We asked double-boarded Master Aesthetician Raquel McJunkin, LME, at A-to-Zen Cosmetic Surgery & Aesthetics for the scoop on all things skin care, including the biggest skin care blunders she sees, her favorite success stories, plus fave skin treatments and more!
Question: First, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Raquel: My first introduction to aesthetic treatments was when I was teenager, and I would get acne facials at my dermatologist’s office. I really liked the thought of helping people to look and feel better. My big push towards becoming an aesthetician was for my own personal education to slow down the aging process. I enjoy the relaxing and rejuvenating European facials, but I’m really more of a results-oriented, clinical girl. I like to get a little more aggressive with some treatments because I’m all about results. My personal motto is, “Age is inevitable….aging isn’t.”
Question: What are the best skin treatments to undergo this time of year?
Raquel: I find that the cooler months are the time to really focus on treatments like chemical peels to help reduce hyperpigmentation and fine lines and wrinkles. I also like doing IPL treatments to target hyperpigmentation and reduce redness. Both of these treatments require reduced sun exposure, before and after, for best results. I’m a big believer in using the summer months as a time to protect and prevent damage. Get out there and play and have fun, but wear sunscreen and don’t overdo the sun exposure. The rest of the year is about repairing the skin and treating the damage caused by the sun.
Question: Do you see patients making mistakes with their skin care?
Raquel: One of the biggest mistakes I see with patients and their skin care is using cheap products. If you come to me for a treatment, you should also use decent skin care to protect your investment. I can only do so much in my treatment room. Patients need to take care of their investment at home.
Question: Can you share a success story with a certain treatment?
Raquel: I have lots of success stories, and it’s part of why I love what I do! I love being part of the improvement journey with my patients. I love helping patients manage their acne issues with chemical peels and LED therapy. I love microneedling to help change the texture of their skin, whether it’s from acne scarring or natural aging with fine lines and wrinkles. IPL is amazing to treat red and brown pigmentation concerns. I see immediate changes happen with so many of these treatments, and I often even surprise myself with the improvements. It really is an exciting career to have!
Question: Do you have any advice for a patient who’s on the fence about aesthetic treatments?
Raquel: If a patient is considering an aesthetic treatment, it’s usually because they see something they want to improve. Obviously, if they could take care of it themselves, they would’ve done it already. I’m a skin care professional, and I’m here to help! Let’s discuss all the possible options.
Question: Any tips for post-treatment care — how can a patient reduce downtime, for example?
Raquel: For most of the procedures, post-treatment care consists of protecting the area from the heat and sun while also keeping it clean. To reduce downtime and get better results, be sure to follow the specific instructions that your aesthetician gives you.