alcohol and your skin

March 11, 2015

Practicing mindfulness when drinking benefits your skin


The changing of seasons is showing warmer days ahead, getting most of us in the mood for outdoor activities with drinks in our hands. While enjoying a few adult drinks is not a dire concern it’s important to know what’s happening to the largest organ on your body, your skin.

To put it simply, alcohol is dehydrating. Expanding on that, drinking any type of alcohol prevents your body’s production of vasopressin, the important hormone that helps our bodies retain water and contract blood vessels. Some people might notice their face flushing more when they consume alcohol because our body’s water retention is limited and the blood vessels in our faces are dilated allowing an increased rate of blood flow.

For the most part, once the alcohol is out of your system, flushing of the skin, such as the cheeks, and other symptoms of drinking subside. However, residual dehydration is common. Depleting your skin of water hinders your skin from being able to retain nutrients and can cause earlier onset of aging.

Whether you feel thirsty or not, chances are your skin is, so try and drink at least one glass of water in between alcohol-containing drinks. Aim to drink a few extra glasses of water throughout the next day to offset any dehydration.

It is standard to determine how much water you need based on your weight. Multiply your weight by 0.66 and the number remaining is how many ounces you should be drinking per day. Add twelve ounces per 30 minutes of dehydrating activity, such as exercise or consuming alcohol.

At PCA SKIN®, we believe beautiful skin starts with healthy skin. Whatever your drink of choice, be cautious and mindful while enjoying it.


expect the unexpected

February 27, 2015

Aligning your peel expectations with reality


We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, chemical peels don’t have to result in a tomato-red and highly irritated face. If done properly, your peel should leave you with a healthy glow. In order to feel comfortable going into your peel and maximize your results afterwards, it’s important to know what to expect during your treatment.

Every chemical peel is customized to each person’s unique skin. It’s impossible to standardize chemical peels, as the layers of the peel and the products used should vary person-to-person. So, when it comes to peels, expect the unexpected until you get to your clinician’s office. Your clinician will determine your peel treatment based on a couple of factors: your skin concerns, your skin type and what results you want to see. It’s important to discuss your goals with your clinician before the treatment, so they can determine which direction to take your peel. This way, you are sure to leave with your happiest skin possible.

Your PCA SKIN® clinician has been specifically trained to determine your skin’s needs and how many layers of your peel solution are safe and effective. They should be able to provide you with clear expectations of what to expect after your specific treatment. Complications are rare with superficial chemical peels, but caring for your skin properly in the days following treatment further minimizes the chances of any negative effects.

It is possible to achieve beautiful results almost immediately after a chemical peel. Locate a PCA SKIN Certified Professional near you to discuss your goals and find out exactly what goodness your skin can gain through personalized treatment.

Chemical peel tips and tricks from Dr. Jody Comstock

February 25, 2015
This week’s Customer Profile comes from Dr. Jody Comstock at Skin Spectrum in Tucson, AZ. Dr. Comstock is an established leader in the field of dermatology and gave PCA SKIN access to her best chemical peel tips and tricks.
  1. Tell us about your practice. I have been in practice for 25 years. For the past 18 years, Skin Spectrum has been a non-insurance cosmetic and procedural practice. I have loved being a pioneer and early investigator in the evolving field of aesthetic medicine. It is exciting, rewarding and always evolving. The greatest joy comes from making patients feel better about themselves. We are able to change lives and give a boost of self-esteem. We live in a world that is visual and we make a judgment within 1/100th of a second as we look at someone. Skin, facial and feature shape and shadows are what our brain reacts to. Skin Spectrum has three physicians, two physician assistants, four laser techs and a total staff of 30. We are successful because of our service-oriented, educated and qualified team. This patient-centric team approach has worked for us. We are also part of a greater destination location. In our building we have an anti-aging physician — my husband Frank Comstock, M.D. — a work-out center, an operating room and a lab. Our goal has been one-stop shopping.
  2. When did you start using PCA SKIN® daily care and professional products in your practice? Skin Spectrum started in 1991. A lovely woman was starting a new business. Her name was Margaret Ancira and the company was PCA. She was eager to learn as much as she could about cosmetic work. My partner and I taught her how to do glycolic acid peels. She was so engaged about learning and developing. Margaret was the hardest, most passionate worker. In addition, her products were outstanding and of the highest quality. We have ALWAYS carried PCA and I can’t imagine not carrying them!
  3. What PCA SKIN professional treatments do you use most in your practice? We love all the peels!
  4. What are some unique ways you combine PCA peels with other modalities? Our practice prioritizes and combines treatments. This means we would perform a microdermabrasion and then add a PCA peel over the treated area. We often removed unwanted moles, keratoses and even pre-skin cancers and then peel over the treated area. It accelerates the healing and gives the background skin some preventive treatment and better blending.
  5. What are the most important pieces of information you tell a first-time peel patient? We tell all of our patients they must have their skin prepped first. This means they must have the best palette possible for optimal results. Often times being on an excellent PCA topical program for two to four weeks prior to a peel and after a peel is essential. Of course, this includes the very important topical called sunblock!! Also, peels may require a series for certain results and maintenance peels are excellent. Follow-up is critical as our skin is on a continual journey of the past, today and the future.
  6. How would you explain the difference between chemical peels and laser treatments?  Peels are chemicals that are product and technique dependent. Lasers are devices that target specific things such as vascular structures, pigment, superficial layers of skin, etc. Both lasers and peels   can improve tone, texture and tightening of the skin. Both can be product and device specific, but also the technical experience is important.
  7. Do you have a unique method of converting your injectable patients into peel patients? At our first consultation we create a blueprint for our patients. The skin’s tone and texture actually take priority over volume loss. So our topical products, peels and laser options may actually be the “first” on the list. Volume loss is a significant part of balance and harmony in rejuvenation. So we actually don’t “convert,” but educate up front both are on the list of optimizing aging and having the most beautiful, natural look you desire.
  8. Post-care is important, how do you ensure your patients leave your office with proper post-care? What post-care products do you send with your patients? Prior to any peel, post-op instructions are given. It is also part of our protocol to have patients sign a consent [form saying] they will follow all post-op instructions and follow-up with our practice. Patients understand we have a relationship of caring for them and taking all procedures seriously. Although our peels have excellent, safe results, we respect it is a procedure and there can be variables for healing for many reasons. In addition, all post-op instructions are given to patients in a hard copy as they leave.

customer profile: Beautiful Faces Facial Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery

January 21, 2015


This week’s Customer Profile comes from Vu Ho, MD and staff at  Beautiful Faces Facial Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery of Plano, TX.

Name: (Coincides with Photo):
Mary Richard, Office Manager/Patient Coordinator
Vu Ho, MD
Emma Gilbert, Medical Aesthetician

Business: Beautiful Faces

City and State of Business: Plano, Texas

1. How many years have you been in business?

Beautiful Faces has been in business for five years.

2. What variety of services do you offer?

Dr. Vu Ho, our double-board certified facial plastic surgeon, offers both surgical procedures and non-surgical procedures including Botox® and fillers. Our MedSpa offers facials, as well as treatments such as SilkPeel®, IPL, laser hair reduction, dermaplaning, NOVALASH® Eyelash Extensions and PCA SKIN® peels.

3. What is your favorite treatment room modality or service?

We have seen the best results with PCA SKIN peels and SilkPeel®! For those of you who are unfamiliar with SilkPeel®, it is a hydrating facial, which uses patented dermalinfusion to infuse a skin-specific solution while simultaneously removing dirt, oil and bacteria from the pores.

4. How do you integrate advanced modalities with PCA SKIN products and professional treatments?

A vast majority of our patients find that integrating dermaplaning or microdermabrasion, as well as the recommended homecare regimen leaves them extremely satisfied with their already wonderful PCA SKIN peel!

5. Tell us about a time you improved a patient’s life?

A surgical patient was unable to receive CO2 laser resurfacing due to inflamed acne at the time of her surgery. She visited our medical aesthetician once she was cleared by Dr. Ho to begin receiving PCA SKIN peels. After only two peels, her acne cleared up and most of the pigmentation associated with the acne had vanished! The patient is ecstatic and now visits us on a regular basis. It is so rewarding to know that our office as a whole can create confidence in our patients!

