Facials are one of the most misunderstood beauty rituals out there. Often seen as unnecessary or ineffective, the treatments are rarely thought of as part of a healthy skincare routine — and they’re pricey. But regularly seeing an aesthetician should be thought of as essential part of any glowing skin regimen.

To get all the facts, we asked Regine Berthelot, North America and Treatment Director of French skincare powerhouse Caudalíe, to put a few facial myths to bed. Check out Berthelot’s tips below and consider making time for this indulgent extra step.

1. Facials are NOT fast fixes.

Facial treatments are a lot more preventative than they are curative. Think of visiting the spa like a trip to the dentist: “I always make the analogy that going to the dentist to clean your teeth is like your facial, whereas brushing your teeth at home is your home care maintenance.” So just like you see the dentist for check-ups and plaque buildup removal, you should pencil in time with the aesthetician to keep your skin healthy and toxin-free.

TATYANA OGRYZKO VIA GETTY IMAGES
Skin-saving benefits aside, Berthelot also cites happiness as a reason to get facials regularly: “The more you take care of yourself, the better you feel.” It’s no secret that mood impacts your complexion in a big day.

2. You shouldn’t be handing blackheads yourself.

Just like you should leave handling your cuticles to the professionals, you should also save extractions for your next appointment with the aesthetician. According to Berthelot, you must use a specific technique to remove a blackhead: “It must be pushed up from underneath. If it’s not done properly, it can create an irritated surface.”

Berthelot also emphasizes the importance of seeing a facialist to prevent blackhead buildup. If a blackhead is not completely removed, the idle dirt will build up and cause your pores to get bigger.

DRAGAN GRKIC VIA GETTY IMAGES
Berthelot sees extractions as the most important part of a facial, as it’s the first step towards a deep clean. In most cases, blackhead removal is the most delicate element of the treatment, so it’s important to go to a pro.

3. Facials are a mind game.

When asked about the pluses of getting a professional facial, Berthelot cited tricking the brain as a major benefit. Part of a good facial is an excellent massage: “The better the massage, the more blood circulation and draining effects for increased radiance.” And a massage is more effective when done by someone other than yourself. “When you have someone else massaging your skin,” Berthelot explains, “your brain is surprised and you enjoy the experience so much more. When you massage yourself, your brain already knows what you’re going to do, and there’s less of a ‘wow’ factor.”

4. You see more benefits when you stick to a schedule.

Newsflash: You can train your skin. That’s right, according to Berthelot, making time for a facial every 4 weeks or so can whip your complexion into shape: “When you receive facials regularly, it’s like training your skin. Skin cells like routines, and they will respond well to that.”

Before making a crazy facial schedule, you need to consider your skin type. While Berthelot suggests getting a treatment every 4 weeks, you can go more or less often based on your skin’s behavior. “Someone with oily skin can go every three weeks, and if you have dryer skin, you can go every five weeks.”

VALENTIN CASARSA VIA GETTY IMAGES
Don’t have time for a full-on facial? Berthelot recommends a few at-home quick-fixes: “After you exfoliate, you can always steam up your skin in the shower or over a bowl of hot water. When you open the pores, it allows for the product to be absorbed deeper into the skin.”

5. Just because it’s expensive doesn’t mean it’s good.

When choosing a facialist, it’s important to trust your instincts: “I would always suggest going with your gut feeling. When you feel it’s right, you know. You should never feel like your esthetician is pushing products — it should be a recommendation for your best interest.”

A sign of a good treatment is also good skin. “If your skin is reacting well,” Berthelot adds, “then that’s a great sign. You want to feel like your esthetician is an expert rather than feeling like you’re a number.” In other words, you have every right to get up close and personal with your aesthetician.

Check out the original Huffington Post article here.

While there are many tips and tricks to keep your sensitive skin calm and under control, ultimately they all serve one common purpose –achieving skin balance.

For me, achieving skin balance and identifying the factors that throw it out of balance was the epiphany in my sensitive skin journey.

There are many aspects to skin balance: balanced diet, balanced oil production and balanced pH.

It can be difficult to get them all working together – but when they do the result is clear, healthy and confident skin.

