News

  • Teaching Through Touch: The Do-It-Yourself Face Massage in 4 Easy Steps

    DewySkinDIYTOUCH is powerful. As professional skin therapists, we have a special privilege of using the power of touch through massage. Touch techniques are no secret in our profession, yet there are many people that have yet to experience the transformative power that a skilled face massage can deliver.

    Our clients rely on our hands as their main point of reference, and with our guidance they can learn to apply movements on certain facial points as part of their homecare routine. But not all face massages are created equal. There are controversial “face yoga” or alternative facial exercises that claim to tighten and lift, which, if not done properly, may lead to skin stretching or wrinkle formation. This is where our expertise comes in to educate our clients.

    The human face itself has over 40 muscles! Many of these are responsible for facial expression and are often tender at times of stress or fatigue; and as we age, the strength and tone of these muscles will slacken. Face massage movements can be effective at firming and toning areas of the face and neck.

    Acupressure works great on face muscles by using the fingers to press key points on the surface of the skin to help relieve headaches, eye strain, sinus problems, neck pain and many other ailments. The healing touch of acupressure reduces tension, increases circulation and enables the client to relax deeply. Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) stimulates the movement of the lymphatic fluids in order to detoxify the body with gentle, rhythmical technique for enhanced activity of the immune system and to assist with pain reduction.

    At The International Dermal Institute, we looked at these techniques and created a relaxing, rejuvenating do-it-yourself face massage that incorporates these acupressure and drainage techniques to boost circulation and detoxification, smooth fine lines and alleviate muscle tension. This DIY massage works best when used in conjunction with a therapeutic oil, such as Dermalogica’s Phyto Replenish Oil, which harnesses the power of phytoactive ingredients like Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Tamanu Oil, Orchid Flower Extract and Chia Seed Oil. The end result? Radiant, energized, healthy, dewy skin.

    Share these steps with your clients to try at home and how they benefit the skin.

    • EASE FOREHEAD CREASES: Place fingertips together in the middle of the forehead and, with elbows out, press firmly. Glide (fingers together!) with slight pressure toward temples, press and release. Relaxes tension held in the forehead. Repeat 3 times.

    • DE-PUFF EYES: Especially great after a long flight, or a long night! Using your index or middle finger, press between brows—the power spot we think of as the “Third Eye”—and stroke over brows, around the eyes, and returning to center. Then use your fingertips to trace an “S” shape between the brows to release tension. Alternate between presses and S’s, repeat 3 times each, for a total of 6 movements.

    • SINUS RELIEF: Use your index or middle finger beside each nostril, press, release and slide to the divot or small hollow just under the cheekbone, and press gently. Glide toward ear (each side) and lightly press in the hollow right beside the ear. A bit of tenderness is normal as circulation boosts and detoxification takes place. Repeat 3 times.

    • JAW RELAXER: Are you a clencher? Many people actually damage their teeth by grinding or simply clenching, throughout the day and all night along! This can result in massive headache as well as cracked fillings. With flat fingers, beginning in center of chin, move fingers in small circles upward along the jawline. Stop just below the ear, gently press, and lightly move fingers down the neck to help with lymphatic drainage—open your fingers toward the collarbone as you go. Repeat 3 times.

    Watch this video to see the massage in action!

    Teach your client these moves on their next visit along with a sample of a botanical-based phyto-replenishing oil to magnify the power of touch. You’ll give their skin a wake-up call that will look and feel fresher, and function better.

  • 4 Simple Ways to Spark Your Career Success

    As skin therapists we have all at one time felt frustrated when appointments seem scarce, the salon is slow or retails sales are not up to par. However, don’t let these bumps in your career put out your fire! In an industry that can be fiercely competitive, you have to channel your passion, ignite your spark and show the world that you know and love skin. Remember, YOU are the skin therapist that is going to be changing lives (or at least skin health!). The advice is simple…get obsessed, become a true skin enthusiast and an expert in your craft—and most importantly, believe in yourself. The fact is, you already know how to be successful; you may have just gotten distracted for a moment. Let’s get re-focused! Confidence brings clients and if you share this same sense of passion for the industry, then read on for ways to spark your success.

