Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

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INJECTABLES F.A.Q.

What are some of the biggest misconceptions about injectables?

Some people still associate Botox with botulism or poison, but it is actually a protein derivative. No one has ever gotten botulism from Botox. It is FDA approved and has been used successfully for over 20 years both medically and cosmetically. Many patients believe Botox will give them a frozen face, devoid of all expression. This will not happen if the injector is cautious and understands facial anatomy. Muscle structure and strength must be assessed and when using the proper dosage in the right location, the patient is left with plenty of expression and movement, so they look natural. I often give new patients a bit less than I think they will need and have them return in 2 weeks to determine if they need more. That is how you design the “recipe” for their particular face.

The other myth I hear from new patients is that fillers don’t last. The fact is, most fillers will last 10 months to over a year or more, but if the practitioner doesn’t use the proper dosage whether intentional or not–the results will be compromised.

Wouldn’t a permanent injectable be the best?

This is a reasonable assumption, but misleading if you think about it. As we age our face changes, Where you need filler when you are 40, will not be where you need it at 45, 50 and beyond. Fillers don’t age with you–they are static, not dynamic. In fact, there was a permanent filler on the market for a while but practitioners quickly realized its long term effects were not aesthetically beneficial. The popularity of cheek implants have waned for exactly that reason. As you age, they begin to slip from their original position as the face loses elasticity and volume. The temporary and semi-permanent nature of today’s fillers (8 months to 2 years) should be viewed as an advantage

Are injectables used only in the face?

Botox and dermal fillers are primarily used in facial rejuvenation, but it might surprise you what other areas truly benefit from them. As we get older, our hands are likely to give away our age. The skin on our hands becomes thin and less elastic, veins are pronounced and the hands themselves can appear bony. In less than 20 minutes, you can take 10-15 years off those hands with fillers. A topical anesthetic absorbs very well, so there is no discomfort. A couple injections will plump the skin and fill in the hands.

Botox is most commonly injected in and around the forehead to smooth lines, but it can also relax teeth grinding muscles, which in turn enlarge the masseter muscle on the upper jaw if not treated. Another condition Botox treats is hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating. One vial can control underarm perspiration for up to 10 months.

How do I know what products to ask for?

You don’t have to worry about requesting certain products. Products change all the time and sometimes the newer ones are not necessarily better. Find someone whose recommendation you can trust. There is no “one best filler” on the market–but there is a palette of fillers that will optimally suit you. Maybe your friend got Restylane, but that doesn’t mean it is right for your particular concerns. This is why patients should seek a practitioner who is experienced with many different types of injectables. Simply put, the injector is more important than the injectable. Every injector gets the same product, but application is key. My consultations take extra time because I view them as an opportunity to educate my patients on what-why-where and how much product it will take to accomplish their goals.

I need Botox and Fillers but everyone knows it is painful.

It doesn’t have to be. From patient to patient, there is a wide range of tolerance for discomfort. Because of that, I always err on the side of “chicken.” Seriously, my philosophy is that comfort during the procedure is as important as a great result. By using a variety of topical and oral medications my patients feel very little if any pain. I recently trained an office and it never occurred to them to use numbing for injectables–so that might be the majority. I may go above and beyond, but I consider it my role to make things as comfortable as possible. I find numbing and then injecting very slowly is less traumatic. I also mix lidocaine with epinephrine and sodium bicarbonate with some dermal fillers. This closely mimics the PH in our bodies and lessens the discomfort. My sessions last longer because of the prep, but it is well worth it for those who anticipate having to suffer.

Are there any side effects I should worry about?

The most common after effects are slight bruising and swelling and even those are patient dependent. Avoiding aspirin, Advil,–any anti-inflammatory or blood thinners will certainly minimize bruising. Lyndsay, my patient coordinator reminds our patients 2 weeks prior to their appointment about products to avoid. Our patients leave with a specially formulated topical cream that counteracts bruising. We also advocate the use of certain herbal remedies that work.

There is a big difference, however, between a side effect and a complication. There are real complications to consider. An untrained or careless injector can cause eyelid droop, tissue death, nerve damage, hematomas or even blindness. This is the reason I am dedicated to continuing education beyond that which manufacturer reps provide. I stay educated and cautious. The best way to avoid complications is to choose your practitioner very carefully.

How expensive is it? Groupon seems to offer some great deals.

Another way to ask this is, “Are you getting what you paid for?” If someone is diluting their syringes or trying to treat a larger areas than is reasonable with the amount of filler you will get an abbreviated result. Longevity and dosage are related. Done properly, Botox lasts 3-4 months and fillers last 10 months to 2 years. Be an educated consumer. Botox advertised for $99 is probably diluted at best.

The other question to ask is, “…compared to what?” Injectables are less than the cost of plastic surgery but more than creams that pretend to deliver the same results and don’t. If you are on a budget, consider doing the area of highest concern and wait a few months to treat the next area. But treat each area adequately. My patients rely on me to help them budget over time and prioritize for impact.

Finally, understand you are not paying for product, but for the experience, training and artistry of the injector. The price may be higher for an expert injector, but the cost of putting your face in untrained or careless hands is more than anyone can afford.

How long does it take?

That depends upon the amount of filler and number of areas you want to treat at one time. You should allow 30 minutes for the topical anesthetic to take effect. I have found the slower I inject, the less bruising my patients experience so avoid anyone who equates good results with speed. An hour to an hour and a half is average for fillers. Botox only, 45 minutes to an hour.

I heard the most qualified professional to do my fillers is a Board Certified Dermatologist or Plastic Surgeon.

There is no doubt there are some (not all) dermatologists and plastic surgeons who are great injectors. Surgeons specialize in surgery, and dermatologists in a myriad of skin conditions. Many are busy with their specialty and simply don’t have time. My expertise is predicated upon singular focus, advanced credentials and doing a lot of injecting. Having said that, I will never practice independent of a licensed physician. Aligning myself with two prestigious board certified aesthetic surgeons – Dr. Hill in Oklahoma City and Dr. Constantine in Dallas gives patients extra confidence.

Can Botox and Fillers take the place of plastic surgery?

Realistically, most people can benefit from noninvasive or minimally invasive aesthetic treatments, but some are surgery candidates so it is important to manage patient expectations. In general, a facelift lifts, fillers volumize, and neuromodulators relax. One cannot substitute for the other. Filling pockets of loose, sagging skin with more and more filler will not lift the face–it will only make it look bizarre. This is why the term “Liquid facelift” is an oxymoron (and the reason many look like a caricature of themselves.) However, Botox and dermal fillers are a powerful complement to plastic surgery. It is the combination of surgery and volume replacement that will inspire a more youthful appearance. Even if fat grafting is done to replace lost volume, so often fillers are used to refine the result.

I am afraid I will look “done” like so many people I see – even celebrities.

Celebrities have never been a trusted barometer of good choices. All the money and fame in the world doesn’t guarantee an optimal outcome. Keep this in mind: overdone, underdone, or done wrong will all look “done.” I’ll add that you can also tell when someone has had nothing done. They just look their age–or older. Understanding balance and proportion is paramount. That is why injecting is an art form. Knowing the right product and its optimal application and dosage is the other part of the equation. Seeing an injector with the perfect combination of skill and judgment, and you will never look “done” but rather a refreshed version of yourself.

What is the difference between neuromodulators and dermal fillers?

Neuromodulators – erase wrinkles, smooth lines, soften, and often create a subtle lift.

Common products: Botox®, Dysport®, Xeomin®

Dermal Fillers – add volume. Depending upon the product they can build structure, cushion, fill in superficial fine lines, plump lips and rejuvenate eye areas. They are characterized by superficial, medium and deep applications. They all have slightly different compounds and consistencies and are designed to be injected at various depths within your skin. In many cases, a combination of two or more dermal filler brands applied to different areas will be most effective for optimal facial rejuvenation.

Common products: Radiesse®, Sculptra®, Juvederm Voluma®, Juvederm Volbella®, Juvederm Ultra® and Juvederm Ultra Plus®, Restylane®, Restylane Lyft®, Restylane Silk®

Other: Kybella®—treatment for correcting a mild to moderate double chin

Medical Aesthetician F.A.Q.

Why should I see an aesthetician?
Esthetics is the application of various treatments to the skin, to maintain its health and vitality. Estheticians are trained in skin wellness, helping their clients balance oil and moisture content and achieve a healthy, youthful complexion. As well as various facial treatments (described in more detail below), they commonly also perform body treatments such as salt or sugar scrubs, moisturizing or slenderizing body wraps, hair removal techniques such as waxing or threading, and hand/foot treatments to rejuvenate the skin.

A variety of treatments and products are used to protect skin from environmental hazards and combat fine lines, wrinkles, and a dull, uneven skin tone. Estheticians are also skilled in managing conditions such as acne, rosacea, eczema, and dry skin, to name just a few. And finally, skin care treatments are wonderfully relaxing and rejuvenating. If smooth, healthy skin is your goal, visiting a skin care professional can benefit you.

What’s the difference between dermatology, cosmetology, and aesthetics?
Dermatology is a branch of the medical profession, practiced by licensed physicians who specialize in disorders of the skin. Esthetic practice specifically excludes diagnosis, prescription, or any other service, procedure, or therapy that requires a medical license. If you’re being treated by a dermatologist, your esthetician can provide complementary and support therapies. In addition, estheticians are trained to recognize early signs of many medical conditions affecting the skin, and will refer you to a dermatologist in such a case.

Cosmetology is the study of beauty treatments including nail care, hair care and styling, makeup application, skin care and more. Esthetics is one branch of cosmetology; some estheticians work in other branches of cosmetology in addition to their skin care practice.

What are your techniques and products?
Techniques used by estheticians include facial steaming, wrapping, exfoliation, waxing, pore cleansing, extraction, and chemical peels. Creams, lotions, wraps, clay or gel masks, and salt scrubs are used. Machines may also be used to help deliver high-tech services.

