The Truth About Extractions

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There is a lot of debate in the aesthetic and beauty industry about the necessity of extractions.

While some believe it is a great way to maintain a clear complexion, others argue that it only damages the skin.

Are extractions a safe component in a facial and how much difference can they make?

We look at situations where a client should consider extractions and best practice for the safest and most successful outcome.

What are extractions?

Extractions are essentially the physical removal of oil, dirt and debris from the skin’s pores, most often in the form of blackheads or whiteheads (clogging and congestion).

How are they performed?

Extractions should only be performed by a professional. The skin is first prepared with a thorough cleanse and often a light peel which loosens the stratum corneum, the topmost layer of the skin.

Steam is applied to warm the skin and soften the built up oil and debris in the pores.

Once steamed, the aesthetician will perform the extraction, often with gloved hands and tissues to provide pressure to the pore. Some aestheticians use a metal extraction tool, however most prefer their hands as they are better able to judge the pressure they are applying to minimise potential damage the skin.

Extractions are followed by a light toner (if preferred) and the appropriate moisturiser.

How to find the right aesthetician:

Not everyone will perform extractions and some have more experience than others. It’s important to do your research to find someone who will suit you. Looking at reviews will be your first point of call in finding someone who will do the job well, and ideally the aesthetician will have at least two years’ experience in extractions.

Things to consider:

After an extraction, it’s best to leave skin make-up-free until the next day. This gives skin a chance to breathe and settle after the procedure.

An aesthetician can usually only extract a blackhead or whitehead. A cyst is an infection deep within the pore and cannot be extracted in a salon-setting without further dermal training. Milia (a white lump that looks like a whitehead but cannot be extracted via squeezing) can be extracted with a lancet by a trained aesthetician or medical practitioner.

A blemish can take 5-7 days to heal after an extraction therefore it’s best to book in at least  a week before a big event.

Main Image Source: Starlight Med Spa

Bio Brasion: The new Microdermabrasion?

 

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Bio brasion might just be the new and improved version of microdermabrasion.

Whilst the treatment is similar to the original procedure, there are some key differences which opens up a whole new world for anti-ageing and corrective measures in skin care.

There are two main differences between bio brasion and microdermasion.

Firstly, bio brasion does away with crystals which microdermabrasion relies on to physically exfoliate. The issue with crystals is that, while they certainly exfoliate well, they can be difficult to control in size which makes them a little unpredictable in application. The amount that comes out of the hose at any given time can vary leading to uneven results.

Bio brasion uses an interchangeable diamond tip instead which can be switched around according to skin type and the area of application. This ensures a more consistent amount of abrasion throughout the treatment.

Furthermore, the level of suction within microdermabrasion can be quite strong; especially for people who suffer from redness, sensitivity and/or weak capillaries. Bio brasion on the other hand, operates with a much lower suction level which means less pulling and tugging on the skin.

It is because of its gentler approach to exfoliation that bio brasion is being used more and more. It is suitable for almost any skin type, including those with rosacea, acne and weak capillaries. Furthermore, professionals are recommending it for any skin tone, including those with darker skin, with minimal risk.

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Image Source: Bio-Therapeutic

Unlike microdermabrasion, bio brasion is a procedure performed on wet skin. The therapist begins by applying a mild peel which actively loosens any dry or damaged cells on the surface of the skin. Then a customised serum is applied to the skin which aids corrective ingredients to penetrate into the dermal layer where they can work most effectively. Finally, a handheld device is used to buff and physically remove the dry and damaged skin that has been loosened by the peel, resulting in glowing radiant skin with an immediate smoother texture.

For those who are looking for greater results and corrective measures such as the treatment of hyperpigmentation or sun damage, it is best to book a series of 6 – 10 treatments in order to achieve the best results.

There is no downtime with this procedure; it can even be performed as close to four days before a wedding or special event to provide a smooth complexion and clearer skin.

Bio brasion is also highly effective when part of a ‘stacking treatment’. In other words, it can be a fantastic option to combine with other treatments to target a particular issue. Someone who wishes to clear up their acne or fade light brown spots/discoloration might like to combine their bio brasion treatment with a light peel customised to their concerns.

Being suitable to so many more skin types whilst performing equally effective results, bio brasion might just out-shine traditional microdermabrasion in the world of aesthetics.

 

Main Image Source: Bio-Therapeutic

Post-Operative Nutrition

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During and post-surgery, the body is put under an incredible amount of stress. Not only is it dealing with the physical shock and ‘trauma’ of the procedure, it also requires more fuel in order to heal itself quickly and effectively. Add a cocktail of medications for pain and antibiotics into the mix and you’ll find that nutrition plays a huge role in aiding the body to perform its best after surgery.

It’s important to understand which nutritional components the body seeks as it heals itself so that one can provide it with the best dietary choices in the days and weeks afterwards.

We’re looking at three key elements to focus on post-surgery.

