I went to school a few years ago to learn to give facials. Cosmetics and skin treatments of all sorts have interested me most of my post-puberty life. Yet, when I went to school, I had no idea what an esthetician did. I wanted to learn how to apply permanent false eyelashes, but couldn’t get into the class unless I was licensed in one of the beauty fields. I didn’t want to learn how to cut hair, so I went for esthetician.

Learning that estheticians did skincare was total delight for me. I dove in and studied the aging process with intense interest. What fun. There is a point early in a facial when the client’s skin goes from dull to refreshed and glowing that makes this industry so rewarding to be a part of. Here are my most valuable tips:

  1. Gentle skincare is the most effective
  2. Dermatologists are doctors who want to cure something, they are too aggressive in their aging treatments
  3. Never allow anyone to sandblast your face (microdermabrasion)
  4. Never use over-the-counter abrasions at home
  5. Never allow anyone to take acid to your face (chemical peels)
  6. Never use over-the-counter peels
  7. Exposing new skin layers means you have injured your skin to get to lower layers
  8. Never use drying agents (like hydrogen peroxide) on oily or blemished skin

Care for your skin gently:

  1. Clean and treat your skin at night with products designed specifically for your skin type
  2. Be gentle in treating wrinkles – use galvanic, harmonic, and/or jade roller methods to encourage the skin to stay tight
  3. Avoid direct sunlight or wear a hat/visor to keep the sun from damaging your skin (I do not recommend SPF)
  4. Always use moisturizer, but know your products
  5. Spa grade products are worth the effort – you may have to go out of your way to buy them, but they are properly formulated for every skin type
  6. Medi-spa products are not better if they have abrasive or acid treatment additives

Injuries to the skin occur when top layers of cells are removed before they are ready to slough off on their own. Those injuries eventually cause scar tissue to form and the result is premature aging. Think of a chemical peel in the same terms as a sunburn.

If you have skin that kerotenizes and dead cells accumulate on the skin creating the appearance of thick skin, find a salon that uses a gommage product to gently roll the dead cells off. Just one treatment is enough; don’t fall for the series or package deals.

All blemishes are not acne. Don’t run for the salicilic acid for every pimple. It’s okay to “pop” zits as long as you aren’t doing so with dirty fingers. The better route is to go to the salon for a facial and ask for a ….

Salon facials are wonderful when done properly. Not all estheticians today understand more than how much they are going to make on the services they provide. They sell in “bulk” using the series bundles, but I can’t think of anything that needs to be done that way. Once a month is the most you should ever be doing anything as stimulating to the skin as a facial. If your facial includes a massage, and extractions, don’t let the combination of those two stimulating procedures exceed 20-30 minutes total. I prefer to give my clients 20 minutes of a good massage or accutonic sound treatment and zero minutes of extractions. Proper skin care will eliminate the need for extractions. Over-stimulating the skin during a facial is what causes the skin to break out. When you hear people warn against having a facial the day before your wedding, they are talking about experiences they’ve had or heard of where the esthetician goes over-board on stimulating the skin. The day before your wedding is going to be pretty stressful…if your skin reacts to stress, you will probably be seeing a blemish or two on the chin or forehead unless you found a way to calm your nerves.