I'm in school currently and I love skin care, and Im familiar with a lot of the skin care lines.. but I know their are TONS. How did you pick your skin care lines besides what is offered at your salon? Was it just trial and error? 

I know entering a salon you don't have much control over what lines they carry, but Im curious on how you found the lines you like? Im not a fan of BioElements and Image.. I know A LOT of salons carry them, but I want something more aggressive.. 

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Ok. I will give it but I bet I will not make too many friends with it :)) Sorry but this will be self promoting there is no other way to answer this post.  I am happy to do it but just know that I try my best not to promote my line and stay neutral.

First 'Acne' is a skin disease.  It is not something we eat or drink or because we left our makeup on or did not wash our face after sweating or before bed. These habits create acne blemishes and help to inflame and increase the number of acne blemishes our skin can create if we already have acne disease.  But true acne is a skin disease. I need to say this so those who read this understand where I am coming from.

With that said here is the acne treatment and peel treatments that I teach and do myself on clients that I treat as favors to friends and family.

You can do this with ANY skin care line if you look for the active ingredients within the products.  My line is just more straight forawrd and follows a simple philosophy:

One active ingredient per product which does a specific job.

I will refer to this picture but the PDF of the full version is there for you.  I drew those so if you find a mistake PLEASE tell me.


Wash with Salicylic Cleanser and get the 2% (That is the maximum that available overt he counter and not in a peel)  The Sal Acid is the best acid and thus the gold standard for acne care.  It can fit down into the hair follicle and help to slough the skin cells that are inside the hair follicle. if you never knew it the same skin cells that are on top of the skin that we see and touch are also inside the follicle.  These are the ones that do the damage and cause the plug that creates the start of acne.

When needed I recommend Hydrating lotion for those on a budget and Ceramide Lotion 1% for those who can afford it.

3x's a week either AHA 15 or AHA 8 or basically every other day.

You have to watch the acids for over drying and its critical to stay on top of your clients.

Yes food and water must be watched and you do sorta have to become a dietician.


Peel Schedule

I prefer TCA at 5% and 10% depending on the skin type but if your scared of TCA (You should not be, it is easier and better then GA and Jessner) you can do the 20% BHA 3.0 pH.

This is the very basic and depending on what you believe I am sure you could add a few anti aging products but I have always thought when trating acne that the easier the better.

No here is where I might not make too many friends:


If you do not agree with the drug that is fine but if you do please pay attention to this:

The key to acutane is not HOW LONG you are on it.  It is the DOSAGE.  DO NOT allow your client's derm to give them heavy doses of Acutane.  Go for 30 - 50% less and go for a longer period of time and also go for short periods depending on your case and then see how you do and then if needed go back on.  DO NOT allow a derm to prescribe heavy doses for 8 - 10 months.  You will not hear this in the U.S., you must go outside the U.S. to get these facts.

If you are treating a scale of 1 or 2, I think you will be fine but Acne 3 and 4. I refer to a derm and I do not even try.

Below is acne grade 3 (this picture could be a two but in my opinion it is not and I might try to help but if I do not see results quickly I would refer to derm)

Below is acne grade 3/4

Below is acne grade 4

So that is a basic.  I hope this helps.

Marty Glenn




I agree with you about accutane/isotretinoin. I had to take 40 mg daily for almost 9 months. Im 34 years old with a partial hysterectomy that may have been another deciding factor on my part but I still had tests run every month. Prior to that I had the full medicine cabinet thrown at me Doxy, differin, aczone, clindamycin, steroid shots in cysts and on and on. Lucky for me I left my derm and  found a great NP @ a new derm office that said hey lets try accutane. I was worried to death from all of the stories people told me. LET ME SAY!! It was the best thing that ever happened to me. I started peels, microderm, and had really good home care after 6 months off of accutane to help with the PIH and minor scars. Now you would never know I had cystic acne a few years ago. My son started having acne flair-ups around 13 and I manage his with salicylic/tca peels and home care products but if it ever came down to it I would not hesitate for him to use accutane. I would just monitor him with the meds. He's a health nut at 16 years old.  He actually monitors his diet meaning-healthy foods fruits, veggies, water intake and he doesn't eat fried foods. He works out like crazy. I will say when he does eat junk or drinks a lot of sugar thats when his acne is flares. Most of the time I can get my acne clients under control with treatments and home care...I think I have had 2 clients I ended up sending to a derm so they could have choices for treatment. I wouldn't push it but I don't think it's a crime either. Our clients should be our #1 priority and if that means sending them to a derm for a consultation for accutane so be it. They will appreciate you so much more for helping them. Anyway I just wanted you to know you are not alone as far as accutane is concerned. I have read some of your pdf's thanks for all of the info. 

What products do you use for acne?


That's great. Most Esties I meet who do not like accutane do not understand that Acne can and does DESTROY a self esteem.  Sometimes the risks with accutane ARE worth it but I studied abroad on accutane and found the reality of it instead of the marketing that destroys its potential in the U.S.

I too was on Acccutane for 9 months when I was 16.  It changed my life! My 13 yo was on it for 6 months and his Derm took direction from me.  His Derm actually called me to ask what the next step was and he had his idea and I had mine.  We went with mine: keep dosage the same (not to increase it) and continue for additional month.  His skin is perfect.

