Andrea Gregaydis

Andrea Gregaydis

Sugar, Spice, & Everything Nice: Understanding Ingredients

Every part of being a skin care professional in a treatment room involves understanding not only skin but also how ingredients in the products being used are beneficial or effective for the client’s concerns. Those still in school can get overwhelmed by the concept of learning a new product line, especially in addition to everything else that they need to study for. However, seasoned professionals know the importance of very specific and active ingredients that benefit virtually every skin type and skin condition.

Knowing ingredients of facials or homecare will help you be prepared for what sensitivities may arise, what contraindications exist, and what will benefit or could irritate skin. Ingredients are ever changing and always getting better, safer, and more innovative. Keeping up with education throughout your entire career as a skin care professional is an absolute must in order to keep up with the new advances in ingredients. Here are some tried and true ingredients you can bring up during a consultation that can benefit a large pool of concerns and conditions.

 

HYALURONIC ACID

It’s easy to know and remember the most common benefit of this humectant that is capable of binding a thousand times its weight in water, but it is much more than that. Hyaluronic acid is produced by the body and is considered a glycosaminoglycan, or a lubricating substance within the body. It plays an important role in wound healing and tissue repair. As people age, their natural production of hyaluronic acid slows down. This can be seen in skin with more noticeable dryness, as well as more visible fine lines and wrinkles.

Hyaluronic acid helps skin maintain its stretch and flexibility and fills in and plumps skin to provide a younger, more youthful appearance. This powerful ingredient is safe for most skin types; however, when in doubt, it never hurts to patch test on rosacea or any sensitive skin clients.

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Andrea Gregaydis is a licensed aesthetician and international CIDESCO diplomat. She holds multiple additional licenses as a New York state instructor and nail technician, as well as certified laser technician. Gregaydis is the lead instructor at the Aesthetic Science Institute and has over 10 years of experience as a practitioner, team coordinator, and role model for hundreds of future skin care professionals. She is contributing author to top industry trade magazines, as well as a speaker at various aesthetics conferences across the United States. She is also a CIDESCO International Examiner.

 

 

 

The Ground Rules: Consultation Considerations

There may not be a step more important in a skin care treatment than a thorough consultation. As an instructor, there is never a treatment done in our student clinic, whether on a client or another student, without a full and complete consultation every time. How can professionals possibly know how to safely and correctly work on a client without one? How can they recommend homecare, specific and safe modalities, future treatment recommendations, or contraindications without an in-depth understanding of the client they are working with? There is no way that clients can receive the best and most accurate results without first completing a consultation.  

Building habits early in your education and training is key so that when you enter your first treatment room it becomes second nature. Goal one should be for clients to understand why the questions you ask are important and necessary. When you explain the why to clients, it allows them to understand the importance of why they need to fill out a consultation form to start with. However, a consultation is more than just filling out a piece of paper; there are details that need to be gone over carefully and accurately, and you often must read between the lines to help clients understand what is really going on with their skin. 

It is crucial to remember that you are asking clients to divulge personal and confidential information about their health history. Confidence, compassion, and nonjudgement need to be displayed to the client if you are expecting them to be up front and honest with their health history and medications. 

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Andrea GregaydisAndrea Gregaydis is a licensed aesthetician and international CIDESCO diplomat. She holds multiple additional licenses as a New York state instructor and nail technician, as well as a certified laser technician. Gregaydis is the lead instructor at the Aesthetic Science Institute and has over 10 years of experience as a practitioner, team coordinator, and role model for hundreds of future skin care professionals. She is contributing author to top industry trade magazines, as well as a speaker at various aesthetics conferences across the United States. She is also a CIDESCO International Examiner. 

 

Next Level: Hormonal Skin Conditions

Anyone who has ever dealt with hormonal skin conditions knows how frustrating and heartbreaking they can be. No matter the effort that is put in, it can feel like a never-ending uphill battle, and it can be difficult for professionals to help clients understand something that they themselves may not. How can professionals fight a battle with biology and genetics and try to help find a solution to certain conditions that clients have just about given up on? When should aestheticians refer out to medical professionals, and how do they work in unison with the doctor recommendations and treatment plans?  

The first and best place to start with any skin condition is to better understand the source(s), which, in turn, can allow professionals to better consult and treat or work together with clients to combat their hormonal skin conditions. A professional’s goal is to guide clients to find the best solution to combat their concerns. Whether it is something to balance their hormonal acne, lighten their hormone influenced pigmentation, or keep their collagen levels healthy, professionals need to see things that may not be in plain sight. They have to ask questions about personal matters, such as health history and medications, and make clients feel comfortable at all times to share such personal matters. Professionals must also know when to refer out to and work in conjunction with a medical professional, and what treatments are safe to use with any medications clients may have recently been prescribed for hormonal imbalances. 

