Skin care ingredients are trendy, trusted, or both. In this episode of Esty Talk, Ella and Maggie discuss what sparked excitement this past year, what continues to make most “must-have” lists and others that just missed the mark. Join Ella and Maggie as they discuss 2022 favorite ingredients, what they do within the skin and how they are used in formulations.
ASCP Esty Talk with Maggie Staszcuk and Ella Cressman
Produced by Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP) for licensed estheticians, ASCP Esty Talk is a weekly podcast hosted by Maggie Staszcuk and Ella Cressman. We see your passion, innovation, and hard work and are here to support you by providing a platform for networking, advocacy, camaraderie, and education. We aim to inspire you to ask the right questions, find your motivation, and give you the courage to have the professional skin care career you desire.
About Ella Cressman:
Ella Cressman is a licensed esthetician, certified organic formulator, business owner, and absolute ingredient junkie! As an educator, she enjoys empowering other estheticians and industry professionals to understand skin care from an ingredient standpoint rather than a product-specific view.
She has spent many hours researching ingredients, understanding how and where they are sourced, as well as phytochemistry, histological access, and complementary compounds for intentional skin benefits. In addition to running a skin care practice, Cressman founded a comprehensive consulting group, the HHP Collective, and has consulted for several skin care lines, including several successful CBD brands.
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About Maggie Staszcuk:
Maggie has been a licensed esthetician since 2006 and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Stephens College. She has worked in the spa and med-spa industry and served as an esthetics instructor and a director of education for one of the largest schools in Colorado before coming to ASCP as the Advanced Modality Specialist.
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0:00:00.5 Ella Cressman: DMK is the world leader in paramedical skin revision education, with certification programs designed to give licensed professionals a thorough understanding of the skin and an in-depth study of the DMK concept of remove, "rebuild, protect, maintain." Created by the botanical visionary Danne Montague-King, DMK offers skin revision training and education for all ages, skin conditions and ethnicities in more than 35 countries, harnessing the body's innate healing mechanisms to change the health of the skin. Learn more at dannemking.com. That's D-A-N-N-E-M-K-I-N-G dot com.
0:00:57.1 EC: Hello and welcome to ASCP Esty Talk. I am Ella Cressman, licensed esthetician, certified organic skin care formulator and content contributor for Associated Skin Care Professionals.
0:01:07.0 Maggie Staszcuk: I am Maggie Staszcuk, licensed esthetician and ASCP's Education Program manager.
0:01:13.6 EC: And guess what?
0:01:15.6 MS: We got a shoutout?
0:01:16.0 EC: We got shoutout. I want to shout out Sara Newman of Newman Aesthetics. This practitioner, let me tell you, she's fearless. She started her business about five months ago and she's already turning a profit. That's kind of unheard of.
0:01:31.9 MS: That's amazing.
0:01:33.4 EC: So she had good schooling and she had a good plan, and so here's to you, Sara Newman. Clink. That was cheers. So today, as we wrap up 2022, I think let's take a look at the 2022 ingredient darlings in this episode of What the Deck. What do you say, Maggie?
0:01:50.7 MS: Let's do it.
0:01:51.0 EC: Okay first, we really can't go anywhere anymore, can't throw a stone and not hit something Korean-inspired, right? So let's talk about one of my favorite Korean inspired ingredients, because the name is like mine, it's Centella Asiatica and it's Tiger grass, Gotu Kola, Indian Pennywort. It's not new. It's not new at all. We've been using it for a long time, but the way the Koreans bring it to the market makes it feel cooler.
0:02:19.2 MS: It feels cool, it sounds cool.
0:02:21.1 EC: And it is literally a cooling herb and ayurvedic. It's been used for over 3000 years, specifically for skin conditions, for small wounds, scratches, burns, hypertrophic wound, healing. It's a very great anti-inflammatory and for eczema before modern medicine. What is neat about this one, when I think any kind of historical medicine that we've been using, especially plant-inspired, when we are able to now dissect what's really in it, what it's doing.
0:02:54.0 EC: So for this particular ingredient is, the active compounds are pentacyclic triterpenes and y'all know terpenes are my jam. This specific triterpene is able to increase collagen and cell layer fibronectin. So this means that explains why it's great for wound healing. It also helps to increase fibroblast proliferation.
0:03:19.3 EC: So here we go, when we're adding into Korean skin care or really any skin care, when we're looking at what we perceive as wound, which is aging, is that's really how we're addressing it, this is perfect. Additionally, the triterpenes stimulate... I always have trouble with these words. Can we just call it "gags" and move on?
0:03:39.1 MS: Glycosaminoglycans.
0:03:39.6 EC: Oh, get it girl. [chuckle]
0:03:41.7 MS: Yeah.
0:03:42.3 EC: And we know that those inspire hyaluronic acid synthesis, our natural ability to produce and retain hyaluronic acid. So some commercial names that you'll hear this ingredient is ____. Or Blastoestimulina, if you're looking on ingredient deck. What do you think about that one?
0:04:03.3 MS: I love it. Hydration, collagen, it's all important.
