It is that time of year again – when people crave those sun rays and show off their skin. Exfoliation is an important step in any skin care routine to help clients achieve that smooth, healthy summer glow.
Before getting into the mechanics and details of physical exfoliation, it is important to review the basics. The skin is the body’s largest organ and is a vital, complex system that is in a constant state of renewal. The most superficial layer of the skin is the epidermis, which is made up of five layers that are divided into two zones. The epidermis is comprised of sheets of either dead or dying skin cells and acts as a barrier from the world.
On its own, the skin sheds one surface layer of dead skin cells every 24-hours and renews itself through a process of cell division over three to four weeks. Any form of exfoliation, whether chemical or physical, is just helping to expedite this natural process of shedding and renewal.
As mentioned before, there are two types exfoliation: chemical and physical. This article will focus on physical exfoliation methods but, in the name of covering the basics, chemical exfoliation would include ingredients such as alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), or enzymes to provide the exfoliation.
Because skin is constantly renewing itself, buildup of dead skin cells can happen fairly easily. This can lead to a host of uncomfortable problems that can cause clients not to feel their best. Exfoliation helps remove these layers of buildup to reveal brighter, healthier skin!
It should be noted that these benefits are not exclusive to physical exfoliation but are also applicable to chemical methods, as well.
Helps Heal Dry Skin
Dry skin is basically a buildup of dead skin cells and can cause skin to appear sallow and dull. By exfoliating, those layers of dead skin cells are removed to reveal the younger, living skin underneath. Regular exfoliation is just one step in helping to keep dry skin at its most optimum condition.
Increases Blood Circulation
The mechanics behind exfoliation typically involve using slight pressure and circular motions which will help increase blood circulation to the area being exfoliated. This increased blood circulation promotes new skin cell production.
Prevents and Treats Ingrown Hairs
Ingrown hairs are unsightly and annoying to deal with. They are essentially hair trapped beneath the skin and exfoliation can help liberate ingrowns and prevent future ones by keeping dry skin at bay.
Releases Clogged Pores
Excess oil and keratin can get trapped in the skin, leading to clogged pores. In turn, this causes stubborn issues, such as blackheads and blemishes, to crop up. Exfoliating helps to release the dirt, oil, and keratin to reveal cleaner, smaller pores.
There are a ton of topical skin treatments out there for acne, but the effectiveness of these products depends on how well the client’s skin can receive them. Proper exfoliation can help pave the way for easier absorption of skin care products.
The simplest way to define physical exfoliation is the use of either a tool (brush, towel, or sponge) or a substance (salt, sugar, rice, beads, and so forth.) to loosen and remove dead or dying skin cells. It does not matter what skin type the client has – dry, oily, combination, normal, aging, or teenage – exfoliation should be a regular part of your routine one to three times per week.
This is a very simple and easy way to get exfoliation done. As the name suggests, all that is needed is an exfoliation tool of choice and the client’s body. The client should gently brush their skin, being careful not to be too aggressive with pressure and motions. If dry brushing for the first time, it might take a few sessions before the client really sees results. They should also try dry brushing before a shower or bath and should always make sure to hydrate afterwards.
This is professional exfoliation for the face. Microdermabrasion is performed by a licensed professional and involves the removal of the center most layer of the skin cells and helps promote cell growth. This method of exfoliation can be beneficial for people with wrinkles and scarring.
Dead Sea Salt
With a whole host of benefits, 21 different minerals, and a more rounded shape, Dead Sea salt is a great substance to use for physical exfoliation. This salt is ideal for the body, as it can help detoxify skin. Typically, Dead Sea salt products can be comprised of either just plain salt or combined with other essential oils or lotions.
A Dead Sea salt scrub can be used either in the shower or by itself. For shower use, just scoop out the desire amount of product onto their hands and rub into the skin in circular motions towards the heart. Then they simply rinse off while in the shower. For use by itself, it is best to exfoliate somewhere they can easily clean and rinse off, such as a bath. Like the shower, the client scoops out the desired amount and begins exfoliating. To really lock in the benefits, instead of simply rinsing the salt scrub off, the client can wet their hands and seep the product into the skin. Then, they should pat dry and apply moisturizer to finish off.
Clients should avoid using Dead Sea salt on the face and open cuts or wounds. Use on these areas can cause irritation.
Another often-used substance is sugar. Considering the havoc too much sugar in a diet can wreak on the body, it is amazing how many benefits external use can have! For one, sugar was often used as a healing aid and to help prevent infection, as bacteria cannot breed in high concentrations of sugar (hence it is use as a food preservative). Like Dead Sea salt, sugar crystals can be small and round enough to cause less skin abrasion when used as an exfoliant, while still effective for the task.
