The Top 6 Things Your Esthetician Wants You To Stop Doing (Part 2)


Acne - Copy

As an esthetician, I want to help you have the best skin possible. It’s helpful if you meet me half way. Here are the top six things I wish you would stop doing between visits.

1. Picking at your skin. We know you have heard this a million times, but there is a reason we reiterate that you shouldn’t pick at your blemishes. First, this increases your risk of infection at the blemish sites. There are products and tools that can help you reduce blemishes. Even more importantly, we need to determine the cause of the breakouts so we can prevent them. But if you pick at them in between, they take much longer to heal and actually look worse during the healing process than they would if you left them alone. Picking can create scarring that may last for months or even years. Last but not least, you can collapse the follicle walls, which can lead to inflammatory acne.

2. Going to bed without washing your face. I know, you’re tired at the end of a long day. But whether or not you wear makeup, oils build up on the surface of the skin, and pollutants collect there as well. At night, your body goes through many metabolic changes, and you can nourish it by cleansing and moisturizing properly. This one bad habit can clog your pores, cause breakouts, increase wrinkles, break your lashes, and make skin dull. “Dirt and makeup trapped against your skin cause environmentally-induced oxidative damage,” says dermatologist Dr. Annie Chiu. “This leads to a breakdown of the skin barrier and prematurely ages your face.” Isn’t preventing all this worth the ten minutes it will take you to wash your face twice a day?

3. Skipping moisturizer. This is usually something I hear from people with oily skin. They feel that since their skin is “already oily”, they don’t need to add more oil. However, moisturizers don’t add oil to your skin. They simply provide a protective barrier to seal in the hydration (water) in your skin.

Think of it like a cut melon you put in the refrigerator. If you put it in without a cover, it will turn brown. But if you put a cover on it, it will remain fresh for days or weeks. That’s what moisturizer is – it retains much of your own skin’s water, and protects you from environmental elements. The trick is finding the right one for your skin type.

4. Skipping sunscreen/going in the sun. These days people are getting mixed messages. We have always been told to use sunscreen, but now there are studies that show we need sun exposure because we need the Vitamin D. What to do?

While the studies are correct that we need sun, the relevant factor is that most of us need just 10 minutes per day. So this doesn’t mean we should skip sunscreen altogether. My clients often think they need sunscreen only when they are going to the beach or will be in direct sunlight for a prolonged period. This is also not true. Even when indoors, windows let in up to 50% of the sun’s UVA rays, which can still damage skin.

Please don’t tell your esthetician that you are using sunscreen if you are not. When we ask questions, we’re not judging you – but we are trying to create the right treatment for you. Certain treatments (like microdermabrasion, or chemical or enzyme peels) are contraindicated if you plan to be in the sun without protection. These treatments could actually make your hyperpigmentation worse because your skin is photosensitive afterward.

And do remember, the sun doesn’t discriminate! People of all ethnicities and skin tones get skin cancer. The American Academy of Dermatology says, “Who needs sunscreen? Everyone. Sunscreen use can help prevent skin cancer by protecting you from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. Anyone can get skin cancer, regardless of age, gender or race. In fact, it is estimated that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.”

5. Expecting a miracle. Sometimes people come in after years of neglecting their skin, and think that one facial is going to correct everything. The skin is a living organ, with multiple layers. Achieving results is going to take time and multiple treatments. It can be frustrating when someone tells us they are not achieving results after only one or two treatments. It’s like going to the gym – you have to be committed and you have to stick to the treatment plan in order to make meaningful changes.

6. Buying every product you see. Some of you (you know who you are) are product junkies, ready to buy every shiny new skin care product you see. Curiosity is a good thing, and you may stumble onto some great products. But if you have problem skin, or if you want to maintain the healthiest skin possible, save your money and stick to the regimen your esthetician gives you. It’s very difficult to assess what is working when you are switching products all the time.

On that note, we also don’t want to hear, “I found that same thing you told me about, but cheaper”. We have spent time researching the best products and carry those for your convenience. Just because another brand seems to have similar ingredients doesn’t mean it will perform the same. Often brands are less expensive because they use a lot of fillers and additives – which means you will have to use a lot more of it to get a similar result. Presumably you are seeing an esthetician for her expertise, so my advice is to use the products she recommends. If you feel they are outside of your budget, let her know that, as well. Estheticians can help you get the best skin at an affordable price.

The bottom line. Believe me when I tell you that your esthetician wants your skin to be perfect. You are a walking representation of her work. So please follow her suggestions, including suggestions for in-spa treatments as well as at-home treatments. Your skin will be glad you did!


