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As an esthetician or skin care professional, you may have heard some controversy over the matter of performing extractions during a routine facial service. What may seem like a relatively simple procedure can actually raise great controversy in the world of esthetics. Some estheticians regard extractions as a matter of providing a complete service while others see this as inflicting trauma to the skin. Learning more about both sides of the issue can help you as a professional in making an informed decision and explaining the issue to your clients.

What is an extraction?

As a basic review, an extraction is removing impurity (plug of dead skin or oil) from a pore or pimple. It is the removal of both blackheads and whiteheads from the skin. Extractions occur after the skin has been thoroughly cleansed, exfoliated and sometimes steamed to soften the area prior to extraction.

Why Do It?

Extractions are considered a “must” by many estheticians when performing a routine facial because they want to leave their clients skin looking and feeling it’s best. When done correctly, a simple extraction should be quick and relatively painless. As a trained esthetician it is important to know if your client has sensitive skin which would make them more prone to the damage that can be caused by extractions.

Why Not?

Extractions should only be performed by a trained esthetician and should not be done in excess. Extractions can cause broken capillaries or sin irritations that can lead to more (not less) breakouts. Extractions can also cause discomfort for your client when done incorrectly so you should seek their permission before performing any type of extraction during their facial. Remember your client has the right to know any product or procedure being performed on their skin and make an informed choice.

Who Decides?

As an esthetician it may be entirely up to you or it may be a procedure within your salon to do or not do extractions. It is important to check the guidelines of your employer and know their policies before performing any procedure. Remember to explain extractions and their benefits and possible complications to your client. Trust is an important part of any relationship and your client needs to know you are being open and honest with them. The last thing you want as a professional is a reputation for inflicting unnecessary and unwanted procedures or damage to your client’s skin.

For more great information about home skin care products and acne treatments, check us out online at http://www.bellaninainstitute.com!

Choosing a good facial cleanser is perhaps the most important and basic decision you can make when it comes to skin care. There are thousands of different products on the market today that all promise to magically transform your skin from bad to beautiful, wrinkled to smooth or blemished to clear but take a step back to basics. Fundamental skin care on a daily basis is what really makes the difference in improving the overall look and feel of your skin and at the root of all that is a good facial cleanser.

Many people make the mistake of using a basic soap and water regimen on their face and think this is doing the trick. What they don’t realize is that soap contains several ingredients that will actually clog the pores and can lead to more skin problems developing. Depending on the soap it may clog your pores, increase dryness or simply leave a filmy residue behind that may not be completely obvious at first but will negatively impact the overall look of your skin.

A facial cleanser is designed and formulated to remove dirt, debris and grime from the pores. The pores of your face need to be cleaned regularly because it is the build up of oils and grime that leads to oily skin, acne, blemishes and uneven skin tones. A cleanser will penetrate the skin’s outer layer and wash away this undesirable matter without adding other oils.

There are many different types of cleansers available on the shelves today, so how can you choose which product will be best for you?

First look at what skin type a product is intended for. Most cleansers will work for all skin types but if it is targeted for oily or dry skin, only use that product if it matches your needs. Different formulas will contain different ingredients to target these problems and if this is not a condition you are currently experiencing, don’t use products focused on it.

A second important factor to consider is all different product grades. Most face cleansers will contain preservatives that will increase their shelf life. If you are looking for all natural or organic products, read the ingredients carefully before making your purchase. Just remember that all natural products will not last as long (especially after being opened) so purchasing them in smaller quantities might be more cost effective in the long run.

Finally, pay attention to your skin and how it reacts to any new cleanser. If you notice any redness, irritation, itching or dryness after use, discontinue immediately. This may indicate an allergic reaction. Remember that your skin and its health are just as important as your overall health and these symptoms should not be ignored.

With regular use you will begin to see the benefits a good daily cleanser has to offer your skin. A cleanser can be used up to twice daily and should be paired with a good toner and moisturizer to complete your basic skin care routine.

Stepping into a day spa is meant to be a relaxing and soothing experience. The last thing you want, as a therapist or a client, is confusion about what to expect from specific services being offered. Although specific techniques can vary slightly, there are several key benefits of receiving a deep tissue massage. This brief overview will help you decide if this service is meant for you.

