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Making the Case

By: Cathy Christensen
Posted: April 27, 2012, from the May 2012 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Being a skin care professional in the current business environment isn’t as simple as it used to be. Not only do you have to offer excellent, results-driven treatments, compete with other skin care facilities, stay on the top of your clients’ budgets and priority lists, and be as business savvy as they come, you also have the enormous task of protecting the validity of your profession and your license by keeping up with industry regulations. It’s crucial to become active in this arena.

During Face & Body® Midwest, which took place in Chicago in March, the packed opening panel discussion of the Advanced Education Conference Program—“Compliance, Legislation and Regulations That Affect YOU as an Industry Professional”—featured five regulation experts who laid it all on the line about what skin care facility owners and estheticians need to know in order to ensure the viability of their licenses and professions. It covered a variety of information and involved a question-and-answer session about multiple issues in the Midwest. For example, did you know that doing a Groupon discount on certain medical spa services is often illegal? Could you be making uninformed decisions that are putting your business and its employees in a vulnerable position?

According to Deedee Crossett, Skin Inc. magazine editorial advisory board member and dean of the San Francisco Institute of Esthetics and Cosmetology, “Skin care professionals should be involved with state legislation because they have state-issued licenses, so it’s their responsibility to follow the rules of the state. They can fight them or join them—many states require changes be made through regulation, and if the regulations don’t match up with the current esthetic scope of practice, skin care professionals can get actively involved to create change. Also, they can be part of the solution—if a change in regulation can protect the consumer and bring revenue to the state, it’s a win-win for everyone.”

 Recently, multiple states, including Indiana and New Hampshire, have attempted to deregulate esthetics and cosmetology licenses in an effort to save money for their states. Although several bills that are detrimental to esthetics licensure in New Hampshire still have legs at press time, the Indiana attempt failed, thanks to active professionals. In fact, in a story written by Lesley Weidenbener of the Evansville, IN, Courier & Press, Republican Dave Wolkins, the Indiana representative who introduced the bill, credited industry professionals for their ability to persuade him and the other representatives that the bill was irresponsible.