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The Holistic Approach Toward Aging

By: Lydia Sarfati
Posted: June 16, 2008, from the August 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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Gentle exfoliation. Gentle exfoliation should be offered instead of microdermabrasion, chemical peels, glycolic peels, phenol peels or laser resurfacing—all of which may result in long-term skin sensitivity and redness, and could lead to hyperpigmentation from sun exposure. Gentle exfoliation includes the use of natural substances, such as oats, rice bran, almond meal without the skin, natural buttermilk, honey and willow bark extracts. You also can add a mechanical element, such as an electric brushing machine. Also, chemical exfoliants that are less irritating may be used because they are effective in dissolving excessive buildup of dead skin cells. Options include 2% salicylic acid, kerotolytic agents and enzyme peels from green papaya.

Massage. Stress very well may be a factor in causing disease and skin-related disorders, such as psoriasis and eczema, headaches, digestive ailments, high blood pressure, poor eyesight and depression. Massage therapy offers a real solution for managing the anxiety and strain that are encountered daily. The most effective method of facial massage includes relaxing and toning the muscles in order to release the stress that causes wrinkles, lines and crow’s-feet. To achieve a therapeutic effect, knowledge of the facial muscles is required.

Hydration. The stratum corneum needs moisture in order to remain flexible, firm, translucent and effective as a barrier. As such, it is important to avoid soaps and to restore the natural moisturizing factor (NMF). NMF is the water-soluble mix of natural chemicals, such as amino acids, sodium PCA, glucose, fructose, urea, lactate, citrate formulate and inorganic salts, that retains water in healthy skin.

Protection. Increase the skin barrier with linoleic acid and gamma linoleic acid, antioxidants, polyphenols, and vitamins. Also use a cream that contains sun protection daily.

Knowledge is empowering

It’s the responsibility of estheticians to help clients achieve the best results during treatments, as well as to provide them with at-home programs. Knowledge is empowering, and understanding the true science behind the skin always will enable you to have integrity and honesty with your clientele. Join industry associations, sign up for scientific courses, attend colleges and universities, and check out online education on health science topics. Don’t get lost in the gibberish, and if you don’t understand how it works, don’t buy it. Good luck and healthy aging.