    Get empowered through education

    The best way to learn and experience what is going on in the industry is to continue your education in and outside of the treatment space. Many of us found our way into skin care by actually being a client first; receiving treatments from another professional is an excellent way to experience various techniques and to get inspired. The industry is constantly changing and evolving, and we must be able to do the same. Take the time to strive towards your professional best by staying up to date on product innovations, learning new techniques and ingredients. Whether this is online, in the classroom or receiving a treatment, education = empowerment and clients are seeking that type of elevated training in a therapist.

    Make the connection

    General networking events are a great way to meet people, however, take a moment and think—where are you making your most impactful connections that not only inspire you but the business you’re in as well? Kick start your philanthropic spirit by getting involved with groups or initiatives that create meaningful relationships, where people want to propel each other’s success. Client’s like to do business with professionals who do good. Get involved and give back.

    Don’t know where to start? Visit Dermalogica’s FITE page for ideas and resources.

    Put your PR On

    Consider this as your personal rave, your personal reputation, your passion re-ignited. Take charge of brand YOU by sharing with your clients why you love what you do and why you are the best. Are you an exceptional brow specialist? Are your extractions painless? Is your massage the best in the city? This is not the time to be bashful about your talents. Be proud of what you do, as there is nothing wrong with bragging as long as you can back it up. In other words, you’re kind of a big deal.

    Get local on your social

    Even if you don’t have a million followers on Twitter, you do have local raving fans and they want to know what you recommend for treating the skin. With social media you can create that instant connection with clients and even gain a few new ones in the process. Your advice on skin health can be given anytime, any day by posting about what you do on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Clients want to be educated and will readily read and re-post your skin care secrets. Don’t be shy about your healthy skin tips, embrace your inner expert and share! You can even fill up that empty spot in your schedule by using your social media to instantly alert clients that you have an opening versus calling them. Trust me, they are checking their Facebook page more often than their voicemail.

    Use these simple steps to spark your professional success and growth. It’s time to put your newfound confidence to work and invest in creating the career that you deserve!

  • SKINtuition: 15 Ways to Build a Championship Team

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    A good job is hard to find, but every business owner or spa manager knows a good employee is even harder to keep. Great business leaders have many characteristics, but one thread that weaves among the best is their ability to foster culture and talent so staff (and clients alike) look forward to coming to work.

    In the spa world, owners are often also operators that still personally service clients in addition to managing a team, and this creates a challenge. By 7 p.m., energy is depleted to “empty husk” level, and there’s no patience for staff squabbles, training needs or a clogged dermabrasion machine.

    Contrary to belief, a fat paycheck is not the sole root to motivation. To build a championship team it takes effort, creativity and most of all, praise. If you are feeling a bit of a “husk” yourself and recognize that staff morale needs a boost, give a few of these a try.

    1. Be transparent about the numbers.

    Ensure you have ongoing open communication about the business, the good and the bad. Share these in monthly and weekly meetings. It helps the team understand spending, the meaning behind tasks and encourages ownership, accountability and commitment.

    2. Set goals and targets.

    Champions need goals with clear expectations for results to be achieved. Everyone needs to know their daily, weekly and monthly goals, and attention needs to be given to this on a daily basis. There’s nothing worse than an individual missing a goal by a leg wax or sale of one cleanser. As a manager or owner, it is your duty to help them reach these goals, which starts with them knowing what they are.

    3. Recognize a job well done.

    Have “shout outs” at team meetings, and compliment a team member when you witness outstanding customer service, teamwork and/or skilled performance. Start a public recognition program like employee of the month, share on your social media pages and physically hang a picture of the team member in your business for clients to celebrate them too.

    4. Encourage attendance to education.

    New modalities and ingredients get introduced into our industry daily along with skin scientific discoveries. Support your staff and encourage their progress and achievements. Get them to share new skills or relevant information with your other team members on their return. Champions aren’t created without training.

