Michelle D'Allaird-Brenner

Michelle D'Allaird-Brenner

Latham, NY

Preparing for Summer

The month of May is truly one of those transitional months that is like a bursting ball of energy. Flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, temperatures are sneaking up the thermometer, and those extra hours and warmth of sunlight are dominating the days – it’s the best.

 

Now, with that being said, let’s talk a bit about reality. This transitional month moves us right into the summer months of sun-drenched skin and unavoidable amounts of ultraviolet exposure. We all know the facts, we know the consequences, and we also know that preaching to clients about sun protection is often like talking to a wall.

 

The skin care professional’s job is to do our best to care protect the health of our client’s skin year-round. This means sun protection year-round, as well. Daily sun protection factor is as essential in the winter months as it is in the summer, regardless of location. One of the things often neglected is the daily use of sun protection factor on the body, too. I completely understand that your bottom does not see as much ultraviolet radiation on a daily basis as your face, but the daily regimen sure can’t hurt. Furthermore, today’s sunscreen formulations are so wonderful that most also contain amazing hydrating and antioxidant ingredients – all benefits to healthy, youthful skin.

 

Another area that has greatly improved is sunless tanners and spray tan applications. These are hands down the most ideal ways to show off a sun-kissed look without ultraviolet damage. They provide no sun protection factor protection, but they do allow clients to look as if they spent hours on the beach in the tropics.

 

So, this month, be sure to stop and smell the flowers, listen to the birds, and smile at sun’s rays – just don’t forget your SPF.

Hairless Heaven

The simplest, fastest, most cost effective way to boost revenue in any beauty business is with hair removal services, especially waxing. The hands of a skilled waxing professional will boost a bottom line in the blink of an eye, and there truly is not a hotter demand than a smooth, hairless face and body.

 

Hair removal services have been at the top of the beauty service “food chain” for years and for good reason. Not only is hair removal in high demand, but it has the ability to generate amazing revenue with very little cost and very little time.

 

Waxing is what I call a “love-hate” type of service. I hear it from the students in my school all the time, as well as the professionals in the field. They either love to wax or they want absolutely nothing to do with it.

 

Here is my take – if you can wax and you are good at it, you will always be generating revenue. From a simple lip, eyebrow, and chin, to a more extensive arm, leg, and bikini wax, a skilled waxer can knock off any of these services in no time at all. Go one step further and master the Brazilian bikini wax – you have now skyrocketed to the top of the hairless heavens.

 

The secret to waxing success is quality wax, skilled technique, thorough consultation, and practice, practice, practice. Choose a wax company that can provide you with top-quality wax, tips, tricks, techniques, and education, and that offers you excellent customer service.

 

Lastly, now, more than ever, is the ideal time to fine tune your waxing skills as we enter the spring and summer months when clothing begins to get minimal and bare bodies are ready to soak up the sunshine. Time to get your wax on!

Endless Possibilities

How often have you heard someone make the statement, “You never know where you’ll end up?” I have heard it countless times, but I have said it even more.

 

The fact of the matter is – you just never know.

 

As we roll into the start of tradeshow season, it is the ideal time to keep your eyes, ears, and mind wide open to everything going on around you. The array of new products and equipment, the astounding wealth of information and education, and the plethora of networking opportunities are endless.

 

The tradeshow experience offers the opportunity to network with fellow professionals, manufacturers, distributors, sales representatives, educators, marketers, and influencers. When you take advantage of this opportunity, you open doors that you never even knew were closed. You open yourself to unforeseen knowledge and growth potential that may never have been presented to you in the past or may never have been a possibility.

 

I will share with you my unforeseen experiences. By writing an article, I found myself on stage at a tradeshow. By speaking on stage, I found myself hosting conferences. By writing, speaking, and hosting, I found myself contributing to textbook development. By all the above, I have found myself educating tens of thousands of skin care professionals in over 30 countries around the world and opening one of the top 10 international aesthetics schools in the United States. Not bad for a small town girl from upstate New York. Now, don’t get me wrong – none of this was easy and none of it was handed to me. It took hard work, perseverance, and courage, but none of it would have been possible without the people that I met and the connections that I made along the way.