The “What”

As the name suggests, deep tissue massage therapy focuses on the deepest layers of muscle tissue. Through a series of carefully controlled strokes and applied pressure, the therapist attempts to release chronic tension stored in the body. Although it is a massage, deep massage is an intense and highly focused therapy that may cause slight soreness during or immediately after your treatment. When done correctly, this soreness should disappear within a day or two.

The “Why”

At this point you may wonder what the benefit is to receiving a deep tissue massage and that curiosity is well founded. When most people are searching for a massage they want a soothing experience and the idea of mild discomfort can be off putting. Don’t be quick to look past this valuable service however because the ultimate benefits can far outweigh those temporary effects.
Sore muscles are frequently the result of inflammation and a build up of toxins within the muscle tissue. During your deep tissue massage the therapist will work the muscles to release the toxins and restore normal blood and oxygen flow to those regions of the body. Note: Because of the release of toxins, drinking lots of water after your treatment is very important.

The “When”

Deep tissue massage therapy is recommended for individuals that suffer from chronic pain, are involved in frequent physical activity (such as an athlete) or patients with physical injuries. This technique is better for clients seeking massage that will stimulate and treat chronic conditions as opposed to one time massage sessions for tension relief. This type of therapy is wonderful for those undergoing physical therapy and seeking additional or holistic pain relief.

The “Who”

Deep tissue massage should not be used on clients who have had recently performed surgery. Clients with cardiovascular disease or heart conditions should avoid this type of treatment as well as pregnant women or recent patients from chemo or radiation therapies. The intensive nature and release of toxins can cause serious ramifications with these conditions and should never be undergone without the specific consent of a physician.

The “Where”

Deep tissue massage therapy is available in day spas and clinics across the country. Don’t be afraid to ask the credentials of your massage therapist. Remember that massage and bodywork is designed to ease muscle relief and can be a very personal experience – trust in your therapist is key to establishing a good and mutually beneficial relationship. Do not trust your body and heath to someone that has not received the proper training or you don’t feel comfortable with.

Conclusion

Learning more about massage therapy and the benefits available to you is a wonderful way to seek out new treatments for your existing and ongoing conditions. Remember that deep tissue massage therapy is designed to be a healing experience for the body and can cause mild discomfort as your therapist reaches the deepest levels of muscle tension to release built up toxins. Learn about your therapist and ask questions about what benefits you can expect from this wonderful treatment!

Mother Nature keeps some of her greatest secrets to better skin care tucked away in her plant, flower and herbal remedies. One of the greatest hidden treasures is Aloe for its wonderful and effective healing properties. Widely known for its use on burns and skin irritations, did you know that aloe is also a popular ingredient in anti-aging skin care products?

So how does aloe benefit the skin exactly? It begins by hydrating the skin cells which is perhaps the most important part of achieving healthier skin overall. By refreshing your cells and providing them with the moisture they so desperately need, you are allowing healthy new skin cells to develop. It is the accumulation of dead skin cells that leads to your skin appearing aged, dull and lackluster.

Many skin care products utilize aloe in combination with other herbal and natural remedies to maximize the benefits and tackle multiple skin treatments simultaneously. Since aloe can soften those persistent dead skin cells, it makes exfoliating them away that much simpler. By revealing the healthy new skin cells just beneath the surface of all that build up, your skin will begin to look smoother with a better, more even texture.

Aloe stimulates and increases blood flow to your skin cells. As a topical ointment it can be used directly on irritations, burns, rashes and sunburns to reduce inflammation and soothe pain and itching. This is achieved because aloe contains natural anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. Note: The use of aloe for medicinal purposes should always be under the advice of a doctor – this article is should not be used for medical recommendations.

Finding products that utilize Aloe is not a difficult task. Aloe is used all over the world and the Cosmeceuticals industry is no exception to this. Try an aloe infused moisturizer to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Daily use will help rejuvenate the skin and allow healthier new skin cells to develop. A deep cleansing mask will help to alleviate clogged pores and clear skin blemishes. Use a sun block containing aloe to prevent damage from the sun before it occurs or a topical aloe moisturizer to reduce damage that has already occurred.