Some common therapies:
Chemical peel: An exfoliation process, very effective in treating a large range of skin concerns such as aging, sun damage, acne, mild scarring, improving overall skin brightness and evening skin tone. Peels can be light, moderate or deep. Light peels require no down time from work or normal activities. Moderate peels may require a day or two of down time, and deep peels can require a week or more to allow the skin to fully heal. Estheticians who are not working in a medical setting perform light to moderate peels only. Deep peels are performed by a physican, or under a physician’s supervision, for your safety.

Exfoliation: The removal of dead skin cells manually (scrubbing, brushing, or using a system such as microdermabrasion), with a chemical peel (a product that causes dead skin cells to shed) or with an enzymatic product that digests dead skin cells.
Extraction: This is the process of deep cleansing the pores, either manually (using gloved hands and cotton or tissue around the fingers, with gentle pressure to remove the impacted pore) or using a metal extraction implement designed to clear blocked pores. This can also include the use of a lancet (a small sharp blade to lift the dead cells of the skin prior to extraction).

Facial: A facial is the most popular treatment performed by estheticians. It is a good way for your therapist to get a good understanding of your skin prior to suggesting more aggressive treatments. A facial generally includes makeup removal and skin cleansing, exfoliation by mechanical, enzymatic or chemical means, steaming, extractions, facial massage, a treatment mask, serum/moisturizer and sunblock. For most people, facials can be scheduled every four weeks, although your therapist may recommend a different schedule based on your individual needs.

Microdermabrasion: The process of resurfacing the skin using a machine that sands the skin’s epidermal (outer) layer, using either a wand tipped with crushed diamonds, or a spray of special crystals which are then suctioned back up along with the dead skin cells. It can be very helpful in improving skin texture, fine lines and the effectiveness of home care product penetration.

Waxing: Waxing removes unwanted hair at the root. There are two different types of waxes: hard and soft. Soft wax is applied warm to the skin in a thin layer in the direction of hair growth. Cloth strips are then applied to the warm wax, rubbed in the direction of hair growth, and quickly pulled off in the opposite direction. This method is best used on larger areas of the body such as the legs, back or chest. Hard wax is used without cloth strips. It is applied warm, in a layer about the thickness of a nickel, allowed to dry and then removed quickly in the opposite direction of hair growth. Hard wax is less irritating to sensitive skin and is excellent for the bikini, underarm and facial areas.

Visiting an aesthetician?
It is always a good idea to schedule a consultation appointment prior to your first treatment, especially if you are new to esthetic treatments. This gives you and your therapist a chance to discuss your goals and expectations for the first visit, and long term goals for the future. During a consultation, your therapist will go over an extensive intake form, and most likely do a cleansing of the skin followed by a detailed skin analysis. This will give your therapist the information she/he needs to create an individualized treatment plan, both for a series of professional treatments and recommendations for products you can use at home.
What about home care?

Much of the success of maintaining a visible improvement after treatment depends on consistent, correct home care. Your esthetician is trained to select the products that will most benefit your skin, and to advise you on how to maintain your professional results between visits. Like medical or dental care, following the right daily regimen at home is essential if you are to get the most out of your visits to a professional.

Are you a certified aesthetician?

Your skin care treatments should be provided by a properly trained professional. Don’t hesitate to ask your skin care therapist about her background, training, and experience—especially as it relates to the treatment you are considering. Your therapist is a professional member of Associated Skin Care Professionals. Our members have been validated as meeting their state’s licensing credentials and/or core training requirements, and agree to follow a code of ethics which ensures you’ll be treated responsibly and with the utmost respect. ASCP also provides its members with comprehensive resources that allow them to keep up with changing trends, making certain you’ll receive the most up-to-date therapies available.

What is a chemical peel?

A chemical peel is an acid solution that is applied to the skin. It dissolves the outermost layer of skin cells, which then peels off over the following days to reveal the fresher, younger layer below. Peels are very effective in treating a large range of skin concerns such as aging, sun damage, acne, mild scarring, improving skin brightness, and evening skin tone.
Peels can be light, moderate or deep. Light peels require no down time from work and your normal activities. Moderate peels may require a day or two, and deep peels can require a week or more of down time to allow the skin to fully heal. Estheticians who are not working in a medical setting perform light to moderate peels only. Deep peels can only be performed by a physician, or under a physician’s supervision, for your safety.

Preparing for treatment
Most skin colors and types can benefit from chemical peels, though it is best to check with your esthetician about which peel might be right for you. If you’re taking acne medication, Retin-A or Accutane, talk to your esthetician and/or doctor about stopping the medication before and during treatment to avoid complications. Your esthetician can review any other contraindications with you prior to your treatment to determine if a chemical peel is right for you. Be sure to answer all questions honestly and completely on your consultation form prior to your peel.

What to expect during a chemical peel
The skin is cleansed and a prep solution will be applied to remove surface oils and allow the peel to penetrate the skin evenly. Any sensitive areas that cannot be treated will be protected with a thin film of petroleum jelly. Your eyes will be covered to protect them. One or more chemical mixtures will be applied, such as glycolic acid (from sugar cane), trichloroacetic acid (similar to bleach), salicylic acid (wintergreen—good for acne), lactic acid (from milk), or a combination peel called a Jessners peel. The peel will be applied in 1–3 layers, depending on the depth of penetration intended. The acids react with the skin to produce a “controlled wound,” allowing fresh skin to regenerate and emerge. A tingling, burning or hot sensation is normal. Most peels remain on the skin only a few minutes, and are closely watched by the esthetician. A fan may help you stay more comfortable. After some peels, a neutralizing solution is applied to stop the peel. Other peels are self-timed and stop on their own.

After the peel
After most peels, the skin will be pink to red, and look shiny and tight. It is vital to apply sunscreen of SFP 30 or greater to the skin for the next 48 hours, minimum. You must also stay out of the sun, as your skin will be very sensitive to UV rays and could be damaged by sun exposure. The skin will begin to flake or peel within 2–3 days after the treatment, unless you had a lactic acid peel—these encourage moisture retention and may not produce any actual peeling. Sun-damaged areas of your skin will appear darker at first, then will lighten. This is normal. Deeper peels can produce peeling for a week or more. To assist in removing the flaking skin, an enzyme peel or light microdermabrasion treatment is sometimes scheduled a week or so after the initial peel. For maximum results, a series of peels is usually recommended, and may be necessary for treating challenging issues such as hyperpigmentation.

Home care after a chemical peel
Your esthetician will recommend healing products to use for the week or two following your peel. These will soothe and nourish your skin, and aid in its recovery. Usually it is best to avoid makeup during this time, to allow the skin to heal and function without interference. However, if you must wear makeup, mineral makeup will not adversely affect the skin.

Your esthetician
Your skin care treatments should be provided by a properly trained professional. Don’t hesitate to ask your skin care therapist about her background, training, and experience—especially as it relates to the treatment you are considering. Your therapist is a professional member of Associated Skin Care Professionals. Our members have been validated as meeting their state’s licensing credentials and/or core training requirements, and agree to follow a code of ethics which ensures you’ll be treated responsibly and with the utmost respect. ASCP also provides its members with comprehensive resources that allow them to keep up with changing trends, making certain you’ll receive the most up-to-date therapies available.

What is a facial? Why do I need one?

A facial is a professional cleansing, purifying, and beautifying treatment of the skin on the face and neck. Facials are the number one treatment performed by estheticians, and a good way for your therapist to get a good understanding of your skin prior to suggesting more aggressive treatments.

For most people, facials can be scheduled every four weeks, although your therapist may recommend a different schedule. There are many variations of facials based on different needs, as well as different lengths of time. A mini facial may be only 20–30 minutes in length, while a more luxurious version may be 75–90 minutes in length. Tell your esthetician exactly what you want to get out of your facial, and she/he will be able to recommend a facial to meet your needs.

Preparing for a facial
Be sure to allow enough time to fill out a comprehensive intake prior to your treatment. Plan to arrive a little early so you will not feel rushed and can enjoy the entire length of your treatment. Remember that your hair may become damp during the facial, and will usually be held back from your face with a soft wrap or headband, so you may not want to schedule a public appearance right after your facial! There is no need to remove your makeup prior to the appointment, as it will be cleansed off during the facial.

What to expect
Facials are generally very relaxing and soothing. Your esthetician will explain to you what the treatment steps will be. Be sure to communicate with your esthetician during the facial if any product burns, itches, or if you need anything or have any questions. Otherwise, just lie back and enjoy the experience. A basic facial generally includes the following steps:

  • Makeup removal and cleansing of the skin.
  • Skin analysis.
  • Exfoliation by mechanical, enzymatic or chemical means.
  • Massage of the face and neck, to aid in relaxation and stimulate blood and oxygen flow to the skin.
  • Extraction of blackheads and other impurities, either manually (using gloved hands and cotton or tissue around the fingers with gentle pressure to remove the impacted pore) or using a metal extraction implement designed to clear blocked pores. This can also include the use of a lancet (a small, sharp blade to lift the dead cells of the skin prior to extraction).
  • Application of products targeted to your skin type (dry, oily, mixed, sensitive, or mature).

After the facial
After a facial, your skin will probably be soft, smooth and well hydrated. However, if multiple extractions were needed or if you required a fair amount of exfoliation, your face may be somewhat rosy for one to two hours or more, depending on how sensitive your skin is. This is quite normal. You can apply mineral makeup after your facial if there is some redness you want to conceal.

What about home care?
Your esthetician will go over which professional home care products for you to continue the improvement in your skin following your professional treatment. This way, you will be using products that maximize benefits and prolong the effects of your treatment. Your therapist can explain how, when and how much of the products to use. Feel free to call the therapist later, if you have any questions.