6. What makes your business successful?

What makes us successful is the personal touch we strive to provide for our patients. We do our best to create a personalized experience for each individual patient that walks through our door. We make it a point to know everyone on a first name basis!

7. When did you partner with PCA SKIN and why did you choose PCA SKIN?

Beautiful Faces partnered with PCA SKIN in 2011. We wanted to offer a quality professional product line that provides superior results, and the outstanding customer service is a plus!

8. What is your favorite PCA SKIN daily care product and why?

It’s hard to choose just one, everyone in the office has a favorite! The PCA SKIN Acne Cream for spot treatment would have to be the number one product used by the staff, it works extremely fast and everyone we have recommended it to loves it!

9. What is your favorite PCA SKIN professional treatment and why?

Definitely the PCA SKIN peels and Oxygenating Trio®. We have noticed the most satisfying results from the wide array of professional treatments available through PCA SKIN!

10. What advice would you give to a newly certified PCA SKIN professional?

Congratulations, you have opened up so many new opportunities by becoming PCA SKIN certified! First and foremost, don’t be afraid to reach out to your PCA SKIN representative and/or call the company to ask questions. Second, take advantage of the online courses and continued education seminars available through PCA. You are about to be rewarded by the success of the products you recommend and use in the treatment room, enjoy!

customer profile: Marisol Morales

January 7, 2015

This week’s Customer Profile comes from Miami, Florida-based aesthetician Marisol Morales of Dermalaser Med Spa.

Name: Marisol Morales

Business: Dermalaser Med Spa

City and State of Business: Miami, FL

1. How long have you been a skin health professional?

10 years

2. Why did you become a skin health professional?

After a car accident at a very early age, I was left with a scar across my face. As soon as the stitches were removed I started going to an aesthetician who helped my scar heal perfectly. I saw how every day my scar improved with her massage technique, serums and creams. I understood that my skin was alive; that it was grateful of everything we were doing for it; and that all it needed was time and patience to heal the right way. I am fascinated by the skin’s healing process because it holds great memory; it remembers if we are neglecting it or taking good care of it.

3. Tell us about a time you improved a patient’s life by addressing their skin concerns.

My favorite patients are young kids suffering from acneic skin. Helping them with their self-esteem is extremely rewarding to me. I will never forget the day I received the most truthful and grateful hug from a young patient that had been struggling with acne.

4. Do you have a favorite modality used in the treatment room?

Chemical peels and fractionated bi-polar radiofrequency (controlled dermal heating) are my favorite modalities to use in the treatment room.

5. What makes you a successful skin health professional?

What makes me a successful skin health professional is constant education, and the best products and machines available on the market.

6. Why did you choose to partner with PCA SKIN?

I chose to partner with PCA SKIN because of the education available to the professionals as well as the patients;  the quality of ingredients and delivery systems.

7. What is your favorite PCA SKIN daily care product?

Hydrator Plus Broad Spectrum SPF 30 and Weightless Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 45 sunblock are my favorite daily care products.

8. What is your favorite PCA SKIN professional treatment?

My favorite professional treatment is PCA Peel® with Hydroquinone & Resorcinol.

9. What would you say to a newly certified PCA SKIN professional?

I would tell a newly certified professional to take advantage of PCA’s education and follow protocols.

If you are a PCA Certified Professional interested in being profiled in this series, please email

customer profile: Pauline Farace

December 17, 2014

This week’s Customer Profile comes from San Jose, CA-based aesthetician Pauline Farace of Studio Joule & Joule Face Makeup Styling.

Name: Pauline Farace

Business: Studio Joule & Joule Face Makeup Styling

City and State of Business: San Jose, CA

1. How long have you been a skin health professional?

25 years

2. Why did you become a skin health professional?

I started out as a makeup artist and was encouraged to become an aesthetician as well; the two definitely go hand in hand. I liked the aspect of the skin care profession always having new opportunities for growth and knowledge.