Find your Aloe treatment today and you to can benefit from all the secrets Mother Nature has to offer.

Aromatherapy is a service growing in popularity across the United States as people seek new ways to decrease stress and increase their energy through natural and holistic means. This technique blends the use of essential oils with therapeutic massage body work to relieve tension, stimulate relaxation of the mind and help increase the energy flow throughout the body. Aromatherapy seeks to utilize the power of your senses to indulge your body and mind throughout your experience.

The use of essential oils is pivotal to any aromatherapy treatment because it is these specific oils that will provide many of the benefits this service offers. “Essential oils” is a general term that includes natural, aromatic, volatile, plant oils and absolutes. These are often coupled with other natural ingredients to increase the effects such as oils, powders, sugars, clays and mud. These combinations will not only provide the stimulation to your senses through scent but your skin will benefit as well from the ingredients of the natural products.

Essential oils are NOT the same as perfumed oils and this distinction should be clearly understood. Perfumed/fragrant oils have synthetic chemicals added to them and will not provide therapeutic benefits for the body. These products are not regulated however, so it is important to really understand the ingredients of any oils and understand if they are true essential oils designed for aromatherapy or not.

Aromatherapy is the unique combination of the healing powers found within all natural ingredients and the benefits offered through intense muscle massage and bodywork. Therapists trained in aromatherapy are skilled in determining the correct balance of oils, natural products and technique that will benefits the client to the fullest extent possible. Some therapists are trained in holistic techniques that utilize the benefits of aromatherapy as a treatment for many chronic health conditions.

As with any type of massage therapy, the benefits will depend entirely on the individual receiving the treatment. Although massage therapy offers many health benefits, this therapy should not be used in place of other therapies. Aromatherapy is a treatment that can be enjoyed by anyone and should be seen as an indulgent experience that will provide a temporary escape from the stresses of everyday life and stimulate the mind and body. This can be a wonderful gift for someone in your life or a chance to give yourself the gift of relaxation.

Learn more today by visiting http://www.bellaninadayspa.com or visit our sister company http://www.bellaninainstitute.com for more information about essential oils and massage therapy continuing education opportunities!

Walking through an average cosmetic or health care aisle can be a wild adventure as well as an educational experience. The shelves are lined with mysterious concoctions, all claiming to be the miracle cure for your skin. These special brews come complete with fancy containers, shiny labels and seven syllable words to boggle your mind. Venture closer to these magic elixirs and notice the fine print:

Normal skin
Dry Skin
Oily Skin
Sensitive Skin
Combination

You feel your fingers moving up to your cheek as you wonder; what skin type am I? What if I have sensitive skin and just don’t know it? Does one dry patch mean I need dry skin care? Will products meant for oily skin completely ruin my face?

The list of questions can go on and on with no end in sight until you realize that you can come to this mysterious world armed with knowledge and ready to go to battle. Choose wisely and you will benefit greatly from your decision. Choose poorly and you will need to return and choose again.

Normal Skin

First of all remove “normal” and insert “average”. People with other skin types are not “abnormal” and should not feel as such. Millions of people have each skin type listed and there are products specially targeted for each type.

A product labeled “normal skin” is intended for use on healthy, hydrated, even toned skin with small pores and no history of irritation from skin care products. The skin retains good elasticity, good complexion and there are no blemishes.

Most “normal skin” targeted products can be used on all skin types but may not produced treatment effects for certain skin issues.

Oily Skin

Perhaps one of the more dreaded skin types to have because of the negative connotations associated with it and potential self consciousness it can create. The result of overactive sebaceous (oil-producing) glands, this skin type can appear quite shiny, feel slightly greasy to the touch and is prone to acne and enlarged pores.

Products targeted for this skin type typically contain ingredients meant to cleanse the pores, exfoliate the skin and remove the excess oil and grime build up. These products would not be very beneficial for people with dry skin.

Dry Skin

Dry skin can be the result of genetics, the environment, exposure to chemicals and a variety of other causes. Dry skin is trademarked by tiny pores, flaky or ashy texture, fine lines and wrinkles and/or cracked skin.

