6 Pieces of Advice Every Esthetician Should Follow

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With holidays and a long spell of cold, dry weather ahead of us, winter is an especially popular season for facial treatments. To prepare for the influx of clients, we sat down with Lydia Sarfati, Repechage CEO and Founder, to get the inside scoop on product mixing, ingredients you should stay away from, and a daily skincare regimen you can share with your clients. 

Q. What ingredients or products do you advise against mixing? 

A. One mistake many professionals make is performing treatments that do not go well together. I always advise against mixing different chemical peels, and mechanical exfoliation treatments in one session. For example, performing a chemical peel followed by a microdermabrasion treatment. This can leave your client’s skin very irritated and inflamed.

Q. What ingredients or products work well together?

A. Products and treatments that focus on deep cleansing, exfoliation, hydration and protection work well together. During this time of year, when clients have been in the sun all summer long and have used pore-clogging sunscreens, these types of products/treatments can help revive their skin. A deep cleansing treatment with a clay-based mask can be performed and followed with exfoliation to remove dead skin cells. Gentle, yet effective exfoliation methods include mechanical exfoliators that use natural ingredients such as almonds, oats, or rice bran wax, or chemical peels that use glycolic acid, AHA’s from fruits or papaya enzymes. Follow this exfoliation treatment with a hydrating seaweed-based treatment and environmental protection and clients will see an improvement in their skin.

Q. Are there any ingredients professionals should stay away from?

A. One ingredient that professionals should not be using is hydroquinone. This ingredient can lead to strong skin discoloration and hypopigmentation. Estheticians should also avoid performing microneedling, “Vampire Facials” and phenol peel treatments. Microneedling puts the skin at risk to infection and breaks down the skins barrier, while "Vampire Facials" are not approved by the FDA and have no evidence of any true skin benefits. When it comes to peels, a phenol peel is too aggressive for a beauty professional to perform. Instead, chemical peels that have a total pH below 3.5 and total glycolic acid percentage below 30 percent should be used.

Q. Does it matter how professionals layer their products?

A. Yes, it does. When it comes to layering products, treatment protocols should always follow this order: deep cleansing (desincrustation, steaming, brushing, exfoliation), extractions, a balancing/deep cleansing mask and then a hydrating/moisturizing treatment.

Q. How do you inform clients about all of these things in a way that’s easy and consumer-friendly?

A. One of the most important tasks of an esthetician is to provide clients with the right knowledge. This should be done during your consultation. If you have a skin chart available to show clients how a blackhead forms, for example, this can help facilitate the dialogue in a way clients will understand what is happening to their skin. Explaining what is happening to their skin, and why you are performing certain treatments, will help them better understand both what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.

Q. What are the best tips for clients to perform a healthy routine at-home?

A. When it comes to skincare, everyone’s routine should follow this order:

  • Cleanse: Choose a cleanser for your skin type to remove makeup, dirt, oil and debris.
  • Tone: A toner comes after cleansing to balance your skin’s pH.
  • Serum: A serum contains a higher concentration of key ingredients to target skin concerns making it important to apply before your moisturizer.
  • Moisturize: In the morning apply a moisturizer with a daytime formula, while look for an overnight cream to put on before bed.
  • Protect: Always layer on your environmental protection cream as the last step before applying makeup.
  • Exfoliate: Use a face mask or scrub two-three times a week to remove dead skin cell build up.

These questions originally appeared on AmericanSpa.com

About: Since 1980, Repêchage has created a full range of seaweed-based skincare products featured at top spas and salons globally. Forerunners in sea plant technologies and pioneers in seaweed treatments and cosmetics in the US, Repêchage researchers seek out specific seaweeds beneficial for a range of skin care concerns. The seaweed is sustainably harvested from the Brittany Coast of France and the coast of Maine, USA, and then processed with their proprietary method at the Repêchage headquarters in Secaucus, NJ to deliver all the benefits from the sea to the skin. For more on Repêchage, please visit www.repechage.com