Protein:

As the muscle tissue is often damaged during invasive surgery, the body begins to repair itself by creating new fibres. In order to make these muscle fibres, it needs protein. If it isn’t receiving enough protein from your diet during this stage, it will find it from elsewhere. This can lead to non-essential muscles deteriorating as the body takes protein from them in order to heal.

What to eat: poultry, fish, lean meat, soy based foods, beans, lentils, eggs, natural yoghurt.

Vitamin C:

As it’s responsible for the creation of connective tissues, vitamin C is a crucial element in the healing process of the body. This is because the enzymes which help form the collagen (which is responsible for the structure of connective tissue) cannot function without its co-factor – vitamin C! It is also a powerful antioxidant which can help stabilise your immune system when it might be weakened by surgery.

What to eat: citrus fruits, strawberries, pineapple, broccoli, cabbage, capsicum, kale and tomato.

Vitamin A:

Vitamin A plays an important role within cell regeneration which is key in the healing process. It also helps to lower risk of infection as it aids the immune system and can help with inflammation.

What to eat: carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato, dark leafy greens and cantaloupe.

A word on healthy fats:

It is common knowledge that healthy fats are a huge benefit to your overall diet but they are especially important during a period of healing. Not only do good fats assist in the body’s immune response, they also play a big part in its ability to absorb vitamins.

It’s important to note that this post focuses nutrition through your diet. Should you be considering boosting your intake of any of the above via supplements, first speak with their doctor or dietician first.

 

Main Image Source: Nutrition Stripped

Microblading

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With brows having a strong moment in the cosmetic world, it is little wonder that the trend has seeped into the aesthetic world as well.

Microblading is a treatment that is quickly gaining traction in salons with clients looking for a way to minimise their morning routines and still look fresh, youthful and ready-to-go.

While the term ‘eyebrow tattoo’ can conjure up images of solid, block lines faded to a blue grey that our grandma might have, microblading is a whole new ballgame in the concept of semi-permanent make-up.

Also known as feathering, brow embroidery and etching, microblading is semi-permanent treatment which uses a handheld device with very fine needles.

The procedure can take approximately two hours, with a lot of the appointment being devoted to drawing on a customised brow first. The aesthetician considers aspects such as the individual’s face shape, brow bone and natural brow colour in order to develop the ideal shape to apply.

A numbing cream is then applied to minimise discomfort. The needles on the device are dipped into a cosmetic-grade eyebrow dye and which is strategically placed and deposited just below the skin surface. Microblading does not penetrate the skin as deeply as the average tattoo and each individual ‘hair’ is created one by one.

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Before and after: Jenn Boyd Ink

There is very minimal downtime after the procedure, yet some people experience slight irritation, redness or itchiness, which is a normal for any kind of tattoo treatment. A client is advised to refraining from picking and scratching the area, and avoid wetting the brows over the following week.

A follow up appointment is often recommended after four weeks. This allows time for the area to fully heal and the aesthetician can fill any remaining gaps and perhaps add a second coloured dye for an even more realistic finish.

Microblading generally lasts between 1 – 2 years and might require a touch up every 6 – 12 months.

While the treatment is customisable to any face shape, there are some who should avoid the procedure unless approved by their doctor. This includes those who are pregnant, undergoing chemotherapy, diabetic or have used a strong anti-acne medicine within the last 12 months.

Microblading is definitely a treatment that salons are starting to offer more frequently as clients aim for perfect brows that still look natural and believable.

 

Main Image Source: Brows By Jessica Muro

The Psychology Behind Aesthetics

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When thinking of aesthetics or anything to do with the beauty industry, one may not automatically associate it with psychology, or the study of the mind.  Yet, there is a very important link between the two and for those seeking to follow a career in aesthetics, it’s important to understand the link between physiology and psychology, and why patients may seek treatment.

The Proven Link Between Stress and Pimples!

Most of us know that if we’re stressed we quite often get a pimple, or a cold sore, or perhaps even hives or a rash of some sort.  There is a proven link between psychological trauma and anxiety manifesting into physical ailments.  The level of stress the patient is under can quite often influence the level of physical expression of the disease or ailment.  There’s also the opposite effect; physical appearance can affect one’s state of mind, behaviour and way of life (someone with terrible acne may become extremely shy and less social than someone who has never been affected etc.).

The environment, surrounding society and culture can also serve as a major factor in one’s motivations or desires for appearance expectations and associated cosmetic modifications.  These factors can also provide an insight into a patient’s self image or body image and in extreme cases, body dysmorphic disorder (BDD).

There are many elements that need to be considered when it comes to understanding different patients, and their choices and behaviours.  Some of these include:

  • Sex or gender identification
  • Age
  • Home environment – do they have kids, elderly parents to care for?
  • Culture, background
  • Surrounding Society
  • Socio-economic status
  • Body image

A Step Ahead of the Rest

The majority of clients seeking beauty or cosmetic treatments are doing so in order to make themselves feel better about their appearance; there is emotion behind the motivation.  Whether it’s stress, anxiety, societal pressure, career insecurities, physical; identifying these underlying emotions may give you an advantage over other practitioners, if you understand the patient and their motivations for seeking treatment.  It can also be a great tool to knowing which treatment will suit the client or what result will satisfy their needs.  Building a good relationship with your patients or clients is paramount to ensure return business and satisfied customers, as providing an all inclusive approach to the consumer’s well-being is expected in today’s world.

