JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 31566
Print this page
Wednesday, 25 June 2008 14:12

The Magic Behind Skin Care

Written by

We have all heard it before: “Lose 40 inches!”, “Better than Botox!” “World’s best serum that will make you look and feel like you are in your twenties again!” Are these false claims? Did you get the results that the product advertised? Did the aesthetician not understand how to use the product correctly? Was the product applied to the wrong skin type? What went wrong? You bought the product in good faith and it didn't live up to the claim. Why not? There are several reasons why we don't get the results from the magic that is promised in the bottle.

Why is it so difficult for aestheticians to find a product line that resonates with what they want to achieve in the treatment room and spa? For many, the first step is establishing what type of business they want to build. Is your focus on relaxation or results? Can you have both? Absolutely! However, it is important to understand that to achieve success you will have to do two things. First, you must have a clear and precise knowledge of the skin. Second, you must learn and understand the ingredients contained in the products you use. Only when you know the skin and understand the ingredients in the products will you be in a position to recommend the proper treatment and home care products. When you have this knowledge, you will best be able to determine the products to choose for your spa.

Skin: The Body’s Wrapper
What is skin? It is the largest organ in the human body. The skin acts as a waterproof barrier that affords protection from invasion by dirt, bacteria, and other harmful substances. Skin also helps regulate body temperature and allows us to have the sense of touch. Without skin, people's muscles, bones, and organs would be hanging out all over the place. Skin holds everything together.
If you are feeling unsure about your knowledge of the nature and functions of the skin, you may consider reviewing your book from school to refresh your memory. That is the crux of the matter. Unfortunately, an article such as this does not allow for extensive discussion of basic principles in skin physiology.
Can you explain the importance of the skin, the largest organ of the body, to your client? As professionals, many of us understand the theory of melanin production and how acne flares up, but does your client? This is where many aestheticians falter. They understand how acne develops or they know that skin comes in various shades, but they don’t really see how using the Fitzpatrick scale can make a difference in the outcome of their treatments. I shudder when I hear this statement, especially if the aesthetician has an interest in chemical peels. They don’t see how the Fitzpatrick scale can help them? Oh, dear!
The Fitzpatrick Classification Scale was developed in 1975 by Harvard Medical School dermatologist, Thomas Fitzpatrick, M.D., Ph.D. The scale classifies a person's complexion and the tolerance of sunlight.

Skin Type

Skin Color



White; very fair; red or blond hair; blue eyes; freckles

Always burns, never tans


White; fair; red or blond hair; blue, hazel, or green eyes

Usually burns, tans with difficulty


Cream white; fair; any eye or hair color; very common

Sometimes mild burn, gradually tans


Brown; typical Mediterranean Caucasian skin

Rarely burns, tans with ease


Dark Brown; mid-eastern skin types

very rarely burns, tans very easily



Never burns, tans very easily

So, how does this relate to chemical peels or other treatments? Roni Parish, aesthetician and owner of The Skin Studio in Loomis, Calif., states that she relies on the Fitzpatrick scale all the time, like second nature. She has several clients that are on a peel regime. She believes that the scale is very good and you must have a clear concept of it in your mind. Once you have classified someone, you then can treat accordingly. It helps you determine who would be more resilient, who would be more sensitive, or who falls in between. Of course, several other factors will come into play. But all in all, she really likes using the scale and especially likes it for requesting some input from other aestheticians or the skin care company with which she deals. It helps you to immediately describe who your client is, and their needs. For example, when making a request for information, she will start by saying, “I have this client, a Fitzpatrick 3, with severe hyperpigmentation…” This is very helpful for the educator on the other end of the call to understand what type of skin your client has and be able to make appropriate recommendations!
Speaking of taking phone calls, aesthetician and Director of Education for Epionce Skin Care, Krista Bourne, often receives calls from aestheticians who have questions on how to treat their clients. When she asks them the type of skin they are treating, she will hear, “Well, I am working on a fair-skinned, redhead...” – What? Not Fitzpatrick type, SKIN type! The difference between skin type and Fitzpatrick type is Aesthetics 101! So before she educates them on product she refreshes them on the importance of the Fitzpatrick scale.
This is one of the keys to success: understanding how the skin functions and the variations imposed on our work by various skin types. Do you use the Wood’s Lamp to assist you in the analysis? This is an excellent tool to assist in seeing what is really happening on the client’s skin. Also, when you have seen client after client and touched and analyzed skin it becomes second nature, like breathing. You can look at clients, even with make-up on, and you will be able to recognize their challenge areas. But it is best if they make an appointment and come in to see you, so that you can take their make-up off and see what that reveals. Sometimes you get excited about seeing what is under the veil of make-up, and can’t wait to help them because you know that you have the answers for their skin success!
Janet McCormick, aesthetician and CIDESCO diplomate, believes that a well developed treatment plan enhances results. The plan should be comprehensive, from pre-conditioning to treatment to post-treatment maintenance. The benefits are that the skin is prepared for the care through pre-conditioning with appropriate products, countering any reactions, and enabling and enhancing the treatments; then after the treatments, it moves right into maintaining the care. Just jumping right into treatments without this plan can cause reactions and damage, and lower results dramatically.

