Beware of DIY Treatments

I have blogged about DIY masks and scrubs and warned about the damage they can do to the skin. Now, my amazing skin care line, Skin Script, has written something about it too. I love that they support Estheticians as much as they do! There really is a difference in what you can do at home vs what we can do in the treatment room. Although I do recommend home masks and scrubs from time to time, they in now way replace a good facial or a professional product.

Here is what Skin Script had to say…

The DIY (do-it-yourself) craze has taken the internet by storm, thanks to popular blogs and websites such as Pinterest. With many at homemade concoctions for everything from nail polish remover to peel-away face masks, we decided to compare these at home treatments to professional treatments:

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1) Quality Ingredients: DIY home recipes call for easily accessible ingredients that can be found around your home or at a grocery store. For example, fruit acids (such those found in lemons) can actually burn your skin if used incorrectly. Table sugar, salt and even oatmeal can scratch the skin due to sharp edges, causing skin irritation and redness. Professional ingredients are pH balanced and modified so your skin cells will accept the ingredients. Skin Script products are “chirally correct” meaning they are accepted by the skin without irritation and will penetrate further than a DIY avocado/mayonnaise mask would.

2) Tools: Extractions with straight pins, “steaming” your face with a pot of boiling water, or using kitty litter as an at-home microdermabrasion treatment (yikes!) can cause serious harm to your skin. Your Esthetician is trained to use tools (such as extractors, steamers and modalities) in a safe, sanitary and effective way.

3) Experience: Attempting to correct skin issues such as acne, pigmentation, rosacea or wrinkles with at home “kitchen ingredients” is not as effective as the combination of an appropriate homecare regimen and regular treatments with a licensed Esthetician. Your Esthetician is trained to properly recommend treatments and homecare to help you achieve your skin care goals.

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MLM’s vs The Professional Esthetician

I am often asked about different MLM’s (Multi-Level Marketing Companies or Direct Sales) and I definitely have an opinion about these and sometimes the people that sell the products but I have held back from writing about it. Since it seems to be coming up more and more lately, I have decided to fully address it. This might save me time in the future too. Now I can just refer people to this blog post. 🙂 I was also asked by another Esthetician to write something so here it goes…

Before I was an Esthetician, I was part of an MLM (I will not reveal the name). I believed in the product I was selling. This company had high standards and I was lucky enough to get started at the beginning, which if any of you are familiar with these, is key to making money. I loved skin so I wanted to be part of something I thought was good. I thought I had an edge because I knew a lot about skin since I had been obsessed with it for so many years. I was not the typical stay-at-home mom (yes, I can say that because that is what I encountered) with no previous skin care knowledge.

This was my experience:

1. We had tons of training (available to us and I took advantage of it) on how to sell the product and gain new consultants. New consultants was how you actually made money.

2. I flew to Chicago for a weekend to learn more about the company and how to sell. It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot. Just not about skin care.

3. There were sheets that would tell you what products the client “should” use based on their skin type. Now, most skin care companies do this, even the professional ones, but if you are a professional you understand how to tweak the regimen if necessary for the client. If you are not, then most likely you will not understand that not everyone falls perfectly into a category.

4. There was no training about skin. I was not taught (luckily I knew) what skin needed and why. If something went wrong with a product or someone reacted negatively to a product, I wasn’t taught how to fix it. Again, I knew a lot more about skin so I was able to troubleshoot but if you don’t know anything and someone has a reaction, what do you do?

5. We were supposed to have these parties and just introduce these products. I didn’t like that. I don’t like sales. So, I taught people about skin and then showed them the products and why they were needed. When I did these parties, I was successful. Just selling people stuff doesn’t usually work but if you explain to them WHY, then they will keep up with it.

6. I was not good at this and I lost A LOT of money. I could sell the product but I couldn’t get people to sign up to be consultants and like I said before, that is where you make your money.

