Ask the Aesthetician

Goodbye Acne, Hello Beautiful Skin!


Are breakouts affecting your beauty efforts? Whether you’re 14 or 44, acne isn’t just irritating—it’s a real source of frustration and embarrassment! While there are tons of products that promise to clear up the complexion, according to Licensed Aesthetician Diane Cordon, The Few Institute – Chicago, these often come up short. The reason? Addressing acne requires more than simply using products to degrease the surface of the skin. If you battle breakouts, know this: A simple solution can be yours with expert help.

When it comes to acne and your skin, there are many theories about what causes it, from a lack of sleep to too much stress, to excess sebum levels. While the debate will likely continue, we do know something about sebum. It has an important role in your skin as the vehicle by which dead skin cells are transported out through the hair follicles. Notably, it’s also a natural skin moisturizer. Oiler skin types produce excess sebum; drier skin types produce less. It’s when dead skin cells and sebum get trapped together in the hair follicle that infection leads to that characteristic redness and swelling we associate with acne.

Diane Cordon, Licensed Medical Aesthetician

While over-the-counter topical cleansers may wash away sebum and other surface oils, they are often harsh and upset the delicate balance of the essential oils and good bacteria required of healthy skin. The result is often dry, tight skin that may still be prone to breakouts. On the opposite end of the spectrum, clinical prescriptions may clear up your skin, but the resulting dry, tight skin is just as likely not to look or feel good, says Diane. “From an aesthetician’s perspective, we evaluate lifestyle to help clean up the skin. I have a conversation with my clients about factors such as eating and cleansing habits, which may be having a negative effect on the skin.” For example, picking (popping) acne spreads the bacteria underneath the skin.

So is there an answer? As a skin care expert, Diane believes that treating acne-prone skin requires individual analysis and customized treatments. Typically, this includes a series of chemical peels at varying strengths to remove dead skin cells, which prevents clogging the follicles, and a microdermabrasion treatment to give the skin a fresh polish while erasing any post-acne scarring.

Case in point, Diane described a recent adult female patient who came to see her for heavy acne, especially in the cheek areas. To treat cystic acne and scarring, Diane’s protocol for this patient was a series of salicylic chemical peels, one every three weeks for three weeks. These removed layers of dead skin that were trapping oils and clogging pores. Three weeks after the final peel, an exfoliating and rejuvenation skin treatment with SilkPeel microdermabrasion put the finishing touches on freshly clean and clear skin. Importantly, she points out, it doesn’t end there. “A monthly professional skin exfoliating treatment will help to maintain results,” she says.

Does it mean you’ll never get acne again? Unfortunately, no. But adhering to a professional treatment protocol will help to keep it under control.

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Get Glowing (From Inside-Out!)


Diane Cordon, Licensed Medical Aestheticia

If overindulging this holiday season has left you looking (and feeling) a little less than lovely, our very own skin expert Diane Cordon has some super-savvy advice to help you get your glow back!

The holidays are over and, let me tell you, the food I ate was ALL amazing. Unfortunately, shows not just in the pounds I’ve put on, but especially on my face. From acne to dullness to simply unhealthy looking, I’ve lost my glow! For my post-holiday rx, I turn to ways I can clear my skin from the inside out (though I’ve started doing my chemical peels and dermal rolling regimen as well!). Here are just a “Few” steps to getting that healthy glow back!”

Good Proteins

Getting enough protein is vital for strong hair and healthy skin. Protein is essential to produce new skin cells and repair existing ones. Without enough protein in your diet, hair becomes weak and stretchy, and skin suffers. Get your protein from the best possible sources, such as lean meats, eggs, beans and low-fat dairy products. Vegetarian? Health food stores are chock full of healthy meat substitutes that pack a whole lot of protein: tofu, tempeh, seitan, texturized vegetable protein, etc.

Bright Fruits and Veggies

For a complexion that’s to-die-for, load up on nutrient powerhouses: brightly colored fruits and vegetables. They’re full of the antioxidant vitamin C, which helps prevent premature aging. They’re also vital for producing collagen and keeping skin supple. In the produce section, pick out whatever draws your eye: berries, red peppers, broccoli, oranges or anything else that pops out of the sea of green.

Omega-3s and Vitamin E

To condition your skin and hair from the inside out, make sure you’re getting enough essential fatty acids (omega-3s) and vitamin E every day. Omega-3s are anti-inflammatory and work against skin aging, and vitamin E is an antioxidant that repairs skin. Both are essential for keeping cells healthy. Salmon is a great omnivore source of omega-3s; vegetarians can get theirs from flaxseed or evening primrose oil. It’s also found in walnuts. Vitamin E is packed into foods like nuts, peanut butter, wheat germ and avocados.

Hydration is a Must!

