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By | January 16, 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 16, 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 16, 2019

The GALA SPA AWARDS were awarded for the 21st time in March. This year the award once again honored the best luxury hotels, most beautiful spa locations, most innovative beauty products, and the most unusual treatments. Only first-class care products and hotels that meet the award's promise of being "sanus per aquam – healthy through water" and provide impressive, innovative solutions reach the final stages.



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By Jeremy Lawrence | January 16, 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 Jeremy Lawrence | January 16, 2019

Globally, the mature skin category amounts to 25 percent of the skin care market and almost 40 percent of the anti-aging market. People are living longer lives than ever before due to better life expectancies, decreased mortality rates, and declining fertility rates.

Now more than ever, it is important to offer results-oriented skin care for mature skin and focus on all of the factors that contribute to the skin’s aging, including biological aging. Biological aging, also known as intrinsic aging, is the normal aging process that occurs genetically as people grow older. Unlike extrinsic aging, which is accumulative and can be fought with preventative measures, intrinsic aging is unavoidable. The symptoms of intrinsic aging tend to manifest in the 50s and 60s which, for women, links closely to going through menopause.
Menopause is the ending of a woman’s reproductive period and is physiologically defined by the lack of a menstrual cycle for at least 12 months. During the time prior to menopause and during menopause, there are various hormonal changes and declines occurring throughout the woman’s body. Hormones are chemical messengers that stimulate specific functions of organs, tissues, and cells in the body; they regulate growth, metabolism, reproduction, and a variety of other processes. Hormones affect both the internal body and the skin, which is the body’s largest organ. For women, the changes in estrogen levels and other hormones (like progesterone) that are brought on by menopause significantly impact the skin’s aging process. Menopause hastens the skin’s aging at the cellular level. 
Due to these changes, menopausal skin requires expert care that addresses the aging process of the cells themselves, as well as how this manifests itself on the skin. In essence, all layers of the skin, including the cells, need to be addressed.

MENOPAUSE AND THE SKIN
Estrogen is produced by the ovaries, adrenal glands, and fat tissue. While it is often thought to be a female-specific hormone, both women and men produce estrogen. Estrogen is also the blanket term used to describe a group of chemically-similar hormones; therefore, estrogen is not a single hormone but a set of hormones. For example, estradiol (which is the most abundant during reproductive years), estriol (which is prevalent during pregnancy), and estrone (which is prevalent during menopause) are all considered estrogens.
Estrogen plays many crucial roles biologically besides reproduction. It is involved in bone formation, impacts capillary health and circulation, stimulates fat deposits, and is involved in protein synthesis (like collagen and elastin), the production of glycosaminoglycans, and helps regulate melanin and oil production. Plummeting estrogen levels will also impact the skin’s vascular network as capillaries harden (sclerose) and succumb to glycation. All in all, estrogen helps keep the body and skin youthful. Changing and declining levels of estrogen impact the skin’s capacity to function optimally and accelerates the aging process. Signs and symptoms of aging will be both superficial and deep as cellular function is impaired and all layers of the skin are affected.

