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By | January 21, 2019

21st Century Television is pleased to announce that Naturel Collagen has won the prestigious “Telly Award” for excellence in programming. Naturel Collagen offers anti-aging products that use fish-based collagen, which interacts perfectly with the human body. Naturel Collagen’s products possess epidermal repair properties never before seen in synthetic and bovine-based collagen products.



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21st Century Labs
January 21, 2019

salon-spa21st Century Laboratory produces cutting edge hair care, skin care, spa, cosmetic, and cosmeceutical formulations with natural ingredients and organically grown botanicals, including sulfate free formulations.Our combination of highly specialized equipment and extensive background in the cosmetics industry allows us to innovate or optimize top-notch cosmeceuticals for private labeling. Our methodology at 21st Century Laboratory requires the strictest quality control standards.



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By Jeremy Lawrence | January 21, 2019

Great customer service is the cornerstone of any business – keeping clients happy with their services and overall brand will keep them coming back.

Customer service now goes well beyond talking to the front desk staff, calling the customer care line, or even sending an e-mail. Customer service lives on social media, which makes it a very visible part of the business' brand.

This news is great for businesses because social media offers an opportunity to immediately connect with customers, solve any issues, and keep the business at the top of the customer's mind.

pic-1BENEFITS OF CUSTOMER CARE ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Increases Accessibility
Regardless of the industry of a business, that business' customers are on social media: They are engaging with friends and colleagues and while they are at it, they may just engage with a business. Clients take to social media to share their experiences with businesses – good or bad – ask questions, and look for solutions to problems. Sending a tweet, posting to a brand's Facebook wall, or commenting on an Instagram picture can be easier than making a phone call or writing an e-mail because that customer is already actively on the business' social platform. As a business, this access provides an opportunity to answer clients' questions in whichever way is easiest and most accessible.

Engagement Begets Engagement (and Trust)
The more skin care professionals engage with clients online, the more others will begin to engage with the professional. If a client sees the professional answer another client's question or resolve a complaint on social media, that client will be more likely to reach out to the professional on social media. Responding directly to the client on the platform in which they asked the question also allows current and potential clients to see the great customer service the professional offers. This engagement not only encourages professionals to be more active with their online presence, but also builds trust with their clients. Furthermore, the more people the professional engages with on these platforms, the more searchable and discoverable their profile becomes, making it easier for new clients to find them.

Expanding the Relationship Beyond the Treatment Room
Building a social media presence for the spa and engaging with clients online allows the professional to foster and grow connections with clients even when they are not receiving a service. Extending good customer service to any feedback the professional receives on social media, positive or negative, reinforces the positive experiences the client has had within the treatment room and the spa. This response furthers the connection the client feels to the business and the brand.

Third Party Recommendations
Recommendations from friends and family can make a huge difference when potential clients are deciding where or from whom to receive a service. The same can be said for online reviews and conversations. The internet has opened up a world of research that allows people to explore others' experiences with something they may want to try and many people turn to social media for such research. Engaging in customer service online creates a history of those conversations for others to view when looking for a service, which could draw new clients to the professional's business.

pic-2Social Listening
Monitoring what people are saying about the spa on social media platforms is called social listening. Fostering conversations across social media also allows professionals another avenue to listen to their clients and gain important insight into what people think of their business. Clients will share both positive and negative experiences, which will help the professional understand what is going well in their business and what they can improve upon.

For example, the professional might see multiple clients raving about one product or service and consistently complaining about another. The professional may want to find ways to expand the service that is getting great reviews and reevaluate what is receiving criticism. The professional might find that a particular employee consistently receives positive feedback for going the extra mile; find out what that employee is doing and encourage the rest of the staff to do the same.

Negative feedback is not always so obvious. Take note of posts that receive high engagement and compare them to posts that receive little-to-no engagement. High engagement is telling of what is popular among clients, while low engagement will show the converse. Finding a common denominator between high-engagement posts can help determine what clients are most interested in hearing about. The professional can then apply that information to the rest of their social media content.

MANAGING CUSTOMER SERVICE ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Putting in the Time
Managing customer service on social media requires a time commitment. The professional will need to dedicate resources to manage their accounts; someone has to post content, answer questions, and respond to any feedback. This time commitment does not mean the spa needs to have a staff member solely dedicated to social media, but they will need to have someone, or multiple people, responsible for monitoring their channels on a regular basis. Some businesses have one person that regularly monitors their social platforms, while others rotate the responsibility between multiple staff members. The amount of time spent monitoring the accounts will depend on the number of social media platforms being utilized, the size of the spa's following, and the amount of engagement from clients. The best advice is to start slowly. Pick one or two social platforms to use when getting started. The professional will be able to dedicate more time to each of them and better gauge what the overall time commitment will need to be.

Real Time Responses
One of the most important things to remember about social media is that it is immediate. When someone goes on social media, they are looking for instant gratification – a quick response to their question, an acknowledgment of their complaint, or even a "like" to their positive feedback. Businesses that are the most successful on social media acknowledge any comments as quickly as possible, even if they have to follow up with more information later.

Addressing Concerns and Negative Feedback
After a negative experience, people often turn to social media to either share their experience or look for a resolution to their issue. When the professional receives this type of communication, whether it is through a comment, review, or direct message, the best thing for them to do is acknowledge the client's concern in a timely manner. Even if the professional is not able to immediately answer the client's question or solve their problem, a quick response makes the client feel heard and goes a long way in resolving an issue positively. The professional should let the client know they are looking into the concern and will follow up with the full answer or resolution once they have it. It is also essential to thank them for their feedback, which not only shows the client that the spa wants to correct the situation, but also shows anyone else who sees the online interaction that client satisfaction is of the utmost importance.

Taking Customer Service Offline
Many customer service questions can be answered directly on the platform in which they are asked: operational hours, availability of a particular product, and whether or not a service is being offered. If the question can be answered thoroughly and concisely without additional information from the client, respond directly on the platform. Clients see the professional as the expert and are seeking their advice, but too many details can make the professional's response muddled and confusing.

However, the professional will run into issues that are better resolved in private messages or offline. These issues include anything that requires getting more information from the client, such as questions about which products they should be using to issues that would better be resolved over the phone, like a complaint about negative results from a service. When these issues come up, the professional can send the client a private message on the platform on which they reached out to them, or can ask the client for their contact information so the professional can reach out to them directly about the issue. Either way, be sure to acknowledge the action they are taking publically so others will see that they responded to the issue. For example: "Hi Katie. We are sorry to hear about your experience – that is definitely not typical. We would like to get some additional information from you so we can help resolve the issue. Look out for a private message from us. Thanks." The professional can also say, "Hi Katie. Thank you for your feedback. We'd like to reach out to you directly so we can solve your issue. We've sent you a private message asking for your e-mail address so we can contact you there. Thanks."

Engaging with Positive Feedback
Social media is not all about managing negative customer service complaints. There is plenty of positivity to go around. Clients also love to share what they love about businesses, such as awesome results from services, positive interactions with employees, and overall great experiences with the spa. Just as the professional acknowledges criticism and negative feedback, they should also acknowledge the praise they receive too. If a client leaves a comment thanking their aesthetician for their latest treatment, reply with, "Thanks for coming in! We always love to see you!" If a client shares a picture of their clear skin thanks to a series of treatments and homecare products, like the picture and leave a comment thanking them for sharing and telling them how wonderful and healthy their skin looks.

Finding Your Voice
Social media should be used as an extension of the professional's brand, be it large or small, so do not lose sight of the spa's voice. When posting or engaging with clients, channel the brand through a human voice; be relaxed, but professional. Customize responses like the client is being spoken to face-to-face. Using a familiar voice not only strengthens the professional's branding, but also helps clients feel more comfortable and loyal.

Surprise and Delight
While responding to clients on social platforms is very important, professionals also have the opportunity to give those clients who take the extra time to talk to them online something extra. This surprise will make clients feel special and encourage them to continue engaging with the professional on social media. For example, if one of the clients shares a picture on the spa's Facebook page after every chemical peel to show the professional, and all of her social media followers, her glowing results, the professional might consider giving her a free product when she comes in for her next treatment. The professional can comment on the post telling her that, as a thank you, something special is waiting for her the next time she comes in, so not only she sees that she is getting something, but others do as well, which also encourages them to post.


THE LOGISTICS: HOW TO MONITOR AND RESPONDpic-3
While the main principles of social media customer service apply to all platforms, the specific tactics of monitoring and responding vary by channel.

Facebook
There are multiple ways clients may communicate with the professional on Facebook. Clients may leave a comment or image directly on the spa's wall or they may send a private message. The professional can easily monitor both avenues directly on Facebook. When the professional is logged into their business page, they will receive a notification within the Facebook page when someone has posted directly to their wall, when they receive a message, or when someone comments on, likes, or shares one of their posts. The professional can also change their settings to add more users to the business page and receive e-mail or push notifications to the mobile phone.

Once the professional receives a notification, they can respond directly to the comment on their computer or on their mobile device within the Facebook Page Manager mobile application. To make this process easier, the professional can get push notifications to their mobile device to know immediately when someone is interacting with them on Facebook.

Instagram
On Instagram, clients may comment directly on the professional's posts, send them a direct message, or mention them in a picture they are posting. The professional can monitor comments, direct messages, and mentions of their Instagram account directly within the mobile application. Much like Facebook, the professional will receive notifications of all new activity when logged into their account. While the professional cannot post pictures from the website, Instagram does allow them to respond to comments and messages on both the computer and within the mobile application. However, Instagram will only show the professional the most recent notifications, meaning comments and mentions can get buried and lost. Be sure to scroll through the posts to check for recent comments that may have been missed. Outside platforms, such as Iconosquare, are also helpful with tracking engagements on Instagram.

Twitter
Clients may contact the professional on Twitter by responding to a tweet, sending a direct message, or mentioning the professional in a tweet they are sharing. Monitoring Twitter activity within the platform can be difficult because it moves so quickly. When someone engages with the professional directly, the professional will receive a notification in the Notifications tab. Most businesses and brands choose to use a management tool to track their Twitter activity, such as TweetDeck or HootSuite. These platforms allow the professional to not only track all of their notifications in one place, but also track keywords people might be using about their business. This tool comes in handy if someone shares a tweet that includes the name of their business without tagging the business' Twitter handle. The professional can respond to clients directly on the computer, in the mobile application, or from a management tool if they are using one. Both TweetDeck and Hootsuite also have mobile applications, so the professional can respond on their mobile device.

Engaging with clients on social media is well worth the time and commitment to build the brand's presence and connect with clients. Showing clients that the professional cares about any and all feedback makes them feel connected to the professional and the spa, and not only makes them more willing to come back, but also more likely to refer a friend.

kelley-MooreKelley Moore is the digital media manager at PCA SKIN. She has a background working both on and offline with consumer retail brands in multiple industries. With a focus on content development, consumer communication, and customer engagement, she specializes in creating connections between consumers and brands.



