Monday, December 19, 2011

Skin Care by a Licensed Professional

It insulates our bodies.
It protects us from injuries and infections.
It helps us heat and cool our insides.
It provides us with the sensation of touch.

And how do we treat it? Horribly!!!

Most of the time we really just ignore it . . . And when we don’t? We bang it and bruise it. We scrape it and scratch it. We let it dry out, feed it poorly and even forget to water it! What am I talking about? Your skin.

Yep! The largest organ of our bodies and we fail miserably in maintenance. The truth is that most people take their skin for granted, but consider this: Although skin care does make us look better, it is also vital to our well being. Simple things that effect the health of your skin like drinking lots of water every day and getting plenty of sleep are obvious, but there are other things that you can do to treat skin issues and maintain or restore the healthy and youthful appearance of your skin.

Good skin care has never been easier than today. There are many, many options available. That is why a trusting relationship with a skin care professional is so important. Your personal Aesthetician continues to learn about products, procedures and techniques to better serve your particular needs. Today, we have lasers, microdermabrasions,
microcurrents, chemical peels and more. You may, or may not be a candidate for one or these - that is where your Aesthetician comes in - to guide, direct and provide these services - many times in cooperation along side your Medical Doctor and/or Dermatologist. His/Her goal is to reveal a smooth, healthy, and youthful complexion in a safe, sanitary and professional manner.

Some people have the impression that professional facials, and the like, are only for the Upper Crust. They think that regular facials are for the rich and famous and that they only provides frou frou fluff and stuff. That just isn’t the case at all. Let me introduce you to my client, Trish.

Trish is a mature, professional woman blessed with good skin. She has a “normal” complexion, not prone to breakouts, doesn’t worship the sun, and has done a good job of maintaining her overall health. She did not have regular facials. As a matter of fact, her very first facial was done by me about a year and a half ago.
Here’s what she has to say about regular facial treatments:

“I began getting professional facials at MD Skin in May 2010. I have received them regularly, monthly for the past approximately 20 months. Changes I have seen in the health of my complexion and whole face include clarity, firmness, a translucent glow, elimination of break outs (never had many), freshness, reduction in pores and wrinkles. Encouragement from Marci lead me to having Botox and Juvederm from Dr. Kelly Hynes. I also began stimulation with NuFace about 2 and a half months ago. Friends are amazed at how my face looks and I give full credit to Marci and Dr. Kelly. I have always been fortunate to have pretty good skin and have always used Clinique products. The improvement to my complexion and condition of my facial skin looks far younger than my 63 years

Another testimony is from Diane, a school counselor here in Columbia. Diane is concerned about aging well. In addition, Diane's job is very high in the stress factor. While skin care treatments are so important to your healthy complexion, many, like Diane, find treatments beneficial to the overall physical well-being, as well as mental and emotional. No, I don’t change more for psychological treatments . . . Hahanah.

"I have visited Marci for once a month for over a year now...My visits are my solace!! I am literally full of anticipation during my work day, knowing that I will see Marci later that day for a skin treatment. Her treatments are so thorough and relaxing. She really makes selections and choices based on my skin's needs at the time. Consequently, my skin continues to look healthier and smoother. I also purchased a Nu-Face unit from the results. I use it faithfully each night and the results build up subtly over time, but they are definitely there. Marci is the real deal when it comes to skin care! She is very personable too, and always makes me feel welcome and relates when I share concerns about my skin. My visits to her have become a part of my life. I can't imagine not being able to receive this nourishment, as I am in my 50's, and they're crucial for my overall facial skin tone and appearance - during a time when my hormones are erratic. Blessings to Marci!! My psyche benefits tremendously too!!”

Another benefit of creating a trusting relationship with your Licensed Aesthetician is having a source for professional skin care products. The best products are only available through a licensed professional. Yes, there are very good products to be found at department stores and even at Target, but the knowledgeable advice and product suggestions are not available. No offense intended to a sales clerk anywhere, but they have not gone to school to become ‘licensed” in skin care, rather they receive training to “sell” products. And that, my friends, is a very BIG difference!

Everyone has a different skin type and there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” product. Your skin care professional will suggest the best products for home-use based on YOUR skin type, after a thorough examination and analysis.
There are so many benefits of getting a professional skin analysis. You can find out how to take better care of your skin, and based on your biggest areas of concern, learn how to better treat those areas. For instance, you may have very sensitive skin. They may recommend some top quality, but affordable products, you can use to cleanse and use to eliminate any acne or oily spots you may have, keeping in mind your sensitive skin.

Some fortunate people have skin that doesn't seem to have any problems, but may still choose to have a personal skin care analysis to find out their skin type and how they can make it more healthy and youthful. Even folks like this have real concerns about aging gracefully and keeping their youthful appearance for as long as possible. (I have decided to refrain from saying, “anti-aging!”
If I don’t age, I die, therefore I am not “anti-aging,” rather aging “well!)

A professional skin analysis is much more thorough and detailed than a visit to a department store's cosmetic counter. Your Licensed Aesthetician will take a detailed skin and health history, gathering as many details from you as possible including sun exposure, allergies, and other important factors that effect your skin. Known skin conditions such as psoriasis and acne will also be considered. He/She will assess all the gathered information and determine your correct skin type. From there, a personalized skin care regime will be recommended for you, including the products that will work best for your concerns and skin type.

I will continue to use client testimonies in the upcoming New Year. Hearing directly from them will mean more than me telling you how wonderful and beneficial regular treatments are. I do hope to see you in my treatment room in the upcoming New Year.

Merry Christmas, friends. Happy Holidays and Joy to the World!

See you soon!


m.d. Skin llc
561 Meeting Street
West Columbia, SC 29169


Monday, October 31, 2011

What's this "Microdermabrasion?"

