Ask the Experts
What lifestyle factors could be making my clients’ acne worse?
Acne is something that affects most people. While it stems from hormonal imbalances, there are also lifestyle factors that could be causing or contributing to clients’ breakouts.
Alongside a good skincare regime, sometimes stopping further inflammation comes down to simple things like managing clients’ gut health and instilling good lifestyle habits.
In clinic, I start each treatment programme with a 60-minute consultation, asking the client questions around digestion, what skincare products they use; and how regularly they clean their bed sheets, phone and make-up brushes, because what they eat, use on their skin and how often they wash items that touch their face could all be heightening their symptoms.
Clients also take in pesticides, preservatives, sugar and many other food additives that our body has only had to learn to process in the past 50 years, which is why gut health is so important.
Humans weren’t meant to forage on sugar and processed foods. These things cause a toxic build-up in the colon, which can show itself on the skin. However, a high dosage of cultures for 90 days can reduce that and assist in building up the colon wall, putting good bacteria back into the gut. I put my clients on an intake of probiotics between 30 to 50 billion cultures per day for three months, then reduce that down to a daily dosage of one to five billion cultures. You can’t control everything your clients eat but you can make sure they are getting good bacteria into their gut.
Dirty sheets are another thing that could be making their acne worse. Your customers spend a lot of time in the elements collecting dirt, pollution and oil on their skin, which they transfer onto their pillows and roll on every night. Clean sheets make such a huge difference in skin health, so recommend clients wash them once a week in hot water.
Pamela Marshall is a clinical aesthetician and co-founder of Mortar & Milk clinic in Fulham, London.
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How can I support employees when they are going through a tough time?
People in a caring profession often struggle to look after themselves.
To help your therapists work through personal problems and difficulties, invest in wellbeing in the workplace. Teach them techniques for selfimprovement and be ready to listen if they need your ear. Three ways you can help your therapists during tough times are:
1. Acknowledge and listen: Sometimes just letting your employees share what’s going on in their lives can be a real source of relief. It’s acknowledgement that they matter and, as they say, a problem shared is a problem halved.
In the spa industry, your therapists are the alchemists that change clients’ lives, so don’t forget or neglect those that create the gold. Show you listened in their time of need with a surprise wellbeing gift, such as a therapeutic blend.
2. Prioritise self-care: Your therapists should undergo treatments once a month, allowing for that self-care practice they desperately need. A team day out to a spa is another good idea.
3. Introduce mindful practices: When things become a little too much, breath meditation is a great way for your therapists to feel anchored and safe again.
Belly breathing meditation is a technique that helps people calm down and ground them in that moment. Advise therapists to put their hand on their stomach, breathe in deeply and then exhale slowly, emptying all their breath. Repeat a few times for the best results.
Terrence Barnardt, aka Terrence the Teacher, is a qualified clinical hypnotherapist, NLP practitioner and mindfulness expert for skincare brand Aromatherapy Associates. He practices at Harrods Wellness Clinic in London.
What are the skin benefits of clay-based products?
Clay is always a popular ingredient when it comes to skincare. By its very nature, clay is rich in minerals and typically used to cleanse and decongest the skin. It is also known to detoxify, remove excess oil and calm inflammation, making it a great product to use on clients with sensitive skin.
There are so many types of clay used in skincare products, each serving a purpose for different skin types. Kaolin is a very fine, gentle clay that cleanses and exfoliates, making it great for clients who suffer with sensitivity. It works to absorb excess oil, leaving skin smooth and decongested.
Another type that’s good for eliminating blocked pores is green clay. Known for its purifying properties, it removes excess oil and draws out toxins, leaving skin clear and glowing.
However, if your client wants a radiant complexion, then red clay will help you achieve this, thanks to its high levels of iron oxide. It leaves skin soft and peachy without drying it out.
Donna Tait is co-founder of Katherine Daniels Cosmetics, which she created with Kirsti Shuba. She has 39 years’ experience working as a therapist and trainer.
What is epigenetics and how does it work in skincare?
As an identical twin, I’ve always been fascinated by epigenetics; the science that studies change in the expressions of our genes without altering the actual underlying DNA sequence.
My twin and I are alike in many ways, which makes sense as our DNA sequences are copies of each other. However, we are not truly identical because DNA expression changes as we age and in response to individualised experiences. It’s crucial to understand that DNA expression patterns affect everyone, not just twins.
Different combinations of genes can be turned on or off in response to stimuli, and these combinations can be inherited or altered by lifestyle factors. Epigenetics describes how and why these changes occur and demonstrates that we can have a far greater influence on who we are and will be than perhaps we once thought.
The impact epigenetics will have on skincare is particularly exciting. Skin is our primary protective barrier to the harsh environment we live in and has the biggest risk and potential to epigenetic changes.
Scientists are now using these principles to create ground-breaking skincare formulas that impact cellular health and help change gene expression patterns over time, so skin looks and acts younger from the inside out. When we use the right kind of products for our skin we can help “reset” the epigenetic state of it by purging any damage and inflammation, strengthening its defences and preventing unwanted changes from occurring. Many now think the key to healthy, glowing skin is optimising its epigenetics.
Dr Neal Kitchen PhD is chief operating officer and geneticist at cosmeceutical skincare brand Hydropeptide, which uses the principles of epigenetics in its range.
How can I transition from a mobile spray tanner to a trainer?
If you want to make the move to become a trainer for a leading brand, then you need to put the effort in. Spend time trying and testing different brands to find the one you really love, then spread the word about it while building up your reputation – tagging the brand in pictures on social media and talking about them in interviews.
For example, I used the range from Crazy Angel, which I’m now brand ambassador for, years before they approached me to represent them. I got on to the company’s radar because I was spray tanning the cast of TV show The Only Way is Essex and some of them posted about my work on social media.
You’ve also got to have the confidence to stand in front of a group of students and get them to be as passionate about the service as you are. After all, it’s your reputation on the line. Also, training isn’t always easy. It often means early starts travelling all over the country and long hours, so make sure you have the flexibility to factor this in.
Becoming a trainer for a big brand also means doing seminars and live demos at press events and trade shows such as Professional Beauty. It might be worth investing in public speaking lessons to hone your skills and build your confidence.
Abbie McCann is owner of mobile tanning business Abbie’s Beauty Company and brand ambassador for pro brand Crazy Angel.