3. Tell us about a time you improved a patient’s life by addressing their skin concerns.

I have had several clients with moderate to severe cases of hyperpigmentation; bringing them back to a state of feeling comfortable with their skin and enjoying their natural glow, along with having the confidence to venture out of the door with very little or no makeup. It makes me happy to see them feeling comfortable and having them share the compliments that they receive.

4. Do you have a favorite modality used in the treatment room?

I love the basics in my treatment room, such as my steamer, lamp, results-oriented products and my gentle hands.

5. What makes you a successful skin health professional?

When I bring new products and treatments into my studio, I share with my clients that I’ve already studied and experienced the products myself. My excitement starts before the new products are even in my studio. I believe it’s important to educate, assure and nurture my patients, so that they are also comfortable with the treatment that I have chosen for them. Everyone’s comfort level is different, so a customized approach is always good.

6. Why did you choose to partner with PCA SKIN?

I had seen PCA SKIN at various trade shows and their ads in trade journals over the years. I decided to broaden my range of peels that I was offering. Last year I finally visited the PCA SKIN booth at Face & Body and inquired about the training. I was impressed with all they had to offer in their “show package,” plus the PCA SKIN representative that helped me was both welcoming and informative. The ongoing and online education was a definite bonus; I would also say that PCA has the absolute best customer service! Whether I call in with just one question or five, they have always come through with answers and solutions for me.

7. What is your favorite PCA SKIN daily care product and why?

I love the Pigment Bar®. It is one of my best sellers and it’s a great solution for everyone with pigmentation issues. Pigment Bar® is economical, has a fresh clean scent, and leaves the skin feeling clean and looking bright. It is the best bar in a jar! I also really like the Post-Procedure Solution and the Daily Care Solution Sets; they are great little tools to have in your practice.

8. What is your favorite PCA SKIN professional treatment and why?

I love Sensi Peel®; it’s a great starting point for someone who has never experienced a peel. It also suits my more advanced peel clients. I really like the “progressive” approach to treatment. The retinoid boosters are also great to go along with Sensi Peel®.

9. What would you say to a newly certified PCA SKIN professional?

I would tell a newly certified PCA SKIN professional to take advantage of everything that is offered, from the additional training to the online courses to the samples sizes that are available; and to never feel that one single question is not an important one. The PCA SKIN staff is really there to help build your practice.

If you are a PCA Certified Professional interested in being profiled in this series, please email

customer profile: Colleen Easterlin

December 3, 2014

This week’s Customer Profile comes from Melbourne, Florida-based aesthetician Colleen Easterlin of Lawler Centre Cosmetic Surgery.

Name: Colleen Easterlin

Business: Lawler Centre Cosmetic Surgery

City and State of Business: Melbourne, FL

1. How long have you been a skin health professional?

9 years

2. Why did you become a skin health professional?

I became a skin health professional to be able to provide effective and affordable skin care to clients.

3. Tell us about a time you improved a patient’s life by addressing their skin concerns.

I have a wonderful high school male who was suffering with acne. Together we dramatically cleared up his skin with routine in-office peels and diligent use of his at-home regimen. He smiles now when he comes back for maintenance visits and his self-confidence has sky rocketed!

4. Do you have a favorite modality used in the treatment room?

I like to do microdermabrasion combined with a peel. My clients like how it increases the intensity of a peel and the results.

5. What makes you a successful skin health professional?

I really take my time to listen to the client’s skin care goals, ask about their history as well as their current lifestyle. I design the at-home regimens to best fit with their lifestyle so they will stick with it. Also, I read as much as I can about the skin care industry and stay current with classes.

6. Why did you choose to partner with PCA SKIN?

I have always admired PCA SKIN for their dedication to providing effective and affordable skin care products backed by science.

7. What is your favorite PCA SKIN daily care product and why?

Right now, I love the Perfecting Neck & Décolleté. I love the way my skin feels smooth and it lessens the redness.

8. What would you say to a newly certified PCA SKIN professional?

I would tell them to know the ingredients. If you know your ingredients, you can choose the best services and products for your clients. This will lead to more revenue for you and happy clients!

If you are a PCA Certified Professional interested in being profiled in this series, please email