and men who seek out the best possible tools, gadgets, and methods that will bring about smooth skin that is long lasting.

An Introduction to Hair Removal

Written by Noemi Grupenmager, founder and CEO of Uni K Wax Centers

Hair removal is a practice that has been a part of human history since ancient times, and maybe even before! As time passes and trends come and go, technology has advanced and refined different hair-removal techniques, including threading, laser, and electrolysis. In addition to knowing about the different forms of hair removal, it is important for professionals to understand hair growth patterns and the role it plays in hair removal treatments. It is also beneficial to be able to identify different types of hair.

If delivering results for the client’s skin is a top priority, there are two key steps that should never be overlooked after all resurfacing treatments: pre- and post-care.

Exfoliation and Ethnicity

Written by Cynthia Price, M.D.

It is a well-known fact that exfoliation is essential to the health of the skin. From the time of the Egyptians, when milk was used for its alpha hydroxy acid benefits, to today, when chemical peels are being utilized more than ever, people all over the world are aware of the importance of regular exfoliation.

From an early age, it is taught that exfoliation is important for healthy skin, but just how important is it? In a nutshell, it is essential. While exfoliation is a natural process of the skin, this process does slow down over time and may need encouragement via mechanical or chemical exfoliants. Of course, over exfoliation can have adverse effects. How can skin care professionals choose the appropriate exfoliation method for their client? How much is too much? What exfoliants are available?

Clients that battle skin conditions year-round will often find their battles escalating into wars during the winter. Dryness, rosacea, psoriasis, eczema, acne, and more can make the holiday season a little less comfortable.

Skin Cancer 101: A review of the 3 most common skin cancers

Written by Dana Canuso, podiatric surgeon and founder of Dr. Canuso Skincare

It is estimated that one American dies every hour from skin cancer.1 Even though the rate of many other common cancers is falling, the incidence of melanoma continues to increase significantly and at a faster rate than any of the seven most common cancers.2 Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancers.3

Observance of Wound Healing in the Aesthetic Setting

Written by Erin Madigan-Fleck, N.M.D., C.N.H.P., L.M.C.

The skin periodically encounters a variety of incursions and, within its extraordinary capacity for surveillance, is able to initiate its defense systems at a moment’s notice to fight infection and initiate healing. The intricate relationship that the skin has with the body represents a complex network of communication via the entire integumentary structure: nervous system (neurons for sensory function), immune system (healing response and defenses), circulatory system (surface capillaries and oxygenation), and the digestive system. The digestive system has both the ability and capacity to provide sustenance and, as such, represents the threshold of the skin’s potential to initiate nutrition-transcription factors for healing.

As one of the most common skin conditions, hyperpigmentation affects millions of people and has a variety of causes and symptoms. While many hyperpigmentation disorders are harmless, some can be cause for concern. It is important to understand the different symptoms and treatments available in order to make the most informed decisions regarding the client’s skin health. Many hyperpigmentation disorders can be avoided when proper preventative measures are taken, but for those clients that live with skin conditions ranging from darkened patches to scaly lesions, the need for a safe, effective treatment is of the utmost importance. While all of the problems of hyperpigmentation have not been solved, cosmetic scientists are taking steps to formulate a product that will deliver serious effectiveness, not serious side effects.

DIY Treatments

Written by Jeff Birchall, M.D., owner and medical director of Dermacare Laser & Skin Care Clinic of Ranco Bernardo and CarlsbaJeff Birchall, M.D., owner and medical director of Dermacare Laser & Skin Care Clinic of Ranco Bernardo and Carlsba150po

Skin damage brought on by the sun is not just a cosmetic issue; it can easily turn into a life-threatening condition. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, with melanoma being the most common form of cancer in young adults, ages 25 to 29.

Multi-masking is the latest beauty trend sweeping the social media landscape. Clients are starting to question why one mask would solve all of the diverse problems of the face. As a result, they are using different masks on different parts of their face. The theory behind this concept is that multiple masks can address all of the facial issues much better than just one.

Massage Therapies

Written by Reinhard Bergel, Ph.D.

Once viewed as a luxury, massage has come to be recognized not only as a pampering procedure, but also as an alternative, medical treatment. According to a consumer survey sponsored by the American Massage Therapy Association, 77 percent of respondents said that their primary reason for receiving a massage in the past year was medical or stress-related.