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By | January 21, 2019

Despite such an advanced beauty culture, it is disappointing that a majority of the skin analysis conducted in aesthetics and skin care clinics is still to insufficient to be useful. The main reason for this is that in many clinics, detailed consultations and skin diagnostic tools are not being used. So with this utilization of old-fashioned terminology, diagnostic language and procedures (which are often no better than what a client could get at a department store) is it any wonder we have not grown past the five percent market share of the personal care industry?

professional.skin.analysisNone of this reflects well for the image of the skin therapy profession. In addition, the lack of credible procedures and diagnostic tools being used in conjunction with outdated knowledge is a reflection of our base knowledge, which in all truth is far higher than perceived by the public.
For example: If you still think dehydration is a skin condition, you are not likely to have considered how oil and water work in synergy, the physics of transepidermal water loss, and how the relevant ambient humidity affects water evaporation. You need to re-educate!
Today, we should be far more aware of how the leading causes of skin conditions will affect the cells and systems of skin. Today's clients are more informed and want information and knowledge from you that they will not be reading in the weekly women's magazines or on the Internet. The client should see you as an expert in "skin" and one that has an extensive understanding of skin structure and function.
However, many skin treatment practitioners may apply the approach of treating the symptoms and not the cause of skin conditions, and this may be why many treatment protocols fail to deliver the kind of results clients expect and deserve. By determining the cause of the condition(s) and what subsystems of the skin have been affected, more appropriate and effective plans of action can be formulated.
One of the reasons I believe we are losing our place in the "skin" industry is because of a reluctance to take on new analysis methods and diagnostic technology. Even with a detailed examination and consultation, how can we be sure that everything we see or hear is exactly what is actually happening within the skin? How dry is dry and how oily is oily? We can not assess this by looking or guessing and this is where skin diagnostic tools become absolutely imperative as part of a skin treatment clinic and diagnostic service. Over the years, I have observed clinics spending tens of thousands of dollars on a modality to treat the skin without one diagnostic tool being used to ascertain if that modality was even suitable to use on some skins. The term "suitable for all skin types" should be approached with caution. There are always risk factors to be considered.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is a prime example; there are many of these devices being used without any diagnostic equipment to determine skin color or skin risk for hyper- or hypo-pigmentation side effects.
A diagnostic tool that would help determine this costs less than $1,500 which is not a lot to pay to ensure your clients skin health. Many insurance claims for treatments gone wrong could have been easily avoided by the use of these relatively inexpensive devices.
Almost 20 years ago, I began teaching a progressive method of skin analysis. This method was the first non-product aligned, intensive-program covering the major relevant aspects of effective, contemporary analysis and consultation. In addition to a complete update of the relevant anatomy and physiology of the skin, it brought new competencies and skills including:

  • How to link skin structure and function to skin conditions;
  • How to quickly determine leading causes and to link that cause to skin structure and function;
  • Understand the "cascade" effect that is a result of related conditions;
  • Determine triggers and contributing factors of the conditions; and
  • How to prioritize treatment order for maximum results.

This approach to professional skin analysis is now the norm in professional clinics in many parts of the world, but even at the beginning, when I began teaching this method I realized some form of skin measurement tools were needed. Key points of reference needed to be established for the most important parameters or aspects of the skin. These parameters cannot be guessed; they must be measured to be credible and useful. There are four aspects of the skin that we should be measuring during a detailed analysis.

Hydration
By monitoring the percentage of free water in the epidermis, one is able to ascertain a number of key "skin health" indicators, including the condition of the first three lines of skin barrier defense, the enzymatic action of the epidermis and the levels of fluid intake and dispersion of fluid intake.

Skin Lipid levels
Testing sebum or skin lipids will determine the amount of sebum being excreted to the skin surface and the state of the acid mantle. As the acid mantle is the first line of skin barrier defense, the quality of the surface fluid balance is a useful diagnostic tool when diagnosing skin disorders like eczema and allergic contact dermatitis, rosacea type conditions and essential fatty acid deficiency. In these cases, the health of the acid mantle should be measured as a point of reference. Without this point of reference there is no starting point and therefore no credible scientific way of proving skin health progress.

Melanin
Increasingly important is a measurement of the melanin content of the skin. Today, with so many mixed ethnicities the risk factors and protocols for many treatments involving heat, abrasion or chemicals need to be determined before choosing a modality. By measuring the melanin content over various sites of the body, we cannot only determine what the base phototype is, but accurately asses the rate of melanogenesis and minimal erythemic dose (MED) or burn time.

Erythema
The measuring of erythema (or the density of the vascular mat) provides information that will indicate the predisposition to permanent diffused redness and flushing. It also tells us about the density of the supporting connective tissue of the dermis and the level of damage in older skins. Measuring vascularity provides more accurate data than subjective opinion and a more precise condition change can be determined – when referenced measurements are compared over time.
Once you have conducted a professional skin analysis, there should be a wealth of valuable information at your fingertips that will help you determine exactly what has gone wrong and what treatment solutions are required.

A detailed skin analysis will determine the following:

  • Genetic history;
  • Nutrition and lifestyle;
  • Cosmetic and medical history;
  • Client skin type;
  • Intrinsic characteristics (born with a genetic predisposition);
  • Extrinsic characteristics (developed through clients
    work/play lifestyle);
  • Treatment risk factors and client protocols for home care.

The consultation will also provide you with information about:

  • The primary cause of conditions;
  • The secondary effect on cells and systems;
  • Priority skin conditions and secondary
    skin conditions.

These discoveries will lead you to:

  • Identifying the first priority skin condition for
    clinical intervention;
  • Second priority skin condition for client home care;
  • What treatment modalities to use and in what order.

Only with this knowledge can you prepare a credible summary report on a client's skin conditions and prescribe effective treatment plans. As mentioned, the fundamentals of determining cause and identifying affected cells and systems are the cornerstones of treatment success. Without this information, it can be a "hit or miss" approach to prescribing an effective treatment plan. Many skin conditions require a multiple treatment modality approach … but, which one should be used first? What order and frequency will be required? Most often, when the cause of the skin condition is addressed first, the levels of improvement of subsequent treatment steps are accelerated; delivering faster and better results. It is this type of knowledge and approach to skin treatment therapy that will elevate the industry in both the eyes of the public and the medical profession to enable us to "bridge the gap" between aesthetics and dermatology. Professional credibility and earning potential can only follow. This is why I can not impress enough that the best investment you can make in your future is education.

florence.barrett-hill.headshotInternationally acclaimed dermal science educator, Florence Barrett-Hill is a practitioner, researcher and author with a vast experience covering all aspects of professional aesthetic therapy and paramedical skin care. Barrett-Hill is one of the worlds most recognized and respected clinical aesthetician/practitioner whose influence and passion for promoting education has changed the face of the industry in Australasia and other parts of the world over the past 15 years. She is a sought after presenter of technical matters pertaining to skin treatment therapy, and travels internationally sharing her knowledge with individuals and groups who believe the future of professional skin care lies with a scientific foundation. Barrett-Hill's most renowned book, "Advanced Skin Analysis", has been a best seller since 2004 and has been translated into German, French and Japanese. She currently has four books available globally, including her most recent Cosmetic Chemistry and Pictorial guides. www.pastiche-usa.com or www.virtualbeauty.co.nz

 

 



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By | January 21, 2019

Whether you are just graduating from aesthetic school or have been in practice a number of years, almost all skin care professionals dream of one day operating their own independent business. By nature we are creative beings; we envision the freedom and income that only a private practice seems capable of providing us. The envisioned benefits are convincing enough: working our own hours, charging what we want for our services, being our own boss and having total control over our professional life. What's not to like? Many aestheticians choose to begin by working with an established spa or salon with the idea of going independent as soon as they have gathered enough knowledge (and loyal clients) to break away and set up a private studio. Others feel that they have the ambition and business savvy to start their own business right away. Whatever you are planning to do, there are some important things to consider before and even after you begin an independent skin care practice.

Having worked in the professional industry for 29 years, just recently focusing on beginning another skin care business in Silicon Valley, I will be using a short course to build this new company quickly. For my like-minder readers and colleagues, I here offer some of my best tips for creating and growing an independent skin care practice, particularly with these challenging economic times in mind.

  1. Begin Small … With Minimal Expenses – Avoid large spaces that run up rent and do not allow the fantasy of a thriving business tempt you to commit to costly equipment, leases or an employee to assist you. Even if you have customers ready and waiting, there is still no way of really knowing what your income and costs will be until you open the doors. You can be sure that expenses will exceed whatever you have planned. You do not need the pressure of high overhead to strain your new venture. Allow your business to grow as slowly, steadily and comfortably as possible.
  2. Know What Kind of Customer You Are Looking For … in Advance – This does not mean that you will refuse the luxurious facial appointment, just that if you are looking to build your practice around anti-aging or acne therapies then these are the ones you should be focusing on, talking about and advertising. It is always best to become known for a specialty – being the go-to expert in a specific treatment discipline – than being an anything for anyone generalist. Do more of what you love to do and that business will find you.
  3. Get Your Website and Facebook Sites Up and Humming … Right Away – Especially your website. It is the phonebook of present times and you need it to be discovered in your local market. There are lots of inexpensive ways to start one but get it functioning as soon as possible and then direct your Facebook friends and everyone else you know there. What cannot be seen can not be found, and what cannot be found cannot be purchased. While it sounds like a no-brainer, many aestheticians do not have websites, and if they do their site is non-productive. Find an expert to assist you.
  4. Network With Other Professionals … Do Not Isolate – You simply must get out there and promote yourself if you plan to succeed. And the best way to do that is to connect with professionals that perform services on people that would most likely desire your skin care treatments. Hairstylists are always the best bet; particularly those that work in salons close to you that do not offer facial services. Consider service trades, free services, special incentives for recommending their customers for you (I like small service brochure racks at their stations with a special offer for new clients), whatever will encourage them to promote your services. After all, you can only recommend so many hairstylists to your customers so do not base your agreement on an equal level of new referral business.
  5. Spend Extra Time With Each and Every New Client – We all know that client recommendation is the best and least expensive form of marketing, but few professionals really work to make sure that customers have a well-planned and fun-to-tell story to share about their aesthetician. The most effective way to win the loyalty and referral power of a client is by making sure that they feel special during their time with you. This is accomplished by doing much more listening than talking, by asking thoughtful questions and making a strong effort to build close rapport with customers. Did you know that most clients will not describe your treatments to friends and colleagues but, rather, the experience of being with you as a person, largely shaped by how you cared for them as individuals? This is something even a first year aesthetician can achieve just by putting customers' personal sensitivities and needs first. Remember, in the personal services business the word personal comes first.
  6. Stay At Your Workplace – unless you have a specific promotional activity to do that will help grow business. I cannot overstress how important this is! Yes, you will get bored and discouraged. Yes, you will sometimes want to scream, but stay put! Focus all of your available time on getting the word out about your practice. Write a newsletter (even if you only have two people to receive it), post something fun and newsworthy on Facebook, encourage clients to write a positive Yelp! review, but stay put! A walk-in, call-in or message you send out to the market can result in valuable business that can benefit you for years to come. Very few aestheticians take this advice and it is because of one reason … it takes them a longer amount of time to build a clientele than it should. A great career is the result of great patience and commitment. In other words: discipline. You will earn whatever you put into your practice, and dedicated time is one of the most important ingredients for growing one.
  7. Sample Your Services, Graciously – Scores of aestheticians I have known complain about having to perform what they call "free services," whether for a fellow staff member or even in an Oscar's celebrity tent. They complain that it does not bring them more business, and they do not like being a "slave" to services they are not paid for. This is a common and costly mistake. To grow your business you need people sharing their personal experience of it. That requires talking heads, those that have experienced your magic and will share the news with others even if they themselves never convert into regular clients. You need people out endorsing you to the world and a very effective way to achieve that is by donating some time and skill to training those ambassadors who are in contact with people. This means teaching your guests about the importance of your treatments, the uniqueness of your methods and how to express that message to those they are in contact with. Just doing a facial alone is not enough – you must make sure that you are being represented exactly the way you feel will be understood and appreciated by those that seek skin care services. And this requires both a sense of generosity and care. Better yet, it is a very economical and effective marketing plan, certainly better than texting friends about how slow your days are!

