Experiencing skin care treatments should be relaxing, enjoyable, and empowering. You should feel at ease during every part of your treatment. You might have questions and feel shy about asking them. Don't worry--your esthetician has heard it all and respects your right to inquire about anything that concerns you. Following are some common concerns.
You might wonder exactly what steps are taken to maintain cleanliness in the treatment setting. Estheticians are governed by state sanitation laws. By law, sanitation is part of your skin care professionals' training. He or she met an hourly training requirement and passed an exam to become licensed. A state board updates guidelines and practices as sanitation knowledge and practices evolve. The boards' reason for being is consumer protection; many share information with other state boards to stay up-to-date and assure "best practices" are being incorporated into their regulations.
Your treatments are provided with your health and safety as a top priority. Facilities and equipment are cleaned and disinfected regularly. The linens you come into contact with are fresh. You can help assure a hygienic experience for your skin care professional and other clients by rescheduling your appointment should you have a fever or other symptoms of illness.
Most treatments are relatively painless, but your skin care professional will work with you to reduce any discomfort that might emerge. The key here is communication. Most people typically experience at least some discomfort during waxing and extractions (pressure applied to skin to release clogged pores). Be sure to let your esthetician know if you have a low pain threshold or experience anxiety or discomfort before or during these practices. Ask to take a break if you need a moment to collect yourself. The more you can relax, the better and more enjoyable your experience will be.
In general, gratuities of 15-20 percent for satisfactory skin care services are considered the norm and are greatly appreciated. (If you haven't had a good experience, please let your esthetician or other staff member know--and explain why--so they can improve.) Be aware that many gift certificates do not include gratuities. Some businesses are unable to add tips to credit card sales slips so, if at all possible, ask ahead of time or be prepared with cash for the tip.
Your esthetician is a skilled professional with significant knowledge that helps determine what's best for your skin. Forty-nine states, the District of Columbia, and several U.S. territories require estheticians to get training and pass an exam before becoming licensed. Three-quarters of these professionals complete 600 or more hours of training. Many receive additional training from their employer and product manufacturers. They may attend trade shows, read professional literature, and take continuing education courses. In the treatment room, look for a posted state license (except in Connecticut, where no license is required), along with a membership certificate from Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP).
Many clients seeking beauty treatments wonder if they'll see immediate results. While a simple facial can leave you radiant, a clinical treatment like a deep-peel microdermabrasion can leave skin looking chapped and reddened on the following day. Some treatments are obviously not recommended before big events like weddings. Be sure to mention to any upcoming occasions or plans for sun exposure. It's very important to follow the home care instructions you receive at the end of your visit to help your skin recover as it should.
Experiencing a treatment in the comfort of a spa robe or under a soft sheet can greatly increase relaxation during your visit. You should be provided a private and comfortable place to change fully or partially out of your street clothes. Your esthetician can guide you as to how much clothing to remove. For example, removing pants altogether for leg waxing is generally preferable to rolling up pant legs. For spray tanning and wraps, you might feel the most comfortable in a bathing suit. Some facilities provide disposable spa panties for your use. To ensure your comfort and privacy, you generally will not be asked to expose any part of your body unless it's necessary to complete the service.
It's Up to You
As you develop a relationship with your skin care therapist, you'll discover that it is very important to keep the lines of communication open. Everyone has unique preferences and sometimes there may be something you would like to change at your next treatment. Whether you don't like a certain scent or music, aren't physically comfortable on the treatment table, or have other special preferences, your skin care therapist will quickly adapt if you communicate.
Don't hesitate to ask your skin care therapist about his or her background, training, and experience--especially as it relates to the treatment you are considering. As a member of ASCP, your skin care professional's state licensing credentials and/or core training have been verified. ASCP members follow a code of ethics, ensuring you're treated responsibly, confidentially, and with utmost respect. As an ASCP member, your skin care professional has comprehensive information on changing trends and treatments at his or her fingertips, so you'll be receiving current information and care. Communicate your needs, and enjoy your visit!