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A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

8 Secrets Aestheticians Won’t Tell You for Free

Lucky for your skin, they’re revealing them now.

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Your pores will continue to get larger

“When women get into their 40s, they start complaining about their pores getting larger,” says Diane Cordon, licensed medical aesthetician at the Skin Clinic at The Few Institute for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery in Chicago. By that time, you’ve had decades of products, sweat, and makeup getting into your pores. “And a pore will make room for more stuff to come in,” she says. You can use the best products out there, but to stop the stretching, Cordon recommends getting extractions done on a quarterly basis.

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Stop the sonic brush obsession

If you have one of these brushes, the instructions suggest using them twice a day. “We’re noticing patients complaining about how dry and red they are, and the common denominator is overuse of these sonic facial brushes,” says Cordon. Once a week use is ideal, she says.

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Pick your skin and you’ll undo all your hard work

Picking your skin is a bad, bad habit, period. Pop your pimples wrong, and you could spread bacteria in your skin, causing another zit—or two—to surface. Picking can also cause a red, dark, or purple mark that hangs around for weeks, and possibly scar, says celebrity esthetician Renee Rouleau. “It will fade with time by using a skin lightener and increasing your exfoliation,” she says.

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But you can pop your own pimples

Even though picking your skin is a bad idea, there is a way to pop them yourself. You can use a lancet (like the one here) and then cover the spot with rubbing alcohol to kill bacteria. “I teach my acne clients how to do this properly,” says Cordon. “But I pick and choose who I show because some will go crazy with the information,” she says.

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You might not need to go to the spa as often as you think

With the right at-home regimen, you can prolong the time in between treatments—and save yourself some money, says Angie Byer, licensed aesthetician at Jeune Skin Care at UW Health Transformations in Madison, Wisconsin. After peels, for instance, she puts patients on a topical antioxidant (like vitamin C or resveratrol), a retinol to maintain cell turnover, and maybe an alpha hydroxyl acid (AHA) product to further boost cell turnover. These will help build collagen and maintain the youth-boosting results.

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iStock/Henk Badenhorst

Don’t do these two things before a treatment

Resist getting a facial right after getting Botox or fillers, says Barbara Broas, national esthetician at Le Métier de Beauté. “Massaging your face will move the Botox to unwanted areas,” she says. She recommends waiting at least one week in between. If you’re getting laser hair removal, waxing, or threading [on your face], get the facial first, and then go in for hair removal the next day. Exfoliation during a facial can irritate freshly waxed skin, explains Broas.

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You can get spa-like skin at home

Broas keeps her skin young by exfoliating and smoothing on a mask two to three times per week. “It helps to reawaken my skin by deep cleansing and removing any dead skin that lies on the surface of my skin,” she says. “That allows the anti-aging ingredients in my skincare products to penetrate more effectively.” The result: an always hydrated and radiant complexion.

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You don’t always need a facial

To temporarily “perk up” skin when you’re not looking your best and sleep is in short supply, apply a mask to skin in the morning before applying makeup, says Broas. (Ideally, look for one with antioxidants, vitamins, and moisturizing ingredients.) It will hydrate and smooth skin, giving you a natural glow.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest