Acne Program FAQs

FAQ- Acne Program

What causes Acne?
For most people, acne is an inherited condition of the pores. When someone is prone to acne, their pores clog with dead skin cells faster than normal. Healthy pores shed one layer of dead skin cells per day inside the pore, in an acne prone pore it can shed up to five layers of dead skin cells per day.  The body just can't keep up with keeping the pore clear. Technically, this is called "retention hyperkeratosis"- dead skin cells shedding faster than the pore can expel them.  Acne can be seen as whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, pustules, and is often extremely sensitive.  Treating this condition requires specific products. Products that penetrate the pore and prevent dead skin cells from building up. That is why home care is so crucial.

What is an Esthetician?
An Esthetician is a skin care professional. There is a basic Esthetician course of 750 hours at an accredited school that focus on theory and practical application of Esthetic Services and Business practices.  Care of the skin, massage, facials, wraps, masks, exfoliation, use of electrical or mechanical applicances and chemical compounds, hair removal, proper sanitization and record keeping. Then one must pass a state licensing examination.

What is a Master Esthetician?
A Master Esthetician is a new term used to identify Estheticians that have extensive experience, usually in a medical setting. In my personal experience, I obtained my Master Esthetician as I had been performing years of Laser, light frequency, radio frequency, ultrasound treatments as well as medium depth peels. Certain criteria must be met to satisfy WA State requirement to be granted the Master Esthetician Licensure.

What is an Acne Specialist?
An Acne Specialist is either a Basic Esthetician or Master Esthetician that has made a choice to seek additional education and advanced training in acne, specifically. I obtained my acne certification for Face Reality by Laura Cooksey through the Face Reality Acne Clinic in San Leandro, CA. Their products and protocols are modeled after the late Dr. James Fulton Jr., M.D. Ph.D., who was one of the the most renowned acne specialists in the world. Dr. Fulton was best known for his breakthroughs in product development including co-developing Retin-A™ and Benzoyl Peroxide gel.

Are there Doctors on staff?
I do not have any physicians on staff.  I am not a doctor and have not had any level close to what a medical doctor's training involves. I am a Master Esthetician licensed by the State of Washington.

How is this different than going to a doctors office?
I have more time to spend with you. I have the time to listen to all of your skin care concerns. I have the best and most effective acne products that do not require a prescription. I am compassionate and empathetic, as I had also dealt with acne as a teen into my adult life, so I know what you are going through. I will give you honest and straightforward answers to all of  your skincare questions.  I keep in close contact with you throughout the process of getting you clear. I want to make sure that your home-care is working properly and your skin is responding as it should. I am hands-on in working with your skin, your skin type, your acne type and always do extractions at every appointment.

How does the Acne Program work?
I will educate you on lifestyle issues, comedogenic ingredients in makeup and skincare products and medications that can exacerbate acne. I give you a strict home care treatment plan and follow up with you to ensure you understand what is expected of you.  I assign a home care regimen according to the type of and severity of acne you have. I use formulations with mandelic/lactic acid, Vitamin A proprionate and, to a lesser degree, glycolic and salicylic acid (don't the names of these acids scare you, they sound big and scary, but in these formulations, it is gentle). I couple this with the systematic use of benzoyl peroxide, starting slowly so that your skin won't get so irritated in the beginning. As you work with me, I adjust your homecare regimen as your skin adapts. This is the beauty of having your own Acne Specialist, you don't get his kind of hand holding from your doctor's office, they just don't have the time.  I assess the condition of your skin during your appointments to see whether it is ready for the next step. If it is, I adjust the frequency of usage of your home care products not allowing your skin to get used to your current routine. I do extractions at every treatment, so your skin gets clear more quickly. 

How long will my appointment take?
The Discovery Call is 30 minutes,  first in-office appointment is scheduled for about 1.5 hours for the Education & Results visit, and each treatment thereafter is for 1 hour. As your skin gets clearer you will need less extractions and the treatment time will get shorter, usually about 30 minutes.

What are the treatment sessions like?
I do either a very mild chemical peel or I do a gentle enzyme treatment with steam. Neither of these are uncomfortable. It is not the type of peel you see associated with a "Chemical Peel". (You might get a light flake but that will be about all. I do the enzyme treatment to myself, I love it. It kind of feels like slime.)  Then we will do the extractions, this too isn't bad. Your skin will be soft from the enzyme/ chemical or steam. I use a really nice tool that is precise, so it only applies pressure to the pimple not the surrounding skin, making it a more comfortable experience. Extractions are never fun, so I recommend bringing ear buds for your phone or ipod so you can listen to the music you love for a distraction, they don't take very long and this will make it go by even faster.