Happy November, Friends! Recently, I posted about fall being the best time of the year to have a microdermabrasion, or even better, a microdermabrasion series. This generated questions about that. What exactly is a Microdermabrasion? Why should I have one? Why is there a better time to have one than another time? So here's a primer on the subject.

What exactly is a Microdermabrasion?
Microdermabrasion is a technique for removing the top most layer of the skin (epidermis), revealing a supple, vibrant, fresh new complexion. I use a diamond-tipped wand, which gently exfoliates the skin, while also vacuuming the dead skin cells away in a controlled and sterile manner. Removing this outer layer of dead skin cells leaves behind a smoother texture, while promoting the growth of healthy new skin cells. There are no loose abrasive materials blasted onto your skin, as in the older manner of microdermabrasion.
Microdermabrasion is a great alternative to laser or chemical peels because it is non-invasive, non-surgical, and does not require any downtime post treatment. You can put on makeup right away and return to work or other normal activities. The Fall season is the very best time to have these treatments because of the cooler weather and typically you are not as directly exposed to the harsh sunlight. Clients will experience softer, smoother and brighter skin immediately after the very first treatment. Your skin will have a beautiful radiant glow and feel so smooth to the touch!

What can I expect during my Microdermabrasion Appointment?
Your comfort is most important. You'll change into a clean wrap (keeping on your underpants) and lie down in a warm, contoured, professional treatment bed under clean sheets and warm blanket. Your skin will be cleansed with a product formulated for your skin type. An appropriate enzyme mask is brushed on, followed by warm, steamed towels. This warm steam will soften your skin, allowing deeper penetration of the mask, allowing better exfoliation.
The mask will be gently toweled off, then a light brush will be used. This brushing will provide a deep, thorough cleansing of the skin, removing dirt and oils.
Next, an up close and personal skin analysis will be performed with the use of a professional magnifying lamp. You skin changes by time/age, weather, diet and stress levels. An analysis is ALWAYS an important part of any visit to an aesthetician.

Now it's time for the actual microdermabrasion. No, it doesn't hurt. Some people describe the sensation as "like a cat's tongue." The wand is passed over your skin several times in a basket weave manner, lightly abrading the surface of your skin, then gently vacuuming away the dead skin.
After this deep cleansing, exfoliating and polishing treatment you will receive a delightful, relaxing face, neck, shoulder massage. The benefits of this massage are numerous. It relaxes, eliminating tension. It helps to improve the texture of your skin by increasing blood flow and oxygen. It slightly raises the temperature of your skin and stimulates the circulatory and nervous system both of which positively affect your skin.
After this relaxing massage a cooling facial masque is applied. The cool gel masque provides anti-inflammatory, soothing and moisturizing benefits. While this masque is on, you'll receive additional acupressure massage of feet and lower legs.
Your cool, gel masque will allow even more massage with the use of either a cold appliance or the NuFace microcurrent device, and then removed with warm towels.
Finally, your skin will be treated with a proper serum for your skin type to provide specific treatment or moisture, additional moisturizing cream and UV protection.
Before you leave the bed, you'll receive a terrific scalp massage.

OK, so have you booked your appointment yet?

Since your skin turns over every 28 days - that means you are constantly sloughing off dead skin - that dead layer doesn't allow the healthy glow that we all desire. At your very first microdermabrasion appointment you'll see improvement. A series of treatments, however, provides the best results. The BEST Prescription is a series of 6 weekly microdermabrasion treatments.. m.d. Skin sells packages of 6 or 3 for budgeting purposes.

Click "BookNow" to schedule your appointment at You'll be delighted with the results!

m.d. Skin llc
561 Meeting Street
West Columbia, SC 29169

Monday, October 17, 2011

Winter Skin Care - - -Correction Time!

Visible results of summer skin damage include discolorations, premature aging, wrinkling and dryness. Oh thank goodness . . . it’s Fall! This is the time to think, “correction!”

Autumn. Beautiful color on our trees brings lovely falling leaves. Cooler temperatures on bright blue skies. Chemical and enzyme peels. Oh Autumn, my favorite of the year and is YOUR best time for skin care. Absolutely! The cooler, gentler climate of Fall is the perfect time for rejuvenating peels and can prepare you for a glowing Holiday completion.

The following article is taken from the DERMAdoctor site and is very informative.

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels are one of the most popular cosmetic procedures that patients avail themselves of today. Chemical peels can give your skin a healthy, "just refreshed" look, or can be aggressive, taking years off of your appearance.
What do chemical peels do? The outer portion of the skin (epidermis) is composed of multiple layers of epidermal cells. These cells provide a barrier against the environment, protecting deeper, more delicate tissues, maintain an even internal temperature and also prevent against dehydration.
Epidermal cells are anchored together in two ways. Microscopic fibers called tonofilaments run between individual cells, helping anchor them together. An extracellular surrounds each cell, acting as a sort of "glue" to further keep cells together. Over time, these cells are invisibly shed through the body's natural means of exfoliation. Speeding up this process can instantly restore a more youthful glow to the skin and address other subtle signs of the aging process.
Whereas microdermabrasion breaks the tonofilaments through the act of physical exfoliation, chemical peels work to dissolve the "glue". One of the most frequent questions is which procedure is better? The answer is that each works well, but neither provides a thorough exfoliation when used alone. That is why incorporating both treatments into a regimen can produce a much more satisfying result.
Just like other cosmetic procedures, there is a wide range of chemical combinations, strengths and techniques used that can make it overwhelming to decide which is best for you.
Physicians typically guide the patient to the most appropriate type and level of chemical peel to address the problem and yield a satisfying result. What's realistic? What isn't? What can you do for yourself? And finally, what should your doctor do that your aesthetician shouldn't? Let's find out.