7.tips.prestonBuilding a skin care practice, particularly a solo practice, is a long and courage-testing project. Your will to work hard for inadequate earnings (in the early months at least), your passion for the profession, and your self-confidence will all be challenged as you apply your creative energies to the task of achieving a reliable clientele. This reality is a large reason why many formerly independent aestheticians choose to begin with, remain with, or sometimes return to employment by a thriving spa salon or medical practice. Avoiding the burdens of business management (marketing, overhead, tax accounting, scheduling, supply ordering, laundry, et cetera) and the stimulation of working with co-professionals offers an attractive reason to work for others. But, an independent practice for all the additional work it will demand can be a doubly rewarding career direction when the desire for freedom to choose technical methods and a flexible work life is driving it. Your professional success will always be measured by the satisfaction you derive from the practice itself, and that satisfaction may in part require your name on the studio door. The main thing is to know what you want, pursue it with all of your love and energy, and stick to a good plan. The rest is time, growth and the joy of this wonderful career.

douglas.preston.headshotDouglas Preston is a business consultant and frequent lecturer in the day and medical spa industry, and has been featured in interviews on CNN and Fine Living channels. Preston's business articles frequently appear in DERMASCOPE Magazine, Spa Management Journal, American Spa, MedicalSpa Magazine, Les Nouvelles Esthetiques and others. He also contributes as an editorial advisor to several respected spa trade publications. Preston is past-president of Aesthetics International Association (AIA), and served as committee chairman for The Day Spa Association (DSA). Preston was named The Day Spa Association's "Spa Person of the Year" in January 2006. He received distinction as "Favorite Spa Consultant" in American Spa magazine's 2006 readers' poll. As consultant to both spa owners, physicians and practicing aestheticians Preston has taught and mentored thousands of skilled professionals worldwide and continues to today. Since 1996, Preston has owned and operated Preston Private Label Products, a provider of fine skincare for the spa/medical industry. He has maintained a California aesthetician's license since 1982 and is also licensed in the state of New Mexico. douglas@prestoninc.net or 505-603-5585.

 



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By | January 21, 2019

tobia.meg21Company name: Dynamis Skin Science (dba) MEG 21
Founder and CEO: Annette M. Tobia, Ph.D.
Year established: 2005
Business type: Product development, manufacturing and marketing
Located: Jenkintown, Pennsylvania
No. of employees: 7
Mission Statement: To apply the power of rigorous, scientific research to combating skin aging. Our technology was discovered serendipitously in the course of disease-prevention research. It beautifies skin, but also heals and protects.

meg21.bannerMEG 21 products, with Supplamine™, are based on a scientific discovery made by the scientist/ founders of MEG 21 while working on their search for a drug to treat diabetic kidney disease and blindness. All the founders of MEG 21 are Ph.D. level biologists and chemists working on medical research. Serendipity struck when Dr. Annette Tobia realized that their research had found an aging process in skin that could be inhibited not only to slow down the effects of aging but also to allow skin to rejuvenate itself so that the appearance of aging visibly reverses, within four weeks. Not too many products do that – without irritation. MEG 21's patented active ingredients are incorporated into Supplamine™, and target oxidative stress and glycation (cross linking of collagen and elastin) which make skin look and feel older and wrinkly.
The proceeds from MEG 21 have helped pay for the medical research of the parent company; however, now MEG 21 is a stand alone company ready to grow in the skin care market by offering additional unique products and building brand awareness amongst skin care specialists.

Here is what MEG 21's founder and CEO, Annette M. Tobia, Ph.D., had to say during a recent interview.

Q: What is the strength behind MEG 21?
A: The strengths behind MEG 21 are:

  1. The technology that supports MEG 21 products: Supplamine™ targets an aging pathway discovered by our scientific founders while at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. MEG 21 products are designed to allow the skin to naturally rejuvenate while at the same time slow down the ongoing aging process by inactivation of a bad sugar. The natural inactivator of the bad sugar is included in Supplamine™. The bad sugar causes collagen and elastin cross linking as well as deep skin inflammation. The bad sugar is made by the skin and is also present in the body from certain foods in our diet. Supplamine™ also includes a good sugar that results in decreasing the bad sugar even more. Both the good sugar and the inactivator are delivered to multiple layers of the skin by liposomes.
  2. Our sales support team: MEG 21 sales specialists are dedicated to satisfying the questions and needs of our customers.
  3. The proven effectiveness of our products to reduce fine lines, wrinkles and reverse the appearance of aging; as shown by our published results in a peer reviewed research journal.

Our products have been tested on over 150 human volunteers. Improvements in skin appearance and texture are evident in many people at two weeks and reach statistical significance at 4 weeks – without irritation!

Q: What sets you apart from other manufacturers?
A: The main ingredient in MEG 21 is the subject of two issued U.S. patents to reduce wrinkles and to treat aging in skin, respectively. Supplamine™ which contains our patented ingredient can only be used by MEG 21 skin treatment products. In addition, MEG 21 products are formulated by a research biochemist, who has formulated a liposomal delivery system for MEG 21’s patented ingredients – a process other industry formulators admit should not be possible.

Q: What are your goals for MEG 21 and how do you partner with your clients to achieve them?
A: Our goals are to grow sales and distribution and build brand awareness over the next two to three years. MEG 21 actively participates with our clients at their in-house events. We support outreaches and raffles with gift baskets, samples and brochures. We work hard to satisfy the needs of our clients.

Q: Are there any new products in development?
A: MEG 21 is developing a novel skin lightener, a serum and a light day cream with SPF.

Q: What do you think about the future of Dynamis (MEG21)?
A: We are very excited about the future of MEG 21 products. We look forward to additional investors to support domestic growth and even more success with our distributors in Mexico, Hong Kong, Honduras and New Zealand. We are eager to begin selling our products in China with our Hong Kong partners and are actively seeking additional international distributors of our highly effective products.

Q: How many reps do you have and what territories do they represent?
A: We presently have two reps and three sales people who cover the U.S. and work with international distributors. We are actively looking to add to our representative pool.

Q: What education and customer service support do you offer clients– both initially and long-term?
A: We have a complete education package of slides that we use to train our customers and distributors. Our sales representatives work with skin care specialist to teach them about the science behind the MEG 21 products and how best to use them. Additional product information, including a short video is available on our website. .

Q: Does Dynamis (MEG21) support any particular causes or charitable organizations?
A: MEG 21 pays Fox Chase Cancer Center a portion of every sale, thereby supporting cancer research. MEG 21 sales have also supported the parent company’s efforts to develop a drug to treat diabetic kidney disease and blindness.

Q: Is there something else, outside of the realm of the questions asked above, regarding your company that you would like to share with our readers?
A: As the founder of MEG 21 and the diabetes company, I feel blessed to have been able to do so much good for our clients by way of beauty and also, at the same time, continue our goal of finding a drug that could delay diabetic dialysis, blindness and loss of limbs. The discovery of the skin treatment ingredient was serendipitous while doing the diabetes research, but that beauty discovery gave us the ability to raise monies not only to launch a very effective skin care product, MEG 21, but to continue the research so dear to our hearts. Who could pray for anything more? I thank all the users of MEG 21 and future users of MEG 21 for making all this possible.



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By Alexandra J. Zani | January 21, 2019

A LITTLE HISTORY
Laser hair removal procedures in 2010 totaled to 936, 121, which reflected a -26.9% decrease from 2009 – most likely as a result of a flexing economy.1 It is a procedure, however, that continues to be popular.
Lasers (including the CO2 laser) were introduced in dermatology and surgery as early as the 1960s.2 The CO2 laser became more popular during the 1990s for skin resurfacing to improve wrinkles, dischromias, scars, atrophic scars, pitted acne scars and others.3 These pioneering procedures also meant longer recovery periods.

Newer generations of thermal lasers, including fractional lasers and controlled non-ablative pulsed lasers helped influence a new field of aesthetic medicine during the past 15 years. Many laser services are now considered lunchtime procedures unlike the earlier CO2 skin resurfacing procedure that required several days to weeks for recovery. Modern services include hair reduction, skin rejuvenation, pigmentation, vascular lesions (port wine stains, telangiectasia, superficial veins) and tattoo removal. Manufacturers for contemporary thermal devices for cosmetic treatments (laser, intense pulse light (IPL), and radio frequency) have perfected their machines through incorporating more contemporary smart features that support ease of calibration and use, safety and more controlled outcome of a procedure. Moreover, the passing of time during the past 20 years has allowed for additional research including a greater understanding of thermal effects on tissue, refinement of techniques, writing of peer-reviewed studies, and witnessing the transition into a medical spa environment.

EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS
A growing concern involves the inconsistency of statewide variants as to who is allowed to operate a non-ablative laser, i.e., hair removal lasers in particular. Additionally, one must be mindful that lasers/IPL devices can be dangerous in the hands of an unskilled operator.
Reviewing the evolution of laser technology (including radio frequency and any device that perpetrates a thermal response in tissue) and its place in aesthetic medicine brings with it many challenges when it comes to consistent and adequate education in the use of non-ablative technology. Both medical and aesthetic personnel, each of whom will vary in education level, should be trained and certified in safe operation of these machines. Additionally, they must also work within the scope of their licensing. A few hours of manufacturer training in an office is not always adequate. Furthermore, learning laser theory without sufficient hours of hands-on practicum under the guidance of an experienced tutor again is not recommended. It takes practice to perfect the understanding of laser operation, tissue response and how to remedy any unexpected result. Moreover, this knowledge and precaution should not be limited to procedures that solely create heat shock to the skin (laser/IPL/radio frequency). Rather it should pertain to all other treatment procedures (chemical peels, microdermabrasion, ultrasound, dermal needling) that may pose a risk for tissue injury (controlled or unexpected) including interference with the normal biological functioning of the skin – acid mantle, immune cells, keratinocytes, melanocytes, nerve cells, fibroblasts, Natural Moisturizing Factors(NMF), enzyme processes and more.
An in-depth understanding in the dermal sciences should be mandated for all aesthetic professionals. Study should include skin histology, cells and systems, skin disorders and diseases, melanogenesis (pigment), angiogenesis (vascular and circulatory system), the immune response during a procedure, successful wound healing during the use of a device that creates a thermal response in the skin, or even a chemical or mechanical wound. Included in this list is the importance of understanding the procedural effects of thermal technology on all skin colors and cultural variation. Most important is to develop one's ability to fully grasp the degree of possible risks for global skin types that are becoming more prevalent within our North American society. Cultural (race) diversity includes Caucasian, non-Caucasian and mixed population groups found in many parts of the world and here. The outcome and rate of healing may vary within each category. Furthermore, product choices should be carefully studied so that we apply ingredients that are non-toxic and bio-identical to skin components.

SKIN ANALYSIS
Prior to performing any procedure, a detailed systematic pathway of skin analysis is required that encompasses the client's health history, life style profile, visual and verbal interview, and client expectations. The accuracy of this assessment is also dependent upon the education level of the practitioner who should be savvy enough to recognize indicators for potential tissue reaction and risk, healing potential and final outcome and success of a procedure. Without mastery of these underlying concepts, mistakes can be made with potential irreversible consequences.
The next section of this article will discuss an important aspect of skin histology beginning with a review of human origins and the melanogenesis story. We will travel back in time because it reveals valuable insight in supporting our decisions when performing laser/IPL treatments. Moreover, this information is relevant for ALL aesthetic services including chemical peels, enzymes, microdermabrasion and other skin-rejuvenating services.