You Have the Plan!
You have mastered analyzing skin, understand the Fitzpatrick scale and how it can help, but how do you chose the right products? I think that is the number one question that I am asked by students and colleagues. How does one go about choosing a product line? There are many reasons why one spa carries product X, another spa carries product Y, and yet both are successful.
I believe one of the reasons that OTC products are popular is because they make it easy for the consumer to understand what they do. I recently overheard a salesperson at the make-up counter at the mall explaining the importance of a skin care regime and the shopper was astutely listening. Later, I went to the salesperson and asked her if she was an aesthetician. She said no; she had always wanted to be one but just hadn’t had the time to attend a school. I encouraged her to do so. Her explanations were so excellent and articulate when asked of how the skin functions and the importance of maintenance. It made me want to purchase all she had to offer to go over!
The point is that many times we are excellent at the process of the facial and proficient at the application, but when it comes to giving examples of how the skin works and why XYZ products are best for the skin condition, we fall short. I have heard some say they feel they should not be selling products. Would a physical trainer spend hours upon hours with his clients working on achieving a hard body only to send them to buy and eat jelly donuts? I think not! So, why would we want to send our clients to the nearest drug store to purchase OTC make-up and products that will clog and irritate the skin? We know that professional products are a major part of the success in clear and improved skin.
But, what if you don’t like the product line with which you are working? Even if you are employed and working with a product line that is not your choice, learn all you can about the line. A professional line is a much better choice than sending them to the local store. Once you learn all you can about the line, then you can truly assist your client with improving their skin.
Diane Buccola, aesthetician and owner of www.spabizboard.com, emphatically says, “Education, education, education. Product knowledge, product knowledge, product knowledge.” Why don't companies figure out that this is a very important component of how aestheticians decide which product lines to use and sell? Learn everything you can about the products and the step-by-step applications of the products that you are working with.
Dr. Jennifer Linder, Dermatologist, Mohs Skin Cancer Surgeon, and PCA SKIN® Chief Scientist, states that all clinicians should make an effort to learn about how and why ingredients work in addition to their benefits. She recommends learning about the disease pathway of acne so you can understand why various ingredients work and you can make better choices regarding daily care regimen recommendations.
While understanding every ingredient can be quite a task, having resources at your fingertips can be very helpful. There are several books that will explain ingredients. When clients come in asking about a specific ingredient and you don’t know right off the top of your head, you can quickly do some research on your own and prepare an answer like an expert! But, you must have the books available!
Don’t get caught up in hype. Do your own research! If it sounds too good to be true - well it just may be. If you are the decision-maker in choosing the products for the spa, you must do your homework. Ask questions and solicit recommendations from other spas that work with the line. Choose products that fit with your treatment goals. Become excellent at skin analysis. The magic in the bottle is only as good as the aesthetician applying it on the skin. Let the products be the magic and you be the genie!

Denise R. Fuller is a Licensed Aesthetician and Beauty Therapist Consultant, Educator, and Author for the aesthetic industry. Fuller is also the CEO of International Spa Importing Specialists. For more information, please contact her at 888-566-4747.

Want to read more?

Log in or subscribe to continue reading this article.

