Thursday, December 1, 2016

Stressed? What It's Doing To Your Skin, And What To Do About It

I've been seeing A LOT of stressed out clients this last month, so this post seemed appropriate.
The effects of stress on our skin are scientifically proven and can manifest in a variety of different ways. The cascade of hormones that release when we're under stress create real physiological changes and affect the whole body, including the skin. Believe it or not, the effects of stress on the skin are second only to the sun in regards to aging.
Some of the more common signs of stressed skin are:
  • decreased barrier function, leading to dry irritated skin
  • increased sensitivity or redness
  • increased breakouts in acne-prone skin (stress hormones won't cause breakouts, but do contribute to the conditions where they thrive)
  • slower healing time, breakouts last longer
  • rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis flares
Now let's add some of the other side-effects of stress: lack of sleep and exercise, poor diet and hydration, and (what?) not adhering to your skin care routine, and the effects are only compounded.

Before I stress you out even more.... here's what to do about it.
  • The hardest one goes first. Hydrate, get some rest and stick to your skin care routine. I tell my clients this a lot: there is no rule that says you have to wash your face moments before bed. If you're in for the night, wash up and use your products early. Better to do it 2 hours before retiring than not at all!
  • Antioxidants/Sunscreen are a stressed skin's best friend. The world we live in provides a solid daily assault in the form of free-radical damage. Free your skin up from fighting the inflammation and damage caused by UV and pollution with a daily dose of these products. Allow your skin's resources to focus on something else. My go-to for all skin types - Antioxidant Defense Complex.
  • Protect that barrier. When the barrier isn't functioning properly, the skin cannot retain vital moisture, and keep outside bacteria and irritants from penetrating the skin. Keeping inflammation down is key. Calming Bio-Lipid Repair Creme or Fluid, or Rapid Repair are good choices.
  • See your doctor. Flares of medically diagnosed conditions warrant a check-in with your dermatologist to see if your treatment plan needs to be modified to get you through a rough patch (pun intended).
Last but not least... come see me! A little self-care and a tweak of your home care routine can get your skin back on track and glowing in time for the new year.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Lotions & Potions - What To Use When (Part 2)

Part 2 today! I'll be covering the rest of the skin care arsenal, and finish with some sample protocols.
Missed part 1? Read it here.

Ok, a huge category here. A bit of detective work will be required if you don't know what your serum is doing. It might fit in one of the previous categories from part 1 (resurfacers/antioxidants) but if not, I'm calling it a serum. Serums can be used morning and night, after toners and resurfacers, but before moisturizer and sunscreen. Using an antioxidant too? I do something called power blending with my clients. In this case, I would blend the 2 products together and reap the benefits of both.

"Extras" - Lip, Eye, Throat, and Spot Treatments
Lip and eye treatments can generally be used anytime, I personally like to apply after serums, and before moisturizer or sunscreen. For the neck, I apply in place of my normal moisturizer, AM or PM. *The one exception here would be spot treating for acne. This would be done post cleansing and toning (when applicable) before other serums or moisturizer. Think of it like a resurfacer, you want it closest to your skin to get the job done.

This one is pretty easy! Use after resurfacers, antioxidants and serums, but before sunscreen. Most skins don't really need a moisturizer during the day when using a well-formulated sunscreen. The exception here is for very dry or barrier damaged skin that needs the extra support.

Every morning. No matter what. Rain, shine, or "just running out for a bit". Always apply last, prior to makeup. This in non-negotiable and even more important if you're using any exfoliating or resurfacing treatments listed above that can cause sun sensitivity.

A Note About Using Multiple Products
When using multiple products, it's important to keep in mind that many may need a moment to absorb into the skin before applying the next. Why? To get the full benefit of what you're using, you don't want to dilute it by adding something else on top too quickly. So always allow your serums and creams a minute or two to absorb before applying your sunscreen. This is especially important when using resurfacers. If you tend to be sensitive, apply them on dry, not damp skin to lessen the chances of tingling or discomfort.