Realistic Goals Of Chemical Peels
• Chemical peels can correct actinic (sun) damage. • They can reduce mild scarring. • You can experience a reduction or eradication of your wrinkles. • Improvement of dark skin discoloration is possible. • Chemical peels can remove excessive / stubborn blackheads. • The peel may temporarily reduce excessive skin oils.
Unrealistic Goals Of Chemical Peels
• It cannot remove or reduce the appearance of blood vessels on the skin. • It is impossible to truly change pore diameter. However, by removing blackheads, the pores may actually appear less pronounced after treatment. • This is not a procedure to get rid of keloidal types of scars. • Chemical peels are not a facelift. • This is typically not appropriate for improving dark skin discoloration in people of color (Asians, African Americans, Caucasians of Mediterranean extraction, Hispanics, etc.)

There are a variety of different chemicals used for the purpose of rejuvenating the skin in what are called "chemical peels". The main reason to select an active agent is based upon the desired depth of the chemical peel. If the skin concern is predominantly superficial, then a milder, less caustic ingredient is selected. If deeply placed conditions exist, then far stronger products with matching levels of potential complications may be necessary.
Chemical peeling agents that perform mild or moderate peels typically provide a safer peel that has less associated long-term side effects. These peels work on the epidermis and possibly the most superficial portion of the dermis (known as the papillary dermis).
Deeper peels go midway into the dermal layer (into the reticular dermis), almost invariably leaving a permanently lighter skin tone. Instead of being able to tan as in the past, this lighter skin often freckles instead. These deeper peels should not be undertaken lightly, and you need to make sure in advance that the peel technique will be feathered into the scalp line and performed down the neck, possibly even the d├ęcolletage, or you may find that you have a highly noticeable line demarcating your original skin tone and the new one that is on the face.

Active ingredients used alone or in combination for mild to moderate strength chemical peels
• Glycolic Acid(AHA) • Salicylic Acid (BHA) • Lactic Acid • Jessner's Peel ( a combination of salicyclic acid, resorcinol and lactic acid mixed in ethanol) • Resorcinol • TCA (Trichloracetic Acid) TCA is used in a variety of peeling regimens such as AccuPeel and the Obagi Blue Peel.

Active ingredients used in deep chemical peels • Baker's Phenol


The ingredient and concentration obviously play a very big role in determining the ultimate depth of the chemical peel. However, other variables can make a difference such as whether a pre-peel de-fatting prep was performed, the amount of chemical applied, and the length of time the chemical was allowed to stay on the skin.
Another important factor is which area will be treated. The variations in skin thickness can affect the ultimate peel outcome. For instance, the face usually heals far more rapidly and typically experiences far fewer complications (such as discoloration, scar formation and infection) than areas such as the backs of the hands or neck. And regardless of what type or depth of peel used, exfoliation always increases one's sun sensitivity. Always wear a broad spectrum SPF 30 when using any type of chemical or physical exfoliation.

Very Superficial: This really isn't a true peel, more of an exfoliation. The most superficial layers of the stratum corneum (at the top of the epidermis) is removed or thinned during exfoliation. Most chemical peels have a preoperative regimen of using exfoliating agents such as Renova, Tazorac or a strong glycolic acid cream for 2-4 weeks prior to the actual procedure. This helps the chemical peeling agents penetrate more deeply and evenly. The use of these exfoliants also have the obvious beneficial properties of smoothing out thickened rough areas, helping self tanners go on more evenly and helping other skin rejuvenation products reach deeper tissues. Additionally, there has been good evidence that vitamin A exfoliants can help stimulate collagen deposition.

Superficial: Superficial chemical peels remove skin through a portion or all of the epidermal layer. These are the "refreshing" forms of skin peels. They can also help with reducing the appearance of very mild blotchy skin discoloration, remnant acne discoloration and help cleanse the pores. This is the most common form of peel that you would find performed in a spa or by an aesthetician. And typically they would only utilize glycolic, AHA blends or BHA as the active ingredients. True peels with higher levels of glycolic acid (30% or higher) or those containing TCA, resorcinol or Jessner's ideally would be performed in a medical setting. Examples of chemicals used for a superficial peel include: TCA 10-20%, Resorcin, Jessner's Solution, Salicylic Acid, Solid CO2 (also known as dry ice), AHAs (Glycolic and Lactic Acid).

Home peel kits tend to fall somewhere between very superficial and superficial. They can be excellent for helping freshen skin, eliminate blackheads, improve symptoms of oiliness and/or acne and renew texture. Home peels usually rely upon very low levels of glycolic acid (AHA) or blend with salicylic acid (BHA). Guestimate that total levels of actives will fall somewhere in the 4-12% total acid level range when looking at an average do-it-yourself products. Certainly chemical peels for home use in the 30+ range should be approached with care. Glycolic acid at 30% enters into potential medium level peel, particularly if misused. Acid is acid, so anytime a peel regimen is used at home, it is important to follow the directions. Acids are neutralized during the routine to stop their action. This prevents inflammation, discoloration or chemical burns for occurring. Most mainstream brands have been thoroughly tested and have well proven safety records. But "rogue" peels without any major brand behind them may be suspect. DERMAdoctor has periodically received frantic consumer calls about problems experienced with "no-name" chemical peels purchased online or through an infomercial. So it always boils down to buyer beware and use with care. Examples of typical home peel systems include MD Formulations My Personal Peel System, Cellex-C Speed Peel Facial Gel and Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel - 30 applications. A version made for the body, Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Daily Body Peel is also available.

