When it comes to treating multicultural skin the education and resources are not nearly as vast as they should be. However, Michai Ashley, master esthetician, owner and founder the Beauty Lab LLC, provided key tips to treating multicultural skin in an effective and safe way.
Ashley began by discussing how multicultural skin is commonly plagued with acne, hyperpigmentation and aging. She further went in to discuss how improving nutrition, sun block usage and proper protocol with advanced treatments are the three keys to effectively treating multicultural skin.
You Are What You Eat
Ashley started by naming common foods that negatively impact the skin including:
- Lack of water
- High sugar intake
While some of these are a given with dairy being packed with hormones and a lack of water not allowing the body to properly dispose of waste. Ashley explained how, while spinach is not bad for you, it should be rotated with other greens daily to balance out the inflammatory properties it contains. She further discussed how providing a nutrition journal with your client can help you to see what dietary change they made might have impacted their skin in-between treatments.
Ashley further discussed foods that have a positive effect on the skin including:
- Non-dairy foods
Ashley discussed how improving water intake and decreasing sugar intake would also have huge benefits on the skin. She also went on to discuss how even if someone does not directly smoke, second-hand smoke can still damage their skin.
Don't Forget the Sunblock
Ashley started this segment off by mentioning how many people believe that skin higher on the Fitzpatrick scale does not need to wear sunblock, but this is horribly false. In fact, she discussed how going out in the sun without protection could darken current hyperpigmentation and cause skin cancer.
Ashley went on to say how clients should be wearing sunscreen every single day. She also emphasized how this is doubly important after you start advanced treatments with them.
Part of the initial consultation with a client will include a skin consultation form and a skin analysis, and these are both hugely important to properly treating your clients. Ashley mentioned how during the consultation and analysis, spa professionals should be asking what new products they could be using. The consultation form especially should be highly in depth, so that no surprises pop up after starting the advanced treatments.
During the initial facial and consultation, Ashley also discussed how a treatment plan should be made as well as a home care plan. Home care needs to be conducive to the client's lifestyle, and it should include Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA) and Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA). A balanced diet will also be a part of the home care plan.
When designing the treatment plan Ashley listed out what needs to be considered including:
Number of treatments: how many of the treatments are going to be a part of this series? Sell the treatment plan as a package, and if their skin reached optimal improvement before the package is over, they can use the remainder money they spent on the services on home care products. This should also include how often it will be planned for clients to come in.
Chemical Peels: do not fear the peel. Make sure your clients are pre-conditioned before going into a chemical peel, and always do a skin analysis after each treatment. The skin can change between every time they come for this treatment. For chemical peels Ashley recommended salicylic acid for acne and mandelic acid for hyperpigmentation. She discussed how you could switch off between the two acids until the acne is clear, and then switch fully to only using mandelic peels for the hyperpigmentation.
Results: You will want to have an idea and plan of what results your clients are going to get.
Advanced Exfoliation Modalities: these services can include microdermabrasion, dermaplaning and LED lights. If someone has not signed up for a full treatment package plan, then these an be included as add ons. However, if this is included in the package plan the client should not be upcharged for this service.
Enzymes: you can use enzymes on all clients, and it requires no downtime for a client. With most of the enzymes being naturally derived from fruit, it makes it possible to use this on new and advanced clients alike. This treatment can help to remove dead skin cells, clear pores and improve the tone and texture of the skin.
Microneedling: this is another treatment that can be very beneficial for hyperpigmentation and scarring. However, you will not want to go too deep on your clients as that can keloid.