Here are my 5 top tips for achieving and maintaining skin balance:

1. Avoid detergents & alcohol in skincare products

Detergents and alcohol cause havoc for sensitive skin sufferers as they strip away the skin’s natural protective oils, leaving it exposed and prone to reaction.

The main detergents to look out for (and avoid) are Sodium Lauryl Sulphate and Cocamidopropyl Betaine, which tend to be found in foaming products and facial Cleansers.

 2. Select pH balancing products

Despite the 5.5 myth, the pH level of the skin is actually only slightly above 5.

Maintaining this “acid mantle” is essential for all round skin health, so try and avoid products that disrupt it (soaps, for example are alkaline).

Our BioAffinity Toners are unique in the fact that they have the exact pH of healthy skin.

They also contain no alcohol, so are great for step 1 too!

3. Avoid refined sugar

Everything in moderation, but do avoid excessive consumption of refined sugars – found in cakes, biscuits and bread.

Our bodies require extra insulin to break refined sugars down. In turn, insulin causes excess sebum production, and more often than not excess sebum means spots!

4. Keep hydrated

Dehydration is a problem for all skin types, but in sensitive types already prone to dryness it can leave skin itchy and flaky.

Water hydrates the skin from the inside out, so aim for 1.5 litres a day.

4. Embrace anti-inflammatories

Products rich in natural anti-inflammatory properties calm reactivity and restore a comfortable balance to the look and feel of the skin.

Superior CO2 extracts of German Chamomile and Rosehip in our Pai Chamomile & Rosehip Sensitive Skin Cream deliver the maximum anti-inflammatory effect of both super-calming ingredients.

5. Consider other factors

Sticking to these rules will help keep skin in balance on a day to day basis.

If you’re doing all of these things and your skin still doesn’t feel quite right, consider whether any of these balance disruptors may be the cause:

– contraceptive pill

– pregnancy

– illness or medication

– environmental factors such as weather.

Read the original article here.

Check out this useful information on how to properly take care of your skin in the winter.
(more…)

The concept of beauty sleep may be more than a cliché. Research is showing that people who are well rested actually appear more attractive.

To test the role of slumber in a beauty regimen, researchers in Sweden had observers look at photographs of both sleep-deprived people and people who had slept for eight hours the previous night. Observers were asked to rate the photos based on how healthy, attractive, and tired the subjects appeared. In all categories, they rated sleep-deprived subjects the lowest.

According to the National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (nhlbi.nih.gov), sleep plays a vital role in our overall physical health by allowing our bodies to heal and repair. This includes our skin as well as emotional well-being, so it’s easy to understand why regular shuteye helps us keep our glow inside and out.

To make the most of your beauty sleep, make sure you’re getting enough sleep nightly. (Be your own judge of how much is enough. Preferences tend to range from 7 to 10 hours). Practice healthy sleep habits such as going to sleep and waking up at the same time daily, avoiding caffeine and excessive alcohol late in the day, and avoiding “screen time” (smartphones, tablet, TVs, computers) in the bedroom.

You can further boost the beauty benefit of slumber with these tricks:

  • Choose white sheets and pillowcases and wash them in sensitive skin-friendly detergent. Fabric dyes can irritate your skin, and so can harsh, heavily perfumed detergents.
  • Try to sleep on your back to avoid scrunching your face against the pillow. You’ll be free of lines and creases now, which may help prevent wrinkles later.
  • Cleanse your face every night before bed to remove make-up, dirt, and oil and allow skin cells to renew as you sleep.
  • Moisturize before bed with the moisturizer appropriate for you skin type (such as lightweight and oil free for oily skin and rich for dry skin).

This is good news for all of us looking for simple, no-cost ways to look and feel more attractive—literally overnight!

Read the original article here.

 

The best cosmetic you can wear is beautiful, healthy skin. Jane Iredale Makeup, known as the “Skin Care Makeup”, helps you achieve this goal, by creating cosmetics that improve and enhance rather than cover or camouflage your skin. Following are 5 facts about Jane Iredale Cosmetics that sets it apart from other brands.

