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Spa Stories: The Bad Skin Reaction

Spa Stories: The Bad Skin Reaction

One of the best parts of my role as Bioelements Director of Education is that I'm able to talk on a daily basis with skin care professionals all over the globe. And with 2 decades at Bioelements Professional Skin Care– I think it's safe to say I've heard thousands of stories from estheticians about what can happen inside the spa treatment room. I think it's time I share some of the most eye-opening stories with you in an ongoing series – ones that I think will have great lessons for estheticians – as well as spa-goers!

The Situation

A client receives a facial at her neighborhood spa. The next day, she calls the spa and tells the esthetician that her face is red and swollen. What happened?

The Facial

When I first heard this story, I immediately asked "Explain to me what happened in the treatment room step-by-step." Here's what I was told: After performing a light verbal consultation, the esthetician found out that her first-time client had sensitive skin but knew little else regarding what product she used on a regular basis. Once in the treatment room, the esthetician combined products from two different brands to customize the facial. After exfoliating with a physical scrub, she used a microdermabrasion machine for additional physical exfoliation. After this "double exfoliation" process, she used nothing to calm or sedate the skin post-treatment. The client left with no direction on what products to use at home.

It was a perfect storm for a negative skin reaction!

The Lessons to Learn

  1. Every facial should begin with a SkinReading – Bioelements system to identify, recognize and accurately "read" the skin to target concerns and determine the correct treatment and product choices. In this case, although the client specified that they had sensitive skin, a SkinReading would have confirmed this and provided her with any additional information regarding her health history, the products she currently uses in her skin care routine, and her lifestyle habits. Plus – SkinReading continues throughout the treatment – you continually read the skin each step of the way to ensure a facial is successful. (Learn more about SkinReading by taking our Bioelements SkinReading System class – get details at www.Bioelements.com/pros under Classes & Tradeshows.)
  2. Don't combine multiple product lines in one facial. Products from one line are formulated to be used together – combining them opens the door for an adverse reaction.
  3. Don't over-exfoliate. It can be an issue for anyone, but this particular client had sensitive skin so a reaction to exfoliation was more likely. If you are seeing a client for the first time, exfoliate gently to see how the skin will respond and always makes sure to have a calming mask on hand. In this case, the Skin Sedation/Comedone Removal Prep Mask should have followed up the double exfoliation to soothe the client's extra sensitized skin.
  4. Make sure the client follows up with the right skin care products. Sending a freshly exfoliated, sensitive skinned client home to use the products in her medicine cabinet undermines the results of her facial and is a recipe for skin care disaster. The esthetician should have recommended products to help soothe the client's skin and prolong the results of her facial.

Spa-Goers: There is something you can gain from this story, too. Before stepping into the treatment room, always be clear with your esthetician and state your expectations. This story emphasized the importance of SkinReading, and that goes for you as well. Without knowing about your skin care or lifestyle habits like smoking, tanning, or even prescription medication, an esthetician can't properly decide which formulas they should use during treatment. Speak up!

Have a spa story of your own? Share it in the comments section or contact Teresa directly at Teresa@bioelements.com


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