Fortunately, there are many options for body treatments, such as seaweed wraps, salt and sugar scrubs, mud masks, dry skin brushing, and slimming wraps, and using products that are specifically designed for facial treatments are becoming much more common for body treatments.
When skin care professionals use facial products with the latest active ingredients, the results can be dramatic and are often seen in just one treatment.
Body treatments have always been beneficial to the skin, but with the latest science being incorporated into skin care regimens, they have been taken to a whole new level.
BODY TREATMENT INGREDIENTS
Kaolin Clay – Kaolin clay, a clay that pulls impurities from the skin without stripping the skin's natural oils, cleanses, exfoliates, and stimulates circulation. While some clay-based products can flake and create a mess, kaolin clay detoxifies the skin with little mess because it dries on the skin and absorbs into it rather than flaking off.
Bentonite Clay – Bentonite clay has been classified as a healing clay, although some people call it medicinal, and has both internal and external uses. Bentonite clay is a rock that is fine grained in structure and composed of many montmorillonite minerals. This clay works by producing a negative electrical charge when it is mixed with water. This charge attracts toxins and impurities with the opposite charge in the body. As a result, bentonite clay sponges up various toxins and impurities in the body and helps to tone and rejuvenate the skin.
Hyalurosmooth™ – Another great ingredient, which is taking the place of hyaluronic acid, is Hyalurosmooth, a botanically derived ingredient from the seeds of the Indian plant, Cassia angustifolia. Its polysaccharides form a protective film on the skin that strongly binds water and fills fine lines, providing intense hydration. Hyalurosmooth also has a delivery system that can penetrate deeper into the epidermis, thus stimulating the skin's natural ability to produce hydration. This process is one of the best ways for the body to be moisturized.
Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids – The use of higher percentages of alpha and beta hydroxy acids can do wonders for the skin as well. While some clients may experience sensitivities to these acids, their result on the body can differ from their result on the face. When using glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acids in body treatments, they can be at a higher percentage depending of the level of exfoliation the client wants or needs. Full-body chemical peels are available in many spas and are generally recommended in a series. The same contraindications would apply in full-body peels as they do for a facial peel series.
Vitamin A – The use of vitamin A is a staple with facial treatments, so if it is used on the body, one can only imagine the positive results. Retinoids have been proven to stimulate matrix metalloproteinase genes – which are, in part, responsible for collagen degradation – and increase cell turnover rates. While retinol body creams can be hard to find and costly, the benefits are worth it. When used as a finishing product, it stimulates the skin, just as it would on the face, and leaves the body smooth and refreshed. Using proper sun care while using retinoids on the skin is a must. A heightened sensitivity to ultraviolet rays should be taken into consideration when treating the body.
Peptides – Peptides are another vital ingredient to skin care and are formed by chains of amino acids that are the building blocks of skin proteins. Collagen is the most infamous protein that is naturally found in the skin and diminishes with age, affecting the body in the same way as the face. Peptides have the ability to signal cells to make more collagen and repair damaged cell structures. There are many types of peptides with unique benefits available in many skin care products. The most common peptides used in skin care can also be found in body products:
Matrixyl – This peptide, also known as palmitoyl pentapeptide 3, specifically stimulates collagen synthesis and skin repair.
Matrixyl 3000 – This ingredient combines two peptides, palmitoyl tetrapeptide and palmitoyl oligopeptide, resulting in an entirely new super peptide.
Argireline – Acetyl hexapeptide-3 inhibits the reactions that cause muscles to move or contract and is the best of the known neuropeptides.
Acetyl Tetrapeptide-9 – This peptide is relatively new. There are protein-sugar (glycosaminoglycan chains) complexes that are involved with collagen fibers and acetyl tetrapeptide-9 targets one in particular, lumican, that is involved in both the synthesis of collagen fibrils and their organization into functional fibers, ensuring the integrity of the extracellular matrix.
Palmitoyl Oligopeptide – This peptide is a blend of several fatty and amino acids and is also known as palmitoyl hexapeptide-12 and Pal-GHK. The greatest benefit of this peptide seems to be that it has many of the same results that retinoid produces, but without the side effects. In early tests, palmitoyl oligopeptide seems to lack retinol's sun sensitivity. These tests also indicate that this ingredient causes little-to-no side effects, even for those with sensitive skin.
Caprooyl Tetrapeptide-3 – This ingredient is considered to be one of the most powerful peptides used in anti-aging skin care products. It is comprised of four amino acids, which are derived from growth factors, and is responsible for sending messages to inform the body to produce collagen.