0:04:08.9 EC: So another ingredient that you've seen everywhere, you really just can escape it, is niacinamide. Niacinamide, can it really do everything? It's been toted to be able to minimize pores, brighten the skin, hydrate the skin. And that's because it works with the skin's natural chemistry to improve texture by rebuilding the lipid layer.
0:04:28.0 EC: And we know that the barrier function is the first line of defense for the skin, and one of the most important because it communicates with the rest. So this minimizes the appearance of pores, which I think is an important point. Maggie, how do you feel about companies, manufacturers, products saying, "This shrinks pores," or whatever?
0:04:50.6 MS: Yeah, a common misconception, I think with the consumer, because pores don't shrink in and enlarge. I think I've heard you say they don't have muscles. But what we need to do as estheticians is work to get the gunk out of the pore so that it can go back to its normal size.
0:05:09.2 EC: You bring up a fantastic point. Any ingredient or any work towards normalizing sebum production and skin cell production exfoliation, so that they don't get stuck in there, means it can't stretch out, right? [chuckle]
0:05:22.6 MS: Exactly, yeah.
0:05:24.9 EC: Other things that are great about niacinamide is it's an antioxidant, so it prevents UV damage and inflammation. Here's the deal though, with niacinamide it's that we're taking a page from Goldilocks or her theories of not too little, not too much. Because too little has absolutely no effect, and then too much niacinamide actually causes irritation.
0:05:47.5 EC: So that sweet spot for formulations is 2 to 10%. No less, no more. So if you're looking for products that contain it, make sure it's within that range.
0:05:57.6 MS: I think often you find niacinamide in both skincare supplements and topical products specifically for acne, and it's for this reason, because it's a balancing ingredient, if you will.
0:06:13.0 EC: It does balance, absolutely. And I think that's, you know how I feel about acne. I don't like anybody putting any skin condition in a box, but acne is one of the most box-less ones for me. [chuckle] Because there's so many confusing factors for that, especially. Because where we live in a dry climate, so that's usually the cause, is super dry.
0:06:33.2 EC: Now let's talk about one, I know we've talked about it a lot over the last year specifically, especially coming out of some skinimalism trends and whatnot. This is a alpha hydroxy acid, mandelic acid, it's super popular. It stayed popular throughout 2022. Mandelic acid is a member of the carboxylic acid family, and I think you're gonna hear more and more about carboxylic acids as a family because of emerging acids coming out.
0:07:05.7 EC: And when we say "carboxylic acids", this is a umbrella term or family for acids like beta hydroxy acids, alpha hydroxy acids, and even trichloroacetic acid. So they're cousins. Way different. Mandelic acid is a large molecule, so it's gonna stay in the higher levels, higher layers, more superficial, and it's gonna inspire renewal there and with limited inflammation, so that's why it's a preferred ingredient.
0:07:32.9 MS: I love Mandela acid.
0:07:33.4 EC: I do too.
0:07:35.5 MS: I think it's great for most skin types, and like you said, because it has that large molecule, you don't have as much inflammation, and I think it's really good both for the drier skin types as well as the oily acne skin types. You really can do a lot with it.
0:07:48.3 EC: So back to that balance that you were just talking about, and I know you are a big fan of not over-exfoliating at home.
0:07:55.1 MS: I am.
0:07:55.8 EC: Would you use this at home?
0:07:56.7 MS: I would.
0:08:00.0 EC: Yeah, this definitely follows the skinimalism, so it moves away from those harsh do-it-yourself or guide yourself home treatments that we saw were super popular. Did you know that they have TCA peels on Amazon?
0:08:09.5 MS: Oh yeah.
0:08:09.5 EC: What in the heck?
0:08:12.4 MS: Yeah. I mean, you can get anything on Amazon.
0:08:13.8 EC: But seriously, there was this one that, it just came up recently, and it was TCA mixed with all kinds of other acids. It's a... Well, I'm not gonna say a company. But it was unreal to me that this would be something you could mail order. No license. Anything. Anyways, back to mandelic, big fan.
0:08:34.3 EC: Now let's talk about the different alphabet switch, what a difference an A makes when we see the return of squalene. So squalane and squalene. And squalane is a lighter weight, more stable hydrogenated version of squalene. So they're both hydrating for the skin, but one is more sustainable and it's more stable, most importantly.
0:08:58.0 EC: The other thing that's cool about squalane, S-Q-U-A-L-A-N-E, is that the majority of squalane in skin care products, especially here in the United States, comes from a lab that uses sugar cane or olives. This particular one, sugar cane. And they do it in a sustainable way. Similar to stem cells, but it's nice because we're talking about efficacy, predictable efficacy, but also minimizing our carbon footprint while looking great.
0:09:29.4 MS: I think a lot of people steer clear of oils, and it's just misunderstanding, but squalane is an amazing ingredient, it will make you look a beautiful glowy, young, get rid of your wrinkles. I love it. Big fan.
0:09:45.3 EC: I'm a big fan of using it with hyaluronic acid.