Sample protocols

Antioxidant cleanser
Power-blended antioxidant serums
Eye serum
Neck Cream
Creamy cleanser
Retinol/Anti-aging serum
Eye serum
Neck Cream

Medicated wash
AHA serum
Non-clogging creamy cleanser
Acne treatment (alternate, every other night)
Non-clogging hydrator (alternate, every other night)

Remember, these are examples. Everyone needs a protocol customized to their unique skin. See your skin therapist! I love personalizing home care and helping you get the most out of your routine by utilizing the right product at the right time.

*I'll be taking a month off from posts and I'll be back at it in November. Yours truly is getting married! :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Lotions & Potions - What To Use When (Part 1)

So you've washed your face (right?) but now what? With all the lotions and potions we have available, it can be very confusing. A lot of you have a well-stocked arsenal but are still a little puzzled. To be clear, I'm not going to tell you what to use. Every skin is unique, and that's a whole different post. I'm going to tell you when to use what you have. Yes, it really does make a difference in what order different products are used and when. Since there are a million and one options out there, I'm going to break it down into general categories, explaining what's best used in the morning, evening or both. I'll offer some examples of actual protocols I myself, and my clients use to clarify.

Here's the breakdown:

Basic Routine
For those of you keeping it simple, so will I.
AM: Cleanse and apply sunscreen.
PM: Cleanse and apply skin appropriate moisturizer.

From antioxidants to acne fighting ingredients, facial toners and mists cover a wide range of uses. Spritz on or apply with cotton directly after cleansing anytime, before any other product.

PM (usually)
This one is a bit more complicated but stay with me.
  • Retinol (or another vitamin A derived product) should be applied at night, after cleansing and toning (if applicable) but before any other serums and moisturizers. Retinol can not only cause sun-sensitivity, but it easily breaks down in UV light.
  • Alpha and beta hydroxy acids (glycolic, salicylic, lactic, azelaic etc.) should also be used in the evening as a general rule. The exception here is if you are treating acne (or in some cases pigmentation), AM and PM applications may be indicated.
  • Enzyme masks and physical scrubs are best used in the evening after cleansing, but before toning, serums, and creams. A gentle physical exfoliator used in the morning or in the shower is also fine for most skin if you are not challenged with sensitivity or acne.
Be sure to ask your skin therapist if you're not sure what exactly it is you have!

*A word about prescription resurfacers: Please follow the advice of your doctor on how and when to apply any prescription. Discontinuing the use of other resurfacers and a daily SPF 30 sunscreen is absolutely mandatory.

If using only once per day, use your antioxidants in the morning. Daytime is when our skin receives the heaviest assaults from UV, pollution, and other skin stressors. There are a ton of antioxidants out there, and a combination provides the best defense. Use before moisturizer and sunscreen, but after any toners or resurfacers.

Look for part 2 in a few days! I'll cover everything else, from serums to sunscreen, and offer those sample protocols to bring it all together.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Ingredient Spotlight! Phyto-Melanin

Photo Credit: Viktor Hanacek

This was scheduled to be a totally different post, a guide to product order and when it's best to put on your various lotions and potions. But, as often happens when I start diving in, it turned into a bit of a monster that seemed a little hard to digest. So while I figure out how to make that post a bit more manageable, here's some info on a fantastic little ingredient, with our modern lifestyle in mind. Why is there a photo of a person in front of a computer screen on a skin care blog? All will be explained below. :)

Phyto-Melanin (Liposhield® HEV)

What is it? A synthetic melanin made from plant-derived amino acids. It is used in skin care and cosmetics. Liposhield® HEV is the trade name. On the product label, you will see melanin or phyto-melanin.

