What do teenagers, pregnant women, and mature clients all have in common? If you guessed music preferences, hair styles, or food choices, you are most likely wrong. Now, if you guessed periods of life in which hormones are drastically changing their bodies and skin, you guessed right! If you guessed that all three might feel a little intimidated or self-conscious about coming into a spa, you would have guessed right again!
As a teenager at puberty, your hormones are preparing you to procreate. If you become pregnant, your hormones prepare you to make and deliver a baby. When you mature, your hormones plummet, making it harder for males – or even impossible for females – to procreate.
Hormones are chemical substances that serve as messengers, controlling and coordinating activities throughout the body. Hormones surging or plummeting can change our bodies in unique ways.
Learning about the physical and mental changes of these three subgroups of clients will help us know how to make them more comfortable during their visits.
Teenagers are halfway between children and adults. They are still finding themselves and learning to live in their own skin. Puberty is the stage of life at which an individual becomes physiologically capable of sexual reproduction. There are biological, morphological, and psychological changes. It is a lot to deal with! As a result, it is common for teenagers to exhibit unusual behavior, such as lashing out, isolating themselves, or making risky decisions. Those are for their parents to deal with. We just have to deal with their skin. It is always more awkward when dealing with the parent (or grandparent) and teenager together. Later on, once trust is built, you can develop a great relationship with the teenager. It can be meaningful to be part of their lives and hear about what is important to them. Often, they are more open and loving when their parents are not around. They get excited about the progress they are making. We evolve into being their aesthetician and friend.
Let teenagers and parents know that skin care is an investment. Not many things last forever, but your skin will. It is important to start early, especially with sunscreen. At 20, you have the skin you inherited. At 40, you have the skin you deserve. At 60, you have the skin you earned. At 80, you have the skin you took care of.
Ask them if they could change three things about their skin, what they would change. Find out what is really bothering them and then explain to them why it happened to their skin. Assure them that many other teenagers have the same problem. Lucky for them, you know how to help. Their problems could be hair on their lips, unruly eyebrows, pimples, blackheads, really oily skin, or even dry patches.
Have them bring in any skin care or cosmetics that they use, so you can make sure that the products are not causing the problem.
Demonstrate how much product to use and how to use homecare products and explain the main ingredients and how they will help their skin.
Talk about how our skin needs us to drink lots of water.
Make sure both the teenager and parent realize that a one-time facial does not equal clear skin. The teenager suffering from acne must use the recommended homecare products. Professional treatments for teenage acne may be done twice weekly to start with, then weekly, then every two weeks, and finally monthly.
Take before and after pictures to chart progress. They might not even be aware of the improvements – we get to be the coach and the cheerleader.
Talk about dietary changes, such as little to no salt, sugar, soft drinks, or dairy, if they suffer from acne.
Explain that they are not to do extractions at home.
Have them ice inflamed areas at home before and after applying benzoyl peroxide.
Explain how blue LED lights can kill the bacteria that causes acne and how red LED lights can help calm and heal the skin.
Keep it super simple! (KISS)
- In the morning, they should use a skin type-appropriate cleanser, toner, hydrator, sunscreen, and minerals.
- In the evening, they should use a skin type-appropriate cleanser, toner, hydrator, and moisturizer.
- If acne is present, they should apply an appropriate percentage of benzoyl peroxide to the affected area at night after their hydrator. It is important to only moisturize areas that are not affected by acne. Advise them to spot treat breakouts with a sulphur mask.
- Remind them to keep a skin type-appropriate scrub in the shower and use it twice weekly, following with a hydrating mask.
Teach teenagers suffering from acne (male and female) how to use minerals (do not call it makeup) to conceal blemishes and redness. This will help them feel more confident about their skin and themselves. The minerals provide natural sunscreen and are healing in nature.
Teach female teenagers how to put on makeup. Help them learn how to apply mascara, eye makeup, blush, and lip color. It will be appreciated! Teach them a daytime and a special occasion look.
Consider letting the teenage client choose the music – but it can be music you enjoy, too. Don’t have them take their shirts off if you are only treating their face. Explain everything that you are going to do before doing it. Offer teenage facials and teenage makeovers on your menu at a reduced price.
Offer products for teenagers that are affordable and not overly complicated. Have written instructions that can be sent home with them. Have a package for teenagers (with and without acne) that includes travel size products that they can purchase. These should last them until their next appointment.
PREGNANT AND NURSING CLIENTS
Humans are complicated and making a baby is an amazing miracle and quite an achievement. However, it does take a toll on the body of the mother! A pregnant woman’s entire posture changes during this phase of her life. Additional weight slows down the circulation of blood and other bodily fluids, which leads to water retention. Fatigue, swelling, bloating, as well as head, neck, and back aches are common. They are not supposed to take medicine, drink wine, sit in a hot tub, or enjoy a sauna. Their list of do nots also includes many favorite foods, essential oils, and leisure time activities. Due to the rapid expansion of blood vessels and increased stress on the heart and lungs, they need to be more careful when exercising. Pregnant women may feel dizzy when standing up quickly, experience changes in their blood pressure, and endure sciatic pain.
