Friday, April 24, 2015

I'm Back! UCLA Extension 2015 Update

I'm back from LA! I thought I'd do a quick blog post on my experience, rather than a Facebook post.

I just returned from a 4 day intensive course at UCLA Extension: Cosmetic Ingredients and Regulations for Beauty Professionals. It was taught by industry legend and leading ingredient expert Rebecca Gadbury - this class was amazing!

What exactly did I learn? The course covered a lot. We were defining terms, and identifying sources and functions of chemicals in the ingredient lexicon. The regulation of the industry, labeling laws, claim substantiation, and the steps of product development were all covered.

So what does this actually mean? I broadened my knowledge of how different chemicals/ingredients function, why they're needed, and what role they play- based on their form. I can pick through a label more quickly now, and based on what I've learned, determine what fits into my philosophy as helpful and appropriate. I have gained even more respect for all the cosmetic chemists and formulators out there—and I already had a healthy dose of respect!

I will fully admit I am still a bit brain fried from the long days, but I'm also left motivated and inspired by the the vast amount there is still left for me to learn. UCLA will now be offering a certificate in Skin Care, which I will be pursuing over the next 2 years, taking courses every 4-6 months. I met a great group of people, who were nothing but generous with their knowledge from an array of diverse backgrounds.

Thanks for being patient while I was away, I feel very fortunate to have been able to take this time. I can't wait to see where this leads me....stay tuned!

Friday, April 3, 2015

The Dose Makes The Poison

We've all heard this phrase right? Let's think about it a little differently, as it applies to our skincare. How much product we use, when and where we apply it is actually just as important as what is in (and not in) our products. My philosophy on this is very similar to my approach in the treatment room--a modified Goldilocks principle if you will. Not too much, not too little, but just right.

Too much.
You know who you are. If once a day is good, then twice a day must be better, right? If the instructions say use 1 pump, then 4 pumps of this stuff will be fantastic! It's a no-brainer!

Not so fast.

Formulas are designed to work in the suggested amount, and different products work in different ways. Too much of certain performance ingredients could cause irritation, inflammation and damage to the barrier. Trying to "speed up" your result actually may result in extra purchases for damage-control. Not to mention, the additional cost of double-timing it, actually ends up being a waste of money.

Too little.
Ahh... the rationers. (I can't find this word in the dictionary, so we'll call it my own creation.) You're the client who is a little too frugal with their product, and uses it very sparingly- under the suggested amount. You buy a serum that's meant to last approximately 12 weeks, and yours is lasting 24-36 weeks.

By using a significantly lower amount, chances are you aren't getting enough of the performance ingredients to make any noticeable change in your skin.

All products are designed to work effectively when you use the specified amount.  In effect, "saving" or rationing product is a waste of money. You just won't see the results.

Just right.
Find out how and when you should use the products you buy. How much should you use and how should it be applied? How long will the bottle, jar, or tube last? How long to see results? Please don't be afraid to ask these questions if the information is not automatically given to you at purchase.

What if using a product as prescribed falls out of your budget? Let your skin therapist know. There's always a myriad of product options, and she or he would much rather have you on a simplified protocol with realistic expectations (and results!) than a disappointed client. Trust me on this, it's true (every time). If not, time to find a new skin therapist!

So, which one are you?  :)