 

My point is that quite often we don’t have a clear path of where we want to go or a clear vision of our future – and that is okay. When you keep your eyes, ears, and mind wide open to everything going on around you, and take advantage of networking opportunities, you never know where you’ll end up.

Advancing the Industry

So often, I make note of the rapid advancement in technology and ingredients in the skin care profession, but you cannot avoid it, and you cannot ignore it. Today, technology and devices to enhance aesthetic treatments abound. Every time you turn around there is a new gadget running rampant on the market.

 

There are many different views on the use of technology and gadgets in skin care, us old timers will say that nothing beats the power of touch, and as true of a statement that that may be, there are an awful lot of close contenders.

 

The fact of the matter is that there exists a rapidly growing list of items that have a profound impact upon the health, beauty, and condition of the skin. From the early original use of galvanic current and high frequency (which in the United States dates back to the early 1920s) to microdermabrasion, LED, microcurrent, and the many controversial technologies lingering on the edge of scope of practice, there is clearly a long withstanding line of equipment that fuels the evolutionary skin care fire.

 

Turn the page and look at the advancement in ingredients and it will further blow your mind. From the emergence of age altering acids and antioxidants in the 1980s and 1990s to today’s focus on alpha hydroxy acid alternatives, CBD oil, and stem cells, we are literally turning back the hands of time.

 

When you stand back and look at what skin care professionals have available at their fingertips, it is not a surprise that skin care professionals have become the go-to professional source for clients seeking exceptionally healthy skin achieved with the latest and greatest technology and ingredients – not to mention the ability to look years young

Getting Ahead of Acne

There are very few things that remain a constant in the skin care profession. Every day brings new products, high-quality ingredients, advanced technologies, and equipment. Yet, a few things do remain the same: the desire for youthful, hefty skin, the on-going battle to turn back the hands of time, and the effortless attempt to combat acne breakouts.

 

When it comes to improving acneic skin and preventing breakouts, there are five things that a professional must know. First, you must be acutely aware of the four etiological factors of acne because they never change. These factors include the presence of bacteria (particularly P.acnes), increased sebum production, excess keratinization, and hormonal triggers. When you are well schooled on these factors and the wide variety of things that influence them, you are well on your way to acne management.

 

Second, you must absolutely have a solid understanding of your clients’ lifestyle and habits. Critical daily activities and interactions have a substantial impact on the physiological workings of the human body, as well as the triggers of acne’s etiological factors. Sleep habits, stress levels, exercise routine, and eating habits are key to understand. Next is illness, medications, product use, and daily skin care routine. In so many situations, the little things that get overlooked have the greatest impact on the function of the skin.

 

Combatting acneic skin is a challenge. Taking a holistic approach and applying that information to the acne’s underlying factors will put you ahead of the game every time.

The Power to Age Healthily

As the topic for this month’s welcome letter came in, I just so happened to be reading a book on why we age and why we do not have to. Quite the interesting read, but it plays right into the topic of healthy aging.

 

Most of us look at aging as an inevitable process, as something that is bound to happen regardless of our actions, lifestyle, and choices. But what if it was not inevitable? What if we really could stop the hands of time or even turn them back?

 

I know it sounds a bit farfetched, but how wonderful would it be if it were reality? For the time being, let’s assume that we have such power and that it lies in the control of our choices to live a healthy lifestyle – one that will attribute itself to healthy aging.

 

What might this look like? I think it would be different for every one of us, yet I also think that a few constants would remain, such as inner peace, acceptance of self, proper nutrition, adequate sleep, daily exercise, laughter, love, contentment, and goals.

 

As skin care professionals, our influence on healthy aging is enormous. We have the ability to provide inner peace and acceptance, if only for an hour or so. We can share our knowledge of the impact that nutrition, sleep, and exercise have on the skin and we can offer the opportunity to laugh, love life, show contentment in our practice, and help create healthy beauty goals.

 

Yes, we have big shoes to fill, but it is for these reasons that our profession continues to soar amongst the fastest growing professions in the country. Be proud to know your dominant role in the future of healthy beauty.