Grounding Improves Facial Skin Blood Flow

Written by Martin Zucker, co-author of Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever!

Spas and salons abound with products and techniques designed to enhance facial microcirculation, oxygenation, and blood-born nutrition to the skin. What if there were something foundational that could be used to maximize the effects of these products and methods?


Written by Reinhard Bergel, Ph.D.

Thalassotherapy is the therapeutic use of the ocean, its climate, and marine products like algae, seaweed, and alluvial mud for health and beauty. The name comes from the Greek words thalassa (sea) and therapia (treatment).

Identifying and Treating Rosacea

Written by Jennifer Linder, M.D.

Rosacea has long been a frustrating condition for both skin care professionals and those who suffer from the condition. While its cause is not fully understood, it is widely accepted that inflammation plays a primary role.

The Healing Waters: Kneippism and Hydrotherapeutics

Written by Erin Madigan-Fleck, N.M.D., C.N.H.P., L.M.C.

The origins of Kneippism and hydrotherapy are deeply rooted in the philosophies of natural healing and, in particular, naturopathy. Naturopathy is a time-honored health philosophy that advocates total balance and harmony in life through treatments and an adoptive lifestyle.

In a world where youthful skin is highly coveted, great emphasis is placed on ridding the face of fine lines and wrinkles in a quest to remain eternally young and wrinkle-free. With all of the attention focused on the face, many tend to neglect body skin.

Long before the word ‘cellulite’ became a common term in the health, fitness, and beauty industries, women have struggled with the age-old curse of unsightly orange-peel dimples and hard to lose inches, particularly around cellulite’s most prone areas (between the lower trunk and mid to upper thighs).

Steam and Sauna Bath Therapies

Written by Reinhard R. Bergel, Ph.D.

Saunas and steam baths are hyperthermic procedures earning a special place in balneology. They are meant for the healthy, rather than the sick, their purpose being prevention of disease and physical strengthening.

Skin Exfoliation

Written by Christine Heathman, C.M.E., L.M.E., L.M.T.

Exfoliation simply means the removal of corneocytes on the skin’s epidermis. This complicated immune organ sheds billions of skin cells daily; however, when this natural desquamation slows down or stops due to ultraviolet ray damage, dehydrated or oily skin, winter cold injury, genetics, or skin disorders, the end point is clearly identifiable ensuing in flaky skin, congested pores, and various inflammatory/non-inflammatory acne lesions, resulting in uneven, blotchy, and aged skin.

A Look at Rosacea

Written by Gina Charles, D.O.

Rosacea is a common, chronic skin disorder that primarily affects the face. It is characterized by persistent symmetrical flushing and redness to the central face, including the forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin. Rosacea is more common in people ages 30 to 50 and fair-skinned women. It less often effects men and children. Despite its prevalence, rosacea is often mistaken for rosy cheeks, sunburn, or acne, based on its classic appearance. This disorder is considered relapsing due to its come and go nature – a person will have painful-looking facial inflammation followed by calm periods where their skin appears clearer. During periods where a flare up is not present, the skin may remain red (persistent erythema). This disorder is divided into four main subtypes based of the clinical appearance of the symptoms: erythematotelangiectatic, papulopustular, phymatous, and ocular rosacea.

Ethnic Skin Conditions

Written by Linda Gulla, L.E.

When treating skin conditions, it is essential for the skin care professional to have a thorough understanding of ethnicity and predisposed factors when assessing the client during the initial consultation, treating skin conditions, and determining treatment protocol.

Current Options for Laser Hair Removal

Written by Kristin Hudacek, M.D.

Laser hair removal is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures performed in the United States. Nearly half a million procedures were performed in 2013, according to the most recent data from the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, and that figure does not include procedures performed by non-dermatologists. As there are now more options for laser hair removal than ever, it is important to select the right modality for each client.

Waxing can be an effective and lucrative means of hair removal for a spa. In fact, according to a study done by the American Laser Centers, women who wax will spend an average of $23,000 on hair removal in a lifetime. From my own experience, I have estimated my total waxing costs to be $72,000! That is a segment on which beauty businesses cannot afford to miss out. However, in the skin care industry, not all waxing services are created equal; one bad review on a spa’s social media page could jeopardize its waxing business. If you choose to offer waxing services to clients, it is imperative that you do so in the most professional manner.