Claims: Phyto-melanin's claim to fame is its ability to protect the skin from the damaging effects of High Energy Visible Light (HEVL) What is HEVL? It's light from a range within the visible spectrum and is emitted by everything from smartphones to flat screen TVs and tablets. (Not to be confused with UV light.) Phyto-melanin absorbs the HEV before it can penetrate the skin and cause oxidative stress, resulting in free-radical damage, premature skin aging, lines, and pigmentation.

Concerns raised: I can't find any concerns raised about this skin protectant! (Yay!)

What I've found: Its chemical structure appears to mimic our own bodies' protective melanin and also is effective in low concentrations (0.2%-0.5%). There are a number of studies referencing the damaging effects of visible light on the skin all referenced at the end of this post.
From the lab Lipo Chemicals, where this ingredient is produced:

"Lipo has conducted a study analyzing the changes in skin’s gene expression when exposed to HEV light. This study’s results indicate that HEV light may significantly affect the skin’s inflammatory cascade and its progression to healing, its barrier recovery, cell cycles and melanogenesis. Our results may explain the variety of previously described effects of HEV light on skin and shed new light on the understanding of what is believed to be the harmful impact that leads to accelerated skin aging. 

Our conclusion, based on this study and other research group’s studies, is that in order to maintain skin’s health; the skin must be shielded from these wavelengths. As a result, we have developed a novel patent-pending compound that acts as an “umbrella” to shield the skin from HEV light, Liposhield® HEV Melanin."

Bottom Line: I'm a big fan of this ingredient! If you spend any time in front of a screen, this is truly a great addition to our ingredient arsenal.

Find it in: Total Age CorrectorEye Serum
This duo is a special promo through the end of August. Find it here.

1. Zastrow L., Groth N., Klein F., Kockott D., Lademann J., Ferrero L. Detection and identification of free radicals generated by UV and visible light in Ex Vivo human skin. IFSCC Magazine 11(3) (2008) 297-315.
2. Besaratinia A., Kim S.I., Pfeifer G.P. Rapid repair of UVA induced oxidized purines and persistence of UVB induced dipyrimide lesions determine the mutagenicity of sun light in mouse cells. The FASEB Journal 22(2008) 2379-2392.
3. Denda M. and Fuziwara S. Visible radiation affects epidermal permeability barrier recovery: selective effects of red and blue light. J. Invest. Dermatol. 128 (2008) 1335-1336.
4. Lee J.H., Roh M.R., Lee K.H. Effects of infrared radiation on skin photo-aging and pigmentation. Yonsei Medical Journal 47(4) (2006) 485-490.

Is there a skin care ingredient you'd like to hear more about or one you have concerns with? Let me know!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

New Technology And Conference Update!

Whew! I had a whirlwind trip to Las Vegas for the International Esthetics Cosmetics and Spa Conference (IECSC) at the end of June. I've been attending this show now for well over a decade. The size attracts a large number of vendors and more importantly, some of the best educators in our industry.

My biggest takeaway from the conference this year? Technology! Yes, I came home with new gear.

New loupe
Because sometimes the magnifying lamp just won't turn the right way. I picked up a new loupe to wear for quick spot work and tough angles. It will also come in handy for clients who need special propping or sit more upright on my table. (Yes, I look a bit goofy wearing it.)

Moisture level checker
This handy little gadget allows me to quickly check the moisture levels in your skin using bio-impedance. For those struggling with dry skin and barrier damage, it's a way to measure real results post-treatment.

LED machine (!)
I'm pretty excited about this one. LED stands for light emitting diode.This painless light therapy can be incorporated into treatments in a variety of ways. I'll be using red LED light therapy for anti-aging treatments, to stimulate collagen production, and minimize sun damage and fine lines and wrinkles. Blue LED light therapy is very antibacterial and great for acne treatments. Need both? Then I'll use a combination. I love that this technology has very few contraindications (only epilepsy and those using photosensitizing drugs) so I am able to use it in a wide variety of clients, including my clients undergoing treatment for cancer. If you'd like to hear more about this great technology, or have questions please let me know and I'm happy to go more in depth. I am already adding this technology to treatments, and in the next few weeks, will also add a series to my menu to intensify your results.