Drink a minimum of five to eight glasses of water every day to hydrate your skin. You will extend your skin’s suppleness and elasticity for years by doing this. If you have trouble fitting them in, have a glass upon rising in the morning, one at lunch, another during your “coffee” break, one upon returning home and one after dinner, but before bedtime.

New Year Rejuvenation Resolutions!


As we approach the New Year, how do you intend to face it? Aesthetic RN Elizabeth Reed suggests a rejuvenation resolution!

No downtime, nonsurgical…facial rejuvenation!

Elizabeth Reed, BSN, RN
Aesthetic Nurse

One of my favorite nonsurgical treatments used to help lift and tighten the skin is Ultherapy. Ultherapy works by stimulating new collagen growth, which results in a firmer, tighter, more youthful looking face and neck. One of the great things about Ultherapy is that there is very little downtime with this treatment. Post-treatment redness typically fades within a hour, which lets you get back to your day. The treatment itself takes about an hour in the office and it is performed by me or one of the other TFI nurses. Results peak within 3-6 months and last for approximately 2 years.

Ultherapy can be used as part of combination therapies as well. My favorite is Ulthera to help lift and tighten and fillers (ie, Juvederm or Restylane) to help restore volume.

Voila… Surgery-free facial rejuvenation at its best!!

Contact us to find out if you’re a good candidate!

DIY: Easy-Breezy Beauty


Diane Cordon, Licensed Medical Aesthetician

It doesn’t take a weekly trip to the aesthetician to keep your skin beautiful. According to skin expert Diane Cordon, there are easy Winter “do it yourself” masks for all types of skin issues. The value, she says, is that they’re easy, they’re good for the skin, and they’re as close as your own kitchen cabinet!

“Affordable and effective, homemade face masks are as close as your pantry and fridge. They help nourish, stimulate, cleanse, and exfoliate the skin. These masks can also help soothe and calm inflammation, remove impurities, and improve the color and tone of the skin.

Natural face masks are probably the simplest thing you can make at home and cost mere pennies to make.

Oatmeal Yogurt Mask

Cleanse and rejuvenate any skin type with this oatmeal and yogurt mask:


1 Tbsp oatmeal, finely ground

1 Tbsp organic yogurt

1 tsp honey


Mix oatmeal and yogurt.

Warm honey.

Blend honey into oatmeal and yogurt mix.

Apply to clean face.

Leave on for 10-15 minutes.

Rinse with warm water.

Avocado Oatmeal Face Mask

Get rid of dry, flaky skin with this avocado and oatmeal face mask.


1/2 cup oatmeal

1 avocado, mashed

1/3 cup of honey


Mix avocado and honey.

Stir oatmeal into mixture.

Apply to face.

Leave on for 10-15 minutes

Banana Oatmeal Face Mask

This honey, egg, banana, and oatmeal face mask is perfect for dry, mature skin.


1/2 cup oatmeal, cooked

1 tsp honey

1 egg yolk

1/2 banana, mashed


Combine ingredients.

Apply mixture to face.

Leave on for 15 minutes.

Rinse off with cool water.

Oatmeal Mask for Oily Skin

Get clean and clear skin with this oatmeal and apple mask:


1/2 cup oatmeal, cooked

1 egg white

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/2 apple, mashed


Mix ingredients into a smooth paste.

Apply to face.

Leave on for 15 minutes.

Rinse off with lukewarm water and pat dry.

Better Skin in Under 30 Minutes!


As you may know I am a huge fan of exfoliation for the body, especially in the winter. Let’s not leave out the face. Whether you have chemical peels, use glycolic or retinol products, or just want an amazing, healthy glow, you must remove that nasty dead skin!

Diane Cordon, Licensed Medical Aesthetician

If you are looking for a skin treatment that delivers immediate results, won’t take hours out of your busy schedule, and will leave you with noticeably better skin in under 30 minutes, then SilkPeel® Dermalinfusion™ is the best procedure for you. Similar to microdermabrasion, the SilkPeel Dermalinfusion System combines non-invasive exfoliation with deep delivery of patient-specific solutions directly to the skin—without the use of crystal or other chemical exfoliants. Depending on your skins needs we will infuse Vitamin C to brighten, hyaluronic acid to hydrate, or salicylic acid to help kill bacteria for those prone to acne. The SilkPeel will help with acne scarring and mild hyperpigmentation as well.

After treatment, you won’t have any downtime, and you don’t have to worry about dealing with irritated or inflamed skin. Within about 30 minutes, SilkPeel’s wet exfoliation leaves your skin silky-smooth, hydrated, bright, and full of the youthful, healthy glow that we all desire. Each pass abrades dead skin, thoroughly and evenly exfoliating, while infusing the treatment solution into the skin. In just a few minutes, the treatment is over with results that last for weeks. Your skin immediately looks clearer and brighter and definitely feels smoother!

Get your skin glowing for those holiday events by calling to make your SilkPeel appointment today!


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