SkinSpirit Took Me To Fantastic Skin For My Wedding!

Chemical Peel AfterA little over a month ago, I married my Mr. Right in Las Vegas. My dream wedding has always been to get married in Vegas by Elvis. I was not only able to have my dream wedding, but I also achieved my dream skin before saying “I do!” with the help of SkinSpirit Skincare Clinic and Spa.

I had to start working on my dream skin plan, three months before heading to Vegas. In January, I had a series of three Vitalize chemical peels with Kavina at the SkinSpirit University Village location. Then in March, I had a modified Jessner/TCA chemical peel with Tina at the SkinSpirit Redmond location. My goal for the treatments was not to have to wear liquid foundation in order to hide the stubborn hyperpigmentation on my face, thanks to sun damage from many summers past. After these four peels, the hyperpigmentation was significantly reduced. My overall results were noticeably lighter, smoother and radiant skin on my wedding day.

I can go on and on about the amazing talent and wealth of knowledge both Kavina and Tina have on skin and the treatments they offer, along with their impeccable bedside manner. Instead, what I want to focus on is the #1 reason why I had such amazing results from my treatments I followed the explicit instructions given to me by both of these aestheticians, both before the peels and after. I can’t stress enough just how important it is to listen to your aesthetician and follow their advice. If you’re considering having a chemical peel, I recommend:

Schedule a Consultation
First and foremost, schedule a complimentary consultation with an aesthetician to help you determine which chemical peel will be right for your skin.

Follow the Plan
Follow the treatment plan prescribed by your aesthetician, including the type of peel recommended, the number of peels needed to achieve desired results, skincare products to use both before and after the peel(s) and any post-treatment instructions.

Prepare Your Skin
Your aesthetician will help prepare your skin for the chemical peel by prescribing a four or six week skin-conditioning program. Since I was having the chemical peels to treat hyperpigmentation, the skin conditioning program I was prescribed consisted of using a retinol and a skin brightening complex once a day, preferably at night before going to bed. I also used SkinMedica’s TNS Essential Serum twice a day, to be applied after cleansing my skin. This serum is the perfect two-in-one product for a minimalist like me. TNS Essential Serum is a rejuvenating serum that helps enhance skin texture, tone and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles

Check Your Schedule
Two days before having a chemical peel, you’ll want to stop using any retinol product. Don’t forget to double-check your schedule before booking your chemical peel. You’ll want to give your skin at least three to six days to complete the peeling process. You won’t want to schedule any special events until your skin is finished with the peeling process.

Once you’ve had a chemical peel, don’t put anything on your skin up to six hours after treatment. Your skin will usually start to shed two days after treatment and can last anywhere from three to six days, depending on the type of chemical peel you’ve had. During the peeling process, the only products you’ll want to apply to your skin are a mild cleanser, a moisturizer (I prefer using Aquaphor) and a sunscreen with SPF 50. It’s also a good idea to have Benadryl on hand, just incase you experience any irritation or swelling after treatment.

And whatever you do, DON’T peel the skin prematurely during the peeling process. Not allowing the skin to come off naturally after a peel can lead to scarring and further irritation. If you’re considering have a chemical peel and want the best results possible, be sure to listen to your aesthetician and explicitly follow their advice and recommendations.

Happy Peeling!

PS: The image below was taken on Day 3 after having the modified Jessner/TCA peel with Tina. The results and peeling are in no way a guarantee to happen on everyone’s skin who has the treatment. I was just in such awe of how much my skin had peeled after this treatment that I wanted to share with all of you. Underneath all of that yellow and brown dead skin was beautiful, radiant skin, revealed just in time for my wedding!!

Day Four of Chemical Peel

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What is True U Education?

TrueU_Education_LogoOne question I get asked a lot by blog readers who have already graduated from beauty school, passed the state exam, have their esthetician license and are now working in the industry is, “What about advanced education?” How does an esthetician keep learning in this industry? Where does an esthetician go to keep learning after graduating from beauty school?