Products for dry skin focus on re-hydrating the skin cells and stimulating healthy skin cells to develop. Many products will contain fat-soluble ingredients that penetrate the skin’s outer layer to reach the interior layers to replenish moisture from within. Exfoliants are used to shed away dead skin cells build up and reduce flaky texture.

Combination

As the name suggests, this skin type is a combination of the three above. Meaning it is possible (and frequent) to have normal skin with an oily “t-zone” which is the bridge of the nose and forehead. Perhaps dry lips with normal skin or dry forehead but the rest of your face is normal.

This skin type generally uses spot specific treatments to correct problem areas and “normal skin” care products for the rest of the face. This could include blemish control for oily areas if needed, masques for application on the t-zone, special creams for the eyes or lips, etc. Consult with an esthetician or dermatologist if you need more help creating an effective skin care routine.

Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin is very typically dry and very reactive to heat, cold and any substances used on it. That can include all skin products, hair products and chemicals. Irritation may include rash, hives, itching, redness and swelling.

These skin care products are specially designed to omit using chemicals known to irritate sensitive skin but cannot be guaranteed. People with especially reactive skin should always consult with a doctor before beginning any new skin care treatment. Discontinue use of products at the first sign of negative reaction and take precaution by always wearing sun block to protect the sensitive tissue.

Final Thoughts

Have you figured out where you’re at yet and what to buy? Don’t be ashamed if you don’t have “normal skin” because the truth of the matter is, most people don’t. Focus on what problem areas you would like to focus on and choose a skin care routine that will be easy to maintain long term. The most important issue in skin care is persistence and maintenance. You must follow your individual plan every day and stick with it for your entire life. That is not meant to sound like a prison sentence, merely a reminder that skin care is not something you can do occasionally and expect to see real results.

Winter is coming and that means falling snow, holidays, sled rides and…..dry skin. Every winter thousands of people dread the appearance or worsening of their dry skin symptoms and seek new ways to beat this powerful foe. This year, take control of your skin and don’t let itchy and flaky skin put a damper on your winter wonderland.

Dry or itchy skin is a common condition that can occur all year round but peaks during the colder months when there is a drop in the humidity. Normally healthy and hydrated skin becomes dry, cracked and flaky. Mature skin may show increased fine lines and wrinkles due to the lack of moisture. For the most part, dry skin effects the arms, hands, legs and feet but can also occur on the trunk of the body or even the face (chapped lips anyone?).

The most common complaint when suffering from “winter skin” is a persistent itchiness that can be made worse when in contact with fabrics or liquids. Over time excessive cracking can and will lead to thick and rough patches of skin (called lichenification). This thicker skin not only develops lines and wrinkles but is prone to developing painful cracks (fissures) that may result in bleeding and irritated skin. Severe skin conditions can result from bacterial infections that can develop because of these and other conditions such as nummular eczema (red, scaly patches of skin) or dermatitis (inflamed skin).

The potential outcomes of winter skin are enough to take notice and take action before things get out of hand. Always remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and that is especially true in health care. Developing a proper skin care routine and faithfully maintaining a schedule will reduce your chances of developing winter skin this season.

Why does winter skin develop in the first place? The cells in the outermost layer of your skin are designed to protect the body and hold in the water to hydrate the interior layers. Loss of this water prevents the outer layer from doing its job and soon the moisture your skin so desperately needs to stay healthy slips away and you are left with dry and unhealthy skin. This can occur from over washing the hands (a frequent problem in the nursing field), exposure to harsh chemicals, changes in humidity and the natural aging process are all frequent culprits. Although some people naturally have “dry skin” and suffer this problem all the time.

Treatment options are available and can be quite effective in preventing or relieving the symptoms of winter skin. Water is not the solution and can frequently worsen the problem, not solve it so step away from the sink! A good moisturizer however is a great way to penetrate the skin and trap moisture in so the skin becomes smooth and supple. Choose a moisturizer specifically designed to target dry skin and use it regularly. If you have more severe symptoms, consult with a doctor and discuss potential treatment options – dry skin can sometimes require pharmaceutical grade products that are not available over the counter. Not all over the counter products to treat itchiness are safe to use on irritated skin so consult with a doctor or pharmacist before use.

