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The Skintourage

Associate of Occupational Science in Cosmetology, Cosmetology, Esthetics

Scar Free: Extractions Done Right

Everyone gets those nasty little blackheads or whiteheads that come up. You push and squeeze to try to get all that built in dirt out and all that happens is half of it comes out and your left with a sore area and possibly a scar. Well this blog will teach you how to properly extract them without leaving that scar.

The first thing you want to do before any extractions is take a warm shower or steam your face. You can best see blackheads and whiteheads right after this because the steam helps open up your pores. Make sure the lighting is good and use gloves when extracting.

There are 3 different ways to properly extract. You can use Q-tips, cotton/gauze or an extracting tool. All of these are used by professionals and if used correctly will help you avoid those dreadful scars.

Q-tips: When using Q-tips to extract you want to make sure you are wearing gloves. You will use 2 Q-tips and place one on each side of the area needed to be extracted, and roll the Q-tips down and then up towards the blackhead. Wipe off the area with the Q-tip and throw away then wipe the area with a toner best suited for their skin type.

Cotton/Gauze: Make sure you are using gloves and wrap a piece of gauze or cotton around your index fingers and follow the same procedure for Q-tips, using your index fingers.

Extracting Tool: With this tool you will place the hole of the extractor over the area to be extracted. Press down with the extracter and give it a little wiggle. Using this procedure you should be able to remove the debris without leaving any scars.

Now you can go and remove those random, stubborn blackheads and help your clients skin become more beautiful.

Associate of Occupational Science in Cosmetology, Cosmetology, Esthetics, Master Instructor

How Far Would You Go To Be Tan?


For some, the desire to be tanned will take them to the extremes of self injections with an unapproved illegal tanning drug called Melanotan.First developed in pill form in 1991 at The University of Arizona, Melanotan 1 was revealed to be an effective sunless tanning solution with low short term side effects.With continued research the formation of Melanotan 2 was introduced, but with increased short term side effects. Melanotan itself is a synthetic analog* of  a naturally occurring hormone A-MSH(alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone) which is present in individuals exposed to UV radiation, causing the process commonly known as tanning. A-MSH is present in greater amounts in individuals with naturally darker skin tones. Melanotan 2 is similar to Melanotan 1, itself a cyclic lactam analog of A-MSH; however, its peptide chain is shorter, and it shares other functional and structural differences (allowing for passage through the blood-brain barrier, and also making it significantly more effective for tanning. Melanotan will not do anything for people with albinism or vitiligo because these patients do not have skin cells with receptors for melanin.

In social circles Melanotan is referred to as ”The Barbie Drug” due to certain side effects such as loss of appetite, darkening of the skin, and increased labido. Other side effects include blue coloring of the lips, intense nausea and vomiting, facial flushing, fatigue, as well as increased freckling, moles, and hyperpigmentation. The Melanotan injections are given in the stomach on a weekly basis while a gradual tan develops. The skin will slowly darken on it’s own, but can be increased by exposing oneself to UV Rays. Once the injections are discontinued the skin should fade back at a normal rate. That’s not always the case though. Especially when you are talking about freckles, moles, and hyperpigmentation.

Melanotan is illegal and has not had the stringent safety and effectiveness testing that all medicines need before they are licensed for use. This means that the long term side effects of this treatment are not known. In addition to the possible side effects of Melanotan itself, there are also other potential dangers. Using non-sterile water to prepare the injections can cause serious blood infections, and sharing needles spreads blood-borne diseases such as HIV and hepatitis. Injections by untrained individuals can cause skin and tissue damage, and might result in permanent or life-threatening injury.They currently have research grade Melanotan 1 and 2 available for all those research chemists out there (anyone)to test out on their lab-rats(themselves).

However, you have to use this at your own risk because these kits are not FDA approved and not intended for human consumption.

There are many sites and videos for and against Melanotan. Two examples are below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwmBr32_uLc&feature=related against

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BlATY8LQI for

*A synthetic analog is a:

Synthetically created compound that differs from the Natural compound

Both in its structure and function.

