Friday, March 27, 2009

What's really the difference between spa products and over the counter (drugstore/department store) products?

Every day as consumers we get pummeled with advertisements about the next and greatest skincare product out there. They're on TV 24/7, on the internet, at Wal-Mart and everywhere you turn. I too catch myself being pulled in by snappy advertising and the promise of the next wonder ingredient.

This weekend I attended the International Congress of Esthetics in Dallas. While sitting in on a panel hosted by some of the top educators/vendors in the professional skincare field, I had a revelation. I no longer had to worry about the next big thing out there. There is no ONE ingredient that the skin loves, but a synergy of ingredients that feed the skin. It's the synergistic action of many high quality ingredients that really makes a difference in the skin.

What about department stores products? Another difference between professionally recommended spa products and over the counter products is their level of activity. Huge brands like Estee Lauder and Clinique have to "dumb down" their products to just enough percentage to see a little result, but not cause allergic or adverse reactions. You just can't get the therapeutic value from the main ingredients because their percentages are too low. It's like taking 1/4 of an aspirin for a headache. The medicine is in there, but it's not enough to get rid of your headache.

I experienced this when I allowed a client who was cash strapped (we were doing a trade) to use drugstore products while I did a series of peels and Infrared light treatments on him. After a few weeks I noticed I just wasn't getting the results I was used to as far as skin quality was concerned.

He was using a not so cheap over the counter "rejuvenation" product with palmitoyl pentapeptide-3. Looking at the ingredients list, I noticed it was number 11 down, after water and a variety of silicones. Dermalogica's Dynamic Skin Recovery has palmitoyl pentatpeptide 5 (more peptides=more synergistic results) listed as the 7th ingredient. The higher up on the list, the higher the amount in the product.

My lesson learned is that I'm not benefitting my clients by allowing them to "get by" with over the counter products. These products have never been held to the standard that professional products have been. Significant results in my clients' skin will always come from my professional recommendation of high quality products that I know are perfect for their specific skin condition and type. (Not from some ad or commercial!)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Did you know...?

A quality peel not only smoothes the skin, but can eat up blackheads as well...

As I was working on a client today, I found myself delighted and excited. I was excited because we were trying a new peel on her. She has very interesting skin. Although it's tough it can't tolerate certain peels yet will hardly react to others. Today we found a winner for her.

While removing the mask I began to notice one of my favorite peel side effects: Blackhead removal without manual extractions! The enzymes in the mask actually devoured the blackheads right up. I'm sure this is the effect that those dreaded Biore Blackhead Remover Strips had in mind, but could never achieve, as least not on my nose!

This is a smart peel because it contains enzymes that only digest keratinized (dead) cells without attacking live, healthy cells. Since blackheads are dead cells and oil combined, bye, bye blackheads!

Her skin also looked smoother and her post inflammatory acne spots (marks that linger after the pimple is healed) were lighter. We were both pleased with the results.

With results like this, you can see why so many of my clients are taking advantage of the two for one peel special this month. Since peels work best when done in a series, I'm offering a head start with this special. It's all about results!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Out! Out! Damned double chin! How to lift that wattle

We all have our facial trouble spots. Some of us complain about our breakouts, other of us dislike our sun spots. I have to admit, my least favorite part of my face (but oddly my husband's favorite) is my wattle. Yes, you may remember the term from Ally McBeal back in the 90's. Richard Fish, the famed freaky attorney had a wattle fettish. I can't say I share in his fantasies!

I do have a trick that I use to lift up that lazy neck though. It really does work. So the next time you have to go to that party or networking event, you too can find a secluded parking spot, recline the car seat all the way back and exercise it away! (Oh yeah, I did that today!)

It's like sit ups for the platysma muscle at the front of the neck. This muscle grows apart as we age - not pretty! I can't explain the whole exercise here, but email me and I will gladly give you a demonstration.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Yes, I'm gonna say it again. Water, water, water!

After ten years working as an esthetician I've seen many, many faces. Unfortunately I see chronic dehydration daily. Superficially dehydrated skin (easy to fix) behaves differently than systemically dehydated skin (not so easy to fix without client's participation). It LOOKS drastically different too. Fortunately, it's easy to fix. Start drinking! (H2O that is.)

The skin is a living organ that is always pushing things up and out: past sunburns, chicken pox, shingles etc. If you think of any of these unpleasant conditions you realize (thankfully) that they don't last forever. The skin is constantly repairing itself. It performs this work better in a hydrated environment. This is why they keep burn victims' wounds moist.

Case in point, I had a client who was complaining of migraines and lack of energy. You can imagine her poor skin reflected just that. It was dull, lackluster and way beyond dehydrated. I recommended (begged) that she drink more water and less coffee.

A week later I'm happy to report the massive positive change in her skin quality: smoother, clearer and more luminous. I was so proud! She was even carrying her water bottle with her. And no more migraines!