    5. Support new ideas.

    When staff members voice an idea or a solution to a problem they believe is for the betterment of the business, it shows that they care. Supporting new ideas and giving an individual the chance to ‘run with it’ is motivating, whether or not it works out in the end.

    6. Empower decision making.

    The salon or spa should not crumble if you are gone for a day or week. If you have trained and empowered your staff to make decisions, let them take full ownership, let go of the reigns and let them roll.

    7. Don’t let boredom sneak in.

    Keep it fun with planned outings and group activities. Host a best smoothie recipe taste-off, book an early spin class or arrange a group hike and picnic. Have someone suggest a team building activity quarterly.

    8. Give together and grow together.

    Have one day per quarter where you all volunteer for your chosen non-profit, be it a cut-a-thon, complimentary skin treatments and makeovers for a woman’s shelter. Giving feels good and goes a long way to boost empathy and team spirit.

    9. Hear from them.

    Have a different person each week run the meeting to break up the monotony. Have different team members update about different areas of the business like new client acquisition, social media engagement, retail figures and new products.

    10. Write to say thanks.

    Send a handwritten note or card for a job well done be it for client retention, delicate handling of a customer compliant or achieving a retail target for the first time.

    11. Treat them.

    Chocolate and good coffee are always a winner. Purchase a small surprise unique gift for an outstanding team member. Bring in homemade treats, or let them organize a potluck.

    12. Help them to prioritize.

    Learn to recognize burn-out and make sure your team knows it is part of the teamwork culture to ask for help.

    13. Celebrate.

    Celebrate important markers, be it team birthdays, hitting targets together, work anniversaries or milestones.

    14. Challenge.

    Whether it’s to spearhead a new project, social media campaign, new service promotion or event, give them the responsibility and guidelines to run with it.

    15. Encourage friendly competition.

    A competitive environment is a productive environment. Champs love to participate in competitions or challenges for increased camaraderie.

    This article was originally published in SkinInc.com.

  • Keeping Up with The Industry at IECSC Las Vegas

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    Photo credit: IECSC

     

    This past weekend, I attended the International Esthetics, Cosmetics and Spa conference (IECSC) in Las Vegas, Nevada. The conference had over 600 exhibitors, 5 CIDESCO workshops, a 2-day medical spa conference, business building seminars, and 135+ FREE classes—I felt like a kid in a candy store! My two-day ticket allowed plenty of time for me to see the many exhibitors and attend some wonderful education classes. Of course, I had to have a game plan to make it all happen. My plan of action was an hour-by-hour timeline for classes, cruising the show floor, and of course lunch. This made it easy to navigate my days because I knew exactly where and when I needed to be at a certain location.

    My priority at IECSC was to attend classes and indulge in education. This year’s education lineup seemed to be split between technology and ingredient classes. The technology education was focused on microdermabrasion, micro needling, lasers and LED. On Saturday I took an LED class from Lightwave that delved into the science of LED and the way it should be applied during a skin treatment. On Sunday, I took another technology class from Bio-Therapeutic about how to incorporate multiple machines into one skin treatment. Both classes were very informative! The ingredient classes were focused on cosmeceutical ingredients and what to look for in chemical peel formulations. It’s always great to learn what’s new and what’s tried and true when looking for a great peel line.

    In between my scheduled classes, I took time to peruse the show floor. I noticed lash extension companies were on every corner this year! Each vendor was applying full sets of lashes and even brow extensions as live demonstrations on the floor. Micro needling exhibitors were a close second to the amount of lash companies, covering everything from traditional needle rollers to automatic pen devices. Just remember, micro needling is great and can yield amazing results, but don’t purchase equipment unless you know your licensure and liability insurance covers the treatment. Thirdly, I noticed that LED manufacturers were abundant. Most machines were for professional use and offered traditional red and blue lights, while others had up to 4 colors including green, yellow or combination.

    Trade shows are always a great place to learn about what’s up and coming in the industry and it amazes me to see how far we’ve advanced in helping clients reach their skin goals. Overall, I had a great time catching up with old co-workers, expanding my knowledge of technology in the treatment room, and doing a little shopping!

