My Qualifications

Hi my name is Susan. I have been a Licensed Cosmetologist for 20 years now and most of those years I have specialized in skincare, another words I have practiced as Esthetician. And yes I have been practicing skincare legally under my Cosmetology license! Whether or not this is legal been a big debate among Estheticians and Cosmetologists that goes on and on and on and it just annoys the heck out of me, so before I go on; I would like to explain this so everyone can understand the difference between the two. Estheticians are trained to only do skincare when they graduate school. Usually advanced techniques are learned once they graduate, unless they were in a very expensive advanced upscale school. Most schools no matter what the curriculum only teach the very basics that will help you pass your state board exam, then it is up to the individuals to seek the additional education. A Cosmetologist is trained in all aspects hair-care, nail-care and skincare, and again just the basics to pass the state board exam. Once again the knowledge base depends on the school, and as I said before, advanced techniques are usually learned once they graduate, and that depends on how eager they are to pursue further education. Many times a Cosmetologist will only want to deal with hair care and they may have no interest at all in the other aspects of the business and so they are not very knowledgeable of skincare or nail-care. Then there are others that will engage in all three of the areas that they were taught and some may be very knowledgeable in skincare all three.  Estheticians often accuse Cosmetologists of not being as knowledgeable in skincare, when the reality is that, it really depends on the individual and what he or she has chosen as their specialty and the education they have gained. I would like to be perfectly clear about something; one profession is not necessarily better than the other. Each profession has its own advantages and both are wonderful careers. I have practiced in all three areas and even held a license as a nail tech for a while, but found I preferred skincare and chose to expand my knowledge base in that particular sarea. I particularly liked being licensed as a Cosmetologist because I like the option of versatility in that I was not limited to just one area of the Beauty Industry. Once I obtained my Cosmetology License I was able to obtain my Cosmetology instructors license.

I owned my own hair salon/spa for 4 years and worked in a day  spa  over 9 years. In 1997 I acquired my Cosmetology Teaching License and a diploma in Massage Therapy in 1998. I have also taken miscellaneous classes in Touch Therapy, Reiki Energy Healing and also studied Facial Reflexology, Eye Lash Extensions as well as Permanent Make-up.  I  received my AA in Applied Sciences in 2014.

            Now that we have all the formalities of my knowledge base out of the way, now I can proceed to the actual reason I am even writing this article which is “How to reduce the Signs of Aging Skin”

                                                                    How to reduce the skins of aging skin

I’m going to be perfectly upfront and honest with everyone and I refuse to sugar coat what I am about to tell you, so if you don’t want the truth than you probably won’t want to read this article.

One of the things that I am constantly trying to grill into my clients is that you don't have to be old or have wrinkled, dry skin to start taking care of your skin. In fact, you should be taking care of your skin from the time you are very young. Unfortunately not everyone was taught proper  skin care growing up. Shoot when I growing up I was very light skinned and burned easily but it did not deter me from laying in full sun-light slathered in baby oil and iodine while lying on tin foil sun reflector. If only I had known the true dangers of the sun then. Better late than never but lets face it  " Preservation is much easier than restoration".  I'm sure you have heard that old saying "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?" Well that certainly applies here. You are never too old or too young to start taking care of your skin. If you didn't take care of your skin when you were young, well there is another saying "Better late than never" I hate all those clichés', don’t you; but like I said a second ago, it applies here. If your skin is starting to look old, and it bothers you, then do something about it. You may not be able to bring it completely back but you can at least slow down the aging process if your start taking care of yourself. Did you notice I said “taking care of yourself” and I didn’t say “taking care of your skin?” I said that because it’s not just about your skin, it’s about your whole body.

