What Professional Estheticians Know: The Skin Barrier

I am still working on my NCEA Certified Esthetician continuing education requirements which are required for re-certification. The chapter I am on today is about Radio Frequency, Laser and Ultrasound. Next up will be Microcurrent. All very interesting and very dense!

As I read through this, I keep thinking to myself that it illustrates perfectly the reason that Multi-Level-Marketing (home party) people and department store salespeople will never be able to provide customers with optimum results from the skin care products they sell. It doesn’t matter if the salesperson has a very convincing sales pitch, or if the customer pays twice the price for products. Only a well-trained professional has the comprehensive education regarding the skin barrier and how it works, as well as a complete understanding about ingredients — both active and fillers. Without these components, it is not possible to reach optimum and sustainable results.

Below are excerpts from the chapter on Sonophoresis (Ultrasound) which I think exemplifies the knowledge that well-trained, licensed estheticians must have in order to maximize results for their clients. While this may sound like a foreign language to some, in Esthetician language, this makes it clear that buying products online, from a department store, or from MLM salespeople is not the best path to great skin.

  • To gain a better understanding of how sonophoresis and other devices are used for penetration of products, one must be familiar with the biology of the skin barrier within the intercellular spaces of the stratum corneum.
  • The primary function of the skin barrier is to extend optimum protection to the epidermal and dermal structures and monitor the ever-changing environment; changes in temperature, relative humidity, a potential disruption, or threat of invasion by other organisms.
  • Many skin conditions are caused by an impaired barrier function. This barrier is also affected by any external stimuli. 
  • Essentially, the skin is highly impermeable and naturally resistant to external penetration of substances. 
  • Water-based formulas do not easily penetrate into the skin. As an example, the application of water-soluble vitamin C has to be presented in higher concentrations.
  • External components that are oil-soluble have more affinity for penetration. 
  • In order to penetrate ingredients, the nature of the bilayers has to be altered. 

In other words, esthetics has become very clinical which makes it necessary that today’s estheticians constantly advance their education — whether their state license requires it or not. So while the esthetic technologies that estheticians use in their practice may differ, the fact that proper skin care is very specific to each client means that a well-trained, licensed esthetician is the best bet for proper skin care and optimum results.

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