Most Popular in:

Medical Esthetics Treatments

Email This Item! Print This Item!

Surgery and the Esthetician

By: Terri Wojak
Posted: March 26, 2010, from the April 2010 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
rubber gloves holding woman's head

page 5 of 6

Mineral makeup is most frequently used in the medical setting due to its anti-inflammatory and protective qualities. Also, pure minerals do not support the growth of bacteria, which is why they are most often used post-operatively and for inflammatory conditions of the skin. As always, when estheticians are dealing with post-operative clients, sanitary practices and cleanliness are of primary concern to prevent any chance of infection. Before providing makeup applications, the esthetician must be sure all of the wounds have healed and the physician has given clearance for such treatments.

It is best to select the appropriate base and concealer makeup shades before surgery. This prevents being distracted by any discoloration caused by the procedure itself. The colors of a bruise often changes as it heals, typically starting out as a deep blue color that often ends in a yellowish tone.

For this reason, a palette containing multiple colors will be most beneficial to send home with the client. To camouflage specific colors, use the opposite color on the color wheel. For example, to camouflage discolorations that are blue, use an orange-based concealer; for red, use a green-based concealer; for yellow, use a pink or purple-based concealer; and for purple, use a yellow-based concealer. There is an easy way to keep track of these color combinations—just remember Chicago Bears (blue and orange), Christmas (red and green) and Easter (purple and yellow).

Product recommendations

Home care products need to be taken into consideration following cosmetic surgery procedures, too. Clients should not be using anything that can cause possible irritation to the skin, so products containing alpha or beta hydroxy acids, retinols or fragrance should be eliminated at least a week before surgery and for two weeks following. Clients should be using a mild cleanser that will not irritate the skin.

It is also vital the client wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30 to prevent the chance of incision areas becoming scarred or discolored. Zinc oxide is most often recommended, because it is a physical sunscreen and has anti-inflammatory properties.