Related items

  • Dallas Based Entrepreneurs Launch Medical Hologram B+A and Marketing Assistant Serving the Aesthetic Community Dallas Based Entrepreneurs Launch Medical Hologram B+A and Marketing Assistant Serving the Aesthetic Community

    Aestheia Imaging, a hologram content management, and advertising subscription company introduced its disruptive technology at the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery last week at The Aesthetic Meeting in New Orleans. The company breaks the mold of in-practice marketing with the unveiling of XTHEIA; an interactive hologram display toting a Virtual Consult Assistant for medical office waiting rooms. Aestheia's launch poses a resolution to poor patient awareness; an underserved focal point of product education in the aesthetics industry.
    The company is led by Austin JM Podowski, CEO and accomplished Dallas Healthcare Business Tech executives Mike McDonald, President and Paul Herchman, Advisory Board Member. Well known Plastic Surgeon and photographer Dr. Barry DiBernardo of New Jersey Plastic Surgery leads the companies Medical Advisory Board and will continue to work to enhance upon the application. The company offers a connected holographic media platform to story map the patient journey to brand and product education. Through the research and development of Aestheia's Medical Advisory Group, the company will offer holographic before and afters to patients so they can see pre-operative and post-operative procedure outcomes in true 3D, not previously available in the space.

    "We are dedicated to providing novel and ground breaking product innovation for the entire Aesthetic Community," comments McDonald. The company today offers a fully-automated and comprehensive holographic playlist for physician waiting rooms tethered to a cloud-based solution developed by the management team.
    "We are changing the way medical companies and physicians communicate with their customers and patients. The ALEXA of Aesthetics is now in the room," states Podowski. The team has also designed a customer facing iPad Pro application that allows a physician to remote control the device offering an in-app camera for patient photos. Mr. Podowski later comments, "The response received at ASAPS The Aesthetic Meeting affirms that our vision and product meet a need and resuscitate a lost connection with the consumer."
    The management team is dedicated to further pioneering advancements in hologram, AI, and AR in the evolving medical practice of the 21st century. The company is finalizing a third-round capital raise and will begin placement of their technology throughout Plastic Surgery Offices in North America in July 2019. The technology will also be on display in direct to consumer retail kiosks throughout the United States later this year. To get a sneak peak of Aestheia, follow the team's development, or learn more about the technology, follow @aestheiaimaging or visit www.aestheiaimaging.com.

  • Micropigmentation Procedure October 2010
    Micropigmentation Procedure October 2010

    Micropigmentation Procedure Helps Breast Cancer Survivors Regain Self-Esteem & Confidence!

    Cranberr facial mask

    Cranberr facial mask
    According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), it is estimated that in 2009 there were 192,370 new cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed among women, and approximately 1,910 new cases in men. For the many men and women who have been, and will be diagnosed this year, the battle to get through treatment and surgery is only the beginning of the journey to survive. Although the feeling of survival is unsurpassed, the physical scars at times may leave some survivors anxious with their new appearance. Ruth Swissa has taken her passion and artistic expertise in the permanent makeup industry to provide areola pigmentation for breast cancer patients post reconstruction to help renew self-confidence and boost self-esteem.

    "Many of my patients have said that waking up every morning, and looking in the mirror is a constant reminder of their battle, which although comes with a sense of pride, it also at times causes insecurities because they don't feel like themselves," says Swissa.

    Micropigmentation is an alternative method of creating a realistic nipple and areola after a mastectomy, to achieve a more symmetrical shape and even coloring using artistic light and shade effects. Swissa works closely with her patients in order to achieve the desired coloring and size to create a natural looking effect. This procedure takes less than an hour and is usually painless.

    Ruth uses a customized medical tattooing technique for applying permanent makeup for areola pigmentation. This unique method proves to be more exact, very gentle, and less invasive than traditional cosmetic tattooing. The results look more natural and subtle in appearance.