Your esthetician
Your skin care treatments should be provided by a properly trained professional. Don’t hesitate to ask your skin care therapist about her background, training, and experience—especially as it relates to the treatment you are considering. Your therapist is a professional member of Associated Skin Care Professionals. Our members have been validated as meeting their state’s licensing credentials and/or core training requirements, and agree to follow a code of ethics which ensures you’ll be treated responsibly and with the utmost respect. ASCP also provides its members with comprehensive resources that allow them to keep up with changing trends, making certain you’ll receive the most up-to-date therapies available.

What is microdermabrasion, and how will I benefit from it?

Microdermabrasion is a method of exfoliation that uses a machine to remove dead surface skin cells and initiate cellular turnover. It was first adopted in Europe in the 1980s and was introduced to the United States in the late 1990s. Its introduction led the revolution of device-driven, noninvasive cosmetic procedures. Today, microdermabrasion remains one of the most popular services employed in both medical and day spas.

The two most common methods are crystal and diamond. The crystal method uses a wand which sprays fine crystals onto the skin, loosening and removing dead skin cells, while simultaneously using vacuum suction to remove the used crystals and dead skin. It has been compared to a mild “sandblasting” of the skin. The diamond method uses a diamond-tipped wand to sand and resurface the skin, combined with suction to remove the dead skin cells. Both methods stimulate blood circulation and revitalize collagen production, which promotes younger-looking skin. The degree of exfoliation depends on the number of passes, level of crystal spray or coarseness of the diamond wand, the pressure and suction used, and the frequency of treatment.

Microdermabrasion can be helpful to treat aging and sun-damaged skin, altered pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, stretch marks, and some types of acne and acne scarring. It is especially effective in treating the under-eye area and crow’s feet. Results may include improved skin tone, reduced visual appearance of aging, fewer breakouts, diminished appearance of scars, refined skin pores, renewed elasticity, and a healthy glow. Microdermabrasion may be recommended for those with chemical sensitivities and can be used on most skin colors and types, although there are some contraindications. Ask your skin care professional if microdermabrasion is right for you.

Preparing for treatment
The procedure is noninvasive and requires little preparation. You may remove your makeup and come to the treatment room with a clean face, or allow your skin care professional to remove your makeup for you.

What to expect
Most clients do not find the procedure to be painful, and it requires no anesthetic. The esthetician will instruct you to relax as she applies the wand to your face in a slow, methodical way. One microdermabrasion treatment should take 30 minutes to an hour. There are no side effects, and your skin will look glowing and fresh almost immediately after the treatment. Some more aggressive treatments may cause the skin to look slightly pink and tender for a few hours afterward. You can resume normal activities and apply makeup and moisturizer directly after your microdermabrasion session.

Home care after microdermabrasion
Because fresh skin has been newly exposed, it is important to apply sunscreen and to avoid direct sunlight and tanning booths following your session. Also, avoid products containing harsh chemicals, dyes, or perfumes until the skin has fully healed. Your skin care professional will explain the home care regimen that is right for you, and send you home with written instructions.

Your esthetician
Your skin care treatments should be provided by a properly trained professional. Don’t hesitate to ask your skin care therapist about her background, training, and experience—especially as it relates to the treatment you are considering. Your therapist is a professional member of Associated Skin Care Professsionals. Our members have been validated as meeting their state’s licensing credentials and/or core training requirements, and agree to follow a code of ethics which ensures you’ll be treated responsibly and with the utmost respect. ASCP also provides its members with comprehensive resources that allow them to keep up with changing trends, making certain you’ll receive the most up-to-date therapies available.

I’ve never been waxed before. How is it done?

Waxing is the most common method of hair removal in spas today. Hair on any part of the body or face can be waxed. Warm wax is applied to the area and then removed, bringing the hair with it. There are two types of wax: hard and soft. Hard wax, which is easier on delicate skin, is often used on the face, underarms, and bikini area. Soft wax is used on the legs, arms, back, and chest.

Waxing reduces hair growth when performed at regular 30-day intervals. Because waxing pulls the hair out by the root, it grows back softer, finer, and thinner. The more you wax, the less hair grows back.
Waxing should not be performed if you have particularly sensitive skin, because it pulls off a couple of layers of skin cells along with the hair. Waxing can cause tenderness and swelling. In addition, some medications will cause the skin to react badly to waxing. Don’t wax if you’re taking Retin-A, Accutane, or any type of acne prescription.

Preparing for treatment
Let the hair grow out to about a half-inch above the skin. If hairs are too short, the wax won’t adhere strongly enough to pull them out. Refrain from taking a shower or bath before the treatment. Soaking the hair will soften it, allowing it to break more easily and making waxing less effective. Do not apply lotion to the skin before your waxing session.

What to expect
An antiseptic lotion may be applied to cleanse the area first. Some estheticians apply a light dusting of baby powder to be sure the skin is dry before applying the wax.

  • If soft wax is being used, the warm wax will be spread on the hairs in a thin layer. A cloth strip (muslin or pellon) is then applied to the wax, and rubbed in the direction of hair growth. The strip is then pulled quickly in the opposite direction of hair growth while the skin is held taut with the other hand.
  • If hard wax is being used, a thicker amount of warm wax is applied and allowed to dry. No cloth strip is applied. The wax is flicked to allow the esthetician to grip it, and it is then pulled off quickly in the opposite direction of hair growth. Hard wax doesn’t adhere to the skin as much as soft wax, and is therefore used on more delicate areas such as the bikini area, underarms and face.

How much does it hurt?
Most people tolerate it well, and get used to the sensation after a few treatments. The level of discomfort you will feel depends on your level of pain tolerance in general, and on which area is being waxed. If you still find waxing very uncomfortable after several treatments, many estheticians offer numbing crèmes that can be applied 45 minutes prior to the service. Clients are also recommended to take two ibuprofen tablets prior to their appointment, to reduce discomfort and decrease inflammation in the post-waxed area. For women, it is generally best not to schedule waxing services just prior to or during your period, as you are more sensitive to pain at this time and will experience more discomfort.

Home care after waxing
It’s important to care for the waxed area properly after treatment to prevent ingrown hairs, breakouts, or other reactions. Exfoliation, using a pumice stone or exfoliating gloves with a bath gel, will help keep the skin clear. Avoid using a bar soap because it leaves a film on the body that could cause ingrown hairs. For the face, back, and chest, use a more gentle exfoliant and an anti-breakout lotion (ask your waxer about recommended products). Directly after waxing, avoid direct sunlight and tanning booths, especially while the skin is still red from treatment. For 24 hours after waxing, avoid exercise, hot tubs, and products with harsh chemicals, perfumes, or dyes. Apply a gentle moisturizer 24 hours after treatment.

Your esthetician
Your skin care treatments should be provided by a properly trained professional. Don’t hesitate to ask your skin care therapist about her background, training, and experience—especially as it relates to the treatment you are considering. Your therapist is a professional member of Associated Skin Care Professionals. Our members have been validated as meeting their state’s licensing credentials and/or core training requirements, and agree to follow a code of ethics which ensures you’ll be treated responsibly and with the utmost respect. ASCP also provides its members with comprehensive resources that allow them to keep up with changing trends, making certain you’ll receive the most up-to-date therapies available.

What causes acne? How can skin care treatments help?

Acne is the most common skin disorder, and 85 percent of all Americans will experience it some time in their lifetime. While commonly thought to be an adolescent problem, it can appear at any age, most often on the face, back, and chest.

The causes of acne are complex, but usually involve the overproduction of oil, the blockage of follicles that release the oil, and the growth of bacteria in those follicles. This can be triggered by many things, including a change in medications or a change in hormone levels caused by stress or other factors. It’s important to treat acne early to avoid scarring.

There are 4 grades of acne. Grade 1 is the mildest form, with open and closed comedones (whiteheads and blackheads). Grades 2 and 3 include papules and pustules as well. Grade 4 is the most advanced form, with all the above plus the appearance of cysts or nodules beneath the skin surface, that can be dime size or larger and often require medical attention to treat. Acne is not only painful but can be very emotionally and psychologically challenging as well.

Who can benefit from acne treatment?
Anyone who has acne can benefit from treatment. Acne sufferers often state their quality of life and self-esteem improves dramatically once their acne is alleviated. If you are seeking a licensed esthetician’s care, chances are you’ve already tried over-the-counter preparations with disappointing results.

Depending on the grade of your acne, your esthetician will go over the treatment options that would be the most successful for you. If you have Grade 4 acne, your esthetician will refer you to a dermatologist who can treat it medically. Once your acne is under control and improving, your esthetician can suggest treatments that will assist you in accelerating the healing process, relieving pigmentation which often accompanies acne.

Visiting your esthetician for acne treatment
Be ready to fill out a medical questionnaire and describe what medications and skin care products you are using. Your therapist will do an analysis of your skin, look for any interactions between products and medications, and devise a treatment plan that’s suitable for your unique needs. Keep in mind that results require a commitment on your behalf to follow a prescribed home care and professional treatment program. This often involves a series of professional treatments. It takes time to balance the skin and treat acne. Though results may not happen overnight, you are on the path to reclaiming your beautiful, clear skin!

What should I expect from my acne treatment?
You should expect regularly scheduled treatments. Your treatment program may begin with an acne facial. This may include deep cleansing and extractions (clearing blocked pores), special exfoliation that will not increase inflammation or spread bacteria, a balancing/calming mask, anti-bacterial and balancing products, or some combination of these. The goal is to deeply cleanse follicles and disinfect them, clearing away oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells.

Your esthetician may also recommend a series of chemical peels. Once the active acne is cleared, microdermabrasion will assist in minimizing the appearance of scarring and diminishing residual darkening of the skin (hyperpigmentation).

What about home care?
Your esthetician can provide the best guidance on caring for your skin between treatments. Generally, this will involve keeping your skin clean and avoiding picking at your blemishes—the single biggest cause of scarring. It’s very important you follow instructions given to you by your esthetician. Untreated or undertreated acne can lead to continuing, worsening outbreaks and scarring. Your esthetician will be in close contact with you to be sure your products are working effectively for you. As your treatment progresses, your esthetician may change your home care routine to fit your changing skin’s needs.