Esthetics

Parabens-Horrible or Hype?

At the most recent Dallas Esthetic Show, I sought out my idol (and hopefully soon to be mentor), Dr. Pugliese. He is renown in the industry as a leader in skin care ingredient research and testing. Dr. Pugliese has also written one of my favorite books “Physiology of the Skin.” As a fellow scientist I appreciate his in depth knowledge and the continual research that he does.

During a classroom session, my new best friend, Dr. Pugliese (he may not be aware of this fact) and I were chatting about parabens, and all of a sudden this quiet, reserved man took on a whole different tone and voice. Dr. Pugliese, in no other words, explained that parabens are not harmful to the skin and that people are blindly blaming parabens without probable cause. I was absolutely astonished by this. As someone who eats organic, uses sulfate free products, and overall tries to be healthy, I have been under the impression for the past 5 years or so that parabens are bad. I had understood that parabens are wax preservatives that preserve the body and skin, like embalming fluid…yuck! However, as Dr. Pugliese explained, these waxes are widely regarded as safe and in fact; most foods contain these products in much higher content than any of our cosmetics. Parabens are only needed to be used at the .1% to effectively work as a preservative and most fruits contain over 100 times more of this amount than the cosmetics, yet there is little concern or any evidence to show that there are negative repercussions from using/ingesting this compound.

As a scientist, I appreciate looking at both sides of an argument, then making a decision. Personally, I haven’t quite decided how I feel about parabens, but I am now more open to research supporting the use of parabens. This definitely won’t be the last we hear about these molecules!

Associate of Occupational Science in Cosmetology, Esthetics

“Bacne” vs. the Swimsuit

Summer is just around the corner and we need to clear up a few things about bacne.  We’ve been so focused on our faces this winter and spring that we neglected our backs and now they are speaking out by breaking out.

The Skintourage is here to give you a few pointers on getting rid of and keeping away that unwanted “BACNE”.

Cleanse:  You will want a frangrance-free and anti-bacterial cleanser.  Many people over-cleanse the skin with harsh soaps and use vigorous scrubbing tools and products. The use of Alkaline-based surfactants or soaps not only rob skin of moisture, but also provide a bacteria-loving environment. This can also exacerbate the breakouts and slow down the healing process.

Tone: Spritz your back with an oil- and bacteria-controlling toner. Many bacne sufferers will try mentholated and alcohol astringents, which provide a cooling sensation, however in most cases these are SD alcohol-based, which strips the skin of lipids, causing the skin to over-produce oil. Look for alcohol-free toners in “smart trigger” packaging that allow for easy spritzing over your back.

Exfoliate gently: Many people use loofahs and brushes to try and rid the skin of back acne, which only worsens the condition. The use of such tools causes micro-lacerations in the skin, making it once again a hospitable environment for bacteria to breed and grow. A gentle fragrance-free scrub should be used instead. Lightly massage it over the area and rinse off.

Don’t squeeze and pick: Seek out the help of a licensed esthetician for  a back treatment to clear impactions, gently exfoliate and moisturize appropriately.

And here are a few sneaky ways to prevent bacne in the first place:
1. Avoid waxy hair products that may come into contact with the skin on your back.
2. Wear cotton clothing versus synthetic fibers, which can trap oil and dead cells.
3. Pillowcases should be changed at least every other day and sheets twice a week. Avoid using fabric softeners on bed linens as they may cause a breakout.
4. Avoid tanning beds. Many believe that this will speed up the healing of breakouts; however, the effects are only temporary. UV exposure increases cell production, causing more breakouts.

Associate of Occupational Science in Cosmetology, Cosmetology, Esthetics

How Does Sleep Affect Our Skin

Dr. Michael Breus answered:
Here are a few good facts that people should bear in mind:

• As we age, lack of sleep affects us more deeply and shows up more
prominently on our faces (which explains why dark circles, fine lines,
and pallid complexions aren’t a problem in our twenties despite the
late nights, but can be later on).