Medium: Here's my personal cut off point that distinguishes medically performed peels from those offered in a spa, by an aesthetician or facialist. A medium strength chemical peel allows the acid to penetrate through the epidermis, down into the upper most portion of the dermis known as the papillary dermis. A medium strength peel will be far more likely to be associated with complications, both temporary and permanent. In addition to the pre-peel use of exfoliants, the use of a skin bleaching agent, such as 4% hydroquinone, and a broad-spectrum sunscreen a month prior to the procedure, may be added for more aggressive forms of these peels, or for patients who already suffer from some form of skin discoloration. Inflammation from this level peel may temporarily produce an increase in skin tone. Medium peels are typically not appropriate for people with darker skin tones or of ethnic background again due to the risk of irregular pigmentation following the procedure.

Dealing with infection preventatively is key here. For non-buffered glycolic acid and more commonly TCA peels, the use of antiviral medication (herpes cold sore prevention) started before the peel is performed is very helpful. The use of antibiotics is sometimes also used. It is absolutely CRUCIAL that you not pick at the peeling skin during the healing phase. This is a sure way to end up with an infection and long lasting problems such as scarring or skin discoloration. Often the use of emollients during the first few days such as MD Formulations Moisture Defense Antioxidant Comfort Creme are incorporated in addition to the continued use of sunscreen such as DERMAdoctor Body Guard Exquisitely Light SPF 30 For Face & Body, and a very mild cleansing agent such as DERMAdoctor Wrinkle Revenge Antioxidant Enhanced Glycolic Acid Facial Cleanser 1. Make-up is often avoided until the skin has fully peeled away. Buffered glycolic acid chemical peels that range from 70-99% do not cause the type of significant noticeable peeling that you can see with TCA peels such as AccuPeel. However, a series of 6-12 buffered glycolic acid peels compared to usually 1 of the AccuPeel is typically performed. Skin sensitivity, degree of skin concerns, time down, and cost will determine which form of peel should be chosen.

A variety of acid compounds can be used for a medium peel: Glycolic Acid 70%+ (non-buffered), TCA 35-70%, combination peels such as solid CO2, (also called dry ice), followed by medium strength TCA, and glycolic acid followed by TCA. A word on the Obagi Blue Peel. This peel is essentially TCA blended with a blue dye, which allows the physician to accurately determine where and how evenly the chemical has been applied. This peel has the same benefits as any TCA peel; however, it is often recommended as a treatment for skin discoloration, particularly patients of color. This peel "routine" is accompanied by home treatment with hydroquinone and tretinoin (the active ingredient in Retin A, etc.). Certainly anyone with a darker skin tone should always enter into a chemical peel fully aware of potential inflammation and an increase in skin discoloration. The Blue Peel has a good track record. I merely wanted to demystify the name given its widespread use and name recognition.

Deep: This peel goes through the epidermis, papillary dermis and into the deeper portion of the dermis known as the reticular dermis. These peels are not a simple procedure. Absorption of the active ingredient, phenol, has been known to cause cardiac arrest and even death. Patients who undergo phenol peels should be placed under general anesthesia and on full cardiac and pulmonary monitoring.

A phenol peel unquestionably requires a medical setting where emergency back-up is available should anything go wrong. An anesthesiologist should be present, and preferably have this procedure done in a surgical setting, not just a room adjacent to the doctor's office. The down time from this procedure is obviously the longest, 2-3 weeks is generally required before you want to be seen in public. Due to the depth of the peel leaving deeper tissue exposed, there is an increase in photosensitivity to the sun. Sunblocks which offer UVA, UVB and visible light protection such as Total Block are ideal.
Examples of ingredients used in deep peels include: Baker's phenol alone or under occlusion by tape. The tape drives the phenol deeper into the skin. Chemical peels can truly retexturize the skin, restore radiance and a youthful appearance. Whether looking for magic or simply the ideal home treatment to maximize your rejuvenation routine, chemical peels are undoubtedly here to stay. Whatever the reason always follow the directions. Doing so will help get the most from your treatment and minimize problems down the road.

Professional products and treatments can repair summer skin problems and help avoid them in the future. m.d. Skin is offering a light peel via Pumpkin Enzyme, as well as a variety of safe Chemical Peels. Free consultations are available to determine the best protocol for you. Please access my website ( and book your appointment for your radiant fall face.

Please note that this BLOG was published in October under the name "Fall Skin Care . . . Correction Time" These type of treatments should be performed BEFORE the longer and more intense UV ray seasons of Spring and Summer. Please book your appointment NOW in preparation for those months when not recommended. If you have question or concerns, remember that I always offer FREE Consultations!


m.d. Skin llc,
561 Meeting Street, West Columbia, SC 29169

Monday, September 26, 2011

Choosing Your Skin Care Professional

This is tough economic times and I surely don’t need to give you a reminder on that! An International Report (Euromonitor International) reveals how this recession has altered the way consumers think about skin care – both here in the U.S. and abroad. As the shock continues, it makes perfect sense that people are attempting to gain more value from their purchases. Here are some key findings from that report:
• Despite caution, skincare remains the more important category within beauty and personal care, comprising 23% of global sales last year. This is a direct result of the growing number of consumers 50 years and older, as well as younger men and women who are prioritizing anti-aging regimens.
• While global skincare spending slowed, anti-agers remain the star performers – showing growth of more than 7% last year.
• The report shows that consumers are focusing on the entire experience as opposed to the purchase or product itself. Spa visits are often considered a substitute for a more expensive holiday.
• Still in 2010, the middle class makes $5,000 annually in disposable income.
Interesting study, don’t you think?

Whether these stats reflect your view, or not, it is clear that skincare is a very important segment of your overall well-being, and this is where I come in. I want to be your skin care professional.
Having said that, I realize that you have choices. There are no shortage of Aestheticians, Spas, and other skin care professionals right here in our fair city. So, how do you choose your own professional esthetician? Well, first, I suggest you ask your friends and check reviews on that individual or facility. Secondly, there are some specific things you should look for and even questions you should ask.

