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Early in my career as a skin therapist, I had a colleague who was (and is) a wonderful aesthetician with a huge following. Let’s call her Madge. One day Madge was visited by a regular client for her routine age management treatment. Upon her arrival, the client told Madge that she had been to her dermatologist, and just had a biopsy on a lesion that she and Madge had been following for a year.
Truthfully, Madge had mentioned it to her on several occasions, and told her that she should have it checked out. The client had multiple problems with her skin (i.e. acne, pigment changes, photodamage) in which Madge was diligently supporting her with appropriate education, treatment, and products.

There is hardly a day spa or salon/spa business today that doesn’t offer dozens of services, service packages and hundreds of products for retail. On top of that, most businesses have several staff charged at various rates for a range of services. In addition, a client coming in for a service package may see several different staff and require the use of more than one service location within your facility.
Just keeping track of all of this activity has become a full-time job for spa owners and managers. Even a small mistake in managing a client’s time can result in less revenue, frustrated clients and staff, and even in lost business.

Let’s start with a very pertinent question. Is it your belief that a baby boomer’s primary concern today is how to look younger and feel better? If so, wouldn’t you want to position yourself as an expert in this burgeoning market?
By incorporating an array of facial machines into your practice, you can immediately set yourself apart and raise your status in the increasingly competitive professional skin care field. And as you put together machine-based solutions that achieve the results necessary to help boomers look younger and feel better, you’ll not only get a reputation as an “expert”, but also a nice piece of the corresponding dollar pie.

Sanitation is important, but there are often little things that can be overlooked when maintaining your facility. Unfortunately, there have been specific instances where the lack of sanitation has resulted in the spread of illness and disease. When proper sanitation measures are not followed, there can be fines issued to owners and licensees, which can lead to the closing of establishments. Many of you may think your facilities are clean, but what you cannot see is what needs to be combated. Basic biology and chemistry has taught us that the elements of our world consist of molecules, cells, bacteria, and viruses that cannot be seen.

For many of us, it was a complete surprise to learn upon graduation from aesthetics school that we were not adequately trained to compete in the rapidly-changing world of aesthetics. We discovered that we were entering our new careers without the competitive edge. To make matters worse, we found that the field of aesthetics was under increasing attack by the medical profession… and for good reason. Under-trained aestheticians are making mistakes and people are having bad experiences, sometimes even resulting in injuries. In the age of “Extreme Makeover,” feeling good about ourselves has become a lot more complicated.

Have you ever sat and wondered about your profession? Are you aware that you are in one of the best professions? Did you know that it offers an incredible number of opportunities?
Many of us, when we graduate from aesthetic school, cannot wait to find a job to do facials, whether that is in a salon or spa. All we do is think and think about doing a facial cleanse, tone, and moisturize. Who will be our first client? Will they rebook? Will they tip us? But, our license offers us so many other opportunities that the possibilities are truly staggering.

Many of us dream of writing a book and getting it published. For most, the dream stops there. The process of writing, researching, waiting, and hopefully getting published, is a daunting feat that usually scares us off without even trying. If this is your dream, keep reading. The entire process is a long and emotional one, but with some guidance and perseverance, anything can be accomplished. First, you need a book topic. Think of something that you are passionate about and most importantly have an in-depth knowledge to write about. Then, ask yourself why you are writing.

Whether you are just graduating from aesthetic school or have been in practice a number of years, almost all skin care professionals dream of one day operating their own independent business. By nature we are creative beings; we envision the freedom and income that only a private practice seems capable of providing us. The envisioned benefits are convincing enough: working our own hours, charging what we want for our services, being our own boss and having total control over our professional life. What's not to like? Many aestheticians choose to begin by working with an established spa or salon with the idea of going independent as soon as they have gathered enough knowledge (and loyal clients) to break away and set up a private studio.

Raise your hand if you are familiar with social networking. Maybe you have a Facebook profile or Twitter account. If you are currently engaged in these activities, is it for business, pleasure, or both? If you answered both, are you maintaining separate accounts or just one?
In everyday life we have very well established protocols regarding the separation of these activities. For instance, you would never allow your children to accompany you in the treatment room with a client or discuss your personal matters with her other than superficial pleasantries.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been wondering, “What’s all this fuss about Twitter and Facebook? I do not get it. Why would anyone care about what I’m thinking or doing?” Well, I finally took the leap and journeyed into this cyberworld to find out what all this fuss was about and how I could become involved. I am pleased to report that it has been quite painless and actually enjoyable.
Now, unless you have had your head buried in the sand, it is evident that Facebook and Twitter have a captive and growing audience that is increasing exponentially as you read.

