Inexpensive Day Spa alternative

If you are like me… on a budget and have to be careful where your cash is going currently, BUT, you still want to experience the “spa life” and get some much needed treatments you feel like you are missing out on…

You might want to give a local Esthetics School a chance!  Many are typically nearly half the cost of what you would normally pay out of pocket and typically you will find that most schools and training establishments are safe, and even though you have a student working on you, if it’s a situation that has something that is a bit more “challenging” for the students, there is always an instructor on hand and at least for the school I was trained at, I wasn’t allowed to treat anyone on chemical peels or a microderm until I had several hundred hours under the proverbial ‘belt’ and even then when I was applying said peel or operating the microderm machine my instructor was on hand or very near to make sure I was properly doing the treatments.

This might also be a great way to experience a service you’re just not so sure about, at a much cheaper cost to you.  The treatments might take a little bit longer, but, your pocket book/budget will certainly be happier for it!

Things to remember:

You are in a training establishment, more often times you will have to accept you are in the middle of someone’s training, therefore there could be instances when you might have to have some patience with your “in training Esthetcian”.  You may not want to go when you have time contraints, you will want to definitely give yourself time, just in case.

Maybe not wear your favorite most expensive sweater to get your wax treatment or even a facial.  When you are being treated by someone in training, it might be potentially hazardous to your wardrobe… however, most of the time it can be removed when it goes through the wash.  Make sure they wrap your head even to wax; just because they are confident in their abilities doesn’t mean they aren’t still very green! They might do a great job waxing said hairs on your brows or lip, however, getting wax to and from the pots might be dangerous to your hair for example.  There are plenty of oils and wax removers that can be applied… but, you can definitely prevent this all together by making sure your hair is covered.

If you’re brand new to the facility and want a more intense Microderm or Chemical Peel… you may as well not waste your trip.  This is afterall a training facility.  Meaning that for the most part if you’re new, they will treat you as such, just as if you were new to a Spa and wanted said treatment there.  When you are being trained there are a few steps to ensure the safety of your skin and getting into that habit early on is expected.  So if you are familiar with the treatments and even IF your skin is “good to go” don’t fight with the students or instructors.  Please understand they need to learn the “right way” always.  However, if you keep coming back, you will be able to have more intense procedures due to them having details regarding your skins behavior on record.

And always realize you ARE at a school.  Therefore, you might not have the “best” of everything… but, for the most part you will get a great overall experience and if you’ve never had something done before it’s a great place to start to see if you will be willing to try it out in the “real world”.

I live in the Vancouver, Washington/Portland, Oregon metro area, there are a few local schools:

Manning Academy of Cosmetology, Inc.
8078 E. Mill Plain Blvd.
Vancouver, Washington 98664

Paul Mitchel School of Beauty
8230 NE Siskiyou St.
Portland, Oregon 97220
Aesthetics Institute
2245 NE Powell Blvd.
Portland, Oregon 97202


**I am sure I could have missed someone’s school in my area, if you would like me to add one, or one in your area, let me know… I will do my best to accommodate your requests!** 

Light Therapy… (LED/light emitting diode)


Many ancient cultures practiced various forms of heliotherapy (The therapeutic use of sunlight), including people of the Ancient Greece, Ancient Egypt, and Ancient Rome.  The Inca, Assyrian and early German settlers also worshipped the sun as a health bringing deity.  Indian medical literature dating to 1500 BC describes a treatment combining herbs with natural sunlight to treat non-pigmented skin areas.  Buddhist literature from about 200 AD and 10th-century Chinese documents made similar references.
Faroese physician Niels Finsen is believed to be the father of modern phototherapy. He developed the first artificial light source for this purpose, and used his invention to treat lupus vulgaris (Tuberculosis of the skin, characterized by dark red patches). He received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1903.
Since then a large array of treatments have been developed from the use of controlled light. Though the popular consumer understanding of “light therapy” is associated with treating seasonal affective disorder and skin conditions like psoriasis, other applications include the application of low level laser, red light, near-infrared and ultraviolet lights for pain management, hair growth, skin treatments, and accelerated wound healing.