  1. Jane Iredale uses only the purest of minerals in their formulations. They actually grow their minerals in a lab in order to ensure that they are not polluted with undesirable contaminants like heavy metals such as lead, nickel, and arsenic.
  2. Although the government requires that cosmetic companies label their products with some kind of expiration date, Jane Iredale’s mineral powders really have a virtually unlimited shelf life. They do not harbor bacteria, yeasts or mold.
  3. Jane Iredale PurePressed foundation is better for normal to oily skin types, while the Amazing Loose Base is better for more mature skin as it skims over, rather than settles into, fine lines and wrinkles. Plus, it gives the skin a luminous glow! A lot of people, myself included, like the results of the Amazing Loose Base, but think its way too messy. That’s because, like me, these people may have been using the wrong brush! When I first gave it a try, I had powder residue all over my bathroom vanity, my floors, even my baseboards! That’s because I was trying to apply it with my old Kabuki brush. When I switched over to the Chisel Powder Brush, the combination of its shape along with the hand-tied goat hair bristles made all the difference. Now, when I swirl my powder brush in bit of the foundation that I have tapped into the lid, the brush actually absorbs the powder. It deposits the powder right onto my face, where it is supposed to be, rather than dusting it all over the bathroom.
  4. Jane Iredale makes the best makeup brushes, that when properly maintained, will last a lifetime. The best way to care for your investment is to use Botanical Brush Cleaner daily, and deep clean them with Truly Pure Shampoo & Conditioner or any other mild shampoo (like Aveda’s Shampure) once every week or two. To use the Botanical Brush Cleaner, simply spritz a tissue and swirl the brush onto the tissue until it is clean. Never directly spray the brush. Never press down on the bristles. Just swirl. It only takes a minute to clean all your brushes with the Botanical Brush Cleaner, so it is convenient to use on a daily basis. To use the Truly Pure brush shampoo, you will first want to saturate the brush hairs with warm water. Do not soak them! Next, squeeze a pea sized amount into the palm of your hand, gently swirling the bristles until the shampoo is dispersed up into the hairs. Rinse until the water runs clear. Gently squeeze the excess moisture with your thumb and forefinger from the brush, and lay flat on a towel to dry. (By the way, Botanical Brush Cleaner not only smells delicious, but also works as an insect repellant!)
  5. Due to the purity of Jane Iredale Makeup, physicians not only permit, but actually encourage you to use their makeup on skin after invasive skin services such as chemical peels. This is because the minerals will offer both a layer of protection from environmental aggressors, plus the natural physical block provided by the minerals offers sun protection as well.

Read the original article here.

 

Anti-aging ingredients come and go, but retinoids have been major players for decades.

Why Retinoids (Still) Rule

It’s no shocker that the number of anti-aging products appearing on shelves has skyrocketed over the years. (Between 2007 and 2010, product launches nearly doubled.) What is surprising is the active ingredient that’s touted in the vast majority of these potions: good old retinoids. This class of vitamin A derivatives has been used in skin care since the ’70s. The most famous product, Retin-A, is made with the retinoid tretinoin. It was developed in the late ’60s by Albert Kligman, Ph.D., a professor of dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania, as an acne treatment and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). (Chances are, you used it on pimples back in the day.) Kligman and his colleague James Leyden, M.D., noticed that Retin-A also improved wrinkles and skin tone in acne patients. Kligman eventually patented Renova, a tretinoin in an emollient base, which was the first FDA-approved topical treatment for wrinkles and fine lines. That was about 18 years ago, and yet retinoids still star in everything from moisturizers and serums to eye and neck creams. Why is what’s old still so new?

“There is not a single class of ingredient that can rival the track record that retinoids have for proven scientific results,” says Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas, Ph.D., a New York City–based dermatologist. Other experts are equally enthusiastic. Susan Weinkle, a dermatologist in Bradenton, Florida, calls retinoids skin care’s heavy lifters. “I tell patients that regardless of how much time or money they have, sunscreen and a retinoid are the most important anti-agers to use,” she says. “This combo covers all your dermal needs: UV protection; smoother, firmer skin; a more even tone; fewer breakouts; and tighter pores.”

How They Work

Retinoids are amazing multi-taskers. By acting directly on the DNA in skin cells, “they boost the many cell functions that tend to slow down once we hit 30,” says Alexiades-Armenakas. For one thing, retinoids increase cell turnover, so the skin is continually sloughing off damaged cells and healthy skin is always what you see on top. “This enhances radiance,” says Weinkle. Retinoids also thin the top layer of skin, the stratum corneum, while thickening the smoother second layer, the epidermis, which makes the skin look luminous and firm.