What is rosacea, and how is it treated?

Rosacea (rose-AY-sha) is a chronic skin disease that causes varying degrees of redness and swelling, primarily on the face, but also at times on the scalp, neck, ears, chest, and back. It is considered a vascular disorder (a disorder of the blood vessels).

The condition can develop over a long period of time and is more common in adults, particularly those with fair skin. More women get it than men, though in men the condition is often more pronounced. Severe, untreated rosacea can lead to a disfigurement of the nose called rhinophyma.

There are four grades of rosacea:

Grade 1: Mostly redness.
Grade 2: Pimples and other blemishes.
Grade 3: Edemas (swelling due to fluid retention) and inflammatory bumps on the nose.
Grade 4: Symptoms affecting the eyes.

No one knows the cause of rosacea, but it is thought to run in families and can be aggravated by environmental factors and diet. Although rosacea can be accompanied by pustules, it is not acne. Researchers believe rosacea might be caused by several things: abnormal function of the blood vessels, sun damage, and an abnormal inflammatory reaction.

People with rosacea often learn that certain things trigger their flare-ups. It is believed that fluctuations in temperature (especially extreme heat or cold) is a common trigger. Spicy foods and alcohol consumption can also cause flare-ups.

How is rosacea treated?
The key to rosacea treatment is to catch it early. It may start with skin that merely flushes red. Reducing skin temperature and calming the skin is usually the first objective. Once inflammation is under control, other treatments follow. There are many treatments, including topical agents containing azelaic acid or the antibiotic metronidazole. Both have proven helpful in relieving the symptoms of rosacea. Your physician may also prescribe internal antibiotics in the tetracycline family. Esthetically, rosacea is treated with chemical exfoliation, ultrasonic treatments, and calming, soothing, hydrating treatments.

While not a cure, any of these treatments can help control symptoms, sometimes for several years. Self-treatment is not advised, beyond a simple and gentle cleansing routine. Some over-the-counter remedies may actually worsen symptoms, as will aggressive scrubbing and rubbing. Your licensed esthetician may refer you to a dermatologist for evaluation and medical support.

What to expect from a rosacea treatment
Be ready to fill out a medical questionnaire and describe what medications and skin care
products you are using. Your therapist will do an analysis of your skin, look for any interactions between products and medications, and devise a treatment plan that’s suitable for your unique needs. Be prepared to commit to a series of treatments and a home care regimen.

After your professional treatment, your skin care therapist can recommend a home treatment plan, as well as follow-up professional treatments. Your skin may be more sensitive after treatment. Many professional skin care lines provide specialized products that sooth the inflammation of rosacea. Your esthetician will carefully choose products for you that are least likely to irritate your skin.

What about home care?
Your esthetician can provide the best guidance on caring for your skin after a treatment. In general, people with rosacea should keep a diary of things that trigger their condition: environmental factors such as sun, wind, stress, exposure to heat or severe cold, alcohol or spicy food consumption, and irritating face products. Responses to treatments vary widely; trial and error is unfortunately part of the process when working with rosacea.

What are anti-aging treatments?

Thanks to the wonders of science, and innovation by skin care professionals, you can choose from a wide range of anti-aging treatments. You need not have wrinkles or discoloration to actively participate in an anti-aging regime—many smart consumers begin caring for and protecting their skin at a young age.

Consumers today are opting for minimally invasive procedures to avoid downtime and the unmistakable appearance of having had surgery. People may notice after treatments with your skin care professional you simply seem healthier, happier, less tired, and more confident.

Some anti-aging treatments your skin care professional may be able to provide are a wide variety of facials, microdermabrasion, chemical exfoliation, galvanic treatment, and phototherapy (exposure to light-emitting diodes or intense pulsed light). He or she may be trained in a host of other treatments that, while not strictly anti-aging, go a long way toward making you feel more attractive, such as hair removal, makeup application, and sunless tanning.

Who can benefit from anti-aging treatments?
Anyone who is smart enough to use sunscreen is already participating in an anti-aging regimen, and there is so much more you can do. Treatment recommendations will vary according to skin type and condition, chronological age and skin maturity, level of sun damage (everyone has some), and the goals you have for your skin. Your esthetician can outline your options and make recommendations.

How should I prepare for the treatment?
Be ready to fill out a medical questionnaire and describe what medications and skin care products you are using. Your therapist will do an analysis of your skin, look for any interactions between products and medications, and devise a treatment plan that’s suitable for your skin type and condition. If possible, come to your appointment without anything on your skin; otherwise your skin care professional will cleanse your skin. Start your care when you are ready to commit to a series of treatments and a home care regimen.

What to expect
The results of your treatment may be obvious right away or may take some time to achieve. This depends entirely on your program and the methods used. Your skin care professional should be able to outline realistic goals for you. In some cases, skin is in poor condition and needs to be strengthened and conditioned before anti-aging treatments can be performed. If you are suffering from acne, dermatitis, or rosacea, you may have to set your anti-aging goals aside until you’ve cleared those symptoms. The good news is you may gain younger-looking skin as a side benefit of clearing and treating these conditions.

What about home care?
Your esthetician can provide the best guidance on caring for your skin after a treatment. He or she may have products available for your use. It’s key to commit to a home care regimen in order to maximize your investment in the treatments your esthetician provides.

How can I get a “safe” tan? How do I choose the right sunblock?

Like many people, you’d love to have that bronzed look but don’t want to expose yourself to harmful ultraviolet rays. With spray tanning and airbrushing, there are ways to get this attractive look safely.

The tanned look has been popular for decades and reached a new level of sophistication in the 1970s when tanning beds were invented. Many people found them a fast way to get an even, year-round tan. However, dermatologists soon became alarmed at the growing incidence of skin cancer and started educating the public about the dangers of overexposure to ultraviolet rays.

Some manufacturers of tanning beds promote the misconception that getting a base tan in a tanning bed will protect you from an even more damaging sunburn. But dermatologists agree there is simply no safe way to sunbathe or use a tanning bed.

Spray and airbrush tanning
Fortunately, there are safe alternatives. Most dermatologists consider spray and airbrush tanning as safe as applying makeup.

The active ingredient for sunless tanning, dihydroxyacetone (DHA), is derived from raw sugarcane and sugar beets, which reacts with the skin’s amino acids to produce color. This color develops three to four hours after application, deepens over the next 24 hours, and lasts one week to 10 days. A session usually takes 30 minutes or less and may be performed in a spray booth or with a handheld spray unit. Clients undress to their level of comfort; many wear bathing suits. The solution easily washes out of fabrics you wear to your session and, in general, does not rub off onto clothes.

You’ll still need to wear sunscreen, as spray and airbrush tanning don’t provide protection from the sun.

Help or hype?
It’s also helpful to know which sun protection aids on the market measure up to their claims. Following are a few products and procedures you may have heard about.

  • Some companies promote ingestible pills that purport to provide sun protection. Experts say there is insufficient scientific evidence to support these claims.
  • There are bracelets that manufacturers claim will signal you when it’s time to apply more sunscreen or to move into the shade. Experts don’t consider these an adequate safeguard.
  • While some companies claim their contact lenses protect your eyes from ultraviolet rays, this is a little misleading since the entire eyeball needs protection. For best results, use a pair of comfortable wraparound sunglasses with an ultraviolet block and polarizing lenses.
  • Cellulose fabrics, like acetate and rayon, block some ultraviolet rays. Rit makes a product called SunGuard, a detergent you add into your washer, that significantly improves the sun protection factor of cotton clothes for about 20 washings.
  • For maximum safety, look for some combination of these ingredients in a sunscreen: avobenzone, mexoryl, oxybenzone, titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide.
  • Your car windows are already protecting you from 50–75 percent of the sun’s rays. Film that rejects as much as 99 percent of ultraviolet rays can be applied to windows. Have this done professionally, however, as the do-it-yourself products are very difficult to apply effectively and often bubble. Many states govern how much you can tint certain car windows, such as the windshield and driver’s side front window. A window-tinting professional can provide guidance on this.

TAN Rx F.A.Q.

How long will my tan last?
Your tan will last anywhere between 5 to 7 days. The length of a spray tan depends on several factors. The first thing to know is that it cannot last longer than 7-10 days. This is because by the 7th day, the outermost layer of our skin will begin to shed naturally. With this being said, taking the recommended steps preparing for your appointment and avoiding certain skin care products and activities after your tan will ensure your tan lasts as long as possible.
What should I wear while I am getting my spray tan?
Any undergarments or a bathing suit. We offer disposable underwear and/or bras. Attire for men is boxers, briefs, swim trunks, shorts, or disposable underwear for men. Wear nothing if you prefer not to have tan lines. (Men excluded)
Will I turn orange?
  • Our formulations are customized to each skin, type, tone, and desired color therefore we can blend the perfect color solution for each individual client.
  • We use violet additives, which are opposite of orange on the color wheel, that work to cancel out those pesky unwanted orange tones!
How do self tanners work?
  • Dihydroxyacetone, or DHA, is the ingredient in self tanners that tans your skin. DHA is a carbohydrate compound derived from sugar cane approved by the FDA for use in sunless tanning solution. DHA is a naturally derived ingredient that has been used for ages. It was the first ingredient to be used for sunless tanning.
  • When applied to skin, a reaction occurs that causes it to brown. The brownish polymers that are created in the skin mimic a sun kissed beach glow!
  • Formulations of self tanners have come a long way from the orange tans which gave DHA a bit of a bad rap. Now professional solutions contain many natural additives to work with DHA to ensure the best possible spray tan.
  • Erythrulose, a berry derived sugar extract, is another ingredient that causes a similar chemical reaction as DHA that is found in our solutions. They work together to yield a gorgeous, long lasting color.