Increase the humidity in your home or office if possible. There is no way to change the environment outside but by making strides to limit your exposure to the dry air, the better your skin will feel. Humidifiers are readily available in most local stores and online.

Remember to use sun block, even in the winter. Some sun blocks include a moisturizer along with SPF protection so you would receive double benefits! If you are outside, cover up your skin and limit sun exposure when possible. Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean your skin is not suffering from UV radiation.

Cover up your hands when you go outside and remove wet articles of clothing as soon as possible. The skin on your hands is some of the thinnest skin on your body and cannot bear being constantly exposed during the winter months! Stay warm and protect your skin!

Avoid skin treatments that will exfoliate or strip the skin of essential oils if possible. Remember it is the loss of moisture and natural oils that dried your skin out to begin with, don’t cause further aggravation with harsh chemicals! This can include masques, exfoliants and peels.

Protect your lips when going outside. Use a lip balm to keep the moisture in and banish those unsightly cracks – you will thank yourself. Remember that irritated skin reacts poorly when exposed to different materials and spicy food on sensitive lips can cause more than just a little discomfort.

Learning to control your winter skin is a battle well worth fighting. Just think of all the discomfort you have endured in the past seasons and make a commitment for this year to be different (a great New Year’s resolution!). If you are prone to dry skin, try keeping your regimen going all year round to see maximum benefits. Some treatments may require a few days to work to their full extent so be patient with your skin and allow it the time it needs to heal.

We know, it sounds strange, but the benefits of Retinol for the skin are pretty amazing! You may be wondering what the heck Retinol is and how beneficial could it be if you haven’t already heard of it but trust us, you have! Retinol is the fancy name for Vitamin A and we know you’ve heard of that!

Vitamin A is actually one of the most beneficial vitamins that can be used in skin care because its small molecular structure allows it to penetrate the outer layer of skin and reach those deeper layers where problems can develop. Anti-aging skin care products utilize vitamin A for this very reason because it can help restore collagen production, increase skin elasticity and provide a healthy, glowing complexion.

The retinol is actually assisting in revitalizing normal cell renewal. As the body ages, cells can become misshapen and altered, making your skin develop fine lines, wrinkles and early sagging tissue around the eyes, cheeks and throat. This is where Retinol becomes so valuable because it can reverse damage while helping new and healthy skin cell development to prevent further damage. Pretty great, right?

Vitamin A is not only important in healthy skin care – it is important for growth, development and good health for your entire body. In fact, a deficiency in Vitamin A can lead to serious health risks so be sure to watch your vitamin A intake carefully (note: vitamin A in extreme quantities can lead to severe health problems – consult with a nutritionist or dietician if you need further information).

Many products containing Retinol are serums or creams that are formulated to be rubbed directly onto the skin. Continuing use of products containing Retinol should result in the diminishment of fine lines and wrinkles and improve the overall texture of your skin. You skin may be more sensitive to the sun when using products containing Retinol – be sure to protect your skin by using a SPF 30 sun block. It is important to pay attention to potential interactions with other skin care products; you should avoid using multiple skin treatments containing Retinol.

How many times in life do we go into a store looking for skin care solutions and end up leaving dazed and confused by which product works best? Walk down the beauty aisle at your local pharmacy and you will literally be bombarded with hundreds of products all promising you fast and effective results. With all this information being thrown your way, it is easy to get a little lost and certainly not be sure which product is really the one you need.

Before you run away and hide under the covers, try to re-evaluate your needs and shop smarter. Do your homework before choosing any new skin care products, research the key ingredients and learn about the efficacy (effectiveness) of the key ingredients from an independent source rather than from manufacturer claims. By utilizing the web to your advantage you can research product reviews from actual consumers and get the real “dirt” on popular name brand items before making an investment of your time, money and skin care health.

Once you have taken the steps towards better skin care knowledge its time to buckle down and make a choice. Skin care products can range from generic brands costing only a few dollars for massive quantities to high end merchandise costing hundreds of dollars for only an ounce. While the generic brand tub of lotion may seem like a great deal at first glance take a moment to consider the alternatives. If you are looking for potent skin care, you’re not going to find the results you want in the massive gallon of lotion on discount for $1.99 next to the candy bars. Step away from the sale and move on in your search.