While safe for use on the whole body, sugar scrubs really separate themselves from Dead Sea salt thanks to their ability to be used on the face. Just like with any other method though, being extremely gentle when dealing with the face is key.
The last exfoliation option is to go for a professional sugaring hair removal service. While the treatment tends to focus on the hair removal aspect, the nature of the technique and the paste also provides a great skin exfoliation treatment.
There are other ingredients that can be used for physical exfoliation, but when purchasing a product, always check the ingredient list. Try not to use products that include larger sized exfoliants, such as fruit pits, nut shells, or similar substances that are more jagged. These can cause micro-tears in the skin and excess abrasion. Always look for smaller and finer exfoliants or ones with a more rounded shape.
Microdermabrasion, Dead Sea salt, and sugar are exfoliation methods that can be relatively easy to add to a salon menu. Though a shower is the optimal option for having client’s wash off, any treatment using scrubs can also be cleaned off simply using a towel. Overall, the size of the treatment room and the materials and products available will ultimately determine which physical exfoliation methods to offer clients.
Here are some quick tips to have clients consider before they begin any kind of exfoliation routine.
Find a method that fits their skin type; while exfoliation is beneficial for all skin types, not all methods work for every skin type. For instance, people with dry, sensitive, or acne-prone skin should consider using milder forms of physical exfoliation, while those who might have oily or rougher skin should try using stronger methods.
Always be gentle, regardless of skin type or method used. This includes using gentle pressure while exfoliating and rinsing with lukewarm water instead of hot. Also, pat the face dry with a soft towel instead of rubbing.
Create a routine that works for the individual. Regular exfoliation is a must for any skin care regimen but not everyone’s skin reacts the same. The recommendation is one to three times per week, but some clients might need something different. Clients know their skin the best. They should experiment and create a schedule that works for them.
Moisturizing is a must – after any exfoliating, always apply moisturizer immediately after to lock in the benefits and keep skin glowing and hydrated. Because exfoliation can be drying, this is a step clients should never miss!
Clients should also consider their existing routine, paying attention to the products and ingredients they are currently using before exfoliating as some of these might cause increases in skin sensitivity leading to breakouts or exacerbating skin dryness. Things to be especially mindful of are peels and serums, along with some medications.
As the summer season continues, exfoliation should be at the forefront of every person’s skin care regimen, if it is not already. Determining the right method and consistency is all about getting to know one’s own skin.
Lina Kennedy is a chief pioneer, collecting many feathers in her cap. An expert on professional sugaring, Kennedy regularly writes articles for industry magazines in North America and Europe. As president of Alexandria Professional, one of her personal goals is to ensure that each professional trained in the art of body sugaring learns and understands the exceptional results that they and their clients can achieve through The Kennedy Theory™ for sugaring and The Kennedy Technique Theory.™
Body sugaring has been a staple of the beauty and skin care industries for a long time; it originated as an ancient Egyptian method of hair removal. As time has evolved, so, too, has sugaring. The professional technique that revolutionized the way sugaring is performed arrived on the market 25 years ago and has been one of the most sought-after hair removal techniques ever since. And, while the sugaring paste used by ancient Egyptians has not drastically changed, modern technology – and a lot of dedication and patience – has made it much easier to perfect formulations.
People are curious by nature and, for the most part, the more they know, the more likely they are to either try something new, make recommendations to friends and family, or become repeat customers. Taking advantage of this observation in the treatment room is a must for anyone looking to obtain loyal, well-informed customers who truly appreciate the professional’s work. It also does not hurt to increase retail sales, either.
The process of detoxification can come in numerous forms, but the underlying goal is to rid the body of toxins to improve its natural processes. Think of the word “toxin” as an all-encompassing term for any substance that impacts a person’s health and body in a negative way. People are constantly breathing in pollutants or ingesting synthetic ingredients that are harmful to their bodies. The following 10 factors should be kept in mind when helping a client with body detoxification or if the client is simply curious.
Sun exposure is something everyone needs to stay healthy. Soaking in the warm sun is a relaxing way to enjoy a vacation, but how much sun is too much? With summer in full affect, it is time to consider the truth surrounding the old wives' tale of sun exposure being beneficial for acne.
Dry skin is something everyone tends to experience, especially when outside forces, such as dry weather, indoor heating, and cold winters, play a role. When clients are experiencing dry skin, exfoliating treatments are key to bringing back their healthy, glowing skin! Dead Sea salt is especially beneficial for those who suffer from dry skin. Not only do the salt grains exfoliate the skin, but they also deliver a dose of beneficial minerals!
Missed opportunities happen even to the best spas. They happen every day and skin care professionals often do not realize how many there are until the missed revenue is more than evident. By minimizing missed opportunities, spa owners can maximize client reach. The process may not feel or be easy at times, but it can be made achievable.