  • SKINtuition: 5 Ways To Get People Buzzing About Your Biz

    Buzz or word-of-mouth marketing is best described as “people talking about you.” Has a friend recently recommended a new hip restaurant, a unique store, cool website or insist you watch a certain Netflix show? Has a business connection suggested a new money saving app? That’s buzz.

    Buzz can happen organically, and creating buzz for your business is not hard. It takes a bit of creativity, willingness to fail and above all confidence. Here are five simple ideas to push up the buzz o’ meter.

    1. Stand Out

    Do something that will get you noticed. Examples could include a new advanced treatment, big event or giving back to the community. If you do what every other spa does, you’re not worth talking about.

    2. Share Your Story

    Storytelling is gold. If your entered into skin care as a life-long dream after losing your job, getting divorced or finally getting your kids out of the nest, share this. Being honest and transparent is refreshing, and people love a real success story (especially the press), so don’t be afraid to share your truth or even your failures for that matter. It’s fascinating and people want to connect with and support small business.

    3. Look After Your Loyalists

    Loyal clients are the ones who will buzz about you to their friends and family in person and via social, so it’s in your best interest to treat them like royalty. It goes way beyond your treatments and services—you should have stellar customer service support, build exceptional relationships and go above and beyond expectations. Your top clients give you the majority of your business, it’s part of the 80/20 rule. So dial up how you acknowledge and reward them. The occasional “surprise and delight” unexpected note, gift or complimentary service goes down as a treat too.

    4. Be Your Own Ambassador of Buzz

    If you’re not ready to jump in and chat about your craft, then who else? Instead of focusing on what you do and how you do it, talk to people about why you do it. When you talk about the why, your authentic passion will come through; this is much more fascinating and galvanizing for someone to hear.

    Think of it as your own 30 second “elevator pitch” you need to be able to get this down and it is the cheapest and easiest most important form of buzz marketing. Share away at networking events, startup meetups, co-working spaces, industry get-together’s, backyard BBQs and even in the dog park.

    5. Dig Deep Into Social

    Research says that 63% of consumers who search for local businesses online are more likely to use businesses with information on social media sites. Facebook alone is now a mini website, and your social platforms are likely to be more up to date than your business website.

    When you consider that 93% of buying decisions are also influenced by social media, it is a no brainer. No social presence equals no visibility and no business. So post, Pin, engage, Tweet, Instagram, Snapchat away, but keep it professional, educational, positive, a bit quirky and fun if you want to convert those followers to service dollars.

    This article was originally published in SkinInc.com.

  • SKINtuition: 8 Fast and Slow Retail Strategies

    Dermalogica retail shopper

    As spa owners or managers, we need to make retail a focus instead of an afterthought, and our approach to retail and service should be both fast and slow. Sounds confusing? Let me explain.

    First, some good news. Although the idea of omni-retail (or multichannel retailing) might be overwhelming for small business owners, the good news is people are buying plenty of products. According to the NPD group, $16 billion was spent in 2015 by U.S consumers on prestige skin and beauty products and a staggering $21.7 billion in the mass channel. That’s a lot of lotion and lipstick. So, how can we make some better retail gains in the professional industry?

    When shoppers leisurely hanging out and enjoy themselves with in-store services, storytelling with less inventory, having customers take a seat to try products or even having a library or art installation, sales can increase by as much as 40%. Customers not only leave with three products on average, but a future service booking with a skin therapist and a much stronger understanding of their skin needs.

    So what more can you do to secure your sales? What best practices should you be replicating in your retail area? Here are eight fast and slow ideas to get your slice of that $16-billion-dollar pie.

    1. Add Experiences

    Investigate new ways to “power-up” the client experience through complimentary face mappings, self-serving or guided product bars, and in-store skin lesson mini events.

    2. Create Mini Services

    During quieter times, offer “on-demand” 10-minute services that don’t require a booking and are complimentary when a number of products or a core service is purchased.

    3. Remove Clutter

    Remove clutter and any inventory that either muddles your message, you don’t wholeheartedly believe in or can’t adequately differentiate from other product offerings.

