This is the third and final blog in my series The Lives of Women. In The Lives of Women (part 1), I talked about the rapidly declining self-esteem of many women as a result of society’s current definition of “beauty.” In The Lives of Women (part 2), I discussed the the potential role of an esthetician in this situation. And today’s blog offers suggestions regarding how estheticians can help solve this problem.
As I said in part 2, one of the biggest differences between estheticians and all other sellers of skin care products (retail stores, online stores, Multi-Level-Marketing/home parties) is that an esthetician’s focus and priority are the care of our clients’ skin. In other words, although providing our clients with home care products is essential for optimal skin health, selling products is not the reason we spent so much time and money becoming licensed professionals.
Estheticians have a great advantage over other sellers of skin care products, but they don’t always utilize that advantage to its fullest potential. We are professionally trained, we are licensed by our state, and many of us have gone on to obtain advanced licensing in our field. Estheticians have unlimited opportunities to continually advance their education through professional trade shows and trade-related magazines, speakers and books, etc.
Estheticians are not limited to only one product line, and we know that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all product that works for everyone (contrary to what many non-professional product companies would have us believe). A really good esthetician consistently studies new ingredients and products as they continue to evolve so that we can always provide the best skin care solutions for clients.
THE ESTHETICIAN’S ROLE
Estheticians can easily set themselves apart from all competitors and in that process, do our part to diffuse the relentless attack on the self-image of many women. To do this, we must factor in the female psyche in addition to the needs of her skin. Women should embrace the fact that aging gracefully can mean simply taking really good care of your skin based upon the advice of a licensed and well-educated esthetician.
Because estheticians keep up with professional skin care products throughout our career, we know that products used at home can do wonderful things, but only under the guidance of a well-trained esthetician who has completed an in-depth consultation with the client. The consultation would (of course) include a detailed skin analysis and a written home care protocol based on professional grade products specific to the individual client’s needs.
In 2012, 2013 and 2014, I was in charge of the Skin Analysis Lounge at the BeWell Expos. We offered attendees a free consultation using various high-tech skin scopes, scanners, moisture checkers, etc. Women lined up to take advantage of this opportunity to speak with a professional esthetician. My experience at these events taught me that women really want to know about skin care – emphasis on “care” — and are hungry for information. I learned from speaking with hundreds of women at each event that most of them did not want to be led, lured or pushed into expensive and/or invasive procedures. What they truly wanted was really good, dependable, simple, professional advice on how to care for their skin. And do you know where they are currently getting that information? Department stores, home parties (MLM), and other unknown and untrained sources online, because it’s easily accessible. Not so accessible are estheticians who obviously should be filling this role, because we are the ones with the proper training, appropriate credentials, vast knowledge and best products.
Estheticians can and should share their knowledge and expertise with all women, especially those who do not currently have a relationship with an esthetician. We understand that the intimacy of a facial is not for everyone, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t guide all women to beautiful, glowing, youthful skin no matter their starting point or their age. These women are out there, but they are not the types who will actively seek out our services. So estheticians must reach out to them. They need us and they want us.
HOW CAN ESTHETICIANS HELP?
How do we do this? It’s easy! We can create newsletters and get them in the hands (or email boxes) of women who aren’t yet our clients. We can hold regular educational events at our facility and promote them as free events, reservations required. We can offer free consultations and introductory facials such as what I call the First-Timer Facial (which I wrote about in detail in my book The Heart of Esthetics.)
If women understood how their skin works and the benefits of proper home care, perhaps they would be more comfortable working with a qualified esthetician and not so quick to buy into the belief that they must go under the knife to feel beautiful. Maybe they could relax into the belief that they are beautiful right now, and perhaps realize that constantly reaching back to 10, 20, 30 years ago is preventing them from appreciating their beauty of today.
Here are 12 topic ideas that you can use for an educational event or newsletter each month for an entire year:
- The skin: What exactly is it, and how does it work? (provide visuals of the epidermis).
- Optimal Skin Health: What the skin needs (hydration, nourishment, protection, love!)
- Common skin conditions: Various causes and triggers (hormones, lifestyle, sun exposure, stress, etc.)
- Exfoliation: What it means, why it’s important, manual vs. AHA.
- Facials: What they are, why they are necessary, what the benefits are, how long the benefits last.
- Home Care: What it is, why it matters, how it extends the life of a facial.
- Serums: What they are, how they work, how they differ from moisturizers.
- Products: Why professional products are best, why the quality and source of ingredients matter.
- Why buying products online is a bad idea: Product diversion, improper storage, expired products.
- UVA, UVB, UVC rays: What they are, how they damage the skin.
- Skin cancers: What to look for, how to prevent, how to properly apply sunscreen.
- Tanning booths: The dangers, including the statistics, especially to young women.
Professional esthetics is an art and a craft, and it was built on women helping other women feel beautiful. Yes, I am suggesting that you give some of your precious time and valuable skill to support women, with no guarantee of immediate monetary compensation; however, eventually your efforts will pay off in a big way financially, with integrity and professionalism, and in support of women everywhere.