There are several factors to consider when applying topical products to the skin. It is also important to take into consideration the focus of a product and its relationship to the skin – in essence, what are the concerns? How quickly it may or may not work may be dependent on the efficacy of the product and the bioavailability of its active ingredients. Moreover, an essential and number one consideration involves the client and their age, health, and lifetime habits. The success of any change is dependent upon compliance to usage combined with a realistic awareness of what results are possible given the state of their skin. Too often, clients try a product touting big promises and use it for a week or two, only to be disappointed after they don’t see any significant improvements.
A 15th Century adage written by playwright John Heywood sums up the answer regarding how quickly a product works on the skin: “Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour.”
When a client comes to me after a lifetime of environmental exposure, poor nutrition, or smoking, requesting a transformation in their skin, a moment of truth ensues. Restoring the appearance of the skin begins with evaluating the actual biological age of the cells and systems within the skin, including the condition of the barrier function. What is a realistic time frame for change? What is truthfully possible? What is their commitment?
Predicting how fast the skin can heal is an unknown until you begin a consistent pathway for its correction. In my practice, I invite a client to partake in a five-week bootcamp, if their time allows. Twice weekly, they receive a facial treatment that includes professional products and also microcurrent. The client’s home regimen is carefully designed to be simple and not overwhelming. The chosen products will work in tandem with the in-clinic work. There is an accumulative affect that begins to manifest in visual changes during the first and second weeks. At each return visit, there may be more improvement. Realistically, however, change takes place over time, one cell (brick) at a time. This timeline is also dependent upon age and the client’s ability to heal and be compliant. The body heals on its own time, including improving the health of the skin. Beauty begins from within. Promises of instant gratification with a product is unrealistic.
Alexandra J. Zani, licensed instructor, owner of AEsthani Skincare Institute, LLC, is an award-winning international educator, researcher, and author with a background in cell biology and medical technology. Her passion for education resulted in earning numerous advanced certifications, both in the United States and abroad. Zani holds an instructor license for aesthetics and cosmetology, is certified in oncology aesthetics, and the pastiche method of Advanced Skin Analysis, and is a member of NCEA. She is on the education committee for the International Association of Applied Corneotherapy (IAC) and is co-founder of Intellective Aesthetics.