HUMAN ORIGINS
When we first meet another person, we immediately notice the color of their skin, their hair, and other anatomical features that subtly provides indicators to their racial and geographical origin. Physical appearance (anatomical features) also influences the propensity for sexual attraction resulting in proliferation of a species. What differentiates the gradation or degree of color in human beings is based on several observations. Regardless of skin color, the purpose, function and biological requirements of cells remain consistent in all individuals no matter what their geographical location.4 What encourages body health and human survival are balanced nutrients, light and darkness, optimum immune response, healthy cell membranes and skin barrier, the ability to adapt into an environment, and healthy social structures. Cells have receptors and sensors that are responsive to external and internal stimuli that collectively become part of a greater communication network within the body. Synchronicity of ALL systems is based on genetic adaptation that leads to optimum human health and survival.5 There may be, however, some differences between race groups based on origins and genetic adaptive characteristics. This is a key observation.
The closer one originates from locations in proximity to the equator, the darker the skin with the biochemistry, including skin color, adapting accordingly. Populations originating in colder latitudes north and south of the equator are lighter in skin color.5 Anthropology studies substantiate that through a process called Natural Selection and Biodiversity, humans have a remarkable innate ability to adapt to their natural surroundings. This may be at sea level, to mountain regions, rain forest and hot desert. Body structures, height, and the amount of body fat are all adaptive mechanisms that reveal clues as to one's origin. For example, long, linear bodies tend to be correlated with hot, dry climates. Short, stocky body builds with shorter fingers and toes are found in colder, wet climates.6,7 What about individuals who tend to have larger lungs and chest cavities and whose ancestors originated at higher elevations with lower oxygen supply? At first you may ask why these differences exist. My answer to you is to explore the biological requirements of the cells and systems that promote healthy body functioning based on climatic and environmental adaptivity.
Here is another observation: It took thousands of years for humans to evolve and create features and biological responses that safeguarded survival in their native location. Genetic adaptations occur due to phenomena called environmental stresses(or evolutionary pressure) that include temperature, humidity, various altitudes, bacterial and viral infection, air quality, and dietary imbalance.7 When these conditions become persistent over several generations, survival requires a biological evolution for genetic adaptation.7 A good example is when populations lived during times of disease. They began to acquire genetic traits that helped them build immunity to those microorganisms. Genetic traits, as a result, are passed to subsequent generations. It also provides clues as to why individuals may experience health challenges including various skin conditions. For the price of a plane ticket, modern humans can relocate in a day to another part of the world. It certainly could promote a bit of biological and psychological havoc!
Considering that it took humans 25,000 to 50,000 years of adaptation, what biological and anatomical changes occurred when humans relocated from the core of Africa into northern or southern latitudes? Movement into these colder regions eventually caused darker skin to lighten proportionally to the distance to which they migrated. This resulted in a gradation (or range) of skin colors.9 What is the underlying reason for color adaptation in humans? We will move on to discuss melanin and body health.

MELANOCYTES – A Dendritic UV Filter System
There is a strong correlation between UV radiation and the biological requirements for health, specifically for vitamin D synthesis. Melanocyte function is primarily under genetic and hormonal controls that continuously strive to keep our natural level of skin color in check in order to regulate UV absorption. Both light and dark skin have variable sized melanin particles. The density and size of pigment particles become greater in darker skin types. An exception is with red heads that possess what is known as red gene MC1R factor resulting in fair skin, freckles, and red hair. Unlike their neighbors, the keratinocytes, melanocytes are slow cycling and long lived. After the age of 16 the regeneration cycle of melanocytes become limited. Beginning in our 30s and 40s the density of active melanocytes is reduced by 10 to 20 percent every ten years.10, 11
One in 10 cells in the basal area are melanocytes and serve to protect germinating nuclei of epidermal cells. They manufacture and package pigment granules (melanosomes) that are injected via dendrites into the keratinocytes. They are considered a photoprotective filter that becomes part of the natural skin barrier. These pigment cells reduce and control the penetration of all wavelengths of light to dermal tissues.10 This is a key function of the melanocyte and should not be overlooked. Melanin function includes not only UV filtering but also acts as a free radical scavenger due to its bipolymer complex structures as well as being a cation trap for toxic metals.8 We also have melanin receptors in the cones of our eyes; however, we will focus on the skin in this article.
It is well understood that over-absorption of UV radiation can result in cell destruction and suppression of thermoregulation and other biological processes.9 A controlled amount of UVB must, however, enter the skin cell receptors in order for the body to catalyze vitamin D, a group of fat-soluble secosteroids. Approximately 90 percent is this vitamin is normally synthesized in the basal and spinosum layers of the skin. The other 10 percent can come from our nutrition (fatty fish, egg yolks).

  • Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is required for the intestines to absorb calcium and phosphorus from food for bone growth and repair as well as regulate heart rhythm. Rickets is a prime example due to calcium deficiency.
  • Vitamin D is required for our immune system as well as helps control inflammation and influences gene regulation, differentiation, and apoptosis of cells. 8
  • Vitamin D deficiencies during pregnancy can result in pelvic deformities in women preventing normal delivery of babies.11
  • The activity of melanocytes in controlling and filtering is important to protecting UV photolysis (light-stimulated chemical decomposition) of folic acid (foliate, a B vitamin). Deficiencies in this nutrient can lead to anemia and creates risk for poor fetal development, resulting in miscarriage and poor reproductive success. 8

The control and rate of melanin production is essential for Vitamin D synthesis. The duration of UVB exposure must be sufficient to catalyze provitamin D3. What is important, however, that this regulation is genetically controlled through the adaptive traits inherited from our ancestors and region of origin. There are reasons for gradation of color based on these genetic traits. An increase of melanin in the skin increases the length of exposure to UV that is required for synthesis of the provitamin D3. For example, the formation of provitamin D3 takes more than five times as long in a very dark skin (Type VI) versus a light skin (Type III).8 Lighter skin types who originate further away from the equator require variable exposure times depending upon their location.

WHEN THINGS GO WRONG
The correct choice of wavelength, correct treatment settings, and technique in hair reduction or another aesthetic laser treatment are indeed important considerations. Whether in laser hair reduction or reducing the appearance of pigment on the skin, and skin rejuvenation, the propensity for adverse reactions increases with darker skin types. Moreover, when there is racial blending, this becomes a red flag for hidden potential risks. Do not be fooled by visual observation. A skin may appear dark but possess an ability to burn (and/or react) due to mixed ancestor traits including undisclosed health issues. Lighter skin types also become susceptible to cellular oxidation and damage when they are living in an area not native to their origins that also increases their risk for cancer. A key is to assess whether a condition is actually treatable. Is the client a good candidate for the service?
And finally, when considering treatment for correcting melasma and other pigmentation disorders one must determine the significance of the initial underlying causes. Do you understand the concepts of the melanogenesis story and the biological implications when melanocytes are damaged, including the mitochondria and possible shortening of the dendrites from oxidative stress, damage, and aging? Is there damage to the keratinocytes? Moreover, considering that pigment is deposited into the cells at the spinosum layer in the newly formed keratinocytes, what if there is a weak spinosum layer or the presence of an imbalanced enzyme or lack of a key chemical substance during this transitional process? Moving further into the dermis structures, the degradation of collagen and elastin, and ground substance (caused from numerous factors including aging and oxidative stress) poses another clue into a larger picture.

FAST FORWARD – 21st Century
How is all of this information relevant to our skin care practice or laser center? It is not enough to look at someone and visually determine their Fitzpatrick type or treatment outcome. Rather there is a subtler underlying story when it comes to successful result of any treatment.

Sources:

  1. Cosmetic Surgery National Data Bank Statistics, 2010 Report. (Click Here to Retrieve)
  2. Laser hair removal history and current issues. (Click Here to Retrieve)
  3. Sandhu, N., Elston, D. (2010) Cutaneous Laser Resurfacing, Carbon Dioxide. Medscape Reference. (Click Here to Retrieve)
  4. Rawlings, A.V. (2005) Ethnic Skin Types: Are there Differences in Skin Structure and Function? Presented as a keynote lecture at the IFSCC International Conference, Florence, Italy. (Click Here to Retrieve)
  5. Jablonski, N. (2006) Skin: A Natural History. University of California Press. Berkley, California
  6. Black History: Modern scientific explanation of human biological variation – Race. (Click Here to Retrieve)
  7. O'Neil, D. (2011) Human Biological Adaptability. An introduction to Human Responses to Common Environmental Stresses. Behavioral Sciences Dept. Palomar College, San Marcos, California. (Click Here to Retrieve)
  8. Jablonski, N., Chaplin, G. (2000) The evolution of human skin coloration. Journal of Human Evolution; 39, 57-106. (Click Here to Retrieve)
  9. Barrett-Hill, F. (2005) Advanced Skin Analysis. Virtual Beauty, New Zealand.
  10. Alam, M. Ashish, B. et al (2004) Cosmetic Dermatology for Skin of Color. McGraw-Hill Medical, NY. P1-8
  11. Holick, M.F. (1995). Environmental factors that influence the cutaneous production of vitamin D 1-3. Am J ClinNutr 1995:61 (supple): 638S


Read More
By | January 21, 2019

A LITTLE HISTORY
Laser hair removal procedures in 2010 totaled to 936, 121, which reflected a -26.9% decrease from 2009 – most likely as a result of a flexing economy.1 It is a procedure, however, that continues to be popular.
Lasers (including the CO2 laser) were introduced in dermatology and surgery as early as the 1960s.2 The CO2 laser became more popular during the 1990s for skin resurfacing to improve wrinkles, dischromias, scars, atrophic scars, pitted acne scars and others.3 These pioneering procedures also meant longer recovery periods.
Newer generations of thermal lasers, including fractional lasers and controlled non-ablative pulsed lasers helped influence a new field of aesthetic medicine during the past 15 years. Many laser services are now considered lunchtime procedures unlike the earlier CO2 skin resurfacing procedure that required several days to weeks for recovery. Modern services include hair reduction, skin rejuvenation, pigmentation, vascular lesions (port wine stains, telangiectasia, superficial veins) and tattoo removal. Manufacturers for contemporary thermal devices for cosmetic treatments (laser, intense pulse light (IPL), and radio frequency) have perfected their machines through incorporating more contemporary smart features that support ease of calibration and use, safety and more controlled outcome of a procedure. Moreover, the passing of time during the past 20 years has allowed for additional research including a greater understanding of thermal effects on tissue, refinement of techniques, writing of peer-reviewed studies, and witnessing the transition into a medical spa environment.

EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS
A growing concern involves the inconsistency of statewide variants as to who is allowed to operate a non-ablative laser, i.e., hair removal lasers in particular. Additionally, one must be mindful that lasers/IPL devices can be dangerous in the hands of an unskilled operator.
Reviewing the evolution of laser technology (including radio frequency and any device that perpetrates a thermal response in tissue) and its place in aesthetic medicine brings with it many challenges when it comes to consistent and adequate education in the use of non-ablative technology. Both medical and aesthetic personnel, each of whom will vary in education level, should be trained and certified in safe operation of these machines. Additionally, they must also work within the scope of their licensing. A few hours of manufacturer training in an office is not always adequate. Furthermore, learning laser theory without sufficient hours of hands-on practicum under the guidance of an experienced tutor again is not recommended. It takes practice to perfect the understanding of laser operation, tissue response and how to remedy any unexpected result. Moreover, this knowledge and precaution should not be limited to procedures that solely create heat shock to the skin (laser/IPL/radio frequency). Rather it should pertain to all other treatment procedures (chemical peels, microdermabrasion, ultrasound, dermal needling) that may pose a risk for tissue injury (controlled or unexpected) including interference with the normal biological functioning of the skin – acid mantle, immune cells, keratinocytes, melanocytes, nerve cells, fibroblasts, Natural Moisturizing Factors (NMF), enzyme processes and more.
An in-depth understanding in the dermal sciences should be mandated for all aesthetic professionals. Study should include skin histology, cells and systems, skin disorders and diseases, melanogenesis (pigment), angiogenesis (vascular and circulatory system), the immune response during a procedure, successful wound healing during the use of a device that creates a thermal response in the skin, or even a chemical or mechanical wound. Included in this list is the importance of understanding the procedural effects of thermal technology on all skin colors and cultural variation. Most important is to develop one’s ability to fully grasp the degree of possible risks for global skin types that are becoming more prevalent within our North American society. Cultural (race) diversity includes Caucasian, non-Caucasian and mixed population groups found in many parts of the world and here. The outcome and rate of healing may vary within each category. Furthermore, product choices should be carefully studied so that we apply ingredients that are non-toxic and bio-identical to skin components.

