One of the most important aspects for the success of your practice is how you are perceived as a professional. Creating a pathway of success is vital to developing a loyal and long-term repeat client. How well you listen and understand the concerns of each person discloses information that will support your treatment direction. Your knowledge of the skin (histology and pathology), your choice of treatment protocols, cosmetic chemistry, and communication skills are all essential when determining the best way to proceed with your client. You also are building a confidence level by partnering with them as they walk through their journey of keeping their skin as healthy and youthful as possible. This information is also applicable to all levels of modalities from facials to body treatments, manicures, and pedicures.
As soon as a client walks through your door and shakes your hand, you are beginning the consultation process through observation, conversation, and listening. Proceed with a multidimensional approach that includes a visual observation, a written health intake form, lifestyle assessment, examination through a skin diagnostic device, and verbal interview. Collectively, you are building the landscape for creating a skin management program that serves the needs of your client. Carefully listen to their concerns from their perspective. What are their expectations? This information is expanded upon through your evaluation process that unlocks a more in-depth window of the underlying issues that involve the condition of their skin. What they perceive and what you evaluate requires that you develop a synergy between both perspectives. As a professional, what we do is to also gently educate and share the biological aspects of why their skin is the way it is. Explain your philosophy and how you work with clients.
The next step is to write out a pathway of treatment that could take several weeks of commitment and dedication in order to obtain lasting results. This also includes being compliant to a homecare regimen that works in tandem with your in-clinic sessions. Product selection should be customized for their condition with ingredients that will support its correction. Explain why you are recommending the chosen products. A key factor is to support the barrier function and understand that correction takes time. Keep it simple. Don’t overwhelm with too many products. A new client requires an easy introduction into their skin correction program that may include coming in once a week for the next 30 days to help accelerate their program. Offer an introductory series at a special rate.
SCOPE OF PRACTICE
There may be instances where you may have to recommend the client visit their dermatologist, especially when viewing anomalies that may be pre-cancerous lesions. We are not a dermatologist and, therefore, cannot diagnose. However, in the event that something appears suspicious, suggest that it may be a good idea to have a skin check by a medical professional.
The Consultation Pathway
INTAKE FORMS AND ASSESSMENT
Given our modern-day landscape of client diversity that includes age, health, genetic background, and lifestyle, the importance of obtaining a thorough skin assessment requires that we remain mindful of who they are and their past history that reveals what is possible for a successful outcome of treatment.
During your consultation, an important phase is to evaluate a client’s level of commitment and what may be a realistic result. How you introduce them to a new concept will help with their decision.
DURING THE TREATMENT
At each session, perform a miniature evaluation with the client. What are they noticing about their skin? If they are following protocols at-home and attending regular appointments, there may be marked improvements. When they are trying to correct years of neglect, poor habits, environmental exposure, or health issues, the level of correction will be based on the biological age of their cells. There is a difference between biological age and chronological age. It may take several weeks to several months to help restore the skin to a better level of health.
Moreover, when there is a history of disease, including cancer, or taking medication, the skin will respond to the level that it is able given their history. The same holds true when they have a lifestyle that includes smoking, alcohol consumption, or poor diet. There is a total mind, body, and spirit connection with obtaining skin correction.
Focus on what positive affects you notice about their skin from their last appointment. Adjust their program as needed and become a positive role model and mentor for them.
Alexandra J. Zani is an international educator, licensed instructor, speaker, author, and researcher in the professional skin care industry (medical and spa). Her career has included business ownership and management, consulting, product development, and author for textbooks and industry trade publications. Academic background includes cell biology and medical technology. Zani has received numerous advanced certifications, both in the Unites States and abroad, in the dermal sciences, spa therapies, microcurrent, LED, and non-ablative laser. Zani is on the Education Commission of the International Association for Applied Corneotherapy, is a member of NCEA (National Coalition of Estheticians, Associations and Distributors), and is certified in Oncology Esthetics and the Pastiche Method of Skin Analysis. She presents education for advanced aesthetic technology and treatment and is a specialist in longevity, including the effects of nutrition, lifestyle, and the mind-body connection. Zani is the owner and director of AEsthani Skincare Institute, LLC in Greenville, South Carolina and is also co-founder of Intellective Aesthetics, dedicated to post-graduate aesthetics studies.