Skin Consultation: How to get the most out your consultation with an Esthetician
I can not tell you how many times I have been in the mall or a beauty store and heard a sales person give a shopper horrible advice on skin care. To the defense of the sales person, they probably are unaware they are giving poor advice, they are likely not trained skin professionals. Often the product they recommend cost just as much, if not more than the more effective cosmeceutical products used by skin professionals.
An in-depth consultation with an licensed Esthetician should be your first step to addressing aesthetic skin concerns such as aging. Even if you are just looking for professional advise on appropriate skin care to maintain your skin, a skin consultation is needed. Standing in the front office and talking to the office staff or even an Esthetician between appointments, does not cut it. Not everyone is qualified to give skin care advice, even the Esthetician can not give you the attention you need in 5 minutes. A full consultation is always the best way to go. We have put together a list of tips to help you get the most out of your skin consultation.
Select your Esthetician
An Esthetician is a skin care specialist, that has been educated and trained on skin health and beauty. They do not diagnose or treat medical skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, allergies or skin cancers. An Esthetician may work in a day spa, salon, med-spa or within a medical practice such as dermatology or plastic surgery. When selecting an Esthetician, be sure to ask about experience and training. Some Estheticians may have additional training or certifications to work in medical aesthetics. You should look for an Esthetician that fits your personal goals.
Be Prepared to Discuss Your Concerns
If you can help your Esthetician understand what you see, and what concerns you most, then they can better help you. We recommend you make a list of concerns and what you hope to improve. It may help to look in a mirror while creating your list. If you simply want to maintain your skin, we can help with that too. The more clear you are about your concerns, the more likely they will be addressed. You may have skin issues or signs of aging that do not bother you, your Esthetician does not want to offend you by suggesting that you improve something that you are content with. Estheticians understands that most people have a budget and we want to respect your money, so be sure to communicate the priority of your concerns.
What to consider:
Pigmentation Concerns Is your skin color even or do you notice irregular pigmentation such as Melasma, dark patches, freckles, age-spots, sun spots or pigmented scars.
Acne / clogged pores Do you have any cysts, pimples, black heads, white heads or clogged pores. Do breakouts correlate with menstral cyle or hair removal. How often do you break out.
Texture Is your skin smooth and even or does it feel rough or flakey. Does your skin look creapy, have fine lines or scars that are raised or depressed.
Vascular Issues Do you have Rosacea, broken capillaries, diffused redness or red spots. Do you flush easily?
Oil and Moisture Is your skin normal, oily, shiny, dry, tight and dry?
Aging concerns Do you have any lines, wrinkles, folds? Is your skin that lax or thinning. Is your facial volume plump and cohesive or do you see separation of the fat pads, hollowness of the face or under eyes, flat cheeks, or jowls? Do you have droopy or hooded brows?
Hair Even if you are only seeking skin treatments, let your Esthetician know if you experience unwanted hair, specifically facial hair and how you address it. Hair growth and hair removal methods may provide clues to skin issues. ( This applies to men and women) Some hair removal methods my be contraindicated to potential treatments or products. Estheticians specialize in hair removal methods, so they can provide you with or suggest the most appropriate hair removal methods.
Tell us what products you are using
Be prepared to talk to your Esthetician about the skin care products you have used in the past and are currently using. When filling out your consultation form, it is not enough to list a brand name or only including a couple products. We need a detailed list of the products you are using and it is even better if you bring the products in with you, so that we can read the ingredient list.
Not all skin care products or ingredients play well together, for example products with Benzoyl Peroxide can oxidize your topical antioxidants. Acne and anti-aging products usually active ingredients and if we mix too many, the skin may become very irritated. You may already be using something similar to what we would recommend and we do not want you to purchase something, if you already have it or something like it. Your Esthetician will try to work with your current products, when possible. Sometimes, however it may be necessary to start from scratch.
Tell us what you have done already
Think back to any cosmetic procedures or skin care treatments you may have had and make a list. Your Esthetician will need to know what procedures / treatments you have done. Some things should not be repeated too soon, while others my be contraindicated to each other. For example if you have had deep (full coverage) resurfacing procedures, your Esthetician will want to know because they can not be repeated too frequently. If you have recently had certain injectables, you may need to wait before having some procedures. If you have ever had any silicone injections or have you been on accutane, you need to alert your Esthetician.
Tell your Esthetician what you liked or did not like about the things that you have already done. If you had a good experience with something, that will provides a clue to how you respond to treatment. If you feel something did not work or you had a bad experience, we do not want to repeat that for you. Sometimes, your Esthetician may want to spend some time educating you on why you had that experience. Never assume anything is irrelevant.
Tell us a little more about you
Your Esthetician will want to know a little about your medical background and medications. Some medications may increase chance of bruising or cause photosensitivity. Do not forget to list any supplements or herbal treatments you may use. Remember to list any allergies, including food allergies, as some skin care products contain natural ingredients like pumpkin, papaya and pineapple. Medical conditions can effect how your bodies wound healing ability and how your skin responds to treatment. When listing medical conditions be sure to include any hormone therapy.
Your lifestyle and habits are important too. How do you exercise, are you on a restrictive diet, do you smoke, drink or use any other substance. We are not here to judge you, we need to take into consideration the variables that may influence how you will respond to treatment. If you have any special scheduling concerns, be sure to discuss them during your consultation.
Be clear on expectations
As you are discussing treatment options, be sure to clarify what you should expect. Often clients do not understand that they should expect some reaction with treatment or even some skin care products. Be sure you have an idea of what is normal and when you should be concerned. If you are having a treatment that involves any “down time”, your Esthetician will give you an idea of how long it will take to recover. Keep in mind, that this is just an estimated time frame. There are far too many variables that effect healing, it is impossible to predict exactly. It is also relative to what you consider to be “down time” and when it comes to your appearance being acceptable to return to work or social activities, everyone has different standards.
Before scheduling treatments, be sure you understand what typical results are. Often clients hear what they want to believe, expecting too much. Its tempting to hope that even if your Esthetician recommends a series of treatments, that you will be the exception. Sometimes we convince ourself that a non-surgical treatment will deliver a surgical result. We want to believe that one treatment can replace the need for others or that what we do at home isn’t that important. Try to keep your expectations realistic.
Be sure to find out about your consultation fee, often the consultation fee may be credited toward your first treatment. As a courtesy, many Estheticians offer a free consultation. This likely means they are not getting paid, so if you can not make your appointment, call to cancel or reschedule as soon as possible. A minimum of 48 hours prior to scheduled appointment is standard, this allows time to fill the space.
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