• Pregnancy Skin Care Dos and Don’ts


    The body goes through many changes during pregnancy and the skin is no exception. Skin changes occur in about 90% of pregnant women in one form or another; and Mom-to-be’s will have some pressing skin care questions on ingredients and treatments.

    There are many opinions between doctors and different studies with varying information, so it’s imperative that your clients consult with their physician prior to the use of skin care products and receiving treatments.

    Here are three of the most commonly asked questions by professional skin therapists when it comes to treating pregnant clients.

    1.  Can I use Salicylic Acid?

    This Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) is an excellent exfoliant and can be used to treat acne. In high concentrations it is considered a risk during pregnancy and should be avoided, especially in professional resurfacing. Small percentages used in skin care (for example less than 2% in a wash off) are considered safe.

    2.  What about the use of aromatherapy?

    It’s recommended to avoid using essential oils during the first trimester. This topic is controversial between practitioners and there are varying opinions to safety, however, it depends on the type of oil and dilution. Usually approved non-toxic blends around 1-2% dilution are considered safe for body massage and skin products. Hydro-essentials, which are water-soluble fractions of the essential oil, are safe as they do not penetrate the blood stream. Your client should consult her doctor before any essential oil use.

    3.  Can I use technology in my treatment room?

    The use of electrical modalities is not recommended, which includes Galvanic, High Frequency, Microcurrent, Ultrasonic and Laser. Microdermabrasion has mixed expert reviews, with most stating to use with caution. We would not use microdermabrasion over aggravated acne or dilated capillaries. Be mindful when using it on hyperpigmented skin as causing more inflammation can make this condition worse.

    This handy ingredient checklist (below) can help you decipher the dos and don’ts when treating pregnant clients. When in doubt, have your client discuss their skin care options with their OBGYN and/or general physician if they are currently pregnant, nursing or considering pregnancy in the near future. Always work with caution if the client is in her first trimester and/or has had complications with her pregnancy or previous pregnancies. If she opts to avoid certain ingredients and/or products, the best course of action is to honor her choice. What is most important is that we help the new mother achieve her skin care goals safely and effectively.

    Pregnancy Yes and Nos

  • Sanitation and Clients with Cancer

    What words strike fear in the hearts of oncologists? When their patients say, “I’m going to the spa.” Why, you may wonder? Well, one of the primary concerns for oncologists and nurses is sanitation when it comes to their patients getting spa treatments. As skin therapists, we work in an environment that is frequented by many, is small and has a lot of prime spots for those sneaky germs to hide. Steamers, towel cabbies, trolleys, product bottles, brushes and sponges are all potential breeding grounds for bacteria.

    The importance of adhering to strict levels of sanitation cannot be stressed enough, particularly when delivering skincare care treatments for cancer patients. Usually we don’t think too much about it; we sanitize our tools, wipe down our trolleys at the end of the day and keep things tidy. It isn’t problematic as a general rule because our standard clients are not affected in the same way that clients with cancer are.

    However, skin treatments for cancer patients it is a new sanitation ball game. As a refresher, here are some basic guidelines to double check your cleaning habits:

    • Sanitation must be done utilizing an EPA-registered, hospital-grade sanitizing agent – one that is bactericidal, virucidal, fungicidal, and tuberculocidal.
    • Use disposables where possible.
    • White sheets, towels and robes allow for bleach in the washing machine along with color free, fragrance free detergent.
    • All brushes and implements must be washed in anti-bacterial soap to remove loose debris prior to soaking in wet sanitizer for 10 minutes. Brushes/implements are washed again with soap to remove disinfectant air dried. Once dry, all implements are to be stored in a covered storage container.
    • All surfaces should be wiped down with a germicidal sani-cloth (not a Clorox cloth) in-between treatments. Residue should remain on the surface as directed by manufacturer.
    • Wet sanitizing agent should remain on hard surfaces according to length of time specified by manufacturer before removal to be effective.
    • Bowls should be washed thoroughly with anti-bacterial soap and dried in-between clients.
    • Products that were used should be wiped down with a germicidal sani-cloth, paying particular attention to the neck of the tube or pump where product can accumulate and provide a hospitable environment for those pesky bacteria.
    • Equipment that was used during treatment, trolleys and even treatment room doorknobs should be wiped down with a germicidal sani-cloth in-between guests.
    • Rubbish bins should be emptied in between guests.
    • Frequent hand washing cannot be stressed strongly enough, for both therapist and client.
    • Wash floor of all spills in between clients.
    • Wipe out towel cabinet with germicidal sani-cloth to prevent growth of bacteria.
    • Empty steamer frequently and keep a supply of fresh distilled water; leave to dry when not in use.
    • Ensure there is enough time for adequate sanitation practices in between clients.

    To reduce the risk of exposure to many common (and for most people, harmless) germs, your facility may want to consider setting a day aside specifically for clients who have cancer.

    Overall, implementing these sanitation protocols will help reduce risk for all guests, and having your sanitation practices outlined and available for review will alleviate many fears.
    Happy Sanitizing!