How to Find the Right Esthetician for You
Hi friends! Happy almost summer! I'm excited to touch on a question that I was recently asked to write about, by an out-of-state friend: How does one go about finding an esthetician in your area that is reputable? This is a great question, so I'm happy to dive in with my advice on "shopping" for a skin care professional.
Search for a Licensed Professional
This is number one and it may seem like a no brainer, but with so many options out there on the market now, you may see everyone from your next door neighbor to salespeople at mall kiosks touting themselves as skin care experts. Licensed estheticians such as myself go through actual school and certification programs to be able to do what they do. We pass written and practical exams to prove that we are knowledgeable about the skin and adequately prepared to safely treat clients. This cannot be said of non-licensed folks, no matter how passionate or knowledgeable they might be about a skin care product line.
Any licensed esthetician should have their credentials listed somewhere either on their website or business card or both. If you're just doing a blind Google search, it's as simple as making sure to use the word "licensed" in your search. This should take you to a list of a whole bunch of spas and private esthetics practice in town. So now how do you narrow it down? Read on!
Scope Out Their Website
By now, most people in the beauty business use an online website to establish their business, along with online booking oftentimes. This is a really easy way to be a little nosy about someone before scheduling that appointment.
Is their website professional? Granted, some small business owners, (myself included) build their own websites, so you will see all levels of web design. I refer more to the content of their site rather than the overall aesthetic. Is it easy to navigate and written without typos or misspellings? Are there broken links or pages under construction? Do they have a bio with a photo and some information about their background? Is it easy to understand what services they offer and what things cost? Are they easily reachable or do you have to dig for some contact information? Do they have pictures of their space or their work? Testimonials? Which leads me to our next way to research a potential fit for you.
Seek Out Some Reviews
One of the easiest ways to find an esthetician is on review sites. Place like Google and Yelp or even Facebook allow clients to review their service at a spa or business.. You can customize your search to find someone in a convenient area and then compare ratings of various businesses.
Because the spa world is a service-based business, it is common for Yelpers and other reviewers to speak out when they've had a really good or not-so-good experience. Either way, these detailed accounts from real clients can give you a pretty good idea of the personality of the provider. Are they an expert in something in particular? Is there something they do that clients just love, that sets them apart? Do they sound like someone you want to meet and that you could trust with your skin? These are things to pay attention to. But then again, if you aren't sure you can trust the opinions of strangers on the internet, there's another way.
Ask People You Already Know and Trust
Referrals are another fantastic way to find an esthetician. Ask around to your friends. Ask them if they've had a good facial anywhere lately, or if they've heard of any good spas in the area. Depending on what your friends are into, in might not be facials. In this case, a good person to ask might be someone in a related industry, such as your favorite hair stylist, massage therapist, your waxer or lash girl (Who are likely also estheticians. If they don't work on faces, they can probably tell you about a colleague who does.) etc.
People in the beauty and wellness industry tend to run in the same circles and often trade services. I love spreading the word about people in my industry that are doing outstanding work and will happily pass out their business cards on their behalf. Got a friend or an acquaintance who seems to always have fabulous skin? Ask that friend first. If she's got a good lead and she's a good friend, she'll spill the details.
Book a Consultation
If you've done all of the above, you've probably narrowed it down to one or maybe a couple of people. If you've never had a facial or skin treatment before, this might be where you start to hesitate. You don't know what to expect. Maybe you've heard scary things about chemical peels or extractions or you heard about that one friend of a friend who broke out after a facial.
If you've got concerns, I totally get it. A good esthetician will be happy to address them up front. Many estheticians offer consultations that don't involve an actual treatment and you can use this time to pick their brains, while also getting to know them.
If they don't offer consultations, shoot them a message! I love when clients shoot me an email beforehand to tell me what it is they are interested in or concerned about. It helps me get to know their situation better and allows me to really think about the best treatment options for them. A good esthetician should be able to speak to your concerns and give you some idea of what to expect from a treatment with them. It's also a low-cost (or free!) way to basically interview your potential new skin guru.
Check out their office. Does it seem clean and inviting? Do you feel comfortable there? The fact is, not everyone clicks with everyone and that's okay. Different skin care therapists can have very different philosophies on how do treat the skin. Does their approach jive with yours? If you get to your consultation and feel like something just isn't a good fit, then you're under no obligation to proceed with a treatment.
At Your First Appointment
Maybe you've already communicated with your esthetician before your first visit, or maybe you feel confident enough to just book and show up. Either is great, but once you arrive, I have a few pointers for you as well.
Communication is probably the best advice I have for getting help with your skin from a professional. Tell them what it is you want to address. Be prepared to ask questions about your options or for recommendations. Don't be afraid to tell the practitioner if there is anything you are nervous about, if you've never experienced a facial or a particular modality before. Also let them know about any past experiences that may have been negative - a product or service you reacted badly to - for example. The more info you can give us about your skin, the better. A good esthetician should communicate with you to make sure you are comfortable throughout the service and so that you know what's going on. That said, don't be afraid to speak up if something doesn't feel right or is unpleasant.
It's absolutely fine to just use facials to relax, but if you do have questions, don't be afraid to ask before, during or after your treatment. As an esthetician, I love sharing what I know with my clients and helping them problem solve. Ask your questions before you leave your facial but it's also okay to follow up. You should always feel welcome to contact your esthetician after the fact should you have additional questions or feedback regarding your service. Again, communication is key!
So now you've got probably more than enough ideas for finding a trustworthy skin care professional. I wish you luck in your search and feel free to be in touch with any questions for me too!