• Sleep induces the production of collagen, a key ingredient in firm,
youthful skin.

• The skin’s capacity to hold water is enhanced by sleep, thereby
keeping skin moisturized and supple.

• Sleep deprivation can sting the immune system, leaving one
vulnerable to rashes and skin-related problems.

• Growth hormone peaks during deep sleep, and this hormone plays a
central role in initiating cellular repair.

Associate of Occupational Science in Cosmetology, Esthetics

Eyelash Enhancements FAQ

Everyone loves the look of long curled lashes, but do you really know all the ins and outs of getting them to look that way and maintaining them? Here are some tidbits of information you might not know and answers to questions you might be afraid to ask:

  • Make sure you find out how long your lash specialist has been doing lash extensions and where they were certified. Some people assume that it’s an easy process to apply lash extensions, but if not properly trained it could become a big mess.
  • Ask about the type of lashes they are using, such as individuals, tabs, strips and the type of glue.
  • Individual lashes should be one solid lash and the glue should be surgical grade glue.
    • Tabs are a cluster or bundle of individual lashes grouped together to form a fan and the glue that is used should be an adhesive type liquid like glue.
    • Strips are a long strip of lashes applied to the lash line and the glue that is used should be sticky adhesive glue usually white or clear.
    • You should never allow your lash specialist to use surgical grade glue with the tabs or the strips. This glue is meant to keep the lashes on until they fall off naturally. If you apply this glue to the tabs or strip it will possibly pull out our lashes that aren’t ready to naturally fall out and could leave you with a hole in your lash line.
    • Your lashes fall out naturally just like the hair on your head and new hairs are growing in, so as you loose your lashes naturally you will also loose your extensions.
    • Individual lashes are applied individually to each lash and fall off naturally and will need to be refilled.
    • Refills can only be done on a client that has had a full set. Refills are filling in the holes where you have lost your natural lashes and applied to the new lashes that are growing in.
    • Can you apply individual lash extensions to the bottom lashes? Yes you can, but some lash specialist aren’t comfortable with applying them sine the eye has to stay open during the process. Just make sure your lash specialist has a very steady hand and you are not jittery.
    • How long will the process take? Depending on your lash specialist will depend on the amount of time it will take. Some take anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours. Refills normally can take 30 minutes to 1 ½ hours.
    • Will it hurt? You shouldn’t feel any discomfort with this process if done correctly. The only uncomfortable part is the tape that will be applied to the bottom lashes to help keep them from getting caught in the glue. Most people fall asleep.
    • Individual lashes are available in different sizes and different styles. Check with your lash specialist for what size and style will best work for you.
    • What do I use to remove my makeup? Use only oil-free makeup remover and do not pull on the lashes.
    • Can I use mascara? You can wear mascara, but only on the tips and no waterproof mascara.
    • Can I swim? Yes that is fine, but make sure you are careful and do not rub on the lashes.
    • Can I use steam or get facials? Steam isn’t good for the lashes; it can break down the glue. Facials are great, but make sure you inform your Facialist that you are wearing lash extensions. Hot showers need to be avoided, but if you want to continue taking them make sure you keep the door open and avoid the water on your lashes.
Associate of Occupational Science in Cosmetology, Nail Technician

Toe Nibbles

What is a fish pedicure?

A fish pedicure, also known as a fish spa, involves patrons dipping their feet in a tub of water filled with small fish called Garra rufaGarra rufa are sometimes referred to as “doctor fish” because they eat away dead skin found on peoples’ feet, leaving newer skin exposed. This is not a traditional pedicure in the sense that we think. No scrubs, massaging, toenail care etc… The service consists of a simple tank or basin with about 100 fish inside that the client places their feet into. Prices are usually around $35 for about a 15 min. session. Not to relaxing if you ask me.

