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confidence and compliance. Understanding a client’s
skin begins with the initial consultation. Don’t skimp
on this important review to build a foundation and a
relationship with each individual. Take the time to find
out everything you can about each client, including
their heritage. Learn their genetic history, based on
their parents, grandparents or even great-grandparents.
But what if they don’t have that information?
Suppose your client informs you during the initial
consultation that they are adopted and don’t really
know their ancestry. The best answer is to start
treatment slowly and gently. Err on the side of caution.
Once you’ve determined how the client’s skin responds
to treatments, you can work up from there.
Following are suggestions that should be taken into
account when determining treatment options.
• High-percentage, straight-acid peels should be
avoided in clients with equator-region backgrounds,
because these types of solutions can create more
surface stimulation and could result in PIH.
• Clients with polar-region ancestry can usually
tolerate stronger, more active formulations. However,
be sure to determine whether or not these clients
are prone to rosacea or vascular weakness before
incorporating these treatments. This goes back to
taking the time during the consultation to determine
certain issues from which the client may be suffering.
• If unsure of ancestry or in the case of mixed heritage,
lower-percentage, blended formulations are a great
• Because of their propensity toward PIH,
equator-region skin types should also utilize
low-percentage mixtures, with the addition of agents
that inhibit melanogenesis.
A unique approach
Each and every client’s skin is unique to their
hereditary background, lifestyle choices and product use.
By incorporating the Global Heritage Model into your
facility, you will be better able to create treatment plans
as individual and unique as each client you treat.
Michelle Goldsmith, a licensed
esthetician, joined PCA Skin in 2003. She
is a physician’s consultant, editorial liaison
and educator. She also speaks at medical
and esthetic meetings throughout the country, and
mentors and trains physicians, skin care professionals