Multi-function is exactly what is says, one machine with multiple functions. In our ever changing aesthetic world, there are even a variety of multi-function machines, 8-in-1, 10-in-1, 12-in-1… and so on. I'm going to focus this article on the basic multi-function machine that includes steamer, rotary brush, suction, high frequency, and galvanic current. This might be "old hat" for many of you, but for others, they saw a demo, or used it once in aesthetic school, and then elegantly parted ways!
Your basic multi-function begins with your steamer… and I'm quite sure there is not a person reading this article that is not fully aware of its necessity, so I will move right into the nitty gritty fun stuff!
The rotary brush alone serves multiple functions. It can be used as a second cleanse to provide a more thorough, deeper cleansing process, as well as being used for gentle exfoliation. Most come with sponge and brush attachments of various abrasiveness. The rotary brush is also a fabulous tool to be used in treatments designed for the back!
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Offer a special exfoliating back treatment that begins with a brush cleansing, followed by a gentle scrub, and clay mask… begin removal of the clay mask with the use of the rotating brush to dampen and loosen the mask, followed by a warm towel.
The spray component allows for a gentle spray to be applied over the face and/or body. The spray unit can be filled with toner, distilled water and herbs, or even aromatherapy ingredients. This allows it to play a key role in facial procedures, specialty treatments, to calm, soothe, or even invigorate
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Follow a full body sugar/salt scrub with a gentle herbal mist.
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Follow a microdermabrasion treatment with a gentle spray of a hydrating toner.
The suction component is usually the least used part of the multi-function machine. Originally, it was used prior to extraction to dislodge debris from the pores in order to assist the extraction process. I find it incredibly beneficial after extractions, in order to draw out any remaining debris that has not been exuded in the extraction process. Most machines come with a variety of glass attachments that can be used for increasing the flow of circulation, decreasing puffiness and assisting in lymphatic drainage.
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Create a "mature skin" treatment that incorporates mild suction with a small ventouse. Following exfoliation, beginning at the center of the forehead, gently work in slow strokes from the center of the face to the hair line… being sure to hold the skin taut and keep the suction to a minimum. This will increase circulation, decrease any puffiness, and give the face an amazing
The electrical current components are my favorite! First, galvanic current… which could be an entire article in and of itself. As you know, galvanic current is a direct current that is used to force a water soluble product deep into the skin, a process called phoresis. When used with a positive current, cataphoresis, it forces acid, nutrient rich ingredients deep into the epidermis in order to feed and nourish the skin. When used with a negative current, anaphoresis, it forces an alkaline desincrustation solution deep into the skin in order to saponify and liquefy sebum to promote a more effective extraction process. The cool thing about galvanic current is that it has the ability to alter the pH of the skin at the acid mantle, and literally force ingredients beyond that protective barrier… ingredients alone cannot
Create a seasonal treatment… call it the "force fed facial" and promote a unique facial treatment that feeds the skin with appropriate seasonal ingredients… antioxidants for summertime, vitamin C for fall, humectants and hydrators for winter, vitamin A for spring!
High Frequency (HF) current also has many uses. HF is an alternating current, also called "tesla", hat utilizes neon and argon gas to energize the oxygen around the electrode. Ozone creates a powerful antibacterial environment on the skin, crucial for use after extractions and on acneic skin. It also enhances superficial product penetration in the stratum corneum by creating heat.
Promote the use of high frequency current following waxing services, especially facial waxing. It decreases sensitivity in the skin, and due to the amazing antibacterial benefits of ozone, it inhibits breakouts that are very common after lip, chin, and facial waxing services… Your clients will love their soft, hairless, clear skin!
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There is also an indirect high frequency electrode that can be used to perform a "vienesse massage". You become the conductor of the electricity. Your client holds the electrode in their hand, and while performing a facial, back, or body massage, the current flows through your hands to the client. This is an amazing massage enhancement, it warms the skin, relaxes nerves and muscle tissue, and simply takes the massage to a whole other level!
This type of massage, in conjunction with a concentrated nourishing product, delivers unbelievable results immediately following a microdermabrasion treatment.
use it all! You know the old saying, "if you've got it – flaunt it," well go ahead and flaunt it! Make the most of everything that you have accessible to you. I firmly believe that as a skin care professional, it is your responsibility to offer your customers unsurpassable skin care services that deliver undeniable results. This becomes a simple task when you incorporate multi-function modalities into your basic facial treatments. In my opinion, a basic facial includes the use of your steamer, rotary brush, spray, suction, and at least one form of electric current. The creativity and "up selling" of your treatments can then come from the various products that are used in conjunction with the service.
I have often found that there tends to be a fear factor with using galvanic and high frequency currents. I insist on it being an integral part of the basic aesthetic core education, but for most of us "old timers", and many "newbies", that just is not the case. Electricity has been used in skin therapy since the early 1900s, its nothing new, and certainly nothing to fear. If galvanic current and high frequency are things that you are not comfortable with, grab an old text book, take a refresher, and talk to your equipment manufacturer. In no time at all you can have an understanding of what it is, why its used, and exactly how to use it… from there, the sky is the limit and you have the ability to get as creative in your treatments as you would like.
Remember, its you that has the ability to improve the way another person looks and feels. Aestheticians have some of the most powerful jobs available; we are fortunate, we are gifted, and we are blessed.
Michelle D'Allaird is a New York State licensed aesthetician and International CIDESCO Diplomat. She is the owner of the Aesthetic Science Institute aesthetic schools in Syracuse and Latham, New York. She is a consultant and educator for international cosmetic companies around the world. D'Allaird is a contributing author to major industry trade magazines, as well as a host and speaker for International Congress of Esthetics & Spa conferences in Miami, Philadelphia, Dallas, and Long Beach. She is also a co-author of Salon Fundamentals aesthetics textbook. Her expertise lies in education and curriculum development for aesthetic, medical, and laser courses.