When healthy, supple, glowing skin is the goal; consistency is the key. Far too often people drift in and out of effective skin care routines, living in a never-ending quest to find the miracle product that’s going to transform their skin overnight. I hate to break it to you, but there is no such product. As with all things in life, including fitness, education, and artistic development, the magic pill is consistency.
Let’s start with the anecdotal story of my friend and client Jack (please note: names have been changed to protect the stubborn). Jack and I met socially years ago and after a few conversations about improving his oily, acne prone skin, he came in for an appointment. We began with a simple facial for cleansing and he took my advice and invested in some skin care products. Miraculously he saw almost immediate results; clearer skin, better texture, etc. Thus begins our cycle: Jack gets results. Jack stops doing treatments. Jack starts buying skincare from random sources with no knowledge of his skin. Jack laments the condition of his skin during brow waxing appointments. Jack’s esthetician diplomatically reminds him of how happy he was with his skin when he was on the wagon. I am pleased to report Jack is now a member of our monthly membership, using his simple at home regimen, and is thrilled with his skin again.
The scenario outlined above is one many of us experience first hand in lots of areas of our lives. In my own case it’s with commitment to healthy eating and exercise. I know what to do. For me, it’s cut the sugar and pick up heavy things and put them down again. I’ll do it for a while and get in great shape, and then gradually my treats go from once a weekend, to the entire weekend, to gluttonous constant sugar addiction. Wash, rinse and repeat. I’m on a consistent path now and enjoying the occasional treat. Color me shocked: it’s working.
Let’s explore the reasons why consistent skincare treatments, often as simple as cleansing facials, are the key to lasting results and great skin.
- You may not be washing your face properly. I get it. Life is fast. You’re in the shower, throwing on your cleanser, rubbing it around a few seconds and washing it off. Take the time to wash your face for a full minute with a cleanser appropriate for your skin type. Devoting that 60 seconds to your cleanser will allow the active ingredients to work, effectively removing debris and sebum from your skin. During a facial, your esthetician will take ample time preparing your skin to receive the treatment. You will be surprised how much your skin benefits from this daily attention as well.
- Gentle Exfoliation keeps your skin bright and allows for product absorption. Don’t overdo this! A soft, gentle exfoliant is best and won’t irritate your skin. Most facials include some type of exfoliation. Estheticians often use a gentle scrub to buff away dead skin cells, but in some cases, an enzyme or chemical exfoliant is applied. Investing in the best ingredients for your skin is futile if your product is sitting on top of a layer of dead skin cells.
- Leave extractions to the pros. Did you know that in most cases acne scars are caused by self inflicted wounds from poorly executed extractions rather than the pustule itself? Estheticians have the skill set and the tools to extract open and closed comedones (blackheads and whiteheads) as well as milia (tiny keratinized material presenting as little white balls under the skin) with ease and without traumatizing your skin. Facials without extractions are like haircuts without scissors. Let your esthi clear your pores so your skin can breathe again.
- Facial massage is more than just fluff. I often remark that people come to us for lots of different reasons but they come back when the estheticians hands are magic. There’s certainly a psychological response when the massage feels great, but did you know there are clinically proven benefits to good ol’ fashioned facial massage? Facial massage helps to tone facial muscles and release tension. Many people carry stress in the jaw, temples and forehead. Massage can help reduce that dramatically. Studies have also shown that facial massage improves circulation and blood flow to the area resulting in healthier looking skin. Increased blood flow deflates puffiness and brings more oxygen to the skin, promoting cellular regeneration and boosting collagen production.
- Skincare treatments and home regimens are like diet and exercise. You wouldn’t pay a personal trainer to help get your body in shape and then hit the drive thru for a fast food dinner on the way home. Don’t diminish your investment in professional treatments by feeding your skin ineffective products. Skin professionals undergo extensive training to understand how ingredients impact your skin. Listen to us. Don’t listen to that girl you went to highschool with who’s peddling sketchy skincare products out of her car with no knowledge of what’s in it, how it works, or whether it’s appropriate for your individual skin. Buy all the leggings and weight loss shakes you want from her, but for heaven’s sake, leave the skincare to the experts. A custom tailored regimen suited to your needs is often much simpler than you think.
When adhering to consistent skincare treatments and using the right products, you’ll be amazed at the results you’ll see. It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Less is more. What is your favorite treatment or product you can’t live without? Let us know in the comments below.