Special Considerations for Hair Reduction

Written by Desiree Duran-Cortez

A woman may learn about the many signs of perimenopause from her doctor, mother, and/or peers with the most talked-about topics being hot flashes, weight gain, libido, and mood swings – not the beard or moustache they are growing! Women attempt many different strategies to hide or minimize unsightly and embarrassing hair growth, with an increasing trend towards laser hair removal. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, over one million laser hair reduction procedures were performed in 2013, ranking it fourth in popularity with other minimally-invasive procedures, including chemical peels and microdermabrasion. As a professional waxer and laser technician, I am always experiencing the many facets of hormonal skin and hair changes while learning about the limitations and benefits of the technology and ingredients aestheticians use on a daily basis. The bottom line is that women and men both experience unwanted hair growth and want simple solutions that do not cost too much, but are effective at helping them achieve the results they desire.

Treating the Signs of Aging Across the Body

Written by Cynthia Price, M.D.

Caring for the skin on the face is routinely discussed. Treating other parts of the body that are obvious indicators of a person’s age, yet often overlooked, is explored with much less frequency. As the population ages and many are living longer, more active lives, the search for strategies to make our bodies as a whole look and feel youthful continues to intensify. Many of the same ingredients and treatments that deliver excellent results for the skin on the face can also be employed for treating other areas of the body, yet there are physiological differences between skin on these varied areas that must be considered in order to achieve optimal results. We will explore the physiology of the skin on the neck and décolleté, the hands, and the eye area and identify ingredients and treatments that will deliver dramatic, visible results.

Banish the Bumps and Ditch the Dimples with the Help of Dry Body Brushing

Written by Greg Moses, general manager at BioElixia

Dry brushing has become an ongoing consumer trend lately! But what exactly is it? Dry brushing is a popular spa technique that assists to minimize the appearance of saddle bag skin, also known as cellulite, by sloughing those dry, flaky upper skin cells for visibly smoother, more radiant skin.

The Way of the Décolleté

Written by Karen Poirier

The décolletage is the area of the neck, shoulders, chest, and cleavage. It is quite possibly the most provocative feature of a woman, yet it is one of the most overlooked areas when it comes to preventative and restorative skin care.
That has not always been the case. In European society as early as the 11th century, an exposed chest and neck was a common fashion statement and not at all controversial. In the 16th century, a beautifully-conditioned décolletage was a symbol of status, wealth, and beauty. And from 1795 to 1820, many women wore dresses that exposed the bosom and shoulders as a sign of beauty. That said, women throughout the ages have paid a great deal of attention to their décolletage until now.

Beneficial Body Treatments

Written by Courtney La Marine, L.E.

When clients are browsing through the spa menu, dreaming of how they would like to relax and turn back the hands of time, rarely do they look at body treatments and its benefits. Body treatments not only renew the skin, but also create a relaxation like no other. Clients often spend the majority of their time and money on their face, neck, and décolleté. While keeping faces free of wrinkles and halting the hands of time, attention to the body is a must. The skin is our largest organ and giving it the attention it deserves radiates health and youth. Body treatments have a wide range of options. There are many types of body treatments all over the world and each are unique all their own.

The Physiological Effects of Microcurrent

Written by Erin Madigan-Fleck, M.D., L.E.

The history of electrotherapeutics has presented a long legacy of scientists, researchers, and physicians determined to illustrate the connection between healing, rejuvenation, and electrical current. The ancients in Egypt, Greece, and Rome utilized electric eels in therapy for headaches and neuralgia, which was indeed primitive but reputedly effective as it was applied throughout various practicums throughout history.

Many clients may walk through an aesthetician’s door with common facial manifestations, often agonizing over what once was clear skin that has now erupted into inexplicable redness, dryness, skin thickening, and even bumps and pimples that resemble acne. While these symptoms may be a sign of a variety of skin conditions, they may also be characteristic of the widespread, yet poorly understood facial disorder known as rosacea, a chronic skin disease now estimated to affect more than 16 million Americans, many of whom do not know they have it. Knowing how to spot the potential signs and symptoms of this medical disorder before serving a client could be the difference between having a repeat customer and exacerbating their condition.

