As a medical esthetician that has struggled severely with acne herself, Cassandra wished so badly that there was an esthetician who specialized in treating acne. Because unfortunately, not all estheticians are. So, Cassandra wanted to share some tips from those who actually are. Here are 5 ways estheticians treat breakouts on themselves and others.
#1 Estheticians help you identify your skin type and triggers.
Cassandra got to meet an esthetician named Alex Hernandez. She works at a clinic called the Face Reality Clinic. Face Reality has been around for 16 years, and they’re located in a California town called Danville. The estheticians there literally specialize in acne treatment. Cassandra went to the clinic and tested some of their acne-friendly, cruelty-free skincare, and asked acne-focused questions about lifestyle, nutrition, soap, and skincare product choices.
Estheticians who specialize in acne understand the different types of acne and what’s been medically proven by science to treat blemishes. For example, the estheticians at Face Reality go through training and have certifications beyond their regular esthetic education which allows them to learn, understand, and care for acne-prone skin. In general, estheticians not only help with skincare, they give you an understanding of your skin and an individualized explanation on breakouts and triggers acne. What triggers acne for some people may not trigger acne for others, and experts like estheticians use their education to figure out what you’re up against and how to treat it.
#2 Estheticians help you build a routine and put your products in the right order.
It’s not only products that matter. You have to put the products in the right order. You have to have the sequence so your skin can receive the products in the best way possible. A lot of acne products and advanced formulas dry out our skin when we should be supporting and hydrating it.
Face Reality Moisture Balance Toner -$29
This is a great option for people who have dry skin and acne. This has glycerin, sodium gluconate, and yes, a small amount of alcohol and witch hazel. However, it actually helps this product penetrate into the skin. This is fine for dry-skinned people, and it is phenomenal as a balancing toner. It also works extremely well under this sunscreen.
Face Reality Daily SPF30 Lotion - $30
This is the daily SPF 30 lotion, and this is a sunscreen that is made for acne-prone skin. This protects the skin, it doesn’t overly strip it or overly dry it, but it also doesn’t make you oily. Cassandra loves this. It blends in so smoothly and flawlessly as it has those chemical/organic filters. It also has ingredients such as macadamia green tea and allantoin that help to soothe the skin, especially if you have acne or inflammation from keratosis pilaris.
Inflammation is the reason that whiteheads look like volcanoes on the skin, and if you use different ingredients such as antioxidants or calming ingredients to decrease potential inflammation and fight against free radicals, your skin can be better supported. Remember, the sun is a also huge cause of damage and free radicals. Because the sun can turn our acne blemishes into scars and hyperpigmentation, SPF is our BFF!
Experts know that acne isn’t over once the blemish is gone because you still might have a mark, pigmentation. Even when you heal, sometimes it feels like the acne isn't gone because of how much it's impacted you. Face Reality deals with client mindset around acne too.
But, what's most notable is their line of products specially tailored to acne prone skin. For instance, their mandelic acid serum is amazing. Mandelic acid is an amazing ingredient that comes from bitter almonds. Mandelic acid is water-soluble, and it’s more hydrating. So, it goes onto the skin without overly stripping.
However, not all mandelic acid is created the same, and this is where we get into chirality and chemistry. When it comes to chemistry, you can think of different molecules as having shapes. You have different molecules and different shapes, and depending on if you have something that is D chiral or L-chiral, these shapes act different on the skin because of how they bond.
This is L mandelic acid. The L stands for the chirality, and this mandelic acid at 8% is potent and effective, but it’s gentle. It’s penetrating and non-stripping. Face reality has different strengths of mandelic acid that are less and more, and Face Reality is probably the best mandelic acid serum that Cassandra has ever used because of how it bonds and penetrates into the skin.
When she put it on, she saw results. As someone who has Fitzpatrick type 2 skin, her blemishes do tend to leave a little redness behind, but this exfoliates that layer without stripping the rest. Her face loves this!
So, this goes to say that when aestheticians work on acne-prone skin, they don’t just go through a bunch of new products at once. They work with you, and they work with what you’ve got. For instance, if you have a skincare routine, and you’re changing out a whole bunch of different products all at the same time, your skin may freakout. And at that point, you won’t know which products or which change made that breakout happen, but that’s why acne estheticians switch out all of the products systemically and then assess how your skin is taking it.
Estheticians work with you, swap things out, and help you create a solid routine. Truthfully, you might just need to switch one thing. That’s what Cassandra did with this sulfur spot treatment.
Sulfur Spot Treatment - $29
#3 Estheticians also do advanced treatments like chemical peels and different LED light therapy.
Estheticians even do microcurrent devices or radio frequency. A lot of these treatments have to be done in professional clinics or a place like Face Reality.
#4 Estheticians help you find out the eating habits that work best for you.
The estheticians at Face Reality focus on nutrition, and they understand that nutrition is not "one size fits all." They simply understand that what we put in our bodies is used to make new skin cells. Alex, the esthetician, took Cassandra through how she would review someone’s diet, and it was very different from a dietician. Face Reality doesn’t do that, but they do help you understand and identify what things do and don’t sit well with you. They encourage you to track some of the things that have caused breakouts for others. Furthermore, they have an entire list of foods/ingredients that they do and don’t recommend based on evidence and what other acne-prone people struggle with. This is why it’s important to make sure that you’re getting a personalized approach.
#5 Estheticians help with building lifestyle habits that go along with healthy skin.
Next, we have to talk about lifestyle. Exercise is important for circulation and health, but if you’re sweating, does it block your pores and make the acne worse? Perhaps, but it could be something as simple as your sweat mixing with a laundry detergent that your skin doesn't like. Estheticians help you understand small lifestyle habits for healthy skin like changing your laundry detergent. Certain detergents can irritate the skin. In the past, when Cassandra would sweat, the residual laundry detergent would irritate her skin and break out. Years later (today), Cassandra's jaw dropped when Alex started talking to Cassandra about the effects of laundry detergent. When speaking with her, Cassandra thought, “Finally, someone who gets it!” While all of these things are not first action treatments for acne, they can indeed have an impact on your body and health
This is the difference between grabbing things off of the and seeing an esthetician acne specialist. People like Alex can help guide you and build a protocol for breakouts. Acne also evolves, and we have to learn how to live well and accept it.
That’s how the Face Reality team approaches acne treatment. Although we may want fast results, things that matter and are worthwhile normally take an adaptive approach. We hope these tips help you understand what estheticians do to treat breakouts, and please know these services are available to you too!