Aesthetics is a growing field with a variety of opportunities.A career in aesthetics requires continuing education to be successful. Some states call for a specific number of continuing education hours and even dictate the topics of study required to renew your license; other states have no requirements at all. Whether it is required or not should not be a deciding factor on advancing your knowledge. The industry is constantly changing and if you do not stay up-to-date it is likely to have a negative impact on your career. Adapting to change is vital to become a successful professional in skin care. 

From the milk and honey baths used by the ancient Egyptians to the light zaps of today’s cosmetic lasers, people are constantly searching for the latest and greatest procedures to help achieve a younger, healthier, more attractive look. The development of high-tech cosmetic treatments is helping to meet those needs without the time, cost and risks associated with surgery. The emergence of medical aesthetics has swept the beauty industry by storm and has become a real revenue generator for aestheticians, cosmetologists and other skin care professionals.

The dangers Ultraviolet rays (UV rays) impose on skin are well known. They are the primary external cause of skin aging. Not only does UV radiation found in sunlight reduce the youthful appearance of the skin, but it is also an environmental human carcinogen. Society is more aware of the damage caused by UV rays, yet the occurrence of skin cancer is on the rise. Fifty percent of all cancer in the U.S. is skin cancer. The toxic effects of UV rays from the sun and tanning beds are a major health care concern. The effects of UV irradiation include photoaging, immuno-suppression and ultimately... photo-carcinogenesis.

For some time now, the hype in consumer beauty and health magazines has been the medical spa. For seasoned aestheticians and physicians, this concept is nothing new. Unfortunately, what these magazines are not telling consumers is that the term “medical spa” is highly unregulated and there is a great deal of false advertising. Many viable MediSpa’s are not receiving the credibility they so deserve, as anyone advertising a physician and Botox® or filler injections can be a medical spa. This is simply not fair to those facilities that offer more for skin care, hair removal, and body wellness through nutrition, massage therapy, and therapeutic fitness.

For any given aesthetic concern, there are both surgical and non-surgical enhancements, which are available. Cosmetic minimally invasive procedures have gained tremendous popularity in the United States with a 53 percent increase between 2002 and 2004 according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The desire to maintain a youthful appearance by any means of cosmetic treatment has proven the aesthetic industry to be one of the most profitable. In 2004 alone, Americans spent just under $12.5 billion on cosmetic procedures, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS).

Let’s face it (no pun intended): aesthetic equipment is an investment. By following the manufacturer’s care and maintenance guidelines, you may prolong the life of your machines beyond the warranty as well as practicing safe aesthetics.
When it comes to caring for your equipment, cleanliness is next to Godliness. If you think the spots, cloudy water, dust, or wax drips go unnoticed by your clients… think again. As a spa client, the first thing I do when I enter the room is observe my surroundings. I expect that whatever is being used on my skin is disposable, sterilized, sanitized, or disinfected and is in good working order.

The teen market is a true niche market with huge potential. Teen services are not something you just add to your menu. They are the population of the future. If you really want to go after this marketplace, which is ever-growing and surging, you have to dedicate yourself to the Internet, social media and a culture engaged in real time that constantly changes. You need to be plugged in at all times, all the while building long-term relationships. Marketing to the teenager is all encompassing and takes thinking about a realistic approach to a very trendy and competitive marketplace.

Every business comes with its challenges. Owning a spa or salon is no different. Your selection of staff, policies and services offered all impact your clientele and reputation. However, there are important decisions that affect all of these and more. The products you choose to use in the treatment room and offer for retail purchase will shape your business, as well as influence your bottom line. Owners and spa directors need to consider several factors when selecting products, while keeping in mind that the skin care lines they use are also a representation of their business' brand.

Whether you work with a company or for yourself, it is important to understand the value of you as the professional. Your client looks to you for advice, suggestions and result-oriented treatments. I think first and foremost you should ask yourself if you truly enjoy servicing others and providing solutions to their unwanted body hair and skin concerns. Passion is something that is lived! It reveals itself through your eyes, your smile and your energy. Here are the tools that I feel you will need to fully impact your suggestions.

The adage "what's in a name" has often been debated. When it comes to products an inventive, catchy name that sums up what your product is and what it offers is critical. After all, the name will be the first things consumers see on a shelf, a website, or marketing materials. A well thought out name may even make it easier for search engines to find your product and bring it up in the first few pages of Google or Yahoo!. An example of a name that says it all: Tummy Tuck Jeans.

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