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Tuesday, 25 December 2007 13:41

Enhancing Your Fingertips

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Is your goal to be an expert in your field? Do you want to provide services that your clients can’t duplicate at home? If you answered yes, it’s time to break into the world of machines in the field of aesthetics practice, and harness these new trends to foster a competitive advantage.
Machines can ramp up your services and provide a level of results not otherwise possible through a conventional, non-machine facial. Many of the new technologies today are developed to not only have benefits inherent to their respective capabilities, but also to penetrate targeted active ingredients deeper into the skin, allowing better absorption of your skin care products.

By incorporating an array of facial machines into your practice, you can immediately:

1) have the ability to customize treatments to individual skin types, making clients feel extra special
2) set yourself apart, and either compete with or cross over into medi-spas or dermatological services
3) create excitement and motivation among aestheticians and staff, adding to morale
4) create new menu choices including add-on selections and upgrade options, inevitably adding to your bottom line profit
5) show both therapists and clients immediate and long-term benefits, creating loyalty on both fronts
6) take advantage of unique marketing opportunities, especially if you are the first or only one in the market area to offer the service, result, benefit, etc.


What and Why Should You Purchase?
Hopefully it’s clear by now the competitive advantage that can be gained by introducing and employing high technology into you aesthetics practice. Let’s then review some of the options available to incorporate new, more potent machine solutions into your spa treatment options.
Below, please find some possible machine options, including descriptions, features, and benefits:

Direct Current:
Formerly called Galvanic current, DC, or “continuous current”, is the constant flow of an electrical charge, typically flowing through a conductor such as wire, but can also be in the form of an electron or ion. Direct current charges flow in the same direction, like traffic on a one way street, setting them apart from alternating current (AC).
These electrical currents facilitate the absorption of products (active ingredients) beneath the skins’ barrier, and depending on whether negative or positive in charge, can aid in cleansing and pulling deeper impurities out from under the skins layers. They can also provide an assist towards reviving dull, tired skin.

Microcurrent is a modality providing an electric current in millionths of an ampere, making it physiologic, since it is delivered on the same scale as the bodies very own electrical current.
In addition, our bodies seem to use the Microcurrent energy to increase our own energy production by upping the production of ATP (the bodies own chemical energy) by up to 500 percent. At the same time, it also increases protein synthesis and waste product removal, and can be viewed as a catalyst helpful in initiating the healing process.
Microcurrent’s gentle electrical impulses actually rehabilitate the muscles and improve circulation, texture, tone, and smooth away fine lines for immediate and long-lasting results. With regular use, microcurrent can continue to promote underlying muscle tone and restore freshness and vitality to the appearance of skin.

High Frequency:
High Frequency consists of an oscillating current that promotes the cell renewal process by stimulating blood circulation and increasing elastin and collagen production. High Frequency also gently stimulates the removal of harmful toxins and acne-causing bacteria from the skin, encouraging drainage from the lymph glands and gently exfoliating dead skin cells away. The results: clearer, firmer, brighter, and more vibrant skin.

Intense Pulsed Light:
The Class I machines most commonly used by aestheticians offer a method of hair removal from the body involving the use of specially constructed focusing optics and xenon flash light.
In the hair removal process, the focused, broad spectrum light is applied to the surface of the skin by either a hand-held wand, or by an articulated arm. This intense light travels through the tissue of the skin directly into the hair shafts and down to the bulb, where the highest concentration of melanin is located.
When the xenon light strikes the dark colored melanin, it is converted to heat energy. The bulb, as well as most of the hair shaft, is instantly vaporized, radiating intense heat down the hair shaft, in turn, destroying the hair producing papilla.
The Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) hair removal process has become very popular because of the relatively low cost and speed of the procedure. It compares favorably to laser hair removal, which is more often than not, more costly and time consuming. The comparison of effectiveness between IPL and laser hair removal is a hotly debated topic, but is generally accepted to be equivalent.
The IPL equipment used by aestheticians produces pulses of light that are very short in duration, so any discomfort and damage should be minor. Most of those who undergo IPL hair removal, experience a slight irritation like that of a minor wind burn. Be advised under certain circumstances, though, that blisters can occur. The light that emanates from the IPL wand is filtered to remove any ultraviolet rays, thereby eliminating the possibility of UV skin damage.
In addition to (and not lesser than), the hair removal prowess of the IPL machines, the IPL facial is another way to utilize this machine for your competitive edge. During this treatment, intense pulses of light penetrate deep into the skin causing collagen stimulation and blood vessel constriction, promoting blood circulation, lymph drainage, and toxin release. The skin is plumped by increased collagen and elastin production, as well as hydration, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. And finally, the IPL facial helps reduce visible capillaries in the face, hyperpigmentation, and redness from acne or rosacea. The end result: clear, firm, plump, bright, and vibrant skin.