Nice to hear that about your son. 16 yo and girls is a huge motivation. I know, i was there.  I grew up in Huntington Beach so a beach body is very important. :))

Marty Glenn


Hi Julie,

There are other ways to treat acne with out exposing your body to heavy drugs. Check www. facerealityacneclinic.com

I did not receive a confirmation to log onto your professional site! I did register....


You are correct and I have visited the website often. LOVE Laura's info. I always treat clients with the best of my knowledge. I do believe it is important to try every option and customizing per client. Sometimes that is not enough. I have been successful in treating serval acne grades with treatments and home care products. I am one of those cases where I tried everything under the sun before using prescription skin care options. I know exactly how hard it is to treat acne on a personal basis. I have clients that have posted amazing reviews on my skin care treatments with their acne, sometimes after they have been under derms care for years and they didn't need oral or topical meds just a customized treatment plan from me. All I am saying is I like to have options and helping support my clients is my top priority. Our clients have to be determined to help us keep them clear by following our advice and treatment guidelines. I believe it takes diet, topical home care regimes, sleep, stress management, professional skin care treatments, staying away from dyes, waxes and so on. Thank you for your reply ;)


I once had a student in a class tell me that she cured acne. I asked her what type on her scale of grade either it be a scale of 1 - 4 or 1- 6.  I go by the 1 - 4 scale. She told be cystic so I said, "ok , that is a 3 - 4".  Then I showed her random pictures on the big screen from the internet and I asked her, 'You cured this? or this?"  I am sure at this point she was taken back a bit so her answer was yes.  I asked her to come up and teach the class! I sat down!

Sorry!  But I have to do the same here because there are new Esties reading these and I am ALWAYS trying to learn.

Can you please tell me how you would cure this poor girl?  See below...

Or this poor boy.  Those are what is known as 'Draining Sinus'.  ACNE GRADE 10 ++ It does not get any worse then draining sinus.  The only thing this poor boy is lucky for is that pustules do not seem to be attacking his face.

Because I can tell you right now.  I do not have anything in my line that can help her o rhim.  Nothing! That is acne grade 3/4 and most likely grade 4 +.  This girl and boy are wrecked and their self esteems are gone. I am sure they have tried everything you can possibly imagine so either your idea of a scale is different then the medical guide 1 - 4 or I am missing something completely.

To end with the student, she never came up and she changed her story once I showed her the pictures of 'Cystic Acne Vulgaris'.  The picture above and ones like it are accutane candidates and NOT your sweet sixteen who can count 15 blemishes on her face before a Friday night football game who's mother would do just about anything for her little princess including forcing a Derm to prescribe a very strong drug such as accutane. Then when the Derm over shoots and the poor little girl goes into a depression the mother will blame the drug and not her stupidity as it pertains to parenting and a Derm who wanted to look like a hero.

Sorry if this comes out wrong or like an ass but its very hard for me to sit by and watch esties try and fix something they cannot because they read an article or their egos are too big or not try and send to a derm for a drug because they jumped on a band wagon. Not saying that you did but if you can cure acne 3 /4 on a scale from 1 - 4, I am now sitting down and listening. Oh and one more thing...  If the website you posted and I have seen it, can cure acne like the above, I recommend the owner to patent and make whatever the advice is in a bottle or book, get it patented, and go make a BILLION dollars.

Marty Glenn


Right on right on right on Marty ;) You don't sound like an ass.  I think we can agree that yes she looks like an accutane candidate. I think that "cure" would be the wrong word to use with acne clients. We manage acne I think. This picture is why I keep options open. If she came to me asking for help I would do just that. If I couldn't and did not see any changes I would send her to a derm. I think estheticians should have good relationships with derms and other medical professionals it makes us better. I have a derm I send clients to when I see medical conditions suspicious lesions like pre-cancerous lesions, basal cell, sqaumous cell exc not that I would tell them what I thought it was. ( we cannot diagnose anything) but I will send them in a heart beat. If Im not sure of something I always say lets send you to a derm and if all is well get a release and I will be more than glad to help you. I refuse to waste precious time and money for something I cannot help. I just cover everything so they can have the best care. My clients trust and believe in me and thats why I have such great client retention. Now if they refuse medical care (acne) clients I will try my best to help the best way possible. We all know there are people who DONT want medical help and want us to help them. Like I said I do what I can but if I see a situation where they need to see a Derm thats what I do. All clients want the best care and thats what I give them. Again I keep all options open. I have worked in natural spas, med spas, doctors offices and own my own skin care business I have seen a lot of conditions. Not saying I know everything I just try to be the best I can be for my clients. Anyway I am always open to new treatments options and that is why this site is awesome you can take a lot of knowledge from lots of people with different ideas, treatments and experience. 


I get your points. One stood out...

manage vs cure

When either of those two individuals goes on accutane it will cure it. It will DESTROY the sebaceous glands and the cause for this acne will no longer be able to perform.  Might they need another session, yes?  Maybe?  But I believe that when you go to 3/4 your goal is no longer to manage it but to cure it. All other cases and you are correct...management is key.

Marty Glenn


Hi Erin! I opened my skin care spa in September and love the glymed line. I did tons of research on Ingredients and that is how I made my decision and the company has ethics which is wonderful. I highly recommend them and my business is growing from satisfied clients loving the results!


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