Facial beauty is defined by structure: shapely cheekbones, eyebrows that accentuate, large eyes, full lips, and a lean, slender neck. From the collarbone to the top of our forehead, there is bone that gives our face shape and structure and a large group of muscles that work seamlessly to communicate our expressions and help shape our words. Despite all of this, we have the capability to age gracefully or barely age at all.

With the numerous professional exfoliation solutions and infinite application options available to today’s aesthetician, it can be overwhelming to determine the best peel treatment plan for each individual client. Developing a strategy for safe peel application to avoid common complications and achieve optimal results is key to a successful outcome and client satisfaction.

Exfoliation: It’s More Than Skin Deep

Written by Brenda Linday, L.E., L.E.I.

Many of our clients’ skin concerns are related to excessive dead skin cell buildup, a compromised barrier function, wrinkles, acne, or discolorations of the skin. To achieve skin wellness, it is necessary to offer a corrective treatment plan that will attain results, such as a chemical peel, that our customer desires.

The Emotional Aspect of Treating Skin Conditions

Written by Michelle D’Allaird, L.E.

As aestheticians, we must understand that we do not treat skin conditions. Skin conditions are treated by those with an M.D. after their name. As skin care professionals, it is our job to enhance the health of the skin with our products and services. In order to do this, what we do in the treatment room is all about the customer and their emotions. We are taught in aesthetics school that our emotions are to be checked at the door.

The Swimsuit Curse: Cellulite

Written by Ottmar Stubler, L.E.

European women have been benefiting from cellulite treatments for years. They pay particular attention to the deposits on the upper thigh area which they call culottes de cheval. Translated literally from French, it means “riding breeches.” The French are mainly credited with the discovery of cellulite; however the distinction actually belongs to the Swedes. Prominent Swedish doctors, masseurs, and gymnasts understood the connection between body appearance and body health towards the end of the 19th century. They discovered the presence of lumpy, node-like formations just under the skin which they treated with a special method of massage, diet, and exercise. Among the various names they gave these lumpy masses were cellulite, panniculite, and myocellulite. Always zealous to maintain their leadership in the field of beauty, the French quickly adopted the name cellulite. The word is a combination of the French word for “cell” and the suffix “-ite,” meaning disease.

Body Contouring

Written by Amra Lear

Not all women have the perfect hourglass figure. The banana, apple, pear and hourglass are the four most common body shapes for women. All of these shapes are named by the resemblance of the breast-waist-hip ratio of the body. The banana shape represents women who have no curves; it is a straight frame from breast to hip. Apple-shaped women are big around the breast area and slim down toward the waist and the hip. The pear frame reflects women who are smaller around the breast area and gradually get bigger at the hip. Finally, the hourglass shape is big at the breast area, slims down at the waist and then gets bigger at the hip again.

Treatment Room Modalities: The Necessities

Written by Michelle D’Allaird, L.E.

It is amazing to me how much the skin care profession has changed in just 25 years. Gone are the days of the traditional basic facial treatment. They have replaced with acids, enzymes, peptides, currents, lights and frequencies. It is mind blowing! Just as equally mind blowing can be trying to decide just what to do with it all and which to choose to incorporate into your skin care practice. Every practice is different and every aesthetician is different. It really comes down to modalities best suited for each individual situation; however, I have chosen three that are tried and true, easy to incorporate, affordable, and proven to deliver amazing results. There certainly are many others that I love, but galvanic current, light-emitting diode (LED) and pressure point massage are at the absolute top of my list… let me tell you why!

Skin Types in a Changing World

Written by Susan Etter

The United States is no longer the melting pot that it once was. These days, it is more like an organic, herbal-infused smoothie in a blender. The mixing of various ethnicities and multiple heritages that belong to each individual make it much more difficult to classify someone into one of six Fitzpatrick Skin Type categories. It has long been said that you cannot judge a book by its cover. While that may be an overused adage, it certainly applies in the business of laser/intense pulsed light treatments.