Sudden and dramatic increases in estrogen and progesterone are key in preparing the mother’s body for pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding. Estrogen is necessary to increase blood vessels, transfer nutrients to the baby, and develop the milk ducts in the breasts. Progesterone helps enlarge the size of the uterus, other internal structures, and causes a loosening of ligaments and joints throughout the body. This can make injuries more likely, especially when exercising.
Vision can also change during pregnancy. Many pregnant women experience heightened awareness and sensitivity to odors. Some pregnant women lose their sense of taste, others have cravings for salty, sweet, or sour foods, and others find that foods have a metallic taste. Breasts swell and may become tender. Pregnant women may experience painful blocked milk ducts and embarrassing “leaking.” Let’s not forget that some may be experiencing morning sickness, nausea, and mood changes. These ladies really need some tender loving care (TLC) that only we, spa professionals, know how to deliver. A treatment catered to expecting and new mommies would be fantastic for them. We get to provide some relief for these women, while helping them look and feel beautiful!
Pregnant women often experience some darkening of moles, freckles, and birthmarks, as well as new patches of darker pigmentation (sometimes called pregnancy mask or melasma). Their skin may go back to normal after pregnancy; if not, it is always a good idea to advise a dermatologist visit. They might also experience a darkening on areolas, genitals, scars, and the linea alba down the middle of the stomach. This can happen, especially, to women with darker skin.
During pregnancy, hair can grow faster, thicken, appear in unwanted places, or can fall out and continue shedding for up to a year after birth.
Some women experience folliculitis, which are pustules and red bumps along the abdomen, legs, arms, or back. Others may experience pruritic uticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPP).
Skin Care Treatments
Results-oriented products and equipment manufacturers will advise you that pregnancy is contraindicated because no clinical studies have been done. Although there is no conclusive evidence of side effects to an unborn fetus, our industry wisely leans on the side of caution. Even when there is no known medical risk, there is always a legal risk if something was to happen with the baby.
Provide a list of products with ingredients for spa treatments, as well as their homecare products. Many obstetricians and gynecologists will okay 5% or lower benzoyl peroxide, 2% or lower salicylic acid, sunscreen (especially titanium dioxide or zinc based), azelaic acid, vitamin C, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and peptides. You must advise clients to seek approval from their physician before the use of any products and services. Do not use retinols or retinoids on pregnant clients.
Offer a pregnancy and nursing menu and services. Mommy facials, manicures, pedicures, eyelash extensions, mommy makeovers, and waxing are safe for pregnant women. Keep the skin care treatments basic: calming, fragrance-free, essential oil-free, and warm (not hot or cold) towels. As a general rule, skin becomes more sensitive during pregnancy, so avoid any aggressive, stimulating, or harsh treatments or products.
Do not use electric currents, light therapy, or chemical peels. Do not offer any service that would cause pregnant woman to get dehydrated. Dehydration can decrease the amount of blood available to the fetus, which can result in injury. It is important that a developing fetus receives a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients through the blood.
No saunas, tanning beds, hot springs, whirlpools, hot tubs, or spa baths. No detoxifying body treatments or body wraps, especially those that cause perspiration and raise the core body temperature.
Do not use essential oils during the first trimester. After the first trimester, it is safe to introduce very diluted essential oils, such as lavender, with a doctor’s permission.
Let clients know that their hair is probably going to grow faster during pregnancy. Waxing is great for women who are too tired to shave or cannot see below their belly. Hair absorbs odor and moisture, so hair-free is the way to go for the delivery room.
Let Brazilian waxing clients know their skin might be more sensitive and more susceptible to itching due to hormones and because there is extra blood flow to the skin, especially in the pubic area.
Offer a pregnancy massage, which will feel amazing and encourage the body to release endorphins (natural pain relievers). It might help them achieve better sleep, too. Service providers should have special training in pregnancy massage.
Offer an old-fashioned buff and tan. You can do this while the client lies on their side, with the lower leg out in front at an angle.
Cater the Treatment
Have them lay on their side, semi-reclined, or sit on a chair for a massage and facial. Have extra pillows, wedges, and so forth. to help them be comfortable. Sometimes, pregnant women can get dizzy or lose consciousness from lying flat on their back because it compresses the large blood vessel leading from the lower body to the heart, called the vena cava. Lying on the left side may help in relieving dizziness and sleeping on that side is also recommended.
Let them choose their own music during treatment, as they may be more sensitive to some types of music. Use gentle, fragrance-free products during a facial because their skin is more sensitive.
Retail a body oil or body moisturizer to keep the skin more supple and flexible and possibly reduce stretch marks. Don’t forget the thighs, breasts, and buttocks. Up to 90% of women experience stretch marks, some will fade, but not all.