When it comes to our skin, we should all want a skin care professional that is knowledgeable and experienced. Having a great touch, plus the ability to make you feel pampered while treating your skin, is just a bonus. Why? In my opinion, facials should be so much more than just cleansing the skin! In South Carolina, a person providing professional skin care – an (A)esthetician – must attend specific classes for a minimum of 600 hours, stand both written and practical State Board Examinations and maintain continuing education classes. A licensed Aesthetician can provide skin care treatments to help with giving you a healthy complexion and in solving skin care problems.

The person doing the treatment is just as important as the treatment itself. When using professional-grade products and giving potentionally damaging treatments such as acid peels & Microdermabrasion, your skin care professional must have the knowledge and experience to ensure that they don’t do more harm than good to your skin.

Ask questions before you let someone claiming to be a skin care specialist do treatments on your skin. Anyone can clean your skin...but some licensed estheticians are better than others. You want to know:

* What certifications does this person have? Have they had any additional training beyond attending school, then gaining their license?
* Has this person been properly trained in the use of chemicals and acids on skin? If so, by whom? When is the last time they had specific or specialized training?
* How many years of actual experience does this person have doing skincare treatments? Where has the person worked? Were they steadily employed, or have they been jumping around from place to place? As a matter of full disclosure, I have to say that though I have only been in business for less than 2 years, I worked 20 years in the beauty industry. In addition, I have been an avid spa girl. I know what to expect from a spa visit. I only give what I would like to receive.
* You should always ask questions regarding products, their uses, and how they can help your skin. Does the professional sound like they know what they are talking about, or do they sound like they are over-promising? Always use your common sense. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Keep your eyes open

What is the condition of the treatment facility? Does it appear clean? Does it smell clean? If you detect a hint of mold or mildew . . . well, should I say more? Look at the surroundings, and even at least as important, look closely at the skincare professional and the professional's own skin. Do they have skin you envy? The condition of a person claiming to be a skin care specialist is a great clue as to their own product knowledge and abilities. If you don't like what you see, you probably won't like what you receive.

In the end, don’t trust your skin to someone just because they have a license. Choose your skincare professional wisely!
Learn about the great skin care treatments offered at m.d. Skin llc by clicking on our website: At your first visit, you’ll find that your treatment includes the whole person and almost the whole body, with hand, arm, shoulder massage at minimum and most also include massage from knees down with soothing scalp massage.

In this time of extreme stress – from the workplace, home, kids, running from here to there and just trying to keep ahead, you need these services more than ever! I invite you to try m.d. Skin llc just once and you’ll see how beneficial these services can be to your overall well-being and not ONLY providing Great Skin Care! You’ll find reviews from actual clients, as well as being able to book your appointment at

Monday, August 15, 2011

When NOT to have a facial - - - Really?

Facial Treatment Contraindications

When you’re having frustrating challenges with your skin, as we all do from time to time, a facial treatment is usually just what you need. But sometimes, believe it or not, it’s exactly the wrong thing to do. It’s interesting that I have recently had several questions posed regarding facial treatments for folks with specific illnesses or conditions, so thought this informative blog might be timely and appreciated.

Here are some skin conditions for which a facial is contraindicated (not recommended):
• Acute sunburn (you can still see an esthetician for a soothing cool compress treatment to help ease your discomfort, but no heat or friction should be applied)
• Severe cystic acne with open pustules
• Open cuts or abrasions
• Bruises and swelling (ALWAYS get your physician’s approval for a treatment; post-surgical or post-trauma - bruising/swelling can often be mitigated by gentle manual lymphatic drainage massage)
• Active herpes lesions
• Conjunctivitis (“pink eye” is highly contagious!)
• Impetigo (contagious)
• Fungal infection
• Severe eczema
• Severe psoriasis
• Extreme allergic sensitivities (more than likely you already know you have allergic sensitivities and avoid those things!)

This of course is not a complete list of every medical condition that precludes a facial treatment. If you have any doubts about your suitability for any treatment use caution.

If in doubt, always consult with your physician.

Health conditions that may require treatment modifications

Unfortunately, not every esthetician or spa will ask you about health conditions that could affect the outcome of your facial treatment. If you’re a new client, a good skin care facility will ask for your history either in writing or in a thorough pre-treatment consultation, and usually through both.

Even if they don’t ask you, be sure to inform your esthetician of your current health status, particularly if you are:

• Pregnant:

Essential oils are ALWAYS contraindicated for pregnancy. I typically recommend that clients err in favor of caution and avoid spa treatments during, at minimum, the first trimester, even though this is when most skin problems occur. Be sure to have a consultation with your esthetician if you’re experiencing acne or other hormonally induced skin problems during pregnancy. Even if you can't receive a professional facial she might be able to offer advice on home care that would be safe for expectant mothers.

• Diabetic: Impaired wound healing can make extractions dangerous, and in some cases, deadly.

• A cancer patient undergoing treatment, or cancer survivor who’s had lymph nodes removed: massage may be contraindicated, and many normally beneficial ingredients may irritate your skin. There is a specialty in esthetics called Oncology Esthetics. Your best bet may be to search out an Aesthetician trained in this specialty area.

• An organ transplant patient on anti-rejection drugs: your skin may experience increased sensitivity to normally gentle ingredients. It’s always a good idea to use a product line created specifically for health challenged skin, typically found in a Specialty Physician’s Office.

Claustrophobic or prone to panic attacks: Just by letting your esthetician know that you experience Claustrophobia may help you relax and enjoy your treatment. Ask not to have steam used in your treatment and request that you are not “wrapped up” for any treatment.

