QC’s executive makeup artist, Nathan Johnson, hosted a LIVE skincare class on Thursday, June 11th. For this exciting webinar, Nathan’s topic of discussion was two-fold: (1) how imperative skincare training is for your career as a makeup artist, and (2) revealing the 5 key ingredients to transforming your client’s skin!
Now, you may be wondering: “Why does Nathan push the value of skincare education so strongly?”
Well, because it was the secret to his success! It wasn’t until he really, truly understood skin that his makeup career was taken to a whole new level. As Nathan says, “The more you know, the better off you’ll be.”
So, how can skincare knowledge help your makeup business? Let’s take a look!
The Benefits of Learning Skincare
How Skincare Knowledge Can Benefit Your Makeup Career & Boost Your Makeup Business
A better question is: how can’t it? Skin is, after all, the canvas that we work on. It’s what ultimately makes the skin look perfect. How can you expect to make magic on a palette that you know nothing about?
Acquiring proper skincare knowledge is a genius way of setting you far ahead of the competition!
The fact is: the majority of your competition will not know the ins and outs of skincare. Many will only know the basic, ‘stereotypical’ extent of skincare knowledge. However, they’ll lack true insight. For instance, how many will know the differences between a client with dry skin, versus a client whose skin is simply dehydrated?
Without professional skincare training, you won’t be able to tell the difference! You need to know how skin functions, in order to understand how to work with it.
By understanding your client’s skin type and skincare needs, you’ll be able to accurately determine the types of products she’ll need in order to look her best. If you know ingredients, and you know skin, something truly amazing will happen: you’ll become a makeup alchemist!
What does Nathan mean by this?
You’ll be able to look at the ingredients within a given product, then look at your client’s skin, and be able to determine what to use in order to prolong the longevity and final finish of her makeup! After all, if you don’t know skincare, how can you possibly know how to control these critical elements?
QC’s Skincare Course
As Nathan points out, QC’s Skincare Course is ALL about the learning process. The entirety of the course focuses on text and video-based study materials, without incorporating the same hands-on experience that QC’s makeup courses include. However, by no means does this detract from the quality of the learning experience!
Some of the critical things you’ll learn in this course will include:
- Pore size and distribution
- Skin touch, feel, texture, etc.
- The ways these factors all go together
- How to read labels and understand ingredients that maximize skin
- Science vs. nature (organic vs. chemical ingredients/products)
- What “the Dirty Dozen” is
- Skin types, skin conditions, and how to differentiate them
- How to build customized skincare regimens for EVERY client
- How to make your makeup kit work well with various skincare ingredients
- The right questions to ask your client during the consultation
- And so much more!
By the time you finish the course, you’ll discover that you’ve become a true skincare expert! This is because you’ll have acquired invaluable knowledge and understanding about skin and how it operates. You’ll be able to meet with a client, see her skin, ask a few questions, and determine all you need to know in order to best assist her!
Esthetician VS. Skincare Expert
The Difference Between an Esthetician and a Skincare Expert
Many people mistakenly believe that in order to be a working skincare expert, you must also be a licensed esthetician. But this isn’t true!
While Nathan is also an esthetician, he admits that he knows quite a few estheticians who surprisingly understand very little about skin. While they may know certain things, they lack training in other areas, such as ingredients and how they play into skincare.
When it comes to a client’s face, an esthetician’s responsibilities focus more on extractions and chemical modalities. The goal of their learning experience is to best understand advanced tools and processes so they can deliver:
- Great exfoliations
- Beautiful, strong skin results
An esthetician’s education is tailored more towards providing the end results, and not so much about the ins and outs of the skincare process on a long-term scale.
This is what a skincare expert would focus on. Furthermore, a trained skincare professional relies on their expert training and skincare knowledge to help transform their client’s skin through the use of ingredients!
Let’s make it clear: a skincare expert can’t replace an esthetician, or vice versa. These are two completely separate professions that focus on different areas of the skincare industry!
The 5 Secret Ingredients that Transform Skin
1. Retinol (Vitamin A Molecule)
Thank to its firming antioxidant, Retinol primarily helps with skin restoration and smoothing out wrinkles. It’s a phenomenal ingredient that can target and assist with visible signs of aging.
