With so many treatment and product choices available today, how do you know what you really need? Here’s some sound, professional advice from the heart of an aesthetician.
As a seasoned spa-goer, consumer, and buyer for Living Well Healing Arts Center and Spa, I am familiar with the overwhelming amount of products and services available in the marketplace. I’ve encountered decision-making on the treatment table, which, in my opinion should be kept to a minimum, in stores and at the office. I’ve been subjected to the unassisted buy (drugstores), the hard sell (department stores) and the sell, sell, sell (sadly, some spas).
Consultants with knowledge of industry product lines and experience at matching products to clients can offer valuable information as a service, thereby refusing to hard-sell product or up-sale service add-ons. A skin care professional and consultant should look at clients and their lifestyle and recommend products that will benefit them the most. So, what do you really need?
First off, let’s talk about the basics. What products do I need? You really need a cleanser, and probably a moisturizer, too. Add to that sunscreen depending on the season and your activities. Are you a runner? A gardener? A skier?
Lastly, you might want an eye cream since moisturizers made for that area have a different composition. Beyond that, serums are fabulous, and consultants can make recommendations based upon your concerns. Fundamental is you need to be honest with yourself about your lifestyle. Do you like simplicity? Can you work with a few minutes of extra application time?
So, now that you know the general products to buy, you should know your skin type in order to buy the precise product, since skin type affects the kind of ingredients that would work best for you. This, in itself, is a good reason to seek the advice of an aesthetician and is part of what you get when you have a facial. What kind of treatment should I have?
We’ve boiled good skin care down to the necessities and answered the question, “What product do I need?” But, since home skin care is typically only 40 percent of the equation, let’s move on and discover what the basic treatment should consist of.
My recommendation is to start with a basic facial. From the facial, you will learn your skin type and you can address wishes and concerns with a professional. I don’t recommend doing anything fancy for the first facial. The first facial also shows aestheticians how your skin behaves. It’s important to note that sometimes, skin will react to new products, in fact, skin can react to new products even when they are organic. So, just because your skin reacts, doesn’t necessarily mean the product is bad for you. There are a lot of manufacturers of over the counter equipment and products who want you to think that you can accomplish the same thing at home as you can at the spa. This is simply not true. Even if you had all the machines and the products, you still do not have the training, the experience and, frankly, you can’t monitor your skin while you work on it the way a professional can. I go to an aesthetician to have my facials. Clarisonic machines, bandage-strips that purport to clean your pores and other equipment are no substitute for periodic professional facials with steam, extractions, deep pore cleaning and exfoliation.
Here are some examples that would warrant more attention and specific treatments: you have a break out. Your pores are stubborn and difficult to clean. You want to address fine lines, wrinkles or rosacea. These are circumstances that warrant further attention and, as a result, a professional might recommend adding an additional procedure or alter your treatment to combat the problem. There needs to be something specific you are addressing in order to have more than a standard facial, and you have a right to know the cost for the additional service or procedure before it is performed.
Most additional services cost from $5 to $25. A professional will typically tell you the cost, so that you don’t have to ask and you can make the decision. It’s like when a restaurant waiter outlines the day’s specials and their costs. Ask your skin care professional about what this additional service is going to address and how much it is going to cost. Your skin will benefit from the added attention.