Ceramides – Ceramides are also helpful in keeping the skin hydrated and looking youthful. They are key to maintaining the moisture and protective barrier of the surface of the skin and keeping the skin renewed. Ceramides are a group of natural waxy, fatty substances in the skin that are composed of sphingosine and lipids bonded together and are present in all cell layers of the skin. In the deeper, living cell layers of the dermis and epidermis, ceramides act as a signal to promote cell death and renewal from the inner to the outer layers, a process that is important in aspects of skin maintenance, rejuvenation, and aging. Ceramides can be found in many skin care and body products, as well as in nutricosmetics.
While all of the previously mentioned ingredients are beyond beneficial for the skin, it can be difficult to find products with high levels of these ingredients that are specifically designed for the body. As a result, many skin care professionals are turning to products that are already designed for the face. There are some skin care lines in the United States paving the way for this type of body treatment, allowing the professional to purchase scrubs, masks, serums, and moisturizers in large quantities and keep the cost per treatment low and cost-effective. Products can be warmed to allow for an even application, as well as client comfort.
TECHNOLOGY FOR BODY TREATMENTS
Using technology during body treatments can increase the absorption of the actives in the products being used.
Galvanic – Galvanic is commonly used in facial skin care treatments, but many spas are also using the technology for body treatments. Galvanic treatments employ a low-level, medium-amperage direct current to achieve multiple skin benefits like stimulating cells, moving tissue fluid, softening blackheads, and driving ingredients deep into the epidermis. Depending upon the polarity used, a water-soluble, ionized, and either positively- or negatively-charged solution is pulled into or repelled from the skin. This working electrode may be a roller, ball, or prong. Galvanic used in body treatments can reduce cellulite and smooth the skin. Using this technology with products containing the aforementioned ingredients will give clients fantastic results. Galvanic has been used for many years, but utilizing it for treating problem areas on the body will give the professional new range in their treatment room.
Iontophoresis – Using iontophoresis carries active age-fighting and pigment-controlling ingredients deep into the stratum germinativum, where they can impact cells. This type of treatment will take time, but the benefits over a series of treatments will have lasting effects.
Other technologies are widely used as well, such as infrared, LED infusion, radiofrequency, and faradic, most of which are designed to diminish fat cells and reduce the appearance of cellulite. When coupled with products that are highly concentrated with beneficial actives, the body will look and feel renewed.
There are also methods that have been around for many years, like wraps, for example. There are many different types of wraps and each has a unique feel and result. By combining active ingredients like retinol and caffeine, the body can instantly be slimmed; furthermore, cellular renewal of the epidermis also occurs. Using these actives with a client in the spa, along with a homecare regimen that includes these actives will make their body treatment last much longer than expected. Wraps can very beneficial for detoxifying the skin and a very common body treatment offered in most spas, but with advanced ingredients like kaolin clay, a detoxifying treatment will also include stimulation of circulation for the
Professionals have so many options for body treatments and a plethora of products from which to choose, but, client comfort should be the professional's top priority. When performing a treatment with or without machines, making the most of the time, while also allowing the service to feel seamless for the client, will ensure maximum results and satisfaction. It is important for the professional to have confidence in their touch during each step. Whether using a machine or simply applying the products with their hands, attention to detail should never be overlooked. Taking the time to move fluidly and confidently creates maximum relaxation and ensures that no area of the body is missed. Be sure to ask questions, answer questions, or just make small talk if the client is engaging and wants to know about the products and actives being used. Give them as much information as they want. Help them to understand the benefit of using these types of products and actives on their body as a preventative measure against aging.
Aging does not just affect the face and professionals should slow the aging process from head to toe. Most clients understand and welcome the idea of monthly facial skin care treatments, but it is the professional's job to educate clients on the importance of taking care of their body as well. Educating clients about how effective active ingredients are for the entirety of their skin allows the client to make an educated decision to incorporate body treatments as part of their monthly regimen. Taking the time to decompress is an added bonus to a monthly skin care treatment and, if the body is part of that process, the mind will be even more relaxed.
Courtney La Marine has been a licensed aesthetician since 2006 and continues to grow and learn in the skin care industry every day. She is based in Denver and owns Clove Studios. She also currently works with Sciote Skin as their director of operations and education, creating all of their skin protocols, as well as a unique massage technique used exclusively through their line. La Marine is a result-driven professional who loves what she does, creates unique treatments for each client, and wants to give clients the skin they deserve. Staying current with new trends, innovative ingredients, and the latest technologies is of the upmost importance to her.