With the endless choices of skin care products and the amount of individual ingredients available, tackling a skin condition with the right cocktail is more confusing than ever before. I have highlighted four of the most common skin issues clients come to the spa to treat, along with a detailed list of the most advanced ingredients those skin types will respond to for clear, glowing, and radiant complexions.
OILY AND ACNE-PRONE SKIN
Once you understand how the following ingredients can tackle overly shiny, problematic skin, you’ll be able to help clients tame their skin condition and embrace their skin type.
Beta Hydroxy Acids: Beta hydroxy acids can help treat blackheads, whiteheads, and acne as they actively penetrate pores and remove dirt.
Salicylic Acid: Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid that encourages exfoliation of skin and unclogging of pores.
Sulfur: Sulfur works to dry out skin, absorbing excess oil that may contribute to acne breakouts.
Benzoyl Peroxide: Benzoyl peroxide is an antimicrobial which reduces acne-causing bacteria on the skin.
Tea Tree Oil: This essential oil penetrates deep into the skin, helping unblock the sebaceous glands to dry out whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, and blemishes.
Retinols: This vitamin A derivative has been proven to unclog pores, stimulate collagen production, and improve collagen density.
Patch testing ingredients on clients with temperamental skin types is a good idea before proceeding with any treatment.
Plant-Based Retinols: While retinol is hands down a must in every beauty arsenal, it can irritate certain skins – hence the formulation of a new natural alternative, bakuchiol. Derived from the babchi plant, it is a powerful plant-based ingredient that’s perfect for sensitive skin.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Beta Hydroxy Acids: Most alpha hydroxy acids are naturally derived and they’re much gentler on sensitive skin compared to beta hydroxy acids.
Fragrance-Free or Light Fragrance: It is very easy for sensitive skin to get irritated, and one cause can be added fragrance in products. The best way to manage sensitive skin is to look for products that are 100% fragrance-free.
Hyaluronic Acid: Hyaluronic acid is for all skin types, even the most sensitive, redness-prone skin, due to its natural calming effects.
Gaba or Licorice: Licorice root has powerful antioxidants that help protect the skin from environmental stressors and help soothe the skin.
Glycerin: Glycerin is best for people with easily irritated skin because it prevents dryness with its moisturizing properties.
Chamomile: Chamomile has very strong anti-inflammatory properties which are particularly soothing for sensitive skin.
Calendula: Calendula is very healing and can help treat conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis.
Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera is very soothing and does not cause any irritation. Its anti-inflammatory properties help in treating blemishes, acne, and other skin problems.
Squalene: Squalene tends to absorb slowly into the skin and may be more effective for sensitive skin, as it is non-irritating.
Natural Oils (jojoba, olive, borage, argan, coconut, and rosehip): Synthetic fragrance found in conventional skin care products can irritate the skin, while natural oils are a great alternative for those with sensitive skin.
Along with patience and consistency, there are several ingredients that can help rid discoloration for good.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids, such as glycolic, lactic, citric, malic, or tartaric acid: Alpha hydroxy acids can treat darks spots due to the exfoliating and renewing properties.
Azelaic Acid: Azelaic acid has been widely used to treat both hyperpigmentation and acne.
Kojic Acid: Kojic acid is a natural skin lightening agent derived from fungi that inhibits excess melanin production.
Salicylic Acid: Salicylic acid treats hyperpigmentation through its exfoliating properties and its ability to inhibit melanin formation.
Vitamin C (in the form of l-ascorbic acid): Vitamin C has been shown to help fade dark spots and lead to a more even-toned complexion.
SPF: Mineral sunscreens that have either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide can block out most of the rays that will worsen the dark spots.
AGING, SAGGING SKIN
With the right cocktail of cutting-edge ingredients, you now have the power to turn back the hands of time on a client’s face.
Vitamin A Derivatives: Vitamin A has shown to reduce wrinkles and may help to promote the production of skin-building compounds.
Vitamin C: As an antioxidant, vitamin C provides protection from free radicals, helps to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, brightens, and promotes an even skin tone.
New Generation Neck Creams: The neck is one of the first areas of the body to develop signs of aging – regardless of the effort you are putting in elsewhere. Applying the latest lifting and firming gels and deep hydrators targeted to the neck will help slow down the sagging process.
Collagen: As you age, your body produces less collagen, leading to dry skin and the formation of wrinkles. Products containing collagen may help slow the aging of skin by reducing wrinkles and dryness.
Ceramides: Ceramides protect against moisture loss to keep skin youthful and supple and nourish the skin from within.
Glycolic, Lactic, and Polyhydroxy Acids: These acids help stimulate the growth of collagen to aid with skin elasticity.
Hyaluronic Acid: This ingredient has been shown to diminish wrinkles, improve skin elasticity, and boost skin firmness.
Natural Oils (jojoba, olive, borage, argan, coconut, and rosehip): These essential oils can help prevent and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
Niacinamide: Works with the natural substances in skin to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Retinol and Plant-Based Retinol: Retinoids reduce fine lines and wrinkles by increasing the production of collagen.
Vitamin C: As an antioxidant, it provides protection from free radicals, helps to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, brightens, and promotes an even skin tone.
Bella Schneider, P.M.E., leads a team of more than 200 aesthetic professionals at three premier spas. For more than 35 years, Schneider has traveled the world to bring service providers the best in aesthetic science. As a groundbreaking formulator, successful retailer, and respected educator, her mission is to help professionals enhance their practice and grow their business. Winner of the Nouvelles Esthetiques lifetime achievement Crystal Award for contributions to beauty science, Schneider hosts beginning-to-advanced training in clinical and spa skin care, as well as ethnic skin care, peels, and other new techniques, at Bella Schneider Beauty’s Palo Alto, California-based training center.