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Andrea GregaydisAndrea Gregaydis is a licensed aesthetician and international CIDESCO diplomat. She holds multiple additional licenses as a New York state instructor and nail technician, as well as certified laser technician. Gregaydis is the lead instructor at the Aesthetic Science Institute and has over 10 years of experience as a practitioner, team coordinator, and role model for 100s of future skin care professionals. She is a contributing author to top industry trade magazines, as well as a speaker at various aesthetics conferences across the United States. She is also a CIDESCO International Examiner. 

Fueling Up

When it comes to skin care, most people look for a miracle in a bottle – the latest and greatest in ingredient technology that offers a quick fix or immediate results. The truth is that the most powerful tool clients have is their nutrition and water intake. It is a well-known fact that water and food intake alone will not solve every skin concern; however, it is a great place to start when it comes to overall health and functioning of the body. One of the most important and biggest jobs of skin is protection from things like bacteria invasion, ultraviolet damage, and other outside stressors the body may be exposed to. When it comes to the care of the skin barrier, keeping moisture content in check is key to allow cells to renew and continue to do their job. After all, skin is the largest organ of the body, and it needs to be fueled and taken care of like any other organ. 

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Andrea GregaydisAndrea Gregaydis is a licensed aesthetician and international CIDESCO diplomat. She holds multiple additional licenses as a New York state instructor and nail technician, as well as certified laser technician. Gregaydis is the lead instructor at the Aesthetic Science Institute and has over 10 years of experience as a practitioner, team coordinator, and role model for hundreds of future skin care professionals. She is contributing author to top industry trade magazines, as well as a speaker at various aesthetics conferences across the United States. She is also a CIDESCO International Examiner. 

 

Designer Exfoliation: Enzymes & Aging Skin

As skin ages, it’s inevitable that your client’s daily or weekly skincare needs will likely need to change with it. The average cellular turnover or renewal starts to drastically decrease, no longer occurring every 28 to 30 days but taking well over 56 days. This means the dull, dry, and flakey appearance that many aging clients may be concerned about will be much more apparent than they may have previously experienced. Therefore, it’s inevitable that your client’s skin care needs and routines will likely need to change as they age.

With age also comes increased sensitivity, thinning of skin, slower healing, and loss of natural lipids to name a few biological changes. This means that skin that once was able to tolerate acids or more aggressive treatments may start to have a hard time handling them.

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Andrea GregaydisAndrea Gregaydis is a licensed aesthetician and international CIDESCO diplomat. She holds multiple additional licenses as a New York state instructor and nail technician, as well as a certified laser technician. Gregaydis is the lead instructor at the Aesthetic Science Institute and has over 10 years of experience as a practitioner, team coordinator, and role model for hundreds of future skin care professionals. She is contributing author to top industry trade magazines, as well as a speaker at various aesthetics conferences across the United States. She is also a CIDESCO International Examiner.

The Tea on Vitamin C: The Possibilities of an Antioxidant

Vitamin C is most associated with immunity. When thinking about building up the immune system or combating a cold, the first thing people want to do is increase their vitamin C intake. The immunity building benefits are just one of the powerful effects vitamin C has on the body, but what about skin specifically? 

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Fine Line Formation: Preventative Steps & Ideal Treatment Care

Aging is inevitable and as one gets older, skin’s structure, barrier function, and its sensitivities and conditions change. The one major concern for most clients and their skin is the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This is a normal part of aging; however, skin care professionals cannot help clients slow that process down by changing up their facial treatments or homecare routine. Educating clients on some of the potential causes that are contributing to their fine lines such as, a lack of proper sun protectant use, smoking, and improper nutrition to name a few is very important. Being able to communicate with clients about their habits, lifestyle, potential changes, commitment to treatments, and at-home skin care can yield great results in the prevention and reduction of fine lines. Encouraging clients to have a little patience in the process and to trust in the professional’s recommendations will be crucial to the outcome. In order for aestheticians to properly educate their clients, they need to thoroughly understand the many causes and factors of wrinkle formation.

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Andrea GregaydisAndrea Gregaydis is a licensed aesthetician and international CIDESCO diplomat. She holds multiple additional licenses as a New York state instructor and nail technician, as well as certified laser technician. Gregaydis is the lead instructor at the Aesthetic Science Institute and has over 10 years of experience as a practitioner, team coordinator, and role model for hundreds of future skin care professionals. She is contributing author to top industry trade magazines, as well as a speaker at various aesthetics conferences across the United States. She is also a CIDESCO International Examiner.