  • Increases the elemination of waste products
  • Improves the flow of blood and lymph
  • Has germicidal and antibacterial effect
  • Produces Vitamin D in the skin
  • Can be used to treat rickets, psoriasis, and acne


  • Heat and relaxes the skin
  • Dilates blood vessels and increases circulation 
  • Produces chemical changes
  • Increses metabolism
  • Increases production of perspiration and oil
  • Deep penetration relieves pain in sore muscles

White Light:

  • Relieves pain in the back of the neck and shoulders
  • Produces some chemical and germicidal effects
  • Relaxes muscles

Blue Light: 

  • Soothes nerves
  • Improves acne
  • Improves skin tone
  • Provides some chemical and germicidal effects
  • Used for mild cases of skin eruptions
  • Produces little heat

Red Light: 

  • Improves dry, scaly, wrinkled skin
  • Increases rate of collagen building
  • Relaxes muscles
  • Penetrates the deepest
  • Produces the most heat

LED or Light-Emitting Diode

Depending on the type of equipment, the LED can be blue, red, yellow or green.  LED in the blue has been shown to reduce ance, and red is good for increasing circulation and improving the collagen content in the skin.  Yellow light has been shown to reduce swelling and inflammation, and green light is good for hyperpigmented areas.

The LED works by releasing flashing light onto the skin to stimulate specific responses such as, with the blue light, killing bacteria that causes acne or with the red light, increasing circulation and stimulation of the skin.

As with all light therapies, it is important to make certain that you have made sure you do not have any of the contraindications that could prevent you from having this procedure performed.  Some of them are:

  • if you have light sensitivities (photosensitivities)
  • phototoxic reactions
  • taking antibiotics
  • has cancer
  • epilepsy
  • pregnant
  • if you are under a physicians care (please make certain your doctor approves this kind of procedure first)


About three percent of the population suffer from psoriasis, and UVB phototherapy has been shown to effectively treat the disease.

A feature of psoriasis is localized inflammation mediated by the immune system. Ultraviolet radiation is known to suppress the immune system and reduce inflammatory responses. Light therapy for skin conditions like psoriasis use UV-A (315–400 nm wavelength) or UV-B (280–315 nm wavelength) light waves. UV-A, combined with a drug taken orally, is known as PUVA treatment.

Acne vulgaris

Sunlight was long known to improve acne, and this is thought to be due to antibacterial and other effects of the ultraviolet spectrum which cannot be used as a long-term treatment due to the likelihood of skin damage.

It was found that some of the visible violet light present in sunlight (in the range 415–430 nm) activates a porphyrin (Coproporphyrin III) in Propionibacterium acnes which damages and ultimately kills the bacteria by releasing singlet oxygen. A total of 320 J/cm2 of light within this range renders the bacteria non-viable.  Dr. Yoram Harth et. al were the first that issued a patent on the use of UV free high intensity Blue light for the treatment of acne.

Other skin conditions

Phototherapy can be effective in the treatment of Eczema, Atopic Dermatitis, Polymorphous light eruption, Vitiligo, Lichen Planus and Mycosis Fungoides.

Wound healing

Some case studies have found low-level laser light to be possibly helpful as an adjuctive treatment in wound healing, although a review of the overall scientific literature does not support the use of low-level laser therapy for this purpose.

There is also results showing light therapy is assisting in the treatments of both Seasonal Effective Disorder as well as Non-Season Depression. 

Promising Research

Parkinson’s disease

Bright light therapy may ease Parkinson’s disease by reducing patients’ tremors.

Alzheimer’s disease

A qualitative study conducted on a 20-person cohort of women and published in 2011 suggested a positive impact of light therapy on overall cognitive function in Alzheimer’s disease patients, a preliminary finding requiring larger and quantitative studies to confirm.

Useful Machines and Tools…

This is to cover the many essential and often times overlooked “electric” machines that you will find in most Spas and Esthetic rooms you visit.


