Want the real skinny on skin care? Better, healthier, more beautiful skin is achievable. So how do you go about acquiring a healthy, glowing complexion?
As an esthetician, I’ve noticed a few things over the years. How you take care of your skin and what you use to take care of your skin with matters. Getting professional skincare treatments makes a big difference in the health and appearance of your skin. Getting your skin scans and skin cancer checks is important. You need to get familiar with your esthetician. She, or he, can help you achieve skincare miracles, but your esthetician does not replace your dermatologist. You need both.
Standing in the skincare aisle at the drug store, or at the department store, for that matter, trying to figure out a plan of action for yourself is the equivalent of self-medicating. First of all, while the products in and of themselves may not be bad, even the most expensive department store products are not in the same category as a professional spa line, and will be well inferior to a pharmaceutical skincare line. You will waste time and money, rarely will you get the desired effect, and you may even cause yourself damage if you start trying to treat skincare problems yourself. So where do you go, and how do you get started? That depends on your concerns and how quickly you want to see results.
Do you have naturally beautiful skin that doesn’t require much attention? It’s okay to admit, we less fortunate folk will try not to dislike you too much. ;) In the case of youthful, normal, healthy skin that mostly looks good no matter what, you can get away with having facials every 6-8 weeks, or more often if you like. You will want to use esthetician-recommended, professional skincare products at home. Your routine can be as simple or elaborate as you wish, but the minimum will be a cleanser and a moisturizing SPF in the daytime, and cleanser and moisturizer at nighttime. The ultrasonic facial would be a nice one for you. The goal here is to maintain what nature blessed you with. If your skin is starting to show a little wear and tear, or you’re having some breakout, go for a more active type of treatment, such as a chemical peel or microdermabrasion.
You have skin issues? Mild to moderate acne, sun damage, wrinkling? You want results quickly? Get thee to a med spa for sure, darling! You probably already know my favorite place is Laser Hair and Skin Center of Tacoma, but anyway, a med spa will be a more clinical setting, and a place where people are serious about results. While a medical esthetician will typically provide your treatments and recommend your products, there will be a medical director (doctor) on board to oversee and sign off on your care. The plan of action might include chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and/or laser treatments, and your products will be pharmaceutical-quality. That means you’re gettin’ the goods, friends, like doing boot camp plus eating a perfect diet (if only I was as serious about that as I am my skincare)! Med spa products and treatments are meant to get great results quickly. Again, your skincare routine can be fairly simple or more elaborate, but you will always at least cleanse, treat, and protect in the morning, and cleanse and treat/moisturize at night. At a med spa, you will also have access to prescription skin care products, if they are needed, like Retin-A and Hydroquinone.
Twins, one smoked and sunned, the other didn’t.
CREDIT: Department of Plastic Surgery, University Hospitals Case Medical Center
If major skincare concerns are plaguing you, it’s important to see a dermatologist to get things under control. Urgent matters such as infections, severe acne, rashes, etc., need to be diagnosed and treated by a dermatologist. While your esthetician can discuss with and help you with concerns such as mild to moderate acne, sun spots, wrinkles, and flushing, he or she cannot make a medical diagnosis or replace medical attention. After your dermatologist has everything under control, then you can work with a medical esthetician to keep things moving along smoothly.
Regardless of which route you go with your skincare, remember to check in with your dermatologist once a year, even if you aren’t noticing any particular problems with your skin. Hopefully you will never get skin cancer, but SkinCancer.org reports that “One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.” As you know, early detection of any kind of cancer is extremely important, and most skin cancer is curable if detected early. So you see, it’s good to get these things checked out.
Are you wondering if you really need professional skincare? Can’t you just put some egg whites or honey on your face and read a book for 15 minutes? Sure, if you are 17 with perfect skin, you can do that and still have perfect skin. I can understand being cautious with your time and money, but if you’re serious about caring for your skin, you need professional assistance.
I was in my late 20s when I started skincare school, I knew I was interested in the industry but was not yet aware of the benefits of skincare. I was always mildly acne-prone and flushed easily, but I was not yet experiencing many signs of aging. At school, we practiced facials on each other, so I was receiving spa facials approximately once a week, and I was using spa-level products for the first time. When I began getting compliments on my skin for the first time ever, and as I saw my classmates’ skin improving, I knew I was on to something with this whole skincare biz. ;O
Once I entered the med spa realm, there was no turning back, baby! Getting regular med spa treatments and using pharmaceutical-grade products, such as iS Clinical (my personal favorite), is about as close to the fountain of youth as you’re likely to get. Oh, plus, at a med spa you can get a lil Botox and a lil filler, and, yeah, Holdin’ Back the Years by Simply Red just popped into my head.
Have you ever met two sisters and asked who was older, only to find that one you thought was older is actually 8-15 years younger? You may have just met yourself an esthetician whose younger sibling does not listen to skincare reason. Ha! Note to self, never directly ask two siblings who is older, instead ask what the age difference is between them, you’re less likely to get injured that way. Skincare matters, friends, it really does!