SKIN ANALYSIS
Prior to performing any procedure, a detailed systematic pathway of skin analysis is required that encompasses the client’s health history, life style profile, visual and verbal interview, and client expectations. The accuracy of this assessment is also dependent upon the education level of the practitioner who should be savvy enough to recognize indicators for potential tissue reaction and risk, healing potential and final outcome and success of a procedure. Without mastery of these underlying concepts, mistakes can be made with potential irreversible consequences.
The next section of this article will discuss an important aspect of skin histology beginning with a review of human origins and the melanogenesis story. We will travel back in time because it reveals valuable insight in supporting our decisions when performing laser/IPL treatments. Moreover, this information is relevant for ALL aesthetic services including chemical peels, enzymes, microdermabrasion and other skin-rejuvenating services.

HUMAN ORIGINS
When we first meet another person, we immediately notice the color of their skin, their hair, and other anatomical features that subtly provides indicators to their racial and geographical origin. Physical appearance (anatomical features) also influences the propensity for sexual attraction resulting in proliferation of a species. What differentiates the gradation or degree of color in human beings is based on several observations. Regardless of skin color, the purpose, function and biological requirements of cells remain consistent in all individuals no matter what their geographical location.4 What encourages body health and human survival are balanced nutrients, light and darkness, optimum immune response, healthy cell membranes and skin barrier, the ability to adapt into an environment, and healthy social structures. Cells have receptors and sensors that are responsive to external and internal stimuli that collectively become part of a greater communication network within the body. Synchronicity of ALL systems is based on genetic adaptation that leads to optimum human health and survival.5 There may be, however, some differences between race groups based on origins and genetic adaptive characteristics. This is a key observation.
The closer one originates from locations in proximity to the equator, the darker the skin with the biochemistry, including skin color, adapting accordingly. Populations originating in colder latitudes north and south of the equator are lighter in skin color.5 Anthropology studies substantiate that through a process called Natural Selection and Biodiversity, humans have a remarkable innate ability to adapt to their natural surroundings. This may be at sea level, to mountain regions, rain forest and hot desert. Body structures, height, and the amount of body fat are all adaptive mechanisms that reveal clues as to one’s origin. For example, long, linear bodies tend to be correlated with hot, dry climates. Short, stocky body builds with shorter fingers and toes are found in colder, wet climates.6,7 What about individuals who tend to have larger lungs and chest cavities and whose ancestors originated at higher elevations with lower oxygen supply? At first you may ask why these differences exist. My answer to you is to explore the biological requirements of the cells and systems that promote healthy body functioning based on climatic and environmental adaptivity.
Here is another observation: It took thousands of years for humans to evolve and create features and biological responses that safeguarded survival in their native location. Genetic adaptations occur due to phenomena called environmental stresses (or evolutionary pressure) that include temperature, humidity, various altitudes, bacterial and viral infection, air quality, and dietary imbalance.7 When these conditions become persistent over several generations, survival requires a biological evolution for genetic adaptation.7 A good example is when populations lived during times of disease. They began to acquire genetic traits that helped them build immunity to those microorganisms. Genetic traits, as a result, are passed to subsequent generations. It also provides clues as to why individuals may experience health challenges including various skin conditions. For the price of a plane ticket, modern humans can relocate in a day to another part of the world. It certainly could promote a bit of biological and psychological havoc!
Considering that it took humans 25,000 to 50,000 years of adaptation, what biological and anatomical changes occurred when humans relocated from the core of Africa into northern or southern latitudes? Movement into these colder regions eventually caused darker skin to lighten proportionally to the distance to which they migrated. This resulted in a gradation (or range) of skin colors.9 What is the underlying reason for color adaptation in humans? We will move on to discuss melanin and body health.

MELANOCYTES – A Dendritic UV Filter System
There is a strong correlation between UV radiation and the biological requirements for health, specifically for vitamin D synthesis. Melanocyte function is primarily under genetic and hormonal controls that continuously strive to keep our natural level of skin color in check in order to regulate UV absorption. Both light and dark skin have variable sized melanin particles. The density and size of pigment particles become greater in darker skin types. An exception is with red heads that possess what is known as red gene MC1R factor resulting in fair skin, freckles, and red hair. Unlike their neighbors, the keratinocytes, melanocytes are slow cycling and long lived. After the age of 16 the regeneration cycle of melanocytes become limited. Beginning in our 30s and 40s the density of active melanocytes is reduced by 10 to 20 percent every ten years.10, 11
One in 10 cells in the basal area are melanocytes and serve to protect germinating nuclei of epidermal cells. They manufacture and package pigment granules (melanosomes) that are injected via dendrites into the keratinocytes. They are considered a photoprotective filter that becomes part of the natural skin barrier. These pigment cells reduce and control the penetration of all wavelengths of light to dermal tissues.10 This is a key function of the melanocyte and should not be overlooked. Melanin function includes not only UV filtering but also acts as a free radical scavenger due to its bipolymer complex structures as well as being a cation trap for toxic metals.8 We also have melanin receptors in the cones of our eyes; however, we will focus on the skin in this article.
It is well understood that over-absorption of UV radiation can result in cell destruction and suppression of thermoregulation and other biological processes. 9 A controlled amount of UVB must, however, enter the skin cell receptors in order for the body to catalyze vitamin D, a group of fat-soluble secosteroids. Approximately 90 percent is this vitamin is normally synthesized in the basal and spinosum layers of the skin. The other 10 percent can come from our nutrition (fatty fish, egg yolks).

  • Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is required for the intestines to absorb calcium and phosphorus from food for bone growth and repair as well as regulate heart rhythm. Rickets is a prime example due to calcium deficiency.
  • Vitamin D is required for our immune system as well as helps control inflammation and influences gene regulation, differentiation, and apoptosis of cells. 8
  • Vitamin D deficiencies during pregnancy can result in pelvic deformities in women preventing normal delivery of babies.11
  • The activity of melanocytes in controlling and filtering is important to protecting UV photolysis (light-stimulated chemical decomposition) of folic acid (foliate, a B vitamin). Deficiencies in this nutrient can lead to anemia and creates risk for poor fetal development, resulting in miscarriage and poor reproductive success. 8

The control and rate of melanin production is essential for Vitamin D synthesis. The duration of UVB exposure must be sufficient to catalyze provitamin D3.What is important, however, that this regulation is genetically controlled through the adaptive traits inherited from our ancestors and region of origin. There are reasons for gradation of color based on these genetic traits. An increase of melanin in the skin increases the length of exposure to UV that is required for synthesis of the provitamin D3. For example, the formation of provitamin D3 takes more than five times as long in a very dark skin (Type VI) versus a light skin (Type III).8 Lighter skin types who originate further away from the equator require variable exposure times depending upon their location.

WHEN THINGS GO WRONG
The correct choice of wavelength, correct treatment settings, and technique in hair reduction or another aesthetic laser treatment are indeed important considerations. Whether in laser hair reduction or reducing the appearance of pigment on the skin, and skin rejuvenation, the propensity for adverse reactions increases with darker skin types. Moreover, when there is racial blending, this becomes a red flag for hidden potential risks. Do not be fooled by visual observation. A skin may appear dark but possess an ability to burn (and/or react) due to mixed ancestor traits including undisclosed health issues. Lighter skin types also become susceptible to cellular oxidation and damage when they are living in an area not native to their origins that also increases their risk for cancer. A key is to assess whether a condition is actually treatable. Is the client a good candidate for the service?
And finally, when considering treatment for correcting melasma and other pigmentation disorders one must determine the significance of the initial underlying causes. Do you understand the concepts of the melanogenesis story and the biological implications when melanocytes are damaged, including the mitochondria and possible shortening of the dendrites from oxidative stress, damage, and aging? Is there damage to the keratinocytes? Moreover, considering that pigment is deposited into the cells at the spinosum layer in the newly formed keratinocytes, what if there is a weak spinosum layer or the presence of an imbalanced enzyme or lack of a key chemical substance during this transitional process? Moving further into the dermis structures, the degradation of collagen and elastin, and ground substance (caused from numerous factors including aging and oxidative stress) poses another clue into a larger picture.

FAST FORWARD – 21st Century
How is all of this information relevant to our skin care practice or laser center? It is not enough to look at someone and visually determine their Fitzpatrick type or treatment outcome. Rather there is a subtler underlying story when it comes to successful result of any treatment.

Sources:
1 Cosmetic Surgery National Data Bank Statistics, 2010 Report. Retrieved from http://www.surgery.org/sites/default/files/Stats2010_1.pdf
2 Laser hair removal history and current issues. Retrieved from http://www.hairfacts.com/methods/laser/laser-hair-removal-history-and-current-issues/
3 Sandhu, N., Elston, D. (2010) Cutaneous Laser Resurfacing, Carbon Dioxide. Medscape Reference. Retrieved from http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1120283-overview#aw2aab6b4
4 Rawlings, A.V. (2005) Ethnic Skin Types: Are there Differences in Skin Structure and Function? Presented as a keynote lecture at the IFSCC International Conference, Florence, Italy. Retrieved from http://wwww.pharmaclinix.com/ifscc_extract.pdf
5 Jablonski, N. (2006) Skin: A Natural History. University of California Press. Berkley, California
6 Black History: Modern scientific explanation of human biological variation – Race. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/blackhistory/article-234690
7 O’Neil, D. (2011) Human Biological Adaptability. An introduction to Human Responses to Common Environmental Stresses. Behavioral Sciences Dept. Palomar College, San Marcos, California. Retrieved from http://anthro.paomar.educ/adap/adapt_4htm
8 Jablonski, N., Chaplin, G. (2000) The evolution of human skin coloration. Journal of Human Evolution; 39, 57-106. Retrieved from http://www.bgsu.edu/departments/chem/faculty/leontis/chem447/PDF_files/Jablonski_skin_color_2000.pdf
9 Barrett-Hill, F. (2005) Advanced Skin Analysis. Virtual Beauty, New Zealand.
10 Alam, M. Ashish, B. et al (2004) Cosmetic Dermatology for Skin of Color. McGraw-Hill Medical, NY. P1-8
11 Holick, M.F. (1995). Environmental factors that influence the cutaneous production of vitamin D 1-3. Am J ClinNutr 1995:61 (supple): 638S



Read More
By Jeremy | January 21, 2019

The International Congress of Esthetics and Spa (ICES) held its third and fourth tradeshows of the year on September 20th and 21st in Long Beach, Calif. and October 25th and 26th in Philadelphia, Pa. Beautiful skies and agreeable weather greeted aestheticians, educators, massage therapists, hair removal specialists, and makeup artists for these annual, two-day events.

The moment the tradeshow doors opened, attendees burst onto the floor, barely able to contain their love and passion for the industry and the products that shape the industry. Exhibitors were more than eager to quench the hunger for knowledge and product education that the attendees displayed. Exhibitors were grateful for the opportunity to create relationships and fill the attendee's bags with their products.