The magnifying lamp (also referred to as a loupe pronounced “loop”) magnifies the face or body part to help the Esthetician see, treat, and analyze the skin.  The lamp uses a cool fluorescent light bulb.  The magnyfying has various powers known as diopters. Most lamps in the industry come in values of 3, 5, and 10 diopters, which means 30 times the power of magnification, 50 times the power of magnification or 100 times the power of magnification.

When the Esthetician or Technician is using this over your face for a long period, you should have something covering your eyes, preventing the blight light from bothering you.


Developed by an American physicist Robert Williams Wood, it filters black light that is used to illuminate fungi, bacterial disorders, pigmentation problems, and other skin problems.

The Wood’s lamp allows the Esthetician to conduct a more in-depth skin analysis, illumination skin problems that are ordinarily invisible to the naked eye.  Under the lam, different conditions show up in various shades of color.  For instance, the thicker the skin, the whiter the fluorescence will be.  Pigmentation that shows up under the Wood’s lamp cannot be completely lightened with products or treatments because the pigmentation is in the dermis. (The thick layer of living tissue below the epidermis that forms the true skin).

Following are some examples of skin conditions and how they appear under the Wood’s lamp:

  • thick corneum layer – white fluorescence
  • horny layer of dead skin cells – white spots
  • normal, healthy skin – blue/white
  • dehydrated skin – light violet
  • oily areas of the face or comedones – yellow or sometimes pink
  • pigmentation problems – brown

When a Wood’s lamp is being used properly, the room must be totally dark. (NO LIGHT WHATSOEVER)


Many Estheticians consider a steamer one of the most important machines used in esthetics.  There are many benefits to steaming the skin.  Steam helps to stimulate circulation. It also softens sebum and other debris. The warmth relaxes the skin and tissues, making it easier for the Esthetician to extract comedones.  Stema can be beneficial for the sinuses and congestion.  Steamers with ozone (O3 ) may have an antiseptic effect on the skin that is beneficial in treating acne and problematic skin.

Still you should be aware that if your skin if inflamed or overly sensitive, too much steam isn’t a good thing; because it dilates the capillaries and follicles, causing more redness and irritation.

Steamers come in a wide variety of styles and shapes and sizes.  They should only be used with distilled water or filtered water, due to the mineral and calcium deposits in tap water that can damage a machine.  The vapor is directed towards the skin’s surface by a nozzle at the end of the arm.  Steamers usually have a place for an aromatherapy ring on the inside of the nozzles hard, and they may have a special feature for oils as well.

Please keep in mind, THIS IS YOUR facial/procedure, you have the control over what is happening to your face.  Your Esthetician should never be too far from you during a steaming procedure and you should be given the knowledge on how to push away said steamer nozzle in the chance she/he has to step away during a longer period of time while you are laying on the table during treatment.  WHY? If the steam becomes too hot, if you start to feel claustrophobic (which does occur frequently) you need to be able to voice this, if your Esthetician is stepping away, then you should be informed to know how to get the steam out of your face or at least further away to lesson the heat and feeling that you are having a hard time breathing.

Steamers are suppose to help you relax, if you are in a panic mode, this isn’t what is suppose to happen, and make sure you feel comfortable with how the steamer feels and where it’s aimed onto your face/skin.



The vacuum (suction) machine serves 2 main functions.  One is to suction the dirt and impurities from the skin.  The other is to stimulate the dermal layer and blood circulation.  This function thought to help reduce the appearance of creases, such as laugh lines and improve the overall appearance of the skin.

This machine can be used after desinscrustation (see Galvanic Skin Therapy or Treatments…) Is can also be used in place of the facial massage.  It should never be used on couperose skin with distended or dilated capillaries or on open lesions.  Glass and metal suction cups come in different sizes and shapes depending on their use.



Spray mists are beneficial in calming and hydrating the skin.  The machine is part of the vacuum machine and is attached  via a hose that is connected to a small plastic bottle with a spray nozzle.  This bottle can be filled with a freshener solution or toner (1 part toner; 2 parts distilled water) to gently mist the client’s face after cleansing or another treatment step, such as the facial massage.