But the benefits don’t stop at the surface. According to Patricia Farris, M.D., a clinical associate professor of dermatology at Tulane University, in New Orleans, retinoids also boost the production of collagen (one of the skin’s primary support structures) and prevent its breakdown as they work their way into deeper skin layers. There is evidence, too, that retinoids foster the creation of glycosaminoglycans, substances found in the body that help keep tissues hydrated. And, wait, there’s more: Retinoids help clear dead skin cells, oil, and debris from pores, leaving them less distended; retinoids even decrease oil production—a boon to those prone to breakouts.

Which Retinoid Is Right for You?

For first-timers, over-the-counter (OTC) formulations, like the dermatologist-recommended products listed on the next page, are the mildest and the best way to start. “The most common retinoids on these labels are retinol and retinyl palmitate,” says Chris R. Stahl, the director of research and development at Raffaello Research Laboratories, in Torrance, California, a skin- and hair-care formulation company that produces many of the retinoids used in commercial preparations. (You might also see retinaldehyde, which is used less frequently.) These ingredients convert to retinoic acid in the skin and then work their magic.

In contrast, prescription retinoids contain pure retinoic acid (or the related compound all-trans-retinoic acid). Some experts estimate that these can be up to 20 times stronger than over-the-counter varieties, because the retinoic acid is applied directly to the skin and doesn’t lose potency through conversion like OTC retinoids do. Prescription retinoids appear on the ingredient label as tretinoin (found in the wrinkle creams Retin-A, Retin-A Micro, Renova, Atralin, Avita, and Avage), tazarotene (found in the acne cream Tazorac), and adapalene (found in Differin, an acne gel).

“The higher levels may provide a quicker benefit,” says Stahl. “But this can be accompanied by increased redness, drying, peeling, and flaking, the most common side effects of retinoids.”

OTC formulations may bring on a brighter complexion within a few days. Give them at least six weeks to start smoothing out fine lines. In most cases, results plateau in six months to a year, after which you might consider moving on to something more intense, such as an OTC serum (to layer under your retinoid cream) or a prescription product. If your skin feels comfortable before the six-month mark and you would like more dramatic results, you may consider progressing sooner.

Because vitamin A is prone to breaking down and losing potency, choose formulas labeled as “stabilized” or “encapsulated,” which won’t degrade in the presence of other ingredients. Packaging is also important. “Retinoids are sensitive to light, heat, and oxygen,” says Stahl, “so look for an airtight system,” such as a plastic or aluminum tube or an airless pump. Jars will not keep retinoids as fresh and effective.

Read the rest here.

There’s a wealth of information about skin care that’s readily available to us at the click of a mouse. That more than likely means your bathroom is already filled with products—peels, masks, scrubs, etc.—that can give you a serious deep clean. But while it’s great to practice good skin care, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should be skipping out on seeking professional help. And even though you may not suffer from severe acne or other chronic conditions, your complexion will still benefit from the attention of a trained esthetician.

“Getting a facial is important to understand how your skin works and how it reacts to stress, hormones, and the elements,” says Regine Berthelot, the treatment manager at Caudalie Spa in New York City. “People with problematic skin should book a monthly facial. At the least, getting one every season is recommended to keep the skin balanced.”

We asked our favorite experts exactly why we should all be booking an appointment (and fast). Here’s what we learned.

Facials can actually clear your pores.

“A professional treatment will fully cleanse your skin in a way that you simply can’t at home,” insists Dr. Marko Lens, a dermatologist and founder of skin care brand Zelens. “Think about it this way,” offers Kate Somerville, founder of the eponymous beauty brand, “You brush and floss your teeth twice daily, but you still need to go to the dentist a few times a year for optimal health.” Facialists normally utilize a safe and gentle steam to really open your pores and allow them to breathe. It’s a don’t-try-this-at-home kind of cleansing.

If something’s wrong, you’ll find out why.