Looking at Lasers: The Importance of Avoiding Sun Exposure & Certain Medications

There are so many benefits of  undergoing laser treatments –whether hair removal, collagen stimulation, lightening of pigmentation, and so on. Laser treatments are relatively quick and painless (for the most part) and yield great results. There are, however, some important steps  to take duringtreatment sessions, especially when it comes to sun exposure and certain medications.

SUN EXPOSURE

It is important for the outcome of the client’s treatment and for the safety of their skin that they avoid or limit the amount of sun exposure before, during, and after treatments. Sunburned skin prior to laser treatment not only creates more sensitivity but hinders the aestheticians ability to see any possible reaction to the treatment, such as redness and swelling. If the client comes in with skin that is red and swollen, they shouldn’t be treated that day. Even skin that may not burn but gradually or significantly tans from ultraviolet exposure can make treatments a bit more complicated. Aestheticians will have to be aware of their settings and adjust them as needed for safe treatments. It is important to give skin a break from excess sun exposure two weeks before and anywhere from two to four weeks after. Laser treatments can be done safely year-round; however, if clients really love soaking up the sun, this can be included in their winter treatments. Practitioners want the skin to properly heal, and sun exposure can increase the clients chances of slowing down or hindering the healing process. It also increasestheir chances of hyperpigmentation in any areas that were treated. Practitioners always want to encourage the consistent and proper application of SPF to clients, so it is very important to stress, especially after any laser treatments.

PRECAUTIONS

There are also certain precautions that should be taken during or around laser treatments. This is true for any other treatments provided toclients. Practitioners always need to do a consultation each and every time the client comes in for laser, even if you just saw them four weeks ago. Aestheticians know a lot can change in four weeks’ timeIt is also important to note which treatments to avoid performing too close to laser treatments, such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and even dermaplane add-on. Give clients some healing time after performing these treatments prior to any laser treatment on the area that was previously worked on. Avoiding these treatments for at least three to five days can greatly help the clients skin. The laser creates heat in the skin, so it is best to notoverdo it, especially on sensitive clients or clients prone to pigmentation.

MEDICATIONS & PRESCRIPTIONS

Certain medications can impact the clients treatment, and it is important tocheck and see what the client is takingand the frequency of use. For example, if clients specify they are using prescription retinol or retinoids, some questions to ask would be how long and how often. This can helpdetermine recommendations for how long theclient should stop using the medication prior to their laser appointments. Other medications such as topical or oral acne medications may best be advised to stop using five to seven days prior to treatments. Practitioners should not perform laser treatments on anyone usingAccutane, steroids, antibiotics, or any photosensitizing medications. Performing laser services on clients using these can lead to blistering of the skin or mild burning of the treatment area. A good rule of thumb is to have the client discontinue use for a week or so, if advisable by a medical professional to do so.Accutane is a whole other ball gameclients should be off Accutane for several months or more before receiving laser treatments.

Laser treatments are an amazing addition to clients regimens, and the results are worth it for most people. It is a practitioner’s job to protect their clients skin and not cause any other complications along the way. It is not a bad idea to perform a consultation free of charge for new clients to discuss all the contraindications, commitment to multiple treatments, expectations, and to assess treatment areas. Doing so ahead of time couldprevent any cancellation of treatments or possible miscommunication at the time of the actual visit. Do research on what other potential medications could impact their treatment, and when in doubt, always err on the side of caution.Your clients will thank you.

 

2019 Andrea Gregaydis

 

 

Andrea Gregaydis is a licensed aesthetician and International CIDESCO diplomat. She holds multiple additional licenses as a New York state instructor and nail technician, as well as a certified laser technician. Gregaydis is the lead instructor at the Aesthetic Science Institute and has over 10 years of experience as a practitioner, team coordinator, and role model for hundreds of future skin care professionals. She is contributing author to top industry trade magazines, as well as a speaker at various aesthetics conferences across the United States. She is also a CIDESCO International Examiner. 

 

A Recipe for Skin Health: How Diet Affects Skin

Aestheticians understand how important a well-rounded skin care regimen is and that it is imperative to healthy, glowing, clear skin. But, skin health goes just beyond topically caring for the skin. It also synergistically works with internal factors such as nutrition. Nutrition plays an important role in the maintenance of healthy skin. What an individual eats and drinks can have an impact on acne, rosacea, skin tone, skin congestion, and more. The types and varieties of food choices made can greatly impact skin’s appearance. Skin is the largest organ of the body, and it needs to be carefully cared for and protected.

The reality is when it comes to the skin, it is often the last place to receive the benefits that adequate water intake provides. After all, every cell in the body requires proper nutrition and hydration to survive, and the truth is that most people do not drink enough water and eat enough variety of well-balanced foods to have a significant impact on their skin. But, what if they did?