It’s important to note that Retinol and Retinoid (RX) are not the exact same thing. While one is admittedly stronger, it doesn’t necessarily work better. Rather, both Retinol and Retinoid work towards the same thing. They both can reach the exact same goal in the long run, if utilized correctly.
- Retinol is rendered ineffective by air and light, so sealed pump packaging is everything!
- Sealed pump packaging will also guarantee a more stable product, so that it can last longer and deliver stronger results!
- It’s considered to be the MOST effective antiaging ingredient!
- Retinol softens wrinkles and fine lines, refines skin texture, and improves uneven tones!
- It also minimizes large pores, cumulatively delivers firmer-feeling skin, and improves elasticity!
- Retinol knows what your skin needs physically and then delivers it, resulting in a more youthful look/feel!
- When applied during the day, you’ll also need to apply sunscreen, or a similar product containing SPF! SPF is essential. Without it, the retinol ingredient will be weakened by UV and rendered ineffective.
2. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that has many invaluable uses for skin, such as:
- Brightening skin
- Evening out skin tones
- Shielding skin from environmental pollution
- Repairing and replenishing skin cells
- Improving overall hydration
- Reducing signs of aging
- Protecting skin from irritation and inflammation
- And so much more!
In a nutshell, Vitamin C is a super youth enhancer! It makes sun damage and surface pigment spots less visible, while also illuminating dull, blotchy skin.
- Vitamin C loses efficacy if exposed to air or light, so sealed pump packaging is important!
- Vitamin C reduces red blotches left after breakouts by improving the skin’s natural healing process!
- It also increases the effectiveness of sunscreen!
- ASCORBIC ACID-15% or higher is highly beneficial, although lower concentrations are also effective!
- When Vitamin C is combined with the use of Retinol (and used under sunscreen), these two ingredients are very powerful in protecting your client’s skin against sun damage!
3. Hyaluronic Acid
With its ability to hold 1000x its weight in water, this ingredient is key for hydrating skin. As Nathan says, Hyaluronic Acid is one of the single BEST skincare ingredients that a person can use!
Not only does it occur naturally in the skin’s youth-supporting matrix; it works constantly in our bodies to help keep skin stable, protected, and consistently renewed. Hyaluronic Acid also draws moisture from its surroundings. This means that it boosts hydration for ALL skin types, and is especially beneficial for dry skin, combination dry, and dehydrated skin.
To put this into perspective, 0.03oz of Hyaluronic Acid can hold 3 litres of water… WOW!
- Hyaluronic Acid is also a pre-biotic! As such, it’s believed to work synergistically with the skin, in order to cumulatively lead to healthier, younger-looking skin. This is because Hyaluronic Acid helps the microbiome of the skin (the ecosystem of microorganisms that live on the skin and directly affect how it looks/feels).
- It also works overtime to replenish skin, resulting in a healthy, smooth, and supple feel! Because it hydrates so deeply, Hyaluronic Acid also improves the outer most layers of skin. This helps to instantly improve the appearance of both fine lines and wrinkles.
- In the long run, Hyaluronic Acid keeps the skin deeply hydrated, while also improving function, slowing the loss of firmness and pliability, and decreasing plumpness! In other words, it’s virtually slowing down the aging process!
- It’s also an antioxidant, which is always a bonus!
- Hyaluronic Acid will often contain Sodium Hyaluronate! Because this ingredient is salt-derived, it will allow it to absorb into the skin faster.
Does that mean you can use Sodium Hyaluronate instead of Hyaluronic Acid? Not necessarily! Rather, they are best when used together. This way, you get the fast benefit of Sodium Hyaluronate AND the long-lasting benefit of Hyaluronic Acid!
4. AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) & BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid)
These are two of the most vital ingredients when it comes to chemical exfoliants! As human beings, we shed skin cells naturally. But as we age and/or develop sun damage, this process can slow or even stop altogether. This can result in:
- Dull, dry, or flaky skin
- Clogged, enlarged pores
- Loss of firmness
- Uneven skin tones
AHAs and BHAs are known for removing the build-up of cells on the surface of the skin. Additionally, they also diminish fine lines and wrinkles, hydrate skin, and can remove the rough, bumpy texture on the epidermis.
By exfoliating our skin, we reveal the soft, hydrated layers underneath. The beneficial results of exfoliating can occur as quickly as overnight. In stronger formulas, the results can even be immediate!