If you are young with vibrant skin than good news for you; you have a wonderful palate to begin with and taking care of your skin will be a breeze.  If you take care of your body as well as your skin it will look great even when you are in your elderly years. What you have to remember is that, it’s not just about slathering on a little skin cream and forgetting it. I wish it was that easy. Keeping your skin moist is certainly part of regimen but it is only a small part of it. What a lot of people just don’t seem to understand is that our skin is part of a system that works together with the rest of our body to make it, “our bodies”, run efficiently, but more about that in a minute. Our skin reacts to not only what we put on it, but also what we put in our bodies and what we do to it. I’m taking about food, drink, smoking. Also how much sun exposure we give our skin. The sun can be our worst enemy if we overexpose ourselves to the suns, harmful UV rays. I like to use the example of a piece of elastic. (In fact you can try this at home if you really want too). Take a small piece of new elastic, it can be any length you choose but at least 4-5 inches. Now if you live in a hot dry climate you can just lay it some place outside  where it will not get lost and it will get direct sun exposure for at least two weeks. If you live in a cooler climate, then just wet it and dry it over and over in the dryer about 20 times. Then try to stretch it. You will find the elastic is not so stretchy anymore. Now when you stretch it, instead of pulling and bouncing back, it just stretches and stays stretched out.  Well your skin is very much like this elastic. What is damaged in our skin is the collagen.  Collagen is what gives our skin its elasticity, shape, and suppleness along with its texture. When the collagen becomes damaged and depleted our skin becomes dry and wrinkled. If you want to be like that piece of elastic then go ahead bake yourself in the sun and cook yourself in the tanning beds. There is nothing I can do about that and I guess you don’t care then so be it.  Trust me when I say you will pay dearly for the neglect as start aging. If you want to feel  better and look younger then please keep reading.

Can you recover from the damage from over exposure to sun and just plain harsh living? That’s a good question and that depends on how severely damaged your skin is.  There are options and plastic surgery may be the only answer. However; if you are not too terribly damaged then yes, your skin can possibly recover the damages done. There are a lot of things you can do to help minimize and reverse some of that damage. Now as I said before, skincare also involves food choices and lifestyle changes and a better skincare regimen. Your skin certainly shows the abuse of what you put into your body. Use of drugs, smoking, eating too many fatty foods, not using  skincare products or just as bad not using the appropriate skincare products.  All these have a huge effect on your skin.

Lets talk about diet first. A balanced diet and of course exercise is just as important as what you put on your skin. Remember the old saying “you are what you eat”, I know, I know another Cliché but it’s true. You don’t have to have a strict diet, but you need to have a healthy, balanced diet. You should eat lots of dark green vegetables such as kale, spinach and broccoli, and alvacodos. When your healthy on the inside you will, look healthy on the outside. Does that mean no junk food? Well that means cutting out most of the junk and I didn’t say all. You just have to cut back. Anything in excess can be damaging to your health. If you want to look younger and be healthier then you have to take action. Only you can be responsible for your health and remember moderation is the key here. 

            The next step here that we need to discuss is drugs and smoking. I’m not just referring to the illegal stuff either. A good number of individuals take a lot of prescribed and over the counter medications. Some medications are just simply pacifiers and if you can get them out of your system and your life then do it. Do it for YOU. Do it for your heath. Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease. Have you ever read the side effects to some of those medications you take? They can often manifest much worse problems than you already have. Try to do without if you absolutely can but, before Stopping or starting any medications or starting a diet plan please be sure to consult with your physician first.

Now lets’ discuss smoking. I know, I know, I know. I used to smoke to and nobody wants to be preached to. But your reading this for a reason. I am assuming you are looking for answers to your aging skin and maybe your deteriorating health so, sorry here is where I have to get rough with you. Smoking is absolutely the worst for your skin not to mention your whole body. I used to smoke myself and I know how hard it is to quit. I know how much I hated to hear the truth. Addiction is awful. But you can kick the habit. I did it and I know you can.

Here is my story. 

