Body Care: Then and Now

Written by Rhonda Allison

Body contouring without the surgery – is it possible? Yes, with advancements in skin rejuvenation, there are a number of effective non-invasive alternatives to body contouring. It simply requires applying what we know to be effective in facial rejuvenation to the body.

When I had my practice, clients often asked how they could correct skin issues or improve the appearance of aging on various body parts. Not wanting to undergo surgical procedures, they were searching for alternatives to achieve a healthy, toned, and supple appearance, head to toe.
And consumers are looking for solutions. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the number of buttock and neck lift procedures continues to increase, as do laceration and scar repair. What if you could offer clients
another alternative?
Using tried and true ingredients, proven effective throughout history, as well as advanced, cutting-edge ingredients, aesthetic professionals will support their clients in achieving the healthy, supple appearance they want.
Throughout history, women have sought out remedies for hydrating, smoothing, soothing, and firming the body. In Ancient Egypt, Cleopatra regularly bathed in milk and applied aloe vera ritually. Pumice stones were regularly used to exfoliate and plant oils to moisturize. Their goal was to keep the skin soft, supple, and healthy. While we still utilize many of these same ingredients and techniques, today we have a bevy of sophisticated ingredients at our fingertips to help correct, nourish, and protect the skin more effectively.
Toning and firming the body starts by treating it with the same ingredients proven effective in professional facial treatments. Body peels are similar to facial peels, working beyond the surface to reduce coarse texture and fine lines, diminish age spots and hyperpigmentation, and help maintain healthier, more youthful-looking skin.
Body peel treatments work by initiating deep stimulation, breaking the skin down, then rebuilding and nourishing it while stimulating cell turnover. They are like corrective body massages – relaxing, yet they provide a workout for the skin and clients will notice an almost immediate difference in firmness.

Creating an Effective Body Treatment
Treatments may be adjusted and customized to address nearly any skin type or issue, and allow you to provide solutions to sun-damaged, photo-aged, or sagging skin, as well as the appearance of cellulite. While many facial peel formulas may be used on the body, there are different techniques and skin issues to be aware of before administering a body peel:

  • Always perform a skin assessment to determine the technique and strength of acid or enzyme to use.
  • Note any existing scar tissue, sun damage, and moles.
  • Never treat more than 25 percent of the body at one time.
  • Do not peel the breast area or buttocks.
  • Do not treat someone who is pregnant or lactating.

When treating the body, the skin must always be prepped with a good cleanse and exfoliation. Peeling agents are best applied to dry skin to digest dead skin cells, soften, and hydrate the skin. Typically, enzymes and alpha hydroxy acids, particularly L-lactic acid, work well with the body’s tougher skin, lifting away deeper layers of dead skin cells.
Finish the treatment with nourishing, skin-building ingredients like peptides, growth factors, amino acids, and oxygenators. Always apply sun protection like zinc, which, unlike many chemical sunscreens, is a good all-natural physical blocker that limits the risk of irritating the skin.
If treating sun-damaged, photo-aged, dry and sagging skin, a lactic acid prep, followed by a retinol-peeling agent with peptides, will work to tone, firm, and smooth the skin. For deeper intensity or more aggressive treatments, microdermabrasion may be coupled with most body peel treatments.
If reducing the appearance of cellulite is your client’s goal, start with an alpha hydroxyl acid formula or acid complex applied to the areas where cellulite has collected. After a skin-building formula has been massaged into the skin, a warm compress may be applied. Finish with a potent dose of peptides to stimulate cellular regeneration.

Correcting Cellulite in the Treatment Room
In my experience, cellulite was always a primary concern among clientele, which is why I dedicated a section to it. Unfortunately, it develops more commonly in women than men and all women are susceptible to it, regardless of size. While fat is certainly one component of cellulite, it is not the only piece of the puzzle.
Fibrous connective tissue adheres the skin to the muscle beneath, and the arrangement of this is different in women than men. Connective tissue contracts and stiffens with age, and this will tighten or pull down the skin, causing the fat cells to push out on the skin.
While many physicians believe there is no actual cure for cellulite, in my more than 35 years in the industry, I have seen enough results to prove otherwise. I believe we can greatly improve the appearance, so much so that cellulite is diminished and no longer visible at the surface. There are four primary components to minimizing cellulite: increase circulation, flush toxins, strengthen collagen, and reduce fat. With the right treatment plan and home-care system in place, clients will see a reduction in the appearance of cellulite.

Body Care at Home
After a body peel, it is essential to continue the care at home with nourishing and skin-building formulas. Ingredients like peptides, epidermal growth factor, hyaluronic acid, organic stem cells, amino acids, and isoflavones, to name a few, will continue the re-youth process.
A good home care regimen will focus on:

  • Exfoliating and stimulating – physical and acid/enzyme exfoliators will pave the way for other beneficial ingredients to penetrate skin cells.
  • Increasing circulation – an energizing formula containing ingredients like peptides, goji berry, and coffee extracts will help retexture and oxygenate the skin.
  • Strengthening and building – cosmeceuticals like epidermal growth factors, peptides, botanical phytochemicals, oleic and linoleic acids, retinols, and vitamins will help repair skin tissue, hydrate, tone, renew, and reform skin.
  • Protecting – skin protection is a must. Use a natural physical block like zinc oxide with a sun protection factor of 30 to limit exposure to damaging free radicals and ultraviolet rays.

Professional body peel treatments supported by a daily home care regimen will significantly change the health and appearance of the skin, addressing issues like hyperpigmentation, keratosis pilaris, acne, aging, dull form, slack skin, and cellulite bumping, to name a few. Body treatments will also allow you to expand your service offerings and ensure you are equipped to provide solutions to your clientele’s needs.

Rhonda-AllisonRhonda Allison, a pioneer in the skin care industry, is the founder and CEO of Rhonda Allison Cosmeceuticals and RAW Skin Care for Men. She is also an author and internationally known speaker with more than 30 years of aesthetic experience. and

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