I also fit in four lecture sessions, ranging from theories of aging to acne to pigmentation issues. As most of you already know, I love taking classes and being a student. I always learn something new or solidify knowledge on a topic. It's also a way to pick up new, more succinct ways to share information with all of you (always helpful). Here's a shot of me and industry legend Dr. Mark Lees, the man who wrote the book(s) on skin care and acne. Two of my lectures were with him and I also came home with a new salicylic acid peel from his line that is getting great results. And yes, I got a signed copy of his book, Clearing Concepts because I am a proud skin care geek!

I love this conference. I always leave excited and motivated with a long list of topics to follow up on. All of you are top of mind during the lectures and demos. Client's initials are commonplace in the margins of my notes when I learn something applicable in my practice. I look forward to using some of my exciting new technology and products in your future appointments!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Promises, Promises. What A Facial Can (And Cannot) Do.

We have all heard the widely varying, and sometimes extraordinary claims for different facial treatments. So what's true, and what is just marketing hype? In an exercise of setting realistic expectations, I'm listing what I believe can and cannot be accomplished in a facial treatment. To be clear, I am talking about a single treatment here, not a series, home care, or a treatment in a medical setting.

Yes, we can! First up is what can be accomplished in a single facial treatment.

1. Repair the barrier and significantly increase moisture levels.
When the skin's barrier is not functioning properly, all sorts of problems can happen. Irritation, dryness, flakiness and slow healing time are a few of the issues that crop up. Through careful selection of products, that essential barrier can be repaired and the levels of moisture in the skin can be increased. Results? A plump healthy appearance, diminished fine lines, and proper function.

2. Exfoliate and remove surface cells.
The depth of peels and enzymes will vary, but your skin therapist has a lot of tools in her (or his) arsenal for a wide variety of skin types and conditions. Technology may also be used to remove a build-up of cells on the surface of the skin. Not only does this reveal softer smoother skin, but allows for better penetration of serums and creams, and makes extractions (when necessary) easier.

3. Calm, soothe and revitalize sensitive skin.
A lot of people think they can't have a facial if they have sensitive skin, but this is an instance where your skin therapist really can make a difference in one treatment. With a thorough written and verbal consult, as well as carefully chosen products and technology, sensitive skin can be calmed and soothed, and feel more comfortable and less reactive.

4. Aid in clearing blocked pores, reduce inflammation and knock out bacteria that help acne thrive.
Many clients with congested skin have a love/hate relationship with extractions, but with the right product selection, pore clearing extractions can be performed with minimal discomfort and irritation. I always tell my clients: You should not look like you've been stung by bees after a treatment. Keeping irritation down and managing the bacteria that help breakouts to thrive will help to prevent future eruptions that you currently may not even be able to see.

Now, the reality check. (Sorry.) A single facial cannot do the following:

1. Clear every pore.
Even with the truth of number 3 above, one facial cannot clear out every blackhead, or banish every blemish. With 20,000 follicles (or pores) on the average face, even extracting 1/4 of these would be a long, irritating procedure of epic proportions. Keeping the skin clear is a process that involves consistent home care, every day. (And no, I don't mean extracting your own skin.) Read my post on clogged skin here.

2. Reverse hyperpigmentation.
Spots from sun damage, hormonal dark spots (melasma), "age spots" (lipofuscin), even scarring from breakouts all present as varying yellow to brown discolorations on the face. These won't go away overnight, and certainly not in one facial.  A treatment can brighten the overall look of the skin, mostly due to exfoliating away pigment held in the dead surface cells. It's also a good way to get a "mega-dose" of action ingredients into the skin, which can then be continued at home with the appropriate products.