WATER INTAKE

First, let’s talk hydration. When most people are asked how much water they drink, the answer is – enough. Digging a little deeper and more specifically how many ounces – most answers then are 16 to 64. Sorry to say, that is most likely not enough. A good rule of thumb for most people for a basic day-to-day intake is to take one’s body weight divided by two, then divide that number by eight, to get approximately how many eight-ounce glasses one should drink daily. By the way, that number does not account for exercise, sweating, or caffeine consumption so add on a few more eight-ounce glasses on top of it.

Now the reality is that some people do not like water, and therefore, it is a challenge to drink half of what is needed. So be creative, tell clients to add their favorite natural fruit, fresh cucumbers, or even a little mint to it, and try to drink more. Water will not completely fix skin concerns, but when the cells in the body are hydrated, everything works better.

Water helps move toxins and waste out of the body, aids in digestion and metabolism, helps keep one focused and energized, and that is just the start. Encourage clients to start drinking an adequate amount of water and be amazed at the changes in their skin.

VITAMINS & MINERALS FOR SKIN HEALTH

Vitamins and minerals are other essential nutrients for skin health. A proper, well-balanced diet with a variety of different food, especially fruits and veggies, can have a great impact on skin’s health and appearance. Strive for one’s plate to look like the colors of the rainbow. A wide variety of colors from different vegetables will help ensure a client is receiving the appropriate vitamins and minerals. For example, orange color fruits and vegtables, like carrots and sweet potatoes, or yellow like mangos and bananas, which are loaded with vitamin A (great for antiaging, cellular turnover, and a crucial antioxidant.) The more variety of color, the more chance to increase one’s daily intake of vitamins A, C, and E which are crucial for healthy skin. These essential vitamins provide the body with antioxidants. The body needs to protect against free radical damage as they can wreak havoc, especially our collagen and elastin fibers. A question that is constantly asked is, “is taking or even eating foods with vitamins enough for my skin?” If a client asks this, respond by suggesting they include a well-balanced skin care routine that contains high amounts of vitamins and antioxidants. Remember by the time the benefits of what is eaten is digested and dispersed throughout the body, the last place to get the benefits will be skin. Topical application of micronutrients can complement dieter consumption leading to a stronger, healthier protective barrier that is needed to protect the skin. Macro- and micronutrients work together to maintain the health and barrier function of the skin. Changes in nutritional habits can alter the structure and function of skin cells and directly impact the appearance of the skin.

IMPORTANCE OF ANTIOXIDANTS

First, what are free radicals? They are atoms or molecules that have unpaired electrons. These atoms are usually highly reactive. The body naturally generates free radicals during the normal metabolism process. Free radicals are created by an immune response in an attempt to fight against infection. However, while searching in the body for their electrons, they can become more dangerous and destructive if they do not find their electron. Over time, free radicals can cause extensive DNA damage. Antioxidants have the ability to donate an electron, without themselves becoming damaged or altered. Therefore, they can help prevent damage caused by these atoms. Antioxidants strengthen cells and protect collagen and elastin.

Vitamin A

This vitamin has many beneficial skin health properties. It has the ability to influence the cell's function to behave in a younger and healthier manner. Vitamin A can help normalize sebum production and help clear acneic skin by creating balance. It can inhibit tyrosine which helps pigmentation issues, stimulates fibroblast cells to promote healthy collagen and elastin, and creates cellular turnover to lead to healthy, glowing skin.

Vitamin C

Most clients know vitamin C as an immunity-boosting vitamin, which it is. For skin, it is crucial for healing and a very powerful antioxidant. It is beneficial in inhibiting melanin production, which will help even out skin tone and brighten the overall complexion. It can create hydration and decrease transepidermal water loss. It is great for collagen and elastin health and can even speed up the healing process after peels or too much sun exposure.

Vitamin E

A very powerful antioxidant and crucial for healing and protecting, this vitamin helps with cellular restoration after sun exposure. When it comes to moisturizing and soothing, it is a natural anti-inflammatory and can be very beneficial in strengthening the skin’s barrier.

Minerals

Some great minerals for skin include iron, selenium, copper, silica, and zinc. They are full of great benefits, such as immune-boosting benefits, preserving tissue elasticity, and collagen building. Silica is perhaps one of the most foundational minerals the body needs most. It helps create bonds between protein molecules to increase the skin's ability to retain water. It acts like a glue for collagen which provides strength and flexibility. It also brightens complexions and is a natural anti-inflammatory. Around the age of 25, silica production slows down, so make sure clients up to their food sources like melons, watermelons, artichokes, and asparagus, which are rich in silica.

While there are so many amazing skin and health benefits that these and other vitamins and minerals provide, not everyone can tolerate them on their skin or even take them orally. Encourage clients to get them from food. Advise them to consult with a doctor or pharmacist so they are taken safely. Start them off slowly by using any products that contain them, so one can see how clients will tolerate them.

