Let’s face it—putting your best face forward is no simple feat anymore. In a day and age where the drugstore now has 4 aisles devoted to skincare, a typical woman’s magazine is comprised of almost 25% cosmetics ads, and everywhere you turn a celebrity is hawking a new youth serum; it has become increasingly difficult to decide which options may be right for your skin. To make matters worse, most of us really don’t even understand what condition our skin is in and end up making decisions that can potentially damage our skin! Thankfully, you have a trusted ally in your journey to healthy skin… your Licensed Esthetician!
“One of the first things I do with new patients is a proper skin analysis to determine their true skin type and skin condition,” explains Amie, a Licensed Esthetician with FACE Cosmetic Skincare with over ten years of experience. “Most of my patients don’t realize that these are two different things, but having this information lays the foundation for prescribing products and treatments that will really work to improve their skin,” she continues. “Your skin is like a puzzle, and many of us are using skincare products that just don’t fit!”
Your SKIN TYPE is determined by your genetics. There are four main types:
Normal: Lucky people who fall into this category have clear, smooth skin that is neither oily or dry. They tend to have a smaller pore structure and do not produce excessive oil.
Dry: This skin type has difficulty producing enough oil to keep its surface hydrated and supple. If you have dry skin, you may be prone to tightness and even cracking of the skin. You will also be more prone to fine lines and wrinkles.
Oily: Oily skin types are plagued by overactive sebaceous (oil producing) glands and are more prone to acne. Skin is often thick and shiny with enlarged pores.
Combination: This skin type is a mix of oiliness around the forehead, nose and chin and dryness on the outer portion of the face.
“You may have a certain skin type, but your Licensed Esthetician is most concerned with your skin condition,” explains Amie. “Your skin condition is influenced by internal/external factors that we can somewhat control, or at least balance with proper skincare and treatments.”
Internal Factors that Affect Your Skin
- Your diet
- Medications you are taking
- Skin diseases & disorders like rosacea, psoriasis, acne
- Your hormones – think menstrual cycle acne, pigment changes during pregnancy, dry skin after menopause
External Factors that Affect Your Skin
- Sun Exposure
- The Climate where you live (ex: moist, damp Seattle or dry, arid Arizona)
- Your indoor climate (ex: air conditioning, heat)
- Your skincare products!
“As Licensed Estheticians”, we tend to focus on four main skin conditions; dehydrated skin, hyperpigmented skin, aging skin and acne,” instructs Amie. “Once identified, we recommend products to balance these conditions and alleviate the symptoms that sometimes arise from them.”
Dehydrated Skin: If you have flaky tight skin, you are most likely lacking water in your skin. Your Licensed Esthetician may recommend that you increase your water intake and recommend a series of facial treatments that exfoliate away dead, flakey skin cells and rehydrate your skin’s surface with products that contain hyaluronic acid.
“I absolutely LOVE our HydraFacial treatment for dehydrated skin,” says Amie. “It not only clears away all the flakey, dead skin cell buildup; it infuses the skin with healing botanicals and hydrators,” she continues. “I make sure that all of my dehydrated patients are using a hyaluronic acid serum at home as well to bind water to their skin and keep it supple.”
Pigmented Skin: Pigmented skin is usually the result of sun damage or hormones. This condition is marked by dark spots on the skin or patches of discoloration. Your Licensed Esthetician may recommend a series of chemical peels to gradually lift away damage cells and unveil a fresh, even skin tone.
“Sunscreen and topical Vitamin C are MUSTS for pigmented skin,” advises Amie. “We need to prevent future damage from occurring. I also recommend topical lighteners, like hydroquinone or kojic acid too suppress the activity of melanocytes, the cells that give our skin pigment. If pigment is not hormonal, I also like to do a series of Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments to lift and fade dark spots.”
Aging Skin: Aging skin is identified by fine lines, wrinkles and loss of elasticity, firmness and volume. Everyone’s skin ages, so treating aging skin is very much about prevention and correction.
“The gold standard in treating aging skin is retinol,” says Amie, adamantly. “Retinols are a Vitamin A derivative and, with continued topical use, will encourage your skin to grow collagen,” she continues. “Collagen is the component of our skin that keeps it full, springy, firm and smooth. We stop producing it around 30 years of age and that’s when we start to lose elasticity and wrinkles are more likely to form. Products with retinol help rev up that production again and combat the signs of aging skin!”
Acne: Acne results from either a buildup of bad bacteria on the skin that forms pustules, and/or excess cell production and sebaceous activity that leads to congested pores and blackheads. The condition of acne can come in many forms. Sometimes it is marked by inflamed, painful skin with large pimples. Other times, by oily skin with lots of blackheads around the nose.
“Acne is tricky, there is no doubt about it,” explains Amie. “For patients who have oily skin with large pustules, I really like to recommend products with benzoyl peroxide in them, as it kills bacteria and lessens breakouts,” she shares. “For patients with lots of blackheads and congestion, I like doing a series of chemical peels to start regulating their skin cell turnover and prescribing homecare products that contain salicylic acid to keep their skin exfoliated,” she continues. “Acne skin conditions can benefit greatly from monthly clinical facials and peels. These patients really need to be on a comprehensive at home product regimen that is customized to their acne type by their Licensed Esthetician.”
In the end, everyone has the potential to have beautiful, healthy skin. The first step is simply identifying and understating the condition your skin is in to match up the right treatments and products that will ensure you get great results!
Interested in meeting with a Licensed Esthetician to help identify your skin type and skin condition? Set up a complimentary consultation at FACE Cosmetic Skincare by calling (651) 632-9700 today!