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A CLOSER LOOK AT CELLS
Humans are made up of a juxtaposition of billions of cells. The cell functions like a living being: it is born, it grows, it proliferates, and it dies. Life starts out as a single cell that is divided into two and then four and so on until adulthood. It breathes and nourishes itself with nutrients, allowing it to produce the energy that is crucial for it to function. Cellular energy, also known as adenosine triphosphate (ATP), keeps everything going. ATP is synthesized because it is needed and used almost immediately; there is a constant cycle of producing and consuming. As people age, ATP production diminishes, leading to cells that function more slowly because there is less energy.
Cells have many organelles, each with a different function. One of these organelles includes the nucleus, the home of the chromosomes. Chromosomes are composed of DNA molecules and proteins and are capped at the end with telomeres. These endcaps prevent chromosomes from weakening, unraveling, and fusing together. A telomere is often compared to the plastic end of a shoelace. Every time a cell divides, the telomeres become shorter; when the cell becomes too short, it either dies or retains genetic damage that can lead to mutations or cancer. Shortened telomeres have been associated with cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes. Longer telomeres are linked to overall healthy living and longevity. As people age, the risk factors increase due to a weakened immune system and naturally-decreased cell division. Daily activities like sun exposure, oxidative stress, and glycation play a big role by damaging DNA within the cells.
Skin cells divide and grow in the basement membrane. From there, new cells are pushed up into the epidermis. Once they are in the epidermis, cells no longer receive nutrients. They start to begin the process of dying and shedding off to be replaced by more new cells.
Keratinocytes are most common among skin cells; they account for around 95 percent of the skin. The primary function of these cells is to create the barrier from the world. These cells are found in the basal layer of the stratified epithelium that comprises the epidermis. Keratinocytes are responsible for forming tight junctions with the nerves of the skin. The skin is the first line of defense and keratinocytes serve as a barrier between an organism and its environment. In addition, these cells prevent the loss of moisture, heat, and other important constituents of the body.
Cells are complex and have many different organelles and functions. In order to optimize the fight against aging, all aspects, not just some, of why cellular function decreases need to be addressed or professionals will yield subpar results.

ADDRESS AGING AT THE CELLULAR LEVEL
Increasing longevity, communication, defense potential, oxygenation, and energy within cells boosting cellular function will highly benefit menopausal skin and help combat intrinsic aging.

Longevity
All skin cells are constantly dividing and telomeres play a role in cell division. Studies show that people can act on a cell’s life span by protecting the genetic material of the cell, the telomeres and chromosomes. Baicalin protects telomeres and lipoamino acids boost protein synthesis that protects the cells. Together, these ingredients increase cellular longevity.

Communication
Cells receive and give information within themselves and their environment. Their life depends on receiving and processing information from the outside environment, including access to nutrients, variations in light levels, and/or temperature changes. Cells can also communicate between each other to synchronize and work like a team. With age, the cell membranes become damaged, causing a dysfunction in cellular communication. As a result, the body does not respond well and the skin repairs itself less efficiently. Lipoamino acids restore clear communication between cells.

Defense Potential
The skin is exposed to imbalances coming from hormonal changes, like menopause, oxidative stress from free radicals, and sun exposure. These factors lead to aging skin. While Langerhans cells play a prominent role in protecting the skin, their numbers decrease over the years. Lipoamino acids protect Langerhans cells and reinforce the defense potential of the skin.

Oxygenation
A supply of oxygen is crucial for cells to produce the energy required for their metabolic needs. Oxygen is a powerful detoxifier; when there is a lack of oxygen in the cells, toxins begin to damage skin functions and deplete the body of energy. Garden nasturtium extract facilitates the transportation and diffusion of oxygen for healthy microcirculation.

Untitled-3Energy
Cells, like humans, need energy to sustain growth, metabolism, and reproduction. The body’s energy currency, ATP, is produced from food molecules like proteins, carbohydrates, and fats in the mitochondrion. ATP diminishes with age and causes the body to function more slowly. As a result, the appearance of wrinkles, loss of firmness, and dullness of complexion is accelerated. D-ribose accelerates the production of ATP.
When skin cells have increased functionality, the skin is healthier and acts younger; healthy cells produce healthy skin. They also allow the actives in skin care products to be better utilized by the skin, maximizing their effectiveness.

TREAT CHANGES TO ALL LAYERS OF THE SKIN
As a result of menopause, the skin becomes more thin, rough, and loose; wrinkles are more visible and dark spots appear. Therefore, mature clients have a bevy of skin care concerns and require global care. In order to provide optimum results, all layers of the skin must be addressed so that cellular function can
be addressed.

Epidermis
In the epidermis, dryness is a result of a reduction in oil production while dehydration indicates increased transepidermal water loss. Impaired barrier function and repair implies that the skin is compromised and less able to defend itself. In this layer of the skin, roughness is indicative of prolonged cell turnover. Pigmentation or a lack of radiance means that there is less regulation of melanin production while dullness or poor coloring implies that microcirculation is impaired, As the result, dermoepidermal junction hardens.