Garra rufa are native to the Middle East, where they have been used as a medical treatment for individuals with skin diseases, like psoriasis. One study has illustrated the effectiveness of fish pedicures in the treatment of psoriasis; however, this treatment was performed in a controlled setting at a medical university in Austria, not at a nail salon . CDC is not aware of any published reports on illnesses resulting from fish pedicures. Nail salon foot baths, however, have caused outbreaks of nontuberculous mycobacterial infections that left infected pedicure customers with boils and scars.

Why have some states banned the use of fish pedicures?

An entrepreneur named John Ho has been credited with bringing the trend to his salon in Virginia called Yvonne’s Day Spa. He said he wanted to come up with something unique while finding a replacement for pedicures that use razors to scrape off dead skin. The razors have fallen out of favor with state regulators because of concerns about whether they’re sanitary. There are also franchise salons available in Delaware, Maryland, Missouri, as well as Virginia.

Each state has the authority to ban fish pedicures. At least 14 states, including Texas, Oklahoma and Florida, have outlawed  them. Virginia doesn’t see a problem. Plus, they have no jurisdiction over skin, unless it’s a face. Ohio permitted the fish pedicures after a review of the regulation and service details.

Most of the bans are based on at least one of the following reasons:

  • The fish pedicure tubs cannot be sufficiently cleaned between customers when the fish are present.
  • The fish themselves cannot be disinfected or sanitized between customers. Due to the cost of the fish, salon owners are likely to use the same fish multiple times with different customers, which increases the risk of spreading infection.
  • Chinese Chinchin, another species of fish that is often mislabeled as Garra rufa and used in fish pedicures, grows teeth and can draw blood, increasing the risk of infection.
  • According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceGarra rufa could pose a threat to native plant and animal life if released into the wild because the fish is not native to the United States.
  • Fish pedicures do not meet the legal definition of a pedicure.
  • Regulations specifying that fish at a salon must be contained in an aquarium.
  • The fish must be starved to eat skin, they live in an environment free of a food source, which might be considered animal cruelty.
A special thanks to Kent Berry, Clary Sage Barista Instructor, for trying a Fish Pedicure, in Mexico, and documenting the experience for us to share with everyone.
Associate of Occupational Science in Cosmetology, Cosmetology, Esthetics, Master Instructor, Nail Technician

You asked–We answered

As skin care professionals, the most common question we all seem to get asked is…What products do you use?  Our skintourage bloggers put together a list of our top favorite “must have” products. Make sure to let us know what your must have products are! We want to hear from you.

Christen Brummett, Esthetics Arts Department Head:

Smashbox Makeup Primer-As someone with oily skin, I tend to shed makeup very quickly so having a makeup primer is a must if I plan to have makeup on my face for more than 2-3 hours.  I love Smashbox’s Primer because it is super lightweight and silky feeling (due to all the silicone); it doesn’t break my face out and keeps my makeup on all day.

Skin Ceuticals CE Ferulic Acid-This stuff is amazing!  The combination of Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Ferulic Acid provides a power pack punch of antioxidant protection.  This is one of the few products I have used that I really saw results in my skin.

Dermalogica’s PreCleanse– Used before your normal cleanser; it gets all the makeup off and smells amazing.  Not to mention, it is a fabulous brush cleanser!

April Genshaw, Esthetics and Cosmetician Instructor:

NYX Milk Eye Pencil-Perfect color base to make eyeshadow colors pop.  I still use over a regular eye primer.

Coconut Oil-Fabulous for removing makeup before cleansing, hydrating skin treatment and cortex strengthening hair treatment.

Agadir Hair Spritz-Dual Purpose thermal iron enhancing spray, firm hold hair spritz.

Lip Balm-I’ve yet to find a favorite, but I always have to have something.

Lisa Johnson, Esthetics and Cosmetician Instructor:

Temptu Airbrush Foundation-it’s easy to apply, soft natural matte finish and lasts all day long without touching up.

Mirabella Lip Definer in Clear-Gives you the protection from bleeding and feathering lipstick without the worry of the “ring around the lips” look when the lipstick fades off.

Lime Crime Lipstick (any color)-Has amazing color that lasts all day without looking dry or cracked.  The color is vibrant and it comes in many unusual shades.

