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The Pastiche Method® of skin analysis is a progressive and rigorous technique employed by a growing number of clinical estheticians, skin treatment practitioners and medical professionals to accurately determine basic majority skin type and prevailing anomalous skin conditions in their clients.

The core of the method focuses on determining the causes of skin conditions experienced in order for more appropriately targeted and considered interventions to be prescribed.
This is in contrast to the more simplistic approach of treating the symptoms of the conditions rather than addressing their causes that is popularly employed by individuals with limited knowledge and experience.

Features
Practical outcomes are achieved by examining both intrinsic and extrinsic factors to determine pre-dispositions, triggers and contributing factors to the causes of anomalous conditions.
A further examination of the processes undertaken by the skin’s various cells and systems that are affected by the conditions helps signpost the most effective treatment solution. This is in part achieved by applying the logic of the cascade effect to help restore homeostasis of the effected cells and systems in a complementary synergistic manner.
 
The principles of the Pastiche Method demonstrate:
• The value of linking skin structure and function to skin conditions
• The importance of determining primary and secondary causes of prevailing skin conditions
• How the "cascade" effect manifests itself as a number of related skin conditions
• The importance of determining various triggers and contributing factors of the conditions
• Why the prioritisation of condition treatment order provides maximum remedial results

Methodology
The method combines a rigorous consultation procedure and a detailed surface examination, followed by measurements of a number of parameters of the skin.
The consultation procedure features over 60 questions that build a profile of intrinsic and extrinsic factors, pre-dispositions, triggers and contributing factors that affect skin health and condition.
Following the consultation, a physical examination of the texture of the skin is conducted with a either a magnifying glass or a high resolution microscopic camera that features both parallel and cross-polarised imaging.
A black light (UVA 360nm) skin scanner type device is often also used to identify the quality of sebaceous secretions and pigmentation damage not visible under normal lighting conditions.
In best-practice application of the method, a series of measurements are conducted to determine risk factors and establish a base line for treatment strategies.
High accuracy, repeatable measurements using a Corneometer, (to measure hydration levels) a Sebumeter, (to measure lipid levels) and a Mexameter (to measure melanin density and vascularity) are employed.

The information from the consultation along with the data from examination and measurements can be distilled via a logic pathway that provides indicators to the primary and secondary causes of the skin conditions.
These are commonly a combination of extrinsic factors reacting with intrinsic factors and pre-dispositions.

One of the most valuable aspects of the Pastiche Method® is the understanding of the biological, physiological and morphology aspects of the three diagnostic characteristics that all skin conditions can be categorised in to. Some skin conditions straddle more than one category, and this is where individuals with limited knowledge and experience can often apply a less than optimal treatment solution from drawing incorrect or erroneous conclusions. 
 
Course prerequisites/prior learning recommendations
A combination of quality foundation training combined with post graduate education and experience will be required to learn the Pastiche Method®.
While it is difficult to ascertain if learners have enough prior knowledge and experience to competently undertake the course, these guidelines provide generalised recommendations.

For Beauty Therapists/Aestheticians a minimum: 800 hours basic training combined with at least 50 hours of post graduate education and 5 years clinical experience.
Recommended: CIDESCO, ITEC or equivalent certification, with at least 50 hours post graduate education and 2 years clinical experience.
Please note these are generalised guidelines, and many individuals with less experience have successfully completed this course by supplementing their knowledge with other post graduate education.

Medical professionals/Nurses: Supplementary Dermatology for health professionals or equivalent.


Origin of the Pastiche Method®
This specific method was developed by New Zealand born dermal scientist and skin treatment practitioner Florence Barrett-Hill in 1993 as a thesis on the importance and responsibility of determining the causes of skin conditions encountered in aesthetic practices. The technique was first presented as a postgraduate educational seminar in 1994.
Over subsequent years with collaboration with other skin treatment practitioners and access to case histories across the globe, the method was refined to a point where it could be presented a dissertation.

The material was subsequently distilled to produce the textbook titled Advanced Skin Analysis (ISBN 978-0-476-00665-2) written by Ms Barrett-Hill and published in 2004. The book was an instant success, with integrations to the curriculums of many beauty therapy/aesthetic colleges. The book has had numerous translations, including Japanese, French, German, Spanish and more recently, Russian.
The books are the foundation of many successful professional skin treatment therapy (particularly Corneotherapy) practices worldwide.

The name Pastiche Method was coined from the analogy of “hodge-podge” or “made up of many parts” in this case referring to the information gathered about seemingly unrelated information about the patients history, lifestyle and current practices. The name Pastiche was also used by Florence Barrett-Hill during the 1980’s for her aesthetic camouflage practice for scarred burns survivors.

The Pastiche method of advanced Skin analysis is currently employed by individuals working in the areas of cosmetic dermatology and skin treatment therapy by clinical aestheticians and medical professionals worldwide. Seminars teaching the method have been conducted globally since 2001, with in excess of 4200 individuals trained up to September 2015. Testimonials from some Pastiche Method® disciples are here.

In an effort to reach more skin care professionals to share the knowledge, the content has been formatted for e-leaning, and has been available from the Pastiche Distance learning website since 2014.
The online course, titled Advanced Skin Analysis consists of 52 units of learning across five modules, with in excess of 16 hours of video presentation interspersed with course notes and assessments. The course can be studied in two formats; by purchasing the entire course and moving through at your own pace, or purchasing individual modules in sequence.