• Have sensitivities or allergies: Did you know many skin care products (not just foods) contain nut oils? Just by coming in contact with a product containing nuts could have deadly consequences for someone with nut allergies. And, because a spa is using natural or organic products does not mean you’ll be less likely to have an allergic reaction to their products. In fact, essential oils, a tremendously beneficial group of ingredients, are plant derived and can cause allergic reactions in certain individuals. That is why it is crucial that you advise your Aesthetician to any adverse reaction you have experienced with products coming in contact with your skin. If you have ever experienced a rash or hives after using a product your skin care professional needs to know, or you could end up looking something like this - - -

• Experiencing Rosacea: the right facial treatment can provide relief from some Rosacea symptoms, but it is crucial to avoid heat, friction, squeezing during extractions, ingredients that increase circulation and peeling agents.

This blog may only be skimming the surface of this issue, but it is always good to be informed of the basics. I hope you find the information helpful and I hope to see you soon in my treatment room!

Giving quality skin care is always my first priority. Having clients leave my practice refreshed and relaxed is a given. If you have ever experienced a treatment from m.d. Skin, I think you will agree. If you haven't received a treatment yet . . . what are you waiting for? Don't you want to get your healthy glow on?

Go to my website ( right now and click on the "BookNow" tab. I'll be waiting for you!

Marci Delaney
m.d. Skin Personalized Skin Care
713 Meeting Street
West Columbia, SC 29169


Thursday, July 14, 2011

News about an additional skin treatment offered at m.d. Skin

Fraxel Restore - - - So WHAT is it?

You may have been reading postings and promotions about Fraxel on my page. What exactly is this Fraxel thing and why should I care about it? Good questions, especially since there are so many options available today regarding skin care, anti-aging, and skin damage.

Fraxel treatment is a revolutionary laser treatment that helps you remove YEARS from your appearance and regain a more youthful look. Over the years, your skin becomes damaged from unavoidable exposure to sun, environmental pollution, stress, fatigue and even lifestyle choices such as smoking, poor diet, alcohol consumption and sun tanning. These skin agers keep you from looking on the outside, as good as you feel on the inside. Fraxel Laser can address these issues - is an FDA approved device cleared to treat a variety of common skin conditions such as acne scarring, wrinkles, and hyper pigmentation without lengthy healing and significant side-effects.

How does this Fraxel Treatment work?

Imagine a Laser Beam – then let’s imagine that beam being broken into even smaller beams, or "fractionalized" into smaller, narrower beams – up to hundreds of tiny columns of energy. Because the laser is split into tiny bits, the Fraxel laser beams only affect the parts of the targeted areas typically about 25% of the surface area. This means that (again, typically) 4 sessions should treat 100% of the targeted area. The energy laser beams work by making tiny wounds deep in the dermis, which activate collagen production and prompt the growth of new skin cells. The end result is plumper, smoother, healthier-looking skin.

Tell me more about Benefits of Fraxel Laser Treatment.

After your very first Fraxel Laser Treatment, you will begin to feel the difference in your skin, as it becomes softer, smoother and fresher. Wrinkles around your eyes and mouth will noticeably fade. So will the hyper pigmentation or brown spots caused by aging and sun exposure. Fraxel Laser Treatment has become the “Gold Standard” for treating acne scarring and even extremely effective for other scar like post traumatic or surgical scars and stretch marks. Fraxel typically treats:

• Acne Scarring
• Hyper pigmentation
• Age Spots
• Brown Spots
• Melasma
• Fine facial lines and wrinkles
• Stretch marks

Common areas to treat are the face, neck, chest and hands, though other areas like thighs and abdomen can be effectively treated. Scars on knees and elbows can also be treated. Really the only areas to avoid are the eyes and lips.

What does Fraxel Laser Treatment feel like?

If someone tells you that it doesn’t hurt, they are lying to you!!!! Yes! IT HURTS! Having that out of the way, I will tell you that there are options to make the treatment tolerable. A topical anesthetic ointment is massaged into the area to be treated. While you are waiting for that to take effect, a low dose anti-anxiety tablet may be offered. TAKE IT! I personally think this makes all the difference in the world. It takes about 45 minutes for the topical cream to begin to work. More topical anesthetic should be massaged again into the area to be treated 10 - 15 minutes prior to beginning the treatment. Fraxel feels like a prickling sensation, like I would imagine constant bee stinging. The actual treatment takes only about 20-30 minutes.

When finished, skin feels like an extreme sunburn and appears bright red and warm. Swelling will subside within a day or so, and redness usually will fade over several days. Some patients do apply make-up immediately after treatment and return to their routine activities. I think having treatment on a Friday would allow you to safely plan on a Monday return to a public workplace, as that is about the time I think the swelling is sufficiently reduced.

After the redness goes away, typically the treated area takes on a Bronzed Glow – just like the bronzed look your skin takes after a sunburn fades. In about a week or so, the treated area begins to dry and flake, peel or slough. A good suggestion is: Fraxel – wait 2 weeks, then have a light Microdermabrasion to get that dry, itchy skin removed - 2 weeks again, have another Fraxel Laser Treatment – repeat. Your skin will continue to improve for months after ending treatment!

How much does Fraxel Laser Treatment cost?

Across the country you’ll find per treatment cost varying quite a lot. It can be found from $750 to $1500 per single session. Since you will get the best results with a series of 4, purchasing a treatment package is the best way to go.

I will probably begin offer Fraxel Laser Treatment in August, one day per week, within the medical office of Kelly Scott Hynes, MD (1924 Blossom Street, Columbia, SC 29205). I will offer grand opening prices of $500 for single session and series package of $1800. This will be for a limited time and I invite you to call for more information.

I am thrilled to be able to bring this to you and look forward to hearing from you regarding Fraxel Laser Skin Treatment!


m.d. Skin llc
561 Meeting Street
West Columbia, SC 29169

Friday, June 17, 2011


You know, I'm just a dumb blonde! Chemistry degree? Nah uh. Just a girl interested in skin care. If you are anything like me, you can be slightly confused and even overwhelmed with all the new buzz words floating around in the world of anti-aging and skin care.

