Why Going for Just the Acne Products Blows

We see it all the time, clients coming in certain that the only product for them is acne specific product lines. There are so many acne or break out treating products, millions are spent yearly on over the counter and prescription acne treating products, that’s not including specific in spa or clinic treatments. When after a treatment a client with break out activity is *only* recommended the line’s acne products it can read as lazy, except in severe cases.

The fact of the matter is most acne we see in the spa shows triggers that are different from sticky skin cells, things like severe dehydration, rosacea, a detrimental product or stress. You also don’t want to see a client using strictly acne treated products for life, if a client is seeing zero improvement with regular treatments and as home product use, then that is when a dermatologist is more appropriate. There are a lot of clients who exacerbate their acne symptoms by not realising they’ve grown out of their crazy hormone teenage skin, and are now further dehydrating their skin and inviting a different type of break out that’s just as annoying.

When planning recommendations for a client who’s dealing with break out activity you want to consider which steps you think they’ll do most consistently, their skin type and their skin conditions. You can always “treat” conditions, but you need to work with their skin type. If you only layer mattifying, low oil or oil free, exfoliating products on a dry thin acneic skin you’re not going to see the same results as mixing in a soothing moisturiser, or nourishing mask. Mixing in products that concentrate on issues like dehydration, hyper pigmentation or reddness are a great way to show your client there’s a world of products for them that aren’t full of salicylic acid, sulphur and tea tree oil, but still help shut down cycles in their skin that could be making their acne feel or act worse than it has to.


Some acne treating, and not so acne treating products, I’ve grown to adore over the years are the following:

Eminence’s Stimulating Masks



Why are these jars of self proclaimed organic face fire so amazing? Circulation! I’ve had both Eminence’s Hungarian Herbal Mud and Lime Stimulating Mask kill terrifying large bumps under the skin and speed up the healing of zits by 2 days! Both have different active ingredients to make the spice happen, so once you grow used to one, you can switch to the other to keep your skin in shape. The flushing exercise also helps strengthen capillary walls, making it more difficult for your skin to turn red.


Earth’s Care Acne Spot Treatment


It stinks like farts, but if you’re not allergic to sulphur it really sucks the density out of a zit, while the colloidal oatmeal will calm redness and irritation. Both active ingredients boost healing powers and can help with eczema or psoriasis.


Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum




For the price this is one of the most satisfying serums. It speeds up healing, strengthens the skin and really boosts the skin’s texture. I wouldn’t use it daily, as it can be a touch dehydrating, but with sunscreen it can slow down post zit hyper pigmentation beautifully. I can’t pretend it’s the most stable Vitamin C to ever exist, but I see results till the very end of the bottle and that’s not something to sneeze at for it’s pricepoint.


Dermalogica Ultra Calming Cleanser



Dermalogica isn’t consistently my favourite line, for cleansers especially, but the Ultra Calming Cleanser is amazing. It does a decent job removing makeup given it’s low oil content, it’s a great gel formula is lovely and it smells a bit like crackers! It’s a safe recommendation for all skin types and is never over stripping or leaves a film. I would even recommend to shave with!



So next time you find yourself deciding you only need acne treating products, keep in mind strengthening your skin and supporting it’s systems is also important to get you through a tedious phase.




The Start


Opening a new business by 25 years old was not a goal I spent my life working towards, or for the longest time I thought I particularly wanted. I think most young adults would look at that amount of responsibility and shudder at the thought. I figured I’d be one of those stress free adults, just working, saving and travelling. I can even remember a client at my first spa job who described her lifestyle that way, working her ass off for 6-8 months, saving up a storm and then taking off for months at a time on an adventure.

I started working towards my career at a very young age, completing my Nail Tech Certificate at George Brown doing night school courses while I was in high school. I decided to skip the whole unnecessary (for me) sociology degree and go straight into a full Esthetics and Make Up certificate from George Brown so I could get to the life I thought I wanted fastest. Once I started working it took a few years to hit my first real grind of a job. I had been given space, independence and respect to de-green as an esthetician and find my own style in smaller independent spas, but I wanted to grow and have more estheticians around to learn from. My jobs after were far larger teams and a very different pace, they also really played up being part of the team, which includes not taking sick days, stronger sales and rushing through treatments. You would cover for coworkers constantly as an ongoing “Us vs. Them” (them being the bosses) work style, because so many times you or a coworker would be put in a terrible position of a poorly booked service, and you knew how draining that is for the esthetician too. I started seeing my trade getting turned into factory work with little regard for the bodies of the esthetician, and even smaller concern for the respect of the relationship between an esthetician and their client.

After a rather difficult burn out gig (“your end of the day is when there are no more bookings!”) I took off travelling for a few months and upon returning realised there’s a better way to work towards my (more grown up adjusted) life goals, and it meant taking an actual risk. I had worked with so many amazing, kind and hardworking estheticians, and I thought there was a real market for a place that was a less bullshitty, sales heavy and uncomfortable to spa it up. After saving up, writing a business plan, finding an amazing space and an insane amount of support from my parents Saul’s Beauty Shop was born. BlogTO had dubbed it “Where to get spa treatments in Toronto if you hate spas” , I thought it more as a spa estheticians could actually like.