0:09:47.3 MS: Totally, totally. That is a perfect anti-aging coupling.
0:09:51.7 EC: Power couple.
0:09:53.3 MS: Power couple. Totally.
0:09:54.2 EC: And that's because it mimics skin's natural oils, so the closer it is to our natural sebum, the better our responds. It prevents transepidermal water loss and it's easily tolerated by most skin types, including acneic and sensitive, which you couldn't use before squalene because it's too heavy. Additionally, squalane, because of the way they're procuring it means that they're not getting it from shark fins, so it is shark safe.
0:10:20.6 EC: And let's talk about some ingredients or products that didn't make the cut. So in the beginning of 2022, we talked about, "This is probably gonna be super... " This was projected to be a trend, but the one thing that I was surprised because I really saw gaining momentum was corrective body products. The use of retinols in body products.
0:10:45.1 EC: And that's because I saw so much of it coming in Instagram ads, targeted Instagram ads. I heard rumblings of it from companies developing these corrective body products, and maybe they're just in their perfecting stage of beta testing, but we didn't see a large wave of it as I thought. Did you see anything like that?
0:11:05.7 MS: No, and this is my perspective, what I think there was a huge wave of was devices for the body, and maybe that's why the products were not as trending and popular.
0:11:16.6 EC: I think that they need to rethink that. They... Listen, everyone. [chuckle] Rethink that. Because if you're doing these device-assisted protocols or these services and you're not following up with the care, because this is a neglected area, especially of professional skin care. It's the same as if you're going to the dentist and not brushing your teeth at home. What are you doing?
0:11:39.0 EC: If you're tightening, if you're firming, if you're looking at pigment. I'm at the point now you could see the back of my hands, my pallet hand, but that it's really showing its age. So if you're doing all these treatments to help relieve that and you're not applying good product on your body, what are you doing? You're throwing it away. You're throwing your money away.
0:12:01.6 MS: So true.
0:12:01.9 EC: So let's get it together, industry, and let's get some better... Let's get some more corrective body products to support these treatments and maybe help avoid ____. I think also as practitioners, as professional estheticians, we need to be aware that this is coming, oftentimes devices lead protocols. You know what I'm saying?
0:12:24.1 EC: Like we've seen LED lights or laser, and then at the same time an increase in popularity of peels. So if there are these $1000 treatments, in aesthetic we can do $100 treatments of something else, either supportives or instead of, in lieu of. What would you say to that?
0:12:40.9 MS: Yeah, no, I think you're right. And totally agree.
0:12:43.5 EC: So get ready, consider that. Consider that on your menu and prepare for it. Maybe introducing it. Hey, maybe you'll be the first in your area, and a way to set yourself apart. So let's talk about some other ingredients to maybe keep an eye out for too. Fermented ingredients, we've heard some about that, but I think they're gonna make a huge splash.
0:13:04.0 EC: And those would be kombucha, fermented rose, millet, fig. Pumpkin, which has been on the scene for a while, but we'll see more of it. Radish root, red ginseng. And this is because they balance and support barrier function, and another additional benefit is that they can replace preservatives.
0:13:22.8 EC: So if we're looking at chemical preservatives or, nasty word, parabens, I don't know who's still using them, but let's just say there's something that can be replaced with it, kinda similar to salicylic acid, how it could be used as a preservative. Also minerals, I've heard more and more about minerals in the past few months than I've ever had so far in my entire career. I think they're gonna make a big splash because we're hearing more about the deficit in skin of these particular agents. Have you heard that?
0:13:54.0 MS: That's interesting, I haven't. So in what way?
0:13:57.6 EC: Like calcium, for example, magnesium. We know zinc is helping to heal, but also to protect and shield. So when before we're looking at skin in its entirety and we gotta hydrate it, we gotta bleach it, for lack of a better term, or deal with pigment, and then we have to protect it.
0:14:16.8 EC: And now we have nutritives going into the skin, sometimes to help other ingredients communicate better. But minerals are part of every cell, so adding those in. Not just slapping anything on your face, but I think minerals that can communicate in a positive way.
0:14:34.4 MS: Very interesting. Yeah, we'll have to keep an eye on that for the new year.
0:14:37.1 EC: Yup. Specifically because they have electrolytes. As I mentioned, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and these help to maintain balance of moisture, so it's great for dry skin. Magnesium specifically provides relief for acne and is great for barrier regeneration. And then potassium, which you don't hear a bunch about, but it helps moisturize skin and encourage new skin cell development. It's exciting, don't you think?
0:15:01.3 MS: So exciting.
0:15:02.4 EC: So exciting. I love ingredients. Now listeners, we really wanna hear from you. What ingredients are you excited about, both past, present, and maybe even future? Be sure to comment on our social media platforms, especially Instagram and Facebook. Or reach out via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We wanna know all the details.
0:15:23.6 EC: In the meantime, thank you for listening to ASCP Esty Talk. For more information on this episode or for ways to connect with Maggie or myself, or to learn more about ASP, check out the show notes. And stay tuned for the next episode of ASCP Esty Talk.