In the state of California, you’re considered a licensed esthetician after you’ve completed 600-hours of lecture and hands-on training and have passed both the written and practical state exam. In some states like Washington, you’re now considered a licensed esthetician after you’ve completed 750-hours of lecture and hands-on training and have passed both the written and practical state exam. With all of the different types of treatments estheticians can offer under their license, it often seems like 600 or even 750 hours just isn’t enough time to cover everything a person might need to know in order to be a successful esthetician.

That’s where schools like True U Education come in. True U is where beauty school ends and advanced training for a licensed esthetician begins. Located in Chicago, Illinois, True U offers a number of esthetics, laser, skin care and business building classes to licensed estheticians and skincare professionals. Developed by Steven H. Dayan M.D. FACS and Terri A. Wojak with over 20 years of combined experience working in the aesthetics industry, they created an advanced esthetic education center that provides aesthetic professionals with the knowledge they need to succeed in the medical industry while working within their scope of practice.

In February 2015, True U Education released their online training programs, making advanced skincare specialization accessible to aesthetic professionals with a Wi-Fi or Internet connection. The first online course to be made available is also one of True U’s most popular courses, Aesthetic Laser & Light Therapies: Physics & Safety. This comprehensive 12-hour online laser course is designed to cover topics such as the study of aesthetic lasers, physics and safety, ultimately providing students with the knowledge needed to succeed as a laser professional.

True U Laser is open to anyone working in the aesthetic industry that is looking to gain knowledge of laser and light therapy treatments. Even those that do not perform lasers can benefit from the knowledge on differing technologies to educate clients. Skincare professionals may assist medical providers by offering pre- and post-treatment skin care. Knowing what each laser is actually doing to the skin, including healing times, will help an esthetician best recommend treatments and products to their clients for optimal results and answer questions clients may have about these services and the science behind them.

True U was kind enough to ask me to check out the new Aesthetic Laser & Light Therapies: Physics & Safety online course and let them know what I think. The course covers six chapters with topics such as:

How Lasers Work
Treatment Indications
Cosmetic Lasers
Consultation and Treatment Considerations
Laser Classifications
Laser Safety

There’s a quiz after each chapter, two review tests and one final exam. The online course also includes 19 laser treatment videos, a comprehensive aesthetic terms glossary practice case studies, a 41-page workbook to take notes in during the course and a downloadable version of Part 5 – Laser and Light Therapy from Terri Wojak’s book, Aesthetics Exposed.

Students are encouraged to go through the entire 12-hour online course at their own pace. It’s important to go through each section of the program slow enough to absorb all of the information. Trust me, there’s a lot of good information stuffed into this course! If needed, students can watch each of the videos as many times as they like.

This is my first weekend of diving into the True U Lasers online course and I’ve already completed chapter one through three. I’ve taken all three of the chapter quizzes – passing with a 90% and passed the first comprehensive test, passing with an 80%. Upon completion of the course, I’ll not only have received a wealth of knowledge about laser and light therapy treatments, but I’ll be issued a Laser Physics Certificate from True U Education and be able to complete my full review of the course here on my blog.

AestheticsExposed_wAmazonBadgeIf you are considering becoming an esthetician who works in medical aesthetics or already an esthetician who works in the medical industry, Terri Wojak’s best selling book, “Aesthetics Exposed” is a must-read! Right now, just for my blog readers – enter promo code LIFE in the checkout process and you’ll receive $20 off your purchase!

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Should I Become a Master Esthetician in the State of Washington?

Should I Become a Master EstheticianI’ve been asking myself this question for the last six months. Currently I’m a licensed esthetician in the state of California. My California esthetician license states that I have 600 hours of instruction and have passed both the written and practical exam. The issue is that in the state of Washington, there’s now a master esthetician license, but it’s 1,200 hours. This license covers everything from facials, face/body waxing and spray tanning to medium depth chemical peels, laser hair removal, microdermabrasion, micro-needling and IPL treatments. Super fun stuff and certainly well beyond the scope of training I received in California. Since I wasn’t grandfathered into the Washington system before December 2014, I’d have to complete the full 1,200 hours in order to get the master esthetician license. My 600 hours that I’ve already earned and paid for in California won’t count towards this license at all. I’d basically have to start over from scratch in hours and tuition. Ugh.

