We sat down with a licensed esthetician and skin care expert, Alina Houtz of Jordan Thomas Salon & Spa, to answer some of the top skin care questions. Houtz is an official Bioelements Ambassador and is a part of the large web of skin care experts that help Bioelements provide you with world class education. Read our interview with Houtz below!
What inspired you to become an esthetician?
I can't say that there was any single moment of inspiration that lead me in the direction of esthetics; I just always knew I wanted to be in the beauty industry. As a new student to skin I quickly became intrigued by all that esthetics had to offer – the science behind it all fascinates me.
Can you tell us a little about your career path in the esthetics industry?
I graduated from Von Lee International School of Esthetics in 2004. My first two jobs were in newly opened salons. I worked as the only esthetician and it was a huge learning experience. I had graduated school and passed state board – now I had to learn how to actually "be" an esthetician.
I spent the next six years or so working mostly as the only esthetician on staff. I learned very fast because I had to! I made mistakes when I first started out, but I used each experience as a lesson and used it as a way to perfect my craft. The funny thing is I still see most of these clients fourteen years later, which just proves how important it is to build a relationship with your clients in addition to constantly educating yourself and perfecting your craft.
I feel like my career as a professional esthetician truly began when I started working for Jordan Thomas Salon & Spa. Right off the bat I started working with Bioelements Professional Skin Care. Everything about the brand just clicked with me. I loved the pro-use-only products for the treatment room, the education provided, and the at-home products (which my clients loved too).
In 2011 Jordan Thomas Salon & Spa had grown rapidly and became a Bioelements World Class Elite Spa and I became the manager of the spa. Being manager helped me hone my own coaching strategies for other estheticians and learn SO much about the industry as a whole.
While this time in my career was very successful and crucial to my education, I decided to step down from my management role and went back to being an esthetician. Skin is my passion and I am thrilled that I have the opportunity to see clients regularly and also to contribute my knowledge on the Bioelements blog and other trade magazines through the Bioelements Ambassador Program.
What's your "stranded on a desert island" skin care pick (besides SPF) – and why?
My "stranded on a desert island" choice is definitely Probiotic Anti-aging Serum. This facial serum works to create the natural microflora balance that is essential for skin to remain strong. The active probiotics target external stressors to keep the skin visibly smooth and undisturbed.
While it's not the flashiest product in my skin care arsenal, this serum is just tried and true for keeping skin age-resistant and strong. Plus, there are studies out that suggest topical probiotics can help calm red, sensitive skin and even fight acne.
What's your favorite Bioelements treatment – and why?
My favorite treatment is the Bioelements Custom Blend Facial! It is the quintessential Bioelements treatment – definitely a classic. It's my personal favorite because the Custom Blending options for an esthetician are infinite.
Plus, there is a lot of flexibility in the protocol – meaning I could start out by performing the basic Custom Blend Facial and can easily turn it into a Collagen Rehab Facial or the Radiance Rescue Facial. There are just so many options.
As an esthetician, this treatment gives me total control over the results my clients achieve. The skin "speaks" throughout the entirety of a treatment with visual cues and it is crucial to say the right things back.
What's your favorite skin care ingredient – and why?
My favorite skin care ingredient is the stabilized hydrogen peroxide in Bioelements Oxygenation. I love the concept of using the stabilized hydrogen peroxide as an antibacterial agent and to push other treatment serums or cremes into the skin as the molecules penetrate the skins surface and expand. When the skin is properly oxygenated with Oxygenation it becomes vibrant and retains a youthful glow.
I love to use Oxygenation during the Power Treatment step of the Custom Blend Facial, but it's also great for at-home use. Oxygenation can be used at home several different ways. It can be used alone as a moisturizer because it renews, refines, and hydrates sleepy skin. It also works wonders when applied over acne treatments. As it releases and diffuses oxygen into the surface layers or the skin, problem pores and congestion receive much needed purification. Plus, this creme helps push the active ingredients in the acne treatment deeper into the skin.
The stabilized hydrogen peroxide formula can also be applied after at-home exfoliation or after using at-home facial masks. Oxygenation infuses tired, aging skin with oxygen which allows you to get the maximum benefits of your exfoliators and treatment masks.
What's the one piece of advice you wish every client followed?
The one piece of advice I wish all clients would follow: With so many avenues to seek skin care recommendations it is of the upmost importance to find a licensed professional such as an esthetician or a dermatologist.
These professionals are "students of skin" and have the educational background necessary to help you care for your skin. Your esthetician should be knowledgeable in the latest treatments, ingredients and advances in skin care – and will share that knowledge with you. They are absolutely a key player in your skin care journey.
Want to speak to an expert yourself? Find a Bioelements spa near you.
Want to see the most frequently asked questions about skin care? Read our Skin Care 101 series.
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