This post was prompted by an article I read in Spa magazine entitled Your Therapist Needs to Know … . (Unfortunately at the moment I cannot find the article online) The article outlines what information you should be sure to share with your massage therapist or esthetician before and during a treatment. Of course I’ll focus on issues that have to do with estheticians and facials.
Before you have a facial your esthetician will have you fill a questionnaire that will ask about your general health and about your skin’s health. You’ll also probably be asked what skincare products you currently use, what skincare issues you are concerned about, and what you would like to improve about your skin. If the questionnaire doesn’t ask you those questions, hopefully your esthetician will ask you a variation on those questions either before or during your treatment.
If you suffer from cold sores, especially if you are currently experiencing an outbreak, be sure to tell your esthetician. Steam can make a cold sore worse or even spread to another part of your face. You can still have a facial if you have an active cold sore, but your esthetician just needs to be extra cautious when treating that area. And by that I mean, the area with the cold sore shouldn’t be treated at all. If you have sensitive or irritated areas on your face, neck, or chest be sure to point that out to your esthetician. If you have ever had a negative or allergic reaction to a skincare product tell your esthetician. Hopefully the questionnaire you have filled out will have a place to check if you suffer from rosacea or eczema, but even if they do be sure your esthetician has made a note of that before beginning your treatment. Mention if you have had precancerous or cancerous lesions removed from the areas that will be treated during the facial. If you have just spent a lot of time in the sun or are sunburned mention that too. Some of these conditions might be completely obvious to your skincare therapist, but it never hurts to gently point them out before beginning treatment.
Also please tell you esthetician if you have an infectious disease, especially one that could be transferred through bodily fluids. Though esthetician follow universal precautions, which means we have to assume that everyone has an infectious disease, it would be best to alert your esthetician about such a situation. If you are pregnant, but it isn’t obvious yet, or if you are nursing be sure to tell your esthetician since many skincare ingredients are off limits for pregnant women and nursing mothers.
Hopefully your esthetician will ask you what your expectations are for your treatment – relaxation, intense exfoliation, treatment of acne, anti-aging, etc. – but if she or he doesn’t be sure to let them know if you have any specific expectations from your treatment. Of course, keep those expectations in check. A facial won’t make you look 24 if you are really 50 (go to a plastic surgeon if you want that kind of change). If you are interested in hearing about new skincare products or want to hear the esthetician’s opinion about certain skincare lines – ask. Personally I love to share what I know about skincare products and most other esthetician do as well. On the other hand, if you are happy with the products you are using you can politely tell your esthetician that. Part of our job as an esthetician is to recommend the skincare products that our spas or offices sell. If you don’t want to hear about other skincare products just politely let your esthetician know that.
In my opinion there are two other essential parts to getting the most out of your facial – ask lots of questions and speak up. I always tell my clients “let me know if something doesn’t feel good, and I’ll fix it.” Of course, extractions never feel good, but the rest of the treatment should be pleasant and even wonderful (the massage). Personally, I’m a talker so I love clients that like to chit-chat about life or just about skincare products. I am more than happy to share my knowledge, but if you just want to close your eyes and drift off to sleep during your facial tell your esthetician that at the beginning of the treatment. You’ll enjoy your facial so much more if you speak up about something that might be bothering you during your treatment. Instead of complaining afterwards to a manager tell your esthetician at that moment so they can correct what is bothering you. Spas are driven by customer service so we are there to please you – the paying client.
And above all, relax and enjoy!
Further Reading – 11 Tips on Getting the Most Out of Your Spa Experience – Spa Magazine