I’m in the process of getting a Washington esthetician license, with the help of my current California esthetician license. To do this, I first needed to have my California license verified and certified by the Washington State Department of Licensing. To complete this step, I had to make sure my current California license was currently in good standing (which it is), visit the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology’s website and submit a Certification Request. This meant completing the Request for Certification of a California License form, printing it out, signing and sending it in with a $10 check.

Then I had to contact the Washington State Department of Licensing to complete an application form – the Barber, Cosmetologist, Esthetician or Manicurist License Renewal, Reinstatement, Out-of-State, or Reciprocity Application and check the “reciprocity” box on the form. I then printed out the form, signed it and sent it in with a $50 check. Now I have to play the waiting game while California and Washington talk to each other and verify my esthetician license. The cool thing is once this process is done, I’ll have both a California and Washington esthetician license. Applying for a Washington license won’t affect your license in another state.

Once I have a valid esthetician license in the state of Washington, I’ll then need to decide if getting the master esthetician license will be worth the time and money for me and my career goals. Currently in my professional position, I don’t need an esthetician license because I don’t touch skin for a living. I work in marketing, managing social media, email campaigns, the website and blog for a medical spa. Even though having an esthetician license isn’t necessary in my current position, it has proved to be invaluable with all of the research and writing I do about the services and treatments we offer in all of our clinics.

The only reason why I’d like to get a master esthetician license is to further advance myself as a professional within the skincare industry. I don’t currently have any interest in working in a treatment room performing facials, facial/body waxing, laser hair removal, microdermabrasion, micro-needling or spray tanning. I do have an interest in learning everything I can about this industry because I enjoy it and would love to eventually expand my blog to market myself as a marketing and social media expert for other, fellow estheticians out there. Who knows, maybe after I start school, my interests might change and I’ll want to work in a medical setting as a licensed esthetician. That’s originally what I wanted to do when I first went to beauty school in California.

What would you do if you were me? Do you think it’s worth investing the time and money to further advance myself as an expert within this industry? I’m stumped and would love to hear what you think.

 

 

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What is the Master Esthetician License?

Skin Inc MagazineDid you know that as of January 1, 2015, Washington state rolled out a new licensing law for estheticians? The current esthetician training went from 600 hours to 750 hours from a licensed school, in addition to taking and passing a written and practical exam administered by the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL), to allow for new technology and additional practice and theory for students while their in school. This license will no longer allow the use of laser or medium-depth chemical peels.

As of the beginning of this year, there’s also a brand, new 1,200-hour master esthetician license in Washington state. A master esthetician will now be licensed to operate lasers and perform medium-depth chemical peels. This is great news for estheticians in the state of Washington who want to work in a medical setting with doctors, medical spas and clinics.

Check out this great article from Skin Inc Magazine, where they talk more in detail about what exactly these new laws mean for estheticians in Washington and how educators fought hard to get them voted into place:

Washington State’s New Licensing Law for Estheticians

 

 

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Mt Bachelor Vacation #MtBachelorStoked

The view from our balcony at hotel #3, Mount Bachelor Village Resort

Because life just cannot be all work and no play! I managed to stack up quite a few vacation hours in 2014. I finally decided to use some of those hours and went on a road trip last week with my husband and some of our friends to Mt Bachelor. We ended up staying in four hotel rooms in one week. Here’s the proof of how much fun we had. I wish I could go on vacation for a living!

 

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My Life as an Esthetician Got a Makeover!!

Me at Mt BakerHi Blog Readers! If you’ve visited my blog previously, you might have noticed that things look a little bit different here these days. I recently switched my blog over from Blogger.com to WordPress. Here’s what my old blog looked like, remember? I’ve been meaning to make this switch for the last two years, but haven’t had the time. I blame it on my day job, my move to Seattle last year and my recent engagement/marriage. All good things of course!