This blog is going to try and give easy to understand descriptions and definitions to some common, and maybe not so common, words you might have heard regarding either skin, skin care or anti-aging ingredients. If you have something you would like to learn more about that I don't discuss here, I invite you to let me know and I will address it in a future blog.

The first word(s) I am going to tell you about are Collagen and Elastin. Collagen is a structural protein found mainly in tendons, ligaments, and connective tissue in the skin, blood vessels and lungs. Elastin is found primarily in the artery walls, lungs, intestines, and skin. These proteins are vital in keeping our youthful appearance.

Collagen gives connective tissue and organs rigidity so that they can function, and elastin lets them stretch out and then return to their original state. Collagen keeps the elastin healthy and won't allow it to stretch to the point of breaking. In the skin, collagen and elastin are the primary components of the dermis--the layer right beneath the epidermis. They provide the support structure of the skin.

The problem is that the human body stops producing elastin when you hit puberty. This is when the aging process begins. You are kidding, right? Already? Yep! Without elastin replenishment, collagen begins to lose its elasticity and begins to weaken.

Ok. Got it! We slow down collagen and elastin production as we age. Is there something that we can do then, to stimulate production? Well, it seems obvious that since they are proteins, we would do well to make sure that our dietary intake is sufficient in protein. That was easy. Anything else? Oh yes. The second step is to insure that you have adequate vitamin C intake. Vitamin C is a necessary co-factor for collagen production. If intake is inadequate, the elastic fibers will be weaker. In addition, topical C in serums, creams and lotions are vital. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that is effective at boosting skin's collagen, thereby reducing wrinkles, fine lines and evening out skin tone.

Don't smoke! Take a look at the tone and texture of a smokers face. Smoke depletes the skin of Vitamin C. Need I say more?

Here are a few other tips to increase Collagen and Elastin:

1) Exfoliation of the surface of the skin. The process of exfoliation involves eliminating the dead skin cells from the surface layer of your skin. It also stimulates the production of new elastin and collagen and gives your skin a more youthful appearance. Professional facials are truly an important part of increasing production of these proteins by deeper cleansing and exfoliation than you can do at home, plus increasing oxygen and blood flow are stimulation for an increase in production.

2) Never, Ever, Ever skip sunscreen! While this won't increase production it will certainly protect what you already have and prevent further damage.

3) Consider photofacials or LED light therapy. Both laser and light therapy work by creating "controlled injury" in the dermis of your skin. As the body heals the injured area, new skin cells are produced, as well as new supplies of elastin and collagen.

4) Microcurrent/Non-Surgical Facelift. The University of Washington has performed clinical trials to measure the benefits of the Microcurrent facelift procedure. Research has proven that a Microcurrent facelift can increase the skin's natural production of collagen by 14 percent, increase elastin by 48 percent and increase blood circulation by 38 percent. These Microcurrent facelift results were achieved in the first twenty days following this cosmetic procedure. Research has also found that the Microcurrent facelift technique increases the body's natural production of amino acids and ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate), both of which play a major role in cell heath and function to accelerate cell repair.

So what exactly are Antioxidants? Antioxidants are substances found in certain foods that protect cells against free radicals that cause the aging processes and some other diseases. OK, then - - - what are "Free Radicals?"


FREE RADICAL NOUN: An atom or group of atoms that has at least one unpaired electron and is therefore unstable and highly reactive. In animal tissues, free radicals can damage cells and are believed to accelerate the progression of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and age-related diseases.

Getting muddier and muddier. Well, listen up. Once formed, these highly reactive radicals can start a chain reaction, like dominoes. Their chief danger comes from the damage they can do when they react with important cellular components such as DNA, or cell membranes. Cells may function poorly or die if this occurs. To prevent free radical damage the body has a defense system made up of antioxidants. Again, diet plays an important part with our body’s antioxidant army. Topical ingredients with antioxidants are extremely effective in helping to fight off the signs of aging, as well.

We are all hearing about amino acids, peptides, and polypeptides in skin care products. What's all the buzz about? First, understand that peptides, polypeptides, tri-, tetra-, penta-, and other peptides are amino acids in themselves. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. They band together in chains and are the "stuff" of which we are made.

Amino Acids chain together to form peptides. There are 28 amino acids, nine of which are considered essential for everyday health. You'll hear them ending in "-ine" The amino acids most important for healthy skin are proline, glycine, leucine and lysine. Stay tuned for many more introductions of new "-ines" to come, as the research with amino acids in anti aging is on fire! And aren't we glad? More positive skin care for anti aging is on the way!

Now here's a good one for you that you may or may not have heard of: GLYCOSAMINOGLYCANS. The main function of GLYCOSAMINOGLYCANS (GAG's) is the maintenance of and the support of the Collagen and Elastin. It promotes the ability of the collagen and elastin fibers to retain moisture. This medium is entirely dependent on fluid intake. Have you ever heard of Hyaluronic Acid? It is a GAG and kinda thought of as a "molecular sponge," giving extensive hydration and allows increased skin penetration of products.

The popular dermal filler, Juvederm, is made up of Hyaluronic acid. Since it is something our body produces naturally, I am a proponent. Dr. Kelly Hynes is a quarterly guest in my treatment room to provide cosmetic Botox. She would love to speak to you about the use of fillers in the war on aging!
You can reach her at 20!20 Vision, 1924 Blossom Street, Columbia, SC 29205 (803) 748-9994.

I know this was heavy reading, but I sure do hope you learned something, too.
I love, love, love to answer your questions and provide skin care education. I think the better educated we are regarding our health and well-being the more apt we are to make good decisions. If you have a specific skin care question or concern, I encourage you to let me know. You can reach me in several different ways. Via my website (, via my Facebook page (, by email ( or by telephone (803-351-2922). There are monthly prize drawings for all those questions submitted to my Facebook page. I have given away facials, waxings, products and other things. Now I KNOW you want in on that! Right?