“Your skin changes over time depending on age, weather, and even hormones,” Somerville explains. “It’s a good idea to have an expert who can help you address those changes, identify skin conditions, and educate you on how to treat them.” If you have great skin now, don’t trust that it will last forever! For example, lots of girls suffer from eczema in the winter and simply blame it on dryness. Not treating a serious condition can lead to long-term skin damage!

You’re popping your zits wrong.

Don’t lie. We know you do it. (And we do, too.) But every time you squeeze a pimple, you’re risking acne scarring and dark marks. “Regular, professional extractions will help keep the skin clear,” Somerville insists. “It will also help prevent long-term damage you might be causing at home.” You may even find that booking a regular appointment will eliminate any reason to pick and pop yourself. “Facials are essential to prevent imperfections,” adds Dr. Lens.

It’s better than the beauty counter.

You know when you go to a beauty store and someone tells you what to buy based on looking at your skin under fluorescent lighting? That’s not how we should be purchasing things. “A knowledgeable, licensed esthetician will provide personalized skin recommendations and a regimen that will address your individual concerns.” The best way to know your skin is to examine it, cleanse it, treat it, and then assess it. Once you’re on a great regimen, the esthetician will update it by season. It’s like having your own concierge!

There are some things you just can’t DIY.

“You will never have the right products at home to get a professional effect,” insists Dr. Lens. (Take that steam machine as a prime example!) “We utilize light therapy, using blue and red LED, to eradicate the bacteria that cause inflammation during breakouts,” says Somerville. “It’s also been proven to reduce pore size, stabilize oil production, and promote healthy cell growth.” Unless you’ve got big bucks and the proper degree, you can’t get that kind of treatment at home!

You’ll find your happy place.

“Facials are so much more relaxing than a DIY,” says Dr. Lens. In fact, Berthelot uses a mix of high frequency, massage, and hot towels to maximize the pampering experience! Everyone knows stress can cause skin issues, so a facial can cure any breakouts and give you reason to take a few deep, cleansing breaths.

Confidence is key.

“I struggled with eczema for years,” says Somerville, “and I’ve seen every skin concern imaginable in my clinic. I know exactly what it’s like to regain skin health and feel confident. You should feel comfortable in your own skin!”

Read the rest here.

 

Using medical-grade skin care products is an investment to prolong the results you achieved in the treatment room.

In today’s growing beauty world, there are more than 40K cosmetic and skin care products competing for your attention and dollars. You can buy most of these from your local department store, drugstore, or on the Internet. We understand that the choices can be confusing and somewhat overwhelming.

The good news is that you don’t have to sort out all of this information by yourself. Your skin care professional can offer you customized suggestions of home care products that are superior to over-the-counter products and that are designed for the unique and evolving needs of your skin, health, and lifestyle.

Every dollar you invest in skin care treatments with your skin care provider works harder for you when you support it with the highly specialized professional products he or she offers. Your provider is a skilled professional with significant knowledge and training that helps determine what’s best for your skin.

A major advantage to getting professional advice is that your visit includes a thorough skin analysis before treatment. As well as closely studying your skin, often using special analytic equipment, your skin care provider will take a detailed health history from you, asking about skin conditions you have or had, any medications you are taking, and allergies you have. All of this information is factored into your treatment. None of this is available when you buy something from a clerk in a retail setting who may be unskilled and disinterested, or when you order from a completely impersonal website. When it comes to your skin, one size truly does not fit all.

Because professional products are available to you from a licensed professional, the law allows higher concentrations of active ingredients in these products. This means you are getting more effective formulations that will likely result in better and faster results. This makes your investment in products and your home care regimen all the more valuable.

The proper home care regimen enhances and maintains the results from your treatments and prepares your skin for further care. It greatly increases the effectiveness of certain procedures only a professional can provide, such as chemical exfoliation, microdermabrasion or laser treatments. With a licensed provider’s care, you have the opportunity to ask questions and express any concerns you might have about your skin. Your routine and products could very well change over time, and only expert care can determine this. Common causes for reevaluation include the change of seasons or a move to a different climate; changes in your health; and hormonal changes.

If you look at labels on over-the-counter skin care products, you’ll soon realize that it is impossible to understand ingredients without special knowledge. While many products are subject to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation, the main purpose of this regulation is to ensure minimal safety standards, not to validate product claims or promises. While they may have ingredients that are generally useful for various skin problems, it’s unlikely they’ll have active ingredients that are concentrated enough to make these products effective. It truly is “buyer beware” when it comes to sorting through product claims and promises. There is little to no accountability for these manufacturers.