           My mother suffered from asthma all her life and to help her breath they (her parents?) started her on menthol cigarettes. (Real intelligent move. Who ever thought of that?). I guess that was the poor man’s answer to asthma. As a result of years of smoking she developed Emphysema and then bladder cancer. In 1995 at the age of 67, she had her bladder completely removed. (Her bladder cancer was directly caused from smoking) She went in and it was completely full of cancer. It was only a couple of months after her bladder was removed she passed away. I was still smoking at the time, and eventually  found myself going to bed with an inhaler. My mothers’ passing was terribly hard on me but it made me realize I was following in her footsteps. I threw my cigarettes away and never smoked again and that was  over 20 years ago. I can honestly say that was one of the smartest things I ever did. Unfortunately not everyone can just quit cold turkey. If this the case you may need help. Smoking is a huge contributor of aging skin. Smokers just hate me when I tell them how bad it is on their skin, but you know what? I don’t care if they don’t like it. I am simply telling them the truth. It is my job as a skincare specialist to inform you of toxins to your skin. Smoking is harmful to the human body all the way around.  Get help for your own sake. There are so many reasons to quit and not one reason I can think of not to.

  1. Smoking starves the whole body, the skin, lungs and everything of life giving oxygen and Vitamin C.
  2. Smoking causes asthma and emphysema.
  3. It damages the teeth and gums.
  4. It causes bad breath
  5.  It yellows the skin
  6.  It causes wrinkles around the mouth from puffing on the cigarette.
  7. Smoking scientifically been proven to cause cancer.
  8.  Its expensive
  9.  Smoking literally makes you smell bad. Ask a non smoker.

The list of reasons not to smoke are endless. My point here is if you want beautiful skin and you want to be healthier then take action. Take care of your skin and your body not only on the outside but from the inside as well.  So what are you waiting for? You have nothing to lose by quitting and everything to gain.

Now that I have covered some of the other issues of skincare and what you should be doing, now we can talk about your skin. Did you know your skin is the largest organ of your body? It sure is. I was amazed when I learned that, but I’m not going give you an anatomy lesson here, even though it would probably wake you up and make you realize how important it is to take care of your skin. Instead you can click on the links that are highlighted and they will take you to other websites that will explain all that for you. Instead were going to move on and really talk about your skin.

I am going to put a list of things you should be doing for your skin on a regular basis. I know old habits are hard to break, so what I suggest is start slowly. Break the worst first and add good habits in their place. For instance: when you stop smoking ( if you smoke) and you have the urge to smoke, make yourself a healthy meal. Now don’t go eating some junk food. All you will be doing here is substituting one bad habit for another. The idea here is to replace bad habits with good habits. If you are not hungry then go exercise, clean your house, wash your car, go wash your face and put on some great skincare products that your purchased from your favorite Esthetician or retailer. Whatever you do, do something constructive. Just don’t smoke. Alright you have the idea. See how easy it is to change a habit? I took a whole lot of showers when I was quitting. 

Now what you should also be doing is getting in the habit of getting regular facials. Professionals can provide you with the kind of procedures that you cannot necessarily do for yourself at home. Facial massages are very beneficial and help tone and firm the skin. Many Estheticians, will offer a reduced package for customers who are frequent visitors. You might just want to visit an esthetician for skincare recommendations but; if you simply cannot afford a professional facial then I also recommend Sephora. They can usually be found inside the JC Pennys stores and have trained staff who can help you find a product that will suitable for your skin type. A big plus is that they will also give you samples to try before you buy so can see if you like it first. There are also a lot of tools you can get to help your skin look younger or so they claim to. I can vouch for some but others I have not tried yet. One of the items I absolutely love, love, love is the Clarisonic facial brush. You can buy this at Sephora too. I found that buy using this, my face got twice as clean than when I didn’t use it. It seems to diminish the appearance of my pores. An absolute must have. I use my own cleansers with it but the recommended ones, that come with it are very good. There are also other devices you can use but until I have tried them I will keep those to myself and once I get a feel for them I will certainly be writing about them, so be sure and check back from time to time. Be sure and use the appropriate cleanser for your skin type. If you have oily skin you want to get a cleanser that will counteract the oils in the skin. If you have normal skin, then get a cleanser for normal skin. Normal skin is simply skin that is neither oily or dry. If you have dry skin then get a cleanser for dry skin. It will help keep from further drying your skin.