Peels Concepts and Considerations

Written by Alexandra J. Zani

We are living in an era in which most of our clients enter through our doors with a plethora of concerns regarding their skin, especially photo damage, wrinkles and fine lines. Sometimes clients’ conditions are perplexing to even the most experienced skin care professional. How do we approach our clients and their concerns? What methods are we going to use in order to perform a complete assessment? How will we carefully plan a program of management to gain a realistic result? No two are exactly alike; neither are their expectations. We must be able to align reality with the condition of their skin and we must understand how any treatment is going to affect it. Obviously, the age of the client can make a difference. So will their history and lifestyle.

Laser Versus Intense Pulsed Light

Written by Louis Silberman

In the world of beauty, the term “laser hair removal” has come to encompass a variety of techniques that remove unwanted hair by zapping it away with the use of a light source. When cosmetic lasers were first cleared by the FDA for permanent hair reduction in the late 1990s, it sparked a new trend in the beauty industry and brought the term “laser hair removal” into popular culture. However, not every form of light-based technology used for permanent hair reduction is actually a laser. Additionally, even within the laser category, there are different types of laser beams with different wavelengths and properties. Knowing about different types of light-based hair removal technologies, and how they work, will allow you to provide your best professional service to your clients and help them achieve the best results.

Believe it or not, the average spa client is savvy on procedures. They know what characteristics to look for in a service provider and will try everything from shaving to laser hair removal to get the results they desire. The question is: are you helping them achieve their goals? Clients want the best eyebrow, bikini or back wax; you want to be the go-to spa for a flawless hair removal procedure. But what makes one aesthetician or wax technician stand out among the masses? They perform concise consultations at every service and they know their clientele. In my experience as a spa owner, operator and educator, I believe that every aesthetic professional who wants to excel in hair removal services should have adept knowledge in three prominent client concerns: growth patterns and changes, ingrown hair management, and age appropriate waxing.

The Science Behind Professional Exfoliation

Written by Christine Heathman C.M.E., L.M.T., L.M.A.

Caring for skin to eliminate dead corneocyte deposits from the stratum corneum (SC) epidermis to uncover a new generation of skin requires inherent biological desquamation and professional physical exfoliation functioning in concert. Several skin care and chemical manufacturers provide various professional products in the form of diverse constituents and instruments including, but not limited to, chemicals, enzymes, microdermabrasion, cavitation, benzoyl peroxide, acids, masks, mechanical beads, and other desquamating facilitators. It is important that skin care professionals know what the safest products are to use during exfoliation procedures.
There is an actual science to professional exfoliation. 

Exfoliating Acids

Written by Ivana S. Veljkovic, Ph.D.

The use of exfoliating acids for chemical peeling procedures is one of the most dependable and recognized methods for safely improving the overall health and appearance of the skin. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, upwards of 1.1 million chemical peels were performed in 2012. The option available to the professional for treating their patients has expanded greatly, so going back to basics and exploring the characteristics and mechanisms of action of each different type of exfoliating acid can be useful. Then, exploring which of these acids work well together in blends will help the professional choose what is best for their patients.

Dive into Water Therapy

Written by Dr. Reinhard Bergel

Water therapy refers to the internal and external use of water to treat various types of illnesses and injuries. External healing with water is used to help people who suffer from physical limitations. In addition to being relaxing and enjoyable, water helps to support the weight of the body, which allows individuals with limited range of motion to bend, stretch, reach and move in ways that they may not be able to on land. Exercising in water allows individuals to reap the benefits of rehabilitation exercises while protecting their fragile joints from further injury or damage. In fact, water exercises provide a high level of resistance, or hydrostatic pressure that provides a high intensity which is an effective exercise that is gentle on the body.

Excess hair presents an embarrassing problem as many women around the world participate in some form of hair removal. While cosmetic concerns are a determining factor in hair removal, some clients may be dealing with a more serious issue. Unwanted hair may not just be cosmetic when presented with a client suffering from excessive hair growth but it can also be a sign of a medical condition. Having unwanted hair is an issue that attributes to an emotional burden, such as low self-esteem and depression, in the individual.