When Things Go Wrong

It’s also important to be able to counsel your clients if their results are unexpected, not what they think they asked for, or they have an adverse physiological reaction.  Understanding someone’s deeper motivations and psyche for any type of cosmetic treatment or enhancement will allow you to deal with any fall outs or unexpected results.

It is also important to be able to identify when a potential client might NOT be suitable for cosmetic treatments.  Someone with BDD may be obsessed and not psychologically sound to make choices when it comes to having more treatments done, and it’s important to be able to advise these patients accordingly.
Being aware of the underlying factors for a client and how this impacts their decision to seek assistance will empower aesthetic technicians and dermal clinicians to provide more comprehensive treatment options and deliver desirable results.

 

Image Source: Esteem Medi Spa

Good Aesthetician Practices

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In an industry where everything from hygiene, education, appearances and personal care matters, there are tell-tale signs of a good aesthetician. For a client who is looking for the ‘right’ aesthetician, there are certain elements which will determine who they end up trusting, not only with their skin, but also their health and wellbeing.

Today we look at good aesthetician practices which should be adhered to at all times.

Thorough knowledge

A good aesthetician should, first and foremost, have a complete and thorough knowledge of both human biology and up-to-date industry procedures and treatments. One ought to be able to assess a client’s concerns and prescribe a treatment plan according to the individual – especially if there are certain contraindications, such as sensitivity, eczema, rosacea or acne.

Education is vital for an aesthetician to deliver the best treatments and results for their clients. Having a firm foundation in the human anatomy and aesthetic procedures is a must, but continuing one’s education is just as important.

Asking questions

Being able to properly diagnose a client’s concerns is the only way to develop an effective treatment plan. One can’t expect to formulate an accurate diagnosis without probing and asking a client the right questions. While assessing the skin might let you know that the person most likely has acne, it’s only through talking to them and digging deeper that you might discover that they actually have Papulopustular Rosacea. Here are some questions you might ask a client:

+ What are your main skin concerns?
+ Is today a good, bad or normal skin day for you?
+ What kind of acne do you normally get (cysts, little bumps, pustules, etc)?
+ When do you find your skin is the most sensitive?
+ When did this symptom develop?
+ Is your skincare regime simple or include a lot of products? What products are in your regime?

Your qualifications matter

Receiving a qualification, be it a certificate, diploma or degree, is important in cementing your knowledge in the field. However, it should not be hidden away. Having your qualifications on display also lets your clients – and future clients – know that that you are certified and able to practice. This is another reason to continually look for further education opportunities and update your skills.

Cause minimal irritation

A good aesthetician should always look for the least invasive and irritating option for their client. Needless aggravating procedures will only upset the skin and may lead to more issues down the road. One ought to be able to assess every case individually and prescribe the most effective treatment with short and long term results in mind.

 

Main Image Source: Renee Rouleau Skin Care

Why Eating Well Can Improve Your Satisfaction With Your Health and Wellness Treatment

 

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The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend enjoying a variety of nutritious foods from the five food groups daily and to drink plenty of water to live a healthy lifestyle. Sadly, based on an Australian Health Survey conducted from 2011-2012, most Australians did not meet these recommendations. Not only is a healthy diet obviously better for your overall health, adding a balanced diet and maintaining good nutritional habits are especially important for those undergoing any health and wellness treatments. Small changes in diet can help speed up the bodies natural healing mechanisms, improve physiological functions, decrease signs of ageing, and make you feel better overall.

The Five Food Groups

The ADG recommends eating a wide variety of foods from the five food groups daily. The five food groups include:

  1. Vegetables and legumes/bean
  2. Fruit
  3. Dairy – Milk, yoghurt, cheese
  4. Protein – Lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, tofu
  5. Grain (cereal foods, grain filled bread, etc.)

How eating better can improve wellness treatment results…

Those who strive to eat well both before and after their procedures (if not all the time!) should see positive health benefits. Fatty fish and dark leafy greens help to fight inflammation which can be especially useful after surgery. Oranges and garlic can help to improve circulation and supply blood to tissues producing healthy skin which will complement any dermal treatment. Eating a balanced diet can help maintain a healthy weight after liposuction.

How can you help others?
Students at the Australasian College of Health and Wellness (TACHW) study Nutrition in Practice, which provides training in dietary needs, wellness and anti-ageing which can be applied across many practice settings. Students learn how to create patient-specific nutrition plans based on specific dietary requirements; learn how to help patients understand the importance of exercise on ageing and weight management, and understand the role of hormones and the body in relation the health and the ageing process.  Nutrition is a big part in being able to provide a whole approach to wellness and aesthetics, and gives you the ability to give important and relevant advice to patients regardless of any other treatment or surgery they may be having.

 

Main Image Source: Live Simply Natural