Now, my blog is WAY more user-friendly than ever before. In addition to making the entire blog much more esthetically pleasing, you can now easily search for any topics I’ve covered in in the Search box to the right or by clicking on any of the Categories below the Search box. I’ve also created a FAQs page that contains some of the most common questions readers ask me about. For those of you who are curious to see where I’ve written online other than my blog, I’ve created a Writing Portfolio page, which has a link to all of my work outside of my blog.

Getting ahold of me is now super easy. I’ve included links to all of my social media platforms in the top-right corner of my blog. I also have my contact information on the Contact Me page, just in case you wanted to send me an email.

I’m super excited about all of the new changes on my blog. I hope you are too. If there’s anything you’d like me to cover on my blog going forward, I’d love to know. Either leave a comment below or send me an email. I will be putting together e-mail newsletters from time-to-time pretty soon. If you’d like to sign up for my free e-mail newsletter list, be sure to look for the sign up box on the right-hand column.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my blog. I’m really excited to get back into the swing of things!

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Chemical Peel: Day Three and Day Four

Peel Day 04-01When I woke up on the morning of Day Three after having the chemical peel, I looked in the mirror and saw that the peeling had moved to my entire face and neck area. I was excited because I could see the skin literally hanging off of my face. At least I knew the peel was working! The only downfall was that my husband and I had a trade show we’d be attending all day long. We were scheduled to meet with people one-on-one, a lot of these people I’d be meeting for the first time. This was going to be the first time during my peeling process that I wasn’t going to be able to hide at home or in my office, in front of my computer.

As I got ready for the day, I swear I could feel the skin literally peeling off of my face. It was the weirdest, yet most satisfying feeling. It was hard not to scratch or peel the old skin off of my face. I made sure to follow Kavina’s specific instructions of just letting the skin peel off on it’s own.

At the tradeshow, I could see the people we were meeting with give my face double-takes. My husband picked up on the looks too and started explaining to everyone that I just had a chemical peel. Most people sighed in relief and said they thought I had just come back from some sort of vacation or had too much sun. When I pointed out that I didn’t have a suntan or sunburn, they looked at me confused and wanted to know more.

I explained to the people who asked that I was covering chemical peels on the SkinSpirit blog. I told them that in order to write an effective blog post about chemical peels, I was having the service done on myself. Almost immediately, people started asking me questions about chemical peels. They wanted to know what exactly a chemical peel was, how they work, what they do for the skin and how did it feel having the skin peeling off of my face. Some of the guys we talked to said that their wives have had chemical peels before, but they didn’t know exactly what a chemical peel was. With my recent experience of having a peel and researching peels, I was able to give them educated answers to all of their questions.

My skin was peeling quite a bit on Day Three. As soon as my skin started to feel itchy and irritating, I applied moisturizer all over my face and neck. My skin felt super warm to the touch – very similar to what a sunburn feels like. The moisturizer not only helped hydrate my peeling skin, but it felt like it cooled it off a bit, making the peeling process in public a little bit more tolerable.

On Day Four, the peeling was out of control. I felt like I had to reapply moisturizer to my face every ten minutes. Not only was the skin literally hanging off of my chin and neck, I could see it peeling off of my nose. I had to spend most of Day Four in public again at the tradeshow. I swear I could still feel the skin peeling off of my face. I tried my hardest not to scratch my face throughout the day. I couldn’t help rubbing off the excessive skin along my hairline though, which caused the dead skin to get stuck in my hair. It also didn’t help that I was wearing a black sweater. Mental Note To Self: When you wear black clothing during the peeling process, count on seeing a bunch of dead skin all over your clothing.

 

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Chemical Peel: Day Two

Peel Day 02I woke up this morning and my skin felt itchy all over. I couldn’t wait to get into the shower so I could wash my face. Before I got into the shower, I looked in the mirror and noticed that the peeling had spread from both sides of my mouth area, on up to my cheek and nose area. As I washed my face gently with my hands, I could feel the dead skin roll off in chunks. It was so weird and kind of satisfying.