Achieving Beautiful Skin: Exfoliation Methods for Your Client Web Exclusive

Written by Anna Sforza, licensed aesthetician and product educator for Somme Institute

Exfoliation is the first step to attaining and maintaining beautiful skin. With so many options to choose from and the majority of our clientele being unfamiliar with the various exfoliation methods, it is imperative to be well educated about what is available to us as professionals. From chemical peels to microdermabrasions to enzymes, rotary brushes and scrubs, it is our job to inform our clients on which procedure is right for their skin type and crucial to their skin care goals. Exfoliation removes dead skin cells, unclogs pores, stimulates cellular turnover, reveals a healthier layer of skin cells, and brightens skin by removing surface hyperpigmentation. It is great for acneic skin as it unclogs pores, helping oil to reach the surface and reduce breakouts.


Written by Patrick Clark

I, perhaps like you, am not a physician. The information we share here is not a clinical guideline or recommendation but a compilation of experiences from manufacturers and users since lasers were introduced in May of 1961. The old maxim is not if you will see complications but how will you handle complications when they arise. If you are using light to perform procedures successfully then there will be an occasion where the result or reaction to the treatment will be more than expected. The reasons are numerous and sometimes uncontrollable. Here we will review the important things to know and remind you of those things to be avoided. The list of possible complications is commonly known: blistering, hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation, and/or scarring.

We all know a necessary part of maintaining healthy skin is regular exfoliation. Removing the buildup of dead skin cells is essential for preventing fine lines and wrinkles, eliminating congestion in the hair follicles, reducing recurring acne breakouts, and helping to maintain a healthy complexion. Dead skin cell buildup also inhibits maximum results from topical skin care products.
As we age, the metabolic rate of cell turnover naturally begins to slow down. By sloughing dead skin cells off the surface, new healthy cells are stimulated. Accelerating the metabolic rate of cell renewal resets the aging clock back to a more youthful time of heightened cell growth. Without question, exfoliating the skin’s surface at different levels on a regular basis helps it to look brighter, evenly toned, fresh and radiantly youthful.

Polished to Perfection

Written by Whitney Johnson

Exfoliation is the skin therapist’s art of uncovering what lies beneath. Skin care professionals know that exfoliation, including the new generation of chemical peels, allows for optimum penetration of any active ingredient. With a high demand of consumers desiring a smooth, refined feel to the skin, this essential aspect of the professional skin care service is more important today than ever before. To get optimum results, a complete understanding of the service is required. Simply put, a great exfoliation service is far more than a scrub and rub. As skin therapists, we have a huge opportunity to educate ourselves in this area and integrate sophisticated exfoliation ingredient technology into our menu. The current breakthroughs in medicine spa level chemical peels, for instance, indicate the contemporary client’s level of expectation.

Exfoliation Techniques

Written by Kristina Valiani

Exfoliation is key to maintaining healthy, functioning skin. Many facials include exfoliation within their protocol and all skin types and conditions can benefit from some form of exfoliation. Our skin naturally reproduces and brings healthy, new skin to the surface while regularly shedding the dead, outermost layer. However, throughout the aging process and following menopause, this natural shedding process slows and can lead skin to look dull, rough and dry. The benefits from exfoliation include improved texture and tone, lightened pigmentation, unclogged pores, a clearer complexion, reduction in acne breakouts, and reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Before a butterfly breathes its first breath, it is incubated in a cocoon full of silk and nutritious blends of earth’s organic ingredients. What once began as a mere caterpillar, captured in the hands of nature, wrapped tightly in a cocoon of mother earth’s essences, transforms in time to a miraculous, effervescent, polychromatic butterfly. Your client’s body and skin, when treated with the right kind of earth’s cryptic love of ingredients, can transform from the most lackluster of beings to an incandescent individual. These naturistic transformations exist in today’s spa industry known as wraps. Here is a list of 10 things every skin care professional should know about wraps.

Removing Unwanted Tattoos

Written by Shelley Cook, C.L.T.

The reasons people seek out tattoo removal are as unique as each person is. From a former gang member who wants to start a new life to a heartbroken ex who needs to get rid of the constant reminder of a former flame, the stories behind tattoos are endless. I have been performing laser tattoo removal and teaching others to perform the procedure since 2005 – removing or fading nearly 40,000 tattoos during that time. Tattoo removal is my passion, and I have seen first-hand how it can change people’s lives.