Michelle D'Allaird-Brenner graciously hosted General Session in both Long Beach and Philadelphia and started each show by greeting and welcoming attendees on behalf of tradeshow producers, DERMASCOPE Magazine and Les Nouvelles Esthetiques and Spa. In Long Beach, General Session was sponsored by Circadia by Dr. Pugliese™ and Bella Schneider Beauty. In Philadelphia, General Session was sponsored by Circadia by Dr. Pugliese and Satin Smooth. These sessions saw lectures and demonstrations on popular topics and techniques by yogis, aestheticians, acupuncturists, spa owners, massage therapists, and institute directors. These lectures and demonstrations allow attendees to learn from the best and advance their careers. The schedule included the following topics:

 

Long Beach 2015

Sunday, September 20th, 2015:
• Breathe Beautiful: Breath Techniques for Beauty and Radiance (Motivational) by EuGene Grant
• Harisienne Method: The Sting-Free Acupuncture Facial (Demonstration) by Michiko Mitsumoto and Mana Hirabayashi
• Waxing is Relaxing: Create a Spa-Like Experience (Lecture/Demonstration) by Lydia Sarfati
• Stalks of Prosperity: The Bamboo Massage (Demonstration) by Nathalie Cecilia, L.M.T.
• Combine and Layer Peels for Maximum Results! (Lecture/Demonstration) by Tina Zillmann, L.E., CLHRP

mm1

Monday, September 21st, 2015:
• Stretch Yourself, Stretch Your Sales: Yogic Stretching for Magnetism (Motivational) by EuGene Grant
• Designer Facials for Your Individual Client's Needs (Demonstration) by Bella Schneider
• Power Up! Take Your Clients' Experience to the Next Level (Lecture) by Annet King
• Restoring the Flow of Energy: "The Kansa" Face Lift (Demonstration) by Melanie Sachs

m3

Philadelphia 2015 Recap
Sunday, October 25th, 2015
• Breathe Beautiful: Breath Techniques for Beauty and Radiance (Motivational) by EuGene Grant
• Strengthening Spa Treatment Customization with Double Masking (Demonstration) by Boldijarre Koronczay
• Revolutionizing Skin Peel (Lecture) by Christine Heathman
• Welcomed Friction: Dry Brushing at the Spa (Demonstration) by Mary Turner
• Our Personal Ecosystems: Skin's Microbiome (Lecture) by Rebecca Gadberry

Monday, October 26th, 2015
• Stretch Yourself, Stretch Your Sales: Yogic Stretching for Magnetism (Motivational) by EuGene Grant
• Designer Facials for Your Individual Client's Needs (Demonstration) by Bella Schneider
• Skin and Aging: What Do We Really Know? (Lecture) by Michael Pugliese
• Restoring the Flow of Energy: "The Kansa" Face Lift (Demonstration) by Melanie Sachs
• Create the Ultimate Eyelashes (Demonstration) by Ingrid Gagné

Attendees were offered a wealth of information that they were able to use to supplement their current techniques, further their education, and take back to their own clients. This array of highly innovative speakers verifies that ICES tradeshows contain the utmost educators, manufacturers, and distributors.

The stunning number of classes offered at the by ICES at these two tradeshows, both the general session and the product focused training, ensured that every attendee was able to find learning experience that peaked their interest.

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DERMASCOPE Magazine would like to extend our greatest gratitude to all who made this event possible, from educators and exhibitors to attendees and sponsors. We look forward to seeing you in 2016.

DERMASCOPE Magazine and Les Nouvelles Esthetiques & Spa co-produce four International Congress of Esthetics & Spa educational conferences/tradeshows annually in Miami, Fla.; Dallas, Texas; Philadelphia, Pa.; and Long Beach, Calif. Dates for the 2016 International Congress of Esthetics & Spa conferences are Philadelphia, Pa. on April 10th and 11th, Dallas, Texas on May 15th and 16th, Long Beach, Calif. on September 11th and 12th, and Miami, Fla. on November 6th and 7th.



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By William Strunk | January 21, 2019

The aromatherapy tree, botanical name, Citrus aurantium var. amara, is unique to aromatherapy production. The tree earns its name because three different essential oils are obtained from the same plant: Neroli, from the beautiful blossoms; Petitgrain, from the leaves; and Bitter Orange, from the peel of the fruit.
Despite the fact that the bitter orange tree looks very similar to Citrus sinensis (the tree from which we obtain Sweet Orange essential oil) they are two separate species and not just cultivated varieties of one species. It is thought that Citrus aurantium probably originated in China, then spread to India and Persia (now Iran) and was introduced to the Mediterranean countries by the Arabs in the 11th century.

The tree is now grown in Italy, Morocco and Egypt, the best quality oils coming from southern France. As well as essential oil production, the most popular use of the peel of the bitter orange tree is for its use in marmalade.

Neroli Oil History

Neroli was named after Anna Maria de La Tremoille, princess of Nerole. She introduced orange blossom oil into Italian society in the 17th century. She used it to perfume her shawl, gloves, ribbons and stationary and in the bath.

Properties

It is: antidepressant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, cicatrisant, digestive, stimulant. The trees have a life span of 80 to100 years. They are considered valuable family possessions as the farms are passed down through the generations. No flowers are harvested in the first three to four years. For the next 10 years, the tree produces a medium harvest, about six kilograms per tree and going up to 20 kilograms. The average yield of trees in France is about 10 kilograms of blossoms. The blossoms are picked by hand, in the spring, usually in the mornings. Just like rose oil, the essential oils that are responsible for the delicate aroma are most concentrated in the blossoms early in the morning, attracting the pollinators before the heat of the day. The best oil is obtained as the bud is beginning to open on a warm, sunny day. Flowers collected on cloudy or rainy days yield inferior quality oil. It is the high labor costs that contribute to the high price of quality Neroli essential oil – and the fact that one kilogram of flowers produces only one gram of essential oil and one liter of distillation water or Orange Flower water. The flower water is very fragrant; it is sold as a hydrosol or hydrolate, having excellent properties and uses in skin care.

Mind and Spirit

Neroli is famous for its ability to relieve emotional depression, acute and chronic stress, accompanied by acute or chronic anxiety. It also helps with shock, instilling a feeling of peace. Along with its hypnotic and euphoric effects, it can help reconnect the link between mind and body. Recommended for the emotionally intense who may be unstable or easily alarmed or agitated, Neroli calms highly charged emotional states. This person has the potential to become emotionally exhausted and has a tendency to feel depressed as a result. If in addition, there is unexpressed anger or feelings of unconscious resentment, depression may turn into deep despair that is very deep and all encompassing. Through all this Neroli brings comfort and strength assisting in release of repressed emotions.

It is the high labor costs that contribute to the high price of quality Neroli essential oil
- and the fact that a kilogram of flowers produces only one gram of essential oil and
one liter of distillation water or Orange Flower water.

Gabriel Mojay describes Neroli for any "deep emotional pain that robs us of hope and joy." Together with Rose, Lavender and Melissa it is one of the best essential oils to calm and stabilize the heart and mind... Suzanne Fischer-Rizzi describes Neroli as "reaching deep down into the soul to stabilize and regenerate. It provided relief and strength for long standing psychological tension, exhaustion and seemingly hopeless situations."

Body

Medicinally, Neroli is valued as a gentle tonic of the nervous system. It is particularly good for hot, agitated conditions of the heart characterized by restlessness, insomnia and palpitations and is indicated for hypertension. For insomnia (caused particularly by anxiety), it is best used in a bath before bedtime.
A recent clinical trial in England involved the use of Neroli oil and foot massage for cardiac surgery patients. The result of the trial confirmed Neroli's antispasmodic properties. Neroli was effective in diminishing the amplitude of heart muscle contraction, thus benefiting people who suffer from palpitations and other types of cardiac spasm.
For others that carry their stress in the abdominal area, it is also useful for potential chronic diarrhea. Neroli is considered safe for babies and small children and it is indicated for infantile colic. It can be used in a massage blend for the baby after delivery to help with shock.

Skin

Neroli has wonderful toning and rejuvenating skin properties, stimulating cellular growth. It is ideal for scars, stretch marks and the treatment of fine lines and wrinkles. It is generally considered as suitable for all skin types but particularly for the treatment of mature skin and the treatment of sensitive and inflamed skin. For mature skin blend Neroli with rosewood, lavender and frankincense in base oils such as Soya, Avocado, calendula or Wheat germ. Neroli hydrosol makes an excellent toner on its own or combined with Rock Rose; it helps clear acne and irritations. Use it in face masks or wear it as a natural perfume. It is an affordable alternative to the pure essential oil.
Neroli blends well with: bergamot, clary sage, German and Roman chamomile, frankincense, geranium, jasmine, lavender, lemon, lime, mandarin, orange, palmarosa, rose, rosemary, rosewood, sandalwood, tangerine and ylang ylang.

Petitgrain

Petitgrain essential oil is extracted from the leaves of the bitter orange tree. The trees are pruned after the blossoms have been collected and the resulting leaf material is used for petigrain essential oil production. While French Petitgrain is considered the best quality due to botanical purity of the trees, the bulk of the world production comes from Paraguay.
Often called poor man's Neroli, this oil has a fresh floral, citrus scent and a woody herbaceous undertone. Available at a much more reasonable cost, this oil still carries the rich, well balanced aroma of its more exotic sister. Easy to blend with and affordable, it is an oil that is recommended for those new to custom blending essential oils. As a derivative of the same tree, the oils do bear some resemblance to each other both in smell, chemistry and therapeutic actions.
Petitgrain is a balancing oil that relaxes the body while lifting the spirits. It has a sedative effect on the nervous system and like Neroli is indicated for calming anger and panic; however Neroli is considered more effective with serious states of depression. Again like Neroli, Petitgrain is indicated for rapid heartbeat and insomnia.
Patricia Davis suggests that "while Neroli activates the highest psychic or spiritual levels of the mind, Petitgrain relates more to the conscious, intellectual aspect of the mind.

Tip: Blend together Neroli, Orange and Petitgrain in equel quantites and add a drop
of Sandalwood to ground it. Use it in a burner and/or add to mild and then add it to the 
bath water for an ultimate citrus experience. Add to sweet almond oil for a great massage.

It has a particular affinity to the male psyche and can be helpful in treating male depression and work-related fatigue. Where Petitgrain does differ is in the treatment of the skin. It has a greater affinity to the treatment of skin blemishes and acne. Pettigrain blends well with: bergamot, cedarwood, clary sage, geranium, lavender, lime, jasmine, neroli, orange, palmarosa, rosewood, sandalwood, ylang ylang.

trish-greenTrish Green is a Homeopath, certified clinical and medically trained Aromatherapist. She recently completed her education in Aromatherapy for use in Oncology practice. She is the Director of Sales and Marketing for Eve Taylor North America.



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By Amanda Strunk Miller | January 21, 2019

When we think of these two essential oils, Sweet Orange (citrus sinensis) and Mandarin (citrus reticulata), the words that come to mind are joy, happy, uplifting and optimism. These oils are absolute favorites in the spa, being safe, nontoxic and are oils that all clients can benefit from.

The therapeutic value of orange was first identified in Ancient China, where for centuries the dried peel of the fruit was used in Chinese Medicine. It is thought that the Arabs first brought oranges to Mediterranean in the first century. And we know that the Romans were aware of the power of oranges and used Orange Flower water to avoid hangovers.

Along with lemons, it was eventually introduced to the new world by Columbus. Oranges were recorded growing in Florida as early as 1539. By the 18th century, orange oil had gained a reputation for alleviating nervous disorders, heart problems, colic, asthma and melancholy. Sweet orange is extracted through cold expression from the rind of the fruit. Today the largest producers of Sweet Orange are Brazil, California, Israel and Florida.

Sweet Orange

It is: Antidepressant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, digestive, febrifuge, sedative, digestive and lymphatic stimulant. Considered the traditional Chinese symbol of good luck and prosperity, everybody loves the familiar smell of this clean, fruity, uplifting essential oil. It is an excellent oil to start your day – uplifting the mind, yet placing the body in a state of calm. Describing the action of this oil, Suzanne Fischer-Rizzi says "its influence on mood is positive and joyful; it harmonizes feelings and awakens creativity."

