Skincare is a journey. And, just like any good road trip, it's the most fun when you take it with your best friend. On the road to great skincare, your bestie is your aesthie!
I acknowledge that I might be a little biased because I am a licensed aesthetician and, as an educator for SkinCeuticals, I spend most of my professional time with other aestheticians. But it really is true that, while you can do great things alone, your best results are going to come when you take the skincare journey with an expert in tow.
It was important to me to dedicate some time to discussing aestheticians because 1) not everyone knows what an aesthetician is, and 2) I think there are a lot of misconceptions about what it’s like to see an aesthetician and start that relationship.
For those of you that have listened to the podcast you know that the aesthetician relationship is something we talk a lot about. We do this because most of my guests are aestheticians, but also because the skincare industry is big, it's very big. There are countless products and procedures out there, new technologies coming out every day, and it can be overwhelming to navigate if you're going at it alone. And expensive. So it becomes important that we understand how to best spend our skincare budget to ensure every purchase is working to get us to our goals.
In episode 5 of The SkinCrush Podcast my guest, Sonia Escareno, talks about her relationship, as a Medical Aesthetician, with her patients. Sonia does a brilliant job of sharing what it means to her to get to know her patients, how their relationship evolves over time, and how she uses the relationship to shape her skincare recommendations. If you have never been to an aesthetician, and are thinking of making your first appointment, I want to take a few minutes to answer the two most commonly asked questions -
What is an aesthetician?
What should I expect to experience when seeing an aesthetician?
WHAT IS AN AESTHETICIAN?
The ability of an aesthetician to perform actual skin treatments and procedures varies from state to state. In some places an aesthetician may only perform very specific treatments like facials or waxing, while in other places an aesthetician may perform chemical peels and laser treatments. Many states allow aestheticians to perform an even wider variety of treatments under the guidance of a medical director. For state-by-state medical aesthetic laws and regulations you can visit the American Med Spa Association.
Regardless of where you are or what the laws are in your state, what is constant is that an aesthetician should be someone that understands the skin and has a general knowledge of skincare ingredients, products, and procedures so that they can advise you on treatment options that can help you to achieve your goals. Think of your aesthetician as a skincare coach. She (or he) is someone that can get to know you, your lifestyle, your skin, your concerns, your goals, your budget, and all the factors that go into deciding what’s right for you.
It’s too easy to walk into a store and spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on guesswork when it comes to skincare. At best you may have read some websites, gotten recommendations from friends, or talked for two minutes with a salesperson in a store. While these resources can be valuable, they are not nearly as valuable as having a person that knows you, has relevant expertise and experience, and can pinpoint exactly what you need. Then can continue to evaluate your progress and make new suggestions as your skin and your needs evolve.
We spend money on skincare. You would not be reading this blog if you weren’t. And I’m not suggesting that seeing an aesthetician and following their advice is going to save you money necessarily. You’ll likely spend the same dollars but the difference is that the dollars spent with an aesthetician are in investment in expertise, not guesswork or hype.
A WORD OF CAUTION
I am an aesthetician advocate, 100%. But, as always, I want to also provide a word of caution, as nothing worth anything is without risk. Following the advice of a aesthetician does not mean that everything she suggest will work like a champ every time. Skincare is practice. It’s an experiment. What works wonders on one person might do nothing for another. Or worse, could cause an adverse reaction. As reasonable people we know that is true anytime we try something new, even if it is on the advice of an expert. When you begin your skincare journey you have to approach it with an experimental mindset. What working with an aesthetician can do is help minimize the risks and, in the event that something doesn’t work for you, an aesthetician can help assess why and point you in another direction that may work better. Also, especially when you work with a medical aesthetician, they are often on teams that includes a physician or nurse practitioner who can be consulted if needed. This access to advanced expertise is a huge value to you as the patient.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT TO EXPERIENCE WHEN SEEING AN AESTHETICIAN?
First and foremost, it should always be a comfortable experience and never intimidating. Your aesthetician should make you feel welcomed and embraced. Your job in the consultation is to be honest. Tell your aesthetician the truth about your concerns, goals, lifestyle, and budget. Don’t assume that she will know what’s important to you. Let your aesthetician know what you’re currently doing -
Have you created your own 10 step skincare routine?
Are you using whatever you bought at the grocery store?
Do you wear sunscreen every day?
Do you sleep wearing your makeup?
Don’t tell her what you think she wants to hear. It’s important that you tell her exactly where you are on your skincare journey so that she can meet you there.
You should never feel judged or bullied. If you do, it’s not the right place for you, go somewhere else. The skincare industry is full of fantastic practices that work very hard to help you. Don’t ever spend your time or money somewhere where you are not comfortable. That doesn't mean that your aesthetician isn't going to tell you about what she has to offer. It’s her job to share with you all of the options she has available and those options will likely range from the low end to the high end. Don’t let yourself be intimidated. The best aestheticians want to educate you first and make a sale second. If something is out of your budget, that’s okay. The information you receive is about learning your options so that you can make an informed decision about how you want to invest your skincare dollars.
The process of creating a treatment plan should be collaborative. Your aesthetician will want to know what is realistic for you.
Are you willing to do a 10 step skincare routine? Or do you only have time for 2 steps?
Does your budget allow you to do a series of laser treatments?
Will you be spending lots of time outside this summer? Are there certain ingredients that have irritated you in the past?
All of these factors are important in creating a skincare routine and treatment plan that works.
WHAT ABOUT PRICE?
When searching for an aesthetician I would caution you to not let price be your single deciding factor. I know it's tempting to get the absolute best deal, but it’s more important that you’re in the hands of a licensed, reputable professional with the experience to deliver effective, but most importantly, safe treatments.
cheap is expensiveI once had an aesthetician tell me that , and I thought this was soooooooo good. It’s never worth throwing away your money on cheap products that don’t deliver results. And it absolutely never worth compromising your health to save money. Choose a quality provider and you will get quality treatment and quality results.
MY SKINCEUTICALS CONNECTION
As you all know, I am an educator for SkinCeuticals, a L'Oreal USA brand. I have the privilege of getting to know the SkinCeuticals portfolio of products very well so they tend to makeup the majority of what I personally use. Please know that the specific products I mention are only examples based on my personal experience. There are so many fantastic products out there and you can apply our discussion to whatever works best for you! The information you hear as part of SkinCrush is meant to simply be a guide and companion for you on your own skincare journey. SkinCeuticals and L'Oreal are not involved with SkinCrush in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and those of my guests.
CONNECT WITH ME!
I’d love to answer any questions you have or hear about your own experience with an aesthetician! SkinCrush is meant to be a community so please join in the conversation! Reach out to me here on the blog or connect with me on social media. The SkinCrush Podcast and The SkinCrush Channel are more ways to connect with us and hear more from my expert guests! If you have an idea for a future blog, podcast, or video, please let me know!
Until next time, SkinCrushers, take care of your skin and take care of each other!