Dermis
In the dermis, deep dehydration means that less hyaluronic acid is being produced. Elastin production has decreased when lines and wrinkles deepen and collagen production has decreased when a lack of firmness and contour is seen.

Increasing cellular functions and providing a potent and comprehensive solution to the epidermis, dermoepidermal junction, and dermis can slow down the natural bio-chemical processes that occur with hormonally-compromised skin.


Katherine-Tomasso 2016Katherine Tomasso has spent over 20 years in the skin care and wellness industry. She brings a unique and innovative perspective and enjoys being part of the ever-changing face of the spa industry. As National Director of Education for YON-KA® Paris, Tomasso’s responsibilities include the development and implementation of YON-KA’s national educational programs. Tomasso has had a number of articles published in notable cosmetic and related prestige publications and is a frequent writer, collaborator, and lecturer within the industry.



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By Jeremy | January 16, 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

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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

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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 Jeremy Lawrence | January 16, 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 | January 16, 2019

As we all strive for health and longevity, there is a growing interest towards the use of botanical-based skin care products. Plants historically hold the wisdom of the earth and can unite a generation who suffers from nature deficit disorder, to be a little closer to that which is unaffected by commercialism.
In the 1950s, the introduction of personal care products came on the scene bringing better living through chemistry.

The focus of these formulas was to make people appear to "look better" and everyone was swept up in better living through chemistry. The advances that took root since that time have expanded the industry to include human health issues. With so many skin care choices that promise us everything from lighter and brighter skin to flawless wrinkle free skin texture, what could science possible manufacture that would grab the attention of men and woman alike?
As the world becomes more complicated and modern skin care products continue to affect our overall health and well-being, the return to traditional plant medicine is on the rise. With the ringing in of 21st century, the opportunity to review many principles used in formulating personal care products became of interest to formulators and the consumer. 
Science continues to break through with many astounding studies on the medicinal application of plants and their abilities to prompt the body to produce whatever is necessary for repair and survival. Thus the industry is embracing "green eco-friendly" skin care products. 
But, are all botanical-based skin care products void of harmful ingredients? The following sections discuss the various types of cultivation and extraction methods utilized in obtaining plant medicine. You will see there are clear discrepancies in whether an herbal ingredient still has medicinal qualities. Most personal care products that say they contain botanicals used cosmetic grade herbal extracts. The herbs are compounded and extracted with manmade ingredients, such as alcohol or propylene glycol. The ratio of botanicals in cosmetic grade ingredients is around 25 to 60 percent. Cosmetic grade herbal extracts contain a lower ratio of plant material and generally have a manmade preservation system. These synthetic ingredients cripple the potency of herbs. So the real changes you see with the skin are minimal and you run the risk of exposing yourself to ingredients that can impact your overall health.

 

Cultivation and Collection of Plant Materials
Most of the plants used for medicinal purposes are cultivated (grown on farms). However, some may be collected from the wild. Some plants that are grown commercially for medicinal purposes are propagated vegetatively. (This means that new plants are grown from cuttings of old plants. Plants grown in this way are genetically identical to the parent plant.) Some medicinal plants are grown from selectively bred hybrid seeds, while others are varieties of plants that are unchanged from their natural form. Production of medicinal plants is generally labor intensive. In many cases, only the portions of the plant that contain the active ingredients (not the whole plant) are used. Sometimes harvesting involves picking leaves and flowers by hand. Tropical forests are the source of a number of plants used for medicinal purposes. One advantage to using wild plants, however, is that they are unlikely to contain any pesticide residues.

Cleaning Plants
After the plants are harvested or gathered, they must be cleaned and it is often done by hand. Cleaning may involve screening, washing, peeling or stripping leaves from stems. Any unnecessary parts are removed prior to drying to avoid wasting time and energy.

