- I am an expert. I wish I had more confidence in what I knew and studied. In the beginning I questioned myself a lot. I felt there is no way I can learn everything to help my clients get the results they desire. I was also very young. I became an aesthetician at 18 and it was hard to talk to people about aging when you are that young. Confidence is important. You will never know everything and that is ok. The best way I approach that is telling my clients that If they have a question, I can’t answer I will ask and find the answer. One thing that I tell newer aestheticians is to explain and educate your client on what you are doing and why. This will answer many questions they have and also tells them you know what you are doing. You will know a lot and more than the average client about skin care. This is what you do and studied. You got this!
- I can sell skincare – I think this was one of the hardest parts of being a new aesthetician. I hated to sell or feel like I was selling product or services. They way I looked at it was that I was inconveniencing the client. I felt bad and thought wow this is so expensive. The reality is giving them what they need is necessary for the investment they are making. I now look at it as educating and partnering up with my client. We are both working toward the same goal. Giving them the right home care will gt them quicker to their goal. If you don’t recommend what they should be using they will go to a store and guess and just pick items they think they need. They will most likely waste more money and time picking items based on marketing.
- You don’t have to discount or give things for free – In my beginning days of my aesthetic work I felt I had to give, give and give. I do believe to go over and beyond but that doesn’t mean give away your services. Your training and quality services you provide are worth a lot. Discounting too much sometimes will attract the client that is chasing the deal. In my experience my best clients are the ones that respect my expertise and quality of services and products I sell. This is one thing I tell my clients. I only use quality products and am always trying to learn more to give the client the best skin treatments available. When I hear someone say they got a facial for $35 from a discounting site I wonder what percentage did the marketing site get and what did the service provider get? What type of treatment products are they using? If you get your clients used to bargaining it will continue. You want them to trust you.
- How to shoot the breeze – This is also called the gift of gab. In my early years it was hard to start conversations easily. It took a lot of practice for me. I’m an introvert, I am social but this is not a gift I had. I had to learn this. There are so many different types of personalities learning to read cues and body language helps. Learning to change the subject is also important. If they start talking about a topic that you are not comfortable with you can learn to transition without being rude. Learning to navigate the client that likes to ask a lot of personal questions is also good. I learned to remind myself the client is there to relax and feel good. I never dump my problems or issues on them. When you build a close relationship with a client it is hard to not share but oversharing can get hairy.
- Manage Expectations – I wish I didn’t feel like I had to correct their skin in one session. What I needed to know is that I was partnering up with them to reach their skincare goals. Fine lines, wrinkles or hyperpigmentation do not occur over night. Managing expectations helps to prevent issues with post care. A doc I worked with said once to me, “It is not a question of if but when you will have someone have a undesired reaction.” Having a client that is more sensitive, irritated, red, or allergic to something they didn’t know they were can happen. Knowing how to manage that is important. Explaining to a client what kind of skin responses are normal at the consult can help. Let’s say you are doing a Microdermabrasion. Normally you don’t have any adverse reactions from this exfoliating treatment, but you can talk to you client and remind them their skin can respond differently from time to time. You can explain what topicals can be used and ask them to please let you know how their skin does after so you can document and change the treatment protocol if needed. I see now I had times where I could have better explained all possible skin responses and not had to convince the client after that there was noting wrong with the treatment it was just how the skin responded and it was normal.
- It is ok to say no! I remember I had a client that came in and told she wanted a deep peel to remove a spot she had. This spot on her cheek looked raw and not healed yet. She informed me she bought some acid online and burned her skin. I told her I couldn’t do services that day because she was not healed yet. I gave her product and home care recommendations. She came back a month later and said she was ready for a deep peel. I looked at her skin and said I couldn’t because she was still really irritated. She showed me what she was using at home. Nothing I recommended was being used. Instead she bought a tattoo removal kit and said she was using that. I asked her why she would use a tattoo removal product if you don’t have a tattoo on your cheek. She was upset that I couldn’t do a treatment. My gut told me this client is not going to follow post care instructions. This will be bad for me. She had mentioned her dermatologist said she can do the peel. I asked for the dermatologist’s number and spoke to her. Of course, I was still a baby aesthetician and should have known the derm couldn’t tell me anything about her. But she did tell me without telling me. Just in the tone I understood. She said “honey, all I am going to tell you is trust your gut.” That is all I needed to hear. Her telling me that helped me understand I don’t have to do any treatments, even if it’s down the road. I spoke to my boss and we were on the same page. I told the client I didn’t get the ok from the Derm and cannot do the treatment. She was upset but I was able to sleep at night. My motto now a days is “I like to sleep at night, I don’t do anything that will make me lose sleep.”
These are my “Wish I knew list”. What did you wish you knew when you were a new aesthetician? I would love to hear your stories.