As the skin care profession has risen to new levels of professionalism and expertise, the responsibility for the individual professional to represent those levels has become increasingly necessary. On a daily basis we are seeing new products, equipment, technology, ingredients, and techniques. It can be a full time job simply keeping up with the wave – let alone actually being appropriately informed. Yet, it remains our job and responsibility to know what is happening in the industry. All of that being said, there is one particular area that acts as a knowledge base – a foundation per say – that never changes but constantly gets built upon. That area is ingredients.
As an educator, I preach to my students that there are two things that will always lead to treatment results: physiology and ingredients. If you understand the skin and you understand ingredients you will always know what products to choose and why to choose them.
We live in a consumer savvy time. Clients are bombarded with marketing campaigns that make promises and claims about products and ingredients with very little substantiation. Our job is to clear up the confusion and we can only do that by knowing the facts.
Know your ingredients. Know what they are and where they come from. Know how they work and why they work. Know the influence of formulation, such as the pH level, pK level, the type of base, the preservative, and additional actives. Knowing just one fact about an ingredient is simply not enough, since once it is mixed in a formulation, its original properties can change.
Have the knowledge and ability to help clients decipher between effective and not-effective, but be able to tell them how and why.
Michelle D'allaird Brenner
AIA President and Director of Education