Treating Acne by Condition: 4 Treatment and Homecare Protocols to Incorporate

Written by Courtney Sykes

Aestheticians thrive on results for their clients and meeting their needs by providing not only exceptional service, but treatments that produce positive outcomes for the long-term. Acne is a multi-faceted, complex condition that affects clients of all age groups and backgrounds. Understanding how to treat acne effectively within the treatment room, creating client care plans for all acne conditions and root causes, and formulating homecare recommendations based on specific ingredients are all important aspects of an aesthetician’s scope of practice.

 

The client consultation for acne clients, much like other conditions, should be focused on the experience combined with education that exceeds many other providers’ level of care in 2019. Clients are not impressed by simply the treatments themselves, but rather the focus on client – understanding and their level of involvement in the process. Aestheticians treating acne must focus on the root of every issue – which can be adult hormone focused, product focused, teenage and young adult hormone focused, or oily skin focused by way of natural DNA sebum production. Categorizing the sources with the four grades of acne and choosing protocols based on its current condition can assist the aesthetician in alleviating the acne lesions. Assisting clients in the understanding of focused skin care treatments, along with recommendations, when needed, for outside care by way of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and possibly the assistance of an endocrinologist, are helpful in providing long-term solutions.

 

The protocol samples below are outlined in six-treatment intervals for the most proven efficacy possible. Clients are encouraged to continue following a maintenance plan every four to six weeks with their aesthetician once they complete the series. Aestheticians are encouraged to outline these plans in two to three week intervals between sessions.

 

Aestheticians are also encouraged to modify these protocols for Fitzpatrick types four to six, or as needed. Contraindications for Fitzpatrick types four to six include the use of microdermabrasion and chemical peels together in the same session, unless built up to that level within the third or fourth treatment. Oncology patients and clients with compromised immune systems are also contraindicated for these protocols.

 

  • Skin rejuvenation facial
  • Basic, signature facial to include double cleansing, facial mask, and arm and hand massage
  • Double exfoliation facial
  • Facial to include two methods of exfoliation (outlined within the protocols below)
  • Microdermabrasion facial
  • Signature facial combined with a microdermabrasion machine
  • Triple exfoliation facial
  • Facial to include three methods of exfoliation (typically with microdermabrasion being one of them, outlined within the protocols below)

 

It is recommended to incorporate nourishing serums, such as vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, or stem cells, paired with non-comedogenic sunscreen at the end of all service suggestions below. Oxygen therapy and hydroinfusion can also be paired at the end of each session in order to deliver water and moisture content to the skin post-peel.

 

RECOMMENDED PROTOCOLS FOR ACNE: BY SKIN CONDITION

 

Acne (Grades 1 and 2)

  • Skin rejuvenation with extractions
  • Double exfoliation facial with mechanical scrub and salicylic 30% peel
  • Microdermabrasion facial with extractions and blue LED light therapy
  • Microdermabrasion facial with extractions and glycolic 15% peel
  • Double exfoliation facial with mechanical scrub and glycolic 30% peel
  • Double exfoliation facial with mechanical scrub and lactic acid 20% to 40% peel and blue LED light therapy

 

Acne and Acne Scarring (Grades 3 and 4)

  • Double exfoliation facial with extractions and salicylic 30% peel
  • Double exfoliation facial with mechanical scrub, extractions, glycolic 30% peel, and blue and red LED light therapy
  • Microdermabrasion facial with extractions and blue and red LED light therapy
  • Double exfoliation facial with mechanical scrub and glycolic 60% peel
  • Triple exfoliation facial with molecular resurfacing scrub, microdermabrasion, and jessner solution
  • Double exfoliation facial with lactic acid 20% to 40% peel and blue and red LED light therapy

 

