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The Student Voice Of Contra Costa College, San Pablo, Calif.

The Advocate

Skincare tips from a licensed esthetician

Here are some common issues and affordable solutions for those who struggle with their skin.

I’ve spent the last four years of my life working in skincare as a licensed esthetician. Here is what I’ve learned since opening my skincare studio, servicing a wide range of skin conditions: people of all ages and walks of life struggle with insecurities surrounding the appearance of their skin, sometimes causing hindrances to productivity and daily life.

The concerns have the gamut from sagging to acne. A particular group has stood out to me the most; students and their ability to manage their skincare concerns. The most common concerns with students has been acne and the ability to afford its treatment. It is no secret that most college students are on a limited budget and with acne, it’s pretty hard to determine when a flare up will occur, so budgeting can be tricky. 

In listening to people share their experiences with their skin concerns, I’ve learned that unsightly skin appearance takes a huge toll on many. Here are some of the top self help/ coping strategies that I’ve observed: 

  • Excessive makeup for daily use
  • DIY masks
  • Withdrawing from social activities
  • Picking
  • Trying product after product
  • Going from professional to professional for quick fixes
  • Not disclosing the full truth to your skincare professional

These tactics typically cause more harm than good. Makeup can clog pores; with acne being the result of dead skin cells and oil in the follicle, you don’t want to add more to the equations. 

Masking is typically good, however, food products can harbor bacteria that can trigger inflammation. Inflammation is another huge factor in acne, so if using a DIY mask, it is important to do proper research on handling, shelf life and compatibility with your particular skin condition. 

Picking can cause inflammation and scarring, once you’ve picked your skin you can almost bet on having to treat discoloration afterward. 

We’re in both a consumer and social media-driven society, capitalist if you will. You have to understand that most of what is being marketed to you has not been tried and tested by the presenter. If you are going to try trendy products, ensure that it is either a dermatologist, scientist, licensed esthetician or a tenured and trusted beauty enthusiast. Find your trusted tribe and stick with them. You also have to be patient and give products time to work. the outermost layer of skin takes an average of 45 days to turn over, it’s not fair to expect results faster than your skin is turning over. You can see small results from a single treatment but changed skin takes time. 

It is also important to stick with one professional and offer full disclosure to what they’re asking. It can be very tempting to go to another professional when the first one doesn’t give you the treatment you’ve decided on for yourself. There is a code of ethics that must be followed, they are in place to ensure safety and good health for your skin.   

Here are a few tips that I’d like to offer for anyone looking to maintain and preserve their skin’s integrity. 

First, understand that the skin is the largest organ on the body, everything that goes on the skin makes its way to your bloodstream. Whenever possible, use clean beauty products that are free of the following: Parabens, Phthalates and unnecessary fillers. Local health food stores are excellent sources for clean beauty products. Do your research before going in, you don’t want to leave with random recommendations. Some store clerks are versed in skincare and will be able to properly assist you. 

Others are meeting a sales goal or reading the front of the bottle and matching it to what your concern is, that’s not enough. Key ingredients to look for:

  • Tea tree oil
  • Lavender essential oil
  • Chamomile extract
  • Salicylic acid
  • Glycolic acid 
  • Benzoyl peroxide

Tea Tree and lavender are two of the very few essential oils that can be used directly on the skin, others have to be diluted with a carrier oil so as to not cause damage to the skin. 

Cosmetology school is another great option for affordable skincare, where students work under trained professionals to offer affordable skin care services in exchange for service hours. Groupon is another source, pick an offer, check the reviews, book the appointment. 

Another option is to get a skincare consultation from a local professional. Skincare professionals can often recommend products or advise you on how to use the ones you have. If they’re into helping others, they’ll help you. If not, move onto someone else. Just don’t give up. A consultant will also help you determine the stage of acne you have, certain stages can only be treated via a dermatologist. Which is why it is important to find a trusted source. 

It is most important to know that you’re not alone in your experience and that honesty is the best policy when seeking support. 

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About the Contributor
Kyonda Trass, Advocate Staff

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