Drying Plants
In some cases, botanicals are used for extraction while fresh, but generally, they are dried first. The purpose of drying is to reduce the water content so that the plant material does not get moldy. Most plants contain 60 to 80 percent moisture when harvested and must be dried to within 10 to 14 percent moisture before storage. A practice that has been used since ancient times is sun drying in the field. This method requires no drying equipment and uses solar energy. Plants are sometimes placed by hand on drying frames or stands where they will be air-dried in barns or sheds. This method of drying is labor-intensive and can take several weeks.

Extraction Methods
Extraction is a process whereby the desired constituents of a plant are removed using a solvent. The following describes several methods used to extract constituents from plants, including solvent extraction, supercritical gas extraction and steam distillation.
The plants are first ground and then thoroughly mixed with a solvent such as hexane, benzene or toluene inside a tank. The choice of solvent depends on several factors including the characteristics of the constituents being extracted, cost and environmental issues. The end product will contain trace amounts of residual solvent, which can be an irritant to skin and will alter the plant's medicinal properties. Once the solvent dissolves the desired substances of the plant, it is called "miscella." The miscella is then separated from the plant material. There are a number of techniques for solvent extraction, which include maceration, percolation and countercurrent extraction. The following is a brief description
of each.

  • Maceration – This method involves soaking and agitating the solvent and plant materials together. The solvent is then drained off. Remaining miscella is removed from the plant material through pressing or centrifuging.
  • Percolation – With this method, the plant material is moistened with solvent and allowed to swell before being placed in one of a series of percolation chambers. The material is repeatedly rinsed with solvent until the entire active ingredient has been removed. Solvent is reused until it is saturated. New solvent is used on plant material that is almost completely exhausted, and then re-used on subsequently less exhausted batches.
  • Countercurrent Extraction – This is a highly effective process whereby solvent flows in the opposite direction to plant material. Unlike maceration and percolation, which are batch processes, this method is continuous. Screw extractors and carousel extractors are two types of equipment used for counter-current extraction.
  • Extraction with Supercritical Gases – This is a method for extracting active ingredients using gases. The plant material is placed in a vessel that is filled with a gas under controlled temperature and high pressure. The gas dissolves the active ingredients within the plant material, and then passes into a separating chamber where both pressure and temperature are lower. The extract precipitates out and is removed through a valve at the bottom of the chamber. The gas is then reused. Gases suitable for supercritical extraction include carbon dioxide, nitrogen, methane, ethane, ethylene, nitrous oxide, sulfur dioxide, propane, propylene, ammonia and sulfur hexafluoride.
  • Steam Distillation – Steam distillation is another method for extracting active ingredients from medicinal plants. The plant material is loaded onto perforated plates inside a cylindrical tank or still, and steam is injected from below. The steam dissolves the desired substances in the plant, and then enters a condenser where it is condensed back into a liquid. This condensate then passes into a flask, where the extract either rises to the top or settles to the bottom and is separated from the water. Distillation is complete when there is no more extract present in the condensate. Other minor methods for making extracts include cold pressing and the enfleurage process.
  • Cold Pressing – This is a process used to extract essential oils from citrus plants through pressing. The enfleurage process is the same as the technique used to make perfume from flowers: purified fats are used to extract essential oils from plant parts. Plant material is spread onto sheets of purified fat, which dissolve the essential oils. Sometimes practitioners of herbal medicine prepare extracts for immediate use. These include aqueous extracts known as decoctions, infusions or macerations. Plant material is mixed, agitated and soaked in water to dissolve the active ingredients. These ingredients make a lovely alternative to just plain distilled water.

As we continue to move in the direction of safe, yet effective skin care products it is clear that understanding the extraction methods used in the ingredients that make up your skin care products is as important as knowing the ingredients themselves. The consumer believes that the term organic or green technology means the product does not contain harmful ingredients. But that is not always the case. Green technology means insuring that all raw materials are pure from cultivation and collection to washing, drying and extraction methods. Let us face it, the skin is the largest organ and should be treated with the same principles that we treat any other organ in the body. Utilizing nutritional grade ingredients that have been developed void of harsh chemicals is the true essence of organic and green eco-friendly technology.