Rite of Passage

It’s hard to believe that summer is over, and that Autumn is in full swing. Where do the days go? I recently had a yoga instructor make the most beautiful comment about the changing of seasons. She said that they were like a rite of passage – permission to close out the prior growth period of life and start anew – permission to refresh, renew, and revive yourself, your life, and your surroundings. Her statement struck me as one of the most beautiful, freeing things I had heard.

 

So, how does this fit into this month’s welcome letter? Well, you can apply it any way you like. From a simplicity standpoint, begin by applying it to your daily surroundings. Apply this rite of passage to your work environment. The design and layout of your treatment room, work area, or even full spa can benefit from the change of seasons.

 

Take a step back and look around. Does the layout and design of your work environment suit you? Does it allow for flow, access, and ease of use? Does it wrap its arms around you and invite clients to stay?

 

Take advantage of this amazing time of year to optimize your space. Move things around, add a little color, or change the direction of the carpet or the sign above the door. We spend more time at work than we spend anywhere else. When you optimize your workspace, you optimize your work life, which has a beautiful impact on everything else around you.

Exfoliation Experts

There are so many aspects of a professional skin care treatment that are vital to the health and wellness of the skin, yet the one area that requires crystal clear attention is exfoliation. Skin of every age and every type can benefit from proper exfoliation – the key word being proper. From youthful, sensitive, oily, and acneic skin to sun-damaged, aged, dehydrated, and mature skin – all can reap the rewards of exfoliation.

 

 As skin care experts, our job is to provide expert exfoliation. This requires having an acute understanding of the skin and an even more acute understanding of exfoliation ingredients. It is often easy to get caught up in the hottest and newest craze of exfoliation techniques and ingredients, but the reality is, not every treatment is for every person.

 

The one thing that remains constant is the necessity to provide a thorough consultation and pair the determination of that consult with proper ingredients. When this process is expertly executed, the benefits to the client are priceless. It is this process and these results that have positioned professional aestheticians as the clients’ right-hand skin care partners in achieving healthy, youthful, beautiful skin.

 

Whether it be chemical or mechanical exfoliants, or a combination of both, be the professional expert that you are. Use your knowledge and expertise to deliver expert exfoliation benefits and keep clients coming back.

Embracing Alternative Services

For over 30 years, I have watched our industry explode into a force in which we would never have imagined, with technology, ingredients, and equipment that truly change the face of the business. Although health and wellness have always been a component of our industry, now, more than ever, they are taking center stage.

 

The topic of alternative medicine is a tricky one, clearly not our scope of practice, yet an integral part of the condition of the skin. Let’s be clear – our scope of practice does not include any type of medical practice, nor does it include prescribing supplements or dietary alternatives. What we can do is share our knowledge and understanding of any of these topics and what we know can be beneficial to clients. The inner-outer beauty connection is a given – you reflect on the outside the health of the inside.

 

That being said, the world of alternative treatments and medicine lies right at your fingertips. Alternative practices focus on the whole individual. They take into account emotional, psychological, and physical well-being. In this day and age, we clearly see the link between emotional health, physical health, youthfulness, and beauty. Alternative therapies strengthen these connections and provide us with the ability to educate clients on the vast amount of opportunities that they have to positively enhance their lives in natural, simple, non-invasive means.

 

The future of our profession will be in our ability to guide clients through the options that are available to enhance the skin care treatments that we perform. These options include taking a clear look at the whole person: their lifestyle, habits, and beauty objectives. We cannot avoid the fact that this will include the world of alternative treatments.

 

Do your homework. Increase your own knowledge and experience to live the life that you promote to clients.

Lauren Sankey Gets Hired by Norwegian Cruise lines!

Aesthetic Science Institute CIDESCO graduate Lauren Sankey gets hired by Norwegian Cruise lines!

Of thirty applicants Lauren was one of two hired by the International Cruise ship company.  Her new place of work will be on Norwegian's Pride of America circling the Hawaiian Islands!

Congratulations Lauren, so proud of our ASI CIDESCO graduate! 