3. Undo a non-existent home care routine.
Come on now. There's only so much that can be done in 60-80 minutes. I'll use my favorite analogy: What shape would your teeth be in if you had regular cleanings, but never flossed or brushed in between? (Gross.) It's the same with your skin. What you do daily is going to have the most significant long-term impact on the health of your skin. Facials are amazing boosters, but cannot replace home care. The bare minimum? Keep it clean, hydrated and protected (Yes that's a sunscreen plug.)

So one last thing, and maybe the most important thing a facial can do. It can give you a moment, and some time to reset. I don't use the word pampering because it makes a facial treatment sound like an indulgence, as opposed to the self-care it really is. How this reset is defined will be different for every client, and that's the way it should be. Some want to talk skin, some nap, some chat (and laugh!), others have quiet time or a combination of all of these. The main thing is, the phone is on silent and the time is yours. Sound good? I think so too. I look forward to seeing you in the treatment room very soon......

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Should I Get This Checked?

There's a lot of information out there about the abcde's of spotting melanoma, and that's a good thing. (If you missed it, there's a good infographic here.) But what about the other forms of skin cancer? Let's end the month with some warning signs of other forms of skin cancer that we don't hear about so often. I was originally going to include some images below, but since these growths present differently in different people and vary quite a bit, I thought it best to stick with descriptions. You can find a large gallery of images from the American Cancer Society here.

Basal Cell Carcinoma - the most common form of skin cancer that develops in the deeper layer of the epidermis

May appear as:
  • a persistent, non-healing sore
  • a reddish patch that may itch or be tender
  • a shiny or pearly bump
  • an elevated or rolled border
  • a scar-like area with a white or waxy appearance

Squamous Cell Carcinoma - the second most common form of skin cancer that develops in the outer layers of the epidermis

May appear as:
  • a rough, crusty patch with an irregular border
  • a circular lesion with a depression in the center
  • can bleed if scratched or bumped
  • wound-like, or wart-like

Actinic Keratosis - not skin cancer, but since they are potentially cancerous down the road, they're often removed

May appear as:
  • red or brown in color
  • thick scaly lesions
  • common on the face, ears, and the backs of hands

So, if you notice something, what should you do?

Bottom line - if it's new, changing, crusting, bleeding or drawing your attention in any way, have it checked out by a dermatologist. 

While these types of skin cancer rarely metastasize, removal is more invasive and can be disfiguring if not caught early.


photo credit: I Spy (license)

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The 4 Mistakes You're Still Making With Sunscreen

It's a good month for a re-cap! I'm sure I have mentioned all of these things at one point or another through this blog, or in my treatment room, but I still hear these myths and mistakes from my clients when discussing sunscreen.

1) You think it's sunblock.
I wrote a post about this last year. There is no such thing as sunblock. No sunscreen will block out 100% of UV rays. Protective clothing, a hat, and seeking shade during peak hours (generally 10-2pm) are all components of safe sunning. Because the active ingredients in sunscreen degrade with exposure to UV, it is important to reapply every 2 hours, or after swimming to ensure you stay protected.

2) You're not wearing sunscreen when it's cloudy, or you're not planning to be outside.
Think you can skip the sunscreen on cloudy days? Think again. While cloud cover can block some of the UVB rays, UVA passes through clouds and glass. These rays penetrate deep and do the damage we often refer to as "photo-aging". You can find a post I did on UVA and UVB here. Think of applying your sunscreen like brushing your teeth. Every day. Rain or shine.

3) You're not wearing enough.
Are you dabbing it on? A sufficient amount is needed to get the adequate protection. Here's the rule:

Apply a line of sunscreen down the first two fingers of your hand, that's enough for your face and neck (reference the handy photo). For the body, it's approximately two tablespoons. Any less than that and you're not receiving the coverage listed on the label.