Anne C. Willis, LE, CEO, is the founder of De La Terre Skincare®, a worldwide leader in holistic and functional skin therapies. Ms. Willis has been published in multiple international holistic and beauty publications. One of the industry's most outstanding innovators in the world of functional skin care, Ms. Willis lectures nationally regarding holistic skin therapies, collaborative care for medical institutions, and skin reactions incurred by patients receiving combined chemotherapy. She is the director of Oncology Skin Therapeutics™ bringing over 30 years of experience and knowledge to a new generation of skin therapist.



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By | January 16, 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



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By Alexandra J. Zani | January 16, 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


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By Jeremy Lawrence | January 16, 2019

This year, the International Congress of Esthetics and Spa (I.C.E.S.) began its fall tradeshow season in the beautiful city of Long Beach, Calif., on September 7th and 8th. Thousands of skin care professionals gathered together at the Long Beach Convention Center for this annual two-day event, filled with educational lectures, informative demonstrations, and trending products and ingredients.

Nina Curtis – holistic aesthetician, health and wellness coach, iridologist, and certified health professional – hosted the General Session for the event. She opened the show by welcoming the attendees on behalf of DERMASCOPE Magazine and Les Nouvelles Esthetiques and Spa. Skin care companies, Eminence Organic Skin Care of Hungary and PCA SKIN®, sponsored this particular event, offering complimentary goody bags to each General Session participant. As always, General Session consisted of respected leaders in the aesthetics industry; from licensed aestheticians, makeup artists, massage therapists, physicians, laser technicians, and medical aestheticians, the wealth of knowledge and expertise available on stage was immeasurable. Each speaker presented trending topics and demonstrations to help attendees advance their career. The schedule included the following topics:Main1

Sunday:
• Empowering Your Body, Mind, and Spirit: Personal Empowerment by EuGene Gant
• Treatment for Men (Demonstration) by Lake Louise and Adina Diaz
• Hypoxic Skin Cell Stress and Bio-oxygen (Lecture) by Christine Heathman
• Yin Yang Touch (Demonstration) by Samuel Wong
• Natural Beauty Makeup (Demonstration) by Pamela Hackeman

Monday:
• Empowering Your Body, Mind, and Spirit: Mental Clarity for Longevity by EuGene Gant • Microneedling (Demonstration) by Kristin Groop
• Mini Treatments: An Easy Way to Bring in New Clients and Boost Retail Sales (Lecture) by Diane Buccola
• Body Sugaring (Demonstration) by Shannon O’Brien

In addition to General Session, attendees present had a plethora of educational opportunities from which to choose. With over 55 manufacturers’ workshops and 12 wellness seminars, attendees had the ability to leave the I.C.E.S. event with an arsenal of new knowledge they could cultivate in their practice.
As the doors opened on Sunday and Monday, the tradeshow floor was swarming with enthusiastic attendees, energetic exhibitors, and unceasing samplings of products and equipment. The positive energy was infectious as it flowed among the crowd and exhibitors, making it impossible to not relish in the excitement and inspiration created. Vocal attendees and exhibitors shared that this year’s show was an astounding success and the anticipation for next year’s show could hardly be contained.
We would like to extend our deepest appreciation to all who made this event possible, from the educators and sponsors to the attendees and exhibitors. We look forward to seeing all of you in Long Beach again next September!
Main2

All I.C.E.S. events for 2014 have concluded. It has been a remarkable year! Attendance hit record numbers at each venue, the education provided was outstanding, and the exhibitors were fantastic, as always. We are grateful to everyone who participated at each of these events. Thank you for making 2014 a spectacular year! We look forward to doing it again in 2015.

2015 Calendar of Events
March 1st and 2nd, 2015
International Congress of Esthetics and Spa – Miami
Miami Beach Convention Center
Miami, Fla.

