Spa Experts Weigh In on Treating Scars and Stretch Marks

scars-strectch-marks[Image: Getty Images]Experts weigh in on how to approach these troublesome skin imperfections.

“At M’lis, we believe that all external skin conditions begin from within and that prevention is the best solution for stretch marks. The skin replenishes itself continuously; in adults, skin’s structure is renewed about every 28 days. To prevent stretch marks, it needs to be kept hydrated, both internally by drinking enough water and externally with moisturizing treatments,” says Linda T. Nelson, RND, PhD, CEO, M’lis. “So, we teach a healthy skin program that helps the body produce beautiful skin through nutritional support: eliminating sugar and white flour products; reducing gluten-heavy foods; drinking half one’s body weight in water; and ingesting enough vitamins, minerals and amino acids daily. In addition, topical treatments that moisturize, hydrate, nourish, soften and condition assist in skin cell renewal.”

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“To best address stretch marks, opt for products with ingredients that encourage skin regeneration and those that aid in increasing skin density for a smoother appearance; be sure to clearly explain the benefits and results to clients,” says Elizabeth Murchison, director of education, Guinot. “They should undertake some lifestyle changes as well, such as minimizing rapid weight gain and loss (yo-yo dieting), exercising, and applying moisturizers and regenerative skin care to diminish the appearance of scars and stretch marks. Another way to mask these issues is to use a small amount of a gradual self-tanner over the entire body.

Scar and Stretch Mark Products

  • apothederm-stretch-marks
    Apothederm Stretch Mark Cream
“In order to market services to clients who may be embarrassed about their scars or stretch marks, it’s important to humanize these conditions. Stretch marks are very common and can result from puberty, pregnancy, rapid weight gain and even bodybuilding. Spa pros can help clients by approaching scars and stretch marks using a holistic combination of spa treatments and at-home products to help accelerate and improve their outcomes,” says Robin Carmichael, COO and president, Helix BioMedix Inc. “For clients with acne, reinforce a no-touching, no-picking mantra to help avoid scarring, and combine that with an effective acne treatment product. Clients with stretch marks should maintain a healthy balance of diet and exercise to manage their weight.”

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“We generally recommend a series of peels—a salicylic peel, glycolic peel and modified Jessner peel—over a six-week period. The peels stimulate cell turnover and renewal, which levels the scars and stretch marks, and makes skin appear smoother, brighter and more even toned. In some situations, both scars and stretch marks can be prevented. For example, an acne client who is constantly squeezing and picking at their skin can develop scars; salicylic acid as well as AHAs can help prevent scarring by resurfacing the skin,” says Karen Asquith, national director of education, G.M. Collin. “With stretch marks, the risk of developing them is reduced when the skin is well hydrated and the elasticity preserved. There are tactful, nonjudgmental ways to discuss these services with clients. So, if I were to notice acne scars, I would suggest a chemical peel and base it on the season—a mini-treatment for spring that would eliminate winter buildup, and refresh and brighten their skin in time for summer. If the guest is self-conscious, you can always address it in a roundabout fashion until that time when they’re totally comfortable. Once a client has developed that trust, they will discuss everything!”

– by Laura Waldon

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