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The Complete Spa Book for Massage Therapists

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  1. The Complete Spa Book for Massage Therapists EXFOLIATION: THEORYLESSON L-6.0

  2. SPA THOUGHT “Literally and figuratively, exfoliation prepares you to receive everything else the spa has to offer—the creams, oils, and natural products—plus it prepares you to receive the spiritual benefits of rest and renewal found at a spa.” Susan Wheeler, Spa Director, The Spa at the Equinox

  3. EXFOLIATION • Any technique or process that removes dead skin cells from the surface of the skin • Second only to massage in popularity • Can be considered a type of hydrotherapy treatment

  4. EXFOLIANTS & EXFOLIATION TOOLS • Exfoliant: any product applied to the body in order to achieve exfoliation • Exfoliation tool: loofahs, gloves, cloths, skin scrapers, & other instruments used to exfoliate the skin

  5. THE WORD “EXFOLIATE” • From the Latin exfoliare, which means “to strip of leaves,” from ex + folium

  6. EXFOLIATION HISTORY • Egyptians used soda ash to scrub the skin • Romans used skin scrapers called strigils

  7. EXFOLIATION HISTORY • In Turkish baths, a rough canvas wash cloth was used to exfoliate. • Finns exfoliated by beating the skin with birch branches in their saunas. • Native Americans exfoliated with sand, grasses, herbs, and animal bones.

  8. PURPOSE OF EXFOLIATION • To cleanse the pores and prepare skin for absorption of products • To help the skin perform its natural processes • To leave client’s skin texture and appearance improved

  9. EXFOLIANT TYPES • Two main categories of exfoliation treatments are used in the spa setting: • mechanical • micronized buffing beads, crushed nut shells or seed pits, sugar or salt crystals, pumice stones, abrasive cloths, & loofahs • chemical • compounds containing salicylic acid, glycolic acid, fruit enzymes, citric acid, or malic acid

  10. EXFOLIANT TYPES

  11. SALTS • Dead Sea salts from Israel – most popular • granule size ranges from fine to semi-coarse • high concentrations of minerals • magnesium chloride • potassium chloride • calcium

  12. USING SALTS • Salt typically mixed with other ingredients • water, massage oil, & essential oils • Occasionally combined w/ other exfoliants • corn meal or jojoba buffing beads • Larger salt grains = more intense action • table salt not recommended—too finely ground, not enough friction to exfoliate

  13. SUGARS • Not as abrasive as salt • No mineralizing benefits like salts • Contain naturally occurring glycolic acid, one of the alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) • helps eat away dead skin cells • Often blended with aromatic essential oils

  14. NUT & SEED MEALS • Shells • almond, walnut, etc. • Seeds • apricot, peach, etc. • Ground down smaller than a grain of sand • Irregularly shaped particles exfoliate skin

  15. HERBAL SCRUBS • Herb powders, moistened into a paste • Dry on skin into a flaky layer • Rubbed away with hands and fingers • A gentle exfoliation • Herbs add health benefits to exfoliation • Ayurvedic herbs often applied this way

  16. BODY GOMMAGE • Typically employed by estheticians on face • Involves the use of cream-like products • Cream dries on the skin • Buffed away with the palms & fingers

  17. LOOFAH • Multi-purpose exfoliation tool • Used natural or as pads & mitts • Ground into powder & added to creams • Loofah is not a sponge but a fruit • Grows on a vine in the tropics • Dried out “skeleton” inside fruit is loofah  • Abrasive when dry, less so when wet

  18. AYATE CLOTHS • Made from the agave cactus in Mexico • Used dry, exfoliates & stimulates circulation • When soaked in water, turns smooth, used to wash the body after exfoliation • Popular at Southwestern U.S. spas • Similar to sisal, also made from agave

  19. EXFOLIATING GLOVES • Simple way to exfoliate the skin • Can be easily incorporated into a regular massage service • No water required to work • Inexpensive – can be offered to clients after each treatment

  20. PUMICE STONES • Stones not used for full-body exfoliation • Popular for manicures & pedicures • Ground pumice used in exfoliating mixtures • Very lightweight; fine buffing material • Source – volcanic eruptions & magma flow

  21. DRY BRISTLE BRUSH • Short, full-body exfoliations • 5–10 minutes • before product applications • Stand-alone – ½ hour • Always applied dry • 2 main benefits • exfoliation • stimulation of lymph flow

  22. BUFFING BEADS • Tiny spheres • Synthetic – polyethylene buffing beads • Organic – jojoba buffing beads • Roll over the skin instead of scraping • One of the gentlest exfoliants

  23. ALPHA HYDROXY ACIDS • “Unglue” dead skin cells for exfoliation • Derived from fruit & milk sugars • Five main types • glycolic acid from sugar cane • lactic acid from milk • malic acid from apples & pears • citric acid from oranges & lemons • LMTs can apply 10% or less concentration

  24. THE SKIN • Deeper – dermis • nerve endings • capillaries • sweat glands • sebaceous glands • hair follicles • Superficial – epidermis • < 1/200th inch thick

  25. SKIN RENEWAL PROCESS • Keratinocytes created in stratum basale • These cells move outward & die • Form waterproof protein called keratin • Keratin flakes off naturally – desquamation • Exfoliation = therapist-aided desquamation • Frequency: max 1–3 times per week

  26. EXFOLIATIONMAJOR CONTRAINDICATIONS • Sunburn • Cuts, abrasions, & sores • Eczema • Recent shaving • Allergies • Delicate skin

  27. EXFOLIATION TECHNIQUES • Wet room • shower used • Dry room • wash cloths, towels, loofah mitts, & sponges used • Wet Table Draping Protocol is used

  28. EXFOLIATION STROKE • Circular motions do not pull delicate skin fibers • Palms and fingers open & flat • Fingertips used for smaller areas • “Gentle but firm” pressure • pleasurable sensation • effective exfoliation • stimulates circulation

  29. SUMMARY • You now know: • the meaning of exfoliation terminology • the historical background of exfoliation • the purpose of exfoliation • exfoliation products used in spas • exfoliation procedures used in spas • how the skin is affected by exfoliation • basic exfoliation maneuvers