This is a term used to describe sound above the range that’s audible to the human ear. Researchers have discovered that certain frequencies of sound waves can create micro- channels through the skin that pave the way for safe and non-invasive penetration of OTC drugs and highly active ingredients found in stronger skin care formulations.
An emerging area for the use of ultrasound can be found in skin care and medicine for delivery of active ingredients deeper into the epidermis, and possibly into the dermis. Manufacturers are also using this new technique to create micro-channels into the skin to facilitate larger molecules, found in the newer and better skin care products, to help facilitate their delivery beyond the stratum corneum.
However, not all forms of ultrasound accomplish this, and most are found only in the lower frequency models. Most ultrasound machines marketed to the skin care professional are high frequency devices in the range of one to three megahertz. These are not effective in helping to penetrate product as they work by creating heat and very fast vibrations. Many companies claim one to three mega hertz levels can help clean skin, exfoliate and sterilize specific target areas, but much care and research is required before purchasing an ultrasound machine for your business.
The products that are used in conjunction with Ultrasound (which is very non-invasive and painless), do affect the results, but in general you can expect: healing and repair of tissue, collagen increase, refined texture, tightening, toxin release, and decreased pore size. In a nutshell, you’ll produce healthier, firmer, fresher, and more vital skin for your clients.

LED (Light Emitting Diode):
LED is the use of evenly directed light energy onto the skin, where it is turned into cell energy. This cell energy is a natural photo-biochemical reaction similar to the process of photosynthesis in plants. The light energy comes in different waveforms and ranges, each having a different desirous effect on the clients’ skin, as discussed in a couple of examples below.
Several studies have recently shown the cellular and metabolic effects of LED light therapy to fade age spots and freckles, clear up broken capillaries, help to refine fine lines and wrinkles, reduce redness and inflammation, and shrink enlarged pores. These features combine to provide a brighter, smoother, and more youthful skin.
Red Light Therapy, known as photo-rejuvenation, is a very new technology based on important breakthrough research by NASA. The power of Red LED light energy activates the body’s own natural systems to counteract the signs of aging. This is done by activating cellular metabolism, stimulating the skin’s fibroblasts, and promoting circulation, which leads to a natural increase in collagen and elastin production. It is rapidly becoming one of the most innovative ways to help rejuvenate and repair the skin.
Blue Light Therapy, in recent studies, has been shown as an effective treatment promoting the creation of oxygen within the skin. The powerful molecules then have the ability to effectively kill acne-causing bacteria, resulting in clearer, brighter skin. Blue Light Therapy does not seem to have any known side effects. Unlike other acne treatments, blue light does not contain harmful ultraviolet (UV) light which will damage skin, and won’t result in dryness or discomfort associated with harsh topical medications.

Words of Caution
Now that you are ready to purchase a machine or two to be able to offer more options, garner greater market share, increase client loyalty, staff excitement and commitment, and inevitably up your bottom line, STOP!
This is where the work begins, as you must weed through manufacturers, but only after having researched State Board Requirements and your own Insurance Policies to ensure you have the foundation right, before building the house. Take your time and enjoy the process, as ultimately this leading edge approach will provide your clients with better results, keeping them coming back for more, as well as adding a jolt to the word-of-mouth advertising we covet so much for growth. Begin your company research at www.dermascope.com.

Ameann DeJohn is an active consultant and educator to top salons, spas, and skin care manufacturers across the U.S. DeJohn is a former spa owner and a licensed aesthetician with more than 17 years experience in the beauty industry. She has been featured on all major networks, lectures at trade conferences, and continues to write for industry publications. To reach her, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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