To capture your business, manufacturers spend vast sums of money on marketing, advertising and packaging to distinguish their products from the myriad offerings vying for your purchasing loyalty. The cost of this advertising, marketing and packaging is built into the cost of the products. In some cases, the packaging may actually cost more to produce than the product itself. Why rely on the trial-and-error, one-size-fits-all approach? Just as you wouldn’t wear someone else’s eyeglasses, you shouldn’t use someone else’s skin care regimen.

On the other hand, your skin care professional is interested in a long-term relationship with you that is based on trust and that depends on your continued satisfaction over time. He or she invested substantially in their training and most likely entered the field with a career in mind rather than just a job.

While professional skin care products and services may seem more expensive at first, they offer a better value for a few reasons.

  • You will likely need fewer products per application since the active ingredients are more concentrated.
  • You will achieve better results and gain more from your skin care treatments if you maintain the correct home care regimen.
  • You’ll have the confidence in knowing your products have been chosen specifically for your skin, health, and lifestyle by someone with skill and knowledge.

Your skin care treatments should be provided by a properly trained professional. Don’t hesitate to ask your skin care therapist about his or her background, training, and experience– especially as it relates to the treatment you are considering. Your skin care professional has comprehensive details on changing trends and treatments at his or her fingertips, so you’ll be receiving the most current information and care possible.

Call today to schedule your complimentary skincare consultation.

Read the original story here.

 

Overview

If you can’t bear to leave the house without makeup, you may be wreaking havoc on your skin. While some people experience very few side effects from wearing cosmetics such as foundation, powder and lipsticks, others aren’t so lucky. Chemicals found in many of these products can create a range of adverse reactions that undermine your daily beauty regimen and damage your skin.

 

Oily Appearance

A thick oily sheen on your face isn’t the same as having a youthful glow. Oil-based foundations and creamy powders give a slick appearance and cause eyeliner to smudge or your eyeshadow to clump up in the crease above your lid. For a smoother, fresher appearance, avoid oil-based makeup, especially if you already have oily skin. Stick to water-based foundations and loose powders, instead. If your skin is naturally dry, using oily makeup isn’t the answer. Proper cleansing and moisturizing is.

Dryness

In some cases a foundation or powder may dry out your skin and make it look flaky, dull and ashen. These cosmetics may also cause cracks and fine wrinkles in your skin, explains the American Academy of Dermatology, which could cause an infection to develop. Dryness also makes your skin itch. To combat it, apply a moisturizer about five minutes before the foundation or powder. A hydrating foundation or powder will also help.

Clogged Pores and Acne

Many people who wear makeup never get a single pimple. So while it’s incorrect to say that makeup can cause acne, it can make it flare up if you already have blemishes. A pimple is a hair follicle plugged with oil and dead skin cells combined with adverse bacterial activity. When you wear foundations and powders that clog your pores and hair follicles even more, you can aggravate acne. The AAD recommends avoiding oil makeup and using non-acnegenic or noncomedogenic makeup, which won’t block your pores.

Allergies

Some makeup ingredients such as fragrances and preservatives trigger allergic reactions, including contact dermatitis. Preservatives in makeup include parabens, which have been detected in cancer cells. Also look out for formaldehyde — mostly known for preserving corpses, it can irritate your eyes and skin.

See more here.

A great article by the Renee Rouleau blog explains who you should see for your skin.

There are many skin care professionals you can consult with about how to care for your skin but the two most popular would be either a licensed esthetician or dermatologist. I recently had a client come to see me for a facial treatment, and during our consultation she told me, “I’ve gone to see everyone for my skin and haven’t got much results so I thought it was time I see a dermatologist. This is why I’m here to see you today.”

For clarification, I’m actually not a dermatologist (read my bio), but people often think I am. It must be the vast amount of skin care knowledge I share on Skin Source and all the skin care tips and questions I personally answer on Twitter and Facebook. But regardless, I let her know that in fact she was seeing an esthetician and assured her that I could help her get results with her skin, but I could not prescribe medication, which a dermatologist is licensed to do.