When it comes to professional treatments that have gone wrong, there can be several different causes, including allergic reactions, equipment malfunctions, and misdiagnoses. The most important actions skin care professionals can take to help their clients is to determine the cause of the skin reaction, mollify and help to heal the affected area, and prevent it from reoccurring in the future.
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.
Young girls are often told by their mothers, grandmothers, and sometimes even a skin care professional that shaving will cause their hair to grow back thicker and darker. Is there any truth behind this belief or is it just an old wives tale? If this statement were true, anyone who has ever suffered from balding would be shaving their heads religiously, expecting the regrowth to solve all of their problems. On the other end of the spectrum, any client who has been shaving for years would be covered with a tremendous amount of thick hair.
From using homecare products to a variety of professional treatments, people spend a lot of money to be hair free. Take commercials, for instance, which range from shaving to waxing to homecare lasers. There are even comedic hair removal takes on social media. The message is crystal clear, hair removal is big business! How do professionals tap into this widespread need?
One of the most common occurrences in waxing is skin lifting or tearing. Professionals should understand the difference between the two so that they can better determine if they can help soothe the client’s skin or if they should refer them for medical attention.
Bacteria can come in many different shapes and sizes with varying degrees of severity. It is important to note that not all bacteria are bad, as many of them are helpful and essential to life. The difference between non-pathogenic and pathogenic bacteria is that non-pathogenic bacteria is considered useful, while pathogenic bacteria (such as germs) are more dangerous because they can carry diseases. When it comes to aesthetics, pathogenic bacteria presents reasons for concern.
Your clients may have outgrown Halloween, but do not let them outgrow masking as an ongoing skin regimen! Do them a big favor and advise them to get masked if they have not already started!
How do you market your business in your community? Having your own business/being an entrepreneur can be a very challenging job. You are required to sell yourself and your products, yet nobody really wants to be sold. So, how can you thrive with your business in your community? Here are some simple steps to help you reach your goals.
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.
If you don't already cater your services to the men in your vicinity, or if you limit your services to haircuts, you are selling yourself short. That is to say, you are selling your business short on its potential profitability.
Haven't you noticed "for men only – hair care & more" places popping up all over North America? And, it's fast becoming a hot commodity! So don't wait until one pops open in your neighborhood before you realize that all those guys could be your customers!
We are so lucky to live in a time where options are in abundance. And we certainly have more options than ever when it comes to hair removal methods: shaving, electrolysis, laser, threading, waxing, and … here's where the confusion comes in… we have sugaring.
That's correct, sugaring is a validated option of its own just like all the other options. So, why is it that the mass of people (other than trained professional sugaring practitioners) categorize sugaring as waxing? They believe that sugaring is just another form of waxing, which would be understandable if the technique and theory were the same, but they are not; in fact, they are quite opposite.
So then, why call it waxing or even sugar-waxing? Well, I believe I can shed light on the issue to explain how this came about by using the following analogy.
Don't be shy take the whole bowl! I think it's absolutely amazing that something like sugar can play such havoc on our health when ingested, yet when used externally it can be so wonderful in helping to create order in our outer most skin cells' appearance You might be thinking that "creating order" is somewhat of a peculiar way to describe skin, but in reality the skin's structure can certainly expose a less than orderly skin care regimen. I get so frustrated and very excited all in the same moment whenever I take a look at someone's skin and its most noticeable characteristics are patchy skin cells, sallow appearance, and worst of all ingrown hairs.
A couple of decades ago, offering cream and sugar for anything other than coffee or tea would have sounded quite ridiculous! But in today's realm of aesthetics and cosmetics promoting coffee and chocolate to soothe even the jitteriest skin, or offering sugar as a real hair removal solution to an age-old problem is very realistic. And as post treatment, applying a good trans-dermal cream to hydrate and moisturize the skin is simply a great, soothing and natural way to complete your sugaring service.
We, as the consumers, have a tendency to spend a noted amount of money to rejuvenate our faces and at best our décolletés. But what happens to the rest of the largest organ of the body? It cries out for help by mimicking the Sahara, an alligator, the Rocky Mountains … well you get the idea.
Now, I can write this article to you my colleagues, my friends and my customers as a nice, light but quirky piece with some educational value, however I decided to simply have a heart to heart with you. Having the pleasure and privilege of meeting people from all walks of life, from all over the world, I have met incredibly knowledgeable people who go the distance to create healthy choices for skin care.
Professional body sugaring continues to demonstrate how multi-beneficial it really is when the correct education is provided for technique and theory. And you should have an opportunity to learn even more once you are certified so that you fully comprehend the variety of treatments applications your salon/spa can offer with it… from hair removal treatment options to “skin conditioning treatments” which you guessed it – includes eczema and psoriasis.