Lucas Sprayer: 

Invented by Dr. Lucas Championniere. It is the most unique of all atomizers and sprays.  The Lucas sprayer is used to apply a very fine mist of plant extracts, herb teas, fresheners, or astringents.  The mist is excellent for treating dehydrated, mature, and couperose skins.  The mist can be used warm, to increase blood flow to the skin’s surface, or it can be used cool to calm couperose skin.



The paraffin wax heater is used to create a warm paraffin mask for hydrating dry skin.  This device allows the Esthetician to provide a treatment that offers quick results, but it lasts only for a limited period of time.  Heated paraffin is applied to the face, creating an occlusive mask to hold in body heat and promote penetration of underlying products.  The result is a hydrating and relaxing treatment that gives you a glowing complexion.  This is popular with women who want to look their best instantly, especially for special occasions.

DO NOT mistake this as the same paraffin wax treatments you might currently be aware of for your hands and feet; albeit it in the same “family” of waxes, the paraffin wax that is placed onto the face is entirely different with special additives specially designed for your face.  I do not recommend you attempting or trying to use your paraffin wax that you have for your feet or hands, this could be a huge mistake and cause damage or difficulty in removing said wax from your face.

Electrotherapy & Contraindications


This is the use of electrical devices for therapeutic benefits.  It is important to be familiar with machines even if you choose not to work with them.

It is important to understand to be familiar with machines even if you aren’t sure or don’t think they are “right” for you.  Electrical devices enhance the skin by making it easier to give a skin analysis, achieve better product penetration, or sanitize the skin.  These tools are especially effective for challenging skin conditions.  Machines can be used separately or as a multi-functional tool with many individual machines all on one unit.  Dependent upon the Spa or Esthetician you are seeing will depend upon what you will find in the rooms and being used on your skin.

New machines and technology are emerging yearly.  Estheticians must and should be continuously educating themselves about the latest methods in skin care.  Our clients (you) are typically well informed about the particular procedure they want to have done, and you should expect your Esthetician or Technician to be knowledgeable about what it is they are doing to you or recommending.  Always be sure you are working with licensed and well educated professionals.


There are several contraindications for electrotherapy.  Preventing physical harm to ones client is and always should be number one.  Please make sure you are aware of ALL the below reasons why you may not be a great candidate for any skin care that pertains to an electric machines.

If you have the below conditions, please seek your doctors approval, plus bring a “note” from said doctor indicating why they feel it’s a good treatment, even though you may fall within the below contraindications.  Otherwise, a licensed professional will typically never perform these procedures if they are made aware of your below conditions.

  • heart patients
  • clients with pacemakers
  • metal implants
  • pregnancy
  • epilepsy or seizure disorders
  • if you are afraid of electric current (you may create anxiety attacks)
  • open or broken skin
  • metal braces on your teeth

There may also be more contraindications for each individual machine depending on the manufacturers guidelines and therefore the above list is ONLY an overall list of the main factors of why you may not qualify for these procedures. Always understand that we are here to help you with your skin care, therefore we don’t want to cause harm or permanent damage to you in any way.  We want you to be happy with the results and overall experience.


Galvanic Skin Therapy or Treatments…


The use of electrical current is named after Italian physician and physicist Luigi Galvani. The first practical use was as a form of electrolysis or hair removal in the late 1800’s. Since then, its primary use has been as a noninvasive means for topical penetration of medications for therapeutic purposes. Low-level galvanic current has been used in skin-care protocols by professionals for the past 50 years.


Galvanic uses two polarities—positive and negative current. Most apparatus have a separate electrode for each. One electrode is held by the person receiving the treatment, while the other is maneuvered around the skin by the technician administering the treatment. This creates a simple circuit.
The current, depending on the polarity and the acidity or alkalinity of the product, causes a chemical reaction when the electrode is applied.