Mind and Spirit

Sweet Orange conveys warmth and happiness and helps us all to relax and unwind. More specifically, sweet orange is highly recommended to the efficient hard-working individual who strives for perfection and achievement, and has little tolerance for mishaps and mistakes. We may describe them in some cases as perfectionists or A-type personalities. They are generally excellent planners who find it difficult to delegate and as a result they become tense and irritable. This stress and a reluctance to call upon others for help and advice often seems to bring about a whole group of stress related symptoms that can send them spiraling downwards.
Gabrielle Mojay explains that this oil "helps us to take a more relaxed approach, encouraging adaptability and smooth handling of events. This oil conveys warmth and happiness, helping people relax and unwind. Associated with the planet Jupiter, the planet of optimism; it also instills a more positive attitude and approach to difficult situation."

Body

From an energetic perspective, one of the primary properties of Sweet Orange, like those of Bergamot and Mandarin, lies in its ability to rebalance the liver, stomach and intestines. Sweet Orange is therefore one of the best all-round essential oils for the digestive system. Combining a tonic effect on the stomach, the oil has distinct antispasmodic and carminative properties suitable for abdominal distension and pain, poor appetite, indigestion, flatulence, nausea and vomiting. It can also be effective for constipation and irritable bowel.
It is ideal for children with a stomach ache. Put a few drops of the oil in a cold pressed carrier oil (such as Sweet Almond Oil, Peach Kernel or Calendula Oil) and gently massage the abdomen in a clockwise direction. The carminative and antispasmodic action of this oil will soon do its job. Sweet Orange is also a recommended oil to help children with sleep. Simply diffuse a few drops in the bedroom or place the drops in a carrier oil or cream and gently massage the feet.
Whenever there is a long period of intensive or excessive stress, the liver can be greatly affected, causing disharmony of this organ. Much of the benefit of this oil – in addition to the above – is its action on the liver (the organ that is responsible for ensuring the smooth flow of Qi energy). As a hepatic stimulant, the oil not only encourages the flow of bile, improving the digestion of fats, but it can alleviate general symptoms of liver imbalance that includes nauseous headaches and insomnia.
Liver imbalances can also be manifested as moodiness and irritability. Sweet Orange with its warm, sunny, sweet aroma conveys joy and positivity, helping to disperse and balance the moods. It is uplifting, cheerful, bringing happiness and sunshine into our lives. Include this oil in custom blends for massage purposes or in salt glows and scrubs.

A Personal Note

> For those therapists that choose to work with the elderly in long-term health care facilities or those of you with aging parents or grandparents at home, this oil is a must for day-to-day use. I recall a particular day that I was doing a presentation to the palliative care team in such a location and a very elderly resident asked me what I had in my case. As I explained what I had, she became interested and asked if she could have some. I discovered she had not been eating and was quite depressed. I gave her some Sweet Orange on a smelling strip. Her smile was amazing as she enjoyed the familiar smell. Several hours later she still had the strip, asked me for more, and the next day the nurses reported how well she had eaten that night and how she was bright and cheerful. I have never forgotten this particular resident, a classic example of the simple power of aromatherapy and how we can improve the well-being of another human being.

Skin

The oil is beneficial and soothing to dry, irritated or
acne-prone skin conditions. It assists in calming dermatitis and eczema, but also can rejuvenate the mature skin. For these skin types, consider nourishing base oils such as Soya Oil and Avocado Oil.
Sweet Orange blends well with bergamot, cinnamon, clary sage, clove, cypress, frankincense, geranium, jasmine, juniper, lavender, neroli, nutmeg, petitgrain, rose, rosewood, sandalwood, tangerine, and ylang ylang.

Mandarin

Another member of the Orange family, the Mandarin tree is a smaller tree, with branches that are more wide spreading; and of course, the fruit that we all recognize is flattened at both ends. The name originates from the fruit that was a traditional gift to the Mandarins of China. In France it has long been regarded as one of the safest oils to use with everyone since it is non-irritating, non-sensitizing and non-toxic.

Mind and Spirit

Like Sweet Orange, we consider Mandarin as a happy oil. Being soothing and gentle, it is highly recommended as a great oil for use with children. Both oils are sedatives and assist in sleep (especially when combined with lavender). Consider Mandarin for restlessness, intense anxiety and its tranquilizing effect, calming temper tantrums and hysteria.

Body

The Mandarins' claim to fame over many years has been as a safe children's remedy for indigestion and hiccups. However like Sweet Orange, is it also recommended for use with the elderly, strengthening the digestive system and liver.
The circulatory system responds well to Mandarin Oil. It improves general circulation and also is a great tonic for the lymphatic system, helping to eliminate excess fluid and its inclusion in a cellulite blend is very beneficial.

Skin

This oil is suitable for oily and acne skin and is detoxifying to oily and congested skin. For pregnant women, the selection of oils is more limited. However, Sweet Orange (three drops) – when combined with Neroli (one drop) and lavender (one drop) in a base of wheat germ and Avocado oils works very well for the prevention of stretch marks.
It blends well with bergamot, chamomile, black pepper, grapefruit, jasmine, lavender, lemon, lime, sweet marjoram, neroli, sweet orange, palmarosa, petitgrain, rose, sandalwood and ylang ylang.

Buying and Storing Your Oils

When buying citrus oils, be aware of what you are buying. Freshness is very important as these oils are difficult to preserve. An important part of their chemistry is comprised of monterpenes. These molecules are very volatile, that is they oxidize easily. Keep these oils in dark brown bottles, well-sealed and buy in small quantities. Once they oxidize they smell very unpleasant. Citrus oils are not expensive so are usually sold in one ounce bottles. As you get half way through your bottle, decant it down into a smaller bottle. This forces out the air, reducing oxidation.
In review as we compare these two calming and uplifting citrus oils, they carry many similar properties. In selecting the correct oil, consider the person, their needs, their personal preference in the aromatic odor of the oil, and above all which oil can best benefit the treatment of the whole person.



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By Jeremy Lawrence | January 21, 2019

People with skin of color will soon make up the majority of the United States. This will have a significant impact on the practice of professional skin care. Generally, lighter shades of skin have been the dominant skin type in the United States. This is the skin type that the majority of skin care treatments are currently based on. However, these traditional facial, body, and skin care treatments often fail to meet the needs of your clientele who has dramatically changed over the last decade. Darker skin responds differently to chemical and manual therapies than lighter skin. Aestheticians must understand these differences. Inappropriate treatments or products are a recipe for skin disaster; therefore, it is imperative for the skin care professional to understand the physiology, anatomy, and histology relating to all skins of color.

 People with skin of color will soon make up the majority of the United States. This will have a significant impact on the practice of professional skin care. Generally, lighter shades of skin have been the dominant skin type in the United States. This is the skin type that the majority of skin care treatments are currently based on. However, these traditional facial, body, and skin care treatments often fail to meet the needs of your clientele who has dramatically changed over the last decade. Darker skin responds differently to chemical and manual therapies than lighter skin. Aestheticians must understand these differences. Inappropriate treatments or products are a recipe for skin disaster; therefore, it is imperative for the skin care professional to understand the physiology, anatomy, and histology relating to all skins of color.

ethnic-skinVariations in Skin Color
Look at the rainbow of skin colors that make up the millions of skin types and where they originate. There is enormous variability in skin pigmentation, especially among distinct racial and ethnic groups, making it difficult to define skin types simply by ethnicity, race or culture. Individuals with darker skin comprise a wide range of racial and ethnic groups, including Africans, African American, African Caribbean, Japanese, Chinese, Asians, Latinos, Indians, Jewish and Pakistanis, to name a few. In the last several years, demographics shifted with respect to the predominate Caucasian skin types treated and are juxtaposed with like-kinds that can appear light, only to have genetic ties to infinite blends of many racial combinations.
Many of our clients are from multicultural backgrounds, so it is important to conduct a client interview along with Fitzpatrick’s traditional classification before you begin treatment. After determining skin type, all aestheticians must understand what is appropriate and inappropriate concerning skin treatments and products for all ethnic types.
Cosmetically speaking, skin has a wide range of color variations. Darker skin tones from a creamy light coffee color to deep ebony black. Medium-toned skin can have the appearance from a light yellow hue to a dark golden tan or range from light to dark red brown. Light skin ranges greatly from milky alabaster white to olive tones. Every person’s skin has its own unique skin DNA imprint response with respect to sensitivity, pigmentation, healing, scarring, erythema, edema, et cetera.
The color of skin evokes a multitude of emotions and personal interactions from society. In the context of skin care, it is important to distinguish between race and ethnicity. Race is a geographical distinction. As a basis for racial categorizations, humans have been divided into five geographical groups that include Caucasian, Mongoloid, Australoid, Negroid, and Capoid. Ethnicity is defined and based on origin and phenotypic pigmentation aestheticians require on a comprehensive understanding of these structural differences in the skin. Phenotypic pigmentation, or skin type, is what is important for treatment purposes.
It is important to determine your client’s skin type before considering treatment options. Fundamental structural and functional differences exist between darker and lighter skin. Because of these differences, a treatment that works well for one skin type can be damaging to another.
Skin of color is defined as the non-Caucasian skin types by Fitzpatrick’s traditional classification, or as we now know in the 21st Century as skin protection type (SPT), comprised of skin protection types III through VI.

Anatomy of Skin Color
Melanocytes, melanin, and pigmentation formulate the key color distinction of skin. The content of melanin within keratinocytes determines skin color, with deeply pigmented skin having the highest content of epidermal melanin.
Melanin is a complex molecule responsible for the pigment in the skin, hair, and eyes. This molecule protects skin by reducing the penetration of ultraviolet rays into the skin and, subsequently, into the nuclei of cells where DNA resides. It is important to note that both dark skin and light skin have the same number of melanocytes, cells responsible for melanin production or melanogenesis; however, the cells respond differently in the various skin types. It is important to understand the difference of melanocyte mechanics between light and dark skin colors.

pigmentation

In humans, the melanocyte system consists of two anatomically and physiologically distinct branches: the basal layer of the epidermis and the hair bulbs, which is responsible for the pigmentation of hair. Epidermal melanocytes vary in size and shape according to their population density. In an area of skin where there are few melanocytes, they have longer dendrites; in the population of many melancytes, dendrites are shorter.
The intensity of visible pigmentation is not solely determined by the pigmentary activity of the melanocytes, but also by the rate of transfer and mode of distribution of melanosomes within the keratinocyte population. Once inside the epidermal cells, the melanin granules tend to shift to the upper part that faces the outside, arranging themselves in the form of a cupola above the cell nucleus. The number, type, size, and distribution patterns of melanosomes in epidermal tissues are genetically controlled. Melanosomes in darker skin are larger than those in lighter skin. When inside the keratinocytes, the large melanosomes in darker skin of color types remain intact, but the clumps of melanosomes in lighter skin become attached to lysosomes (membrane bound organelle in the cell containing digestive enzymes) and are eventually disrupted, leaving a melanin dust.
The amount of melanin is the basis of skin typing classification. Use of an uptake skin history form for ultraviolet radiation (UVR) reaction is an important part of skin assessment. The higher epidermal melanin content in darker skin provides greater intrinsic photo protection. Simply put, higher melanin concentration translates into a better photo protection from ultraviolet radiation, delaying the clinical appearance of photo aging brought on by photo damage, especially in lighter skin types who are more prone to ultraviolet burn.
In contrast, melanocyte response to epidermal and superficial dermal tissue injuries is more severe with the potential of permanent or long lasting injury and difficult-to-treat pigment morbidity. The consequences of dermal tissue damage causing aging changes and pigmentation in darker skin requires greater care and appropriate ingredient product selection.
To fully understand melanin and its influence in skin, you have to acknowledge the biologic differences in melanocytes. Melanocytes are dendritic cells (cells with extended arms) located in the basal layer of the epidermis. There are approximately 36 keratinocytes interfacing with one melanocyte, forming what is identified as the epidermal-
melanin unit. Distribution of these cells can vary and when isolating facial regions, more numerous melanocytes are found on the head and neck.