Well . . . that's all for now from my treatment room! And this is all in a day's work!


m.d. Skin llc

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Reflections On My First Year of Business . . .

Dear Friends, Fans and "others" - - -

It's so hard to believe that I have just celebrated my first full year in business. M.D. Skin was an idea planted, nurtured, watered, weeded, and grown out of pure love and joy for skin care and customer service. I want to take this opportunity to shout out a BIG THANK YOU to all of you that have supported, encouraged and been a part of this first year! I have the BEST clients and friends in the whole world!

As I look over the client list, I am amazed to find nearly 500 names. Wow! Now if you all would just book an appointment really soon I would be a very happy girl, indeed. Every single name on this list has in some way helped to make this an extremely special year. I think I would definitely say I have a very successful start to my biz.

Oh yes there have been challenges. I opened in a room within SABRE HAIR ART that wasn't the best place to be. It was a room that divides SABRE with their sister business, THE PERFECT TEN, from one another. The problem is this caused a problem with clients that use BOTH businesses. Nail clients having their hair done and the Stylists had to go outside and around the building in order to get their service. Not a well laid plan, I would say. However, this was corrected around November when I moved to the very back room inside the building.

After contracting with a carpenter, plumber, and other talented people, I now have a lovely, very private practice room - built to my specifications - and waiting for YOUR visit. It's a warm cocoa color with soothing music and a waterfall to make your visit calm and relaxing. When the door is shut and your treatment begins you can close your eyes and start on your 55 minutes of a mini, rejuvenating vacation.

I partnered with Groupon this year and certainly give them props for helping me grow my client base. The Groupon experience taught me several things - the MOST important thing is that I don't need to partner with any discount company to offer special opportunities. Now, on the first day of every month I offer a special DEAL-OF-THE-DAY. It's a one day, EXTREMELY great deal for a particular service. Buy/book on THAT day and use THAT month only! Clients have taken advantage of this deal that is only found on the m.d. Skin facebook page (!/mdskin).
Make sure that you "like" this page so that you can be sure and not miss a single one of these once-per-month deals.

The girls of SABRE and THE PERFECT TEN have been such a joy to work and partner with. Now THEY have awesome clients! Salley, Brenda, Joy, Jenny and Adrea, along with Mary, Terry and Pat have talked me up to their wonderful clients and have been such a GIGANTIC part of helping me through my first year. Now SABRE has added Wendye and we are helping each other to add to our client family.

The biggest challenge for any new business is customers and customer retention. I feel so blessed that GROUPON brought me many new clients and helped with name branding in the Midlands. Thankfully, I have found that many of these clients have rebooked and some have begun to return on monthly basis. For those clients seriously interested in the best skin care SHOULD return every 4-6 weeks and at minimum once quarterly.

I found that I had to bring in new spray tanning equipment for faster and better results. This new machine is terrific. I am constantly trying other solutions to get the most natural, streak-free, long wearing solution. What I am using now is an organic product without any chemical or foul fragrance. My clients are very pleased and most go ahead and purchase the package to enjoy bronzing while saving a little money. Typically Wednesdays and Thursdays are pretty busy with this service. Because it's wedding season, I am spraying lots of brides, bridesmaids, and Moms. I am just loving it!

Yes, I have quite a few male clients. They present their own unique challenge: How to make them feel comfortable in what THEY PERCIEVE as a female oriented business. There is nothing uniquely "female" about skin care!!!! The thing is, when they come once they find how beneficial it is to their skin and how totally relaxing the treatment is! Spread the word, friends. m.d. Skin is male friendly! I just started a microdermabrasion series for a male client yesterday. He left saying that he couldn't wait to return next week. Yay!

Reflecting on what I would say is the single most important thing in my treatment room - besides providing the best in skin care? Customer Service and they way clients are valued. My goal is to make certain that every clients leaves feeling special and like they have just made a valuable investment in their skin. Education is so important in my treatment room. Explaining the benefit of each product, treatment and providing good "take-away" information for homecare is a huge priority.

So, there you go. Just a tiny bit of first year reflections. Man! I love my job!!! I can't think of another thing that I would love doing near as much. I have a passion for what I do and want to share that with everyone that comes through my door. I laughingly say, "Making the world a more beautiful place, one face at a time!"

I ask for your assistance in continuing to grow my business and in turn, I commit to you my very best! I just adore referrals, as we know, word-of-mouth advertising is the ultimate. When you send me three new clients, I will reward you with a FREE Signature European Facial. Thank you to Kim, Mims, Stephanie and others who have sent me several clients. You girls are the BEST!

Please let me know if there are services that you would like to have if I dont currently offer it. I will research and do my very best to bring it to you.

Also, don't forget that I have monthly drawings for products/services for skin care questions submitted on my Facebook page. Thank you to those that have submitted questions this past year. I have had a lot of fun writing blog answers to the very good questions I have received. I encourage you to go back and read the Q&As. They are quite interesting, I think.

Well . . . that's about all I have on my mind this Saturday morning. I have to go get ready for the wedding clients I have scheduled for today. Sara's getting married! Sara's getting married!

I sure hope to have you stop in for a visit soon. Please take a look at my website ( and read about all the services I currently offer. It just can't be easier to make your appointment either. Just look for the "booknow" box over on the right. Click, select your desired service, choose your day/time, fill in the blanks and you'll get an immediate confirmation email. Easey Peasy.

Make it a GREAT day, friends and I'm waiting for YOU!


m.d. Skin llc
SABRE Building
561 Meeting Street
West Columbia, SC 29169


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