Cellulite Web Exclusive

Written by Ken Simpson

Cellulite affects approximately 85 to 98 percent of post‐pubertal females of all races and skin types. It is often referred to as "orange peel" or dimpling skin, appearing in women primarily as they age on the thighs, buttocks, lower abdomen and arms. Since its discovery, there has been lots of purported treatments of what was originally described as a disease. Cellulite is not a disease, and the cause is determined to relate to several physiological factors including skin architecture, altered connective tissue, vascular and inflammatory factors, and diet as related to exercise. The cause of cellulite is understood to be related to connective tissue deterioration, which is one of the primary reasons it is more prevalent in women due to the physiology of the connective tissue and subsequent structural changes. Furthermore, fat cells in women are structured like chambers, while in men they are matrix oriented (criss-cross).

Ohm's Law

Ohm's Law is the expression of voltage, current and resistance in an electrical circuit. First, we must define these parameters:

Voltage is defined as electrical force or pressure. A battery has voltage when it is electrically charged, and ready to do electrical work. This is similar to water pressure in a water system. When the water tower is full, it has pressure (voltage) and is ready to do work when the faucet is open.

Physiology & Psychology of a Teenager

Written by Christine Heathman

Body Anatomy and Teenage Hormones

“TEENAGER” appears to be the expressive idiom for uncontrollable hormones as adolescent bodies experience various physiological changes, including skin and body transformations resulting in unwelcome acne and weight gain directly affecting a teenager’s self-image. It is a complicated time of life for these young men and women. Professionally speaking, licensed aestheticians should pay close attention to this important youthful consumer market and offer specialized skin treatments in their spas or skin care clinics to serve teenage skin care needs.
To gain understanding of the complexities in a teenager’s body that directly affects their skin and self-image, it is imperative for aestheticians to have a basic knowledge of the human anatomy as it relates specifically to teenagers.

What Electricity is and Where it Comes From

Electricity is a fundamental force in nature. It is all around us. We are virtually bathing in it at all times in the form of radio and television signals, microwave energy, radar, etcetera. Furthermore, our bodies run on electrical impulses; messages sent from our brains, through the nerves to the muscles causing contractions, both voluntary and involuntary.
Electricity is an electron in motion, and electrons are the negatively charged particles, which orbit the nucleus of an atom. In order to understand electricity, it is best to visualize it in some way. Think of the moon orbiting around the earth. The earth is analogous to the nucleus of an atom, and the moon is analogous to the electron. The whole system of the earth and the moon is then analogous to the simplest atom in nature, the hydrogen atom.

No matter how long ago it was, we all remember sitting through anatomy and physiology in aesthetics school. Literally memorizing the muscles, bones, arteries and veins in a desperate attempt to pass the test, and hopefully retain enough memorization to make it through the state boards. Now skin physiology was another thing – that just made sense – and knowing why we needed to know it made sense... But the other stuff just seemed a bit mind boggling! Well, if only we knew then what we know now, we just might have paid better attention! Every aspect of the aesthetics curriculum has come full circle, and what may not have seemed important 15 years ago is at the forefront of what we need to know now – and the anatomy of the face is one of them.

The word “integumentary” (the skin), which means “covering” is derived from “in” or “en.” The word system is defined as a collection of cells that perform a particular function.

The human body has 10 distinct systems (in alphabetical order):

  1. Digestive
  2. Endocrine
  3. Integumentary
  4. Lymphatic
  5. Muscular

It is 8:30 a.m. You have just turned on the lights to your office and that proverbial phone call rolls in. "I think you have burnt me! I have blisters all over my legs and I could not sleep all night long. I cannot believe you did this to me."
Your stomach sinks and your mind goes into frenzy. You start thinking, "Did I really burn her? Will she have pigmentation changes… scars? Am I going to be sued? What should I do?"
This gut wrenching feeling coupled with all of its uncertainty is guaranteed at some point in the career of a laser professional. After all, if you do enough treatments, eventually someone will experience a complication. It does not mean that you did anything wrong, but what you do now certainly separates a good laser technician from a true professional.