INJECTABLES F.A.Q.

What are some of the biggest misconceptions about injectables?

Some people still associate Botox with botulism or poison, but it is actually a protein derivative. No one has ever gotten botulism from Botox. It is FDA approved and has been used successfully for over 20 years both medically and cosmetically. Many patients believe Botox will give them a frozen face, devoid of all expression. This will not happen if the injector is cautious and understands facial anatomy. Muscle structure and strength must be assessed and when using the proper dosage in the right location, the patient is left with plenty of expression and movement, so they look natural. I often give new patients a bit less than I think they will need and have them return in 2 weeks to determine if they need more. That is how you design the “recipe” for their particular face.

The other myth I hear from new patients is that fillers don’t last. The fact is, most fillers will last 10 months to over a year or more, but if the practitioner doesn’t use the proper dosage whether intentional or not–the results will be compromised.

Wouldn’t a permanent injectable be the best?

This is a reasonable assumption, but misleading if you think about it. As we age our face changes, Where you need filler when you are 40, will not be where you need it at 45, 50 and beyond. Fillers don’t age with you–they are static, not dynamic. In fact, there was a permanent filler on the market for a while but practitioners quickly realized its long term effects were not aesthetically beneficial. The popularity of cheek implants have waned for exactly that reason. As you age, they begin to slip from their original position as the face loses elasticity and volume. The temporary and semi-permanent nature of today’s fillers (8 months to 2 years) should be viewed as an advantage

Are injectables used only in the face?

Botox and dermal fillers are primarily used in facial rejuvenation, but it might surprise you what other areas truly benefit from them. As we get older, our hands are likely to give away our age. The skin on our hands becomes thin and less elastic, veins are pronounced and the hands themselves can appear bony. In less than 20 minutes, you can take 10-15 years off those hands with fillers. A topical anesthetic absorbs very well, so there is no discomfort. A couple injections will plump the skin and fill in the hands.

Botox is most commonly injected in and around the forehead to smooth lines, but it can also relax teeth grinding muscles, which in turn enlarge the masseter muscle on the upper jaw if not treated. Another condition Botox treats is hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating. One vial can control underarm perspiration for up to 10 months.

How do I know what products to ask for?

You don’t have to worry about requesting certain products. Products change all the time and sometimes the newer ones are not necessarily better. Find someone whose recommendation you can trust. There is no “one best filler” on the market–but there is a palette of fillers that will optimally suit you. Maybe your friend got Restylane, but that doesn’t mean it is right for your particular concerns. This is why patients should seek a practitioner who is experienced with many different types of injectables. Simply put, the injector is more important than the injectable. Every injector gets the same product, but application is key. My consultations take extra time because I view them as an opportunity to educate my patients on what-why-where and how much product it will take to accomplish their goals.

I need Botox and Fillers but everyone knows it is painful.

It doesn’t have to be. From patient to patient, there is a wide range of tolerance for discomfort. Because of that, I always err on the side of “chicken.” Seriously, my philosophy is that comfort during the procedure is as important as a great result. By using a variety of topical and oral medications my patients feel very little if any pain. I recently trained an office and it never occurred to them to use numbing for injectables–so that might be the majority. I may go above and beyond, but I consider it my role to make things as comfortable as possible. I find numbing and then injecting very slowly is less traumatic. I also mix lidocaine with epinephrine and sodium bicarbonate with some dermal fillers. This closely mimics the PH in our bodies and lessens the discomfort. My sessions last longer because of the prep, but it is well worth it for those who anticipate having to suffer.

Are there any side effects I should worry about?

The most common after effects are slight bruising and swelling and even those are patient dependent. Avoiding aspirin, Advil,–any anti-inflammatory or blood thinners will certainly minimize bruising. Lyndsay, my patient coordinator reminds our patients 2 weeks prior to their appointment about products to avoid. Our patients leave with a specially formulated topical cream that counteracts bruising. We also advocate the use of certain herbal remedies that work.

There is a big difference, however, between a side effect and a complication. There are real complications to consider. An untrained or careless injector can cause eyelid droop, tissue death, nerve damage, hematomas or even blindness. This is the reason I am dedicated to continuing education beyond that which manufacturer reps provide. I stay educated and cautious. The best way to avoid complications is to choose your practitioner very carefully.

How expensive is it? Groupon seems to offer some great deals.

Another way to ask this is, “Are you getting what you paid for?” If someone is diluting their syringes or trying to treat a larger areas than is reasonable with the amount of filler you will get an abbreviated result. Longevity and dosage are related. Done properly, Botox lasts 3-4 months and fillers last 10 months to 2 years. Be an educated consumer. Botox advertised for $99 is probably diluted at best.

The other question to ask is, “…compared to what?” Injectables are less than the cost of plastic surgery but more than creams that pretend to deliver the same results and don’t. If you are on a budget, consider doing the area of highest concern and wait a few months to treat the next area. But treat each area adequately. My patients rely on me to help them budget over time and prioritize for impact.

Finally, understand you are not paying for product, but for the experience, training and artistry of the injector. The price may be higher for an expert injector, but the cost of putting your face in untrained or careless hands is more than anyone can afford.

How long does it take?

That depends upon the amount of filler and number of areas you want to treat at one time. You should allow 30 minutes for the topical anesthetic to take effect. I have found the slower I inject, the less bruising my patients experience so avoid anyone who equates good results with speed. An hour to an hour and a half is average for fillers. Botox only, 45 minutes to an hour.

I heard the most qualified professional to do my fillers is a Board Certified Dermatologist or Plastic Surgeon.

There is no doubt there are some (not all) dermatologists and plastic surgeons who are great injectors. Surgeons specialize in surgery, and dermatologists in a myriad of skin conditions. Many are busy with their specialty and simply don’t have time. My expertise is predicated upon singular focus, advanced credentials and doing a lot of injecting. Having said that, I will never practice independent of a licensed physician. Aligning myself with two prestigious board certified aesthetic surgeons – Dr. Hill in Oklahoma City and Dr. Constantine in Dallas gives patients extra confidence.

Can Botox and Fillers take the place of plastic surgery?

Realistically, most people can benefit from noninvasive or minimally invasive aesthetic treatments, but some are surgery candidates so it is important to manage patient expectations. In general, a facelift lifts, fillers volumize, and neuromodulators relax. One cannot substitute for the other. Filling pockets of loose, sagging skin with more and more filler will not lift the face–it will only make it look bizarre. This is why the term “Liquid facelift” is an oxymoron (and the reason many look like a caricature of themselves.) However, Botox and dermal fillers are a powerful complement to plastic surgery. It is the combination of surgery and volume replacement that will inspire a more youthful appearance. Even if fat grafting is done to replace lost volume, so often fillers are used to refine the result.

I am afraid I will look “done” like so many people I see – even celebrities.

Celebrities have never been a trusted barometer of good choices. All the money and fame in the world doesn’t guarantee an optimal outcome. Keep this in mind: overdone, underdone, or done wrong will all look “done.” I’ll add that you can also tell when someone has had nothing done. They just look their age–or older. Understanding balance and proportion is paramount. That is why injecting is an art form. Knowing the right product and its optimal application and dosage is the other part of the equation. Seeing an injector with the perfect combination of skill and judgment, and you will never look “done” but rather a refreshed version of yourself.

What is the difference between neuromodulators and dermal fillers?

Neuromodulators – erase wrinkles, smooth lines, soften, and often create a subtle lift.

Common products: Botox®, Dysport®, Xeomin®

Dermal Fillers – add volume. Depending upon the product they can build structure, cushion, fill in superficial fine lines, plump lips and rejuvenate eye areas. They are characterized by superficial, medium and deep applications. They all have slightly different compounds and consistencies and are designed to be injected at various depths within your skin. In many cases, a combination of two or more dermal filler brands applied to different areas will be most effective for optimal facial rejuvenation.

Common products: Radiesse®, Sculptra®, Juvederm Voluma®, Juvederm Volbella®, Juvederm Ultra® and Juvederm Ultra Plus®, Restylane®, Restylane Lyft®, Restylane Silk®

Other: Kybella®—treatment for correcting a mild to moderate double chin

Medical Aesthetician F.A.Q.

Why should I see an aesthetician?
Esthetics is the application of various treatments to the skin, to maintain its health and vitality. Estheticians are trained in skin wellness, helping their clients balance oil and moisture content and achieve a healthy, youthful complexion. As well as various facial treatments (described in more detail below), they commonly also perform body treatments such as salt or sugar scrubs, moisturizing or slenderizing body wraps, hair removal techniques such as waxing or threading, and hand/foot treatments to rejuvenate the skin.

A variety of treatments and products are used to protect skin from environmental hazards and combat fine lines, wrinkles, and a dull, uneven skin tone. Estheticians are also skilled in managing conditions such as acne, rosacea, eczema, and dry skin, to name just a few. And finally, skin care treatments are wonderfully relaxing and rejuvenating. If smooth, healthy skin is your goal, visiting a skin care professional can benefit you.

What’s the difference between dermatology, cosmetology, and aesthetics?
Dermatology is a branch of the medical profession, practiced by licensed physicians who specialize in disorders of the skin. Esthetic practice specifically excludes diagnosis, prescription, or any other service, procedure, or therapy that requires a medical license. If you’re being treated by a dermatologist, your esthetician can provide complementary and support therapies. In addition, estheticians are trained to recognize early signs of many medical conditions affecting the skin, and will refer you to a dermatologist in such a case.

Cosmetology is the study of beauty treatments including nail care, hair care and styling, makeup application, skin care and more. Esthetics is one branch of cosmetology; some estheticians work in other branches of cosmetology in addition to their skin care practice.

What are your techniques and products?
Techniques used by estheticians include facial steaming, wrapping, exfoliation, waxing, pore cleansing, extraction, and chemical peels. Creams, lotions, wraps, clay or gel masks, and salt scrubs are used. Machines may also be used to help deliver high-tech services.

