I’m closing in on 200 hours (out of the 750 required) mark in my esthetics program. My class just tested out of core and we are now in the phase of the course where we’re taking real clients and not just practicing on each other. I had to take a written and a practical test which allowed me to reflect on just how much I’ve learned in 3 months of schooling. So I thought it would be fun to share some of the most important things I’ve learned thus far.
There are six skin types, each accompanied by at least 3 defining characteristics. Simplifying the skin types has helped me a ton when searching for new products, which I now search for by skin type.
Normal: even amount of sebum and moisture, small-medium sized pores, and occasional breakouts
Oily: excess sebum, large pores, shiny appearance and frequent breakouts
Dry: lack of sebum, small pores, tight feeling skin
Acneic: small-large pores, presences of papules, pustules, cysts, nodules, hereditary and/or hormonal acne (googling all of these forms is a great way to freak people out in a coffee shop)
Combination: oily T-zone (the center of your forehead down towards your nose and under your eyes) with larger pores, dry skin on cheeks with small pores
Sensitive: irritated, redness, and flushed appearance
Some of the most common skin topics can be easily confused and my amazing teacher at school has been able to clarify a ton of these for me.
Dry vs. Dehydrated Skin: Dry skin is a skin type and is a chronic condition that you’ll have to learn to manage. Dehydrated skin is due to a lack of water and is often accompanied by crepey lines. Dehydrated skin can easily be fixed by drinking water and/or using a hydrating mask. While dry skin must be the focus of your skin care routine by using hydrating ingredients.
Sensitive vs. Sensitized Skin: As mentioned above, sensitive skin is a chronic condition that is ever-present. The solution will be reflected in the products and ingredients that you utilize. Sensitized skin is an induced skin condition – this means something has caused the redness and inflammation to occur. For example, I often suffer from sensitized skin. The sun, hot drinks, physical and chemical exfoliation all cause my skin to become extremely red, warm, and irritated for a few hours. Sensitized skin can be treated similarly to sensitive skin except that sensitized skin can handle stronger ingredients than sensitive skin and will only have to deal with the consequences temporarily and could be covered up.
Acne vs. Breakouts: The first day of class our teacher had us go around the room and tell her what we all thought our skin types and conditions were. All 6 of us said we had acne and after she corrected and explained to us that none of us had acne but rather breakouts. For someone suffering from acne, this is a huge influence on their lifestyle. The individual is most likely on strong medications, visits the derm frequently and cannot fix their skin with a simple spot treatment. Since learning this difference I have made a point to only say that I have breakouts since mine are easy to cure and is not a major factor in my overall skin.
- Enzymes eat and digest skin cells to help with skin exfoliation
- Acids dissolve the intercellular cement between skin cells to exfoliate
- Cleansers, moisturizers, and masks should be focused on your skin type and skin conditions. Products like toners and serums should be used for the active ingredients and results that they yield
- Everyone should be utilizing a skincare routine, visiting a dermatologist and if they’re serious about fixing their skin – visiting an esthetician regularly
- Receiving facials 3 times per week isn’t nearly as glamorous as it sounds. The luxury of the spa experience becomes tainted and my skin has actually become very sensitized since starting the program
This whole experience has shown me just how much more I have to learn about skin and how passionate I am about helping people learn how to treat their own. I hope you found this post helpful and that maybe it will convince you to see an esthetician!