Here is a great Q&A I did with my Esthetician, Jessie Pack from Studio Z. I hope that this helps someone who is either hesitant to get a facial, or someone who has been on the fence about getting one. Jessie is wonderful and keeps my skin glowing!
1.) Q: What made you decide to become an Esthetician?
A: When I was about 12, my mom took me to get a facial with her at a day spa in our area. I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to go have more facials, not because I really had any skin problems, but I just enjoyed the relaxing spa atmosphere. Since then, I have gone with her to get facials every now and then over the years. When I started college after I graduated high school, I was still undecided on what I was going to do as far as my career. I knew that I did not want to go anywhere faraway for school, so I skimmed through a college course catalog for Blue Ridge Community College in Hendersonville, NC and found the course for Esthetics. It was then that I remembered the relaxing atmosphere of the day spa and how much I enjoyed the facials. I was even more interested in skin care at that point, having experienced problematic skin that I did not have when I first had a facial at 12. The more I thought about it, the more Esthetics seemed meant to be for me. I am very much an introvert, and more of a one on one person. I have always loved spa music since I was younger, my room in my home was even painted in soothing spa colors, and the quiet atmosphere of a spa just fits in perfect with my personality. I loved the Esthetics course and learned many in depth skin care concepts from a great instructor that most students do not get the opportunity to learn. She truly taught us things that you cannot learn from a book. After completing the course, I realized that more than ever I was sure that I wanted to be an Esthetician so that I could work in such a relaxing environment and promote healthy skin care that is not only a daily regimen, but a healthy lifestyle.
2.) Q: What typically happens in one of your facials? (From start to finish…)
A: In a typical facial (which is my deluxe one hour facial), I start with a facial cleanse with warm water and soft cotton followed by a gentle exfoliation with steam to open the pores and prepare for extractions if needed. While the steam activates the exfoliant, I rub lotion on the client’s hands and arms and massage the lotion into the hands. I then remove the exfoliation with a soft hot towel, and examine the skin under the magnifying lamp. I check for any indications of problematic skin (dry, dehydrated, oily, congested T-zone, redness, etc.) and do extractions if needed and follow up with a soothing toner applied with a cotton round. Then comes the time for the relaxing facial massage. I start with a pressure points massage around the face with an aromatherapy essential oil. Then I massage the facial muscles with a facial oil that contains many beneficial antioxidants and work my way down the neck, decollete, shoulders, and finish with the scalp. I then remove the facial oil with more cleanser, warm water, and soft cotton. Then I apply a mask according to your skin type with a fan brush ( I have a clay mask that is great for oily/large pores/congested skin, an herbal cream mask for severely dry/aging, sagging skin, and the ginkgo mask for a boost of vitamins, plant extracts, and moisture balance that will relieve stress in your skin.) While the mask is soaking in, I wrap the client’s feet in hot towels and place the client’s hands in plastic and then inside heated hand mitts to relax the client and to help the moisture from the lotion soak in. I then remove the hot towels from the client’s feet and do a light foot massage with a moisturizing oil. Afterwards, I remove the heated mitts from the client’s hands and remove the facial mask with a soft warm towel. I then finish with an eye cream and a moisturizer.
3.) Q: What product line do you use/recommend?
A: I have been using CA-Botana for myself ever since I began to use it in my facials this year. I recommend it to everyone! It is a highly professional brand, not available over the counter in stores, and contains high quality ingredients that you just don’t get in other brands like clinique, lancome, olay, and loreal to name a few. CA-Botana is made from all natural ingredients, it is 100% organic, and the ingredients are all botanical and plant based. It is made in California and has been a trusted skin care brand since even before Dermalogica came around.
4.) Q: The product lines you use are CA-Botana and Farmaesthetics. What made you choose those product lines?