April 26th and 27th, 2015
International Congress of Esthetics and Spa – Dallas
Arlington Convention Center
Dallas, Texas

September 20th and 21st, 2015
International Congress of Esthetics and Spa – Long Beach
Long Beach Convention Center
Long Beach, Calif.

October 25th and 26th, 2015
International Congress of Esthetics and Spa – Philadelphia
Philadelphia Convention Center
Philadelphia,

 

 



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By Jeremy Lawrence | January 16, 2019

The International Congress of Esthetics and Spa (I.C.E.S.) ended its fall tradeshow season in the wonderful city of Philadelphia, Pa., on October 19th and 20th. The Pennsylvania Convention Center was overflowing with skin care professionals during this two-day event that included many demonstrations, lectures, products, and workshops.

 William Strunk – publisher of DERMASCOPE Magazine, licensed aesthetician, and massage therapist for more than 20 years – hosted the General Session for the weekend. He welcomed the crowd on behalf of DERMASCOPE Magazine and Les Nouvelles Esthetiques and Spa. PCA SKIN® and Circadia by Dr. Pugliese sponsored this event, offering complimentary product goody bags during the General Session to participants. As always, the General Session had many respected leaders in the aesthetics industry; from licensed aestheticians, certified meditation instructors, beauty educators, massage therapists, and cosmetologists, the vast amount of knowledge and expertise on stage was extensive. Each speaker disclosed trending topics and demonstrations to help advance the attendants’ careers. The schedule included the following topics:Main2

Sunday:
• Empowering Your Body, Mind and Spirit: Personal Empowerment by Eugene Grant
• East Meets West: Re-Sculpt and Re-Contour Your Client’s Skin (Demonstration) by Janel Luu
• Compensation and Profits – Make it a Win-Win (Lecture) by Dori Soukup
• “Luk Pra Kob” The Herbal Poultice Massage (Demonstration) by Cecily Braden
• Airbrush Techniques for Full Coverage Makeup (Demonstation) by Sheila McKenna

Monday:
• Empowering Your Body, Mind, and Spirit: Mental Clarity for Longevity by EuGene Gant
• Showerless Body Wraps (Demonstration) by Lake Louise
• Conquer Online Skin Care Sales Competition (Lecture) by Bonnie Canavino
• Cold Marble Stones Face Rejuvenation (Demonstration) by Pat Mayrhofer
• Waxing Etiquette For All (Demonstration) by Melissa BlackMain3

In addition to General Session, there was a surplus of educational opportunities from which attendants could choose. With over 55 manufacturers’ workshops and 12 wellness seminars, attendees had the ability to leave the I.C.E.S. event with a bounty of up-to-date knowledge they could transmit into their own practice.
As the doors opened on Sunday and Monday, the tradeshow floor was instantly packed with eager attendees, passionate exhibitors, and countless samplings of products and equipment. The upbeat energy was contagious as it swarmed throughout the attendees and exhibitors, making it impossible to not become inspired and filled with excitement. Vocal attendees and exhibitors shared that this year’s show was a booming success and the prospect of next year’s show is immense.
We would like to extend our deepest appreciation to all who made this event possible, from the educators and sponsors to the attendees and exhibitors. We look forward to seeing all of you in Philadelphia again next October!

It has been a wonderful year for the industry! Attendance hit record numbers at each venue, the education provided was remarkable, and the exhibitors were phenomenal, as always. We are grateful to everyone who participated at each of these events. Thank you for making 2014 a spectacular year! We look forward to doing it again in 2015.Main4

2015 Calendar of Events

March 1st and 2nd, 2015
International Congress of Esthetics and Spa – Miami
Miami Beach Convention Center
Miami, Fla.

April 26th and 27th, 2015
International Congress of Esthetics and Spa – Dallas
Arlington Convention Center
Dallas, Texas

September 20th and 21st, 2015
International Congress of Esthetics and Spa – Long Beach
Long Beach Convention Center
Long Beach, Calif.