After I got out of the shower and dried my face, I applied facial moisturizer and SPF. There was no way I was going to put on a liquid moisturizer on top of my shedding skin. It would be way too messy and would probably interfere with the peeling process. The SPF stung my skin a bit. Mental Note To Self: New skin coming through is going to be a bit sensitive to the touch for the first couple of days of it being exposed.

By the time I got to the office, I swear I could feel the dead skin peeling off of my face, spreading across both of my cheeks and to my temple area on both sides of my face. It felt incredibly weird and extremely itchy. The only thing that relieved the itchy feeling was applying a generous layer of moisturizer all over my face. The itchiness would go away for about a half hour or so and then would come right back. It was so hard not to scratch the areas of my face that was peeling.

Now that more of the surface area of my face was peeling off, I started to feel uncomfortable about going out into public. I stepped out for lunch for a quick second and got a strange look from people who walked by me. I wanted to stop and tell them that there was nothing wrong with my face and that I had just had a chemical peel. Instead, I avoid their looks and kept walking. Thank goodness my office doesn’t have any windows and that all of my co-workers are well-versed in the chemical peel process.

Right before I left my office for the day, I looked down on my shirt and saw flakes of dead skin everywhere. Gross. I wiped it off my shirt only to find that there was a whole pile of dead skin on the floor right underneath my chair in my office. Yuck!! I applied another generous layer of moisturizer for my commute home in hopes of avoiding shedding like that in my car.

My husband took one look at me when I came home from work and asked if he could peel some of the skin off of my face. I slapped his hands away and went to apply more moisturizer. How much skin is going to peel off of my face? Dang! At least I know the SkinMedica Vitalize Peel is working.

I think the one thing that bugs me the most is that my skin itches so much. No pain, no gain, right? Regardless of all the itchiness, I’m still excited to see the new skin come through once the dead skin comes off completely.

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Chemical Peel: Day One

Peel Day 01I had my first chemical peel on a Saturday morning. The next morning I woke up to find that there was already a small amount of skin peeling right underneath my mouth. I couldn’t grab a camera fast enough! In less than 24 hours, my skin was already starting to shed. How very exciting!

In the morning, only one side had a small patch peeling. I immediately applied a generous layer of facial moisturizer all over my face and started my work for the day.

By the afternoon, I noticed that there was another section on the other side of my mouth that had started to peel as well. Kavina was right. The first area on my face that started to peel was around my mouth area. Both of the peeling areas were still really small. I didn’t feel weird going out into public on my way to and from work today. It was just business as usual. I did notice that my skin felt a little itchier than usual.

I wonder what my skin will look like tomorrow?

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What is a Chemical Peel?

Peel-01Currently, in my position at SkinSpirit as the Social Media and Marketing Manager, one of the tasks on my To Do list is to blog about the treatments we offer. In fact this was the very task that attracted me to my current position with the company in the first place. Being paid to look and feel my best? How could I say no to that? 

SkinSpirit is a medical spa with six locations – three in Northern California and three in the Seattle, Washington area. Our clinics offer a array of skincare treatments including: Botox, dermal filler, laser resurfacing, a wide variety of medical-grade facials including the popular Signature Facial, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, laser hair removal, skin tightening with Ultherapy, IPL/Photofacials, Latisse®, a medical weight loss program and our newest skincare treatment, micro-penning.

I’ve had the pleasure of receiving a number of these amazing services over the last two years including Botox, dermal filler, the dermaplaning treatment, laser hair removal, microdermabrasion and countless Signature Facials. I even gave REBALANCE, the medical weight loss program a shot last year. A couple of months ago, one of our practitioners, Kavina (an amazing, smart, beautiful and charismatic aesthetician) at the SkinSpirit University Village location took one look at my skin and asked me if I had ever had a chemical peel. I had never had one before and quite frankly was a little intimidated by them, just for the sole fact that the treatment name had the word “chemical” in it. Lame I know, but it’s true. She spotted the hyperpigmentation on my forehead and on my cheek bones right away and told me if I gave her the chance and let her perform a series of three chemical peels on my face, I’d see a dramatic difference in the reduction of the hyperpigmentation all over my face. She got my attention immediately.