Adult Acne: Hormonal and Antiaging and Fine Lines and Wrinkles

  • Double exfoliation facial with mechanical scrub and lactic acid 20% peel
  • Microdermabrasion facial with red LED light therapy
  • Double exfoliation facial with mechanical scrub, glycolic 30% peel, and red LED light therapy
  • Double exfoliation facial with mechanical scrub, glycolic 30% peel, and red LED light therapy
  • Microdermabrasion facial with jessner peel (three layers) and red LED light therapy
  • Microdermabrasion facial with red LED light therapy

 

Acne and Hyperpigmentation

  • Double exfoliation facial with mechanical scrub and glycolic 30%
  • Triple exfoliation facial with mechanical scrub, enzyme peel as peel prep, and glycolic 60%
  • Triple exfoliation facial with mechanical scrub, enzyme peel as peel prep, and kojic acid 30% to 50% peel
  • Microdermabrasion facial with red LED light therapy
  • Triple Exfoliation facial with mechanical scrub, microdermabrasion, and jessner peel (three layers)
  • Microdermabrasion facial and LED light therapy

 

RECOMMENDED HOMECARE: BY SKIN CONDITION

 

Aestheticians are encouraged to modify these protocols for Fitzpatrick types four to six, or as needed. Oncology patients and clients with compromised immune systems are also contraindicated for these protocols. It is recommended to alternate serums every other night. Example: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday use serum A and Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday use serum B.

 

Acne (Grades 1 and 2)

  • Salicylic acid-based cleanser
  • Mechanical scrub with enzymes
  • Glycolic acid serum alternated with salicylic acid serum
  • Hyaluronic acid-based hydrator (as needed)
  • Non-comedogenic sunscreen

 

Acne and Acne Scarring (Grades 3 and 4)

  • Salicylic acid-based cleanser alternated with benzoyl peroxide-based cleanser
  • Mechanical scrub with enzymes
  • Salicylic acid-based serum alternated with a stem cell-based serum
  • Benzoyl peroxide-based serum during active breakouts only
  • Sulfur-based mask
  • Hyaluronic acid-based hydrator (as needed)
  • Non-comedogenic sunscreen

 

Adult Acne: Hormonal and Antiaging and Fine Lines and Wrinkles

  • Lactic acid or glycolic acid-based cleanser
  • Mechanical scrub with brighteners
  • Glycolic and lactic acid-based serum alternated with stem cell-based serum
  • Retinol serum one to three times per week
  • Hyaluronic acid-based hydrator
  • Non-comedogenic sunscreen

 

Acne and Hyperpigmentation

  • Glycolic acid-based cleanser alternated with vitamin C-based cleanser
  • Mechanical scrub with brighteners
  • Hydroquinone or arbutin-based serum (use for three months then switch to kojic acid-based serum) alternated with vitamin C-based serum
  • Retinol serum one to three times per week
  • Hyaluronic acid-based hydrator
  • Non-comedogenic sunscreen

 

Aestheticians can be extremely successful with carefully outlined client care plans that focus on results, while also tailoring set protocols to suit the individual client. Being able to speak to all aspects of acne and providing added value, such as supplement recommendations, complementary appointment bookings for clients with hormone specialists of choice, and a menu of antioxidant-rich smoothie recipes are amazing additions to the client care plan folders created by the aesthetician. Aestheticians can provide the education clients need to reap incredible results with exceptional attention to detail, education, and ingredient-knowledge.

 

Courtney Sykes 2019Courtney Sykes is the chief administrative officer of Southeastern Esthetics Institute and a licensed aesthetics instructor in South Carolina. Her passion lies in creating real change in the aesthetics industry, assisting her students to obtain gainful employment and make a difference in the lives of their clients. Sykes specializes in a science-based approach to skin health and education. Her primary focus is chemical peels, laser treatments, eyelash extensions, micropigmentation, and cosmetic lasers. Her background in medical spa management has led her to nationally accredit the largest licensed aesthetics school in South Carolina, Southeastern Esthetics Institute. 

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