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Common Facial Myths

Liz Quesnelle has heard it all. As the owner and esthetician at Le Bon Visage Corrective Skin Care and Cosmetics, located near the Magnificent Mile in Chicago, she has found herself in the position of explaining certain things about facials ≠ namely separating fact from fiction as it pertains to skin care treatments.

"It's amazing to me that there are so many rumors and untruths about my profession and services out there, says Ms. Quesnelle. "Since many people I meet out and about have been misinformed about facials from friends, the media and even other estheticians, I felt that I needed to create an educational tool separating fact from fiction."

8 Misconceptions About Facials

Itís normal to break out after a facial

This is the mother of all facial myths. Shoot. If I had a dime for every time I heard this, wellÖletís just say Elizabeth Arden would be renamed Elizabeth Quesnelle. There is absolutely no reason you should break out after a facial.

If you do itís because the technician used the wrong products, causing irritation and inflammation, or because they did not do extractions correctly. When an esthetician performs extractions, he/she looks at each pore/blemish/blackhead and assesses whether it can be safely extracted. If the esthetician thinks that itís ready to come out, then they begin gently pushing on the area, working the debris out.

If, after applying gentle pressure, the impurities are not budging, then it should be left alone. If the esthetician continues to force it out, then you can end up with a busted follicle wall and the spreading of bacteria into other follicles or even a scar.

I can do these treatments at home for much cheaper

You can do treatments at home, and they would cost you less money, but you wonít get the results you can at the hands of a professional esthetician. Estheticians are able to use to look at your skin and correctly diagnose each area and determine the best course of treatment.

Over 50% of women incorrectly identified their skin type according to a recent study published by a beauty publication. Usually, people mistake their skin for being oilier than it actually is. Therefore, they gravitate towards those with oil controlling properties, which can seriously throw off the balance of the skin by making it way too dry.

I have to purchase every product, every time

Sometimes it seems as though if you donít immediately purchase the recommended product your skin will fall off. Not so. Make educated choices about your skin care. Ask the technician why he/she is recommending that you take home that product today.

If they canít give you a well thought out or intelligent and scientific answer, then you may want to pass on the purchase. Take the name of the product home and do your own research on the web.

Also, donít be afraid to tell your esthetician that you are on a budget and ask what one product at the spa/salon is essential in their opinion. Follow that up by asking what drugstore brands will work well with your skin and the one salon/spa product.

Your skinís health and appearance are very important, but you shouldnít have to break the bank to take care of it. There are things that work (and donít work) at all price points.

Itís OK for the technician to leave the room

There are different thoughts on this, but I firmly believe that your esthetician should be with you in the treatment room 100% of the time. Some of the products we use are aggressive. To leave when an acid or enzyme is on the skin is inexcusable, in my book.

Usually, estheticians leave because they are working on two clients in two separate rooms at one time. Places where this factory-mentality exists should be avoided, in my opinion. Your skin is too important to be treated with split focus.

When making an appointment, ask the receptionist if they book multiple facials for each esthetician per hour. Or, ask the esthetician before the treatment begins if he/she will be in the treatment room at all times. This is particularly important during body treatments, where there is a real possibility of overheating or becoming claustrophobic.

Extractions should hurt

No pain, no gain doesnít apply to the world of skin care. Extractions may not be the most pleasant part of the facial, but they should not cause a great deal of pain. If the esthetician is using too much pressure, ask he/she to go easier on your skin. It is possible to have effective extractions without applying what feels like 5 tons of weight to your skin.

The oil used to massage my face will make me break out

I have personally heard this from nervous clients during the massage portion of the facial. I can absolutely understand where the concern comes from. We have been taught that oil is bad. Oil causes blemishes. Nothing is further from the truth.

The oil that is produced in our skin (which is known as sebum) lubricates our skin and provides an additional protective layer against bacteria and particulate matter. Often times, we create our own oily skin issues by scrubbing so much away that our body responds by over-producing the sebum. Itís a vicious cycle.

The oil that should be used on the face during a massage should be olive, grapeseed, jojoba, or apricot kernel. These oils are molecularly similar to our bodies own oils, so the skin readily accepts them in. Since breakouts donít come from oil, the addition of these products to the skin serves to provide lubrication and deep moisturization.

Facials are for pampering, dermatologists are for results

Actually, for many minor and common skin ailments, seeing an esthetician can help immensely. Those with excessively dry, oily, acne and even rosacea have found that facials have helped keep their skin balanced and their trips to the doctor few and far between. Estheticians are uniquely qualified to work with the client on daily skin care regimens, teaching them to tend for their skin.

Dermatologists sometimes see the condition and not how the skin as a whole needs to be treated. They are far too busy to instruct their patients on proper home care. Estheticians in no way take the place of a dermatologist.

It is still ESSENTIAL for all people to see their dermatologist at least once a year for a skin cancer check and certainly if they have any sudden change in the skin that could represent disease.

I donít REALLY need to discuss medications with my esthetician

I know it seems strange. Why should you tell an esthetician about your meds? Is it their business? Yep ≠ it is. Many medications have side effects that affect the skin. Most commonly, medications result in drier, more sensitive skin.

If your technician is unaware that you are on, say Accutane, then there is a good chance that the wrong products could be used on your skin and you wonít get the best results.

All medicines need to be addressed, although antibiotics, birth control pills, acne medication, and antivirals should be especially noted.

Liz Quesnelle is the owner and head esthetician at Le Bon Visage Corrective Skin Care and Cosmetics, located at 233 E. Erie St., Suite 708. She can be reached at 773-398-3213.

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