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What is a skin assessment?

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1.       I cleanse your makeup off while I feel the texture of your skin.  Dry skin feels rough, moles that are raised need a second look and may require a dermatologist referral, flakey patches are also a high concern as well as any bumpy texture that may point to a rash, Rosacea flare or allergic reaction to a product you’re using at home. At this time, or before I start, I will ask you about your home routine and about your health: Do you wash once or twice per day? Do you use scrubs or masks? Do you shave or pluck or have you recently had any type of hair removal?  Any medications or recent changes in them? Any prescription topical creams?  Any hormonal conditions, recent pregnancies, menopause or any changes in skin because of your cycle?  These questions may sound intrusive, but knowing what happens inside you lets me know how to combat how it shows up on the outside.

2.       I shine a bright light on your face looking at the color of your skin. Blotchy skin and dark circles under the eyes may indicate allergies or other issues.  Redness may indicate Rosacea and sensitive skin.  I’m looking for acne and scarring. Cherry angiomas, sebaceous hyperplasia, sun damage, and mole size, shape and color. I am also confirming and taking note of the texture that I felt during cleansing.  All of this information is noted in your chart and I watch for changes each time you come in.  With the goals that we spoke about before cleansing and the info that these 1st steps provide, I plan out that day’s treatment as well as a daily/weekly/monthly treatment plan and at home routine so that we can both work to reach your beauty goals. 

3.       I either start the treatment planned for that day, alter the planned treatment because of a discovery during the assessment or send you on your way to read over the assessment and decide for yourself what you can afford to move forward with: home skincare routine, professional strength in office treatments or both.

Home skincare routines are checked and if needed, reassessed after 1 month (usually your second or third in office treatment).  A full skin cycle must run to see if your skin likes the new routine.  A skin cycle as the time it takes from baby cells to be born at the deepest layer of the epidermis (the skin's outer layer), and mature as they rise to the surface and ultimately slough off.  For people over 40, it takes a bit longer (usually about a month and a half). 

Each time you return for a treatment, no matter what we are doing that day, steps 1-3 are performed.  This allows me to take note of how the plan is progressing and if we need to tweak anything.  There will always be stress, hormonal changes, travel, medication, sickness, seasonal changes and life changes that will affect your skin. I am just here to help you look your best while life, sometimes brutally, moves forward. 

The wrong T.E.W.L. for the job.

Everyone knows that dry skin sucks: you’re itchy, your makeup looks cakey, etc., but did you know that most breakouts that I have seen in my studio are due to overly dry skin.  Most premature aging and wrinkles can be plumped by just drinking more water and using the right products on your skin.  Crazy huh!?

Of course, drinking more water and eating water laden vegetables and fruit will help the situation, but you also need to use the right skincare products to combat TEWL.  Transepidermal water loss (TEWL) is when the water inside you evaporates through your skin. We all lose approximately 1 pint of fluid each day from TEWL.  If you already have dry skin, it can increase TEWL, leaving you open to dehydration and infection, as well as make you look haggard.

TEWL and dehydration are caused mostly by not drinking enough water but also by the lack of humidity in the environment (Sorry Bend clients!).  Using drying products for acne and oily skin, drinking too much caffeine, pool swimming, illness, hormonal imbalance, smoking, stress and travel are also moisture killers. 

To repair the damage done and stop it from progressing, you need to be using the right skincare products.  Every single person is unique, so my suggestions will be vague.  For more detailed, personal suggestions, you will need to schedule a skin assessment so I can see and touch your skin. 

Most people go straight for oil or HEAVY creams, well… this will probably cause more problems: like clogging pores, acne, millia and your makeup will slide right off your greasy face.  Or people are using essential oils without properly formulating them with other ingredients, drying out their skin even more!   Instead, try to find products that are well balanced with emollients and oils.  Emollients are ingredients that seal in moisture; my favorite is jojoba oil because it fights bacteria and won’t clog your pores. 

Ceramides (lipids) in skincare are also extremely helpful for locking in water. Once you find products that have the right ingredients, you then have to try them on your own skin to see if your skin reacts well. You need to try a new skincare routine for at least a month before seeing if it’s going to work for you.  Why one month, because it’s the typical full cycle of skin cell turnover (one and a half to 2 months for people over 40).

There is a lot to learn about ingredients: ones that are good for your skin, ones that are bad for your skin and overall health and ones that work well enough together to actually make a difference.  I have researched this for over 6 years now, so if you would like specific advice on the right products and ingredients for YOUR skin, please set up a skin assessment and maybe a product assessment (I look over the ingredients of your current products).  There are thousands of brands out there, it pays to have a professional’s advice on skincare products.