When you have a relationship with a patient you enter in to a partnership with that person and their appearance. They are coming to you for help with a real or perceived malady. This may be an illness, undesirable aging effects, or features that they dislike. In addition to the procedures and treatments that you can provide, both surgical and non-invasive, your recommendations can also have a big impact on the skincare choices that your patients make. If you have never been asked for input in this arena before, it may take you aback the first time someone seeks your advice on things like cleansers, lotions and cosmetics. You may be tempted to tell them to go with whatever makes them happy. Before you take that approach, though, remind yourself that you are partners with your patient in the care of their body – and as that partner, you may have some responsibility to make professional endorsements that will benefit them.
Here is our advice:
A natural, light look will make the work that you are doing shine. Heavy, cakey layers will cover it up. This has been a trend that has grown for the last several years. Every beauty magazine has opined on this, at least since 2015. The great thing about this is that a more natural look usually comes with less skin-harming cosmetics being applied. This will make your job easier in the long run.
Several years ago, in 2015 to be exact, the trend emerged. Highlighted by The Today Show, “5 tips to nailing the natural ‘no-makeup’ makeup look”and almost every fashion and lifestyle magazine. Allure, Glamour, dozens of beauty blogs, even Business Insider covered this topic in the most interesting possible way (March, 2018). They encouraged the transition from just a natural “look” to attaining that look by way of natural products.
Everyone is talking about “clean beauty” as people have become more aware of the potentially adverse effects of certain synthetic chemicals that are often found in makeup. The more careful people become about what they put on their skin, the more popular natural makeup has become.The biggest difference between “natural” and “synthetic” makeup is the ingredients. Most synthetic makeup products contain potentially harmful chemicals including parabens, phthalates, and SLS. According to studies, your skin can absorb up to 64% of what you place on it. If you find this concerning, perhaps it’s time to go green… The ingredients list on makeup products can be overwhelming, and it’s often in very small print. A good way to check how safe a product is is to visit the online EWG Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. Here you can verify the safety ratings of more than 73,000 beauty products.
There are some ingredients that may not be natural, organic, or “green”, but that might still be beneficial to your patients. This will likely be on a case by case basis, and can be handled as such – when you know the patient, their skin, and the ingredients. Some products that contain these may even help your patients achieve a light, natural look. When you give your advice or endorsement, make sure that you have done your research and are confident in what you are recommending.
The Cleveland Clinic is one of the most well respected medical institutions on the planet. When this place has an entire page on their website dedicated to protecting yourself from sun damage, you know it is important. If you ever have the opportunity to give advice to clients or patients about how to take care of their skin and look better – then this is the most important piece you can give.
This is what the Cleveland Clinic has to say on the topic:
Staying out of the sun is the best way to avoid sun damage, but most of us go outdoors regularly. So when you go outside, take these precautions:
- Always wear sunscreen. Apply it on your skin every day. Make it a habit, as you do with brushing your teeth.
- Avoid sun in the middle of the day, from about 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The ultraviolet rays, which cause sunburn, are strongest during this time.
- Wear protective clothing. When you do go outdoors, especially for long periods in the middle of the day, long sleeves and slacks, as well as a wide-brimmed hats, help protect your body against the sun’s harmful effects.
- Wear sunglasses that filter UV light.
Every man, woman and child will benefit for wearing sunscreen and taking precautions. Yes, vitamin D is beneficial to you- and yes, some sunscreens have had negative effects. However, the fact is that incidental exposure to the sun provides enough for almost every person, absorbed through the skin in spite of sunblock. (Source).
Luckily, dark tans are as out of vogue as heavy makeup – making it much easier to convince your clients to limit their exposure, thus reducing the risk of premature aging, sunburn, and skin cancer.
Cleanse, Exfoliate, Moisturize
Having a daily skin care routine is important. And all of the experts agree on the three basics: Cleanse, Exfoliate and Moisturize.
Cleanse (twice a day), in the morning and before bed. Here is why:
The benefits of cleansing twice a day have been known for quite a while. In 2012 FutureDerm published a blog on this topic, explaining with scientific details the reason. (Source). That said, these include:
- Cleansing before bed helps you look younger
- This will help your pores look smaller
- It keeps your skin hydrated
- Excess oil/sebum production is curbed
Exfoliation is key to shedding dead skin cells and uncovering new, fresh and glowing skin. Exfoliation can be done through a scrub, or through a creme or serum. Either way, you are focusing on removing the top layer of skin cells, replacing them with fresh, new ones. To do this well, however, requires evaluation.
Individuals with inflammatory acne, which includes cysts and pustules, should consult a board-certified dermatologist before selecting an exfoliation method. More aggressive chemical or mechanical treatments could actually make their condition worse. The same is true of people with rosacea, as many forms of exfoliation may increase facial redness.
In some individuals, more aggressive forms of exfoliation may result in postinflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), or the appearance of dark spots on the skin. People with skin of color or those who notice such dark spots after burns or bug bites may be prone to PIH. Dr. Lupo recommends that these individuals avoid aggressive exfoliation treatments.
Additionally, exfoliation may aggravate other skin conditions like herpes simplex, molluscum contagiosum and warts, because these conditions include raised, fluid-filled bumps that could open and become infected. Before beginning an exfoliation regimen, Dr. Lupo recommends consulting with a board-certified dermatologist, who can evaluate an individual’s medical history and recommend the best exfoliation options. (Source).
The University of Tennessee Medical Center has a lot to say about the importance of moisturizing: it is vital for healthy skin. They recommend that moisturizing take place twice a day after bathing, swimming, shaving or exfoliation.
These, and more, are tips you can share with your patients and clients.