Some common therapies:
Chemical peel: An exfoliation process, very effective in treating a large range of skin concerns such as aging, sun damage, acne, mild scarring, improving overall skin brightness and evening skin tone. Peels can be light, moderate or deep. Light peels require no down time from work or normal activities. Moderate peels may require a day or two of down time, and deep peels can require a week or more to allow the skin to fully heal. Estheticians who are not working in a medical setting perform light to moderate peels only. Deep peels are performed by a physican, or under a physician’s supervision, for your safety.

Exfoliation: The removal of dead skin cells manually (scrubbing, brushing, or using a system such as microdermabrasion), with a chemical peel (a product that causes dead skin cells to shed) or with an enzymatic product that digests dead skin cells.
Extraction: This is the process of deep cleansing the pores, either manually (using gloved hands and cotton or tissue around the fingers, with gentle pressure to remove the impacted pore) or using a metal extraction implement designed to clear blocked pores. This can also include the use of a lancet (a small sharp blade to lift the dead cells of the skin prior to extraction).

Facial: A facial is the most popular treatment performed by estheticians. It is a good way for your therapist to get a good understanding of your skin prior to suggesting more aggressive treatments. A facial generally includes makeup removal and skin cleansing, exfoliation by mechanical, enzymatic or chemical means, steaming, extractions, facial massage, a treatment mask, serum/moisturizer and sunblock. For most people, facials can be scheduled every four weeks, although your therapist may recommend a different schedule based on your individual needs.

Microdermabrasion: The process of resurfacing the skin using a machine that sands the skin’s epidermal (outer) layer, using either a wand tipped with crushed diamonds, or a spray of special crystals which are then suctioned back up along with the dead skin cells. It can be very helpful in improving skin texture, fine lines and the effectiveness of home care product penetration.

Waxing: Waxing removes unwanted hair at the root. There are two different types of waxes: hard and soft. Soft wax is applied warm to the skin in a thin layer in the direction of hair growth. Cloth strips are then applied to the warm wax, rubbed in the direction of hair growth, and quickly pulled off in the opposite direction. This method is best used on larger areas of the body such as the legs, back or chest. Hard wax is used without cloth strips. It is applied warm, in a layer about the thickness of a nickel, allowed to dry and then removed quickly in the opposite direction of hair growth. Hard wax is less irritating to sensitive skin and is excellent for the bikini, underarm and facial areas.

Visiting an aesthetician?
It is always a good idea to schedule a consultation appointment prior to your first treatment, especially if you are new to esthetic treatments. This gives you and your therapist a chance to discuss your goals and expectations for the first visit, and long term goals for the future. During a consultation, your therapist will go over an extensive intake form, and most likely do a cleansing of the skin followed by a detailed skin analysis. This will give your therapist the information she/he needs to create an individualized treatment plan, both for a series of professional treatments and recommendations for products you can use at home.
What about home care?

Much of the success of maintaining a visible improvement after treatment depends on consistent, correct home care. Your esthetician is trained to select the products that will most benefit your skin, and to advise you on how to maintain your professional results between visits. Like medical or dental care, following the right daily regimen at home is essential if you are to get the most out of your visits to a professional.

Are you a certified aesthetician?

Your skin care treatments should be provided by a properly trained professional. Don’t hesitate to ask your skin care therapist about her background, training, and experience—especially as it relates to the treatment you are considering. Your therapist is a professional member of Associated Skin Care Professionals. Our members have been validated as meeting their state’s licensing credentials and/or core training requirements, and agree to follow a code of ethics which ensures you’ll be treated responsibly and with the utmost respect. ASCP also provides its members with comprehensive resources that allow them to keep up with changing trends, making certain you’ll receive the most up-to-date therapies available.

What is a chemical peel?

A chemical peel is an acid solution that is applied to the skin. It dissolves the outermost layer of skin cells, which then peels off over the following days to reveal the fresher, younger layer below. Peels are very effective in treating a large range of skin concerns such as aging, sun damage, acne, mild scarring, improving skin brightness, and evening skin tone.
Peels can be light, moderate or deep. Light peels require no down time from work and your normal activities. Moderate peels may require a day or two, and deep peels can require a week or more of down time to allow the skin to fully heal. Estheticians who are not working in a medical setting perform light to moderate peels only. Deep peels can only be performed by a physician, or under a physician’s supervision, for your safety.

Preparing for treatment
Most skin colors and types can benefit from chemical peels, though it is best to check with your esthetician about which peel might be right for you. If you’re taking acne medication, Retin-A or Accutane, talk to your esthetician and/or doctor about stopping the medication before and during treatment to avoid complications. Your esthetician can review any other contraindications with you prior to your treatment to determine if a chemical peel is right for you. Be sure to answer all questions honestly and completely on your consultation form prior to your peel.

What to expect during a chemical peel
The skin is cleansed and a prep solution will be applied to remove surface oils and allow the peel to penetrate the skin evenly. Any sensitive areas that cannot be treated will be protected with a thin film of petroleum jelly. Your eyes will be covered to protect them. One or more chemical mixtures will be applied, such as glycolic acid (from sugar cane), trichloroacetic acid (similar to bleach), salicylic acid (wintergreen—good for acne), lactic acid (from milk), or a combination peel called a Jessners peel. The peel will be applied in 1–3 layers, depending on the depth of penetration intended. The acids react with the skin to produce a “controlled wound,” allowing fresh skin to regenerate and emerge. A tingling, burning or hot sensation is normal. Most peels remain on the skin only a few minutes, and are closely watched by the esthetician. A fan may help you stay more comfortable. After some peels, a neutralizing solution is applied to stop the peel. Other peels are self-timed and stop on their own.

After the peel
After most peels, the skin will be pink to red, and look shiny and tight. It is vital to apply sunscreen of SFP 30 or greater to the skin for the next 48 hours, minimum. You must also stay out of the sun, as your skin will be very sensitive to UV rays and could be damaged by sun exposure. The skin will begin to flake or peel within 2–3 days after the treatment, unless you had a lactic acid peel—these encourage moisture retention and may not produce any actual peeling. Sun-damaged areas of your skin will appear darker at first, then will lighten. This is normal. Deeper peels can produce peeling for a week or more. To assist in removing the flaking skin, an enzyme peel or light microdermabrasion treatment is sometimes scheduled a week or so after the initial peel. For maximum results, a series of peels is usually recommended, and may be necessary for treating challenging issues such as hyperpigmentation.

Home care after a chemical peel
Your esthetician will recommend healing products to use for the week or two following your peel. These will soothe and nourish your skin, and aid in its recovery. Usually it is best to avoid makeup during this time, to allow the skin to heal and function without interference. However, if you must wear makeup, mineral makeup will not adversely affect the skin.

Your esthetician
Your skin care treatments should be provided by a properly trained professional. Don’t hesitate to ask your skin care therapist about her background, training, and experience—especially as it relates to the treatment you are considering. Your therapist is a professional member of Associated Skin Care Professionals. Our members have been validated as meeting their state’s licensing credentials and/or core training requirements, and agree to follow a code of ethics which ensures you’ll be treated responsibly and with the utmost respect. ASCP also provides its members with comprehensive resources that allow them to keep up with changing trends, making certain you’ll receive the most up-to-date therapies available.

What is a facial? Why do I need one?

A facial is a professional cleansing, purifying, and beautifying treatment of the skin on the face and neck. Facials are the number one treatment performed by estheticians, and a good way for your therapist to get a good understanding of your skin prior to suggesting more aggressive treatments.

For most people, facials can be scheduled every four weeks, although your therapist may recommend a different schedule. There are many variations of facials based on different needs, as well as different lengths of time. A mini facial may be only 20–30 minutes in length, while a more luxurious version may be 75–90 minutes in length. Tell your esthetician exactly what you want to get out of your facial, and she/he will be able to recommend a facial to meet your needs.

Preparing for a facial
Be sure to allow enough time to fill out a comprehensive intake prior to your treatment. Plan to arrive a little early so you will not feel rushed and can enjoy the entire length of your treatment. Remember that your hair may become damp during the facial, and will usually be held back from your face with a soft wrap or headband, so you may not want to schedule a public appearance right after your facial! There is no need to remove your makeup prior to the appointment, as it will be cleansed off during the facial.

What to expect
Facials are generally very relaxing and soothing. Your esthetician will explain to you what the treatment steps will be. Be sure to communicate with your esthetician during the facial if any product burns, itches, or if you need anything or have any questions. Otherwise, just lie back and enjoy the experience. A basic facial generally includes the following steps:

  • Makeup removal and cleansing of the skin.
  • Skin analysis.
  • Exfoliation by mechanical, enzymatic or chemical means.
  • Massage of the face and neck, to aid in relaxation and stimulate blood and oxygen flow to the skin.
  • Extraction of blackheads and other impurities, either manually (using gloved hands and cotton or tissue around the fingers with gentle pressure to remove the impacted pore) or using a metal extraction implement designed to clear blocked pores. This can also include the use of a lancet (a small, sharp blade to lift the dead cells of the skin prior to extraction).
  • Application of products targeted to your skin type (dry, oily, mixed, sensitive, or mature).

After the facial
After a facial, your skin will probably be soft, smooth and well hydrated. However, if multiple extractions were needed or if you required a fair amount of exfoliation, your face may be somewhat rosy for one to two hours or more, depending on how sensitive your skin is. This is quite normal. You can apply mineral makeup after your facial if there is some redness you want to conceal.

What about home care?
Your esthetician will go over which professional home care products for you to continue the improvement in your skin following your professional treatment. This way, you will be using products that maximize benefits and prolong the effects of your treatment. Your therapist can explain how, when and how much of the products to use. Feel free to call the therapist later, if you have any questions.