What is a Chemical Peel?
So what is a chemical peel? A chemical peel dissolves the glue that holds dead skin cells together on the surface of the skin. A chemical peel is a “controlled burn” of the skin and is considered a surface chemical exfoliation as opposed to a manual exfoliation like a facial scrub, Clarisonic brush, microdermabrasion or a dermaplaning treatment.

Benefits of Having a Chemical Peel
Some of the benefits of having a professional (and I stress professional) chemical peel include improving skin tone and texture, revealing brighter, smoother and a more refined complexion underneath the skin, reducing discoloration caused by sun damage, treating hyperpigmentation, helping to clear up breakouts, smoothing away the look of wrinkles, increasing hydration within the skin and allowing skincare products to be more effective.

The discoloration on my face is something I’ve always felt insecure about. I’ve always been quick to hide it with heavy liquid foundation. Hyperpigmentation is a common, usually harmless condition in which patches of skin become darker in color than normal surrounding skin, typically caused by sun damage or hormonal changes. The discoloration on my skin was caused largely by the numerous hours spent in the sun both during the summer months wakeboarding on the water and during the winter months snowboardng up on the mountain. Who knew that the reflection of the sun on the snow in a high elevation climate could be such a prime breeding ground for hyperpigmentation? Even though I’ve been pretty religious about wearing sunscreen whenever I spend time outdoors, sunscreen only protects skin from damaging UV rays that cause sunburns. Sunscreen, unfortunately doesn’t prevent the skin from tanning (getting pigmented) and turning brown.

The Initial Consultation
Since I refuse to live my life indoors and wanted to feel confident wearing my skin free of heavy liquid foundation makeup, I went ahead and told Kavina to sign me up for the chemical peel series. Before I could have my first chemical peel with Kavina, I had to come in for a consultation. During the consultation, Kavina explained to me my treatment plan. Since I spend a good chunk of my free time outdoors, Kavina wanted to come up with a realistic treatment plan that would work with my active, outdoor lifestyle while helping me get the results I was looking for. Kavina suggested that I have a series of three Vitalize chemical peels over the course of a month, with each treatment being within two weeks of each other. The first treatment would be a Vitalize Peel. The second treatment would be a modified Signature Facial with a Vitalize Peel. The third and final treatment would be another Vitalize Peel.

Skin Conditioning
To prepare my skin for the first chemical peel, Kavina advised that I undergo a four-week skin conditioning preparation program. Skin conditioning is designed to bring the skin into a tolerant state so that it responds better to a chemical peel and lessens the chance of triggering an undesirable response to the treatment, Without the skin conditioning program, I run the risk of not having my skin respond well to the treatment and not getting the results I’m hoping to achieve. Over the next four weeks, Kavina recommended that I apply a retinol and a skin brightening complex, once a day to my skin.

Products to Use and How to Use Them
My goal for my very first chemical peel series is to target the hyperpigmentation on my skin. With this in mind, Kavina suggested that I use SkinMedica’s Retinol Complex 0.5 and the Lytera Skin Brightening Complex once a day, together in the morning after cleansing my face. What’s nice is that I can easily use these products in conjunction with my facial cleanser, Clarisonic skincare brush, daily moisturizer and sunscreen. The daily use of these products will help suppress the pigment on my skin before having the treatment, in addition to helping build up a solid foundation and tolerance for the chemical peels.

Kavina also recommended that I use SkinMedica’s TNS Essential Serum twice a day – once in the morning and once at night after cleansing my face. She said that for a minimalist like me, this was the perfect product to use daily. It’s an all-in-one, rejuvenating serum that will not only help enhance my skin texture and tone, but also reduce the appearance of wrinkles, leaving my skin looking healthier and younger. Who doesn’t love an easy-to-use product that does all of that?

With my skin conditioning program in place, my skin should be good to go for my first chemical peel in the next few weeks. I can’t wait to see the results!

 

I’ll be documenting my chemical peel series experience along with my recent laser hair removal series experience on the SkinSpirit blog over the next month. Feel free to check out the SkinSpirit blog here.

 

 

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