Incorporate water and eating pattern questions into the consultation, as it can help aestheticians get an idea of what may be going on with the client’s skin. Skin care professionals can get an idea of whether or not their clients are eating foods with these powerful skin vitamins and otherwise guide them towards some foods they can incorporate into their daily intake. Do they eat a lot of dairy or gluten? If so, that may be a contributing factor as to why they are having more breakouts, especially on the lower half of the face. It is important to remember that most skin care professionals are not dietitians or nutritionists, so tread lightly on telling clients what they should or should not eat, especially if it does not fall under one’s scope of practice. Make suggestions, give advice, or even refer them to a specialist if necessary. Consider having one on hand to refer clients to.

DIETARY BREAKDOWN

Dairy

Dairy products can contain excess hormones, which have been thought to increase or exacerbate hormonal acne issues. Hormones from dairy, especially milk, can stimulate sebaceous gland activity. This can create an overproduction of oil and can plug or block follicles or pores and increase breakouts.

Carbohydrates

It is important to understand that not all carbohydrates are processed and handled the same by the body. Understanding the glycemic index, a guide that indicates how quickly blood glucose and insulin levels show up in the blood immediately after digesting carbohydrates can help a skin care professional understand which carbohydrates to eat or which to eat in moderation. Foods that cause a quick spike in glucose have a higher glycemic value. The more natural and unprocessed food is, the lower the index value and will not cause a spike in insulin levels. Lower levels create less inflammation which also helps keep down those free radicals in the body. Recommend the client to eat fruits, especially berries, as they are not only low on the glycemic scale but super high in antioxidants.

Sugar

A spike in blood sugar caused by the excess consumption of sugar in a diet can cause inflammation in the body. This inflammation results in redness, swelling, and stress amongst other things. Chronic inflammation can greatly affect skin tone and texture over time. Glycation occurs when any type of sugar is digested, and a release of glucose enters the bloodstream. The sugar then attaches itself to collagen weighing it down. Over time, this can lead to a weakening of collagen fibers, dry skin, and the reaction of skin-protecting antioxidants. If clients drink a lot of sugary soda or juices, they may be constantly causing inflammation. Encourage clients to slowly decrease their consumption of soda and drink healthier beverages. If they really enjoy the carbonation, of soda suggest they grab a bottle of seltzer water instead. Small changes can make a difference.

Gluten

A protein found in some loaves of bread and other types of processes can affect certain hormones and cause inflammation in those who are allergic to it. In addition to it causing pain to one’s gut, it can also have negative effects on skin health. People with allergies to gluten may find that their body's response is to see it as a foreign substance, which in turn, can cause irritation and inflammation to the body and the skin.

EXERCISE & SKIN

The importance of exercising and moving regularly also contributes to a bright and clear complexion. Adding in some daily exercise can round-out a skin health program. Exercise leads to an increase in blood circulation, which can lead to the skin receiving more oxygen and nutrients. Exercise also increases serotonin or the “feel-good hormone” levels. This can help with mood-stabilizing, increase overall well-being, and happiness. There is no denying the negative impact stress can have on the skin. Stress can lead to increased breakouts and oil production. It can even affect the proteins in the skin, which could reduce elasticity. Adding in 30 minutes of exercise three to five days a week can help keep stress away while simultaneously keeping skin clear, healthy, and glowing. Do not forget when sweating, a person loses fluids, so be sure to add in some more water to keep skin hydrated.

Asking clients questions about diet and nutrition can seem a bit personal or intrusive to the client. After all, they are there for a facial treatment or even to just relax a bit. Incorporating this into one’s consultation form can help aestheticians have a better handle on what may be going on with the client’s skin and how to give them some input on the great benefits of vitamins and minerals. Most people are just unaware of the great impact nutrition can have on skin health and conditions. The more education provided to clients, the more they may be willing to answer questions. Keep in mind what the scope of practice is when advising clients of potential changes, they could make to see the difference they are hoping for. Some people really just want that quick, overnight fix that they think comes from a bottle of hyaluronic acid or vitamin C, but aestheticians know that it is just not the way skin works. If clients are serious about making a change to help their skin, it starts from within. Give them the best advice, and refer them out when necessary, either to an in-house nutritionist or a reputable nutritionist in the area. The more skin care professionals understand how nutrition can play a crucial role in the skin, the better they can clients make some changes. Skin care professionals have the ability to help clients achieve a youthful glow, smooth a complexion, and to even clear some breakouts with just a few tweaks in their daily routine.