Build Your Knowledge Base

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

Body Care in the New Year

I love the start of a new year as it is an inspiring time of endless opportunities and limitless goal setting. I truly hope each of you have set your sights on an outstanding accomplishment for 2019.
Our first New Year’s topic is all about the body, including hair removal services and body treatments. These are great topics to start the year off because, for many aestheticians, hair removal and body services are ancillary treatments in their businesses. The reality is, not only are they phenomenal revenue generators, but they play critical roles in the overall health and beauty of the entire body.
Hair removal has long been a staple of our profession for both men and women. The absence of facial and body hair is in demand by the masses. And, as popular as laser hair removal has become, both waxing and sugaring have certainly not fallen by the wayside, especially since regular hair removal services minimize regrowth, are incredibly affordable, and take very little time. When you add proper pre- and post-care, soft, smooth, hairless skin leaves a client feeling like a million bucks.pull quote
I find body treatments to be the biggest area of opportunity. It’s interesting that, often, when someone talks about the quality, youth, and beauty of their skin, they are referring to their face, when 90 percent of their skin covers the rest of their body! As we age, all of our skin ages and we rarely realize it until it is too late. The skin requires two essential elements: exfoliation and hydration. When the skin is exfoliated, it breathes and renews itself properly. When it is well hydrated, it functions at its optimal capacity. Skin that breathes, renews, and functions optimally is healthy and youthful.
Start the year off with a full-body approach to youth and beauty, with healthy skin from head to toe.

New Skin and the New Year

As we wrap up the end of the year, it is the ideal time to cover two great topics: exfoliation and New Year’s resolutions.

 

Yes, they may seem like an odd combination, but, in reality, they go pretty well together. Exfoliation rids the surface of the skin of buildup, debris, and accumulated toxins; New Year’s resolutions can do the same for one’s life!

 

Exfoliation is the ideal way to detoxify the skin. Ridding the surface of buildup and debris increases cell renewal and provides the skin with the ability to better absorb nutrient-rich and beneficial ingredients. With the endless amount of external stimuli that attack skin on a daily basis, professional exfoliation is a necessity for skin detoxification and renewal.

 

Various forms of exfoliation equipment have taken this to the next level. At the top of the list is microdermabrasion and dermaplaning, two methods that remove multiple layers of the stratum corneum, leaving the skin amazingly soft, smooth, resurfaced, and ideally prepared for quality active ingredients.

 

As the industry changes and new equipment and techniques are introduced, be sure to stay in the know on what works, how it works, why it works, and what your state regulations do and do not allow. Do your best to incorporate the newest trends into your menu of services and stay on the cutting-edge of delivering the best skin care results to your clients.

 

DAllaird Brenner headshotEnd the year by setting a plan for next year. Is there something you want to add to your treatment regime? Are there different results you would like to achieve? Write them down and set a plan. It is that time: out with the old and in with the new! Resolve to move into 2019 fresh, new, soft, smooth, and ready for the year ahead.

November 2018 AIA Welcome: The Polls are Open

Where in the world does the time go? I have to pinch myself to believe we are winding down 2018 – and at a super rapid rate! I feel like just yesterday I was saying to myself “June will be here before we know it.” Now, June is long gone and 2019 is in my sights. But, as fast as it goes, I have loved every minute of a thrilling 2018, full of unexpected opportunities, smiles, success, and new ventures. I cannot wait to see what next year brings!

 

As we quickly push into the holiday season, we here at AIA and DERMASCOPE Magazine are diligently working to add a little excitement and end the year on a high note with our annual Aesthetician’s Choice Awards. Nominations for 2019 took place in September, when we received thousands of nominations for industry favorites. Since then, our ACA panel has narrowed each of our product, equipment, and people categories down to four finalists. Now, during the month of November, readers have the opportunity to go online and vote for the winners of each category!

 

We love this contest because we love to hear from all of you. It is such a blast to hear which brands and people our readers think are the current movers and shakers in the industry. Even better, it is a wonderful recognition for those top nominated people, products, and companies out there to be noted for their efforts and success.

 

DAllairdHave you voted? If not, log on to DERMASCOPE.com and vote, vote, vote! Show your support and help determine the industry’s top favorite brands and people of 2019!

Expand Your Circle


Ihave always found autumn to be a breath of fresh air. Here in the northeast, we have cooler days and breezy nights, a lower setting sun in the sky, falling leaves, and crisp air. It’s a time of rejuvenation and an opportunity to set your sights on the upcoming months.