    4. Design a story

    Have a weekly “story” in your retail area with curated product picks on your feature table that tell the backstory. Clients or customers should see something unique or different every visit. Use great visuals to spark inspiration.

    5. Amplify your theme

    Feature one-time-only treatments that tie into new product launches to amplify the central theme or story.

    6. Personalized marketing

    Personal­ization reigns. Make sure your outreach and promotions are customized as are your recommendations—not just to your customer’s exact skin needs but their desires, habits, lifestyle and preferences. Banish cookie cutter everything and replace with custom-made designed.

    7. Be real

    Whenever you speak, tell the real stories behind the product without needless fluff.

    8. Don’t forget about neighbors

    Focus on your neighbors and local community—how can you come together and support each other and the community as a whole?

    Remember, that you must convert your service clients to retail clients. If you are not, then you are not only doing them a disservice, but someone else who’s less qualified than you is wiping the pie crumbs away after eating your slice.

    This article was originally published in SkinInc.com.

  • SKINtuition: 6 Ways to Stand Out in the Age of Impatience

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    Looking back, industry trends in 2015 heralded some fascinating consumer behavior. Clients took advantage of new booking apps that deliver an at-home massage within one hour, but then endured long and multiple color appointments to accomplish that perfect ombre fade. Who would have expected #multimasking to have a major moment on Instagram, or that lash extensions would creep north and we’d be microblading in bushier brows? We tried to be more mindful, especially as we consumed copious amounts of kale. I’d love to know who the PR team is behind kale because they deserve an award for 2015’s most popular cabbage. Consumer trends can be overwhelming, but they are worth extra attention. The trick is to decipher what’s going to stick, what’s a fad and what is just plain bonkers.

    One trend that seems to be here to stay is the need for instant gratific­ation. Thanks to our hyper-connectivity and a tolerance for waiting that has dropped to zero, restless impatience is driving industry trends and will impact your business in 2016.

    This “Amazon-ification” level of expectation has surpassed virtual reality and seeped into every corner of our lives. Waiting 48 hours for an online order seems like an eternity, so same-day delivery is becoming the norm. Smartphone apps not only eliminate waiting for a cab, but human interaction: apps can bypass flirting by suggesting a date and securing a table at the toughest reservation in town. Teenagers don’t watch TV; they stream their favorite shows and movies on their tablet or laptop in seconds.

    Experts caution that all this instant gratification comes at a price; it’s made us terribly impatient. The new anxiety, wasting a single moment not getting exactly what you want. A study from the University of Massassa­chusettes Amherst says we now abandon videos if they take longer than two seconds to load. Today’s consumer is so restless that we’d rather be literally shocked than have nothing to do. University of Virginia scientists found that participants preferred to administer electric shocks to themselves rather than being left alone with their own thoughts for 6 to 15 minutes. We literally crave stimulation!

    If you are still operating your business like you did even two years ago, you need to “think quicker.” Here are six to-dos to help satisfy restless, impatient clients.

    1. Mobile Booking
    Make appointment booking painless by providing a quick online or even better mobile app option.

    2. Improve Software
    Ensure that check-in and check-out is efficient. Invest in computerized software that keeps client information on file for fewer lines and faster service.

    3. Develop Micro Services
    Consider offering “no appointment necessary” for micro services under 30 minutes.

    4. Engage During Waits
    Identify ways to engage clients while they wait. Can they give themselves a mini treatment at your product pool or skin bar, or make their own bath salts at your salt bar? Perhaps they get a “texters thumb” massage while watching video tutorials on how to treat their delicate eye area. Get creative!

    5. Text Confirmation
    Confirm appointments via text or a messaging app. Don’t leave a voicemail asking for a call back to confirm the appointment.

    6. Make Products Pronto
    Ensure that you have comprehensive client profiles set up in your system so you can quickly deliver or mail that emergency travel product or cleanser when they run out. Even better, track their purchases and anticipate what products they need replenished. The client who drives, parks and comes in for a single product is diminishing, but this kind of forward-thinking customer service can help grow your clientele and your retail business.

