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The Grades of Aging

By: Sam Dhatt, MD
Posted: June 29, 2009, from the July 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Clients come to the spa and expect instant skin perfection. Of course, this is not possible, but through the implementation of well-planned treatment regimens, their skin conditions can be noticeably improved. Then, when they become happily aware of the improvements and are even surprised about how great they look, your new goal should be to maintain those conditions and possibly even improve them.

To do that, start with the right treatments and home care, and that means no guesswork. You must be able to look at a client and know what to recommend and know the results will be great. Can you do that now, with full confidence? This is a dilemma many estheticians continually experience and can often be a reason for low confidence in the treatment rooms.

The Grades of Aging

There is a way to bypass that dilemma: Learn a shortcut—a way to know which products and treatments are best for a client’s skin every time, and what treatment plan effectively marches a client toward a chosen goal. The Grades of Aging do this for you. With them, if you know your products and ingredients well, you can quickly design a treatment program specially tailored for each client. Your plan guides clients toward their goals and keeps them right where they are, happy and pleased with their skin—and you.

The Grades of Aging are classified from 0 (youthful) to 5 (severely aged) in a logical and progressive order. Each is described according to the aging condition of the skin—not the chronological age—and states the category of ingredients needed for influencing the skin to improve that particular classification. The grades are based on the Glogau Classification of Photoaging and Rubin Classification of Aging with expansions that enable you to know the products that best suit your client’s skin.

Grade 0

Youthful, supple skin; even skin tone; and great firmness and elasticity. The treatment principle for this skin is not repair; it is prevention of damage in order to keep it in the condition it is in for many years to come. Aggressive treatment is unnecessary, and over-the-top exfoliation of this skin grade can cause irritation and quite possibly quicken aging.