Circadia Vitamin C Serum-Not heavy and dries quick.  Helps with my aging skin and gives me a nice glow.  It’s my “must have” product.

Moroccan Oil – My only must have for my hair.  It cuts my blow dry time in half and helps repair any damage to my hair and leaves my hair soft and tangle free all day. It doesn’t weight my hair down or make it oily like many other products.

Emmy Downey, Esthetics Instructor:

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20-It’s sheer and lightweight with a hint of color.  I get that perfect healthy looking glow.  Plus, I get my daily dose of sunscreen.

Urban Decay’s 24/7 Concealer Pencil-Perfect for hiding those dark circles and blemishes.  It’s a creamy formula that dries matte and stays put.

Therametics Lip Balm-“Heaven on a stick!”  An anti-aging lip balm that soothes and repairs dry chapped lips.

Hempz Body Moisturizer-100% pure natural hemp seed oil along with Vitamins A, C and E help to give your body a dramatic dose of hydration.

Mona Green, Esthetics Instructor:

Circadia Honey Cleanser-A micro-exfoliating cleanser that is gentle enough to use every day, without disturbing the protective lipid barrier.

Circadia Vitamin C-Heal and calms the skin while neutralizing free radicals.  It prevents collagen deterioration while restoring firmness, diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and smoothing uneven texture.

Circadia Night Time Repair-Encourages cell turnover, boosts radiance, increases elasticity and enhances the skin’s natural repair system.

Jennifer Hubbard, Nail Technician Instructor:

Green Stuff-My wonderful makeup remover and I use it to shave with.

Fake Bake-I love the look of a beautiful tan but don’t want to expose myself to the UV rays of a tanning bed.

Circadia Mandiclear Peel with Vitamin A Accelerator-This is my favorite peel.  I love the way my skin looks and feels afterwards.  It glows and feels a lot tighter.

Enjoy Smooth and Shine Serum-This is the only serum that I have found that keeps my hair shiny and smooth without leaving the feeling of heavy oily hair.

Coconut Oil-This is the only product that will penetrate into the hairs cortex.  This doesn’t leave your hair with the heavy oily feeling that other products can.

Check out this website to see how you can become a skin care professional too!

Associate of Occupational Science in Cosmetology, Cosmetology

Can You Be Addicted To Lip Balm?

By April Genshaw, Master Instructor

I’ve come across this question several times over the years, and have fully declared that I myself would attest to being addicted. At the age of 18 I lost my lip balm at a friends house one night  and actually asked  a gas station attendant if he could cover what I was short so that I could buy a new one. Now that is desperation!

Symptoms could include:
*applying heavy layers of balm before bed
*buying multiply tubes at a time; i.e. hoarding different types in your purse or car
*applying multiple times a day (something must always be covering the lip)
*having a tube in pretty much every room of your house

If any of these describe you, you aren’t alone.There is even a website www.lipbalmanonymous.com
In all seriousness there is science behind this addiction. Lets make this simple…….

Lips are Skin. Skin is complex and has layers. The top layer (stratum corneum) is mostly dead/dehydrated cells. As they die they should naturally flake away. When the cells flake away they send a signal to a deeper layer that will produce new plump cells (basal layer). This process is referred to as cellular turnover, which also slows down as you age. When you use lip balm or lip products it locks in moisture creating a barrier. The lips stay hydrated, but since not as many cells are sloughing away, the basal cell doesn’t get the signal for new cells.

Now, when the balm isn’t present, and the lips are exposed, they suddenly are dried out. The basal layer then is in overdrive trying to catch up. But then…. your lips are dry, so of course, more lip balm! The basal layers gets the “Never mind we’re fine signal” and it’s a cycle. We have trained our lips to rely on this hydrating protective barrier. Decide for yourself if you’re addicted or wanting to continue with your addiction. I personally will continue. I just love the feeling of lip balm/lipstick or lipgloss.  It just makes me Happy! We all have those double lipgloss days.