October 25th and 26th, 2015
International Congress of Esthetics and Spa – Philadelphia
Philadelphia Convention Center
Philadelphia, Penn.



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By Amra | January 16, 2019

Women have reigned in the skin care industry as the prominent, key consumers of products for centuries. Product lines based products off the female sector’s desires and needs, creating a plethora of stock keeping units (SKUs) to stock on shelves in stores. In the past, men’s products only consisted of a few SKUs, mainly a shaving cream and an after shave, taking up a tiny residency near the astronomical moisturizers, cleansers, and various other female-oriented products.

Growth in Men’s Skin Care
According to The NPD Group, Inc., a global information company, men’s grooming in 2013 reported to show positive signs in warranting more interest in their skin. Men’s Grooming Report NPD reported that men’s products grew seven percent in 2012 and continues to grow at a 12 to 14 percent rate, with shaving making up to 40 percent of the men’s grooming market. It also reported that men are consistently more optimistic about finances, are easier to sell and upsell than women, and are loyal to their products and routine.
In the 21st century, men are becoming more aware of their skin and less inhibited in taking care of it. Because they do not articulate to others in the same way as women, it is harder for them to recognize their skin needs. All they know is that when they look in the mirror every time they shave, their skin is changing and they would like to keep it from doing so. Unfortunately, they do not always know how. At this point, products and professionals become their educators.
Men do not talk about the latest skin care trends while hanging out with other men; it is not a normal choice of topic. It is usually a woman or a skin care professional who points out that a certain product would be good for them. In fact, according to the same report from 2013, 50 percent of women purchase products for men and it is women who are instrumental in helping them make skin care decisions.

Fast Results
Men like to be given a solution for their skin’s problem. If they look in the mirror and see that they are getting more fine lines around their eyes, they want something that they can put on them that will help. If they look in the mirror and see that their skin is red in certain areas, they want to know what can be put on to reduce the redness. There is no grey area when it comes to men and their skin. They want to treat what they see. Preventive skin care does not mean much to them because the less they have to do with their skin’s needs, the better. They are not searching for a miracle cream that keeps them from aging over time because they are not seeing future skin problems. They want the “now” treatment.

Packaging
Men are very sensitive about their masculinity. Therefore, purchasing a product from a company that is packaged in shades of pink and yellow it does not appear “manly.” No matter how wonderful the product and how beneficial it would be, the packaging detours the sale. Men feel unmasculine when they reach for a moisturizer with white, pretty peonies on the bottle. They do not even use the word ‘moisturizer’ – that word alone is feminine. Men prefer the words ‘cream’ or ‘lotion.’
Men’s products need to be seen as manly. The product needs to make a bold and masculine statement. Men want to feel like whatever is in the package has gusto and a loud roar. The packaging has to stand out as a proud, in-charge lion in the jungle. If they do try a product that questions their masculinity and it does not show fast results, they will go back to their old skin regimen and not purchase skin products again for some time. Why would they spend a lot of money on a product that did not do anything different from their usual routine? They already have two perfectly good products, usually a body wash and lotion, that they have been using for years.

Scents
When they feel that their masculinity is not being stripped by packaging, another obstacle they have to surpass is scent. Scent is extremely important; he wants to smell like cologne, not like perfume, so more earth-tone scents such as woods and musk are ideal. Besides packaging that tends to appeal more to women, men also are very discouraged from purchasing a product that reminds them of their mother’s, aunt’s, or grandmother’s scent. There is nothing more emasculating than rubbing the smell of sweet rose, which reminds them of all the unbearable hugs they received as a child by the women in their life, all over their face. They would rather smell of elk urine than gardenia and marigold. Men cannot have their product being pumped out of a bottle with the scent of a Japanese cherry blossom flower; the product will either be thrown into the trash or given to a female because men usually do not return products.