Remember, skin care professionals must also practice what they preach. If a skin care professional is not eating a variety of skin healthy foods or drinking enough water, make changes. Keep track of any changes in skin by taking pictures and sharing them with clients. It is important for clients to know that sometimes aestheticians also suffer from skin concerns and conditions and that even skin care professionals need to make changes to their daily routines to see an improvement. Sometimes skin care professionals can relate to clients on a personal level and can share their real-life experience of how to see a significant change in their skin instead of just selling them a product. So, eat, drink (water that is), and keep skin healthy, glowing, and beautiful.

 

 

 

 

2019 Andrea Gregaydis

 

 

Andrea Gregaydis is a licensed aesthetician and international CIDESCO diplomat. She holds multiple additional licenses as a New York state instructor and nail technician, as well as certified laser technician. Gregaydis is the lead instructor at the Aesthetic Science Institute and has over 10 years of experience as a practitioner, team coordinator, and role model for hundreds of future skin care professionals. She is contributing author to top industry trade magazines, as well as a speaker at various aesthetics conferences across the United States. She is also a CIDESCO International Examiner.

Consultation Salvation: The Importance of a Thorough Consultation

One of the best things a skin care professional can do for each one of their clients is a thorough and complete consultation form. This is perhaps one of the most crucial components of a treatment service, and without it, clients could be missing out on the most effective services. Potentially, skin care professional could cause more harm to a client than good because of a missed important contraindication. Every client will have far different needs, concerns, and expectations. Even if a client comes in weekly or monthly for treatments, it is very possible that something has changed, whether it be their skin condition, their medications taken, or even their health conditions. The only way to know this is by asking some key questions each visit.

 

 

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2019 Andrea Gregaydis

 

 

Andrea Gregaydis is a licensed aesthetician and International CIDESCO Diplomat. She holds multiple additional licenses as a New York state instructor and nail technician, as well as certified laser technician. Gregaydis is the lead instructor at the Aesthetic Science Institute and has over 10 years of experience as a practitioner, team coordinator, and role model for hundreds of future skin care professionals. She is a contributing author to top industry trade magazines, as well as a speaker at various aesthetics conferences across the United States.

Understanding Iontophoresis

Electric current in a treatment room can provide many effective benefits to the client. It often goes un-utilized during skin care treatments, especially for new aestheticians. This is usually due to inexperience, fear, or lack of knowledge, but once perfected, it can be an amazing addition to skin care treatments.

 

 

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Finding a Network: Aesthetician Self-Care Through Support

We have all heard the term self-care, seems like everywhere you look nowadays it is being promoted, but what does it mean? Well, I think that varies from person to person; however, what is universal is that it is necessary.

Aestheticians work day-in and day-out providing care, sometimes even their clients self-care, helping people feel and look their best, setting them up for a lifetime of healthy and beautiful skin. One of the best parts about our job is knowing the impact aestheticians skills have on our clients’ skin health and well-being, how we can change someone’s day, help them reduce stress, and promote overall happiness, but what about you?

  

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2019 Andrea Gregaydis

 

 

Andrea Gregaydis is a licensed aesthetician and International CIDESCO Diplomat. She holds multiple additional licenses as a New York state instructor and nail technician, as well as certified laser technician. Gregaydis is the lead instructor at the Aesthetic Science Institute and has over 10 years of experience as a practitioner, team coordinator, and role model for hundreds of future skin care professionals. She is a contributing author to top industry trade magazines, as well as a speaker at various aesthetics conferences across the United States.

Post Peel Protocol: Best Practices Following Chemical Exfoliation

Before discussing all things post-exfoliation, it is necessary to talk a little about pre-care. There are several factors that help aestheticians decide and determine which peel or exfoliating treatment may be best suited for their clients.

 

Some of the biggest factors that play a part of the skin’s condition include medical conditions, medications, lifestyle, homecare, Fitzpatrick types, and so on. In order to obtain this information, a thorough client consultation must be performed each time clients have an appointment at the spa. Do not think because a client has been coming to the spa for years that they will automatically think to mention any changes that have occurred in their lives, such as medical changes, pregnancy, medications, and other changes. This is why it is crucial for a consultation with each visit. This is also a chance to explain the expectations and responsibilities that will help protect their skin before, during, and after treatment. Remember, homecare accounts for 80% of the skin’s condition. Once the client leaves the treatment room, their skin is in their hands. It is, however, 100% the professional’s responsibility to prepare them and educate them on all things pre- and post-care.

 

PRE-PEEL CONSIDERATIONS

 

So, let’s talk briefly about pre-peel considerations. Any medical conditions where a client’s healing time is slowed or somewhat altered, such as diabetes or autoimmune disorders, should be avoided or, at the very least, under the authorization of a medical doctor. Clients do not always understand what contraindications there may be that are associated with certain conditions. They may experience a change in their skin due to their illness and may be desperate for help. It is the professional’s job to say no when it may be best for the client’s skin.