 

First, fall is the ideal time for making connections and exploring new business ideas. This time of year is all about “back to school,” so take advantage of that yourself. Trade shows, webinars, and continuing education classes are in abundance.

 

The aesthetics profession is changing each and every day. We are constantly surrounded by new products, ingredients, and technology. To be a success you have to stay on the cutting edge. That doesn’t mean you have to do it all, but it surely means you need to be aware of it. Because, trust me, your customers will know!

 

Expand your circle of knowledge. Build your professional network by connecting with someone new. I have found over the years that some of the best information that I come across comes from the knowledge and experience of another professional. There is nothing better than learning from someone else’s mistakes! It’s a gift to know what not to do before you do it.

 

All of this is what AIA is all about – providing each and every one of you with a massive network of professionals in which to learn, grow, connect and succeed. AIA will give you a firm professional foundation in order to propel you into the future.

 

Take my word for it: success does not come easy and it does not come over night, but it surely does come when you make the most of the opportunities around you, like training, education, and professional relationships.

 

Ground yourself now and, tomorrow, the sky will be the limit!

 

DAllaird Brenner headshotMichelle D'Allaird-Brenner
AIA President,
Director of Education

Paving the Future

After 30 years in the skin care business, I can honestly say I think I’ve seen everything! When you tack on 16 years as a school owner – my goodness – I could write a book!    I’ve watched the ebb and flow of an amazing industry that has grown leaps and bounds in products, ingredients, technology, services, sales, and business strategies.

Summer Lovin’ Homecare

As we roll through the summer months, our thoughts are on sunshine, warm weather, picnics, barbecues, and beaches. Summer is the ideal time of year to enjoy friends and family, reconnect with the great outdoors, and, honestly, to pause long enough to smell the roses.

 

But, as much of a blessing as summer is, it is also a time of the year when we should pay particular attention to our clients’ homecare routines. Ultraviolet exposure, winds, temperature changes, and even pollution are responsible for 95 percent of premature aging, most notably, fine lines and wrinkles.

 

As skin care professionals we know this and we relentlessly preach to our clients the necessity of protecting their skin. But, when we are not with them, we also know that our preaching is often thrown to the wind. So, it is essential to take it a step further and create a detailed plan for each client to incorporate into their daily regimen. This removes the need for them to put much thought into coming up with their own routine.

 

As a school and business owner, I learned when things are in writing and protocols are in order, they get done. When they are left as a suggestion, they often get dismissed.

 

So, make a plan and revise that plan with every visit. Based on your clients’ activities over the upcoming months, decide what they must do to best protect the health and youthfulness of their skin and, most importantly, minimize fine lines and wrinkles.

 

First, SPF is a must – every day, any day, all year long. Sunscreen not only prevents damage due to ultra-violet exposure, but most sunscreens also include vitamins for antioxidant protection from free radical damage. If a client is heading to the beach or doing another activity in which prolonged sun exposure is involved, stress the importance of increasing SPF to 50 or beyond. Advise them about using sun protective clothing, such as a ball cap or sun hat, as well.

 

Second, emphasize hydration. We often forget how necessary water is. Plump, hydrated skin shows fewer lines and wrinkles; but, more importantly, it functions better to protect itself. Think about how you feel when your body is dehydrated. Sluggish, tired, and unenergized – skin behaves the same way when it is dehydrated!

 

Lastly, encourage powerful antioxidant protection. My go-to antioxidant is vitamin C! Teach clients to pack the skin with vitamin C to give it the ability to prevent free radical damage and boost collagen production.

 

These three simple steps – SPF, hydration, and antioxidants – are key to experiencing summer bliss with fewer wrinkles!

 

Michelle D'allaird Brenner
AIA Vice President, 
Director of Education

Meet Michelle

I never knew exactly what I wanted do when I grew up. During my senior year of high school, my best friend and I decided that we were going to become hairdressers and open our own salon, so we convinced our parents to put us in beauty school. Three nights during the week and every Saturday for 10 months, we drove to downtown Albany, New York to go to beauty school. It all sounded great in theory – until I realized that, not only did I not like doing hair, but I also was not good at it. I completed the program, got my license, dabbled in the workplace, and, then, went to college to complete my bachelor’s and work on my master’s in psychology.

