Estheticians often use the analogy comparing skincare and exfoliation to lifting weights. On top of this great analogy, it’s been shown that working out creates a post workout glow. A recent study suggests resistance training is an effective anti-aging strategy for skin health. In this episode of ASCP Esty Talk, Maggie and Ella discuss post workout glow, breakdown the study published on anti-aging and resistance training and discuss incorporating body health into the esthetics practice.
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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About Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP):
Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP) is the nation’s largest association for skin care professionals and your ONLY all-inclusive source for professional liability insurance, education, community, and career support. For estheticians at every stage of the journey, ASCP is your essential partner. Get in touch with us today if you have any questions or would like to join and become an ASCP member.
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0:02:49.8 Maggie Staszcuk: Hello, and welcome to ASCP's Esty Talk. I'm your co-host, Maggie Staszcuk, and ASCP's Education Program Manager.
0:02:56.2 Ella Cressman: And I'm Ella Cressman, licensed esthetician, certified organic skincare formulator, ingredient junkie, and content contributor for Associated Skin Care Professionals.
0:03:05.8 MS: So I know you know all about this analogy, Ella. Estheticians often are comparing skincare and exfoliation to lifting weights.
0:03:15.6 EC: Favorite way to explain it, I love it.
0:03:17.9 MS: Yeah, we're building it up to break it down.
0:03:21.3 EC: Absolutely.
0:03:22.1 MS: Well, now there's even more reason to hit the gym. A Japanese study was just published this past summer in June, and I'm gonna butcher this name, but it was through Ritsumeikan University, and it suggests that specifically resistance training is an effective anti-aging strategy for skin health.
0:03:44.0 EC: I believe it.
0:03:44.8 MS: I don't know, that kind of blows my mind. I can understand going to the gym, increasing endorphins, again, getting that post-workout glow and maybe that affects the skin in some way, but resistance training?
0:03:56.4 EC: Well, I can't wait to hear more, but in my mind, I'm just thinking like they're saying resistance training is good for a lot of medical conditions, including like diabetes and certain things, so it has to move some things around.
0:04:08.5 MS: Yeah, yeah, so let's dive into it a little bit. A group of 61 healthy, sedentary, middle-aged women were pulled into this study. There were two groups. They exercised twice a week for 16 weeks. Group one was aerobic training, group two was resistance training, and they were compared. So group one, for aerobic training, they performed 30 minutes on a stationary bike. Group two, resistance training, performed three sets of 10 reps of progressively heavier loads on six weight stack machines. They did leg curls, leg extensions, arm curls, row, shoulder press, and chest press. So a lot going on there. The participants specifically were asked not to perform any additional exercise. They were not allowed to take supplements, hormone therapy, or change their skincare routines. So at the end of the study, both groups had improved skin elasticity and upper dermal structure, but the group that did resistance training also had improved dermal thickness.
0:05:18.6 EC: Okay, there's two things that happened to me right now. One, I feel super excited to go to the gym, and two, I know what to do now. [laughter] Like, I've never gone to... This is my problem. I used to go to a gym where you show up and they tell you what to do, and now I go and I look like a lost puppy. When I go, because I'm like, I don't even know where to start. I used to go to the gym all the time, but now it's easy. Leg curl, leg extension, arm curl, row, shoulder press, chest press. And then when you look at this, those are the big muscle groups. So you're not even doing the intricate stuff that you see on Instagram that intimidates me, which is why I was like, "I'll just stay home today."
0:05:54.5 MS: Yeah, this kind of blew my mind, and then I guess I feel the same way as you. Okay, now I know what to do, and I guess I better start going to the gym.
0:06:02.4 EC: Let's go. [laughter] Let's go.
0:06:06.4 MS: Yeah, so why is the skin impacted? We'll talk about it for a second. The blood sampled before and after the study showed a production in elements that reduced inflammation and gene expression that influences collagen.
0:06:22.5 EC: There you go. What? That is so exciting.
0:06:28.2 MS: Yeah, really interesting for me. Still, I can't even wrap my mind around the fact that resistance training had this impact on collagen production in the skin.
0:06:38.4 EC: Oh, I wonder if it's that like, alternatively, I'm just thinking about the amount of inflammation I feel when I'm on like the bike. When you said 30 minutes on the stationary bike, I was like, no way. I'm coming off purple, dying. Five minutes, sure, 30 minutes, a lot of things are hurting that way, but so interesting. The reduction in inflammation and the gene expression that influence collagen, that's fantastic.