Retail self-tanner along with a moisturizer to help maintain a sunless glow. A good exfoliation and fresh tan can make them feel better about their new shape.
Have a titanium or zinc-based broad-spectrum sunscreen available for purchase. Advise them to use it daily. Up to 70% of pregnant women experience melasma (pregnancy hyperpigmentation), which may or may not fade.
Offer scent-free retail products, as they may be more sensitive to smells.
The Google dictionary defines mature as “fully developed physically; full-grown.” For the clarity of this article, we are referring to clients in the senior citizen category. Many define a senior citizen to be someone who is of retirement age, which is 65, but there are many senior citizen discounts starting at age 50, which is when you receive your AARP card. Coincidently, 50 is also the magic number for when many people start feeling more aches and pains and experience more diseases, such as arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and so forth. Age can start taking its toll during menopause for females and andropause for males. This author knows well that we are not spring chickens anymore. It is bittersweet when we start looking more like our parents when we look in the mirror. It can be intimidating for a mature person to walk or roll into a spa and ask for help. Perhaps they have helped others their whole life and now they want help with embarrassing facial hair, age spots, and wrinkles. They might not be able to walk well anymore – or even at all. They might be sporting a cane, a walker, or a wheelchair. As many are separated, divorced, or widowed, we can be the bright spot in their day, week, or month. Mature clients will greatly benefit from our caring services. We can help fill those slow days or slow times in the middle of the day.
Hyperpigmentation, which are brown spots also known as age spots, liver spots, freckles, or sun spots, is common Be sure to refer them to their dermatologist if you notice any changes in the spots:
- Skin looks thinner and paler
- Blue veins and red capillaries are more visible
- Loss of elasticity
- More lines, wrinkles, and unwanted hair
- Unusual spots
Take time to listen to their concerns – they might be different than what you think.
Ask them if they could change three things about their skin, what they would change. Find out what is really bothering them and then explain why it happened to their skin. Lucky for them, you know how to help them. Removing hair where they don’t want it will be a common service. Using a hard wax is best for thinning skin. They will most likely want to look younger and we have an arsenal of products, services, and equipment for this. Their skin will also be dry, so have solutions.
Under promise and over deliver. Assure them that they are getting the best services at a very reasonable price. Have a senior citizen discount day or mid-day senior citizen discounts. You could offer 10% off at 50, 15% off at 60, and 20% off for clients over 65 years.
Offer LED light therapy for pain management, skin aging, pigmentation, healing, and so forth. Be sure you are using a device with FDA clearance and scientific studies.
Offer services with both immediate and long-lasting results.
Explain different services that offer youthful appearances without surgery.
Advise them to drink plenty of water. Also, advise them to apply hydrators or serums under their moisturizer to lock in the hydration.
Offer self-tanning products and advise them to use sunscreen daily. Some mature people still think they look better with a tan and need to be educated that tanning is aging their skin faster.
Advise them that it is never too late to start a good skin care regimen – every effort is rewarded.
Skin Care Needs
Get straight to the point. Just like going to the gym will help them achieve their best body, professional skin care treatments and homecare products will help them achieve their best possible skin.
Let them know the best possible skin care facial program and homecare regimen. Let them decide what to cut out. Dermaplaning, waxing, microneedling, LED light therapy, microcurrent, microdermabrasion, photo facials, radio frequency, and ultrasound are all beneficial. Mixing it up a bit will get even better results.
Let them decide which skin care issue they want to tackle first.
Offer full-body exfoliation and moisturization treatments.
Offer mature makeovers and teach them how to apply makeup that flatters their aging faces. Less is more when applying eye makeup on mature faces.
Cater the Treatment
Make sure they are comfortable and not experiencing aches and pains. An adjustable bed and pillows will be helpful.
Use lighter pressure, less vacuum, and less aggressive products. Their skin is thinner, dryer, and more sensitive.
Use lots of oil and maybe even a little powder to protect mature skin before waxing.
Use warm, not hot, towels.
Mature clients may be less able to sense touch, pressure, vibration, heat, or cold. The skin is thinner because they have lost the protective fat layer, which makes their skin susceptible to being injured more easily.
Mature skin heals up to four times slower due to diabetes, blood vessel changes, lowered immunity, and other health factors, like poor nutrition, illness, reduced activity, and more. This puts them at an increased risk for infections and ulcers.
Mature skin bruises easily. Fragile blood vessels can break. Rubbing or pulling on the skin can cause skin tears.
Mature people move slower and can fall easier. If they are obese, it is even harder to move around, so be sure to keep items out of their pathway.
Offer affordable, customizable, antiaging products for head-to-toe applications. Get acquainted or travel sizes are perfect. Mature people seem to know how to make their products last a long time.
Offer solutions for cell turnover, dry skin, sun protection, and hydration.
Take the time to show them how to use each product and KISS (keep it super simple).
So, what do teenagers, pregnant women, and mature people have in common? They all need a caring skin care professional like you to give them and their skin a little tender loving care and help them achieve the best skin they can have.