One of the most important steps in your practice is to take the time to perform a thorough skin analysis with a client (whether old or new). A brief look at their face does not provide enough information to sanction a more insightful, comprehensive profile to establish a more accurate pathway for long-term skin correction. Old paradigms no longer work. Statements such as normal-dry, combination, and sensitive are understatements when establishing the leading causes of these conditions and their effects on cells and systems. Furthermore, treatment and product choice is based on this analysis service. Your goal is to bring your client's skin health into a more balanced state.
Examples: Repair of the acid mantle supports the skin's first line of defense. It helps correct the natural moisturizing factors within bilayers. Rejuvenation of the spinosum layers may help with a more even dispersion of pigment. Attention to rebuilding the dermal structures improves overall skin density and texture.
Begin with a thorough health evaluation that includes age, skin type, nutrition, lifestyle, medications, genetic history and predispositions (as in, intrinsic characteristics such as eczema and allergic contact dermatitis and potential conditions), as well as extrinsic characteristics due to the client's daily activities and lifestyle.
Secondly, ascertain the levels of damage. This becomes more apparent through careful examination of information obtained from the visual, the written, and your diagnostic tools. Level 1: Oxidative Stress and Lipid Peroxidation that initiates its damage within the cells environs and membrane. Level 2: Mitochondria DNA damage. Destruction has cascaded to the membrane of the mitochondria. Level 3: Mitochondria aging along with cellular senescence is a final result that affects the entire cell.
Lastly, invest in diagnostic tools such as a skin scanner and another electronic aid. Newer electronic devices can measure key indicators of the true health of the skin.
- Lipid Levels: Skin lipids contribute to the first three lines of the skin barrier defense when determining the nutritional needs of the skin.
Epidermal Hydration: Measures the free water available in the dermal reservoir that is an indicator of the enzymatic action necessary for maintaining the barrier function.
- Melanin Density: Reveals the melanin density down to the dermal junction. It is an indicator of the rate that melanogenesis occurs and potential hidden risk factors.
- Erythema: This measures the level of vascularity and density of the microcirculation system within the dermis. Vascular matting (telangiectasia) is an indicator that there are issues with the breakdown of dermal structures such as at the dermal/epidermal junction as well as in the collagen matrix.
The time invested in this service shows that you are a serious skin care professional who understands the science of the skin, the association between skin structure, function, and the leading causes of a skin condition. Moreover, you understand the cascade effect of structural breakdown within the skin such as what occurs in a poor acid mantle, the bilayers within stratum corneum, damaged melanocytes, the flattening of the rete pegs at the epidermal/dermal junction and in the collagen matrix. And one very important consideration is that you decrease your liability by avoiding potential mistakes.
Alexandra J. Zani is an international educator and researcher with a background in biology and medical technology with advanced certifications skin analysis, aesthetic technologies and oncology aesthetics. She is a licensed aesthetician. She is a specialist in the anti-aging sciences, treatment modalities, the health effects of nutrition and lifestyle, and the importance of the mind-body connection. Zani founded AEsthani Education Pathways, a company dedicated to directing continuing education for the aesthetics industry.