  • Five Ways to Find Safe and Natural Relief from Osteoarthritis October 2010
    Five Ways to Find Safe and Natural Relief from Osteoarthritis October 2010

    Five Ways to Find Safe and Natural Relief from Osteoarthritis

    by Deirdre Shevlin Bell

    Cranberr facial mask

    The search for safe and effective relief from osteoarthritis (OA), a condition that occurs when joint cartilage wears down over time, can feel like an uphill battle. Certain natural remedies can bring lasting relief from OA according to the Arthritis Research Council (ARC) study and other experts. That is good news, since the pain, stiffness, and loss of flexibility from arthritis makes it the nation's most common cause of disability.

    One massage, and call me in the morning
    Spa-lovers with osteoarthritis will be pleased to learn that all those massages that leave you feeling loose and limber are doing more than just helping you relax. According to a 2006 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, Swedish massage improves flexibility, decreases pain, and increases range of motion in individuals with osteoarthritis of the knee.

    Low-impact exercise
    "When people start to hurt, they tend to cut back on exercise," notes Michele Olson, Ph.D., professor of exercise physiology at Auburn University Montgomery and Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. But that is a mistake, as inactivity can make pain and stiffness even worse. Olson recommends Pilates and swimming or doing aqua-aerobics, but she emphasizes the importance of choosing gentle, weight-bearing exercise. Michael Murray, N.D. suggests that a person should find something they love, and find a way to continue doing it: If walking on concrete sidewalks is too hard on the joints, walk on the golf course.

    Spice rub
    Using a gel containing capsaicin, the active ingredient in chili, is very effective at providing temporary relief from osteoarthritis pain. Studies have found that capsaicin can deplete the substance that acts to transmit pain signals from nerve endings to the brain and cause inflammation in the joints.

    Healing herbs
    An ARC study evaluated several herbs and herbal combinations and found that one stood above the rest. Phytodolor, a branded combination of three herbs – aspen (Populus tremula), common ash bark (Franxinus excelsior), and golden rob herb (Solidago vigaurea) effectively manages the pain and inflammation associated with OA. Some studies have shown that aspen contains a substance that when ingested inhibits the production of certain prostaglandins in the nerves, resulting in pain relief. Common ash bark and golden rob herb also have pain-relieving properties, and common ash bark is an antioxidant – meaning it may reduce oxidative damage in the joint. The combination of the three herbs has been shown in animal studies to reduce inflammation. No major adverse effects have been reported, though some people do experience diarrhea, stomach upset, or skin reactions.

    The SAMe Game
    First discovered in 1952 and widely investigated for its usefulness in treating depression, S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) is now showing promise as a treatment for OA. SAMe is a chemical compound that occurs naturally in the body, where it contributes to the synthesis of hormones and neurotransmitters. Studies suggest that when taken as a supplement, SAMe reduces pain and also stimulates the synthesis of collagen and proteoglycans, which are the major components of joint cartilage. Adverse effects are infrequent and mild, but can include nausea, restlessness, headache, dry mouth, and stomach upset. People with depression should consult with a healthcare provider before taking SAMe, as some incidences of anxiety and mania have been reported.

    Copyright© HealthyLifestyles.com

  • The Impact of Psoriasis on Personal Relationships October 2010
    The Impact of Psoriasis on Personal Relationships October 2010

    The Impact of Psoriasis on Personal Relationships Survey Fact Sheet

    This survey was created in partnership with the National Psoriasis Foundation and Galderma Laboratories, L.P.

    Within this issue, as well as our November and December 2010 issues, we will be printing important findings revealed from the recent survey, "The Impact of Psoriasis on Personal Relationships." This survey, sponsored by Galderma Laboratories, was distributed to the National Psoriasis Foundation membership database via Survey Monkey. The survey was completed by approx 1,520 people; statistics below represent the percentage of people who answered a specific question (not always all 1,520 respondents). Statistics are rounded to nearest percentage point and percentages may not add up to 100 percent depending on the structure of the question. Not every respondent answered every question.i Below is a list of findings relating to psoriasis and its impact of social relationships.