0:07:04.7 MS: Yeah, so during exercise, the body is producing cytokines. Specifically, these are proteins that aid in cell-to-cell communication. We're also producing hormones, metabolites, and other protein factors that are making up the skin. So our exercise is stimulating these things, which are all anti-aging factors for skin health.
0:07:25.6 EC: So it's almost like the body's calling into action as you're assuming, like, oh, everybody pop in and help, and then they're in such a helpful mood. And you know when people are helpful, they're nicer to everybody around them? [laughter] It's probably what's happening here in my mind.
0:07:38.4 MS: Yeah. Yeah, so going back to that analogy, we're basically building it up to break it down.
0:07:45.0 EC: But in the most effective way, the most prepared way possible.
0:07:48.5 MS: Yeah, so group two, the resistance training group, they showed the same blood results as group one, plus they had an increase in the production of skin proteins called Biglycans, and these are found widely in the extracellular matrix. So the extracellular matrix, this is the skin's foundation and communication network. And as we age, this naturally is depleting. So you always hear, it's so important that you are staying active, you're exercising, especially as you get older. There's even more reason to go to the gym or even exercise outside, I suppose. But stay active as you age. It is also anti-aging skin's tissue.
0:08:29.2 EC: A body in motion stays in motion, and the same principles here apply to skin. Skin, healthy skin is moving skin. It's not staying still. If it's staying still, it could be dull looking, it can be dehydrated looking, it can have the opportunity to fracture and crack. But if it's moving and turning over as it should, then it's going to be healthy. So this is body in motion equals skin in motion. Hold that thought, we'll be right back.
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0:10:00.2 EC: Okay, here we go. Let's get back to the podcast.
0:10:03.0 MS: If we compare this to the treatments that we're doing in the treatment room, we're always talking about our topical products as well as our treatments are exercising the skin. A lot of these treatments that we do are also increasing proteins, increasing collagen and elastin fibers, and having a similar effect, but especially in this pro-aging movement, in this green, clean movement, this is one way that your clients can add to their home care and go home and stay active, apply their SPF, and feel like they are boosting skin health at home.
0:10:40.8 EC: Do you remember this, I don't know, did you ever watch Saturday Night Live?
0:10:46.4 MS: Yeah.
0:10:47.3 EC: And Hans and Franz?
0:10:48.5 MS: Yeah. [laughter]
0:10:49.8 EC: But in case you don't know, it's these two guys, and they're like, "I am Hans and I am Franz, and we are here to pump you up." [laughter] So I can picture them too as estheticians, Hans and Franz to plump you up.
0:11:04.7 MS: Oh love it.
0:11:05.4 EC: And talking to the skin cells, so very interesting. Now, let me ask you a question, just not to totally take the joy out of this because I'm very excited. Do you think that they're just off the top of your head, have you ever seen anybody who works out too much having an opposite effect?
0:11:24.2 MS: Yes, that brings up a really good point, Ella. Yeah, I have, and they are depleted, they look hollow, their skin is really thin, but I think there's a lot of factors there. I think it's not just that they are exercising too much, but I think those people also are potentially malnourished or using supplementation that is not good for our whole body health, so multiple factors. But I totally hear what you're saying, and I think you can also compare that, again, back in the treatment room. If you are over-exfoliating, if you're improperly using your skincare products, again, you're getting similar effect that the barrier function is disrupted, the skin is potentially raw, red, and/or flaky.
0:12:15.2 EC: So it's just the right amount. So if we go back to the example of what they're saying to do, they're not saying to do these crazy things or doing too super heavy things straight out of the gate, nothing where you're gonna injure yourself, same analogy applies to skincare, nothing where you're unprepared, working up to that, and then having it be just the right amount. And that is professionally guided in our clinics or our treatment rooms. And if you go back to the gym, it could be professionally guided by someone who understands the body and maybe sets your first initial weight for you and then tells you, like a personal trainer. So then I guess in this analogy and in this instance, when we say that estheticians or skincare practitioners are personal trainers for the skin, there's another example.
0:13:03.3 MS: A hundred percent. Now, listeners, we wanna hear from you. Is this yet another reason to hit the gym? How are you incorporating whole body health into your aesthetic practice? Share with us on social media through Instagram, Facebook, or by emailing getconnected at ascpskincare.com. Thank you for listening to ASCP Esty Talk. And as always, for more information on this episode or for ways to connect with Ella and myself or to learn more about ASCP, check out the show notes.