    This article was originally published in SkinInc.com.

  • Why International Women’s Day? Because It’s About You

    IWD collage

    The International Dermal Institute joins Dermalogica and FITE (Financial Independence Through Entrepreneurship) to celebrate this year’s highly-anticipated International Women’s Day by taking the Pledge for Parity – and we want you to do the same!

    International Women’s Day, held during National Women’s History Month, honors the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The Pledge for Parity aims to accelerate progress toward closing the pay gap between men and women, who perform 66 percent of the world’s work, yet only earn 10 percent of the world’s income.

    In 2015, the World Economic Forum predicted that at the world’s currently “glacial” rate of progress, it would take until 2133 to achieve global gender parity, or equality. That’s over a century away! By taking the pledge and raising awareness now, we can help speed change.

    Why is this important to professional skin therapists? All over the world, women have faced discrimination in the workforce, particularly when attempting to access business loans. In developing countries, nine out of 10 women-owned businesses have no access to loans. Even some of the most successful professional skin therapists in our network were once denied loans for salons or spas because their businesses were thought “unproductive” or “shallow.”

    The fact is, salons are a global economic force. In the U.S. alone, women make up 85 percent of the salon industry compared to 47 percent of the overall U.S. workforce. More and more people are realizing that when women earn income, they reinvest 90 percent of it into their families, leading to growth in both the global economy as well as in their own communities.

    “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights,” says world-renowned feminist and political activist Gloria Steinem.

    Dermalogica’s global initiative FITE helps women entrepreneurs start and grow businesses, so they can become financially independent and able to support their families and communities at large. This year, FITE is focused on expanding the FITE Future Entrepreneurs program, which combines the missions of Dermalogica and The International Dermal Institute ­to advance education and financial literacy for women and girls in the industry.

    “For nearly 30 years, Dermalogica has empowered women in the salon industry,” said Dermalogica and FITE Founder and Chief Visionary Jane Wurwand. “The FITE Future Entrepreneurs program is an opportunity to bring a new group of extraordinary young women into the Dermalogica Tribe and train them not just for a job, but for a career.”

    Through mentorship and coaching, FITE Future Entrepreneurs aids in building a strong community of women who support each other to achieve their goals. The unique program provides not only education and vocational training, but also an opportunity for more women to own businesses, thereby changing their lives and the communities in which they live.

    Now it’s time to do your part! Take the pledge today, or visit internationalwomensday.com for ideas on how to celebrate International Women’s Day near you. Share with us your #IWD2016 celebrations and what this day means to you by tagging us @joinFITE.

  • Bacteria and Breakouts: A Deeper Look into P. acnes

    We’ve all experienced some form of breakout and sometimes it seems to have appeared overnight. How did this happen?! As skin therapists we immediately do a mental checklist of possible triggers—was it stress, hormones, diet, product? We know that on a basic level, acne occurs within the sebaceous follicle by excessive skin cells, sebum, inflammation and presence of bacteria known as Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes). However, we also know the process of acne is anything but basic. Let’s take a deeper look at the one element of this process that is always with us: bacteria.

    P. acnes is part of the natural skin flora and accounts for about 87% of the bacteria. It grows deep inside follicles, lives anaerobically and feeds on the sebum produced by the sebaceous glands. For the most part, this bacteria can be relatively harmless; however, if follicles become plugged, the low oxygen levels and accumulating sebum create a prime environment for the growth of P. acnes.

    Using sebum as an energy source, the bacteria produces lipase that converts triglycerides into glycerol and fatty acids, causing inflammation and irritation. The inflammation then triggers the innate immune response and white blood cells are activated. Next they release destructive enzymes and free radicals that causes extensive damage to the surrounding tissue. This damage often stimulates the production of more pro-inflammatory mediators, making it easier for the bacteria to multiply and continuing its vicious cycle. By understanding the behavior of P. acnes, we can get a better handle on how it can be managed for acneic clients.