Galvanic Current is used to create 2 significant reactions in Esthetics:

  • Chemical: desincrustation (des-in-krus-TAY-shun) 
  • Ionic: iontophoresis (eye-ahn-toh-foh-REE-sus)
The Galvanic Machine converts the alternating current received from an electrical outlet into a direct current.  Electrons are then allowed to flow continuously in the same direction.  Creating a relaxation response that can be regulated to targe specific nerve endings in the epidermis.
It is common and quite normal for the machine to leave a metallic taste in your mouth.
Estheticians use desincrustation (anaphoresis; an-uh-for-EE-sus) to facilitate deep pore cleansing.  During this process, galvanic current is used to create chemical reaction that emulsifies or liquefies sebum* and debris.  This treatment is beneficial for oily or acne skin because it helps soften and relax the debris in the follicle before extractions.
In or to perform desincrustation, an alkaline-based electronegative solution solution is placed onto the skin’s surface.  This solution helps soften the sebum and follicles for deep pore cleansing.  The solution is formulated to remain on the surface of the skin rather than being absorbed.  When the Esthetician is conducting desincrustation, the client holds the positive electrode, the positive polarity.  The Esthetician uses the negative electrode, set on negative polarity, on the face.  This creates a chemical reaction that transforms the sebum or the skin into soap – a process known as saponification (sah-pahn-ih-fih-KAY-shun).  Soap is made from fat and lye (sodium hydroxide).  When the electrical current interacts with the salts (sodium chloride) in the skin, it creates the chemical known as sodium hydroxide – or lye.  This soapy substance helps dissolve excess oil, clogged pores, comodones*, and other debris on the skin, while softening it at the same time.
Is the process of using electric current to introduce water-soluble products into the skin.  The process allows Estheticians to transfer, or penetrate, ions of an applied solution into the deeper layers of the skin.  Ions are atoms or molecules that carry an electrical charge.  Current flows through conductive solutions from the positive and negative polarities.  This process is known as ionization (eye-ahn-ih-ZAY-shun) the separating of a substance into ions.
Theoretically, iontophoresis is based on universal laws of attraction.  For example, negative attracts positive, and vice versa.  Similar to magnetic response, iontophoresis creates an exchange of negative and positive ions or charges.
The process of ionic penetration takes two forms:
  • Cataphoresis (kat-uh-fuh-REE-sus): refers to infusion of a positive product.
  • Anaphoresis: refers to the infusion of a negetive product.

***to always avoid health complications or harm to the skin, you should not be having the Galvanic Current procedures when you have the following conditions: 

  • metal implants or a pacemaker
  • braces
  • heart conditions
  • epilepsy
  • pregnancy
  • high blood pressure, fever, or any infection
  • diminished nerve sensibility due to diseases such as diabetes
  • open or broken skin (wounds, new scars) or inflamed pustular acne
  • couperose* skin or Rosacea
  • chronic migraine headaches

Sebum: an oily/waxy matter,secreted by microscopic glands in the skin called sebaceous glands

Comodones: blackheads

Couperose: skin that has dilated or has broken capillaries.

**The details above were taken from “Milady’s Standard Esthetics: Fundamentals 10th Edition” .

Microdermabrasion: the History & What-Not…



(Precursors to Microdermabrasion)  The concept of abrading the skin, or removing the upper layers, for skin rejuvenation dates back as far as 1500 BC, when Egyptian physicians used a type of sandpaper to smooth scars.  More recently, in the early 1900’s in Germany, Doctor Kromayer used rotating wheels and rasps to remove the upper layers of the skin.  It was Kromayer’s passion to perfect a practical device to help small pox victims minimize the disfigurement of scarring from this epidemic.  Because these instruments were human-powered, they weren’t very easily operated and therefore not used very often.  In the mid 1950’s motorized wire brushes replaced their human-powered predecessors and the use of dermabrasion became a more commonplace. There were, sadly, many problems with dermabrasion during these times, including:

  • Pain – the procedure had to be performed with anesthesia.
  • Long downtime – the top layers of the skin had to heal back in and this took weeks.
  • Scarring – even though dermabrasion was used to treat scarring, it often caused scars to develop.
  • Wound care – Taking care of the denuded (or stripped down) skin was a lengthy and a difficult process.
  • Infection – The risk of infection with abraded (or scraped) skin was high.
  • Danger to practitioner – The abraded skin particles were aerosolized exposing the practitioner and staff to possible infection.