A: I found Farmaesthetics online through a spa website that I sometimes order products from. After trying the products out for myself I began to use them in my facials. The first thing that I loved about these products was the beautiful packaging and the fact that they all smell amazing, but I really liked these products because they are made with all natural ingredients. That is what steered me towards the all natural product line. I already saw a big difference in my skin after I began to use organic products. Then I found out that the sales rep. in this area for CA-Botana does not require minimum orders like most other professional brands (such as Dermalogica) that require package deals to allow licensed Estheticians to order professional sized products for their back-bar. I already knew a lot about CA-Botana from my instructor at Blue Ridge because that is the product line she used, living in California, and still today in her Esthetics Studio. After I tried using CA-Botana for myself, I loved the gentle cleanser that didn’t strip my skin and the fresh ingredients. Since I have been using CA-Botana, my skin has never looked better. My skin tone is even where it used to be red just after using a cleanser, the moisturizer does not irritate my skin, and if I have breakouts it is very minor (maybe 2 pimples) and only hormonal-related once a month. Before I used CA-Botana, I struggled with dry and sensitive skin but also had breakouts, so of course when I used products to treat breakouts, (cleansers, spot treatments, moisturizers) it just irritated my skin even more. I truly believe that my skin had been reacting to synthetic ingredients in products I had bought from drug stores. I had been using a Neutrogena gentle cleanser and still experienced breakouts in clusters all across my forehead, and sometimes around my jaw line around my ears. Using all natural ingredients right away I saw that just using the cleanser, my skin appeared more even toned it became clear of breakouts, and there was no redness like I saw with every other cleanser I tried.
5.) Q: How often should we get facials?
A: I think once a month is perfect to get a facial. However, twice a month is great too. It really just depends on your preference and your budget. Facials do not strip the skin of its moisture, so getting a facial as often as you like is wonderful too. Facials do for your face what getting your car detailed does for your car. You get a deep cleanse and exfoliation with steam to open your pores that you just cannot do for yourself at home. You also get extractions with an extractor tool (as opposed to the pinching and picking we often do to our pimples at home) while the esthetician is looking through a magnifying lamp allowing them to see things you would never see looking at your skin in your own mirror at home. Not to mention, the Esthetician is also using wonderful products with vitamins and quality ingredients that are doing wonders for your skin. The facial massage stimulates facial muscles, increases circulation, and improves muscle tone. Imagine the results you will see in your skin when you have the benefits of a facial once a month!
6.) Q: The truth about large pores….Can you shrink them or not?
A: Honestly, you cannot permanently shrink pores. There are masks that you can use that will temporarily shrink and improve the look of pores, but 24 hours or so later, they will be back to normal and that is just genetics. I can say that clay masks work wonders for anyone with oily skin and/or large pores. I have seen amazing results with the Farmaesthetics Rosehip & Clay Mint Mask when I used it on a client with oily skin and large pores around her nose and cheeks. When I removed the mask her skin looked like smooth porcelain. Using this mask every day or even every other day could probably lead to visible improvement in large pores, as long as you did not see any irritation in your skin from using the mask this often. There are also may skin primers on the market today that work well to approve the appearance of pores before you apply your makeup, such as Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer.
7.) Q: What sort of diet/nutrition is beneficial for glowing skin?
A: Always drink plenty of water throughout the day. Drinking water is essential to keeping the skin and body healthy. It sustains cell health, aids in elimination of toxins and waste, helps regulate body temperature, and aids in proper digestion. When all of these functions perform properly, they help the skin stay healthy, vital, and attractive. Drinking 9 to 12 cups of water a day is an average recommendation. If it is difficult to drink water, try adding some flavor with lemon or lime. There are fruit diffuser water pitchers you can find at Belk’s and Bed Bath and Beyond that allow you to cut up any pieces of fruit you would like and place them in a tube with holes in the middle of the water pitcher and it flavors your water with a light fruit flavor that does not overly sweeten it. Keep your diet as diverse as possible eating foods from every food group so as not to overdose on one vitamin and not get enough vitamins from another food group you might not be eating. The USDA food pyramid is a recommended guideline for foods in food groups that individuals should consume daily. The pyramid is now personalized for individual needs and can be found at http://www.mypyramid.gov . Grains, vegetables, dairy, fruits, and meat and beans are the basic food categories in the pyramid. A fruit smoothie that contains Kale for breakfast is a great way to start your day with a healthy, antioxidant boost that is filled with skin loving ingredients. Kale contains Vitamin K, which is great for skin. Foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids such as flax seeds, walnuts, salmon, and sardines are also beneficial for skin.
8.) Q: What sort of treatments do you recommend for those of us turning 40+? What other treatments do you offer?