A mask is good also but not necessary every day. I suggest a good collagen mask than you can apply at least once a week and if you can not find any let me know by emailing me and I can get some to you that I just love. I also sell moisturizers and eye creams if you are interested. But this is not why I am writing this article. I am just interested in helping people attain a more youthful, healthier look. I’m just a messenger today. Once you have cleansed your face, and you have applied your ma, let it sit for 15-20 minutes of course you need to rinse your face really good. After your mask, if one is used, a moisturizer should be applied. Again you need to purchase the appropriate type for your skin. The same rules apply to the moisturizer as it did with the skin cleanser. Now you are almost done. It sounds harder than it really is. Also the type of moisturizer you need will depend on a couple of factors. 1. Is it night time or day time? 2. Your skin type. A night time moisturizer is heavier than a daytime moisturizer and a daytime moisturizer will often have SPF protection in it. Night time doesn’t need it.
Now one other thing before I wrap this up. A lot of people exercise but they often forget that the face has muscles in it as well. “Facial Exercise”! Yes I am saying you should exercise your face too. Regular proper exercise to your face can also lift and tone. So check out some of the books about face exercising and I promise if you do them correctly and regularly, you will see a difference.  I will try to add some links later.

Remember your skincare regimen combined with your healthcare, diet and exercise is a lifestyle change.

  1. You must practice proper skincare treatment on a daily basis, once a week just simply is not going to work.
  2. Be sure to use quality products. Never use old spoiled cleansers and creams on your face, after all would you feed your body spoiled food? Even creams have an expiration date.
  3. Get in the habit of always washing your face twice a day, once in the morning and once just before you go to bed. If you cannot do it two times a day then make sure you always wash your face at night. I tell my clients "you want to wash the day off).  Nicotine, Smog, make up, cooking and all that actually gets on your skin and mucks up your pores. Plus you don’t want to dirty up your pillow case you sleep on every night. Right?  
  4. Also remember that if you do have to go into the sun for any length of time , make sure you wear sunscreen and keep applying it throughout the day.
  5. Don’t forget your lips keep them moisturized as well with a good chap stick.  Always wear chap stick to bed to keep your lips moist and supple.
  6. Don’t forget to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. I said water not beer, not soda, but water. Any alcohol actually dehydrates the body, and soda well that’s just sugar water. Plain water is best. If you read about the bodies chemistry you will learn that the body can absorb water easier than liquids that are mixed. But I don’t want to go into chemistry and all that. If you want to learn that then there are plenty of classes you can take or maybe that will be an article I will write later.

Lets sum things up.

  • For your body you need to cut back on unnecessary medications.

  • Quit Smoking

  • Eat a balanced diet

  • Drink plenty of water

  • Exercise regularly including your face

  • Do not over tan. You may look good now but you will pay for it later.

  • Use plenty of sun block if you do go into the sun.

  • Keep your lips moisturized, even at night.

  • Wash your face twice a day if possible. Wash once in the morning and once in the evening. Always wash your face in the evening no matter what. Wash the day away.

  • If you don’t use the Clarisonic then also use a gentle scrubber with your cleanser. It will help to exfoliate your skin.

  • Use a mask at least one to two times a week.

  • See a skincare specialist at least once a month. 

It’s all pretty easy and will become as easy as breathing once you get used to it. What I do is I buy two cleansers and have one on the sink and one in my shower. That way I can’t forget to clean my face. I also have my moisturizer next to the sink so when I am brushing my teeth, I have to see it and I can’t forget. Now of course I am trained and used to doing this, but for someone just learning that how to do it, I would recommend leaving the products where you can see them and remember to use them.

Good luck and I hope you find this article helpful and if you have any questions that I can answer feel free to drop me a line at: icu@npgcable.com. 

I will happily try to answer any questions concerns you may have. 

Before I forget all this applies to both males and females.


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