Specific Skin Care Needs For Men
Skin care specialists and women are the main reason that men branch out of their habitual skin care standards and try a new product. While men have been using shaving products for years, they are now starting to purchase eye creams and targeted products for specific skin concerns. Men’s products are becoming part of the norm. It is no longer considered out of the ordinary to use a SPF cream on the skin or an eye cream to combat fine lines and puffiness around the eyes. Men are learning that they can take care of their skin with more than two products. They are also learning that their skin is not the same as women. Because their skin is different, it should be treated differently.
Men produce more testosterone than women, making their skin very different from women’s. Testosterone produces more oily skin among men and causes their skin to become thinner with age, whereas the estrogen in women helps keep their skin from thinning. Men also have thicker skin. In addition to testosterone-caused differences, men have smaller sebaceous glands than women, thus slowing down the rate of their skin’s absorption. It is extremely important that men recognize these differences and understand that men’s products are formulated specifically for their skin. The good old stand-by of a soap bar and lotion will not favor them in the long haul.

Women’s products have been a great precursor for men’s products. Throughout centuries, women’s products have been formulated and reformulated, paving the pathway for researchers and developers to tweak formulations to target males and treat their skin with care and attention. Men’s products are increasing in SKUs and, although they will never quantify to the exponential growth of women’s products, they are being purchased and sought out. Men need products of their own and with the 21st century, they are able to add to the global market of skin care.


Amra-Lear-2014Amra Lear is a licensed massage therapist and aesthetician. She has been working in the spa industry for over 19 years and is well-versed in many streamlined modalities and products. With her vast experience and knowledge, Lear has created a blog (www.amralear.com) in which she highlights spa treatments, skin care products, and massage practices.

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By Jeremy | January 16, 2019

Autoimmune skin disorders are a 21st century phenomenon that is deeply rooted in the way people live their lives. Currently, about 23.5 million Americans suffer from autoimmune diseases, a number that is steadily rising. The role of the immune system in keeping people safe and how it goes from defending to attacking the body is largely due to a lack of sleep, erratic diets, emotional drama, excessive use of stimulants, and most importantly, how people view themselves.

If someone is experiencing autoimmune skin imbalances, they need to change their lifestyle choices and develop a healthy, personal identity in order to recover.

How people choose to develop self-satisfaction with the world around them and themselves is a major component to reducing autoimmune skin conditions. This is evident in individuals who display negative dialogue about their physicality. Studies show that people who slither into self-deprivation and psychological sabotage (self-attacking self) are at a higher risk for autoimmune disease. For instance, internal factors, such as stressing over personal perception, have been implicated in causing a deficient immune system because of the nature of the body’s response in dealing with this problem. The capabilities of the immune system are diminished after frequent activation of the autonomic nervous system, in the case of chronic stress over how people view themselves. The immune system is downgraded to be able to continuously function, leading to inflammation and autoimmunity.

skinconditionInhibition of emotions may be another stress factor that is negatively-affecting health. Bottling up negative emotions seems to tie-up resources of the immune system. A perceived mood also seems to play a role in the immune system’s effectiveness. Having a positive attitude seems to correlate with an increased ability of the immune system in fighting diseases.


Developing self-surveillance skills is a key element in how one can change thoughts towards the self. It is important to find time to be alone and detach from outside noise and influences. Sitting quietly and sipping wellness tea is a healthy approach that will allow people to reacquaint themselves with how they feel, what they like, and what they need. Ignoring symptoms that demonstrate that the immune system is struggling will only cause the problems to escalate and the immune system to suffer. Another helpful and healthy approach to self care is getting an appropriate amount of sleep. Many people find that skin and health markers improve after they have had at least eight hours of sleep. Another helpful tip is to reduce and manage stress, as it can have as much of an impact as diet on gut health and hormone levels.


Becoming immune to self love and self preservation will contribute to autoimmune skin conditions like rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, and keratosis pilaris. Engaging in services that have therapeutic benefits, and reacquainting themselves with what truly matters, the self, are two of the most valuable ways people can support their immune system.



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