quote

Aside from pigmentation, the variability within each ethnicity differentiates skin of color. Research provided on racial and ethnic differences in skin and hair structure, physiology and function may only involve small populations and have methodological flaws, leaving few definitive answers. This information deficiency could account, in part, for the lower incidence of reported cancers, differences in photo-aging and pigmentary morbidity in skin of color, in comparison to individuals with a lighter skin type and a higher reported incidence of certain types of alopecia in Africans and African Americans, compared with those of a different ancestry. Professional skin care technicians, whether in the medical, cosmetic or skin care field, are at times perplexed regarding the differences and how to approach prudent treatment.

shadePigmentation Conditions
An important cosmetic pigmentation issue is pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH). Pregnancy induced hypertension is characterized by an acquired increase in cutaneous pigmentation, secondary to an inflammatory process. Excess pigment deposition may occur in the epidermis or in both epidermis and dermis. This condition occurs in skin types with a higher incident rate in individuals with darker skin.
Another pigment challenge is known as solar lentigos, which are is characterized by light brown to brown lesions occurring as discrete hyperpigmented macules on sun-
exposed areas of the skin that include the face, arms, chest, and back. This pigmentation condition is characterized by elongated rete ridges, club-shaped extensions, and a proliferation of melanocytes and keratinocytes. Common in skin of color types IV, this condition is less common in darker skin.
The increased thickness of skin associated with darker skin types appears to be primarily due to amplified dermal thickness and amounts of collagen present. Combine this with enhanced melanin photo protection and the result will be a delay of clinical wrinkle appearance associated with actinic damage, typically associated with lighter skins. This also results in a tighter skin appearance.

Reactions to Non-Invasive Treatments by Skin Type
Dr. Randall Wickett, chairman of the International Society for Bioengineering and the Skin, co-conducted an investigation comparing different Fitzpatrick skin types, using non-invasive methods. The comparison between light-skinned Caucasians and relatively dark-skinned African Americans found slightly higher transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and skin pH values in Caucasian subjects. Transepidermal water loss remains the most studied biophysical property in defining differences between various skin types. In dark skin, this water loss is 1.1 times greater than in light skin. PH regulates homeostasis in epidermal permeability and is similar in all skin tones.

Irritant Reactions
Researchers have identified differences in irritant reaction provoked by the topical application and occlusion of sodium lauryl sulfate in different skin types. This common detergent is used in many skin care cleansers and other personal products such as toothpaste. Check your cleansers for this ingredient irritant and avoid it, as it is
also comedogenic.

Based on this study, several conclusive findings are noted. While the higher concentration of sodium lauryl sulfate caused a significant increase in cutaneous blood flow in all groups:

  • Dark skin is more sensitive to irritants and displays a stronger skin irritant reaction than lighter skin.
  • Dark skin displays less erythema, less blood vessel reactivity and less cutaneous blood flow to irritants than lighter or mediumtoned skin.
  • Medium-toned skin, similar to dark skin, shows a stronger irritant reaction compared to light skin.
  • Medium-toned skin has stronger irritant reactions, when injured, with concentrated chemicals.
  • Medium-toned and light skin have similar erythematous reactions manual.


creamTreatments for Skin of Color
Dark skin also exhibited higher grades for skin dryness, which could be due to lower ceramide levels in the stratum corneum (SC). Flaking skin is especially easy to see on darker skin types and generally casts a gray appearance, which indicates non-nucleated attached desquamated cells.

Protease Peels
Protease peels are excellent in helping to gently manage this dry, flaky condition. Protease plays a major key role in tissue remodeling process, lipid barrier homeostasis, and inflammation reduction, making it the perfect constituent for acne, sun damaged, pigmentation and aging skin. Professional solutions for best end point results is a 30 percent protease peel because it is gentle and works on one cell at a time, releasing the desmosomes and corneodesmosomes to induce the detachment of the squames at the outer layer of the epidermis at a rate uniquely balanced by mitotic development of new cells at the basal layer. The key event that eventually results in the orderly desquamation of old, worn out and injured skin cells are the proteolysis of the corneodesmosomal proteins.

Tyrosinase Inhibitors
If you are treating skin of color, using any peeling solution, when you remove the constituent from the skin, you are also evacuating a valuable source of ceramides, phospholipids, cholesterol, fatty acids, triaglycerol and other indigenous inner-cellular substances residing in the stratum corneum that are already scarce in darker skin. Skin flexibility, healing, and resistance rely on water as its main plasticizer. Avoiding fatty acid deficiency replacement of these substances is vital after a peel, in addition to the application of other ingredients, to replenish and retard subsequent reactions of the melanocytes responsible in producing post hyperpigmentation morbidity. Replacement of amino acid serum, hylauronic acid gel, and ceramides is imperative to restore indigenous fluids in the stratum corneum, along with tyrosinase inhibitors to reduce pigment morbidity. Tyrosinase inhibitors can include arbutin, azelaic acid, mulberry, kojic, hydroquinone, licorice, ascorbic acid, and bearberry, to name a few.

Sun Protection
The fact that darker skin is more protected than lighter skin via sun protection factor (SPF) equivalents of natural antioxidant cellular protection is by no means cause to eliminate the use of sun protection. Pigmented skin injured by ultraviolet rays experiences photo damage, manifested by histological epidermal atyphia and atrophy, dermal collagen cross-linking, and elastin damage. This is easily evidenced by the clinical appearance of hyperpigmentation, even though wrinkles are not apparent. A Wood’s lamp is a very important instrument to assess this damage. Simply put, any dark skin that exhibits hyperpigmentation is photo-aging dark skin! Photo damaged skin of color needs intervening clinical treatments and a proven skin care to correct the extrinsic and intrinsic skin aging process.

Acne Treatments
Treating acne for skin of color include a myriad of home care and clinical remedies. Most agents used to address the acne condition are antibacterial, comedolytic agents that target the various pathogens responsible for the development of acne vulgaris. However, if not properly administered, many of the very ingredients needed to manage acne can cause a rebound hyperpigmentation. These agents and their “irritating” nature do not mean that you should avoid them all together, only understand them and the type of skin to which you are exposing them.
When it comes to acne in all skin of color, further complications can arise, resulting in additional challenges. For instance, I have treated acne skin from ethnic combinations that genetically produced an overabundance of triglycerides in the sebaceous follicle environment, yet, due to other genetically influenced factors, the pore was so tight that it made it almost impossible to extract the lesion. Because it is colorblind, uses only sound waves and distilled water, this is where cavitation of DermaSound is invaluable to kill bacteria via membrane penetration and purge the overabundance of oil. Knowing the genetic history of your client’s skin and what makes it tick will enable you to be more effective in treatment, effecting positive results, resulting in higher client satisfaction.
It is important to remember that biologic and genetic factors are not the only influences; cultural practices also have significant impact and value with respect to skin of color. When comparing light skin stratum corneum versus darker skin stratum corneum, it is important to note that these distinctions include variations in stratum corneum thickness, water content, lipid production, and melanin. When making epidermis comparisons of the water barrier of light skin, it is important to note that lighter global types exhibit a high content, compared to low in the brown-black global skin. Conversely, stratum corneum lipids are low in light skin with a high content in
dark skin.
A dermis analysis of dark and light skin showed differences in certain cell types. Fibroblasts in dark female facial skin were larger and occurred in greater quantity compared to those in white female facial skin. The fibroblasts in females with darker skin are either binucleated or multinucleated. The actual collagen fiber bundles in individuals with dark skin are smaller, more closely stacked, and run more parallel to the epidermis. In addition, many collagen fibrils and glycoprotein fragments were noted in the dermal interstices and throughout the dermis. Light skin shows greater inter-individual variability in fibroblast numbers. The collagen fiber bundles in females with light skin are larger with occasional fiber fragments.
In the final analysis treatment success may vary with skin of color clients, as compared to those with light skin. To successfully treat your clients with skin of color, further your education and skill proficiency. This will ensure competence in treating various skin types.


Christine-Heathman-2014Nominated Legend in American aesthetics, Christine Heathman C.M.E., L.M.T. is a licensed master aesthetician and aesthetic pioneer. She is a powerful speaker, worldwide lecturer, educator, author of several skin manuals and skin science editorials, was selected to the editorial board of a leading skin journal, and is an innovator in the research and development of unconventional and progressive skin care and protocols used all over the world. Owner and CEO of GlyMed Plus, she has appeared several times on the popular health care program, The Doctors. Heathman has remained loyal to the professional, applying her extensive knowledge and experience to facilitate American aesthetics.



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By Jeremy Lawrence | January 21, 2019

Most of us have never really given much thought to our hair. We shampoo it, style it, and have it cut. How would you feel if one day you woke up and your hair was gone? How would you react? If your client has been diagnosed with cancer and is about to undergo chemotherapy, the chance of hair loss is very real. Chemotherapy is a powerful medication that attacks rapidly growing cancer cells. Unfortunately, it also attacks other rapidly growing cells, including hair roots.

Hair loss from chemotherapy is only temporary. On average, hair will grow back within a year. There are some treatments that possibly prevent hair loss, but they have not been 100 percent effective. These include cryotherapy, ice packs placed on scalp to slow blood flow, and Minoxidil, a drug approved by the FDA for hair loss. I have composed a list of things that your client can do to help combat the loss of hair before, during, and after chemotherapy.

Before Treatment

  • Consult with your client about cutting their hair short. Shorter hair always has more volume.
  • Forego all chemical services. This includes coloring, highlighting, and getting permanents. Try to avoid heating tools. All of these have a tendency to weaken or damage hair. 
  • Encourage them to start shopping for human hair wigs. Synthetic wigs have a tendency to look fake and heat cannot be applied to style them.

During Treatment

  • Encourage your client to shampoo less often and only use sulfate-free products. They are gentler on hair.
  • Recommend they use a salon quality dry shampoo in between shampoos. These products are designed to remove oils and freshen up hair without having to use water. 
  • Discuss with your client the possibility of about shaving their head. As aggressive as it may sound, many of my clients say it saves them the embarrassment of shedding.

After Treatment

  • They can continue to use sulfate-free shampoo and salon quality products. Hair will start growing back and your client will want to nourish their new hair with quality ingredients. You can suggest products for them too.
  • Patience is a virtue. Your client’s hair will start growing back slowly, but it will come back.
  • Prepare your client for the possibility of different hair texture. Some of my clients who have recovered from chemotherapy find that their hair was fuller or thinner than it was before treatment. 
  • Your clients may want to consider using scarves or hats to accessorize during their new hair growth.

Although hair loss is usually temporary, it can be emotionally devastating. Make sure your clients have a support system in place; make sure they know they are not alone in this.


Sami-GonzalesTrendsetter, innovator, and global artiste, Sami Gonzales is one of the most sought after colorists of the 21st century. Instructor, master stylist, certified colorist, mentor, and motivational speaker, Gonzales is a leader in the industry with 25 years of experience. He has had the honor of being an educator and creative artistic team member for global Farouk Systems. Former salon owner for 20 years, Gonzales is now in a private suite at the upscale One Fine Day Salon and Spa in Waxahachie, Texas. He is constantly upgrading his repertoire by continuing education with global masters. @samighair



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