Your esthetician
Your skin care treatments should be provided by a properly trained professional. Don’t hesitate to ask your skin care therapist about her background, training, and experience—especially as it relates to the treatment you are considering. Your therapist is a professional member of Associated Skin Care Professionals. Our members have been validated as meeting their state’s licensing credentials and/or core training requirements, and agree to follow a code of ethics which ensures you’ll be treated responsibly and with the utmost respect. ASCP also provides its members with comprehensive resources that allow them to keep up with changing trends, making certain you’ll receive the most up-to-date therapies available.

What is microdermabrasion, and how will I benefit from it?

Microdermabrasion is a method of exfoliation that uses a machine to remove dead surface skin cells and initiate cellular turnover. It was first adopted in Europe in the 1980s and was introduced to the United States in the late 1990s. Its introduction led the revolution of device-driven, noninvasive cosmetic procedures. Today, microdermabrasion remains one of the most popular services employed in both medical and day spas.

The two most common methods are crystal and diamond. The crystal method uses a wand which sprays fine crystals onto the skin, loosening and removing dead skin cells, while simultaneously using vacuum suction to remove the used crystals and dead skin. It has been compared to a mild “sandblasting” of the skin. The diamond method uses a diamond-tipped wand to sand and resurface the skin, combined with suction to remove the dead skin cells. Both methods stimulate blood circulation and revitalize collagen production, which promotes younger-looking skin. The degree of exfoliation depends on the number of passes, level of crystal spray or coarseness of the diamond wand, the pressure and suction used, and the frequency of treatment.

Microdermabrasion can be helpful to treat aging and sun-damaged skin, altered pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, stretch marks, and some types of acne and acne scarring. It is especially effective in treating the under-eye area and crow’s feet. Results may include improved skin tone, reduced visual appearance of aging, fewer breakouts, diminished appearance of scars, refined skin pores, renewed elasticity, and a healthy glow. Microdermabrasion may be recommended for those with chemical sensitivities and can be used on most skin colors and types, although there are some contraindications. Ask your skin care professional if microdermabrasion is right for you.

Preparing for treatment
The procedure is noninvasive and requires little preparation. You may remove your makeup and come to the treatment room with a clean face, or allow your skin care professional to remove your makeup for you.

What to expect
Most clients do not find the procedure to be painful, and it requires no anesthetic. The esthetician will instruct you to relax as she applies the wand to your face in a slow, methodical way. One microdermabrasion treatment should take 30 minutes to an hour. There are no side effects, and your skin will look glowing and fresh almost immediately after the treatment. Some more aggressive treatments may cause the skin to look slightly pink and tender for a few hours afterward. You can resume normal activities and apply makeup and moisturizer directly after your microdermabrasion session.

Home care after microdermabrasion
Because fresh skin has been newly exposed, it is important to apply sunscreen and to avoid direct sunlight and tanning booths following your session. Also, avoid products containing harsh chemicals, dyes, or perfumes until the skin has fully healed. Your skin care professional will explain the home care regimen that is right for you, and send you home with written instructions.

Your esthetician
Your skin care treatments should be provided by a properly trained professional. Don’t hesitate to ask your skin care therapist about her background, training, and experience—especially as it relates to the treatment you are considering. Your therapist is a professional member of Associated Skin Care Professsionals. Our members have been validated as meeting their state’s licensing credentials and/or core training requirements, and agree to follow a code of ethics which ensures you’ll be treated responsibly and with the utmost respect. ASCP also provides its members with comprehensive resources that allow them to keep up with changing trends, making certain you’ll receive the most up-to-date therapies available.

I’ve never been waxed before. How is it done?

Waxing is the most common method of hair removal in spas today. Hair on any part of the body or face can be waxed. Warm wax is applied to the area and then removed, bringing the hair with it. There are two types of wax: hard and soft. Hard wax, which is easier on delicate skin, is often used on the face, underarms, and bikini area. Soft wax is used on the legs, arms, back, and chest.

Waxing reduces hair growth when performed at regular 30-day intervals. Because waxing pulls the hair out by the root, it grows back softer, finer, and thinner. The more you wax, the less hair grows back.
Waxing should not be performed if you have particularly sensitive skin, because it pulls off a couple of layers of skin cells along with the hair. Waxing can cause tenderness and swelling. In addition, some medications will cause the skin to react badly to waxing. Don’t wax if you’re taking Retin-A, Accutane, or any type of acne prescription.

Preparing for treatment
Let the hair grow out to about a half-inch above the skin. If hairs are too short, the wax won’t adhere strongly enough to pull them out. Refrain from taking a shower or bath before the treatment. Soaking the hair will soften it, allowing it to break more easily and making waxing less effective. Do not apply lotion to the skin before your waxing session.

What to expect
An antiseptic lotion may be applied to cleanse the area first. Some estheticians apply a light dusting of baby powder to be sure the skin is dry before applying the wax.

  • If soft wax is being used, the warm wax will be spread on the hairs in a thin layer. A cloth strip (muslin or pellon) is then applied to the wax, and rubbed in the direction of hair growth. The strip is then pulled quickly in the opposite direction of hair growth while the skin is held taut with the other hand.
  • If hard wax is being used, a thicker amount of warm wax is applied and allowed to dry. No cloth strip is applied. The wax is flicked to allow the esthetician to grip it, and it is then pulled off quickly in the opposite direction of hair growth. Hard wax doesn’t adhere to the skin as much as soft wax, and is therefore used on more delicate areas such as the bikini area, underarms and face.

How much does it hurt?
Most people tolerate it well, and get used to the sensation after a few treatments. The level of discomfort you will feel depends on your level of pain tolerance in general, and on which area is being waxed. If you still find waxing very uncomfortable after several treatments, many estheticians offer numbing crèmes that can be applied 45 minutes prior to the service. Clients are also recommended to take two ibuprofen tablets prior to their appointment, to reduce discomfort and decrease inflammation in the post-waxed area. For women, it is generally best not to schedule waxing services just prior to or during your period, as you are more sensitive to pain at this time and will experience more discomfort.

Home care after waxing
It’s important to care for the waxed area properly after treatment to prevent ingrown hairs, breakouts, or other reactions. Exfoliation, using a pumice stone or exfoliating gloves with a bath gel, will help keep the skin clear. Avoid using a bar soap because it leaves a film on the body that could cause ingrown hairs. For the face, back, and chest, use a more gentle exfoliant and an anti-breakout lotion (ask your waxer about recommended products). Directly after waxing, avoid direct sunlight and tanning booths, especially while the skin is still red from treatment. For 24 hours after waxing, avoid exercise, hot tubs, and products with harsh chemicals, perfumes, or dyes. Apply a gentle moisturizer 24 hours after treatment.

Your esthetician
Your skin care treatments should be provided by a properly trained professional. Don’t hesitate to ask your skin care therapist about her background, training, and experience—especially as it relates to the treatment you are considering. Your therapist is a professional member of Associated Skin Care Professionals. Our members have been validated as meeting their state’s licensing credentials and/or core training requirements, and agree to follow a code of ethics which ensures you’ll be treated responsibly and with the utmost respect. ASCP also provides its members with comprehensive resources that allow them to keep up with changing trends, making certain you’ll receive the most up-to-date therapies available.

What causes acne? How can skin care treatments help?

Acne is the most common skin disorder, and 85 percent of all Americans will experience it some time in their lifetime. While commonly thought to be an adolescent problem, it can appear at any age, most often on the face, back, and chest.

The causes of acne are complex, but usually involve the overproduction of oil, the blockage of follicles that release the oil, and the growth of bacteria in those follicles. This can be triggered by many things, including a change in medications or a change in hormone levels caused by stress or other factors. It’s important to treat acne early to avoid scarring.

There are 4 grades of acne. Grade 1 is the mildest form, with open and closed comedones (whiteheads and blackheads). Grades 2 and 3 include papules and pustules as well. Grade 4 is the most advanced form, with all the above plus the appearance of cysts or nodules beneath the skin surface, that can be dime size or larger and often require medical attention to treat. Acne is not only painful but can be very emotionally and psychologically challenging as well.

Who can benefit from acne treatment?
Anyone who has acne can benefit from treatment. Acne sufferers often state their quality of life and self-esteem improves dramatically once their acne is alleviated. If you are seeking a licensed esthetician’s care, chances are you’ve already tried over-the-counter preparations with disappointing results.

Depending on the grade of your acne, your esthetician will go over the treatment options that would be the most successful for you. If you have Grade 4 acne, your esthetician will refer you to a dermatologist who can treat it medically. Once your acne is under control and improving, your esthetician can suggest treatments that will assist you in accelerating the healing process, relieving pigmentation which often accompanies acne.

Visiting your esthetician for acne treatment
Be ready to fill out a medical questionnaire and describe what medications and skin care products you are using. Your therapist will do an analysis of your skin, look for any interactions between products and medications, and devise a treatment plan that’s suitable for your unique needs. Keep in mind that results require a commitment on your behalf to follow a prescribed home care and professional treatment program. This often involves a series of professional treatments. It takes time to balance the skin and treat acne. Though results may not happen overnight, you are on the path to reclaiming your beautiful, clear skin!

What should I expect from my acne treatment?
You should expect regularly scheduled treatments. Your treatment program may begin with an acne facial. This may include deep cleansing and extractions (clearing blocked pores), special exfoliation that will not increase inflammation or spread bacteria, a balancing/calming mask, anti-bacterial and balancing products, or some combination of these. The goal is to deeply cleanse follicles and disinfect them, clearing away oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells.

Your esthetician may also recommend a series of chemical peels. Once the active acne is cleared, microdermabrasion will assist in minimizing the appearance of scarring and diminishing residual darkening of the skin (hyperpigmentation).

What about home care?
Your esthetician can provide the best guidance on caring for your skin between treatments. Generally, this will involve keeping your skin clean and avoiding picking at your blemishes—the single biggest cause of scarring. It’s very important you follow instructions given to you by your esthetician. Untreated or undertreated acne can lead to continuing, worsening outbreaks and scarring. Your esthetician will be in close contact with you to be sure your products are working effectively for you. As your treatment progresses, your esthetician may change your home care routine to fit your changing skin’s needs.

