Performing treatments is undoubtedly one of the most rewarding aspects of being a spa professional. With proper sanitation, skill, and know-how, we can aid clients in achieving their skin health goals. Creating an infection control routine that is easy to follow and adhere to for services is vital to that success. Having a clean, organized workspace along with knowledge of efficient infection control procedures makes easy work of everyday services.
DEVELOP A PLAN
Every procedure we perform should start and end with sanitation and disinfection in mind. Each service comes equipped with its own appropriate methods of infection control. Individual states have specific guidelines for these treatments, so it is important to make yourself aware of these and follow them accordingly. For instance, waxing has vastly different sanitation priorities than that of an advanced procedure like chemical exfoliation. Before beginning any treatment, make yourself aware of what tools, implements, and products are needed to complete it, as well as state guidelines for cleanliness and safety. Then, organize these in order of use, making sure to provide ample working space. Additionally, it is always a good idea to have extra supplies dispensed in the event you drop or possibly cross contaminate. For example, when waxing or performing a chemical exfoliating treatment, it is always a good idea to have extra gloves and plenty of hand sanitizer. Or, when performing a facial treatment, you can never have too many dispensing sticks or towels. So, develop a plan for sanitation that is comfortable, easy to recall, and suits your unique environment.
PREPARING YOUR TREATMENT AREA
Preparing the treatment area is assuredly the most time-consuming step in the treatment process and rightfully so. Giving yourself a generous time-frame to prepare will only ensure success. One step in this process is the sanitary maintenance area. This is the area of your workspace that only clean or disinfected tools, implements, and products will reside. After disinfecting your trolley or cart, you can utilize either single-use napkins or multi-use towels to keep the area clean and organized. Make sure to cover consumables with an appropriate cover to prevent cross contamination. In addition to arranging this area, you also want to organize your space being mindful of your ergonomics. By keeping everything easily within reach you can prevent spills, dropping items, and needing to stand unnecessarily. In addition to having a waste receptacle, another great tool to employ during a service is a receptacle for used towels and linens that can be safely tucked under the head or side of the table. Find what works best for you, your clients, and your surroundings and adopt it daily.
DECIDING BETWEEN SINGLE OR MULTI-USE TOOLS
In addition to knowing how to sanitize and disinfect your space, it is equally important to know when to use single-use products or multi-use tools. The service you plan to provide most often dictates which method is more appropriate. The factors you want to consider are varied and can include price, effort of use, infection control, and environment. As an example, during a facial treatment you could opt to use the traditional product removal method of steamed towels, or, you could prefer to use four by four aesthetic wipes or sponges. Using towels requires a specific process for effective sanitizing, whereas the wipes or sponges are easily discarded and require no additional sanitation. It is recommended that you keep a working inventory list of these items and the required procedures for each. You know how you work best and what can help you perform at optimal function.
Many of the techniques we practice for sanitation are a result of preference. If appropriate, these are acceptable. However, some of these are non-negotiable. Hand washing is a prime example. Betterhealth.gov states that washing your hands properly can help prevent the spread of germs (like bacteria and viruses) that cause diseases like salmonella and influenza. Equally important is removing jewelry while working, as well as appropriately sanitizing hands after handling materials that will be discarded into the laundry or waste. Review the proper hand washing guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and be mindful of where your hands need to be next.
The best sanitation practices during a service can vary greatly. Whether it is a hair removal procedure or a laser treatment, sanitation and disinfection should always be at the forefront of your game plan. Be aware of what allows you to work at peak performance and develop individual routines that will ensure your success. Adapt these plans accordingly so they are comfortable to you, simple to remember, and effective. To conclude, when in doubt, sanitize.
Brittany Facio is a Phoenix-based educator-turned-business development manager, passionate about how proper aesthetics education and sophisticated protocol implementation can create business-changing revenue. As a business development manager, she is responsible for not only educating her clients on skin care products and protocols, both on an individual basis and in regional training seminars, but also for providing marketing, merchandising, and branding assistance to generate leads and capture a new audience. When she is not working, Facio can be found enjoying play time with her family and Havanese rescue, Spruce, trying a new dinner recipe, and binge-watching comedies on Netflix.