4) You think "it's in my makeup, so I'm covered".
When I ask clients if they are wearing sunscreen daily very often I hear "Oh, it's in my makeup." This is an extension of not wearing enough. I've yet to see a client that applies as much makeup shown in the picture above, and certainly not all over the neck. This goes for powders too. The FDA is currently reviewing whether powders can even claim an SPF, due to the fact that there is no established quantity of powder needed to achieve the protection. Now don't get me wrong, I love the fact that companies are incorporating sunscreen into these products, but it should be supplemental protection and not your only coverage.

So are guilty of any of the above? Good news, if you are, they are all quick fixes. Broad spectrum coverage, with a feel you love, every single day. Questions? As always, email or message me!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Skin Cancer And Melanoma Awareness Month

It's May! Time for some sun-care posts! First off, is loaded with great info so I wanted to share one of their infographics. I know sometimes go into the minutiae so let's keep this simple. Here are the top 3 takeaways:

  1. Don't burn your skin.
  2. Don't burn your skin.

    See? It's simple. Wear sunscreen. :)
    You can print or share it here

Friday, March 25, 2016

Oncology Esthetics Training Update

Photo credit: Kaboompics
I'm back from a 3-day oncology esthetics training and certification program!  I've been getting a lot of questions from clients about what exactly this means, so I thought I'd do a quick post to let you know what I was up to!

What is oncology esthetics?
Oncology esthetics refers to a specialized branch of skin care for treating clients who are undergoing, or who have undergone treatment for cancer.

What was I learning?
A lot! We covered the basics of cancer itself, the lymphatic system, forms of treatment, and a range of possible side effects. We learned specific intake procedures to provide safe and effective treatments, learning contraindications, and knowing when (and where) a treatment might not be best. Like my approach to the customized facial, every client, and their treatment will be unique. We also learned integrative therapies and tools to help calm, hydrate and soothe the skin.

What's next?
I will be taking my exam in the next week, and I'll have the materials and some additional products I need over the next few weeks. I predict you'll see an addition to my services page by mid-April. I also plan to implement donating complimentary services as a part of my annual giving program, so stay tuned for that!

As I mentioned when I posted about this on Facebook and Twitter, this was an amazing experience both educationally and emotionally. Becky Kuehn, our instructor from Oncology Spa Solutions, and her teaching assistant Debbi Fink both brought a depth of knowledge, patience, and humor to the training. And finally, hello to the special group of women I spent the 3 days with - Irene, Amy, Nancy, Pearl, Olga and last but not least the 2 Lindas! :) What a great group!!

As always, please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions for me!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Winter Tips For Your Skin (Goodbye Dry!)

Winter has definitely fulfilled expectations this year. I'm getting a lot of complaints about skin dryness, flakiness, and tightness. Central heat, low humidity, chafing wind, not to mention air travel will wreak havoc on the skin's barrier. Your stratum corneum (the outermost layer of your skin) is approximately the width of a human hair. It's not hard to believe it has its work cut out in keeping the good stuff in and the bad stuff out.

But don't worry, help is here. Protect, revive, and repair that vital skin barrier (year-round!) with the tips below:

  • Properly cleansing your skin is vital, but can become challenging for barrier-damaged skin that might need a bit more nourishment. I recommend changing up your cleansing routine to an oil, milk, or lotion, especially if you're currently using a cleansing mousse or foaming wash. Personally, I love using a cleansing oil for my pm cleanse in the winter. And yes, even oily skins can use a non-clogging cleansing oil, and it's great for makeup removal too.
  • Free-radicals are responsible for damaging the lipids in our skin's barrier that protect, and lock in moisture. You constantly hear about the latest and greatest antioxidant, but the truth is, different antioxidants protect against different things, so your best bet is a topical cocktail of multiple antioxidants, as opposed to just one. I'm a huge fan of vitamin C, but it doesn't protect against Lipid Peroxide, which damages the barrier lipids. I combine my vitamin C serum, with an antioxidant complex (18 total!) in the morning to cover all the bases and provide complete protection. This is also my go-to before any air-travel to prevent barrier damage and dryness that occurs due to the ozone in plane cabins.
  •  We all know we need to moisturize and hydrate our skin, but looking for barrier-repair ingredients is key. There are many great choices including shea butter, soy phospholipids, ceramides, and tocopheryl linoleate. Including soothing agents like sea whip is also advised, as inflammation leads to all sorts of problems, including poor barrier function. 
  • Certain emulsifiers, when used in too high a percentage in a formula can actually emulsify the skin's lipids, which will later be rinsed away, resulting in that dry, tight feeling. So you might be applying moisturizer, but it is liquifying the lipids in your natural barrier, leaving you feeling tight and dry, so you apply again.... a vicious cycle. If you think this might be happening to you, have your skin therapist check your current product (or send the ingredient label to me). :)
Exfoliate Gently
  • We're learning the lesson that aggressive treatments, in general, can often do more harm than good in the long term. While exfoliating surface cells can indeed stimulate the skin to repair itself and produce those vital lipids, it's important not to go overboard. A barrier-damaged skin should steer clear of physical abrasive exfoliants that can irritate and create micro-tears on the surface. Instead, try using a gentle resurfacer, with glycolic or lactic acid, get the renewal process going, and stimulate that barrier repair you need.
 For Hands
  • The hands can be tricky as they take all of the exposure, and are also subject to frequent washing, drying soaps, and cleansers. (This is especially true during cold and flu season.) I speak from experience on this one. On a normal workday, I wash my hands well over 25 times! Apply hand cream after every washing and before bed. I use a hand cream specially formulated to soothe and repair, with ingredients like ceramides and dimethicone that can actually help the skin retain moisture over time. Great for cuticles too.
For The Body
  • Be sure to use body lotion right out of the shower to seal in moisture. Take it easy on the hot showers and long soaks! (We're still in a drought here in California, so we should all be moving with a quickness anyway). The same goes for hot tubs and saunas. Also, you might want to check that you're not using a body wash with SLS or SLAS, which can be irritating to the skin. I wrote a post about these ingredients here. Lastly, please stop using soap. It doesn't rinse cleanly. Due to its alkalinity, it can actually leave a film on the skin that impedes the penetration of other products.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Why I Customize

Around 10-12 years into my private skin care practice, I made a big change. I was reviewing my menu and preparing for some updates. Wow, I had amassed a long list of services. I mean A LONG LIST of services. Short, long, indulgent, no frills, deep cleansing, sensitive, anti-aging, specialty, and on and on and on....... 

It suddenly became very clear just how confusing this must be for a client. How could a client figure out what they needed from a service menu? 

The answer was simple–they shouldn't have to. 

Someone coming in should get expert advice and a recommendation of what would be best for their skin, not randomly pick from a list. 

I changed my menu and made all of my treatments customized, personalized and ever-changing based on individual needs. With the exception of series-based protocols, I now only have 2 options when deciding on a facial. When new clients book, I can almost hear the sigh of relief when I tell them they don’t have to choose a service. Instead, we design something after a thorough written and verbal consult. 

What I've found since then is a lack of potential problems. For the client, no more stress trying to select what's best, or worrying about the treatment price. (I've heard many a story about experiences where the initial price sky-rocketed at checkout due to "add-ons" the client didn't feel comfortable saying no to.) For the skin therapist, it ends the problem of having to (gently) steer a client away from a treatment that is really not made for his/her skin. 

Most importantly, it makes the treatments more effective, and a lot more fun for both parties! For me, custom-blending and using various forms of technology keeps things interesting and keeps me in the moment, designing the best treatment for your skin, that day. This transfers over to your product selections for home as well. One protocol does not fit all! As always, use your skin therapist as a resource, discuss skin concerns (and budget!) to make the most of your treatment time and home care routine.