What AHAs and BHAs Have in Common
Both AHAs and BHAs work to release the dead or built-up cells that have bonded to the surface of the skin. They’re both effective at diminishing fine lines and wrinkles, as well as making skin look and feel firmer.
On top of all this, AHAs and BHAs are good at hydrating skin, smoothing out rough/bumpy texture, and improving the overall look of dull, uneven skin.
How AHAs and BHAs are Different
For starters, AHAs only work on the skin’s surface and are water-soluble. They work best on normal to dry skin types, as well as for sun-damaged skin. This is due to the fact that they slough off dead skin, which gives it the appearance of looking fresher and younger.
AHAs reduce visible signs of aging, sun damage, and wrinkles. They’re also amazing at improving the natural moisturizing functions of the skin!
BHAs, on the other hand, work both on the surface of the skin, as well as deep inside the pore. Unlike AHAs, BHAs are oil soluble. They work best on normal to oily skin types, as well as skin that’s prone to bumps, clogs, blemishes, blackheads, whiteheads, and/or enlarged pores.
Thanks to the calming properties of BHAs, they’re ideal for those with sensitive skin or rosacea.
Do You Need to Combine AHAs and BHAs?
No, you don’t need to! But you can try using them together, and then alternate their use. This way, you can see what works best for your client!
Ultimately, both provide anti-aging benefits. They just do it differently.
That being said, if more aggressive exfoliating is needed, it won’t hurt to combine the two together. For example, if your client’s skin has severe sun damage, deep wrinkles, long term bumps, clogged pores, and/or very dull or flakey skin, combining AHAs and BHAs together may be an effective option!
Sunscreen is the secret to eternal youth. After all, sun damage is the #1 thing that ages us and damages our skin. If we all were to use SPF like we do a toothbrush, we’d ALL look 20+ years younger. Yet alas, a surprising number of us aren’t aware of this important fact!
It’s not enough to simply wear just any sunscreen, however. You have to ensure it contains the proper SPF content. A little research will show you just how broad the SPF spectrum is. It’s all relevant to the prevention of UVA and UVB rays.
UVA vs. UVB Rays
The simplest way to understand UVA and UVB rays is to know that both are bad for your skin, if not properly protected.
UVA rays penetrate deeper into the layers of skin than UVB rays do. More specifically, UVA rays can cause photoaging, wrinkles, and are even responsible for some types of cancer. Not only that, but they can also damage our skin’s elasticity, firmness, and overall DNA.
The effects on UVA rays are visible instantaneously. For instance, we can often see them penetrate windows on a clear day. if it’s light out, UVA rays are out. There’s a reason why they’re called “the silent killer” – because you don’t feel their effect until it’s too late.
While not quite as terrible, UVB rays are still dangerous, too. While they can be filtered by clouds, and don’t penetrate through windows, they can still wreak havoc on our skin. In particular, they cause sunburn and discoloration. Like UVA rays, UVB rays can also directly damage our skin’s DNA.
Unlike UVA rays, however, the effects of UVB rays are delayed. In fact, they often don’t appear until hours after you’ve been exposed.
- Sunscreen should ABSOLUTELY be worn every day, regardless of the weather! This means whether it’s sunny, raining, overcast, or even snowing – wear sunscreen! The sun’s damaging UV rays are always coming down, even on days when you feel they aren’t.
- Contrary to what you may think, you have choices when it comes to the sunscreen you wear! For example, there is Physical sunscreen (mineral-based) or Chemical sunscreen (synthetic-based). Both are equally protective. The choice depends on the individual.
- For maximum benefits, choose a formulation with ingredients that will maximize your skin type! For those with normal to oily skin, look for a sunscreen with mattifying properties. For those with normal to dry skin, go with a hydrating sunscreen.
Physical vs. Chemical Sunscreen
An example of physical (mineral) sunscreen would be zinc oxide. Physical sunscreens absorb into the outermost layers of the skin and deflect the sun’s UV rays.
Chemical (synthetic) sunscreen is any SPF 30+ sunscreen that absorbs directly into the skin itself. Chemical sunscreens work two ways:
- By deflecting UV rays
- By rendering them powerless by transforming them into harmless heat. Oxybenzone is a common organic compound in sunscreens that does this.
Regardless of which type of sunscreen you choose, always ensure to use sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or higher! This will give the skin its best chance of preventing any sun damage!