Thursday, March 19, 2015

Aesthetician’s questions

I always chuckle at this photo. I opened The Spa at the Crescent in 1986. This was a promo piece for our skin care department. Here—I was a novice, having only worked for one year prior.
I am interested in going to school to be an aesthetician. I am a little confused about some of the programs that are out there. I read your book [Timeless Skin], and I really liked the information I got out of it. I have even managed to give up sugar! The schools that I’ve researched have a lot of programs where you learn how to hook people up to batteries and dump chemicals on them, and I am pretty turned off by that. Can you give me some good ideas about what to look for in a program or better yet a good school in my area?

I’m glad you found some good information in Timeless Skin. As far as schools go, I have no idea about the school programs in your particular location. It sounds like you’ve done some research, and that is what you’ll need to do; find out where the schools are in your area, what their programs are, and which one sounds like the best fit. Because of the state of skin care these days, you may just have to contend with being taught things you may not agree with, but you’ll certainly have control over what you do and use in your practice once you have graduated and get licensed.

I learned very little in skin care school. My real learning came as I was working with clients and doing a lot of self-study. I studied things that meant something to me. And that is what I recommend whether you love the school you are attending or not. Experience is always going to be your greatest teacher. And until you have been working with skin for several years, you will just be learning and taking in information.

I have heard from a lot of people who want to become aestheticians and from aestheticians already in practice. I graduated in the mid-’80s, so my school experience may be a bit dated compared to the education available today in skin care schools throughout the country. But regardless where or when you went to school and how much you learned, continuing education (whether through self-study or classes) is a must. As you grow your practice and have clients who have come to you regularly for years and years, you will learn a lot about how skin changes and what the best treatments are.

Good luck to any of you who may already be working in skin care and for aspiring aestheticians just beginning your career. Go forth, study, and do good work.

This was my last day at The Spa at the Crescent, February 1994. A few weeks later I opened Carolyn Ash Skin Care.
You made a comment in your book that people should not go to an aesthetician who is just starting out. I think that is an unfair statement. I know I have put a great many hours not only in my state requirements, but also in my research, education and technique. I know I will learn more each day, not only in the next couple of years but hopefully for the rest of my career. I also believe, because this is so exciting and new for me, I will be giving my clients 110%. It seems that this profession, as with any, can have a burnout effect. I have had several facials by seasoned aestheticians who didn’t seem to enjoy what they were doing. I really enjoyed the rest of your book and will use it as a tool in helping my clients. It is wonderful reading.

I appreciate this reader’s comments. I believe the line I use in Timeless Skin is “A novice aesthetician is not what you are looking for” when it comes to getting a facial. Someone who has stood the test of time—in any profession—will tend to be more qualified. However, the burnout comment can also apply. Due to the minimal amount of time it takes to become an aesthetician in most states, it can be a very easy career choice for some who may be unqualified, and that is where my comment stems from. I am quite sure many of you have put in a lot of hard work to become licensed in skin care, and I commend you for your commitment.

There are always exceptions to the rules and people with exceptional talent: aestheticians who will be heads above the rest in terms of qualifications as well as just an inherent understanding of the skin. However, having been one of these exceptions myself, I still know from my own experience that in the first few years as an aesthetician I simply wasn’t able to help people on the level I can now.

Everyone has to start somewhere. My goal with my writing is to give readers the best information I can, knowing that ultimately they will be the decision-makers. Going to a novice anything wouldn’t be my first choice; however, there may be benefits that will supersede a client’s need for expertise. Trial and error along with getting personal referrals will be the determining factors in finding a good facial and aesthetician.

As a licensed aesthetician who no longer works in the industry, skin care is really more of a hobby that I enjoy reading and talking about. Your book [Timeless Skin] is a must-have for aestheticians, who could definitely benefit from your experience, and for the consumer whose dermatologist and aesthetician isn’t helping! Thanks for the fabulous tips in your book and for making my skin just that much more beautiful!

If you are an aesthetician or plan on becoming one, please visit my blog Help for Aestheticians: Starting a business. You will find many articles filled with information written just for you. There are also some good ideas for owners of all types of personal service businesses.

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