 

Certain medications, such as antibiotics, steroids, or antihistamines, can sensitize the skin. Clients should be off of them for five to seven days, depending on the medication, to allow their skin time to recover. Antihistamines may not be as much of a concern, but they could very well dehydrate the skin, which could slow the healing process.

 

Lifestyle should be considered for several reasons, including if the client spends a lot of time outdoors, whether for work or for fun. Skin will be extremely photosensitive, and with some peels, sun should be avoided for several weeks, even with sunscreen use. Smoking and alcohol use can also have an impact on the skin’s hydration. Lack of oxygen to the epidermis from tobacco use can also slow down the skin’s healing process.

 

Homecare is essential. Clients’ skin should be used to alpha hydroxy acids or other exfoliating treatments prior to any peel treatment. Clients should have, at the very least, a basic homecare regimen to ensure that they understand and will follow through on proper care of their skin post-care.

 

A thorough understanding of Fitzpatrick types is essential for any advanced treatment. Chemical peels can trigger melanin production, due to inflammation. The professional may need to consider whether a tyrosinase inhibitor is necessary for clients to use for a few weeks prior to a treatment and to continue to use while the skin is healing.

 

These are just a few things to consider prior to treatment. Knowing how to treat the skin properly, by getting clients’ skin in optimal condition prior to a peel, will significantly influence post-treatment results.

 

POST-CARE

 

When it comes to post-exfoliation or post-treatment, it is important to understand that there are different protocols for each type of treatment and each depth of peel that is performed.

 

Peels range anywhere from lunch time or no downtime peels to some that require a week or more of down time. Having a thorough understanding and knowledge of various types of peels and what falls under the skin care professional’s scope of practice is imperative before performing any advanced treatment. Skin care professionals must not only protect themselves, but also their clients, as well.

 

To begin, it is always important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on the proper use and precautions of the specific peels used. It is also imperative to make sure the specific peels are approved and safe to use on all Fitzpatrick types.

 

Preparing a client for what their recovery time will be is something that should be discussed ahead of time, as well as frequency of peel and future course of action.

 

Low Depth Peels

 

Lunch time peels, or peels in which the client generally does not have to hide from the public for a few days, are lower level lactic, glycolic, and even alpha beta acids. These are under the category of light or very light depth peels. The client truly can come in on a lunch break and leave with their skin beautiful and glowing if they want to. They can put makeup on technically but should be discouraged. With their skin so recently worked on, and not knowing how often they clean their makeup brushes or sponges, their makeup tools could unknowingly be breeding grounds for bacteria. Also, their skin, depending on the client, may be a bit pink, which generally will subside within an hour or so.

 

Some clients may experience a bit of sensitivity when they touch their face afterwards, but overall, they should feel great. With any peel, no matter the level chosen, the most important step for their skin is sunscreen. If they choose their peel series in the summer, encouraging them to stay out of the direct sun for a few days, even with sunscreen, is recommended. With any exfoliating or peeling treatment, skin could be much more photosensitive. Why risk any pigmentation issues for clients if the goal is to get rid of what they already have? Explain to clients why this is important and the potential side effects of sun exposure after peels. As mentioned earlier, the professional can only control so much of what goes on when a client leaves the treatment room, but they need to educate them on all risks and side effects. With a thorough client consultation, this would have already been done. Send them home with the same information, so they have it to look back on. Encourage clients to avoid sweating for 24 hours and no gym time because of the risk of bacteria. A lot of people work out, then run errands or do things around the house before washing their faces. They should avoid extreme heat directly on their faces from warm towels, hot tubs, saunas, and so forth, as these could increase the amount of erythema or redness the client may experience and they could feel a bit flushed and have a little feeling of activity. Clients that tend to experience a bit more sensitivity or even light flakiness can apply a topical ointment, such as Aquaphor, or anything that will provide an occlusive barrier to help prevent the skin from feeling too dry and irritating. They can reapply as needed. This usually is not necessary for low-grade peels, but everyone has a different experience afterward.

 

For the most part, clients can, in fact, pick up with their same homecare routine the following day after low depth peels. They may want to avoid any abrasive exfoliating treatments for a few days. Any alpha hydroxy acids products or ingredients may also be something they want to consider taking a few days off from. If dealing with an acne client who uses salicylic acids or benzoyl peroxide, tell them to pick back up with those around day three. This gives any sensitivity for already potentially sensitive skin a little more time to subside and heal.