What is going to happen at the appointment?
At the first in -office visit (Education & Results) we will talk about your prior services and experiences. We will discuss any allergies/sensitivities.  I will analyze your acne, and condition of your skin.  I will explain what type of acne you have, and what I can do to help you. I will give you useful information regarding products and diet, medications, etc. I will take preliminary photos, then I will test your skin for sensitivities. I will then be able to make product recommendations and show you how to use the products. If you decide to get started, then we can do your first treatment at this time (if time allows and if you don't have any contraindications. Sometimes clients are taking medication that prevent treatment from being started on the same day), which we would do an exfoliation and extractions.  You will feel much better leaving than when you walked in.

Why do the extractions?
It's the fastest way to get clear. I extract the current lesions out and the homecare products prevent the new ones from forming. It takes up to 90 days for acne to form and come to the surface, so in the three months that we are working with you, you will have some breakouts. These are just old lesions coming to the surface that I extract every two weeks. The speeds up the healing process revealing your beautiful clear skin... sooner!

Do I have to use your products?
Yes. There are too many brands out there that have pore clogging ingredients in them. Acne is tricky enough to treat we don't want to complicate it further with comedogenic products. It is part of the program. I will not perform an Acne Session on anyone that is not using my products, as I do not know how the chemicals I am using will react to the "unknown products". 

Do I have to get services?
It is in your best interest to get acne treatment sessions performed. That is the fastest way to get clear skin; it also helps me to monitor your progress. You can use just my products alone, but the clogged pores aren't going to clear themselves. So what is your plan for those?

What do the peels do for me?
The peels have multiple purposes. They provide exfoliation, softening of the comedones and they lighten dark spots left from your previous breakouts. They also help with signs of aging. It's a win-win all the way around.

What if I am on prescription products?
It is required that you stop your prescription products two weeks before beginning this program.  It has been documented that it makes the skin too sensitive to use this system.  I know you are worried about your breakouts getting worse, but we will take care of that.  Contact me if you have any questions. Feel free to email or call me or schedule a free Discovery Call if you are ready to get started.

How long does it typically take to get clear?
If you do your homecare exactly like I tell you and come in every two weeks for a session, you will most likely be clear in about  three to four months. Some people might take a little longer depending on the nature of their acne, some people graduate sooner. Some clients have difficult schedules, and therefore we have to modify things a bit. So if we are only able to do a treatment one time per month then plan it taking 6-8 months to get clear. If you don't follow my directions then it will take you longer, that is just the bottom line. 

Am I going to have to use these products forever?
You will need to use products to control your acne until you outgrow acne. No one knows when that will be.  I am unable to predict how long this will be, but it won't be forever. But if it is keeping your skin clear, why would that even be a concern? The products are not expensive. Individually they range from $12-36. For maintenance my average client spends about $70 and that will last about 3-4 months.

Am I limited to only getting treatments on my face for Acne?
Absolutely not. I can perform treatment anywhere you are experiencing reoccurring breakouts or acne. Talk to Wendy about this at your Education & Results appointment and she will give you pricing for the other area(s). This can be added on at any appointment.

What type of acne are you able to treat?
All types. (There is inflammatory acne, non-inflammatory acne, hormonal acne, adult acne, teen acne, cystic acne, severe acne, and every name in between). When you come in for your Edcuation & Results appointment. I will explain the type you have and how I plan to address it.  With my Acne Program there is specific terms used to describe the type and severity of each person's acne so it can be closely monitored. Sometimes there are medical conditions that mimic acne, if I suspect this is what is happening then I will refer you to your physician if you have one that you see, or I can refer you to one that I have a relationship with as well.


More Information

Ready to get started? Have more questions?  That is fine! Schedule a "Free Discovery Call " with Wendy. She will answer your questions about acne and give you some insight to what is going on. You can then decide if this is the right program for you or not. No pressure. She spends about 30 minutes on the phone with you, but you have to have the form filled out in advance so she can spend that valuable time giving you answers instead of gathering information!

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