    Nearly 80 percent (78.7%) of question respondents feel that psoriasis has had a negative impact on their personal relationships.ii

    Social Relationships

    • When having a psoriasis flare-up, 63.3 percent of respondents are less likely to go out socially iii and 53.6 percent have declined social invitations or cancelled plans because of a flare-up.iv Nearly 70 percent (69.6%) feel that psoriasis has impacted their social relationships.v
    • When meeting someone new, 74.3 percent of question respondents worry that the person will notice their psoriasis,vi and 72.1 percent of respondents are concerned that people that notice will think of them less favorably.vii
    • When going out for social occasions, 79.5 percent of respondents usually only wear outfits that cover up
      their psoriasis.viii
  • Pomegranate the Ancient Red Goddess October 2010
    Pomegranate the Ancient Red Goddess October 2010

    Pomegranate the Ancient Red Goddess!

    by Natalie Pergar

    Cranberr facial mask

    Known not only as part of the elite group of super fruits, the all mighty pomegranate, English word comes from the Latin words for apple; "pomum" (apple) and "granatus" (seeded), has been dated as far back as 1,000 BC and was introduced to North America by Spanish settlers in 1769. This red beauty represents global symbolism and history ranging from righteousness, prosperity, and fertility.

    With over 760 varieties of pomegranate it is one of the oldest known medicines to man. Ancient Greek healers would use pomegranate juice to manage health problems similar to arthritis, circulation problems, digestive disorders, and infections. And to add to the wonders of the pomegranate, the fruit was also involved in ancient beauty concoctions. Today with our growing beauty culture and desire to turn back the clock, we find ourselves revisiting what our ancient friends already knew with the help of modern science and research.

    Pomegranates are packed with phytonutrients, vitamin B, and an abundance of vitamin C. They contain red arils, tiny edible seeds that are loaded with juice and provide valuable fiber. They are delicious and fantastic to eat - though I would not recommend eating the white membrane that surrounds the arils as it is quite bitter and the consensus is that it is not recommended. And for those of us that count calories, a 1/2 cup of raw pomegranate has 80 calories and 0 grams of fat!

    According to the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), pomegranate fruit extract contains several polyphenols and anthocyanidins (pigment that gives certain fruits their dark red colors). Its antioxidant activity is higher than that of red wine and green tea and research suggests that pomegranate extract may have significant clinical benefits in decreasing risk for skin cancer.

    By taking pomegranate extract capsules, one could reduce or reverse the signs of aging by promoting cell turnover and creating new, healthy skin. But that is not all! Evidence shows that including it in your skin care regime can provide wonderful results too. Rich in ellagic acid to manage free radicals, pomegranate oil contains punicic acid, an omega 5 conjugated fatty acid effective in aiding cell regeneration and proliferation. Pomegranate also carries beneficial phytoestrogen and a rare plant-based source of conjugated linoleic acids (CLA), an anti-carcinogen.

    So I salute you, oh red goddess of history. Bring me health and wellness with all your super fruit power!

    Pomegranate, Almond Oil, and Honey Mask

    ½ pomegranate
    2 tsp almond oil
    ½ tbsp organic honey

    Warm up the honey until it becomes liquid (not too hot!) by putting it in a small glass or metal bowl which is immersed in hot water. Peel the pomegranate half, cut the fruit in pieces, and put these in a bowl or food processor. Add the honey and almond oil. Blend it all into a smooth and uniform paste. Spread this gently and equally with your fingertips on your clean face and neck: keep the eye area clear. Now lie down, relax, and leave the mask on for 20 minutes. Then, wash it off with lukewarm water and end with a splash of cold water; pat your skin dry with a clean towel. Finally, apply a moisturizer, this way you "seal" your skin to keep the water inside. (For all skin types). *This fruit mask recipe peels your skin and we do not recommend using it on acne skin.

    Copyright ® 2009-2010 Natural – Homeremedies-For-Life

    Pomegranate Oat Bran Scrub

    2 ounces pomegranate juice
    2 ounces orange juice
    2 tbsp honey
    2 tbsp sea salt
    3 to 4 ounces oat bran

    1. In a container large enough to hold two cups, combine pomegranate and orange juices. To this add the honey and mix together well.
    2. Now add sea salt and oat bran. Mix together and allow the oat bran to soak up the liquids, about 10 to 20 minutes.
    3. Make sure to apply to a clean face. Probably the easiest way is to apply in the shower after you clean your face and allow it to set while you do other things. The steam from the shower helps allow the ingredients to penetrate your skin. Then, gently scrub off as you shower.

    Copyright ® eHow.com

Login to post comments