Understanding Aging Skin and How to Treat It


In 2020, the anti-aging market will increase to $216.52 billion. Aging is inevitable, and every single one of your clients are experiencing it. From finding preventative treatments to repairing treatments, the discussion on aging is constantly revolving the skin. Dawn Ahearn, national educator for PCA Skin, dove into better understanding aging skin and how to rejuvenate it to boost business, retail and client satisfaction during the advanced education at Face & Body Midwest in Rosemont, IL on July 28, 2019.

Anti-Aging Insights

Humans have had an interest in beauty throughout history. Taking it all the way back to Cleopatra, she bathed in milk to keep her skin beautiful and used coal as her eyeliner. The way society views aging and beauty leads to social, emotional and financial implications. Thus, society is continuing to search for the magic pill or cream to have them wake up looking younger.

Human aging is a complex process because not everyone fits into the same little box. You have to take in numerous traits that could impact how the skin is aging. Ahearn continued to explain how there are thousands of genes that can affect human aging and aging in the skin.

Types of Aging

There are two different types of aging that affect the clients skin, and understanding the two and the differences between them is very important for properly treating the skin. 

Intrinsic aging. This is a physiological breakdown in the skin, so it covers what is happening inside the body from aging naturally. Desquamation slows as well as the production of elastin, collagen and glycosaminoglycan, and even the bone density begins to decrease as a part of intrinsic aging.

Extrinsic aging. This is about what is going on outside that is impacting our skin. What types of life choices and environmental stressors are hitting our clients’ skins? The overexposure to UV rays is a huge environmental stressor that increases hyperpigmentation while also breaking down collagen and elastin.  When it comes to lifestyle choices things like smoking and lack of sleep impact and ages the skin as well.

Daily Care Products

Ahearn emphasized that daily care of the skin is an absolute necessity when it comes to aging skin. Not only is this going to increase your revenue, but it will increase the longevity of the treatments you are providing your client. There is a rule that patients touch their skin 59 times to the one time you touch their skin. Ahearn explained that if you go to the dentist and let them clean your teeth, but do not brush them until you see them again, you will have some cavities.

You need to present the product choices to your clients or else they will go and get the products on their own. Ahearn explained that she only presents three products to her clients, and none of them are a face wash. She shows them an SPF as well as two corrective products to show her clients what they need to be using.

Peeling Away the Years

Ahearn went into how there are different types of chemical peels that boost cellular turnover to aid with treating aging skin.

Alpha-hydroxy acids. This acid can be anything from mandelic, which helps with softening the skin to lactic. Alpha-hydroxy acids allow for easier exfoliation and increases cellular turnover.

Retinoids. This ingredient and chemical peel helps to modulate gene expression. Post-retinoid peel helps to thicken and remodel the viable epidermis while stimulating fibroblasts including increasing new collagen synthesis.

Trichloracetic acid. These acids can be used for keratosis, and they provide textural changes to the skin. This type of acid can also help in plumping the skin that has acne scarring. Ahearn explained that you will want to choose the percentage of the acid that is best suited for your clients FitzPatrick.

Chemical blends. Blended chemical peel solutions is not only a great source of revenue for your practice, but it has can be great when treating aging skin. You will be getting your clients into your clinic every three weeks, and you can easily combine these peels with different modalities in your spa like LED.

Other Treatment Option

If chemical peels are not the route for your spa, there are plenty of other modalities to look into for your spa and aging clients.

Injectables. Find a doctor that you are comfortable with and like recommend your clients to injectables. You and the doctor you choose to refer your clients to can work together to refer different clients to each other and ultimately boost business. While Botox, Dysport and hyaluronic acid fillers will help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, it will not help with pigmentation issues caused by aging. This is why it is still very important to recommend home-care products to your clients.

Lasers. Another great treatment for anti-aging would be some combination therapy of chemical peels with laser treatments. Create a package for your clients if they are only looking toward laser treatments and especially if you are going to do a combination treatment on them.

Microneedling. Microneedling is another great treatment that creates wounds on the skin to cause the skin to go through a wound healing cycle. This forces the skin to start creating collagen and elastin to heal the skin.

No one treatment will work on every client. Each treatment plan should be created based on each client’s unique background from their ethnicity to how much time they spend in the sun. Ahearn concluded by explaining, “In this industry, you have to do the research on the products and treatments. Continuing education is the answer to unlock the magic elixir of treating aging skin.”

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