I’m not worried that the MLM’s will take over the professional lines because they have been around since the 60’s. Every year another new “miracle” product comes out and people believe it changes their skin until they realize it didn’t. I’m not blaming or faulting these people because we all want better skin and want to believe that this next thing will be the answer. Just remember that OTC products CANNOT do what a professional can. That is a fact! OTC products, for the most part, do not go deep enough into the skin to make a lasting difference. What you are seeing is temporary. If you stop, the damage will come back immediately. OTC also offers no prevention and that is key to anti-aging.

When it comes down to it, I would much rather have a professional help me with my skin because of their experience and knowledge. Personally, I know how much research I do. 🙂

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Let’s Talk About Lips, Ba-by

I got this article from a fellow Esthetician that she had posted from the International Dermal Institute. I don’t talk about the lips much  so I thought this was interesting. It was written by Emma Hobson.

We often tend to neglect our lips when it comes to facial skin care, except of course for the occasional collagen injection for some. And yet our mouth and lips are so vitally important for an array of reasons, including the ability to make various facial expressions, speaking, and let’s not forget kissing!

Lips and the Aging Process
Without proper care, lips can age faster than other areas of our skin. Think of your lips as a sponge. “When exposed to moisture, they absorb water and plump up. When dehydrated, they dry out and shrink,” explains Bruce Bart, M.D., a dermatologist at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. Because our lips are always exposed, they’re prone to dehydration, particularly during the cold, dry, winter months.

A major culprit of premature aging around the mouth is smoking. Besides the damage caused by the toxins in the smoke itself, smokers are more likely to develop lines around the mouth because of the repeated use of the perioral muscles to hold the cigarette. Smoking increases the hits of aging free radicals by about a million per inhalation. Generally, heavy smokers age 10 years earlier than their non-smoking counterparts.

If that’s not enough, smoking decreases the secretion of oestrogen from the ovaries, and it also is thought to make the liver destroy oestrogen supplies (nicotine activates enzymes in the liver that metabolize sex hormones, speeding up the rate at which they are removed from the body), causing possible, early onset of menopause.

Our lips need more moisture and conditioning as we age. The cumulative damage to the lips and the skin resulting from years of overexposure to the sun, cold air and harsh weather pay their toll. The negative effects of the environment frequently result in the drying, chapping, and cracking of the mouth, and there’s increased risk of inflammation, infection and burning sensations. Greater care of your lips can reverse the signs of aging and trauma.

Is it Possible to Reduce the Effects of Environmental Damage and Aging on the Lips?
Using a lip care product with effective moisturizers and sunscreen (SPF 15+) can help reduce the effects of two of the main contributors to an aged appearance: sun damage and moisture loss. Since the lips have little or no melanin, they have little or no protection from the damaging effects of UV rays, which is why the lips can prematurely age as well as contract skin cancer.

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Can you Exfoliate the Lips?

Yes, but be gentle and use mild exfoliants such as Rice Bran Powder. Never over-exfoliate – once per week max. Dr. Monte Meltzer, Chief of Dermatology at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore states “Some lip products contain salicylic acid, an ingredient of unproven safety when applied to lips. Lips are not hyperkeratotic skin, when salicylic acid is applied to the lips, it can erode through the outer stratum corneum to damage living skin layers beneath.”

How do Lip Plumpers/Primers Work?
There is an array of ingredients used for lip plumping; a common one is Red Chili. They work by causing localized skin irritation, whereby the lips become irritated and swell. But keep in mind that where there is inflammation, there is potential for accelerated aging.

Ingredients to look for:

  • Vitamin E
  • Cocoa Seed Butter
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Palmitoyl Oligopeptide
  • Arginine/ Lysine Polypeptide
  • Avocado Oil
  • Rice Bran Oil
  • Wheat Germ Oil
  • Shea Butter

Ingredients to avoid:

  • Artificial fragrance
  • Isopropyl Esters (Myristate, Palmitate, Lanolate and Linoleate)
  • Myristyl Lactate
  • Sweet Almond Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Sesame Oil
  • Lanolin Wax (Lanolin Acid)
  • Red D&C Dyes
  • Petrolem Jelly
  • Baby Oil

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