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Things Clients Say

By: Terri A. Wojak
Posted: December 4, 2013, from the December 2013 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
Unilateral Dermatoheliosis

A 69-year-old man, who reported driving a delivery truck for 28 years, with a 25-year history of gradual sun damage on the left side of his face. Photo courtesy of The New England Journal of Medicine (2012)

Editor’s note: Terri A. Wojak will be presenting the class “Advanced Exfoliation Methods” during the Advanced Education Conference Program at Face & Body® Midwest, taking place at McCormick Place West in Chicago on March 22, 2014. Register today at www.FaceandBody.com/midwest!

As service providers, estheticians are often taught that the client is always right ... although it may not always be the case. There are old wives’ tales and myths that have been passed down for years and, regardless of the resources available, it is still common for clients to believe these misconceptions. How do skin care professionals combat these assumptions and teach clients once and for all what is known to be true? Instead of ignoring the client’s claims—no matter how persistent—proper education will prove your dedication to helping each individual achieve their goals.

“I want a treatment to remove my wrinkles.”

Wrinkles are brought about by age, genetics and environmental factors affecting the skin. Just as those wrinkles did not simply appear on the skin overnight, the same goes for trying to remove them. Unfortunately, there are many skin care professionals claiming to have a miracle product or service that will simply dissipate all signs of aging skin, including wrinkles. There are many esthetic treatments available that are effective in reducing the appearance of wrinkles; however, results can never be promised. Every person has distinctive skin and may react differently to skin rejuvenation methods. Cosmetic medical treatments, such as injectables, laser treatments and cosmetic surgery, are proven methods that reduce the visible signs of aging. In the medical field, wording for treatment results is strictly enforced. Clinically proven ingredients, including retinoids and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), are used in skin care products to decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It is considered a success if wrinkles disappear with these methods, but it cannot be promised.

Client education. Always underpromise and overdeliver. Do not fall into the competition trap by offering unrealistic results just because your competitors are doing so. Clients appreciate honesty and will be pleasantly surprised if results surpass their expectations. When it comes to customer service, it has been said that one happy client will generally tell at least one other person about a good experience, but an unhappy client may tell as many as 20 others of a bad experience. To have a successful business, ensuring clients have realistic expectations is of the utmost importance. They must also be aware that it is a joint effort between them and their treatment provider, and that using supportive products at home will provide the best results. Presenting before-and-after pictures of the recommended treatment or product can be helpful to illustrate typical outcomes.

“My skin is too oily for moisturizer.”

Moisturizer is important for maintaining healthy skin, regardless of the amount of oil produced. Clients who have oily skin tend to think that drying it out is the best option for controlling breakouts. Acne occurs from a combination of dead skin and excess sebum, which leads to a buildup of bacteria and triggers inflammation. The human body is made to adapt to changes; therefore, drying out the skin often results in even more sebum production. This excess sebum, along with a dry epidermis, accumulates within the follicles, eventually resulting in more breakouts. Dry skin also leads to other skin conditions, including sensitivity, eczema and signs of aging.