Modern Microdermabrasion: In a response to the risks of dermabrasion, the first microdermabrasion machine was developed in 1985 in Italy by Doctor’s Mattioli and Brutto. This first machine was a “closed-loop” system, meaning the skin that was abraded was returned to a “dirty” container in the machine instead of being aerosolized. Microdermabrasion machines were introduced in America by Mattioli Engineering in the mid-late 1990’s, and the production of microdermabrasion machines has exploded.

What is it? Answer: 

A cosmetic procedure that can be performed at a spa or dermatologist’s office. A technician uses a machine to rapidly discharge super-fine crystals onto the skin’s surface, removing the outermost layer of the Stratum Corneum (The top layer of the skin, or the uppermost layer of the epidermis, made up of tightly packed cells that are constantly being sloughed away). The crystals are then vacuumed away. The treatment is not painful, and there is no recovery time. It is best for those with non-inflamed acne, many blackheads and/or whiteheads.

The precursor to the machines we typically see in the market now at most day Spas and Dermatologists offices are similar to the machines that were approved by the FDA, for usage in America in 1994; being originally developed by the above mentioned doctors from Italy, in 1985, their company: Mattioli Engineering.

By 2005 Microdermabrasion was one of the top 5 Esthetic procedure performed in the U.S.  There were approx. 150,000 recorded procedures performed that year, which was an increase of 26% from 2003.  With this procedure growing in popularity every year, there have been advances to the safety and how its administered and what you can do along with a microderm.

There are typically two kinds: a micro crystal that is used or a diamond tip.

  • Crystal Machines:    The first microdermabrasion machines worked by circulating a cream infused with exfoliating crystals, or aluminum oxide, onto skin. The crystals clean the skin’s top layer, removing dead skin cells. A resurfacing wand massages the top surface and cleans pores. The resurfacing wand has strength levels that can be adjusted by the user. With crystal machines, a handheld device pushes a high-speed flow of aluminum oxide crystals to the skin. While this occurs, a vacuum sucks away dead skin cells, used crystals and dirt.
  • Diamond Tip:   Diamond-tipped machines are accompanied by wands of differing sizes and coarseness, which can be used for various skin types of resurfacing depths. The wand’s tip consists of natural diamond chips that resurface and remove dead cells. The cells are then vacuumed back into a waste filter. The diamond tips are easier to control and cause less skin irritation.


Crystal:   Aluminum oxide crystals are the second hardest mineral after diamonds. Because the crystals have an irregular shape, they are an effective abrader. As an inert material, the crystals cause no allergic reactions and are non-carcinogenic.
Diamond:   Diamond-tipped machines are accompanied by wands of differing sizes and coarseness, which can be used for various skin types of resurfacing depths. The wand’s tip consists of natural diamond chips that resurface and remove dead cells. The cells are then vacuumed back into a waste filter. The diamond tips are easier to control and cause less skin irritation.

There is some controversy about using aluminum oxide. Most doctors, however, agree that using the crystals for skin resurfacing is safe. The older crystal machines, however, are slowly being phased out and replaced with diamond-tipped microdermabrasion. While diamonds leave no chance of crystal damage or ingestion, the machines are not without risk, such as damaging the skin or scarring. Bacteria from the skin being exfoliated remains on the wand’s tip and could be spread to other areas. This type of machine is also less effective on irregular surfaces, since there are no crystals for an exact fit. The price for both machines is about the same, ranging from $75 to $200 per treatment (please keep in mind this is “average” cost, not what it may or may not cost in your area).