A: The number one skin care routine to guard against aging is being careful with your sun exposure! (The 2nd is not smoking.) Approximately 80% of premature aging is cause by the sun. Getting a little sunlight and fresh air are good for your health, but limit your time in direct sunlight and always wear sunscreen. Never let your face sit in direct sunlight and limit your time when other parts of your body are susceptible to burning. If you will be spending a significant amount of time in the sun, wear a hat to protect your scalp and shield your face. Proper home care, skin treatments, and ingredients such as antioxidants, peptides, lipids, and AHA’s are all beneficial. A good diet, vitamins, water intake, exercise, and other healthy practices all have a positive effect on our health and our complexion. Some authorities even believe positive thinking can decrease premature aging! I offer peels with natural ingredients from CA-Botana. There is a medium pumpkin enzyme peel and a stronger Aloe Vera Peel. AHA natural fruit acids micro-exfoliate the skin and rebalance moisture loss. Peels improve the texture of the skin, increase hydration, improve barrier function, moisture retention, and elastin & collagen production. Peels also reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and surface pigmentation. Peels can be used to treat acne, hyperpigmentation, clogged pores, and dry skin.
I also offer the High Frequency Anti-Aging Treatment in which the High Frequency is used along with an anti-aging all natural serum by CA-Botana (which has been referred to as “liquid gold.”) In case you don’t know what High Frequency is: It is a machine apparatus that utilizes alternating current through a device called an electrode. During manufacturing, most of the air has been removed from the electrodes, creating a vacuum in the tube. The air is replaced with either neon gas, or argon gas. As electricity passes through these gases, they emit visible shades of light and produce a mild heat effect on the skin. The machine also produces Ozone, which has a germicidal/antibacterial effect on the skin. The benefits of High Frequency include: Antiseptic effect on skin, stimulates circulation, oxygenates skin, increases cell metabolism, helps to heal any open lesions after extractions, and generates a warm feeling, creating a relaxing effect and leaving skin with a glow.
9.) Q: Can you please explain how Hot Stone Reflexology is beneficial?
A: Hot Stone Reflexology is a pressure points massage on the feet which targets specific points of the body by manipulating points on the feet with hot stones. The pressure points massage is not only relaxing, but the hot stones retain heat and have a healing effect on sore muscles in the feet and can also improve circulation.
10.) Q: What does High Frequency do to help the skin? Is this a good treatment for aging skin?
A: If you read question 8, you read about High Frequency and its benefits for aging skin. To add to that description, the machine has a Neon electrode used to treat aging skin, and the Argon electrode is used to treat acneic skin prone to breakouts. High Frequency is good for all skin types, but especially targets anyone who suffers from acne/breakouts, or wants to treat aging skin and boost the benefits with the anti-aging serum in the high frequency anti-aging treatment.
11.) Q: What regimen do you suggest for someone with combination skin?
A: Combination skin will need the oilier areas treated with water-based products. Facial goals will be focused on deep cleansing. Use products for oily skin, not heavy creams or oils. This skin can usually tolerate more stimulation and stronger products. However, be careful not to overdry the skin. Aggressive products and treatments may make it worse.
12.) Q: Sensitive skin?
A: For sensitive skin the primary goal is to calm and cool the skin. Increasing the skin’s barrier function is another important part of treating sensitive skin. Calming ingredients such as aloe vera, chamomile, allantoin, azulene, and licorice extracts are all effective on sensitive or irritated skin. People with sensitive skin should avoid stimulating, drying products and heat. Avoid vasodilators that dilate capillaries: heat, the sun, spicy foods, and stimulating products. Preservatives can be especially irritating for sensitive skin. Another reason CA-Botana is a great product not only for everyone, but for sensitive skin due to its natural and soothing ingredients. CA-Botana also offers an entire sensitive skin line other than the basic essentials line.
13.) Q: Dry/Mature skin?
A: Skin is often dry due to inactivity of the sebaceous glands, which produce the sebum (oil) that lubricates the skin. Facial treatments and home maintenance can help minimize dryness and stimulate the production of sebum. For dry or mature skin, the treatment goals are similar: to hydrate and nourish the skin. Receiving facial treatments with performance ingredients stimulate the cell metabolism. Using a gentle enzyme peel, or a gentle alpha hydroxy acid peel are great to exfoliate dry skin and stimulate the production of oil. Using a collagen or hydrating mask, hydrating serum, and a moisturizer cream with an oil base and antioxidants are beneficial for dry/mature skin.
14.) Q: What age should teenage girls begin using a skin care regimen? What do you recommend teenage girls use for acne?