 

As an intern in a psychiatric facility, I quickly realized, once again, this profession was not my calling. I fell back on my cosmetology license and decided to open my own skin care and nail business.
That business molded a new being within me. I fell in love with learning. I studied every video and book about skin care that I could. I was determined to never be asked a question in my treatment room that I could not answer or at least find the answer to.

 

I was determined to help others accomplish goals, create futures, secure incomes, and become something. In January 2003, I opened the Aesthetic Science Institute, an aesthetics school in Latham, New York. I had no idea how to run a school – I just knew what I wanted to teach and how I wanted to teach it. My first class had six students and one teacher: me.

 

Fifteen years later, I have over 100 students per year, nine amazing instructors and staff, New York state-approved curricula, and a CIDESCO-certified institution. I am incredibly proud, but even more grateful.

 

I believe that the skin care profession is a pathway to unlimited potential and success. The opportunities are there for all of us; it is simply a matter of how many you want. Perhaps you do not know what you want from the industry, but I can assure you that if you know you want something and act upon that, then endless possibilities will be afforded to you.

 

I have learned and experienced so much over the years and I am excited to share it with you through these pages for the rest of the year. Happy reading!

 

DAllaird Brenner headshot copy
Michelle D'allaird Brenner

AIA Vice President, 

Director of Education

Hobbies... and You

I was recently completing an application for an association in which I had been inducted. One of the last questions on the application asked me to list my favorite hobbies or the things that I like to do in my free time. I responded by listing that cooking, cleaning and taking my children to their extracurricular activities were among the top of my list. When it occurred to me that this was probably not the response they were looking for, I realized that it was all I could come up with. I would love to have hobbies that include taking long walks in the park, reading non-fiction novels, and enjoying a glass of wine in front of a crackling fire – but that is not even close to my reality.

Healthy Choices: Breathing... and You

How often have you been told to take a deep breath? You may have even muttered it to yourself once or twice. Generally, an individual can go months without food or several days without water, but only minutes without air. Basic survival aside, breathing has a variety of different effects on the human mind and body that are beneficial to your overall health and wellness.
Many cultures have long known that deep breathing is a natural and simple form of relaxing and cleansing the mind, body and soul. Touted by original yoga practitioners as the source of life, breathing has become an integral part of living a healthy lifestyle.

Healthy Choices: Posture... and You

Posture plays an influential role in many ways. It is critical to maintaining your health and physical appearance, two factors that can have a dramatic effect on your life.
I typically start my weekends strolling through the farmers market first thing in the morning. One particular morning, as I wandered through the crowd, I remembered that my latest column needed to be completed over the weekend. Suddenly, it occurred to me that my entire study group and column content was currently walking all around me. A vast selection of ages, genders, genetics and postures were all within arm’s reach. Immediately inspired, I quickly found an empty bench and began to take notes.

Productivity... and You

How often do you find yourself thinking, “Where did the day go?” Since I find myself saying it on a regular basis, I decided to take a closer look at exactly what I did with my day; two businesses, traveling, writing articles and teaching classes, five kids, and one husband. Where does the time go, indeed! We always look at everything we are responsible for, but there is nothing worse than ending your day and feeling like you did not get anything accomplished.

Sleep... and You

Sleep deficiency can affect your mood, concentration, energy level, memory, coordination, depression and lack of sex drive. When you take each of these factors into consideration and the role that they play in your everyday lives, what is left? A good night’s sleep is necessary for getting the most out of each day, out of yourself, and out of your life. So, what defines a good night’s sleep?
A good night’s sleep involves natural cycles of activity in the brain that fluctuate between Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep and non-REM (NREM) sleep.

Healthy Choices: Mind Over Matter... and You

“You can do it; it is only mind over matter.” Has anyone ever said that to you? While we are experts at telling people how to run their lives and make decisions, the funny thing is that we rarely apply it to ourselves. What is it that we are so afraid of?

Healthy Choices: Stress... and You

When I have a training class or seminar on skin conditions, I often start by asking how many people have a stress-free life. I rarely get a hand raised. If I do get one, they quickly retreat with a silly statement like “just kidding.” Unfortunately, not many of us can raise our hand for that one. On a Sunday morning, I sat down to write this article thinking that I would be able to put it together in no time since there was clearly so much to write about. Ironically, once I was ready to start writing, my fingers were at an absolute stand still on the keyboard.