But what are the main differences between seeing a dermatologist for your skin versus seeing an esthetician?…

Let me start by saying that I’m often asked this question so I feel it’s relevant to discuss. The differences are many so let me explain how time spent with me, a licensed esthetician with 25 years of experience, garner different results than a dermatologist visit. (Note: Not all dermatologists or estheticians are equal so I’m generalizing my information with what I know to be true of most.)

An esthetician will spend more time with you than a dermatologist.

If you’re scheduling a skin treatment such as a facial, the time spent with your esthetician will usually be 75-90 minutes whereas generally a dermatologist appointment will be anywhere from 10-20 minutes.

In the case of this particular client, throughout both the consultation and the facial, we talked at length about her specific skin concerns and goals, which provided me with valuable insight into her individual skin type, needs and deficiencies. Also, listening to her talk about the history of her skin back to when she was a teenager really painted a good picture for me to understand how her skin behaves. Simply put, time is on your side with an esthetician. The more information you share, and having plenty of time to do so, will allow us to piece together the puzzle to ensure you get the results you desire with your skin.

A dermatologist can prescribe topical or oral medication.

There are times when the use of prescription drugs is necessary to treat certain skin conditions that aren’t responding to over-the-counter skin treatments. Chronic rosacea, severe acne and skin rashes and allergies are examples of conditions that are often treated with medication.

My personal belief system is that prescription medication should be the last option since it can often act as a band-aid. Why take prescription drugs if it’s not necessary? Once you go off of them, the condition may come right back so it’s so important to play detective (and your esthetician can help you do that) and get to the root of the problem. I believe this is a more practical long-term solution. But do know, there are certainly times when I feel it’s necessary for my clients to seek medical solutions and so I will refer them to a dermatologist. If you’re currently taking medication, a good question to ask yourself is, “Is the medication giving you improvement with your skin?” If it’s not, you may want to reconsider this option.

You’ll be taken on time for your appointment.

Both an esthetician and dermatologist work by appointment only. But as most will know, an esthetician will take you right at your appointment time whereas with a dermatologist, you can wait up to an hour or more before being seen. It’s just the nature of each of the industries.

An esthetician will be more knowledgeable about your skin care routine.

As one of my Dallas dermatologist colleagues has told me, “Renée, I don’t do what you do. I was trained in treating diseases of the skin. When it comes to which products are best, what my patient’s skin care routine should look like and when to change up their products, this is not my area of expertise and this is why I refer them to you.” For an esthetician, skin care products are our prescriptions so we are very familiar with skin ingredients, which products are best to use and when, and how to enhance your skin at home.

For those who have visited a dermatologist, you’ll often hear them say “Wash with a mild cleanser and use sunscreen.” While I’m certainly in agreement with this recommendation, there is just so much more to it than that. A good esthetician will be able to go into great detail about your skin care routine and what’s right for you based on observations and your personal skin concerns revealed during your thorough consultation.

With this particular client who had come to see me, she had been diagnosed with rosacea so her skin was very red and inflamed. Come to find out through our long conversation, I discovered she was not using any moisturizer at night thinking she was letting her skin “breathe” and so of course her skin would flare up because of the damaged lipid barrier created by not protecting your skin! Since she started using a well-formulated, barrier-repair moisturizer Phytolipid Comfort Cream at night, her skin redness has been dramatically reduced. With a dermatologist, prescription medication would have been given for rosacea, and while it may have worked, I think simply using the right moisturizer for her skin type at night was a better solution–and so did she.

Seeing an esthetician or a dermatologist can both offer great results.

There is certainly no right or wrong, it’s just a personal choice as to what approach is most comfortable to you. The decision is yours.

Which products are right for your skin?

See our nine skin types and get products recommended.

Need expert advice from a licensed esthetician?

Schedule My Skin Prescription to get personalized advice in person, over the phone or via Skype or Facetime.

For more expert skin advice, check out Skin Source–the A-Z guide on all things skin. Also sign up for our skin tip e-newsletter, follow Renée Rouleau on Twitter and join the discussion on our Facebook page. You’ll be your own skin care expert in no time.

Join Our Newsletter

Subscribe to get notified about updates and new blog posts!