The best plan of attack when it comes time to update your skin care routine is search for products available in small sample sized containers. This can come in the form of travel sized options (usually 2 ounces or less) or small foils packets (sometimes just referred to as foils). Many companies offer sample sets of products that are designed to be used together – these cost significantly less than their full sized counterparts and give you the opportunity to try a product without being commitment to an entire bottle. In these somewhat difficult financial times nothing hurts worse than buying something that turns out to be a dud.

When to invest…

Once you have tested a product and feel it is a good match for your needs, make the investment (even if it means spending a little more) and buy a 4 to 8 ounce container. Several skin care products are specially formulated to provide drastic results over time (sometimes upwards of six months) so don’t give up on a product that doesn’t transform your entire face overnight. Whether you are performing preventative skin care (always a good strategy) or trying to reverse damage (like fine line and wrinkles), the skin needs time to adapt and change. By trying to rush the process you could actually risk hurting your skin instead of helping it.

Depending on the recommended usage and quantity needed, 4 to 8 ounces is a relatively safe choice for your initial purchase and should last long enough for you to begin seeing results before needing to reorder. Buying in bulk may not be the wisest decision because skin care products, once opened, do have a shelf life. Depending on the product this can range from 3 months to a year (on average). Check with the manufacturer for details if you need more information on a particular product.

Time to Review!

So what do you need to remember next time you hit the drug store to find a new skin care cream to take care of those pesky crow’s feet?

Start Small and Do Your Research!

Skin care isn’t rocket science but it is an art to be mastered. Mistakes will happen but you can avoid wasting serious time and money by shopping smarter!

Open up the page of any magazine and you will be face to face with the smoothest and most flawless skin ever. Models, actresses and celebrities alike seem to be immune to the common skin irritations that plague the rest of us. How do they do? Is it the hundreds on dollars they spend a year with stylists and dermatologists that keep them looking so young and beautiful? Maybe a little but in reality it is hundreds of hours air brushing out the flaws. Anyone can look perfect with the right technology.

So what are we to do when faced with this dousing of cold water that absolute perfection is not only unattainable, it’s unavoidable on the covers of magazines everywhere? How are average women (and men if you can believe it) ever supposed to feel good against such impossible standards? Is it completely hopeless?

Definitely not! While you may never achieve that silky smooth complexion all models seem to enjoy, you can have beautiful, toned skin that radiates your good health and happiness. Beautiful skin is clear, even and smooth. Even as we begin to age it is possible to beat the hands of time and keep your skin looking fabulous.

What is the reality?

The reality is that it is years of abuse to the face that is leading more and more women down the path of despair. Looking back over your younger years do you remember fabulous tans, lots of make up and never applying a drop or moisturizer? It is that sort of behavior that leads to premature wrinkles, clogged pores, uneven skin tones and sagging skin. Facial skin is perhaps the most delicate because it is much thinner than the skin on your back, hands, legs or chest. Because of this it is important to take care of your body, even when your young and can’t see the damage so easily and use proper preventative skin care products.

Your solution…?

If nothing else, try a Cosmeceuticals grade skin moisturizer to help smooth fine lines, clear skin and assist in fading uneven color. Cosmeceuticals are a great way to get a more effective result because they are one step below pharmaceutical level products (that require a doctor’s prescription to obtain). These products are specially designed with aging or mature skin as the target for treatment.

Eye crèmes are designed for the ultra sensitive issue surrounding the eye. Fine lines will begin to develop in this region in your early twenties as the result of squinting, sun damage or sleeping on your side/stomach. These crèmes will help to restore lost collagen and smooth the skin without causing irritation.

Perfection Crème is formulated for the face and hands and will not only hydrate the skin but help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while evening the skin tone. This is a wonderful choice for baby boomers looking for a simple moisturizer to add to their daily routine.

There are other simple tricks to looking your best like eating healthy, exercise and keeping a happy and stress free life. Believe it or not the health of your skin can be affected by everything you encounter! But just because you may have celebrated (or scorned) your last birthday because you turned 50, it doesn’t mean you have to act or look like your 50.

Here’s to looking your best at any age!