You’ve devoted time and money into becoming a licensed professional. You’re committed to understanding skin anatomy, physiology, and histology. You’ve got hundreds of hours under your belt in comprehending skin care ingredients and their actions. You’ve researched and invested in top-of-the-line equipment and products to help clients with their anti-aging concerns, rosacea, pigmentation, acne and general skin health. But your client still shows up at her appointment and can’t wait to tell you about the latest and greatest potion or thing-a-ma-bob that she found on YouTube, Pinterest, Dr.Oz or Instagram. She’s become addicted to Amazon, Wish, Ulta and BirchBox yet knows nothing about how the products she's using affect her skin. Here are some tips to deflect some of the false claims your clients report to you and how you can give them the real deal on what their skin needs.
Start With The Basics
Become an ingredient guru. Know the basics on humectants, peptides, retinols, antioxidants, and stem cells. Know the differences between the quality and quantity of active ingredients in retail skin care, spa-grade skin care, and medical grade. A skin care ingredient dictionary is a terrific reference source that you'll come to love for years. We recommend this industry favorite.
Know Your Line
Know the skin care line you are carrying intimately. Know why it works and how it works. When you are performing services, reinforce to the client why you are using this particular cleanser, mask, or other treatment and why it is helping her skin. Understand the comedogenic scale so you can reference it while treating your client. For example, you might say something like, “I’ve chosen this to use on your skin because it ranks low on the comedogenic scale and won’t clog your pores and give you issues.”
Keep yourself educated about what’s trending in skin care. Leaf through magazines and social media to find out what’s being marketed to the consumer. Google the big names in Vlogger beauty world and watch a few of their videos. Check out their philosophies. Can you buy in? Do your homework so you know when your client asks for your opinion on Celebrity XYZ's new line of skincare, you are familiar and can educate her on how high-end skin care is often highly priced because of the packaging; not the quality of ingredients or the true benefits for the skin.
Additionally, you should invest in continuing education specific to your field. Your state might require you to attend events or take online classes, but regardless of state rules, you should always make continuing education a priority. For example, when you attend a skin care product or treatment education session, make sure your clients know it. Social media posts about your new bank of knowledge reinforce your expertise to your clients. You can also leverage this during your consultations. For example, you might say something like, "It's so great to see you today! I’ve been looking forward to your appointment so I can tell you about (insert product, service, condition here) when I had new training last week. You came to mind as someone who could benefit from what I learned."
Educating clients can be both rewarding and also have its frustrations. Realize that some clients are going to go for the cheapest option and you can’t save everybody. Take the long view that every encounter is a teaching moment that will pay off down the road, with greater client satisfaction, higher rebooking rates, and increased sales.
Photo: Shutterstock | SpeedKingz
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Mary Nielsen grew up in Minnesota but calls Portland, Oregon home for the past 30 years. She is the Executive Director of Spectrum Advanced Aesthetics Institute and serves on the board of Certified Advanced Estheticians for the state of Oregon. She is a happily married grandmother who has been thrilled to be working in the never dull field of advanced esthetics for over 17 years. She spends her free time outdoors or at her sewing machine.
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