    Porphyrins as seen through VISIA

    Porphyrins as seen through VISIA

     

    The Other P Word

    P. acnes produce porphyrins, which are groups of organic compounds that play major roles in processes like oxygen transportation and photosynthesis. When observing skin under a Wood’s lamp, you may even see them as fluorescent spots or dots. P. acnes synthesize and store large amounts of porphyrins that ultimately pays favor to LED treatments, such as using a Blue light to treat acne. The Blue light excites the Porphyrins that causes them to release free radicals into the bacteria therefore killing them from the inside out.

    A Sticky Situation

    The bacteria also produces a natural self-protection mechanism called biofilms. These are clusters of bacteria that are attached to a surface and are embedded in a sticky slime layer. The biofilm surrounds the microbes and helps it adhere to the follicle and can further promote hyperkeratinization. This same biological glue that allows the cohesion of the biofilm could also cause keratinocytes to stick together creating comedones.

    Research has also shown that the formation of biofilms seems to be a natural behavior for bacteria, but this formation has a consequence—it appears to be resistant to antibiotics, a common therapy for the treatment of acne including topical and oral medications. It is suspected that the antibiotics are not able to penetrate into the biofilm because the bacteria are tightly packed into a cluster.

    What’s in a Strain?

    P. acnes reside in the pilosebaceous unit, but its presence doesn’t necessarily mean that an individual is going to have acne. Several studies have indicated that specific strains of P. acnes bacteria are more commonly associated with acne prone skin versus normal skin, which may point to why some individuals are more predisposed to breakout while others are not.

    A UCLA study discovered that acne bacteria contain “bad” strains associated with pimples and “good” strains that may protect the skin. Through metagenomics, or the study of collection and analysis of bacteria in our environment, research has uncovered three specific strains of P. acnes in the skin’s microbiome; two that are found to be dominant in acneic skin and one strain in healthy skin.

    As scientists continue examining the relationship between our microbiome and acne, we can at least steer our clients to specific key ingredients to help contain acne formation and keep P. acnes at bay.

    Ingredients to target bacteria:

    Colloidal Silver

    Lactobacillus Ferment

    Benzoyl Peroxide

    Tea Tree Oil

    Cinnamon Bark

    Spirea Ulmaria

    Polygonum Cuspidatum (Japanese Knotweed) Root Extract

  • Using Skin Microbes to Lighten Pigmentation

    DH Diglucosyl Gallic Acid conversion

    Whether you like it or not, the human body is inundated with millions of microorganisms that live in a mutualistic relationship with us—in other words, each species benefits from the activity of the other. Many of the bacteria that cohabitate with us humans are not harmful and actually serve a purpose. Take for example the bacteria that live in our gut; these microbes help us digest and process our food. If something happens to our natural gut microflora, such as often occurs after a course of antibiotics that kill good and bad bacteria, our digestive system can be thrown off. We might supplement our diet with probiotics to help restore balance to our gut. Like our gut, our skin is also home to billions of microorganisms often referred to as the skin microbiota.

    The skin microbiota is continuously communicating with our epidermal cells, generating metabolites and stimulating physiological processes. Recent studies have demonstrated that the skin’s microbiota can activate specific cosmetic compounds converting them into biologically active molecules on the skin’s surface. Diglucosyl Gallic Acid, also known as Trihydroxy Benzoic Acid alpha-Glucoside (THBG) is an example of a patented molecule that when topically applied to the skin is partially converted into another form, Trihydroxy Benzoic Acid (THBA) by the skin’s microflora. THBG and THBA work together to lighten skin pigmentation and even out skin tone. Together, these two molecules not only inhibit free radical formation, which could result in hyperpigmentation, but more importantly they help stop melanogenesis. Both THBA and THBG molecules are effective at reducing pigmentation spots, as well as helping to control formation of new spots.

    As scientists continue to study the skin’s natural microbiota, it is quite apparent that studies will no longer just focus on the relationship of microbes to skin disorders and disease but will now venture into a new realm; we have just scratched the surface of understanding how our skin’s natural microbial populations can be used in conjunction with topically applied molecules to address specific skin conditions.