Are You Listening?
Let us start by working backwards. Whatever condition the skin is in has a 95 percent chance of occurring because of the lifestyle of the owner. In other words, the skin's overall general health is a result of a person's lifestyle. Its features are symptoms of health abuse (whether that health abuse was intentional or involuntary). In easier to understand terminology … THE SKIN TALKS! One of the many miraculous characteristics of the skin is its ability to communicate with all the organs/cells/systems inside. That is why the skin is without question the best diagnostic tool available today. In our clinic, we trust the skin's unique ability to ferret out and determine root/cause not only for its own topical problems, but for every internal disease, problem/condition that may occur in the human body. In my opinion, the skin can out-diagnose any piece of medical equipment, any hospital test, and any alternative medicine procedure.
In that case, why is it that nobody knows about this "other side" of the skin? Why is the skin's ability not common knowledge? The answer is actually quite simple – nobody is listening. The medical profession is not listening; the government is not listening; the Food & Drug Administration is not listening; the general public is not listening; and YOU, the aesthetician are not listening! At the risk of being accused of repetition, "the skin talks – nobody is listening."
As I see it, dear reader, you have three choices: 1) Do nothing (which, unfortunately will be most of you); 2) Call up DERMASCOPE Magazine and thank them for continuing their efforts to offer the most informative, educational "how tos" in the business with promises of integrating this kind of advanced skin care into your own individual practices; or 3) Do not listen to these articles and instead, come to my clinic for thousands of dollars worth of seminars teaching you the same thing as you are receiving from these types of articles for free.
So What Are You Going to Do?
Assuming you want to learn and assuming you want to give your clients the newest, greatest and best technology available, let us get back to the premise that the skin talks. So, what is it talking about? Lifestyle – the way you live your life.
The correlation between these two is undisputable. Firstly, the skin is a reporter, it merely reports the news. It does not play games, lie, cheat, exaggerate or steal. It just reports the news – and that news specifically relates to the results caused by a person's lifestyle. For example, eat sugar and break out in acne, right? … Wrong! Eat sugar and your sebaceous glands start to overproduce sebum to dilute the effects of the sugar. This overproduction of sebum causes the lymphatic system to work harder to detox this mess out of the skin's pores. Unfortunately, much of this gets stuck in the pores, becomes bacteria, and winds up as white and blackheads. So – what to do?
History says the way to remove acne is to dry out the sebum from the pores. Good answer, right? … Wrong! The skin will sense that there is a 'drying out' effect going on. It will then activate the sebaceous glands to produce even more sebum, which, down–the-road, will produce even more pimples. And how did all of this get started – someone made a 'lifestyle' decision to eat sugar! In other words, your choice of food and drink, which is part of your lifestyle, has ultimately affected your skin. As a result, unfortunately, the skin ends up suffering because of a bad choice.
Secondly, the skin does not know right from wrong, or good from bad. It merely reacts to a person's lifestyle. For example, if the skin has consistently received, all of its life, a $9.99 moisturizing cream, then it believes that is what it was meant to have. It has been conditioned (brainwashed, if you will) to accept a sub-standard cream because it does not know any better. In fact, if the next purchase was a $100 cream, the skin would probably react in a defensive manner and attempt to diffuse any of the wonderful changes this more exclusive cream could bring. The skin would actually see the new cream as an enemy because of its 'learned lifestyle. From the skin's first foray into skin care, with all the cleansers, moisturizers, toners, peels, serums, et cetera, it has always positioned itself to accept its owner's wishes. It did not know the difference then or now. It does not try to figure out things … it just reacts. And how does it react? It reacts by talking to its owner and you, the aesthetician.
Look Who's Talking
I formulate very strong, concentrated products for my clientele. The first time they purchase, I sit down with them for a short training session. I explain to them that their skin has not had the quality and strength of the new products they are about to use. In lay terms, I create a story that goes something like this: "Here is what you can expect to happen over the next few days. The skin does not understand change. So, on the first day, you start your program and apply the new products. The next day you may have a small rash, or an itch or perhaps a dry patch. And the skin is talking. What is it saying? Something like, 'Hey girl, were the lights out when you reached for my normal jar of moisturizer. You must have made a mistake because this stuff is really strong. I suggest that you take it off and give me the cream I am used to.' The skin is a creature of habit and because of this the only way it learns is through repetition." I tell my clients to expect these symptoms and to continue following the protocol. After doing this several days in a row, the skin starts to understand. Again, if the skin could actually talk it might say something like this: "Well, no matter how much I have complained, you have continued to use this new cream. I guess you must know what you are doing, so I will start to change a little bit each day to see if I like it and I will stop causing rashes and itches that bug you." Some peoples' skin can take up to 60 days to turn around. And how did all this reaction happen? Someone made a lifestyle change and switched from a $9.99 cream to a $100 cream.
A Chain Reaction
Most of us were pretty physically active as we grew up. As young children, we ran and jumped and skipped rope and played in the mud. Growing older, we started riding bikes and using skateboards and playing sports. Our teen years were filled with physical education (P.E.) and high school sports. All this time, our heart was kept pumping, growing stronger with each day and pushing blood throughout all of our body. The blood was usually clean and pure, and brought lots of vitamins, minerals, protein, nutrients and oxygen to the rest of our organs, including the skin. Everything was being nurtured … then something happened! We either went off to university/college where we had to "buckle down" and get serious about the rest of our life or we opted out of higher education to get a job. Time constraints started to mess up our physical activity. The heart muscle was not exercised as much which caused a decrease in the blood supply to our body, which "dominoed" into a decrease in the nutrition required by the organs (including the skin) to maintain homeostasis – a medical term meaning balanced health. Since, the skin is the last organ on the body's hierarchy to receive anything (e.g. blood, oxygen, nutrition, et cetera), this slower and less quality of blood and oxygen deprives the skin of its necessary requirements to grow older gracefully, and consequently, the aging process starts to take over. And how did all this happen? Someone changed their lifestyle from lots of exercise and movement, to less!
Hopefully, you are starting to get the picture. Both initial and on-going consultations with your clients should be full of questions dealing with lifestyle. Here are a few to get you started:
- What was your diet growing up and what is it now? (Keep in mind that you will need to learn about diets that are good for skin.)
- What has been your skin care regimen and health maintenance program for the majority of your life, and what is it now?
- What kind of physical activity did you participate in, in the past, and how does that compare with what you are doing now?
- Where have you lived most of your life? (Climate takes its toll on the skin – dry, moist, hot, cold, dark and dreary, lots of sun, et cetera.)
- Have you ever had or currently have night sweats, mood swings, hot flashes, PMS? (Out-of-balance hormones wreak havoc on the skin.)
- What previous diseases or health issues have you experienced and what were the procedures (e.g., surgery, chemo, radiation, et cetera) and prescriptions (pills) used to alleviate the situation?
- What clothes fabrics do you prefer (rayon, cotton, nylon, polyester, et cetera) and how do you keep them clean? (This information is important because laundry detergent, fabric softener and dry cleaning chemicals distress the skin.)
I hope this information has been helpful to you. Being a good skin technician and aesthetician is in a small part relying on your ability to be a good private investigator. You have to ask the right questions. And the right questions should always be about LIFESTYLE.
For over 30 years, Dr. Michael Tick has been studying and researching the largest organ of the body, the skin. He is now considered to be a world pioneer in the field of transdermal infusion the healthcare of the future. He is a no-nonsense promoter of healthy skin, out-of-the-box scientist, innovative teacher, and the aesthetician's best friend. www.edimi.com