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The Radiance Rules

This article by Barbara Arnoux, medical esthetician and regional education business manager for Chicago based Bioelements Skin Care since 1991 is a wonderful reference for educating your clients on the reality of skin “radiance.” It can serve as the basis for an educational video, webinar, handout or as part of your client consultation. It is reprinted here in its entirety.


When people envy someone else’s “great” skin, there’s usually one undeniable factor—radiance. Some clients call it “glass skin” or “transparent skin,” and some call it just plain ‘ol glowing skin. No matter what term they use, they’re all talking about the same thing: a lit-from-within, luminous, radiant complexion. It’s dewy, pore less and everywhere on social media, magazine covers and Hollywood billboards.

Simply put, a radiant complexion is a hallmark of young, healthy skin. In the past, getting that glow required a full night of sleep, a perfect diet and a few thousand yoga classes. While it’s easier than ever for your clients to fake radiance via photo filters or face-tuning, it’s possible to get real, radiant skin at home and in the treatment room by following a few simple guidelines.

Here’s how to talk to your clients about the rules of radiance.

WHERE DID MY RADIANCE GO? If radiant skin is naturally a symbol of health and wellness, what causes it to disappear? Chronological aging, as well as short-term lifestyle choices, environmental aggressors and everyday stress can leave skin dull, lined and looking aged and exhausted. An effective intake form should include investigative questions that will help you read your client’s skin and make the right assessment regarding a loss of radiance.

These questions include the following:

“What are your skin concerns and challenges today?” Your client may describe dullness, lack of vitality, redness (a sign of a weakened barrier), or they may say their skin just doesn’t behave the way it used to.

“What do you currently use on your skin?” This can help you pinpoint their current likes and dislikes, possible incorrect product usage or over-aggressive skin care habits that may be damaging to the skin.

“Do you have allergies or are you currently taking any medications?” This will help you identify any health issues that can cause dehydration or sensitivities (precursors to loss of radiance), in addition to contraindications to treatment.

“Do you tan? Do you smoke or vape?” Again, your goal is to identify daily habits that may contribute to a loss of radiance. Tanning and smoking will both dehydrate and damage the skin and deplete the vital reparative nutrients that make skin radiant.

Lifestyle and damaging environmental assaults have a clear impact on the way skin looks. In today’s wellness and image-focused drive to look younger, healthier, and happier, the bar has been raised to maintain and enhance skin’s radiance. There’s a connection between stress, pollution, poor diet and UV rays, and an increase in premature age signs.

The rules below can help you educate your clients on how barrier repair, lifestyle choices, exfoliation and more can play a crucial role in achieving enviable radiant skin. Each rule includes talking points you can incorporate into your treatment plan and home care recommendations.

RULE #1: Radiant skin has a strong barrier.

All the causes of premature age signs like pollution, poor diet, lack of sleep and incorrect product usage can damage the skin’s hydrolipidic barrier. When the barrier is damaged, skin loses radiance.

Client talking points. Your skin’s hydrolipidic barrier is a natural, protective film that covers its entire surface, made up of water, sweat and sebum. Like a skin security guard, it stops bad things from entering and protects good things inside.

Unfortunately, there are many ways this barrier can get damaged or weakened: UV rays, product misuse, aggressive exfoliation, daily environmental assaults, or genetics. Signs of a weakened barrier include dullness, redness, irritation, dryness, flakiness, visible capillaries, or the skin isn’t acting how it used to. Without a strong barrier, all skin care benefits from the products they use are only temporary, and their skin will be vulnerable to outside aggressors, become weaker and the aging process will accelerate.

Professionally recommend. Rather than band-aid a skin concern, we need to strengthen the barrier, so results are long-term. In the treatment room, perform a calming facial that will nourish and strengthen the skin’s barrier, so it can get back on the path to radiance. Be sure to choose professional formulas packed with proven barrier reparative ingredients like hemp seed oil, vitamin E, ceramides and beta glucan (found in our Colloidal Oat Enzyme).

At-home, recommend that your client continue to target and strengthen their skin’s barrier with the same clinical formulas in at-home sizes. This plan with help reset their complexion and reclaim lost radiance.

RULE #2: Radiant skin requires personalization.

This rule comes down to one key question, “Is your client using the right formulas for their exact skin type and concerns?”

Client talking points. Once we know their skin type, we can start them on the right daily at-home agenda, so they’ll be well on their way to glowing, radiant, youthful skin. This includes a cleanser, toner and moisturizer that are customized to what their skin needs right now. Of course, these daily essentials will also include a broad-spectrum sunscreen. That’s because nothing is more damaging for the skin than the sun. UV damage robs the skin of radiance, and it’s one of the main reasons skin can look dull. At the end of the day, even the best radiance-rescuing skin treatment products will be useless if they don’t protect their skin from UV damage.

Professionally recommend. In the treatment room, perform a customized facial that personalizes product choices at every step. Look for a radiance-boosting professional concentrate for a power treatment. At-home, recommend the same radiance-rescuing ingredients in a 10-minute mask. Send them home with a starter set of essentials for their skin type, to get their daily habits solidified. In addition, recommend formulas that can also be custom blended (targeting redness, dehydration or premature age signs) to deliver true, one-of-a-kind personalization.

RULE #3: Radiant skin is exfoliated.

Exfoliation is a vital step in treating dull, drab skin. It is a necessity for all skin types, even sensitive, if you want radiant, glowing skin. Skin can become dull due to UV damage, dehydration, aging and sluggishness.

Client talking points. Dull, lifeless skin needs to be “revved up” to boost the skin’s microcirculation and cell turnover. Exfoliation and active mask treatments are a great way to transform dull skin back into bright, healthy, and radiant skin. Have them exfoliate one to three times a week (or daily if it is a mild exfoliator) to ensure that dead, dull cells are swept away, to reveal a smoother, glowing, radiant complexion.

Professionally recommend. In the treatment room, opt for effective exfoliation professional-use formulas and techniques that coax the skin into shape, rather than assault it. From gentle enzymes (Enzyme Peeling Crème, Pineapple Enzyme Peel) up to more active chemical peels (Glycagel 15% - still won’t “peel” the skin), you can perform a series of treatments that slowly but effectively increase in strength and activity. At-home, recommend smart exfoliation habits dependent on skin type and reactivity.

RULE #4: Radiant skin is super hydrated.

Dewy, hydrated skin goes hand in hand with radiance. When skin is dehydrated, it’s lacking needed water, which can be caused by poor diet or water intake, medications, smoking or UV exposure.

Client talking points. Dehydrated skin is dull skin. Dehydration will also bring on premature aging lines and a thin texture. Any skin type can become dehydrated, even oily skin, so it’s essential to infuse their skin with water in multiple ways (serums, toners, masks and more) to keep it radiant, younger-looking, comfortable and healthy.

Professionally recommend. In the treatment room, moisture is the name of the game. Customize your power treatment serums and masks with added hydrating ingredients. At-home, recommend a hydrating, antioxidant concentrate to instantly improve fullness, nourish and smooth out fine lines. In addition, a 10-minute targeted collagen mask can give clients the instant dewiness they want.

BE THEIR GLOW GURU Be your clients’ glow guru by following the rules above. Remember, when it comes to radiance, your clients’ habits and environment far outweigh their genetics. Let them know that real-life radiance is absolutely achievable, no filter necessary.

Barbara Arnoux is a licensed medical esthetician with a deep, extensive knowledge on skin physiology and advanced treatments including chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and lasers. She has over 35 years of advanced experience and has been a regional education business manager for Bioelements since 1991.


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