 

Clients can normally have low depth peels done in a series of six, recommended weekly, about five to seven days apart, for six weeks. Then, give their skin about six weeks before starting another series, if necessary. These peels are also great as event peels in preparation for a party, the holidays, or a wedding. Just make sure to have experience with the client’s skin and know how they may react beforehand. Also, give them a few days to heal before their event. Vitamin C serums are a great product for samples and retail. This will help to heal the skin nicely afterward and will help with any potential pigmentation issues they may have. Low depth peels are a great way to introduce clients to peels. The word peel tends to scare some people, as they assume they are going to lose all of their skin like a snake. Prepare them by letting them know everyone reacts differently, but that these peels should result in mild flakiness, at most. Generally, there are very few, if any, side effects on the skin.

 

Advanced Peels

 

When moving up to more advanced peels, such as Jessners or TCA blended peels, there is more that goes into the appointment and aftercare. Clients may experience more immediate activity or sensitivity while the peel is applied. If necessary, these peels may be layered to make them more intense. The downtime of these peels will be much more significant – seven to 10 days of downtime on average. These peels may have significant peeling associated with them. The use of an occlusive barrier is a must until the skin completely heals. There should not be any water applied to the skin for at least 24 hours after the peel. Clients can, however, apply sunscreen and Aquaphor, or similar, after the peel. Advise clients that absolutely no makeup should be applied for at least seven days after. This tends to be one the biggest issues clients seem to have when deciding on whether or not to choose these peels. It is important to explain the risk of bacteria, especially with skin peeling and new skin forming underneath. Clients that tend to pick may not be suitable to receive these peels, as the risk of them peeling off skin that is not ready is high. Doing so will disrupt the skin’s healing process and increase risk of infection, as well as pigmentation issues. Clients should avoid touching their faces until their skin heals. Even after that, encourage them to stop touching their faces.

 

For the first 24 hours, clients can reapply ointment as often as necessary. After 24 hours, they can lightly rinse their face with cool water, pat dry, and reapply their ointment. On day three, they can use a mild cleanser, such as an oil or light milk cleanser, to clean their faces, followed by application of the ointment. They should start seeing some peeling or light flaking around day three to four. Many clients tend to think that they should let their skin stay tight and dry, but, in reality, it is ideal for them to stay hydrated. So, continuing the application of their ointment is crucial until all the skin has shed and healed. A basic daily moisturizer will not give clients enough moisture on the skin; from day three on, their skin will absorb it very quickly. They can start to use a vitamin C serum around day four, which will be helpful with the healing process. If clients tend to peel quickly in some areas, specifically around the mouth, the skin underneath may not be ready and may be very raw. If this happens, they can use mix of vinegar and water and apply it with a cold compress for several minutes. This method helps take some of the burn they may feel from the exposed skin. Avoid any alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy acids or harsh acne products until the skin is completely healed. Manual or scrub exfoliation can be added back after around 10 days, as long as the client does not have any sensitivity to touch.

 

Encourage clients to allow a full seven days of healing before applying any makeup or going back to their daily skin care routine. Direct sun should be avoided for several weeks to a month after the peel. Their skin will be extremely photosensitive for a time, making this is a great peel during the fall and winter months, when clients may not be as exposed to direct sun. Sunscreen should be worn always.

 

Clients that need to can receive advanced peels every eight to 10 weeks, until they see the results they are looking for. Not all manufacturers will recommend this, so do research on what your brand states. Clients should follow up in about 10 to 14 days to receive an enzyme facial. This will help to dissolve any remaining dead skin that is hanging around. It also gives the professional an opportunity to see how the skin has been healing and to know whether the client is following through on homecare and specific directions. After about month, results can be maintained with the lower-grade peels weekly, if necessary. Any homecare ingredients containing acids specific to the client’s concerns are a great way to maintain results between peel treatments. Any cleansers, resurfacing pads, or moisturizers that have acids such as lactic, glycolic, or salicylic will benefit the client.

 

It is the professional’s job to make sure clients are comfortable from start to finish. Always be honest with the fact that they will feel some activity, but keep in mind each client is different. A follow-up call a day or two after their peel will help make sure the client understands the correct procedures to protect their skin. This also gives the opportunity to make sure that they know what is normal and what may be a concern. Encourage them to take pictures every other day, starting the day of their peel, to see the results. They may not notice a significant difference until they look back at the before pictures, when they will notice their new glowing, healthy, beautiful skin.

 

 

2019 Andrea Gregaydis

 

 

Andrea Gregaydis is a licensed aesthetician and International CIDESCO Diplomat. She holds multiple additional licenses as a New York state instructor and nail technician, as well as certified laser technician. Gregaydis is the lead instructor at the Aesthetic Science Institute and has over 10 years of experience as a practitioner, team coordinator, and role model for hundreds of future skin care professionals. She is a contributing author to top industry trade magazines, as well as a speaker at various aesthetics conferences across the United States.

January 2023

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