Confessions of an Aesthetician

Answers to some of the most common sk in care questions.

How often do I really need to get a facial?

-For glowing healthy skin, every 4-6 weeks is best. As we age our skin cells natural sloughing process slows, making the skin look dull and allowing those dead skin cells to pile up in the fine lines and wrinkles. A good facial normally includes some type of enzyme or other mechanical exfoliation. Enzymes are usually plant based, and just as enzymes in the stomach help to digest food, enzymes on the face help digest dead skin cells. Also your esthetician can carefully extract any blackheads or blemishes that may be lingering in your pres. And don’t forget my favorite part, the facial massage. Makeup artist Gucci Westman, who can be found backstage prepping models for Oscar de la Renta and Jason Wu, is a devout practitioner. “For early morning shows when everyone’s puffy and not quite awake, facial massage is like coffee for the skin. Everything comes to life,” By relaxing muscles and connective tissue, massaging the face softens expression-induced lines around your eyes, lips and brows, helps expel acne-causing toxins and de-puffs and brightens the eye area.

Which is better Microdermabrasion or Chemical Peels?

– This question depends on a couple of different factors, what results are you trying to achieve, how much downtime do you have, and how much aftercare are you able to commit to after the procedure. Microdermabrasion uses either a fine spray (or some systems now use a diamond tip and are crystal free) to mechanically remove the top layer of dead skin cells. There is very little to no discomfort, no downtime with the exception of some temporary redness that is easily covered with a mineral powder afterwards, instant glow and no peeling or flaking. Chemical peels (depending on their strength) can involve a burning sensation when applied, and redness, and peeling that can last from 3-7 days. Usually an aftercare routine is recommended to protect the skin, and people who are “pickers” are warned not to pick and pull the skin off. I do a thorough consultation with every patient discussing the risks and benefits of each treatment before deciding which one to do.

Are the products sold at my Aestheticians office really better than the drugstores?

-Short version? Usually yes, and you can see this difference in a few different ways. One is to flip over your beauty products and look at the list of ingredients. Just like with food labels, the ingredients are listed most to least. In most products sold at Skin Care Professional Offices, the active ingredients are close to the top, are usually of better quality and also frequently they are more concentrated so you use less, so the products you think cost more, don’t really because they last twice as long.

What’s the most important thing I can put on my face?

-Using a spf every day will pay off in the long run. It takes ten years for the damage we do to our skin to show in your skin so I always tell people it’s never too late to start. Also when starting a skin care regiment it will protect the work you’re doing.

What’s the next important thing after sun protection?

– I tell people to pick something for anti-aging, Retinols, Antioxidants or Growth Factors. Retinol and Antioxidants have been around for a long time and they are known to help keep the skin healthy but Growth Factors are an exciting new field and some of the best new products are incorporating Swiss Apples Stem Cells, to promote tissue regeneration that helps repair skin that is aging. Growth Factors can mimic young skin’s ability to support rapid healing and rejuvenation of tissue.


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