Professional Beauty
Professional Beauty


Ask the experts

What are the best ingredients to use to moisturise the skin?

Moisturisation is absolutely crucial for total skin health and there are so many factors that can cause dry or dehydrated skin: the weather, humidity, temperature, skincare, diet and lifestyle – particularly at the moment as it is hard to feel settled into a routine with the constant changes caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

This is why I believe that the key fundamentals of moisturisation will be huge for beauty in 2021, stripping back the external noise to focus on one extremely important “back to basics” area that can help clients’ skin to feel healthy.

A type of ingredient that can really help to rehydrate the skin is humectants. Common examples are hyaluronic acid, glycerin and lactic acid, some of which are naturally found in the skin and can be replenished through skincare. Humectants work to draw water into the skin from the environment and lower layers of the skin, while also keeping the gaps between cells in place to maintain skin structure for a smooth, supple and healthy-looking complexion.

Hyaluronic acid is a firm favourite of mine, found in Medik8’s bestselling liquid hydration serum Hydr8 B5, as it can hold up to 1,000 times its own weight in water, drawing hydration in like a magnet. This makes it incredible to include in a lightweight, silky serum.

Emollients are also crucial for moisturisation and a good example of this is squalene – a skinidentical oil which can slip into the skin’s natural barrier with ease. Emollients work to give the complexion a skin-like protection, preventing moisture from escaping.

If your clients already have moisturisation mastered then direct their attention to acids, particularly polyhydroxy acids (PHAs), a new generation of exfoliating acid.

With a larger molecular size than an AHA/BHA ingredient, PHAs are gentle because they do not penetrate further than the stratum corneum. They also work as moisture magnets, harnessing humectant properties, so are super hydrating, unlike your typical acid.

As the acid without the ouch, PHAs are here to glow up clients’ skincare routine, which is why Medik8 included them in its acid toner Press & Glow.

Daniel Isaacs is director of research at skincare brand Medik8, delving into the depths of dermatological and formulation science.

What should I consider before retailing supplements?

There are various benefits to retailing supplements in salon or spa, one being an additional income stream. The fantastic thing about supplements is that once your clients start to take them, they’ll be coming back to you monthly for their top-ups.

During Covid-19 lockdown, having supplements to retail was invaluable for many salons while their doors were closed, allowing them to retail to customers during virtual skin consultations.

Before retailing, it’s important to try the products yourself – clients will always want to know what you use and why you recommend it.

Consider it as part of your consultation and treatment protocol for your client. Our products are created to work alongside treatments, and we have consultation forms that you can include in your conventional consultation, as well as an extra prescription form where the therapist can assess what the client should take. So even if they don’t purchase on the day, they have all the product information they need. The consultation will lead you nicely into the supplement recommendation.

If you’re recommending a treatment to stimulate collagen in the skin, then a collagen supplement is a great product to retail to clients. Whereas if you are performing a hydration treatment for drier skin types, recommend a hydrating supplement in tandem.

Alternatively, for clients who are acne-prone, dried nettle is one of the best ingredients to calm the skin. We see amazing results with acne-prone clients when therapists perform peels in conjunction with these skin calming ingredients.

The supplement trend is really starting to boom within the beauty industry, but you have to know what to look for in a quality supplement. Choose a trusted brand and look at the label; you want something that is highpotency. For example, it’s really important that a collagen supplement contains hydrolysed collagen because conventional collagen in food doesn’t get into our body in the same way. If a product is hydrolysed, it means it is broken down into smaller protein chains and the body can absorb it more effectively.

When reading an ingredients label, it’s important to look at what else is in the product, such as preservatives, sweeteners or sugars. Sugar makes the collagen in our skin brittle so is best avoided.

Kathryn Danzey is a health and wellness expert and founder of skincare supplement brand Rejuvenated.

How should I choose which type of chemical peel to use on clients?

Chemical peels can improve a lot of skin issues. They can even out skin tone, lighten unwanted pigment and help with surgical scarring. When skin grows back after a chemical peel, it triggers the production of collagen and elastin so they can diminish signs of ageing including wrinkles, fine lines, ageing spots, uneven skin tone, roughness and dryness. They can also lighten acne blemishes and prevent future outbreaks.

Chemical peels are generally divided into three groups, based on the depth of penetration. A superficial peel will remove the outer layer of the epidermis, medium-depth peels remove skin cells from the epidermis and the mid-dermis level, and deep peels are more aggressive, penetrating to the reticular dermis.

Superficial peels are often called lunchtime peels because there’s rarely any downtime. They are a great introduction for clients who are new to aesthetics and feel nervous. They’ll experience mild to moderate tingling when the peel is applied and will only get light shedding of the skin.

Superficial peels tend to have alphahydroxy acids like glycolic, lactic, mandelic acid, tartaric acids and betahydroxy acids like salicylic, so it’s usually really safe to get these chemical peels every two-to-four weeks, but because they are so superficial, even with a course of three to six, we’re not going to remove really deep lines or pigmentation.

Moving on to medium-depth peels, TCA (tryichloracetic acid) is one of the most common ingredients used. There are different strengths and they can be blended with other acids, dependent on skin type and the results that we’re looking for. TCAs often feel very hot when on the skin; your client might liken it to sunburn. We have to neutralise these peels, and when removed the skin looks red and the patient is quite sore so people often have a few days off work, and get complete healing of the skin within about 10 days. Medium and deep peels are not suitable for darker skin types.

Deep chemical peels should only be applied by a medical professional as they are much more aggressive. Phenol is the most common ingredient and most people who have these need a local anaesthetic. Downtime and redness lasts for up to a month but the effects are fantastic and can last up to 10 years. so it’s often a once-in-a-lifetime type peel.

For more about contraindications to peels and the characteristics of BioRePeel, which is suitable for all skin types, watch our PB Webinar with Sarah Whitehead at

Sarah Whitehead is an aesthetic nurse and a key opinion leader for BioRePeel, which is distributed by Shop Beautiful.


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This article appears in the January 2021 Issue of Professional Beauty

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This article appears in the January 2021 Issue of Professional Beauty