If you work in a medical setting, you are most likely exposed to a great deal of advanced technology. Although you may not be able to perform certain services as an aesthetician, it is important for you to have some knowledge of devices and protocols that are available within your scope of service that can be incorporated into pre- and post-treatment care under medical supervision.
It Takes A Village
In addition to the rapidly growing list of high performance ingredients available in cleansers, serums, moisturizers, and sunscreens, advancements in science and technology have provided professionals with a new generation of user-friendly and result-driven aesthetic devices. These devices not only produce significant improvements when used on their own, but can also be used synergistically with certain ingredients in order to reinforce or better facilitate their benefits. For example, when you are performing regular treatments using light-emitting diode (LED) and microcurrent – technology that is designed and engineered to increase the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and generate new collagen synthesis – you will likely see a more noticeable improvement from the use of ingredients known to stimulate collagen in peels, peptides, retinols, and retinol alternatives. It can also be expected to facilitate better absorption of treatment serums when they are used in conjunction with microdermabrasion or microdermabrasion-like equipment. This technology has evolved over the years to include the use of wet and dry elements, diamond tips, deep vacuum cleansing, and serum infusion for maximum benefits. Consultations with product manufacturers should be held for specific guidelines regarding how and in what order to implement these protocols to achieve the optimum results.
Advancements in technology are also useful as post-treatment tools. If you are performing any of the following services, red and infrared LED can be very useful to calm inflammation, improve circulation, reduce bruising and swelling, and accelerate healing:
There are many hands-free LED devices available that provide these post-treatment benefits, allowing clients to leave the office or spa with a calmed, less-inflamed appearance. Using LED therapy after medical procedures that typically create some bruising and swelling can also help reduce downtime before returning to normal activities, thereby making the prospect of having the procedure less daunting to clients.
Home Care and Results
We all know how important retail sales are to an aesthetic practice. Not only are they critical from a business perspective, but they are also a means of extending your professional recommendations to client homes. The suggestions aestheticians make on home care products used on a daily basis play a critical role in the overall long-term condition and appearance of a client’s skin. No matter how valiant efforts may be on behalf of a client who comes in for service every six weeks, if they are using products between visits that do not support the aesthetician’s efforts, and possibly even contribute to an unfavorable environment for the skin, there will most likely be no discernible long-term improvement. If, however, clients are using consumable products that has been chosen to support the benefits of treatment room services, they will undoubtedly see results. The same is true of home care devices. With some technology, the best results are derived from regular at home use. Clients who use tools like oscillating mechanical brushes and hand-held LED units along with the cleansers, serums, and other recommended products are far more likely to see a significant improvement in product absorption, skin tone, fine lines, wrinkles, and even acne.
Because P. acne bacteria proliferates regularly, acne is a prime example of a condition for which regular home care treatment, including hand-held LED technology, is quite useful in obtaining results. Specific LED wavelengths in the blue spectrum have been shown to destroy P. acnes bacteria. Having the ability to reduce this acne- causing bacteria on a regular basis at home can make an enormous difference in controlling the progress of the condition. With these things in mind, you might say that using these tools regularly as part of a home care routine is somewhat like maintaining a healthy diet or exercise plan. Consistency yields better results.
Establishing Your Role
Do we want clients to “treat” themselves at home with aesthetic devices? If this were a concern, we would not want to sell them a peptide or a stem cell. Providing these tools for resale can be a huge plus for professionals who are dedicated to the best interests of their clientele, especially considering the benefits of regular use as described above. In keeping with this idea, explain to clients that purchasing a home care device that will last for years will help them get more out of the serums and creams they must replace regularly. This way, the purchase of at-home technology not only provides better results, but it represents a sound investment for the client.
Here is something else to consider. Your value as a skin care professional should be rooted in your knowledge, experience, and expertise, not in your ability to provide access to a particular product. Although there is absolutely some benefit to offering certain exclusive products, this is not true of everything, especially with regard to products that have wide appeal. We can purchase mechanical toothbrushes all over town, but that does not mean we do not visit the dentist regularly. Since, as a professional, you are qualified to explain how aesthetic devices work and make recommendations on how to use them, it is definitely preferable for clients to purchase from you. Having access to your expertise will allow them to get the most from their purchase. Also, some manufacturers offer special SKUs that include bonuses exclusive to industry professionals. This too makes purchasing from you preferable to purchasing at a retail establishment.
Remember, you are the coach who stays current on the latest offerings in the industry and strategizes a game plan for every client. This kind of knowledge and experience take time to acquire. They are not things that one can buy with a promotional code. It is important to keep in mind that your success as a skin care professional largely depends upon the success you have in helping your clients reach their skin care goals. Superior results directly affect your reputation. They lead to client satisfaction and satisfied clients rebook and refer.
Time marches on and the skin care industry will go on providing both opportunity and challenge as new technology emerges and our options change. What does not change is the necessity to continue the pursuit of quality education. Ongoing scientific research continues to broaden our understanding of specific details that contribute to the appearance of aging skin. The more insight we have into this process, the more likely we are to make educated decisions on what we believe the best technological options to be.
Amy Gardner is a licensed aesthetician and the director of education at LightStim. LightStim manufactures both professional 2-panel and hand-held light-emitting diode devices at their headquarters in Irvine, Calif. Gardner joined LightStim in 2009 after spending over 25 years in customer service, corporate education, and curriculum development. She has trained industry professionals on the use of LightStim products for over five years and is dedicated to providing them with information to ensure their success.