A: Puberty is the time for girls to begin using a skin care regimen. I think natural products like CA-Botana can prevent acne from happening as opposed to products from the drug store containing drying ingredients like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid which are never good to use on the entire face. Tea Tree oil is a great spot treatment for acne because of its germicidal, healing antifungal, and antiseptic properties. Burt’s Bees Acne Spot Treatment contains tea tree oil. The High Frequency machine can be beneficial for teenage girls suffering from acne. The Clay Mint mask from Farmaesthetics is very helpful to anyone with oily skin prone to breakouts. The clay goes deep into pores to draw out toxins and dry excess oil without overdrying and irritating the skin.
15.) Q: What are your thoughts regarding facial oils? Are they beneficial to everyone or should some people only use a light moisturizer?
A: Beneficial to everyone! Facial oils are great for dry/aging skin, but anyone can use them. Oil containing antioxidants are beneficial for everyone when used at night before bed. Night is the time when the skin repairs itself, so it is prime time for using any kind of high performance product such as an antioxidant/anti-aging serum/oil. Everyone needs a moisturizer whether you have dry or oily skin. (*Note to anyone with oily skin: do not skip moisturizers thinking it will dry out your skin. It can actually lead your skin to produce more oil to overcompensate for the dryness which can also lead to breakouts.) However, someone with oilier skin could use the facial oil every other night or even twice a week as opposed to every night.
16.) Q: What are your tips for those who suffer from hormonal acne?
A: Hormonal acne can be tricky to deal with because it’s an internal caused problem. Taking steps to take care of your body/physical health to keep hormones as balanced as possible can help such as: getting enough sleep, exercising (at least 30 minutes of cardio 4 to 5 times a week/anything that gets your heart rate up,) drinking plenty of water, proper nutrition, limiting alcohol and caffeine are all internal aspects that can affect your skin. Even having a negative attitude can affect your skin in a negative way! Exercise can really help you obtain glowing skin because it increases blood flow which provides oxygen to cells, and flushes out waste and toxins. Exercise also decreases stress which is a large cause in problematic skin such as premature aging, breakouts, and flushed skin/redness from reacting to stressful situations. As far as topical treatments for hormonal acne, as I have already stated I firmly believe using all natural ingredients make all the difference to eliminate your skin’s risk of negative reactions to harsh irritants found in other products. Also, I mentioned Tea Tree oil as a corrective treatment for acne to be used as a spot treatment.
17.) Q: Do you think a daily eye cream is necessary?
A: Of course! It’s never too early to start using a daily eye cream because the area around the eyes is made up of very delicate tissue that can easily be damaged. Eye creams during the day under your makeup and even at night when you go to bed will hydrate your eyes, protect thin & delicate tissue, firm, reduce lines, and decrease puffiness.
18.) Q: What is the minimum one should do daily to take care of their skin?
A: If nothing else, always wash your face with a cleanser every night to remove your makeup and sleep with a moisturizer. I also think that a moisturizer in the day time is a good primer for makeup, especially if you have dry skin.
19.) Q: You offer hot stone therapy/reflexology in addition to facials. What is the purpose of this and how is it beneficial to clients?
A: Refer to question 9 for that answer. However I will add that anyone suffering from sore/aching muscles in the feet and even arthritis can benefit from hot stone reflexology because the heat from the rocks is soothing to the muscles, and the pressure points massage can relieve tension held in those muscles. It is also just relaxing, in general, for anyone and good for well-being because feet are a neglected part of the body and you are stimulating different areas that you might not have even known needed attention.
20.) Q. What other things can we do at home to help our skin along?
A: Always wash your makeup off before you go to bed and sleep with a moisturizer and eye cream. Use a light weight moisturizer during the day, and always wash your makeup brushes once a month and throw away any makeup you have had for over 6 months. Bacteria can build up in brushes and makeup and cause breakouts and irritation. If you choose to use a facial oil, look for one containing antioxidants and use it at night before bed. Drink plenty of water, exercise, get enough sleep, practice proper nutrition, wear sunscreen and limit sun exposure. And of course, get a facial once a month!
Thanks, Jessie! If any of you live near the Hendersonville, NC or Columbus, NC areas, contact Studio Z to make an appointment with esthetician Jessie Pack. I highly recommend her! Studio Z is located at 191 E. Mill Street, Columbus, NC 28722. Their number is 828.551.9238.
To make a facial appointment with Jessie Pack directly, you can reach her at 828.817.6063.