What is rosacea, and how is it treated?

Rosacea (rose-AY-sha) is a chronic skin disease that causes varying degrees of redness and swelling, primarily on the face, but also at times on the scalp, neck, ears, chest, and back. It is considered a vascular disorder (a disorder of the blood vessels).

The condition can develop over a long period of time and is more common in adults, particularly those with fair skin. More women get it than men, though in men the condition is often more pronounced. Severe, untreated rosacea can lead to a disfigurement of the nose called rhinophyma.

There are four grades of rosacea:

Grade 1: Mostly redness.
Grade 2: Pimples and other blemishes.
Grade 3: Edemas (swelling due to fluid retention) and inflammatory bumps on the nose.
Grade 4: Symptoms affecting the eyes.

No one knows the cause of rosacea, but it is thought to run in families and can be aggravated by environmental factors and diet. Although rosacea can be accompanied by pustules, it is not acne. Researchers believe rosacea might be caused by several things: abnormal function of the blood vessels, sun damage, and an abnormal inflammatory reaction.

People with rosacea often learn that certain things trigger their flare-ups. It is believed that fluctuations in temperature (especially extreme heat or cold) is a common trigger. Spicy foods and alcohol consumption can also cause flare-ups.

How is rosacea treated?
The key to rosacea treatment is to catch it early. It may start with skin that merely flushes red. Reducing skin temperature and calming the skin is usually the first objective. Once inflammation is under control, other treatments follow. There are many treatments, including topical agents containing azelaic acid or the antibiotic metronidazole. Both have proven helpful in relieving the symptoms of rosacea. Your physician may also prescribe internal antibiotics in the tetracycline family. Esthetically, rosacea is treated with chemical exfoliation, ultrasonic treatments, and calming, soothing, hydrating treatments.

While not a cure, any of these treatments can help control symptoms, sometimes for several years. Self-treatment is not advised, beyond a simple and gentle cleansing routine. Some over-the-counter remedies may actually worsen symptoms, as will aggressive scrubbing and rubbing. Your licensed esthetician may refer you to a dermatologist for evaluation and medical support.

What to expect from a rosacea treatment
Be ready to fill out a medical questionnaire and describe what medications and skin care
products you are using. Your therapist will do an analysis of your skin, look for any interactions between products and medications, and devise a treatment plan that’s suitable for your unique needs. Be prepared to commit to a series of treatments and a home care regimen.

After your professional treatment, your skin care therapist can recommend a home treatment plan, as well as follow-up professional treatments. Your skin may be more sensitive after treatment. Many professional skin care lines provide specialized products that sooth the inflammation of rosacea. Your esthetician will carefully choose products for you that are least likely to irritate your skin.

What about home care?
Your esthetician can provide the best guidance on caring for your skin after a treatment. In general, people with rosacea should keep a diary of things that trigger their condition: environmental factors such as sun, wind, stress, exposure to heat or severe cold, alcohol or spicy food consumption, and irritating face products. Responses to treatments vary widely; trial and error is unfortunately part of the process when working with rosacea.

What are anti-aging treatments?

Thanks to the wonders of science, and innovation by skin care professionals, you can choose from a wide range of anti-aging treatments. You need not have wrinkles or discoloration to actively participate in an anti-aging regime—many smart consumers begin caring for and protecting their skin at a young age.

Consumers today are opting for minimally invasive procedures to avoid downtime and the unmistakable appearance of having had surgery. People may notice after treatments with your skin care professional you simply seem healthier, happier, less tired, and more confident.

Some anti-aging treatments your skin care professional may be able to provide are a wide variety of facials, microdermabrasion, chemical exfoliation, galvanic treatment, and phototherapy (exposure to light-emitting diodes or intense pulsed light). He or she may be trained in a host of other treatments that, while not strictly anti-aging, go a long way toward making you feel more attractive, such as hair removal, makeup application, and sunless tanning.

Who can benefit from anti-aging treatments?
Anyone who is smart enough to use sunscreen is already participating in an anti-aging regimen, and there is so much more you can do. Treatment recommendations will vary according to skin type and condition, chronological age and skin maturity, level of sun damage (everyone has some), and the goals you have for your skin. Your esthetician can outline your options and make recommendations.

How should I prepare for the treatment?
Be ready to fill out a medical questionnaire and describe what medications and skin care products you are using. Your therapist will do an analysis of your skin, look for any interactions between products and medications, and devise a treatment plan that’s suitable for your skin type and condition. If possible, come to your appointment without anything on your skin; otherwise your skin care professional will cleanse your skin. Start your care when you are ready to commit to a series of treatments and a home care regimen.

What to expect
The results of your treatment may be obvious right away or may take some time to achieve. This depends entirely on your program and the methods used. Your skin care professional should be able to outline realistic goals for you. In some cases, skin is in poor condition and needs to be strengthened and conditioned before anti-aging treatments can be performed. If you are suffering from acne, dermatitis, or rosacea, you may have to set your anti-aging goals aside until you’ve cleared those symptoms. The good news is you may gain younger-looking skin as a side benefit of clearing and treating these conditions.

What about home care?
Your esthetician can provide the best guidance on caring for your skin after a treatment. He or she may have products available for your use. It’s key to commit to a home care regimen in order to maximize your investment in the treatments your esthetician provides.

How can I get a “safe” tan? How do I choose the right sunblock?

Like many people, you’d love to have that bronzed look but don’t want to expose yourself to harmful ultraviolet rays. With spray tanning and airbrushing, there are ways to get this attractive look safely.

The tanned look has been popular for decades and reached a new level of sophistication in the 1970s when tanning beds were invented. Many people found them a fast way to get an even, year-round tan. However, dermatologists soon became alarmed at the growing incidence of skin cancer and started educating the public about the dangers of overexposure to ultraviolet rays.

Some manufacturers of tanning beds promote the misconception that getting a base tan in a tanning bed will protect you from an even more damaging sunburn. But dermatologists agree there is simply no safe way to sunbathe or use a tanning bed.

Spray and airbrush tanning
Fortunately, there are safe alternatives. Most dermatologists consider spray and airbrush tanning as safe as applying makeup.

The active ingredient for sunless tanning, dihydroxyacetone (DHA), is derived from raw sugarcane and sugar beets, which reacts with the skin’s amino acids to produce color. This color develops three to four hours after application, deepens over the next 24 hours, and lasts one week to 10 days. A session usually takes 30 minutes or less and may be performed in a spray booth or with a handheld spray unit. Clients undress to their level of comfort; many wear bathing suits. The solution easily washes out of fabrics you wear to your session and, in general, does not rub off onto clothes.

You’ll still need to wear sunscreen, as spray and airbrush tanning don’t provide protection from the sun.

Help or hype?
It’s also helpful to know which sun protection aids on the market measure up to their claims. Following are a few products and procedures you may have heard about.

  • Some companies promote ingestible pills that purport to provide sun protection. Experts say there is insufficient scientific evidence to support these claims.
  • There are bracelets that manufacturers claim will signal you when it’s time to apply more sunscreen or to move into the shade. Experts don’t consider these an adequate safeguard.
  • While some companies claim their contact lenses protect your eyes from ultraviolet rays, this is a little misleading since the entire eyeball needs protection. For best results, use a pair of comfortable wraparound sunglasses with an ultraviolet block and polarizing lenses.
  • Cellulose fabrics, like acetate and rayon, block some ultraviolet rays. Rit makes a product called SunGuard, a detergent you add into your washer, that significantly improves the sun protection factor of cotton clothes for about 20 washings.
  • For maximum safety, look for some combination of these ingredients in a sunscreen: avobenzone, mexoryl, oxybenzone, titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide.
  • Your car windows are already protecting you from 50–75 percent of the sun’s rays. Film that rejects as much as 99 percent of ultraviolet rays can be applied to windows. Have this done professionally, however, as the do-it-yourself products are very difficult to apply effectively and often bubble. Many states govern how much you can tint certain car windows, such as the windshield and driver’s side front window. A window-tinting professional can provide guidance on this.

TAN Rx F.A.Q.

How long will my tan last?
Your tan will last anywhere between 5 to 7 days. The length of a spray tan depends on several factors. The first thing to know is that it cannot last longer than 7-10 days. This is because by the 7th day, the outermost layer of our skin will begin to shed naturally. With this being said, taking the recommended steps preparing for your appointment and avoiding certain skin care products and activities after your tan will ensure your tan lasts as long as possible.
What should I wear while I am getting my spray tan?
Any undergarments or a bathing suit. We offer disposable underwear and/or bras. Attire for men is boxers, briefs, swim trunks, shorts, or disposable underwear for men. Wear nothing if you prefer not to have tan lines. (Men excluded)
Will I turn orange?
  • Our formulations are customized to each skin, type, tone, and desired color therefore we can blend the perfect color solution for each individual client.
  • We use violet additives, which are opposite of orange on the color wheel, that work to cancel out those pesky unwanted orange tones!
How do self tanners work?
  • Dihydroxyacetone, or DHA, is the ingredient in self tanners that tans your skin. DHA is a carbohydrate compound derived from sugar cane approved by the FDA for use in sunless tanning solution. DHA is a naturally derived ingredient that has been used for ages. It was the first ingredient to be used for sunless tanning.
  • When applied to skin, a reaction occurs that causes it to brown. The brownish polymers that are created in the skin mimic a sun kissed beach glow!
  • Formulations of self tanners have come a long way from the orange tans which gave DHA a bit of a bad rap. Now professional solutions contain many natural additives to work with DHA to ensure the best possible spray tan.
  • Erythrulose, a berry derived sugar extract, is another ingredient that causes a similar chemical reaction as DHA that is found in our solutions. They work together to yield a gorgeous, long lasting color.

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