Healthy Choices: Balance... and You

This month I want to talk about balance. I did say balance, and I did not mean standing on one foot with your other leg out in front of you. I mean balance in your life. When I accepted the opportunity to write this monthly column on health and wellness and its direct impact on you, the aesthetician, it prompted me to do a bit of soul searching and reflection. Specifically, on how much I practice what I preach, concerning what I believe is so absolutely critical not only to our success, but to our lives.

Anatomy of the Body

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.

Healthy Choices: You...and the Great Outdoors

How often have you heard somebody say to stop and smell the roses? Well, how often have you actually done it? And I do not mean the roses on your desk from Valentine's Day or your birthday; but the fragrant, soft petaled beauties growing in your garden (or even someone else's)!

Taking It for Granted

It is not very often that we think about how we need to spend time outside and experience nature ...more than we experience our treatment room or office. Let me give you a few examples; perhaps you can relate. Think of what it feels like that first warm, spring day; are they not the most amazing senses?

Healthy Choices: Exercise and You

This month I want to talk about exercise and you. Yes, I mean you – the professional aesthetician. Now, I do not want to preach, but I am going to and I have to tell you how critical exercise is to you and your life. Any time I broach this topic, the non-exercisers immediately come out with “I do not have time,” “It does not fit in my schedule,” or “I just cannot get myself motivated enough.” I have been there; we all have. Unfortunately exercise is critical to you, to everything you do and to everything about you.

Practice what you Preach!

The inner-outer body connection is well documented and has been for years. The physical, emotional and psychological condition of the human body has the ability to influence not only the inner functioning of the body, but its outer appearance as well. Nutrients, eating habits and food categories all have an influence on the condition of the skin; and as an aesthetician it is critical that you look and feel your best. You are your best advertising!
All the expensive skin care products in the world will not help without a well-balanced, healthy nutritional diet.

Taking Care of You!

As professional aestheticians, we're caregivers, "people" people, nurturers, and emotional laundry bins. We give all of ourselves to our work, our clients, our family, and our friends… often to find that there is simply not a whole lot left for ourselves. So this month's article is just for you, and only you; this month, it's all about you.
Perhaps you can relate… this year is a "significant" birthday for me… yeah, I'm not going to say it, but one that I truly thought would never happen. I have watched my babies grow from completely dependent tiny little beings, to five-foot eleven, 150 pound high schoolers' (ugh).

Unlock the Mystery of Chemical Messengers

What I truly love about the skin care profession is not necessarily the “how” of treatments, products, and results; but the “why”. This is probably why I am so passionate about teaching. It is not enough in our business to simply be able to make recommendations and deliver visible results to our client’s skin, if we do not know precisely why we are capable of achieving such results.
As consumers place increasingly more confidence in our hands regarding meeting their skin needs and concerns, our professional responsibility to meet those needs has grown, requiring aestheticians to have a deep understanding of how those concerns even came to be. That being said, one of the most influential contributing factors to the condition of the skin, at many different ages, is fluctuations in hormones.

Making "You" Priority Number One

As professional aestheticians, we’re caregivers, “people” people, nurturers, and emotional laundry bins. We give all of ourselves to our work, our clients, our family, and our friends… often to find that there is simply not a whole lot left for ourselves. So this month’s article is just for you, and only you; this month, it’s all about you.
Perhaps you can relate… this year is a “significant” birthday for me… yeah, I’m not going to say it, but one that I truly thought would never happen. I have watched my babies grow from completely dependent tiny little beings, to five-foot eleven, 150 pound high schoolers’ (ugh).

Excuse Me? Did You Say Mature?

Not a single one of the Webster’s definitions seems all that flattering, especially when relating to my skin, and most certainly not when relating to the skin on my face! However, it is what it is, and mature is mature, whatever that means!
OK, let’s get serious and talk about “mature” skin. For the purpose of this article, I am going to refer to relating to, or being an older adult, as mature. Of course we can now ponder over exactly what does “older adult” mean. For simplicities sake, our clients easily classify themselves as “older,” and are generally quite quick to refer to their own skin as “mature.”