Wintertime should be the peak of the hair removal season. Cold weather keeps the skin covered, so growing out unsightly underarm, leg and bikini-line hair for the best hair removal results is not so challenging. But as most women come out of hibernation from hair removal and begin to embrace the warm sun and longer days, they suddenly seem to realize that the furry body they grew into during the winter is not the growing trend. Hair removal has become so mainstream that women are now requesting forehead and neck clean-ups so their wispy little hairs do not interfere with a perfect sleek ponytail.

Both men and women seek hair removal services, whether for the face, under the arms, on the legs, or elsewhere on the body. While some patients may initially simply request stand-alone hair removal procedures, as skin health professionals we must address more than just removing unwanted hair, as many hair removal procedures have the potential to harm surrounding skin. Pre-treating skin and performing hair removal procedures that mitigate negative side effects like post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) and ingrown hairs instead of just eliminating unwanted hair will maintain and optimize the health of the skin in the process.

We are now in the era of "lift or fill?" and unfortunately due to YouTube® and media buzz, the public is often mislead into thinking that both are the same thing.
Over two years ago, Maven (a dear friend of mine and a plastic surgeon) called me up and said she was going to have a "stem cell face lift" and quoted a substantial fee she would be paying for the treatment.
I was alarmed. Since I have been following stem cell research for 20 years, I called a couple of my top plastic surgeon friends – including world famous Dr. Henry Kawamoto, UCLA Plastic Surgery Guru – and asked what they thought about the procedure. Dr. Kawamoto chuckled and said it was semi-bogus, but a buddy of his in Japan was doing it and "making plenty of Yen!"

The benefits of chemical peels are undeniable. Over the last decade, patients have sought out fewer aggressive treatments in favor of more minimally invasive options like injectables and chemical peels. Since many people come to our practices seeking these less aggressive treatments that still provide dramatic outcomes, it can be difficult for clinicians to balance safe treatment with pushing the envelope to achieve immediate and significant results. You can avoid complications from chemical peel treatments by ensuring that you have a deep understanding of the peel solutions you use in your practice, being proficient in pairing patients with appropriate treatments, and having the knowledge of how to mitigate any complications that could arise.

Roses are red … Violets are blue; sugar is sweet … but is it the right choice for you?

This is the question that all salons should be asking. Many factors fall in to this question. The main one being sanitation. In today's day age, sanitation could make or break a salon. Luckily there has been a simple product around for generations that happily addresses this concern: sugar!
For 22 years now, I have been sharing with my global audiences a simple fact relating to sugar: Natural healing properties of sugar help to prevent infection and promote healing.

When it comes to providing your craft, there are some similarities and also defined differences – whether you are a massage therapist or a skin care specialist. Those differences are put in place by your state, written most often in your scope of practice. So knowing the regulation of your state is very important.
In some states, massage therapists are not allowed to put product on the face. In addition, skin care specialists have their own limited guidelines for their massage approach; they usually can provide a relaxation technique to feet, hands, neck and décolleté.

With the healthy growth of aesthetic services, all sorts of clients walk into the spa. Clients with medical conditions, who previously did not consider spa treatments now make spa visits a routine part of their lifestyle. As responsible professionals, we need to be aware of the types of clients that visit our facility and learn how our services may affect their well-being. In particular, we need to be prepared to best serve our diabetic clients. There are approximately 25 million diabetics (about one in 10 people) in the U.S. and the number is increasing. It is likely that your clients already include people with diabetes.

Abhyanga (pronounced Abbey Unger – as in younger) is a Sanskrit word. Abhy means "to rub" and anga means "limbs". Abhyanga is, just as it says, rubbing oil into the skin from head to toe. Fundamentally it is as simple as that. There are many translations of the word beyond this purely literal one, some more engaging than others. Here are a brief collection from the one found in a classic texts to something you might find in a spa menu.

It is the most fundamental and rewarding procedure to accelerate results and give the skin a softer, smoother appearance. Clients ask for it by name because it diminishes fine lines, refines the look of the pores, improves textural changes, and is a viable treatment for acne management. The epidermal remodeling benefits of microdermabrasion are performed in aesthetic treatment rooms, physician's offices and – with thanks to the boom of the beauty industry – it is available to consumers in the convenience of their home. Having been an established means of skin rejuvenation since the early 1980s, there are plenty of features about microdermabrasion in national beauty magazines because it is so well researched.