The Top 5 Products Your Esthetician Wants You To Stop Using (Part 1)



In my consultations with clients, I always check in with them about their current skin care routine, so that I can make a proper assessment of what kind of treatment is appropriate during the facial, and what kind of after-care I should recommend for home use. It is astounding how many people are still using things that are terrible for their skin, often due to misinformation.

Here I will clarify the top five things that I would like my clients to understand before they purchase products.

Soap. Most bar soaps are high on the pH scale, and are quite drying for your skin. It can also disrupt your lipid barrier, which is important because it is your skin’s defense against inflammation, dryness, wrinkles, and more. Damaging this barrier can make your skin sensitive, and make it nearly impossible to repair and maintain healthy skin. I recommend using a skin cleanser that is designed for your particular skin type, and one that is specifically targeting your skin’s concerns.

Apricot Scrub. Most estheticians shudder when they hear a client say they use apricot scrub, because this is one of the worst things you can use on your skin. First, the walnut shells that provide the gritty texture are jagged and can create microscopic cuts in your skin which can lead to irritation and infection. The most widely known apricot scrub brand is St. Ives, and although it is often touted as “natural”, it is anything but. It contains fragrance, and many ingredients that are known toxins. There are many exfoliants out there that are gentle to your skin, so avoid overexfoliating with apricot scrub.

Cetaphil. For years, drugstores and dermatologists have been promoting Cetaphil as the most natural and inexpensive choice. However, I see it as another great case of marketing! If you read the ingredients, you will see that it contains not just one, but three parabens that are on the Dirty Dozen list (more on that below). The sodium laurel sulphate it contains not only can irritate skin, but it contributes to damaging the lipid barrier. Stay away from this product line.

MLM Products. In my career, I am constantly being asked by MLM consultants to represent their products. While there are some good ones out there and some that are not so good, in general I do not suggest buying products from your neighbor who is unlicensed and untrained. Prior to my licensing as an esthetician, I was part of an MLM, so I am not anti-networking marketing, nor am I suggesting that there are not some great products represented by this business model. However, the first point of difference is that OTC products are not as effective as professional products. Estheticians and dermatologists have access to products that can perform at deeper levels of the skin. Another point of difference is that many MLM representatives have no knowledge of the skin’s layers, product ingredients, or chemical reactions, and cannot effectively give the best product advice. Many of my clients who have purchased products from someone they know are not getting the results they could get from spa quality products that would actually cost them much less money. Also, they may be inadvertently creating barrier damage that can create life-long skin challenges.

The Dirty Dozen. The Healthy Living Lounge produced The Dirty Dozen, a list of the twelve most toxic ingredients used in skin care and cosmetic products. As an esthetician, I urge all my clients to utilize this list and ditch any products that contain these harmful substances. There are plenty of natural products out there that won’t cause you serious health issues. For a copy of The Dirty Dozen, click here for your free copy.

There are many circumstances that affect your skin, including genetics and environmental factors. But I would estimate that 80% of keeping skin healthy is your home care routine. Your number one priority is choosing the right products.

Your Esthetician: Saving Your Face

cropped-tumblr_m70wmrfxb11raceeno1_1280-copy.jpgWhy do you need a professional skin therapist?

For the same reason doctor and dentist check-ups are necessary: for better health!

Skin is a living part of your body (your largest organ, in fact), that defends against environmental assaults and extreme temperatures. It helps eliminate toxins from the body. It heals from cuts, abrasions and scratches like a champ. It’s continually renewing and protecting. Simply put, skin keeps the bad stuff out and the good stuff in.

Your skin is like a barometer for your body, and will outwardly show much about your general health.  A huge percentage of our skin concerns (breakouts, clogged pores, wrinkles, sensitivity) are preventable!

So why do you dote more on your hair and nails – two items on your body that aren’t living?

Your skin needs personal attention from a professional – and that professional is a Flawless Day Spa professional skin therapist.

Flawless professional skin therapists are licensed, intensely educated skin health experts trained to prescribe products and deliver professional skin treatments. We have the answers to your most pressing skin care concerns, and know how to deliver real, visible results. We’re the best in the business, and have a real passion for taking care of your skin.

When you are loyal to your skin therapist, we get to know more about your skin – and can better serve you each time you return.  Those who go from spa to spa don’t get the best treatment, because the therapists do not have time to get to know your health and skin history, your lifestyle, your current product usage, and more.  By finding a caring personal skin therapist, you will save time and money in products and services that are not right for your skin.