  • Immediate results and continuing improvement
  • Equally effective for all *Fitzpatrick Skin Types
  • Causes no or minimal patient discomfort
  • Produces no side effects
  • No anesthesia or recovery time required
  • Can be performed quickly (about 15 to 20 minutes)
  • Patients return immediately to daily activities
  • More affordable than laser, surgery or other methods

  • Sun-damaged skin
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Acne scars and some other forms of scarring
  • Enlarged or oily pores
  • Blackheads and whiteheads
  • Age spots/superficial pigmentation/Hyperpigmentation
  • Post-traumatic pigmentation
  • General exfoliation/rejuvenation
  • Adjunctive to cosmetic surgery
  • Blending post-lasered skin
  • Uneven skin tone
  • dullness skin from aging
  • Keratosis Pilaris** (seen as skin bumps)
  • Some stretch marks
  • A Brief History of Microdermabrasion


  • Improvement in Sun-damaged skin
  • Smooths Out Fine lines and Wrinkles
  • Improves or Removes Age Spots
  • Improves or Removes Hyperpigmentation***
  • Evened Pigmentation
  • Reduces or Removes Acne scars (and other forms of scarring)
  • Improvement in Enlarged or oily pores
  • Removal, Improvement or Cleanses Blackheads and Whiteheads
  • Improves Post-traumatic Pigmentation
  • General Exfoliation/Rejuvenation
  • Adjunctive to cosmetic surgery
  • Blended post-laser skin
  • Blending and Brightening of Uneven skin tone
  • Bring a youthful appearance to dull aging skin
  • Improve Keratosis Pilaris (rough skin bumps)
  • Improve Some stretch marks
  • If you are currently using or in the past 12 months been using any form of prescription acne medications such as:  Isotretinoin is the Generic form, however, there are MANY prescription acne meds, BEFORE you do any skin care procedure you should consult your regular primary care physician to confirm you are okay’d to do said procedure.
  • If you’re taking any topical Retinoids;  These can make your skin more susceptible to irritation. (Other topical acne treatments can too, so tell your technician about everything you’re using on your skin.)
  • You have moderate to severe inflammatory acne.Microdermabrasion isn’t the treatment of choice for inflammatory acne.
  • Any kind of Steroid. You might have been on it for a sore throat, a bladder infection or a virus of some kind, however, if it’s been within the past month, make sure your technician performing the procedure is aware, because dependent on how long ago it was, you might need to wait another week or two.  Steroids can make your skin very fragile, and we never want to create an issue with damaging the skin.
  • ANY kind of medication that indicates Avoid long amounts of sun exposure, this happens often in antibiotics, it’s typically a short time you are taking said medications.  But if you have to avoid the sun, chances are it’s making your skin more fragile.
  • Your doctor nixes the idea. If you’re under a dermatologist’s care for acne, check with your doc first. You’ll want to get the OK before having a microdermabrasion treatment done.  This is for your own safety and well being of your skin!
**Please note: this is only a short list of reasons why you shouldn’t be getting this procedure done.  Please keep in mind when scheduling to make such an appointment with your local Esthetician or day spa for a Microderm, you need to be honest and complete the forms they give you.  IF you are in fact not a candidate that day, please try to understand the reason why we choose NOT to give you said procedure.  We want you to have a good experience, enjoy the results.  If you push to have this done and you are taking some of these medications or are hiding something about your skin, then you are taking a chance in permanently damaging your skin forever.  Bottom line is we want to please our clients and when it gets right down to it, we want you to come back and be a happy customer…
*The Fitzpatrick Scale (aka Fitzpatrick skin typing test or Fitzpatrick phototyping scale) is a numerical classification schema for the color of skin. It was developed in 1975 by Thomas B. Fitzpatrick, a Harvard dermatologist, as a way to classify the response of different types of skin to UV light. It remains a recognized tool for dermatologic research into the color of skin. (see post with better more defined details)

**Keratosis Pilaris (KP, also follicular keratosis) is a common, autosomal dominant, genetic follicular condition that is manifested by the appearance of rough bumps on the skin. It most often appears on the back and outer sides of the upper arms (though the lower arms can also be affected), and can also occur on the thighs, hands, and tops of legs, flanks, buttocks, or any body part except glabrous skin (like the palms or soles of feet).  Less commonly, lesions appear on the face, which may be mistaken for acne.

***Hyperpigmentation is the increase in the natural color of the skin.