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Today's Esthetic Toolbox

By: Cathy Christensen
Posted: November 25, 2008, from the December 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

The esthetic profession has traveled a long, bumpy road to becoming the accepted and respected industry it is today in the United States. Although a great many details about esthetics have evolved throughout time, astoundingly some have stayed as relevant today as they were 30 years ago, namely must-have tools that help estheticians do their job as well as possible.

Classics such as Wood’s lamps, skin scopes and magnifying lamps have stood the test of time. “What I find interesting is that those are good, useful tools that work really well,” says Deedee Crossett, president of the San Francisco Institute of Esthetics and Cosmetology in San Francisco. In fact, they’ve been around long enough that companies are beginning to adapt their technology into more user-friendly forms, making them the must-haves of the new millennium.

Think about it: You could always pay for gas with a credit card, but by including the credit card machine on the pump, a whole new world of convenience was opened up to you. The classic esthetic tools are beginning to enjoy this type of new take on old favorites, and some new classics are being introduced and adopted, as well. But no matter how effective your skin care arsenal, “Any tool an esthetician uses is only as good as its operator,” reminds An G. Hinds, president and CEO of Catherine Hinds Institute of Esthetics in Woburn, Massachusetts.

The classics

In order to break the barriers for the profession, diagnostic tools were used to help estheticians identify the condition of the skin, resulting in more thorough and effective treatments.

“They are classics for a reason,” says Crossett. “But today’s estheticians are getting smarter and more inquisitive, and their understanding of the skin is evolving. When they are already using a classic machine, the natural esthetician will pull it out and try to find out how that classic tool views today’s treatments.”